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  2. This part. I think about that a lot, too, when people are being dicks on the Internet, whether it's bullying that I can overlook but would have seriously wounded younger me, or this kind of criticism which could easily dissuade a less confident writer from ever writing again. Which is awful. Never discourage art, ever. Ugh.
  3. I guess I shouldn't complain about any tiny morsel we get… ;–) Rob really should explore the other possibilities that exist for him. If he's going to complain about not getting laid, he could increase his chances substantially. There are guys who would be interested in a short-term, no strings or commitment fling. ;–)
  4. “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” Rob grumbled as he dug out the pancake mix, a bowl and some sausages. “They better not be up to any funny business in the shower, or the lovebirds will get burnt meat and cold pancakes.” He whipped up some batter, put pans on the stove, and got ready to cook the promised breakfast for Eric and his boyfriend. A small grin played around his mouth as he recalled the scene from earlier this morning. *** “Rise and shine, guys!” Still dripping from his shower and wearing nothing but briefs and a towel around his neck, Rob entered Eric’s bedroom to find him and Nelson cuddled up under the same comforter. They were fast asleep, with Nelson’s nose buried against Eric’s shoulder and an arm draped over his T-shirt-clad chest. Rob was sort of impressed neither of them reacted with more than sleepily muttered curses of ‘Go away, Rob’ and ‘Fuck, he’s loud.’ Rather than jumping apart, they almost snuggled closer, and Nelson’s hand did small random circles on Eric’s pecs. “You’re looking very cute and comfy, but it’s after nine, and I promised Ryan we’d meet him before his cousin arrives. That means we have to be at the coffee shop by ten thirty.” “You promised, you go.” “Ryan’s worried about the meeting. I suggested it would build up his gay cred with the cousin and the boyfriend he accidentally outed if he had another same-sex couple as friends.” Nelson sighed. “I hate to admit it, but he has a point, love.” “I usually do,” Rob said with a satisfied smile, which was prompted more by the pet name than Nelson’s support. He might not know the junior well, but he suspected only a firm commitment would cause the brunet to use the L word. “In addition, helping him would make it more likely Ryan will join the GSA. He’s probably not going away for college, so he might be a local source of support even after he graduates. It would look good on your résumé as the next GSA president to have brought in a substantial number of straight members.” Nelson stretched to whisper something in Eric’s ear and kiss his cheek. “Fine. Go cook us pancakes for breakfast, and we’ll join you after a quick shower. Deal?” “That’s extortion.” “The hot chocolates in the café are on you too,” Nelson added. “Are you tag teaming me?” Rob scowled, but secretly liked their mutual supportiveness. “Get used to it. Now buzz off.” Eric waved a casual hand at the door and pulled Nelson in for a long kiss. “No funny stuff in the shower while your chaperone is busy slaving in the kitchen.” Nelson detached himself long enough for Eric to say, “You just added sausages to the breakfast order, bro.” “Didn’t you get enough sausage last night?” “Rob! That’s gonna cost you freshly squeezed OJ.” Nelson turned his head to grin at Rob. “Better leave before you’re down for a full farmhouse breakfast. Don’t worry, I’ll have Eric up and ready soon.” Rob couldn’t resist a parting shot, “I bet you already did that.” He chuckled all the way down the stairs. Eric and Nelson really should know better than to give him openings like that. As he added the next pancake to the rapidly growing stack in the oven, he considered the possibility of Nelson having done it on purpose. After all, being best friends with Jasper would cause anyone to develop a fine-tuned ability to tease and be teased back. It would be helpful if this ability could slowly transfer to Eric, who often had difficulties dealing with even good-natured jokes. Rob contemplated Nelson’s capacity of distinguishing between playful banter, ignorant or thoughtless comments, and the few incidences of true hate speech which had caused him to throw finely orchestrated fits at school and earn a reputation as a fierce champion of LGBT rights. He had no doubts the guy would take on anyone who tried to sneer at his boyfriend, or their relationship, with Jasper delivering cutting remarks by his side. Rob nodded, pleased with his conclusions. ‘Those two are a formidable team, and hopefully Eric will have built enough confidence and strong alliances by the time they graduate together with Carolyn and Tony.’ Maria would luckily stay on as Eric’s close friend, and by indication of her behavior yesterday, cheerleader of Nelson as his boyfriend. Just then his dad struck his head into the kitchen. “I thought I could smell sausages and pancakes. Are there enough for your mom and I to have a couple each?” “If you’re fast, you can grab some before the lovebirds descend and gobble it all up.” “Great. I’ll get the coffee going and alert Diane.” “I’m sure Eric and Nelson will be happy to face the Spanish Inquisition first thing.” “Don’t you mean round two of nosy torture? Did you get any confessions?” They both snickered, but Rob shook his head. “They were fully clothed and enjoying the sleep of the near innocent when I stuck my head in to take breakfast orders.” “How come you didn’t knock to ask for our wishes?” “Because I didn’t want to risk being scarred for life. I have my suspicions about what might cause you two to have a late Saturday morning.” “Very wise. Diane was in a rather…hmm playful mood this morning. I think I lived up to her expectations.” “Eww, Dad. TMI.” “You should be glad your old man is fit and functional. That sort of thing could be hereditary.” “Is this when I’m supposed to say you’re not old?” “Cheeky imp-boy. Get on with those pancakes and fry some bacon. I’ll be back soon to make scrambled eggs and toast. You need a proper meal on a game day.” “Yes, please. The pancakes and sausages are in the oven.” “We better not make any sausage jokes, or the boys will think it’s a conspiracy to embarrass them.” “Too late.” Taking a mug of coffee with him, Rob’s dad disappeared with a final snicker. Finishing the last pancakes, Rob wiped the pan and turned the heat up a bit to fry the bacon. He wanted Eric and Nelson to be in a good mood for later. Ryan had told him about his cousin and his boyfriend being separated for a year but managing to keep their relationship alive. Even though Eric would have another year with Nelson before the latter took off for college, it wouldn’t hurt to get some tips and reassurances. But his plans to get the older couple to share their experience would only work if the newbies were in a mellow and receptive mood. “But I can’t believe I’m cooking breakfast for a bunch of horny people, and I’m the only one who didn’t get laid.”
  5. Thank you @BHopper2 for the shoutout for Changes. I appreciate that, and more your support as a beta reader, but most especially as a dear friend. Thank you, xo.
  6. I was listening to different Mariachi version of Bohemian Rhapsody (with male voices) and I was amused to notice the same sorts of Spanish-accent pronunciations as I hear from my Mexican, Salvadoran, and Guatamalan neighbors. When I worked in department stores, I'd get used to hearing Chinese-influenced and Tagalog-influenced English too. I remember one woman from China who would page people to the ‘Men Department’ or the ‘Shoes Department’ (there were several separate women's departments in that store). ;–)
  7. Today
  8. Mike's underwear makes Matt yawn DIRTY
  9. And back to the mighty raptor once again. To state the obvious, Happy Easter everyone. My friend, the Yellow Bat, will be delivering Chocolate Covered Cashews today. Lets celebrate and remember our first day in Kindergarten.
  10. Thanks for the thumbs up.  It's a story I like quite a bit, and it's nice to know that feeling's occasionally shared.

  11. "Imagination is the true magic carpet." Norman Vincent Peale
  12. Declan's voice gets "buried" under the instruments and back-up singers towards the end...but it still shows the power of his voice.
  13. Good short with a very good statement about the value of the things we may be tasked to do. Great job James!!
  14. mikedup

    Alo Chapter 27

    Brilliant chapter, It would seem that he is gearing up to be a substantial landowner very soon
  15. I just wish they had been able to use a mixing board to adjust the volume of the trumpets in a few places to emphasize the vocals more.
  16. ObicanDecko

    Chapter 10

    Another brilliant chapter! I like seeing these bits from their daily life, like Will learning he is better at something than Oskar - cooking. Helge and Fritz seem to be warming up to Will, which is nice.
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