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About mastershakeme

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  1. Curious if it's still bugging you... Not sure what my obsession with teenagers is, besides I seem to be stuck in those years myself. I'm pretty immature in real life 😂
  2. mastershakeme


    Not at all, you're not the first person to trash poor Connor 😅
  3. mastershakeme


    Um, hope you're joking. Sorry if this ain't your cup of tea 😝
  4. Epilogue - Happy Connor carried the last backpack out to the van and stuck it in the back. They were going to Disneyland in a few short hours. It had been Julie's idea. She's bought all the tickets. But still, it was Connor who was up before dawn, packing the last minute necessities such as snacks, juice for the kids, water for the adults, sunscreen, and blankets, blankets, blankets. He pulled out the checklist M and the drone had made the night before and ran down the items, making sure he had everything. He did. He went through the garage and living room and found his way to the coffee machine in the kitchen. He'd started a pot maybe thirty minutes ago when he'd decided to load up the van. He poured a hot cup and carried it back to the living room. He turned the news on, volume low because the rest of family was still asleep down the hall. He sat in his favorite chair and sipped his coffee while he watched. He wasn't a fan of being up so early, but he did like his quiet times. The kids were great and he loved them dearly, but he'd also grown to appreciate the brief times he got away from them. Kids were loud. They had no understanding of inside voices… Connor finished his coffee and set the cup aside. He put his feet up on the recliner and tried to pay attention to the news story on the renovation of the strip mall downtown. He felt his eyelids closing however, and before he knew it, he was fast asleep. "Daddy!" "Umph!" A 45-lb toddler fell in his lap, narrowly avoiding his nutsack. Liam looked into Connor's dazed, sleepy eyes with a matching blue set of his own. Just as M had predicted, Liam had Connor's blue eyes and M's blond hair. He had a really nice tan now, too, because he'd been spending so much time outside, running around with the neighbor boy. "Are you awake?" Liam asked. "Because we're going to Disneyland today!" "I'm awake," Connor said unconvincingly, blinking a few times in an attempt to wake up further. Liam pouted and Connor tried again. "I'm awake." He sat up and grabbed the boy around the waist. He picked him up and blew a raspberry on his little belly. Liam screamed with laughter. "Daddy, daddy! Stop!" Connor set the kid on the floor and Liam ran giggling off to his room. "Get dressed!" Connor called after him. "You aren't wearing the puppy pj's to Disneyland." "Aww," Liam groaned from the other room. Connor smirked as he got up and grabbed his cup. He shuffled into the kitchen for another cuppa. As he came into the room, he spotted his husband making pancakes and eggs at the stove. His precious drone was circling the room overhead. She was putting dishes away with the matter beam they'd invented. Mother was excellent at putting dishes away and folding clothes. She was also their virtual assistant. She compiled grocery lists, did Google searches on any kid related question they had, and she also gave Connor his morning commute before work, not that he needed it. He had a regular GPS in the van. Either way, M's little AI mother figure had its uses. Connor never regretted them fixing her. "Mmm." Connor came up behind M and slipped his arms around his waist. He was pregnant again, and Connor rubbed his little bump lovingly. "Smells good." M smiled. "Morning sleepyhead. Did you get everything packed?" "Yeah," Connor said. "I checked the list like a million times. I got everything." "Thanks sweetie." M turned in Connor's arms and kissed him passionately. Connor hugged him close and held the back of his head tenderly. His other hand traveled downwards and M giggled as Connor boldly grabbed and squeezed his asscheek. "M?" the drone began in her cool, mechanical voice. Connor and M drew apart awkwardly. "You might want to add one more item to your list. I read an article when I was booting up this morning. They're predicting an increase in the mosquito activity for the next few days. They're coming inland with the storm that's supposed to hit Sunday night." M smiled fondly. "I'll throw some bug spray in my pack before we go." Then he casually turned back to the pancakes. Connor glared at the pesky drone. She was always helpful, but she was also frequently in the habit of interrupting them when things got hot. Like normal, he tried to ignore it." Babe, you're working too hard. I stayed up to help with breakfast," he said, coming to look over the food M had cooking. "Looks like you didn't make it," M joked. Connor scratched the back of his neck. "Yeah." "If you really want to help, you could get the baby up." Connor shrugged. "Alright." "And there's more coffee. Get some more if you'd like." Connor grumbled under his breath, but took M's suggestion. He grabbed another cup of caffeine and shuffled out of the kitchen, kissing M on the cheek as he went and ducking out of the drone's way as she swooped by with a stack of clean plates. He walked down the hall and into the third bedroom. It was small, but it big enough for the crib, changing table, and a few toys. Laney stood up in her crib when Connor opened the door. "Morning sweet pea," he said to her. Laney answered with a huge grin that showed off her four new teeth. All of them up front. Little Laney had just turned one. She had curly blond hair and hazel eyes. She was beautiful and was always smiling and cheerful. Everyone loved her. She was a joy. Connor set his coffee aside and picked Laney up. He talked cheerfully to her about their upcoming day at the amusement park as he changed her and got her into some Minnie Mouse overalls and little pink shoes. "Go find daddy in the kitchen," he said when he was done. He set Laney down on her feet and after a brief look over her shoulder and a beaming smile, the little girl took off at a wobbly pace down the hallway. Connor smiled after her. She'd started walking a month ago. 11 months. He was so proud of his little daughter. He went into Liam's room next. He shook his head as he looked around at the mess. Liam stood in the middle of the room, pulling a blue Monsters Inc t-shirt over his head. The shorts he had on and the covered sandals were good, too, but it looked like the boy had gone through his whole closet to find the right outfit. "Is this OK?" "Yes," Connor said. "But let's pick up all your other clothes before we finish. It looks like a tornado came through here." Liam rolled his eyes, but he picked up the jeans on the floor, folding them sloppily. "In the drawer where they belong," Connor directed as he shook out Liam's nice button down shirt and slipped it onto its hanger. They made quick work of the clothes and went out to the kitchen together for breakfast. Laney was already in her high chair with a half-sized pancake on her tray. Connor sat Liam in his chair in the middle and then sat at the head of the table. "When are we going to Disneyland?" Liam asked as M made up their plates across the room. "Maybe an hour after breakfast," M said. "An hour?" Liam grabbed his cup of juice as the drone set it in front of him. She flew by Laney next and deposited a sippy cup with milk on her tray. "I've got to get a shower before we go," M continued from the counter. "And your father still has to get dressed. Look at him, he's still in zombie mode." "I know," Liam agreed. "I think he left his coffee in my bedroom." Connor glanced around the table before realizing he was missing his coffee. He growled and got up to go find it. He found the cup in Liam's room. It was still warm and he stopped to take a few sips. He could hear Liam and Laney laughing from the kitchen and the sound made him smile. The past four years had been the happiest of Connor's life. Adjusting to a new baby and a husband hadn't been nearly as difficult as he'd imagined. They'd started off living at Julie's house, raising the baby with her help. Jamie and Nathan had their little girl the very day M had Liam, but