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  2. Awesome ending. Markus fits perfectly with Nate and Chris. He completes there relationship and brings happiness to himself.
  3. Jdonley75

    Chapter 10

    I'm not going to give anything away about Alex or Sean. I think their performances will speak for themselves in time. Besides, you like my surprises, right? Yeah. The next few chapters are probably going to bring some moments from the last book to mind. Everyone seems to be running on hope for the moment. And while I think hope is a good thing overall, it's not something you wanna sustain yourself on forever.
  4. Jdonley75

    Chapter 10

    You and me both... 😄
  5. Jdonley75

    Chapter 10

    I was heading out the door to work this morning when I wrote that and I realized later that I didn't really get to finish my thought on Lisa. Yeah, it would look to someone else like he left her kids behind when she left town. However, looking back on it, she left while Andy was away in the marine corps and Nate was busy with his own life and not living in the same area. She was lonely and being in the house she shared with her husband most of her life wasn't really a good thing for her. So, she packed up and went back home to be with her family for her own benefit. I kind of left what she looks like up to the readers to decide. I might fill in more of her later, but her overall appearance kept shifting a little in my mind.
  6. This is an amazing book. It takes you on an emotional rollercoaster of emotions that will make you laugh and cry. Such a wonderful experience, highly recommended as a great read.
  7. droughtquake

    On Display

    I believe we were promised new books in both of @northie’s series to begin next year. The break will allow our author to write a few anthology entries. This will also allow our author to build up a bank of new chapters before they start posting. ;–)
  8. James B.

    On Display

    I hope their will be a third installment to this wonderful story as well can’t imagine this story coming to a complete ending in two chapters for Eric. He needs closure on finding his lost Love. Great Chapter.
  9. RichEisbrouch

    Chapter 10

    When we got home, Nollie told me to call Don. He’d stopped by maybe forty minutes earlier and had seemed disappointed not to find us. “Did you remind him where we were?” I asked. She nodded. “He could’ve met us there,” I told Pete. “Maybe he didn’t want to.” “Why not?” “Not everyone’s use to having cops around.” I shrugged, thinking that somewhat narrow. “That’s their problem.” Then I thanked Nollie for the message and phoned Don. “Where are you?” he asked. “Home.” “Be there in five minutes.” “What’s going on?” “Can’t talk from here. Can you get away?” “Let me check.” I turned to Pete. “You need me?” “How long?” “How long?” I asked Don. “Maybe an hour.” “Maybe an hour,” I reported. Then I laughed. Nollie was already giggling, following this three-way conversation. “Wait a minute,” I told Don and handed my phone to Pete. I didn’t want to put the call on speaker in case there was something Nollie shouldn’t hear. Pete talked with Don for less than a minute, mostly listening, and then clicked off. “I deserve this,” he informed me. ‘Why?” “For plotting with Sandra.” “What’d Don tell you?” “Nothing really.” I grinned. “That’s about what he told me.” “But you’ll know more when you get back.” “Where am I going?” “He didn’t tell me that, either. Just said for you to be ready outside.” “I’ll tell you everything I find out – I promise.” I kissed him, though while we were talking, I’d punched the number Sandra had given us into my phone. A friendly woman answered, and I quickly lied about having pocket dialed. “An inn,” I told Pete, after I clicked off. He didn’t seem surprised. “Don said ‘an hour,’” he told me instead. “Call if you need more.” “We have plans?” “Maybe that evening drive.” I hoped not but didn’t want to say so. “I don’t think hide-a-way inns allow babies,” I suggested. Pete simply smiled as a car honked in front of our house. As it happened, it wasn’t Don. The beep was for one of our neighbors’ kids. Still, it didn’t take long for Don to drive up, and without cutting the engine, he pointed to the passenger door. Almost before I shut it, he pulled away from our curb. “In a hurry?” I joked. He nodded, indicating a manila envelope on the seat between us. I opened the envelope and started to work through a short but dense autopsy report. “Catlin didn’t die by accident,” he soon interrupted. But I was concentrating and waved him off. For maybe five minutes, he drove, and I read. As I was slipping the report back in its envelope, Don pulled into my parking space in front of the theater. “Why are we here?” “Let’s talk about the report first.” “There’s nothing in it that proves it wasn’t an accident. In fact, there’s nothing that even hints at that.” “But there’s nothing that says it was.” “Why are you pushing again?” “Because I’m right. There are too many little things off.” “Like what?” He repeated what we’d been through before: Catlin’s clothes. His jewelry. His wallet and phone. Where he was found. “But the report said nothing new,” I insisted. “Mainly that he drowned.” “What about the bruise on his forehead?” “He bumped it while slipping in the tub.” “I don’t buy it.” “That doesn’t matter. If you can’t prove anything.” Don hesitated. “Can you prove someone didn’t hit him?” he offered slowly – as if knowing how stupid that sounded. “And then put him in the tub?” I sighed, watching a couple of students play Frisbee on the small lawn between the theater and dance studio. “Can you prove aliens don’t walk among us?” Don ignored this and waited for a more reasonable reply. “Build a case,” I finally said. And he paused again. “I can’t. At least, not yet – I don’t have one. But I was hoping you’d see something I missed.” I hadn’t. But I needed to be polite. “Were there fingerprints?” I asked. I knew they wouldn’t turn up in an autopsy report. “Did you have the bathroom checked?” “Yeah,” he said, as if that were routine. “But everyone in the world’s been in that house. And the downstairs bathroom – the one where he died – is the one every visitors uses.” He smiled. “And they don’t wipe down the walls a lot.” I laughed at that. “Did you even wonder why he used that bathroom?” Don went on. “To shower? Why didn’t he go upstairs? To the john off the bedroom he sometimes used?” I considered. “Maybe he couldn’t handle the stairs? If he was that drunk? That could explain so much.” “Or excuse it. But what if you ignore all that?” “I don’t see where ignoring logical evidence is useful.” Again, he had no response. “In any case, why are we here?” I virtually repeated from before. “As a convenient place to talk? Or are we headed down the block?” I didn’t think the reception was over but didn’t know. Instead, he admitted, “I’m not really sure. I got a call – forwarded from the station – and followed it up.” “From who?” “Abby Rodelle.” “Catlin’s assistant?” “Yep.” “What did she want?” “I don’t know. But we’re about to find out.” Abby had just been at the President’s House, though we hadn’t spoken. But it seemed we were going to. Still, I had to ask Don, “Why am I tagging along?” He grinned. “Because you know these people, remember? And I thought she’d feel more comfortable having you around.” He was taking Pete’s advice and handing it back. “There’s only one problem,” I casually mentioned. “I don’t really know Abby.” “You know her well enough to call her by her first name.” That made me laugh. “I call most women by their first names. And most guys by their last. It’s sexist – I know. But I can’t break the habit.” He found that weird. “We live in different worlds.” “Maybe. Where are we meeting her?” “Her office?” “Catlin’s?” “I guess. She said, ‘Second floor, Waldron Hall.’” “That would be it.” So we got out of the car. “One more thing,” he wanted to know. “Yeah?” “Do you think I’m an idiot?” We were almost to the main building. It was that close to the theater and probably why Catlin often parked at the nearby President’s House – to avoid being bumped by student drivers in the common lot. For a moment, I thought how to answer Don. Again, politely. “No,” I finally allowed. “I don’t think you’re an idiot. But I do think you’re getting close.” I grinned, possibly to take off the edge. “And ‘idiot’s another word we’re no longer allowed to use.” He skipped past that. “It’s just that I’m looking for a start,” he admitted. “I’m sure Catlin didn’t die by accident, and if I can just find a direction... I mean, even if I dummy in the details at first... Eventually, I’ll find an answer.” I looked at him for a moment, then turned toward the quad. It was a beautiful day. The leaves hadn’t changed color. The sky was barely clouded. And there was a breeze. “Say you’re right,” I cautiously offered. “Say there is someone on this campus... or in the town... who’s crazy enough... or who thinks he – or she – somehow has the right to kill somebody else... And that’s an enormous stretch right there – one I’m not sure I’m willing to make. But say I give you that... And that somehow, the little things you’ve managed to find indirectly support that. You may still not be able to prove anything. Because either by luck – or by very careful planning – the damned thing’s worked. So there may be no way you can show that Catlin wasn’t so drunk – or so high and drunk – that he didn’t just forget everything that was normal and die by accident.” Don absorbed all that, maybe parsing each of my “if’s” and “possibilities.” Then he started up the steps of Waldron Hall. “I know that,” he quietly allowed, sounding close to gloomy. “But I still hoped you’d talk me out of it.” I stopped, and so did he. “Is that all you wanted? Some resistance? Because you could’ve said so.” “I told you before – I wanted you to find something I hadn’t. Or something you looked at differently.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry.” “For what? Not finding what isn’t there?” “Don’t get pissed off. At me or yourself.” For a moment, he didn’t answer – just stared at the doors in front of us. Though I doubted he was seeing them. I took the report he’d brought with him and started skimming again, though I knew it wouldn’t make a difference. Basically, it said Catlin had drowned between one and six AM. That there was alcohol in his blood that was beyond the legal limit and traces of marijuana. There was also a small bruise on his forehead, halfway in the hairline above his right eye. And there were other bruises, consistent with the daily activities of a man as athletic as he’d been. Or with someone who – not long before his death – had made love on a living room couch or floor. I would have kept skimming, but Don finally took the report away and tapped on his watch. “Sorry I haven’t helped,” I admitted. But he simply opened the door. Inside, we had to dodge students coming down the marble stairs. Only a few. Far more were playing – or tanning – in the quad behind us. But there were Saturday classes for the older Continuing Ed students. “What do you know about Abby Rodelle?” Don asked, as we went up the steps. “As I said – not too much. She’s relatively new to the school. But I think she worked with Catlin before.” “Why new?” I laughed. “He tore through a raft of other assistants – that’s what we now call secretaries. Computers knocked off most of them, but every department – or group of departments, now that Catlin’s combined as many as possible – still needs a coordinator. That’s another euphemism. Still, being president, Catlin had an assistant to himself. And – not unpredictably – it took a while to find one who could meet his... expectations.” Don smiled at that. “When no one from the college came through, he brought in someone from outside.” “The others are that inbred?” I laughed. “Let’s just say it’s a limited pool in a somewhat restricted town. I mean, who wants to be a secretary anymore?” He seemed to be thinking. “Is she resented?” “Nah. People working together become friends quickly enough. Though I think what she does keeps her pretty isolated. And there are a lot of people here who don’t much like each other but still work together pleasantly. They’re just not outside friends.” Don grinned. “A happy group.” “Yeah. Some days I don’t know why I quit the force. After New York, I hoped if I worked small enough, I could avoid politics. What was I thinking?.” “At least, no one dies when you mess up teaching.” “Normally.” He stopped on the stairs. “What’s that supposed to mean?” “Well, I was thinking power tools and ladders. But who knows? Maybe I believe some of your crapshoot theories.”
  10. Today
  11. Brayon