Alex had been almost two months premature. They'd kept her in the hospital for a long time; Connor couldn't remember how long though. So, Liam had been the only grandkid for awhile. He'd been smothered in love and attention by Julie. M had learned a lot of parenting tips from her and Connor and Julie had bonded over the baby, becoming closer than ever. It had been a pretty comfortable arrangement. A couple weeks after Liam was born, Connor decided to seriously look into getting his CDL. He took a job in the meantime though, loss prevention at a large chain department store. He'd hated it. The work was boring and stressful, but the pay was alright. Connor had muscled through it for a couple months until he'd saved up enough to put himself through truck driving school. He'd signed up for night classes and had never looked back. He'd started driving across the country when Liam was one. The position wasn't a good fit, though. The pay was amazing, and Connor was able to get them the small three bedroom that they had today. He was never home though. And M was unhappy being with the baby all day by himself, sometimes for weeks on end. After a year of it, Connor had switched to regional driving. He took a paycut, but M was overjoyed when he started coming home every night. It was worth it and M was pregnant again within the year. Connor wasn't even upset when he told him. They were expecting their third now. Another girl. Connor had plans to move Laney into Liam's room now that she was sleeping through the night. The new baby would get all of Laney's hand-me-down furniture and toys and clothes. They'd learned from the first baby not to buy new things for their young children. They outgrew everything so fast, it wasn't worth it… He went back to the kitchen to eat his breakfast. The kids made faces at each other and laughed all through the meal, but Connor was in a different world entirely. He was looking forward to the future, to all the craziness his little family would cause. He smiled into his last bite of pancake. He couldn't believe he was going to be 30-years-old this year… Now that was craziness… When his plate was clean, M stood up and took it away. He squeezed Connor's shoulder as he went past, taking it to the sink. The drone jumped on the dirty dishes immediately. After he ate, Connor went out to their little back yard and put a leash on the dog. Jack was getting old, but he still jumped up, excited to see Connor. He was looking forward to his walk and the bowl of dog food that came after. "We've got to keep it short, boy," Connor said to his old friend as they went out the gate at the back fence. "I've still gotta jump in the shower and throw something on." Jack looked up at him sympathetically. Connor lead the dog down two blocks and then circled around to make a loop. Maybe 10 minutes in, Jack stopped to do his business and Connor praised him profusely. He hustled them back to the house, filled Jack's food and water bowls and then rubbed him affectionately behind the ear. "See you tonight, buddy," he said. Five minutes later, Connor met M in the shower. Liam was in front of the TV, "babysitting" the baby while the adults got ready to go. Laney was in her playpen with the drone hovering nearby. She was safe. The little girl was distracted by her pile of stuffed animals anyway. "Hey," M said in a sexy voice as Connor climbed into the shower stall. "Are you ready for this?" Connor asked, reaching around M for the bar of soap. "Liam's got enough energy all on his own. Alex is pretty wild too. Add them together and… Well, it's going to be a long day." M laughed. He was soaping up his hair. The scent of peaches wafted through the air as warm water flowed between Connor's legs. "We'll get through it," M said confidently. "Three adults on two kids… We have them outnumbered." Connor hoped M was right. They finished up in the shower and got dressed in cool clothes across the hall in the master. The drone said it would be 90 plus degrees today. Everyone was getting slathered in sunscreen before they entered the park. They got the baby's bag packed and checked it three times over. They made sure Liam had gone to the restroom. M put the drone on her charger. Then, Connor packed up the stroller while M strapped the baby in her car seat. Liam hopped in the back and Connor buckled him in. "Everyone ready?" Connor asked rhetorically as he got behind the wheel. "I think so," M said, sliding in beside him. He had a fanny pack strapped to his waist, under the baby bump. He had a neon yellow visor on over his soft blond locks. Connor smiled at him. "You look really cute." M chuckled. "Is that supposed to be a joke?" "Not at all." Connor hit the garage opener and he backed the van down the driveway. "I'm being completely serious. I wish you would have that baby already so I could put another one in there." M laughed. "You are joking." "Stop. I'm dead serious." They drove slowly through the neighborhood. It was still early, but there were always kids running around, riding their bikes and skateboards. They lived in a lower income neighborhood. It was the best they could afford on a single paycheck, but it wasn't bad or anything. There were lots of trees and grass for the kids to play on. Most of the houses were ranch style with neat, maintained lawns. There was also a park at the end of the block that Liam loved. They were passing the park now, but Liam had eyes for nothing but Disneyland. They had to drive across town first though. They were missing half the group still. They were going to Julie's. She didn't live in the big house on the bay anymore, though. After Connor, M and, Liam had moved out, Nathan and Jamie were right behind them. Nathan worked at a call center, go figure. He was a pretty decent telemarketer. Apparently, he was one of the best sales people on the team and he brought home commissions regularly. Jamie was moonlighting as a waitress four nights during the week. Her main thing though, was school. She was almost done with her degree, too. She was studying to be an RN. They had an apartment 10 minutes from Connor's place. It was kind of a hole in the wall, but they were proud of it, and they were moving up. Anyway, Julie had suddenly found herself in an empty nest. A pricy one. She'd downsized and got a fancy little two bedroom condo on the beach instead. They pulled into grandma's little driveway when they arrived at the condo. Instead of getting out, Connor honked. There was no point unloading the kids just to load them all back up again. After a few moments, Julie came out of the house, a beach bag over one shoulder, a fanny pack at her waist, and a little girl hanging off her free arm. Connor laughed under his breath. "She's got the fanny pack, too," he said. "She's the one who gave it to me," M said. "Well, that explains it." Connor pressed the button for the back door as Julie got closer to the van. It slid open smoothly. "That is so neat," Julie commented. "Good morning everyone." "Hi grandma," Liam said, then to his cousin: "Hey Alex." Alex beamed as she climbed into the back seat of the van. She sat next to Liam and waited for Julie to buckle her in. Nathan’s and Jamie's daughter was a little doll. She had her dark hair in a short, sassy bob and her big brown eyes were to die for. They were fully capable of melting a full grown man's heart."I've been thinking about it," she said in her soft, childish voice. "I want to go on that teacup ride first." "No, I want to ride on the train," Liam said immediately. "My friend Devon told me it's the best." The two cousins bickered back and forth as Julie got Alex situated. She got in the last row of seats once she was secure, and leaned over the middle row to kiss and say hello to baby Laney. "Hello little lambchop," Julie cooed. "Everyone buckled?" Connor called back into the van. He smirked at M. Their crazy day was just beginning. "Hold on a minute!" Julie yelled from the back. She tossed her beach bag into the back and then got buckled into her seat. "Good to go!" Connor snorted and backed the van into the street. "Next stop, Disneyland!" The kids shouted with excitement. Laney yelled along with the kids, happy to be surrounded by all the excitement. "Why couldn't Jamie and Nathan come?" M asked as they drove towards the on ramp. The GPS on the dash said this was the fastest route. "Nathan couldn't get out off work," Julie said. "And Jamie has school. She's so dedicated, she'd never skip class." M pouted. "I want to go to school, too. It sounds like fun." "It's not just fun, it's supposed to get you a good job," Connor said. "I think I want to be a nurse too," M said. "I want to help people." Connor smiled. "As soon as you stop having babies, maybe you can find the time to take a class or two." M hit him in the arm. "I can have babies and go to school." Connor rolled his eyes. "Good luck. Why do you think Jamie stopped at one? Because she wanted to get her schooling out of the way before they try for another. They're smart. We're stuck in our house now. We live pretty much paycheck to paycheck. If you want to go to school so you can get a job, then by all means, go for it. " "I can babysit any day of the week," Julie spoke up from the back. "I'd be willing to help out with the fees, too," she said. "I offered to help Connor, but he wanted to do everything on his own. I help Jamie with her schooling." M smiled snottily at Connor. "I think I'll look into it." Forty minutes later, they were pulling into the huge entrance of Disneyland. The kids were screaming their heads off. "Quiet down, you two," Julie clucked at the children. "Connor's trying to find a space to park. Why don't we put some sunscreen on so we can go straight into the park." Liam moaned, but Alex nodded and unbuckled her seatbelt. She hopped in the back with grandma and held her arms out as she waited for Julie to get the sun protectant out of the back. Julie made quick work of the kids so when Connor finally found a decent place to park, it was only a matter of getting the baby in her stroller and grabbing their bags. The kids ran ahead towards the entrance. They were still arguing about the best rides. "Here's everyone's tickets," Julie said. She pulled an envelope out of the beach bag. "Hold onto them, Connor." Connor pocketed the tickets and sighed. He looked up at the large amusement park spread out before them. He'd never been to an amusement park before. This was everyone's first time except for Julie. Apparently, she'd taken Nathan a million times in the past. Secretly, Connor was glad Nathan hadn't been able to come. Connor had vacation days. He had a nice benefits package at work. Screw Nathan and his company's policy of 'mandatory attendance'. Everyone needed personal days now and then, what kind of bullshit policy was that? They got to the entrance and spent the next fifteen minutes weaving through lines to get in. As they approached the end of the line, Connor crouched down to the kid's level and looked meaningfully from Liam to Alex. "When we get inside, let's go on the first ride we see? How about that?" Liam nodded. "OK," he said easily. The waiting must be getting to him. He was squirming with impatience. He wasn't up for a fight anymore. Alex shrugged. "I don't care." Connor rolled his eyes. He patted both kids on their shoulders and stood up to adult height once more. It was going to be one of those days. *** "Merry Christmas!" Hannah said when Connor opened the door. He stepped out on the front porch and engulfed her in a bear hug. He'd missed Hannah a lot more than he'd realized. Hannah hugged him back. She laughed breathlessly. "How long has it been?" "A couple years," Connor said. "You were here right after Laney was born." They finally broke apart. Hannah's eyes were misty. She blinked and looked away, wiping at her eyes covertly. "How old is she now?" "Laney? Laney is four," Connor said. Then he filled her in on the other kids, too, just in case she wanted to know. "Liam is seven and Lily just turned two." "And M is pregnant… Again?" "Mmhmm," Connor pressed his lips together, trying not to ruin the surprise with his goofy grin. "Guess what?" "Oh, let me in already," Hannah complained. She pushed past Connor and into the front hall. "Wow," she said, looking around. "Nice place." Connor smiled. They'd just painted the front hall after Thanksgiving. It was a lovely warm yellow. Since M had gotten his associates in nursing, he'd started working part-time while he finished his bachelor's. They were making good money now, and they'd gotten a bigger place when M fell pregnant for the fourth time. Connor started to shut the door behind Hannah, but he paused . He looked down the driveway. There was a black Jeep sitting at the end. Connor thought he saw someone in the driver's seat. "Where's Bradley?" "She'll be up in a minute. She's finishing your Christmas card," Hannah said with a dramatic eye roll. "Talk about last minute." Connor snorted and shut the door. "Want some wine?" "Sure. We're not going anywhere tonight?" Hannah asked. "Are we?" "Probably not," Connor said. "The kids wanted us to driveby the big houses with the fancy Christmas lights tonight, but we should get them to bed early. It's Christmas Eve." He wagged his eyebrows and smiled. Hannah drew back and gave Connor an odd look. She peered at him closely. "Connor Flynn? You hate Christmas." Connor laughed. "Not anymore. Didn't you see our Christmas card?" "Yeah!" Hannah cried. "That's why I'm here! I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Mopey Connor, huge grin on his face, surrounded by a bunch of happy little kids and a beaming husband… It looked too good to be true." "Well, its true. I'm happy," Connor said. "We're all pretty happy. Life is good." Hannah gaped at him. "Cmon." Connor gestured for Hannah to follow him into the living room. "Let him pour you some alcohol." Hannah followed him and sat down in front of the fireplace. "Wow, Connor, it looks like your doing really well for yourself," she said as she looked around. There was a small bar in the corner of the room. It was all locked up for the sake of the kids, but Connor had the keys. He unlocked the bottom shelf and took his favorite red wine from the top. "I'm just a truck driver," he joked. "And M isn't even an RN yet." "Yeah, but your house is beautiful." "Four beds, two and a half baths, a finished basement," Connor bragged. "Yeah, it's not bad." He brought two glasses of wine to the couch. He set them on the coffee table in front of the fireplace and sat next to his old college friend. The living room had fancy hardwood floors and a marble fireplace. There was a big screen TV over the mantel and they had a decent sound system set up around the room. The furniture was leather. Their big bookcase was crammed full of M's medical books. They'd set up a huge 7 foot tree this year, and it was decorated impeccably with white lights and gold ornaments. The amount of presents underneath was overwhelming, but just the same, the huge pile made Connor very proud. He'd never had a Christmas like this before… His kids were spoiled rotten. He'd gotten a better paying position at a different company maybe a year ago. They'd moved into this place not long after. He was still driving trucks. He liked it. He didn't have to deal with people, he jammed to his music all day and cruised down the highway in peace. It was relaxing most of the time. M was super busy most of the time now between school and work… He'd ended up doing surprisingly well his first year. He'd done even better his second. Connor had his fingers crossed he would get in the RN program this spring. M's GPA was good, he had recommendations from teachers, and everyone at work loved him. Connor was sure he'd get in. Meanwhile, Julie was saving them an arm and a leg in babysitting by coming to their house everyday to watch the kids. Her place was starting to get a little small for Connor's brood. But anyway, the kids loved grandma and Julie treasured every minute she go with the kids. She was a very good babysitter. Hannah sipped her wine. "I'm still teaching." "How's that going?" "My place isn't this big," Hannah laughed. "But it's very rewarding. " "I have a big house because I have three kids, a fourth on the way," Connor said bluntly. "Julie cosigned with us." Hannah took a bigger gulp of her wine. Connor joined her and took a healthy swig of his alcohol. Suddenly, the doorbell rang rapidly a few times in a row. Hannah stood up. "That's Bradley." Connor sat back and drank his wine