    Prompt 766 and 767

    Both are great, but 767 is most defo on the list!
  12. dughlas

    On Display

    Positively wonderful that Eric should paint Croome Park. That he would be so closely involved in a place that will become so important in Andy & Adam's life is indeed serendipitous. Only two chapters to come. Is there a third segment?
  13. Thank you, Thorn. I turned myself into a blubbering mess a few times in the telling of this story, so I know it wasn't easy to edit it. You're right... Nate and Christopher were making do. They love one another deeply, but there was something missing. How could there not be after a man like Tad leaves your life? Markus isn't him, and he doesn't try to be. Yet... they find in him something new, familiar and comforting all at once. And Markus has found home, all thanks to a driven, talented man who left his mark on the world. I'm glad you spent the time and effort to help me polish this work to as high a shine as I could have.
  14. drpaladin

    part 1, chapter 4

    Memo to Matt. Look at who is calling before you answer your phone. The Rose business is screaming about something's off. The whole Lucas and Matt thing suddenly turning into hot sex was a big surprise.
  15. If you want a funny, light-hearted, cute little romance, don't read this book. Read this book if you want to feel. If you're prepared for a rollercoaster of raw emotions and probably a few tears, this is the book for you. And even if you're not ready, read it anyway. You'll read the final word of the final chapter, and you'll be glad that you did. Wayne is a fantastic writer who will take you on a remarkable journey, so let him.
  16. Such a beautiful ending. Markus fits so perfectly with Nate and Chris. And as happy as they were together, just the two of them, they need a third to feel complete. Once you've been in that kind of relationship, I think it's hard to go back. Thank you for letting me be a part of this journey, Wayne. It's been an honour and a privilege. ❤️
  17. This book has been simply amazing. Such an emotional roller coaster and wonderful experience. I laughed and cried and couldn't wait for the next chapter. Thank you for this book.
  18. northie

    Pride of Place

    I imagine it's a mixture of things: lack of experience; feelings of obligation; just simply being made the centre of attention. As for Pride - Andy's hope is that the local event will be relatively tame compared with a big city affair.
  19. northie