while he waited for the girls to return. He heard muttering in the hall and finally, Bradley appeared in the doorway, Hannah at her side. "Connor," Bradley nodded politely. She had a couple bags in each hand. Overnight stuff, Connor guessed. He wondered where his damned Christmas card was… "Nice to see you, Bradley. Would you like a glass, too?" he asked instead. Hannah had carried hers into the front hall. She took a nervous swallow and giggled. "It's good," she said. "You should have some." "I'm more of a beer girl, but… When in Rome, I suppose," Bradley said with a shrug. Connor took that as a yes. He got up to refill his glass and get another for Bradley. "You can set your bags down for now. Sit down. Relax," Connor said. He was already feeling a bit light headed from the wine. He drank from his glass as he traipsed across the room with Bradley's. He held it out to her and finally, Bradley set bet bags to the side in the hall then took the glass. They all came into the living room and sat around the fire. Connor stared into the flames as he drained his second glass of wine. He felt nice… warm… "How was your trip to Orlando?" he asked after a brief pause. "Fine," Hannah said. "My mom's new condo was flooded though. She was absolutely furious and we all ended up staying in a hotel." "Sounds… fun?" Bradley chuckled. "It was a disaster. It's a miracle we'd already told her we were coming here for Christmas. It was a relief to get out of there." "Beth was being her normal pleasant self?" Connor sneered. "No," Hannah said sadly, completely missing Connor's sarcasm. "She's been miserable since she moved down here. She wants to come home." "Um… Why did she move down here in the first place?" Hannah huffed. "After she fell at home and broke her hip, she decided she needed to be in a 'senior community'," Hannah used her fingers to form quotes around the word. "She thought coming down to sunny Florida would ease the transition. It's been a complete horror show." Connor quirked an eyebrow. "We were with friends on Thanksgiving," Hannah started. "Mom must have called me 50 times, complaining about the criminal maintenance men sneaking around the condo. You know, they all want to take her angel figurines." Connor laughed. "Shut up," Hannah glared at him. "It's been this way since she moved over the summer. Every couple days she calls to complain about something new." "What's she complaining about? Find a different condo." Hannah shook her head. "I swear. She's been bent out of shape ever since I came out and started dating Bradley openly," she scowled. "I think mom wants attention." Connor didn't know what to say. "Sorry," he said lamely. Hannah finished her wine and got up to pour herself another. Connor watched her fumble with the expensive wine glass, but finally, she smoothly poured herself a cup. "So," Connor turned back to Bradley. She sat in Connor's favorite recliner, catty corner to the couch. "What are you doing with your days? Working?" "Of course," Bradley cautiously tried her wine. It seemed to meet her satisfaction because she continued to nurse it now and again. "I work for myself now," she said. "After my bad experience with a corrupt police force, I felt the need to mete out my own brand of justice." "Oh?" That sounded interesting… "I'm a P.I." Bradley said. Connor stared at her. "A what?" "A private investigator," she clarified, glaring at Connor a bit. "Most of the cases that come my way involve cheating spouses, but every once and awhile, I get a good one." "Oh yeah?" "Just last month, I helped solve a missing person case," Bradley said. "We found him. Alive and well," she grinned. "Actually, it was another cheating spouse thing, too, because the guy went missing when he ran off to be with his secret lover." Connor snorted. "It was an interesting case," she said defensively. "Well, hey! Are you guys on vacation until school starts?" Connor asked. "That's not until after New Years." "No," Hannah said from the bar. She drank her wine slowly, lifting it deliberately from the bar and setting it firmly back down again. She looked drunk already. "We have tickets back home for the day after tomorrow." "We were supposed to go back to Beth's place after we do Christmas morning here," Bradley said, making a face. "It's not fancy or anything, but we put an air mattress in the nursery upstairs," Connor said. "The crib's in there and a rocking chair, but there's plenty of room for you guys." "There's no way I'm going back to Beth's if I don't have to," Bradley said darkly. Hannah finished her second glass. The three of them worked on getting drunk for the next hour. Once the wine was gone, Connor liquored up the jug of eggnog they had in the fridge. The kids didn't like it. They wanted chocolate milk instead. Nobody was going to miss the sad jug of eggnog. They were drinking shots of liquored-up eggnog when M, Julie, and the kids came in the door. Liam immediately ran up to his room, but Laney stuck around, hanging onto Grandma Julie's legs as she peered into the living room at the two strangers. Lily was fully capable of walking, but she was on M's hip, enjoying a free ride. She was oblivious to Connor's guests. "Connor, sweetie, there's groceries out in the van, can you grab them," M said as he pulled Lily off his hip and started to take off her little hat and coat. It wasn't freezing outside, but M was cautious about their young ones catching colds. Julie took Laney's hand and brought the little girl into the living room. "Hannah, Bradley," Julie said warmly. "Merry Christmas. It's been a long time." "That's what I said to Connor," Hannah said. She got up, swaying a bit to the left. She walked unsteadily across the room and wrapped Julie in a hug. "You're awesome, Julie. I miss you." Connor laughed. He forgot what a lightweight Hannah was. Bradley came to Hannah's rescue. She smiled apologetically at Julie and then put her arm around her girlfriend. She carefully drew Hannah away and back to the couch. She sat beside her and now all three of them shared the space. "Enjoying a little eggnog, I see," Julie said with a little smile. She glanced at the bar, at the jug of eggnog with the bottle of rum beside it. Connor stood up to attend to the groceries outside. He stopped to ruffle Laney's messy blond hair. She pushed him away with a laugh. "So sorry, mom," Connor sneered. "It's Christmas. I didn't know I had to be on my bestest behavior. I've been good all year long." Julie rolled her eyes at him. "Your father loved to drink on the holidays. They were his excuse to get extra booze." "Are you trying to guilt me now?" Connor laughed, because he so wasn't guilty. His kids lived in a mansion, he'd grown up in the shittiest trailer in South Dakota. Marshall was a terrible excuse for a father and a man… Connor was confident in himself and his ability to parent. He was doing pretty well in his opinion. No one was going to tell him differently. "No, Connor, I'm not." Julie reached up and stroked his cheek. "I don't honestly know why I said that. Go get the groceries, dear." Connor raised his chin. He had nothing to be ashamed of and he knew it. He walked past his mother and went out to grab M's groceries. "I'm never going grocery shopping on Christmas Eve. Ever again," M was saying as Connor dragged the twelve bags of groceries into the kitchen. Lily was in her high chair, waiting for her afternoon snack. "Daddy!" she said when she saw Connor. M turned around from the sink. "Ugh! I can't stand all these dishes! Can I turn Mother on now? Please?" "I don't think it's wise," Connor said, setting the bags on the counter top. "It's alien technology." M pouted. "I hate dishes." Connor came up behind the blond. He was aging nicely. He had a streak or two of gray in his hair, probably from the stress of three kids, school, and 25 hours of work each week. But he was still vibrantly blond. His eyes were as green as emeralds. And he'd kept his shape. Connor was amazed every time he did it, but after the kids were born, he almost immediately snapped back to his normal weight, no stretch marks, no sagging gut. He was slim and tight and his ass was just as delicious as always. He hugged M tightly from behind. He rocked him side to side. "There were so many people at the store," M said. "It was crazy. If Julie hadn't been there, I would have lost all the kids in a heartbeat." Connor laughed. "Sorry baby." "It's not your fault. I don't know what I was thinking," he said harshly. "We're feeding all these extra people tonight and tomorrow and we barely had enough in the fridge to feed ourselves." Connor hugged him tighter. "The holidays are stressful. There's nothing to worry about now, though. You got all the food and everyone's home and safe. Hannah and Bradley made it. Mom's here. Jamie and Nathan will be by for breakfast in the morning. Everything's fine." "And I've got a mountain of food to make," M whined. "Oh my God, mom's going help you," Connor pointed out. "She already volunteered. And good luck keeping Hannah out of the kitchen! She loves to help." M sobbed. He ducked his head into the sink. Connor rubbed his back. Behind him, Lily calmly sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider from her high chair. She played with her stubby fingers, watching them closely and the way they moved. "Let me go get some help," Connor said quickly. He darted out of the room. "So, where are all you girls coming from?" Bradley asked Julie as Connor hurried into the room. Laney was gone and Julie sat on the couch with a glass of eggnog. Bradley was back in the armchair and Hannah was watching the conversation with wide eyes, obviously very drunk and probably unable to cook, too. "Last minute grocery shopping," Julie said, raising her eyes to the heavens. "I haven't seen a crowd like than since I worked retail during Black Friday." Bradley smiled. "It's the holidays. They always make people a little crazy." "I agree," Julie said. She drank some eggnog and gasped. "My, it's a little heavy on the rum." Connor burst into the room, unable to listen to the inane chatter while M fell apart in the next room. "Mom," he called. "M needs help in the kitchen. He's having a melt down." "Another one?" Julie sighed, but she put her drink down and stood up determinedly. "It must be the pregnancy hormones. His emotions are all over the place." She left the room and Connor rubbed his temples to dispel the headache he already felt coming on. He went to sit in the space his mother had vacated and grabbed her drink. "Everything OK?" Bradley asked. "M's freaking out about dinner," Connor said, knocking back the eggnog. He thought it tasted alright… "I could help out," Bradley offered. "I help Hannah in the kitchen sometimes. I can follow directions." "The kitchen's through the hall," Connor said. "You can't miss it." Bradley finished the last of her drink and took the empty cup into the kitchen with her. Connor was suddenly alone with Hannah. She slumped in her seat and turned to stare into his eyes. "I'd help too if I didn't feel so off," she said. She threw her hair around and giggled. "I think I drank too much." "Maybe I should get you some water," Connor said. "Mmm," Hannah fell against the throw pillow and slowly, her eyes shut. "I think I'll take a quick nap, actually." Connor snorted. "Wow. You've been here an hour and your already passing out drunk." Hannah flipped him off casually. She didn't even bother to open her eyes. Connor left her too it. Dinner wasn't even started yet. Hannah had a couple hours to sleep it off. He left the room, looking for something to do before dinner. He stayed away from the kitchen. He had faith the girls would cheer M up and get Lily fed. He went upstairs instead, thinking he'd check on Liam and Laney. The kids were in Liam's room. They were playing his Wii on the small TV they'd installed on the desk. Liam sat on the edge of his bed and Laney was in the swivel chair, sitting Indian style. "You guys alright?" Connor asked. He leaned against the door jamb and watched the split screen action on the TV screen. "Yeah. Who are those people downstairs?" Liam asked. "I guess we didn't tell you," Connor rubbed his forehead. He really needed to get some aspirin for this headache… "Those are old friends of mine. The blonde woman is a friend from college and the other lady is her girlfriend." "You went to college?" Liam asked. He looked away from his game for a second, shocked by the news. The lesbian thing went right over the kids' heads though. "Just for a year or two," Connor said. "I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life." "Do you like driving trucks?" Laney asked curiously. "Sure," Connor said. He watched the kids team up on Mario for awhile. Eventually, they asked if he wanted to play. "Maybe later," Connor said. "I'm going down to check on dinner and then we should probably be getting ready to eat soon." "Aww," Laney pouted. Connor looked critically at the two children. "I'll come up to help you," he said, thinking he needed to run a brush through both their fly-away hair. "You're wearing those nice outfits daddy left out for you, though." "I hate wearing bow ties," Liam complained. "They make my neck itchy." Connor ignored the comment. He left the doorway and went down to see if M and the girls had made any progress. Julie was whipping potatoes with the electric beater. M cooked green beans with bacon on the stove and Bradley was doing dishes at the sink. Connor smelled the turkey in the oven and saw a pot of gravy simmering on the back burner. There were biscuits on cookie sheets, waiting to be baked. The honey baked ham from the store was sliced and ready to be served… It looked like everything was turning out alright. "Smells good, guys," Connor said to announce his presence. "Connor." M left the stove and hurried over. He got up on his tip-toes and kissed Connor sweetly on the lips. "I'm sorry I was losing it earlier… The hormones," he said, rolling his eyes. "They're so much more intense this time," Connor said, brushing some of M's hair out of his face. He kissed M's soft cheek just because. M winked at him. "I wonder why," he said suggestively. Connor rubbed his belly. It wasn't big yet, but Connor had a feeling it'd be his biggest baby bump yet. "Oh!" M said suddenly. "I don't know how I missed it, but there was a letter in the mailbox." M pulled away and went to the small table in the corner the kids ate breakfast at. They kept a bin on the table for unopened mail, too. M pulled an envelope out and handed it over. "Oh shit," Connor muttered, looking at the address. It'd been forwarded from the old house, but what really struck Connor's interest was the sender. It was from Marcus. And he was living in California now, if the postage was to be believed. "Its from Marcus," he said as he opened it up. Inside, there was a short letter contained in a Christmas card. There was a handful of pictures, too. He looked at the pictures first. Marcus was in a few of them. He looked the same. Happy, physically in shape, and still rocking the fro. The pictures featured a little mixed girl with braids though. Marcus' daughter. Connor had only seen her a handful of times before work and life in general had gotten in the way. He and Marcus had fallen out of touch. He glanced at the Christmas card. It was nothing special. Some glittering snowflakes behind a generic seasons greeting. He checked out the letter instead. It's been a few years, but I haven't forgotten about you, brother. How are you and the family doing? Still driving trucks? How many kids do you have now? 20? I'm joking, man. I hope your doing okay. Things got crazy for awhile there and I think we fell out of touch in the middle of it. Me and Rosie broke up. She was too controlling, man. I couldn't take it. I got custody of Nicki and broke the lease on my apartment. We're living out in Cali with my brother now. I got another job landscaping. It pays alright. I'm also seeing a couple different girls at the moment, so don't worry about me. Things are looking up and me and Nicki are doing good. If you ever want to come out and visit, hit me up. Oh and you should write me back. I can't remember the last time I sent a letter in the damned mail, don't leave me hanging. Marcus Connor smirked. "He broke up with Rosie." "Oh no," M said. "He's living in California with his daughter. Look." He showed off the pictures. "Cute," M said. "We should send him some of our kids." "Probably will. He wants me to write him back." M took the top photo, the one where Marcus and