    On Display

    Thanks! I don't think it stretched credulity too much. Art is something I've never really tried my hand at.
  20. northie

    On Display

    Don't forget 'friends' are still a new concept to Eric - he's not sure how they and he should interact. Salts this away in my 'Plot suggestions'. Thanks, drought.
  21. Markus stirred his drink and smiled at Miranda. She took a long slug from the bottle of beer on the table, then she put it back down with a long exhalation. After the session, Markus had asked if she would sit and talk for awhile. Miranda agreed and chose the venue of the hotel bar, which suited Markus fine. "That was powerful." Miranda nodded and stared at the condensation on the bottle in her hand. "I mean, even before you brought up Tad." "Thank you." Markus sipped his Dark and Stormy, enjoying the spiced rum in the beverage. Miranda looked at him. "You're welcome. You're a great speaker and you know your business." She smiled. "Thank you, for what you said about my brother. It means a lot to me." "I had to say it." Markus looked earnestly at her. "When the venues send attendee lists for any engagement, I always read through for names I recognize." He shrugged. "I know a lot of folks in the business now, and I make it a point to seek out a few close contacts. When I saw your name I wondered if it was really you, and just in case I brought my book." He smiled. "His art is so good I recognized your face. I knew it was you." Miranda nodded. "His art is amazing, and I'm glad you approached me." "Me too. Tad saved my life, I'm sure of it." He sighed. "I only wish I could have met him and his men. There's not much about Nate in the book, just the last few pages, but they all looked so happy together." Miranda nodded, a sad smile on her face. Then she grew thoughtful. "Well, Christopher and Nate would probably love to meet you. To hear about what an impact Tad made on you, it'd be a real gift to them." Markus considered. "I do have a trip to the west coast planned next month. It's for a speaking engagement in San Francisco." He tapped his finger on his glass as he thought. "You really think they'd be all right if I fanboyed over the dudes in my favorite book?" Miranda laughed, and her eyes sparkled. "They'd love it. It's still a two-hundred-fifty-mile trip north from the city to us, but if you'd like, I can probably get some interest drummed up in a presentation locally for you. There are certainly community partners who could use your crisis management session. That way it's not a wasted trip for you." "I don't think it'd be wasted, even without the additional presentation." Markus nodded and grinned. "But yeah, if you could feel out the local organizations that might be interested then I'd appreciate that." Miranda gave him a thumbs-up as she took another drink. Markus checked the calendar on his phone. "I have a free week right after the SF conference. That'll be the first full week of April. I could rent a car and drive up the coast. It'd be a nice little vacation." Markus smiled. "I'd love to see all of the things and the places your brother drew in the book." "That'd be great." Miranda picked up her beer. "I'll let the guys know. They'll be thrilled to meet someone who appreciates Tad's work so much." Markus made a happy sound. "Good." He picked up his glass. "To Tad." Miranda held up her beer and cocked her head with a little impish smile. "And to new friends." Markus gave her a pleased grin, gently touched his glass to her bottle, and downed the rest of the delicious, spicy beverage. ∞ A month later, Nate came home from his Saturday morning shift at the bookstore. "This house is a mess!" Nate wailed from the door, and Christopher cringed a little. "Sorry!" He called from the kitchen. "Miranda's work friend is going to be here soon, and I wanted to make some dip. I'll pick up the living room as soon as I'm done." "His name is Markus, and Miranda really liked him." Nate walked into the kitchen with a pair of Chris's underwear in his hand. He shook the used item of clothing at his partner. "Seriously, Bear? Your skivvies are on the floor?" Christopher's face betrayed his surprise. "It wasn't me, I've been in here! You know Kali drags them out of the dirty clothes. I can't help if she's a nasty girl!" Nate snorted, then shook his head and stepped closer. He gave Chris a quick kiss and the big man relaxed a little when he saw Nate smile. "I'll handle the living room. You finish your dip." Nate turned and walked back toward the front of the house. He held up one finger as he moved away. "If the rest of the house needs to be cleaned, try and finish quick so you can help me. He'll be here in an hour!" Chris was sure there was still a hard water stain in the toilet bowl. He sighed and stirred the cheesy dip in the crockpot. It was loaded with sausage, jalapenos, and salsa. It was simple, but everyone they knew loved it. More importantly, it was now at a stage where he didn't have to babysit it. Chris took off his apron and stuck his head into the living room. "I'm headed to clean the bathroom." Nate nodded and grinned at him, then his redheaded lover continued to pick up and straighten the living room. Christopher loved their house. They had only moved in a few months ago, and though they had liked their apartment, when the house came up for sale in Eureka they had to buy it. They used the leftover insurance money and proceeds from Tad's book, which meant that they were able to drop a significant downpayment on their home. Now, they lived in a quiet residential area of the city, near a park and shopping. The yard had a high fence and they could allow Kali to run and play in the backyard with no fear. She never tried to climb the wooden obstacle. The outdoors were an entirely new thing to her, so she timidly explored this new world, usually when one or both of the men accompanied her. By the time two p.m. rolled around the house looked pretty good. Christopher and Nate met up in the living room and they gave one another a high-five. "All right! Mission accomplished." Nate rubbed his hands together, took a breath to say something, and the doorbell rang. He motioned grandly at the door. "Just in time!" Chris laughed, and he stepped to open the door. A smiling, handsome man greeted their eyes. "Hello!" He extended a hand. "I'm Markus, and it is such an honor to finally meet you both." Christopher grinned and shook the offered hand. "I'm Chris, and it's great to meet you too." Nate took his turn. Usually, when Christopher met someone new, there was a little adjustment, some time spent getting comfortable. Yet Markus seemed both new and familiar to him. His dark eyes reminded him of Tad's in a way, but there was something different in them too. Christopher had to actively make himself avoid staring. "Come on, we'll give you the tour." Nate led Markus into their house and Christopher followed along. Kali appeared as they started down the hallway, and Markus pointed. "Is that the same cat? The one in the book?" Christopher picked her up and she began to purr in his arms. "It is. This is our monster, the infamous Kali, goddess of creation and destruction." Markus laughed, and Chris noticed that his teeth were very white and straight. "Oh, I love her name." Markus scratched her ears. Kali closed her eyes and pushed up into his touch. Chris could feel the warmth from Markus's hand thanks to the closeness of their skin. He reacted below the waist, just a twitch, and Christopher felt a flash of annoyance with himself. 'You're not a teenager. Get a grip.' Markus didn't seem to mind their closeness. He continued to stand there and smiled at Nate. "She loves attention, huh?" Nate glanced at Chris and stepped up right next to them. He too began to stroke Kali. Nate grinned at Markus. "Well, who doesn't?" Chris heard the inflection and the quality of Nate's voice. There was an undercurrent of suggestiveness there. Markus laughed again, and he nodded with a smirk. "You've got a point there." Kali began to squirm and Chris knelt to release her. When he straightened, Nate and Markus hadn't moved. They were all very close, and Christopher wet his lips. Markus swallowed with an audible sound. "Ah, what smells good? Something cheesy." Christopher was thankful for the distraction. "Yeah. I made some dip for us. We've got a reservation at Brick and Fire at Five. Do you think you can handle chips and dip until then?" "Yeah, no problem." Markus grinned. "Show me the rest of your place first. I really want to see your yard. Mine is non-existent in Amarillo, since I live in an apartment." They walked out to the back yard. Kali heard the door and scampered past them to run through the grass. She disappeared under a bushy plant that grew next to the fence. Markus laughed at her antics and his eyes moved around the area. He took in the little fruit trees they had planted, the garden bed Christopher had installed, and the detached garage which bordered the alley behind their house. Christopher put an arm over Nate's shoulders, and they both watched Markus. Chris leaned over. "Are you flirting with him?" he whispered. "You started it! Standing so close to him," Nate said under his breath. Markus sat on his haunches and ran a finger through the grass, taunting Kali who crouched in the bushes. She ran from her hiding spot at him, and he jumped up, laughing. "He's pretty fucking cute." Chris didn't have time to respond. Markus rejoined them with a grin. "I love your place, it's great." Markus rubbed his flat belly. "Is it time for chips? I've not had much, so the beast is beginning to complain." Christopher nodded. "Yeah. Come on." Nate went to catch their kitty while Markus and Chris walked inside. Soon they were all seated around their small kitchen table. Each man had a bowl of corn chips, and a ramekin of warm, gooey dip was on the table within arm's reach. "Mmmm." Markus closed his eyes as he chewed a chip loaded with meaty, spicy cheese dip. Christopher smiled as he watched him. He felt that very familiar sensation of affection he had for his closest friends toward Markus. Chris glanced at Nate and saw how Nate gazed at their guest. There was something there, some spark in his lover's blue eyes. Nate looked at Chris and they each took a breath - as if they could both feel the same thing. Over the next three hours they snacked, paged through Tad's book, and Markus made a list of all of the places he wanted to see. "I could take off a few days and drive you around the county if you want," said Nate and Chris echoed the offer. "Guys, I don't need babysitting." Markus waved a hand. He grinned. "But I wouldn't say no if somehow both of you were available to hang out." "I've got the time off. I could take it." Christopher looked at Nate. "How about you? Think you could take off the week?" The redhead grinned. "Yeah, Kent has been asking for more hours. He's in his final year at HSU and could use the cash. He'd pick up a lot of my shifts, I'm sure." Now decided, they continued to plan their trip through the sites, food, and points of interests that appeared in the comic. It was time to head to Brick and Fire. They arrived and entered the dimly lit, cozy eatery. Nate had the foresight to get the same table featured in the comic, and it wasn't lost on Markus. He sat in the same spot, the exact position Tad had chosen to do the perspective drawing that appeared in his work. Markus looked slowly around the room, at paintings, decorations, and the other patrons. Then he gazed at Nate and Christopher. He chuckled and wiped his eyes. "Ah, sorry. I don't know why this is so emotional for me." He pressed his lips together, and visibly struggled to reign in his feelings. Christopher felt his fondness grow. 'He's handsome, sensitive, smart, and driven.' Chris swallowed and he smiled at Markus. "It's okay." Nate nodded. "Yeah, it's fine." He looked around as well. "I can't help but think of him when we come here.” Their meal was, in typical Brick and Fire fashion, fantastic. Christopher had driven, so Nate and Markus split a bottle of wine, with Chris sneaking sips of Nate's here and there. When they had finished their meal, they all climbed back into the truck. Chris got them safely back to the house and Markus looked toward the kitchen. "I'm grabbing some water. If you don't mind, I need to hang out a little before I drive." Markus wrinkled his nose. "I should have stopped at a glass of wine." "You can hang out. It's still early." Christopher smiled and Nate nodded his agreement. While Markus got his beverage, Nate turned on some music, and the mellow, melodic sounds of the group Hollow Coves played through the compact soundbar mounted under their television on the wall. His glass of water in hand, Markus stepped back into the living room and smiled at the music. "I like this." "Tad listened to them and stuff like them when he drew." Nate pointed at the TV where the Spotify station played. "This is his station." Markus sighed. "Wow. You guys have so many memories, and so much history with him." He considered. "And that's good. It means he's still here, and still living through you." Christopher loved how Markus put it. "Thank you. Yeah, he affects our lives every day, all positively." Markus sipped his water and pulled the folded list of places he wanted to visit from his shirt pocket. He stood next to the bar counter and unfolded the paper on it. Nate and Christopher went over, and they all stood to look down at it. "Okay, Brick and Fire, done." He put a checkmark beside the entry. He grinned. "Though we could definitely go back. Man, that food was good." As they stood close, that same magnetic pull to Markus hooked into Christopher's mind. He realized that he could smell him. Markus exuded a scent of soap, musk, and the slightest odor of sweat. Nate stood on the other side of their guest, and he too seemed distracted by Markus. Nate's eyes met Christopher's for a split second as Markus looked down at his list. Finally, Markus looked up. He shifted his gaze back and forth, and Christopher saw just the slightest smile. "Uh, do you guys mind if I use the restroom?" His smile was frustratingly enigmatic. "Oh, not at all." Nate pointed down the hall. "There, on the right." Markus walked away then stepped into the bathroom, and Nate looked at Christopher. "Bear. What. Is. Happening?" They hadn't done anything with anyone since Tad. What was happening between them now and over the course of the evening was entirely anomalous for them both. Christopher adjusted himself, Nate noticed, then the redhead chuckled and did the same. Chris shook his head. "There's something about him, Nate." Nate rubbed a hand over his mouth, and he nodded. "Yeah, I know." His blue eyes speared Christopher. Then he bit his lip. "Do you think he'd want…?" The bathroom door opened and interrupted Nate. Markus was still all smiles, and stepped right back into that close, intimate space near them. "So, apart from a presentation that Miranda organized at the hospital on Thursday, my schedule is completely free, guys." His smile grew into a grin. Christopher watched Nate as the redhead seemed to weigh his response. Chris beat him to it. "Well, we will be off work, so we'll be happy to drive you around the city and the county. You've got the list of stuff you still want to see. That'll be easy, we can do you." Chris heard what he just said and reddened. "Uhh. I mean, we would be happy to do it to you." He sagged and made a noise of frustrated embarrassment. "I mean…" Markus grinned broadly. "I'd be happy to do whatever you guys would like to do." Nate smirked and waggled his eyebrows. "A few things come to mind." Christopher watched as Nate leaned just slightly into Markus. Markus looked straight into Nate's eyes, then he turned and checked Chris's expression. Chris pushed past his fear and took a page from Tad's book. "Life's too short to wonder." Christopher said the words, then he put a hand on the back of Markus's neck. The man swallowed in anticipation, and Chris leaned down. Christopher kissed Markus, who seemed starved for it. Chris enjoyed that moment, then he pulled back and looked at Markus's eyes. Markus shook his head and blinked. "This has turned out to be a great trip so far," he whispered, then Nate gently turned Markus's head and kissed him. Christopher watched as the man he loved kissed Markus. "Mmmm. Okay, we need to move this to the bedroom." Nate and Markus both grinned as they made out, and they pulled apart. Soon the men stood bedside. All of their clothes except for Markus's briefs were on the floor, and Christopher admired the hidden erection under the material. He rubbed a hand over the trapped organ, and Markus let his head loll back. "God, I've fantasized about this for years now," Markus confessed. While