his daughter were sitting on the steps in front of a house. He stuck it on the fridge under a magnet. "Now you won't forget," he said with a smile. "Hey, can you check on Hannah?" Bradley called from the sink. "I think dinner will be ready soon." "Yeah," Connor said. "I'm going to change and get the kids in their nice outfits. Where's Lily?" "In the back," M said. "I put her in the pack and play." Connor nodded. "I'll get her cleaned up, too." M kissed him. "Thanks sweetheart." Connor left the good smells in the kitchen and went to the bonus room behind the garage. They kept a bunch of toys in here, there was a little table strewn with art supplies and the baby's pack in play and her walker were housed in here as well. Lily stood up in the pack in play. "Daddy, I pooped." Connor chuckled and scooped the little girl out of the the playpen. "Oh no. Well, let's go get you changed." He made a quick detour to the living room first. Connor found Hannah snoring soundly on the couch. He felt like a dick doing it, but he plugged her nose. Hannah sat up with a start, snorting as her airway was obstructed by Connor's rude fingers. "Hey!" she batted Connor's hand away. "You alright?" Connor asked, amused. "You passed out for awhile there." Hannah glared at him. "Hi," Lily said suddenly, shyly. "I'm Lily." Hannah turned her gaze to the little girl on Connor's hip. She was Connor's little clone. She had inky black hair down to her chin and gray, serious eyes. She was brazen and outspoken; at times she had an incredible temper. Connor thought she was adorable. "Hi honey," Hannah said, her voice softening dramatically. "Are you looking forward to Santa's visit tonight? He's going to leave you even more presents." Lily smiled. "I'm getting a lot of presents," she said. "I get the most." Hannah laughed. "That must be because you're a good girl." Lily laughed evilly. Or maybe it just sounded evil because Connor knew the truth. "I've got to get the kids ready for dinner. Are you OK on your own?" Connor asked. "Bradley's in the kitchen. She's worried about you. Maybe you should check in with her." Hannah nodded. Connor left the girl to her own devices. He changed the baby first and got her in her red Christmas dress. He brushed her hair, even as Lily pulled away from the comb and made faces. "There," Connor said. "Now, don't mess up your dress. Go sit with Liam and Laney for a minute." Lily tottled off to Liam's room and Connor went to get changed. In the next 40 minutes, Connor got himself spiffied up, then took care of his oldest daughter and his son. They got dressed on their own, but Connor fixed their hair for them. He put Laney's blond hair in pigtails and neatly combed Liam's down. He put the boy's tie on and helped Laney buckle her shiny Mary Jane shoes. Lily watched the proceedings from Liam's bed. She played absently with one of Liam's stuffed animals. One of the Puppy Dog Pals. He was still into that. Finally, finally, they all went down for dinner. Good timing too, because Julie and Bradley were setting up the table. M had ducked into the half bath off the front hall to tidy up. Hannah sat at the table, looking a bit sleepy, but definitely not as sloshed as before. Connor got the kids seated and then sat across from Hannah. "Hungry?" "I don't know," Hannah moaned. Connor snorted. Dinner went smoothly. The kids were polite and sat patiently until they were excused. The adults stayed at the table talking and putting off the dishes. Connor and Bradley eventually got on the dishes and everyone else moved into the living room. "So, how are things with you and Hannah?" Connor asked as they finished up. They were putting stuff away now. M's fear that he'd be overwhelmed by food and dishes had been completely unfounded. Everything was clean and put away. "She won't admit it, but holy shit, things have been great," Bradley said with a huge grin. "Definitely, don't tell her I mentioned it, but we've been talking about making it official. Getting married." "Wow, congrats," Connor patted Bradley on the back. "If you have a ceremony, invite us." "Will do," Bradley beamed. "She's also talking about kids. She's so jealous of your beautiful babies. She wants one of her own." Connor laughed. "Maybe M could be a surrogate." "Shut up. She was looking into adoption, but a friend of ours is offering to donate sperm. I think she should go that route. I think it would be an amazing experience for her, being pregnant." Connor's eyes widened and he choked back a laugh. "Who the hell donates sperm?" "Lots of people," Bradley said. "Haven't you heard of a sperm bank?" "Good luck with that," Connor laughed. When they finished cleaning up, they joined the rest of the family in the living room. There was a Christmas movie on and Connor and Bradley settled in to watch the shit show. Connor may not be a Christmas Grinch anymore, but he still hated Hallmark. It started to get late and M and the kids made a plate of cookies for Santa and then Julie and M took them upstairs for bed. "You guys can stay up as long as you want, but we're probably going to hit the hay real soon," Connor said to his guests. "Mind if I show you to your room?" Bradley nodded and Hannah cheered. "I'm exhausted," she said. "And grossly stuffed. I want to lay down now." "I wouldn't mind a shower," Bradley said. "Cmon upstairs," Connor said. As he passed, he grabbed the girls' bags in the hallway and carried them up to the nursery. Connor set the girls up on the air mattress. He got some towels and a washcloth for Bradley and showed her to the bathroom. "Goodnight," he said as he left her in the bathroom. "Sleep tight." "Merry Christmas, Connor ," Bradley said and Connor shut the door for her. Connor found M in the bedroom, getting ready for bed. "Mmm, don't put that on," Connor commented as he stretched out on the bed. M was putting a big t-shirt on, covering his body almost completely. M giggled. "What do you want instead?" "Nothing," Connor said. "Come to bed naked." M bit his lip and glanced towards the door. "We'll have to be quiet," he said. "Of course." M pulled the t-shirt off and then stepped out of his tight little briefs. He came to the bed naked, his soft penis jigging as he walked. Connor grasped his cock and pulled him closer for a kiss. M gasped and climbed up on the bed. He straddled Connor's thighs. Connor pushed up against his body, melting into the passionate kiss, tasting M's sweet lips and tongue. He grabbed his ass and kneaded it warmly in his hands. They both got hard in a matter of minutes. Connor struggled to get undressed with M on top of him, but he got his cock out and his shirt pulled up. M, his eyes half lidded and sexy, spat in his hand and reached behind himself to finger his hole. Connor got his cock wet too, and stroked his needy flesh as he watched M's face contort with pleasure. Finally, M reached for Connor's wet cock and Connor let him take over. The blond guided the head of his cock to his puckered asshole. He pushed it in and then slowly, sat down on the hard length. He sighed in pleasure and removed his hand. He twisted in Connor's lap a bit, making Connor's eyes roll up in his head at the delicious sensation, then he rose up on his knees, exposing half of Connor's cock to the cool air of the room. Connor moaned in protest. M plunged down again, his asshole swallowing Connor's erection with ease. The warm, clenching muscles inside his body squeezed Connor lovingly. He reached up and grabbed on to M's hips. The blond rode Connor's dick for close to an hour. They both had crazy high staminas now. Between the kids, and the cock blocking drone, they managed to spend a lot of time in bed together. They had to do it other places sometimes, too, not just the bed. But the bed was usually a good place to start. Connor thrust his tongue into M's hot mouth and groaned into the kiss. He loved fucking M. He loved his beautiful body. The sweet little baby bump wasn't a big deal anymore, either. Connor actually thought it was kind of sexy. M carried his babies well… He reached for M's straining cock and jerked him off expertly. He knew everything M liked when it came to his penis. "Come for me baby, I want to feel you come on my dick," Connor said deeply. He licked M's throat and sucked his ear. M