Christopher played with his cock, Nate flicked a tongue over Markus's nipple. Their guest moaned, then he pushed his underwear down and kicked them off. Markus was uncut, and the exposed purple head of his cock throbbed to his heartbeat. Christopher went to his knees in front of Markus. He looked up to see Nate deeply kiss him, while Markus stroked Nate's drooling penis. Chris knew that he shouldn't put a stranger's dick in his mouth, but that's not how Markus felt to him. He went down on Markus, and was rewarded with the sweet taste of precome and an inhalation of surprise from the dark-haired man. Chris fondled Markus's balls, and he pressed a knuckle into the man's taint while his other hand worked his own tool. Markus groaned around Nate's mouth, then Nate made a desperate sound of his own. Chris felt a warm spurt of semen hit the side of his face as Nate got off. Markus pulled his lips away for a moment from Nate's trembling mouth. "I'm close." Nate breathed. "Can he keep going?" he whispered in Markus's ear. Markus's jaw dropped, and he nodded. Chris felt the contraction of Markus's testicles, and then he grunted. Markus's release flooded Chris's mouth, and the brown-haired man gulped it down, while his lips and tongue continued to caress Markus's turgid cock. As soon as Markus stopped coming, he reached down and pulled Christopher to his feet. Chris wasn't sure exactly what was going on at first, then Markus dropped to his knees and went down on him. Christopher had a big cock, and Markus didn't even try to deep throat him. Instead, he took half of it into his mouth, and the rest he stroked with his hand while he gently rubbed Chris's balls. "He's safe to swallow. We both are," Nate uttered, then he kissed Christopher as Markus expertly sucked him. Chris was already close. The stimulation of kissing Nate and Markus's mouth was too much, and he moaned as he came. Markus continued to slurp, and he swallowed everything. Once Chris shuddered at the end of his orgasm, Markus stood up. He laughed and wiped Nate's come off of Chris's face with his underwear. Markus put one arm around each of their shoulders and grinned. "Well, I don't know if anything else we do or see is going to top this," Christopher loved how Markus’s dark eyes sparkled mischievously, "but it will sure be fun to try." ∞ Markus spent the week with them, and he canceled his hotel room after the first night. Nate felt, at long last, as if things were "normal" again for himself and Christopher. Markus's presence, wit, and body all seemed to fill a gap that he and Christopher had merely learned to live around. They were doing fine before, but with Markus, Nate could feel them thriving again. Yet their new friend had to return to Texas. Christopher and Nate took him to the airport early that Saturday morning. "I'll call you guys when I make it back to Texas." Markus stood at the curb at the tiny airport. He looked just as sad as Nate felt, and he smiled forlornly. "Okay. Sounds good. Bye, Markus." Nate worked hard to steady his voice. Chris too bid him goodbye. "Bye. Talk to you both soon." Markus turned. They watched him wheel his luggage into the airport. Chris sighed. He put the truck into gear and pulled onto the loop which would take them back to the highway. Nate flopped back, and he let his head relax against the backrest. "Fuck." Christopher snorted a blast of air out of his nose. "I agree." The rest of the ride home they spent in quiet thought. That evening the call came. Nate put Markus on speaker. "Hey, guys." He sounded tired. "I'm here safe." "Good." Chris put an arm around Nate's shoulders. "It's good to hear your voice, Markus." "It really is." Nate leaned into Chris. "I know you had to, but I wish you didn't have to go back." Christopher leaned toward the phone. "Me too. It was nice having you here." Markus was quiet for a beat. "Yeah." His reply was soft and contemplative. "It was really great to meet you guys and to be with you. Even if it was for just a little while." They talked for almost an hour, then the worn out Markus had to go to sleep. Every night for the next two weeks they talked on the phone. It became a ritual. Every evening at six p.m. Markus called, and tonight on the dot, the phone rang. "Hey, gents!" Markus's voice was exceptionally clear, chipper and upbeat. "Hi. How's it going tonight, Markus?" Christopher sat next to Nate and their fingers were intertwined as they spoke over the speaker to him. "It's good. Hey, I wondered if you guys would want a visit? Maybe a little longer this time?" There was such a hopeful tone in his voice. Nate grinned. "Yeah!" He blinked. "I mean, it's fine with you, right, Bear?" Chris grinned just as broadly. "Absolutely." He leaned forward over the phone. "When were you thinking, Markus?" The phone unexpectedly cut off, and they both frowned at it. Nate reached for the device, and there was a knock on the door. They both looked at it. Nate scrambled to his feet, and he bounded to the door, Christopher right on his heels. Nate opened it, and Markus grinned at them, a duffle bag in one hand and a backpack over his shoulder. "You're here!" Nate laughed, and he threw his arms around the dark-haired man. Markus was soon overwhelmed with both Nate's and Chris's arms and affection. Kisses began to get a little more serious, and he had to pull back from a scorching make-out session with Christopher. "Whoa. Okay, I know where this is going." He chuckled, as Nate rubbed his denim-covered crotch. "Before too many clothes come off, I wanted to ask you guys if I could spend the night. Then I'll go apartment-hunting tomorrow." Both Nate and Christopher gaped at him. Markus smirked in self-satisfaction at a secret well-kept. "You, you're moving? You're moving here?" Nate's eyes were wide. Markus nodded. "Yeah. I sold my stuff in Texas, and I already have a consulting gig here at Miranda's hospital." He made a face. "My friends Shane and Heather weren't thrilled, but they understand." Christopher grinned, and he shook both Nate and Markus back and forth in his strong arms. "Yes!" They quickly ended up in bed. To Nate, it was as if Markus had always been a part of them, and he was only coming home. They invited him to stay the week. Then, a month. When the first of the month rolled around, Markus asked how much the mortgage was. They told him, and he pulled his phone out of his pocket. He typed a bit, then both Nate's and Christopher's devices vibrated. Nate looked at his phone and saw he had a PayPal deposit. "There's my part," Markus said. That was the moment that Nate knew he was there to stay. ∞ Tad's birthday was May 29th, and the men always visited his grave on that day. Markus joined them for the first time, and he stood graveside while Christopher and Nate each lay a single red rose on the headstone. All three of them had their arms around each other's waists with Markus in the middle. "Bear and I miss you." Nate smiled, and he wiped his eyes. "We love you." Christopher quietly patted Nate's back, and Markus kissed the side of his face. After a few minutes, they turned to leave. Markus cleared his throat. "Hey, I'm gonna stay back a little. I wanna talk to him, just us." Chris smiled and both he and Nate nodded. Markus watched as they put their arms around one another's shoulders, and they walked back to the path leading to the gate. Markus looked down at the grave. "Hi." He took a deep breath. "I, ah, I just wanted to let you know that you saved me. You saved me in so many ways, and I'm sure you have saved others too." He felt himself begin to cry and let it happen. "I wish I could have met you. I wish that we could have been friends. I feel so connected and intimate with you." He looked toward the gate of the cemetery and saw his pair of lovers standing, waiting for him. Markus smiled, and he turned back to the grave. "Your men are fine. We all are." He straightened his spine. "That's thanks to you. You might be gone, but your impact on the lives around you still goes on - like ripples in a pond." Markus put a hand on the headstone. "Thank you for my life. I'm going to spend it taking care of our men." After one more moment he turned, dried his tears, and strode away to meet his loves. ∞ AUTHOR'S NOTE: Never doubt the power a single life can have. Never think that your life doesn't matter. You may be the person who saves someone, just by being yourself.
  22. Katya Dee