gasped for breath. He was sweating like crazy, his legs were working double time. He fucked Connor's cock at a blinding speed. Their skin slapped together and their strained pants filled the room. M tossed his head back as Connor played with the head of his leaking cock. He made a weird gurgling sound and ground his ass down on Connor's dick. He was pressing it against his prostate, Connor could tell because his cock began twitching like crazy in his hand. Suddenly, there was a sharp knock on the door. M paused suddenly and Connor's cock burned with the need to come. "Shh!" M hissed. "Guys? You're being kind of loud. We can all hear you out here." It was Julie… Ugh. "Ok. Sorry," Connor said awkwardly. "Sorry! Goodnight!" M called. Connor heard his mother shuffle away. She was sleeping in Liam's room, on the trundle bed. Connor couldn't believe they'd just been caught in the act. His cock was still hard though. And M winked at him and started moving again. Silently, they worked back up to the peak. Connor knew he was going to take the plunge any minute now. M was purposefully clenching his anal muscles and it was really hitting Connor in a good spot. He drove his hips up from below and nailed M deep, sliding his cock shaft against M's prostate repeatedly. M gasped and then covered his mouth. He yelped into his hand as he came, his cock shooting ropes of come across Connor's sweat-slicked chest. Connor let go and came right after M. He moaned deep in his throat and filled M's body with potent sperm. Connor pressed his hand against M's belly as he rode the receding waves of his orgasm. He seemed to be addicted to knocking M up. He had to remind himself the blond was already pregnant. Really, really pregnant this time. M fell onto Connor's chest, squishing his hand. Connor pulled it out from under M and slipped it's around his back now. He hugged M tightly. "Love you," he said in M's ear. "Love you too," M kissed him lazily on the side of the mouth then he let his head slump onto Connor's chest. "Merry Christmas." His breathing evened out and Connor held him as he slept. *** Hannah had been right of course, there were more presents under the tree in the morning. "Santa came!" Liam yelled in excitement. "Liam! Look at that one? Who's the big one for?" Laney pointed to a huge box that had showed up in the night. Liam climbed over the piles of presents to check the name on the label. "It's for you," he said, unable to keep the jealousy from his tone. "It's from Santa." Laney jumped up and down excitedly. "Alright, calm down. Are we going to start opening these or what?" Connor asked. Liam and Laney were all smiles. Liam sat down and pulled a gift into his lap. "It's for me! From daddy M and daddy C! Thank you!" M smiled from across the room. He was filming with his phone. Connor helped the kids make their way through their presents. Both kids started by opening matching new tablets loaded with games. Connor said he'd get them charged up, and then let them go a little wild. They were super excited picking through the mountain of gifts. Laney's huge present was a Barbie doll house she'd wanted all year. She fawned over it adoringly. After that, she opened some new Barbies, a few outfits for them to share, and a little Barbie car for them to ride in. Liam got two Nerf guns, night vision goggles, light-up heelie skates, and a remote helicopter that flew. He immediately put the skates on and ran outside to try them. Julie ran after him, muttering about helmets and knee pads. Connor had to open most of Lily's presents for her, but she seemed excited by the new light up toys, the taking, singing bear, and the kid-sized piano. The adults got presents too, of course. Julie got a new handbag from M and some expensive lotion. Connor had got her new pajamas and slippers. There was a gift card to Bed Bath and Beyond too though, in the pocket of the pj's. He hadn't known what to get her. Hannah got a big gift bag from the whole family. She started crying as she pulled out the tissue paper. M had ordered her a personalized tote bag for her school things. There was a brand new Kindle inside, personalized pencils, so Hannah could loan them out to students and hopefully get them back. Pens, paper, tape, crayons and markers, and a whole bunch of other school supplies she could use. There was a fancy #1 teacher mug and a Starbucks gift card, too. Bradley got a gift bag from everyone, too. She'd gotten fancy leather gloves and a messenger bag for her bike, bullet proof sunglasses, a tactical knife, and a nice Smith and Wesson watch. "Wow," she said, seemingly overwhelmed. "Thanks everyone. We didn't get you anything special." She pulled out an envelope and handed it over. "Oh! Mine's still in the car," Hannah cried. She jumped up and ran for the front door. Connor opened the envelope as Hannah rushed outside. It was a funny Christmas card with an elf on the front. There were a couple of different gift cards inside. Three of them were for restaurants, but one was for a local store. "I wasn't sure what kind of places you liked, but everyone eats, right?" Bradley laughed awkwardly. "They're like $50 each." "Thanks," Connor smiled. "Merry Christmas." "Merry Christmas," Bradley smiled back. Hannah came bursting back into the room, two boxes stacked on top of each other. She had four gift bags on her wrist, too. "I've got something for everyone!" M got a fancy air fryer for the kitchen. Connor got one of those robotic vacuum cleaners. The Roomba. "You know, since you hate cleaning so much," Hannah giggled. "Oh right, thanks. This is cool," Connor said. Liam got color changing slime that he immediately took out to play with. Laney got a tiny play tea set she adored. And Lily got a monkey plushie, soft and cuddly. The little girl grabbed it up and examined the curly tail. Julie got a gardening set. In the middle of opening the presents, Nathan and Jamie came in the front, Alex trailing behind them. "Time to get this party started!" Nathan called into the house obnoxiously. "I'm here. Everyone can calm down. I know you missed me." M and Julie laughed, but Connor rolled his eyes. "Shut up before I take your present back to the store." "Cmon, bro, you know you missed me." Nathan came over for a hug. Connor indulged him. A round of hugs and kisses went around. Coats came off and presents were exchanged. "A grill kit?" Nathan asked. "For the new grill you got. Cmon, you haven't tried out your deck yet?" Connor sneered. "Haven't had the time," Nathan said casually. He smoothed his short hair back. Nathan had cleaned up his appearance over the years. Today, he was in a nice button down, slacks, and a tie. This was his normal attire. No more baggy jeans and sideways hats. "The new title of manager comes with crazy hours, but what can I say, I'm loving the paycheck." "Well, I'll have to come over and show you how to use it," Connor said. "How are you guys holding up, anyway?" M asked. "I hear Nathan has to go into work at 10 at night sometimes." "Oh, it's alright," Jamie said. "I have my normal hours at the hospital. I'm always home by 6. Alex is in school now, so she's busy until 2. We have this awesome neighbor, too, with three little girls. She watches Alex after school until I can pick her up." "I can't believe you have a stranger watching my granddaughter," Julie said with a shake of her head. "What are we supposed to do then? You're always watching Connor's clan. We had to figure something else out," Jamie said harshly. "No offense, guys," she said to M and Connor. Connor gaped at her. "Ouch." M snorted with amusement. "I guess you haven't told everyone the news yet?" "I haven't had a chance," Connor said. "What news?" Nathan asked. "Is breakfast canceled?" "No." M glared at him. "As soon as I get some volunteers, we can start in the kitchen." "Who's helping?" Nathan asked loudly, looking around the room. The kids were playing with their new stuff by the tree. They didn't even look up. Julie sat in the armchair with the baby in her lap. "I'll help," she said wearily. "Me too," Jamie spoke up. "I can probably help out," Hannah said. "I'm feeling a lot better." Bradley smirked. "I got the dishes." "So, what's the news," Nathan asked. "You got everyone's attention." M bit his lip. He couldn't contain