    part 1, chapter 4

    - IV - THURSDAY The sub looked over the class and narrowed her eyes. “Well, I see that some of your classmates decided not to show up today,” she said dryly. “Tell them that the project had better be done and turned in on Monday morning, since there will be no…” “...mercy,” I finished her sentence in my head. “…deadline extension,” she said. I looked around. Besides Lucas, there were at least five more people missing today. I blinked when I realized that Julie was one of them. Huh, wonder if I should call her or something. Is she sick? I looked at Jess and wasn’t even a bit surprised when I saw her whispering something into Ally’s ear. They both looked at me almost simultaneously. Great, I thought with annoyance. They are plotting something against me. My own sister! Before the class was over, I decided to skip the rest of the day and head straight to Jennah’s place. Need to finish that project before it gets dark. I was getting really tired of the whole thing. I mean, hanging out with Jennah was just fine. In fact, it was quite entertaining. Typing, arguing, and coming up with endless ideas, however, was starting to get on my nerves. I was almost out the door when I heard Jess’ voice. What now? I stopped and waited for her. “Where are you going?” she demanded. “To Jennah’s,” I said calmly. “Who?” She blinked with confusion. “My project partner,” I said. “Why?” “What did you do to Julie yesterday?” she asked, her eyes two blue ice shards by now. “Julie?” I frowned. “Nothing! Why?” Jess chewed on her lower lip for several seconds. “Nothing?” she asked finally. “Really? Didn’t you go for coffee or something?” “I still don’t see how it affects you,” I sighed. “But yeah, we did. So what?” “Well,” now she seemed doubtful. “She was beyond distracted when she came over… And she was all…” now she looked uncomfortable. “Upset,” she finished finally. “So, naturally, you figured that I had something to do with it,” I nodded. “Did you?” Jess asked in a less hostile voice. “No,” I sighed. “Jess, if I want to sneak out unnoticed, I need to do it now, okay? Can you please make something up, in case if anyone wonders where the hell I am? Look, I didn’t do anything to Julie, I swear. I did ask her for her phone number, but that’s it!” “Fine,” she grumbled. “Just go… Oh, by the way!” “What?” I looked at her impatiently. “Rose was asking Ally if you guys were still together.” I winced. Rose? Ugh, great… Rose was one of the girls that I thought was special last year. Weird, ever since I gave her the whole 'It’s not you, it’s me' speech, she wouldn’t as much as look at me. Why would she… “What did Ally say?” I asked unwillingly. “That you are a pig,” Jess sighed. Right. Why did I even bother asking? “Okay, fine… Whatever. I’ll see you tonight, okay?” She just waved at me and went away. **** I rang the bell and heard Jennah’s voice almost immediately. “Open!” he yelled. I walked inside. “It’s me,” I called loudly. “Come in,” he yelled. “Read the stuff I printed out, will you?” “Sure,” I said and walked into the living room. The place looked like a bomb went off in there. There were papers, empty mugs, and half-empty packs of cigarettes all over the floor. I made my way to the printer and pulled out a stack of paper. Jennah walked in and climbed into the chair, pulling his bare feet under him. “Writer’s crisis or something?” I asked, glancing around the living room. He grinned. “Something like that. Read that, make corrections or whatever… That should take care of the rest of the damn thing.” “Huh,” I said, scanning the papers with my eyes. “I thought you said you sucked at those.” “I do,” he agreed solemnly. “But not because I can’t do them…” he threw a pack of cigarettes at me. “Why then?” I caught it easily and shoved some stuff off the empty chair next to his. He shrugged. “I am the king of procrastination,” he admitted finally. “It gets pretty bad. Usually I don’t even get started until the thing is due in, like, two hours…” “I see,” I muttered, reading the papers. “That’s why I was somewhat relieved that I didn’t have to do it by myself,” he said and threw a lighter at me. “The damn thing would never get done.” …I was finished reading and correcting in two hours, and I was starving. “I am hungry,” I said and handed Jennah the papers. “Go look in the fridge,” he said, turning on his laptop. “There might be some food in there, I am not sure.” “Don’t you eat?” He shrugged. “Sometimes I do,” he said absent-mindedly. “Usually I just survive on granola bars, coffee, and smokes.” I left him alone with the computer and the papers, and walked into the kitchen. He was right; there was some food in the fridge. And it was even edible, amazing! I ate three or four hot dogs and dug out a can of chocolate frosting. I looked at the expiration date. It was a month ago. I shrugged. Who cares. Chocolate is chocolate. I found a spoon and went back into the living room. Jennah was typing away. He glanced at me and grinned when he saw the frosting. “What are you gonna do this weekend?” I asked. “Dunno,” he muttered without interrupting his typing. “Nothing, probably. Why? You wanna ask me out or something?” “Right,” I hemmed and licked my spoon. This frosting wasn’t too bad actually. “No, I am just wondering what I should do this weekend…” “What about that Julie girl?” he asked without much interest. “The one you told me about yesterday?” I shrugged and set the frosting can on the table. “Not sure,” I admitted. “She is boring, man!” “Uh huh,” he muttered. “So you want an intellectual diamond in a glamorous wrapper, is that it?” I thought about it for a second. “To be honest,” I said finally. “I have no freaking idea what I want… That’s the problem.” “I’d say…” he finally stopped typing and looked at me. “I don’t like this,” he said finally and I blinked. “What?” I asked carefully. “This,” he smacked his pencil into the middle of the paper. “You completely screwed up this paragraph…” “Did not!” I frowned and Jennah rolled his eyes. “Did too,” he said sharply. “Here… Read this!” He got up and handed me the paper. I read the paragraph he circled. Well… I guess he was right. I scratched my head. “Fine,” I said unwillingly. “Change it.” “You change it,” he snorted. “You screwed it up, you change it!” I growled at him and grabbed the pencil. Suddenly, he laughed and pulled the paper out of my hand. “Break time,” he announced and took the can of frosting off the table. I laughed out loud when he just dipped his finger into the can and licked off the chocolate. He shrugged. “Fingers are nature’s spoons,” he said melancholically, and I cracked up again. “I need to remember that one,” I said and followed him into the back yard. It was almost four in the afternoon and the weather was great. I sat on the grass and closed my eyes, enjoying the sun on my face. Suddenly, my phone rang. I pulled it out and flipped it open. “Hello,” I muttered and opened my eyes. Jennah was licking chocolate off his fingers and he looked very serious. “Matt?” someone said on the other end of the line. “Yeah,” I frowned. Who is that? “Hey, it’s Rose… Remember me?” Ugh. “Yeah… Hey, Rose,” I sighed. “Hey, what are you doing this Saturday?” she sounded so cheerful that it made my teeth ache. “I am busy,” I said immediately. I managed to soak some regret into that though. “Oh…” Now she sounded disappointed. “Why?” I asked, trying not to laugh at Jennah wiping his hand on the grass. “Oh…” she sighed. “Just wanted to see if you maybe wanna hang out or something… I mean, the last time we hung out was, like, forever ago, right?” “Err…” I said. “Come on!” she laughed. “It’ll be fun! We could… You know… Go to the park or something…” I frowned. What the hell is up with her? Why is she trying so hard all of a sudden? “Umm,” I said finally. “I don’t know, Rose… I mean, yeah… Sounds good, sure…” “Awesome!” she squealed immediately and I sighed. “But hey,” I said, surprising myself. “I will call you about it, okay? I mean, I don’t know if I’ll be actually free on Saturday.” “Oh, come on, Matt,” I could actually hear her pouting right now, can you believe that? “I mean, what can you possibly be doing on Saturday night that is soooo important?” “What time on Saturday?” Man, I am such a pushover sometimes! “How about seven or seven-thirty?” “Okay, seven-thirty on Saturday… Sounds good. But Rose, I’ll call you to confirm, okay? I am not promising anything…” “Sure, sure,” she laughed. “Talk to you later!” I shut my phone and frowned at it. Maybe I should just turn it off. Forever. Yeah, that sounds good. “Rose?” Jennah looked at me with curiosity. “What about Julie?” “Yeah,” I sighed. “Julie might be a lesser evil, to be honest.” My phone rang again and I felt trapped. Jennah rolled his eyes, got up, and took it out of my hand. He turned it off and threw it in my lap. “Here,” he smirked. “Simple, really.” “What the hell…” I frowned. “Break’s over,” he announced. “Come on. Move it!” I followed him inside, thinking that for some strange reason, I didn't even feel like getting mad at him. In fact, it made me feel relieved when he turned off my phone. Hell, maybe I should just spend the weekend with him and send everyone else to hell? I mean, we could watch some crappy movies, eat frosting out of the can, and I wouldn’t have to worry about the following morning and endless phone calls… ***** “And…” Jennah paused for almost a minute, his fingers flying all over the keyboard. “Done!” he said finally and hit the Print button. “How many pages?” I asked with genuine interest. He looked up at me and grinned. “Twenty four,” he said smugly and I whistled. “You serious?” “Yup,” he got off the chair and walked to the printer. “Even though I was the one fixing that damn paragraph…” “Since you didn’t like what I did…” I shrugged. “Yeah, yeah…” he waved his hand at me. “What time is it?” “Err…” I glanced at my watch. “Holy crap! It’s eight-thirty!” “Cool,” he nodded calmly. Suddenly, the printer made a whining noise and stopped humming altogether. Jennah frowned. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered. “Paper jam?” I asked. “Uh huh,” he nodded and lifted the lid. He pulled almost the entire jammed page out, when it decided to rip apart in his hand. “Dammit!” he hissed. “Great! Now it’s stuck even worse!” “Way to go,” I said sarcastically and walked to the printer. Hmm, he was right. It was jammed pretty bad. I looked at it thoughtfully for several minutes. “Okay,” I said finally. “Pull this thing up, will you?” He obediently pulled up the little black stripe of rubber that was running along the edge of the cartridge. I grabbed the tiny piece of paper that was sticking out, and pulled it forward so carefully as if I were disarming a bomb. Finally, the paper came out. “Ha,” I said seriously. “Excellent,” Jennah smiled. “Oh hey, you’ve got ink all over you hands now…” Yup, he was right. My hands looked like I just got into a box of coals or something. Of course, right then my nose itched, and of course, I scratched it without even thinking. “Umm…” Jennah started to laugh. “Ink, remember?” I groaned. Right, ink… Jennah laughed again. “Here…” he said finally and rubbed his finger on my face. “It’ll come off, hold on…” I blinked when suddenly his finger lingered on my upper lip. It still smelled like the chocolate frosting that he was licking off it earlier. I looked at him in confusion. His face suddenly grew very serious. “What…” I muttered. “Jennah, what are you doing? Hey, hold on just a…” I never finished that sentence because all of a sudden, he was really close to me, and I realized that I never noticed before that his eyes were light-green. Before I could say anything else, his mouth was on mine, and his fingers slowly traveled towards my hair. Oh, Jesus Christ… Is this really happening? I stood there, frozen, and then his tongue slowly traced my lip. That brought me back to life and I weakly pushed him away. “What…” I muttered in astonishment. “What are you doing?” He closed his eyes and just stood there, his breathing shallow. I couldn’t believe this. Is this a joke of some sort? God… Jennah bit his lip. “Sorry…” he muttered finally. “Look, just…” And then I have no idea what the hell happened and why, but I just pulled him towards myself, and now it was his turn to stare at me in shock. Except, he didn’t push me away. He buried his fingers in my hair and kissed me back, his mouth hungry and cautious at the same time. My inner voice tried to squeak something reasonable, but after a few tries, it simply gave up. I didn’t blame it. I mean, I had no idea why and what the hell I was doing, but for some very bizarre reason, it didn’t feel wrong. Jennah’s lips weren’t as soft as any girl’s I’ve been with, but they weren’t too rough either. His tongue started tracing my mouth once again, and this time I felt shivers running down my spine. We kissed for almost half an hour, and then his mouth ran down to my neck, and oh my God, did it feel good… I stopped thinking altogether, and just kept stroking his hair. After a while, he traveled back up to my face, and I couldn’t get enough of his taste. I have no idea how much time has passed, but finally, I realized something and pulled away. Both of us were breathing like two heavy lifters, and my heart was beating so fast that I could feel it in my throat. “I need…” I muttered weakly. “I… Need…” “Yeah…” he muttered as weakly as me. “Yeah, sure…” “I need… To make a phone call,” I finished finally, and he blinked. “Sure,” he breathed after several seconds and handed me his phone, since I forgot what the hell I did with mine. I took the phone out of his hand, and when his fingers lingered on mine, I didn’t pull them away. Finally, I shook my head and got that damn phone close enough so I could punch in my home number. “Please, please, please…” I was thinking. “Please, Jess… Jess, pick it up… Don’t let Mom get it… Jess…” “Hello?” she said and I exhaled with great relief. I guess the twin thing comes in quite handy once in a while. “Hey, Jess, It’s me…” I tried to breathe normally but -- alas! -- to no freaking avail. “Matt?” she sounded concerned right now. “Jesus, Matt, what’s wrong?” “Nothing,” I said quickly. “Nothing is wrong… Is Mom someplace nearby?” “Ummm… No, she is watching TV upstairs… Why? Where are you?” “Jess, I am going to…” I coughed and looked at Lucas who stood several inches away from me; his breathing was even worse than mine, eyes closed. Uh huh, some help he would be… “Jess, I am staying at the friend’s house tonight, okay?” Oh sure, now that I said that, his eyes immediately flew wide open. “Friend’s house?” her voice was getting dangerously loud. “Jess, please! Just make something up for Mom, will you? Please?” “It’s Julie’s house, isn’t it?” she hissed angrily, but at least she took it down a notch. “No, no, Jess… Not Julie… Look, I am staying at Lucas’ house tonight… Jennah, remember him…? Yes, the project… Well, it’s almost finished, and we figured that if we pulled an all-nighter, we’d finish the damn thing for sure, okay? Jess, just cover for me… Please!” “Hold on a second,” she almost whispered into the phone. “You are going to pull an all-nighter in Jennah’s house? To finish the project?” “Yeah… That’s it…” “Well, that makes perfect sense,” she said very calmly, but I knew my sister as well as she knew me. I could feel the interrogation looming on the horizon. “So you are breathing like that because… Let me see… You finally figured out how to work Word Processor?” Yup, here it comes. “Right... It makes sense, good. Look, I owe you a huge one if you cover for me…” “Oh, I will cover for you…” she said, and I almost laughed at the amount of glee in her voice. “But can you at least tell me who are you with…? At Jennah’s house? Who is the girl?” “Jess…” I coughed. “No girl. We are seriously working on the damn project…” “No girl…” she sounded very thoughtful now. “And you are pulling an all-nighter in Jennah’s house to finish a project… No girl…” “Jesus Christ on the tricycle!” I hissed at her. “No girl, Jess… Look, I gotta go…” I stuttered when I felt Lucas’ mouth on the back of my neck. Oh God, that one kiss turned my legs into jelly. “Oh my-Lord-Jesus-Savior-Almighty-God…” “Jess, shut up…” I moaned for obvious reasons. “Please…” “You and… and…God…” “No, not me and… oh, God…” “You and Jennah?!” she hissed, and all I could come up with was: “Uh huh…Uh ohhh…” “Matt!!” “I’ll see you tomorrow, Jess, bye…” I muttered and dropped the phone on the floor. I think Lucas actually managed to turn it off, but maybe he didn’t. The phone was not anywhere near my mind right then -- the only thing that mattered was Lucas. His mouth, his hands, his fingers that were unbuttoning my shirt with envious speed... The other thing -- well, things -- that mattered were my own fingers that were undoing his belt buckle so swiftly and professionally, that even I was impressed. And then we just collapsed on his couch, that turned out to be quite comfortable, and the rest of the very short night was… Ugh, tell you what. Whatever happened, it’s going to stay between Lucas and me, all right? But that night was really too damn short.
  23. Puppilull

    On Display

    That was a beautiful coincidence! Painting the scene where they'll get married. I wish I could paint, but I have zero talent for that...
  24. rockycs

    part 1, chapter 2

    Thanks. I didn't realize it was a real word. I thought you made it up 🙂
  25. Math joke of the day...

    A fibonacci joke is as bad as the last two you heard combined.

     

    1. Headstall
    2. Valkyrie

      Valkyrie

      I'm impressed my math-impaired self actually understood this.  :gikkle:  

    3. northie

      northie

      I second Gary's comment.  :lol:

  26. Puppilull

    Pride of Place

    I can really feel Eric's reluctance paired with joy over the gifts. I don't like getting gifts either, but if they are the right ones from the right person I get a deep sense of joy. I hope they get to come back. And get to Pride. That'll be an amazing experience for Eric. If the parade is not too far out...
  27. Dr. John NYC

    Chapter 14

    Since I am behind in my reading, I’ll soon know more about their friend’s ability to forgive. My best guess is that they will— eventually. First, I wanted to answer Sui’s question about whether I could forgive if I were Petr. Although I’d have a moment or three of being livid, I would forgive once I learned that Leon is very much alive and why they saw no other option. Of course, a royal wedding would help, particularly if it aided my wedding with a certain Thai cutie.
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