his smile though. "So, we just had our first ultrasound last week," he said. "To find out the sex." The kids looked up from their toys, hearing something about the new baby… They hadn't heard the news yet either. Connor and M had wanted to surprise everyone "What's it going to be? Another girl?" Nathan asked with an eye roll. "I'm sick to death of all the girly shit. Pink everywhere…" "No," Connor said. "It's a boy actually." Julie cheered and Jamie poked a finger at Nathan and laughed. "Whatever," Nathan shrugged. "Not just one boy," Connor continued. "We're having two." "Twins!" M squealed. "Isn't this the coolest!" Liam perked up. "I get two new brothers? Yes!" He stood up and did a little dance. "The boys will finally outnumber the girls," he said excitedly. Alex looked at Laney. "Don't worry," she whispered. "They'll be cute at first." Laney shrugged. "You've got to be kidding me," Nathan gasped out finally, drowning out the children's conversation. "Two more? Are you insane?" "It's not like we planned it," Connor laughed. "And we're not throwing them out because they came in a pair. That wouldn't be fair." Julie let out a deep breath. "Whew. Five children. Under one roof." She looked overwhelmed. "You two definitely have your work cut out for you." "Are you abandoning us now?" Connor asked with a chuckle. Julie hugged Lily tight. "As much as I'd like to, I'd love even more being a part of it," she said, even as she continued to play the exhausted card. "When are you two going to start wrapping it up, though?" Nathan broke into a rude bout of laughter. Connor flipped him off. "OK, I think it's time to start breakfast," Jamie said. She pinched Nathan's ear as she got up and the dumbass yelped in pain. "Leave me alone. I wasn't doing anything," he complained. "Shit. My ear!" "Quiet down and be nice to your brother," Jamie said. " "Do I have to?" "Yes. It's Christmas." Breakfast was delicious. The meal was a whole affair, though. There was so much talking across the table, Connor could barely hear himself think let alone concentrate on a single conversation. He stuck to his food and ignored everyone. He loved when M made sticky buns in the oven… Mmm. Jamie and Nathan stuck around for a few hours, but left before dinner. Alex begged to stay the night, but Jamie convinced her to come home. Her new toys from that morning were still waiting under the tree. The kids watched a movie while the adults dished up leftovers for dinner. They ate buffet style, and moved back to the living room to eat at the coffee table and watch TV. Julie left after dinner. The kids went to bed soon after that. Connor made sure they brushed their teeth and got in pj's while M laid Lily down in her pack in play for the night. Across the hall, Hannah and Bradley were getting ready for bed too. They had to be up early for their flight. Once everyone was settled, Connor and M went to their room and shut the door. "I never gave you your present," Connor said. "Me neither," M said. "I was saving it until we were alone." "I like the sound of that," Connor said, wagging his eyebrows. M rolled his eyes and went to his set of drawers. He opened the top one and pulled out a small wrapped box. "Wait," Connor said, feeling nervous all of a sudden. "Let me get yours first." He went into the closet and pulled an envelope from under a old shoe box. When he came out, M sat on the bed, the little box waiting beside him. Connor strode forward and handed M the envelope before he was forced to open the box." "Here," he said. "Merry Christmas." M curiously took the plain envelope. He turned it over and popped open the flap with his thumb. It wasn't another stupid Christmas card full of empty well wishes… two tickets were tucked inside. "Check it out," Connor said as M pulled out the tickets and squinted at them. "I got us two tickets to a Caribbean Cruise!" "A cruise?" M scratched his chin. "Oh! That commercial on TVtm. The hotel boat!" Connor smirked. "Yeah, and they've got all sorts of things to do. It's a weeks vacation away from the kids, school, work." "When do we go?" "Next week," Connor said. "Before you go back to school. I already cleared it with mom. She's coming to stay with the kids and Jamie's coming by at night to help out." M smiled a little. "I don't think we've been away from the kids in… forever." "Trust me," Connor said. "We'll be having so much fun, you'll forget you miss them. Then we'll be home again and back to the routine," he promised. "Cmon, this is something just for us. I spent a lot of money on it." M blinked. "You did?" "I got a handsome Christmas bonus I never told you about," Connor said proudly. "As soon as they handed me the check, I knew what I was spending it on." M kissed Connor softly. "Thank you," he said. "I'm looking forward to it." Connor beamed, proud of himself. They probably would have a good time… Someone else was cooking all three meals a day, a maid would clean up after them, and there really were a lot of activities and different things to do along the way. Connor was confident he'd be able to keep M's interest. They had a honeymoon suite too, with a jacuzzi. Connor couldn't wait to have M completely to himself. Finally, M turned and picked up the little wrapped box. He took a deep breath and presented it to Connor. "Open it." Connor didn't know why he was so nervous. They'd exchanged gifts before. The box gave Connor the willies though. It looked like it might be some gaudy piece of jewelry or something, like a ring. His heart in his throat, Connor tore open the paper and opened the little box. There was a ring inside. A cock ring. Connor laughed. "What's this?" "Mother helped me make it," M said softly, his cheeks turning a warm shade of pink. "It's a sperm inhibitor." "A what?" Connor picked the cock ring up. It was made of a clear, stretchy material that would fit snuggly at the base of his erect cock. "It may look simple, but it's a complicated device," M explained. "There's tiny microbeams under the surface. They essential kill the sperm as it's emitted." "Kill my sperm?" Connor made a face. "That doesn't sound safe." "Trust me. It's completely safe," M said. "It won't make you impotent. If you don't wear the ring, you can still get me pregnant. But if you do wear it, there's no chance." Connor looked into M's eyes. "You don't want anymore of my babies?" M bit his lip. "I thought maybe you didn't want anymore." Connor laughed. "Why? I just got us a new house so the kids have more room. I clearly hate their guts. Besides, if I didn't want anymore kids, I'd a vasectomy." "What's that?" "Male birth control," Connor quickly explained. "But I'm not done with you yet. I like when you're pregnant." M tried to hide it, but he was grinning. "So you don't feel trapped?" "Trapped?" Connor made a face. "What? No. Who've you been talking to?" "Jamie," M said under his breath. "Well, don't listen to her," Connor hugged M close and kissed the top of his head. "I love you." "I love you, too," M whispered. "Then how about we have some more unprotected sex? We should practice for after the twins are born. We need to hit the double digits in the kid department before I'm 40." M laughed and rolled out on the bed. He stretched his arms over his head and moaned sexily. "Cmon," he said. "Fuck me." Connor ripped his clothes off. He made a mental note to keep it down. He didn't want anymore perturbed guests at his door. He knew as he pulled M's clothes off his body and climbed on top of him, though, that he was going to fail. M and Connor were used to making a bit of noise during sex. So much so, the kids were also used to them making sounds late at night. They slept through their parents fucking with ease. "Fuck me, Connor. I love when you fill me up with your big dick," M said breathlessly. His eyes glittered with passion. Connor captured M's mouth in a deep kiss. He caressed his body while he sucked his tongue. He didn't think he'd ever get tired of touching M. Either way, he was sure he was going to love him forever. M nipped his lip. He was ready. Connor reached for the lube in the bedside table and slicked his fat cock. It was rock hard from the kissing and the intimate touching. M spread his legs needily and Connor entered him without another second's hesitation. A distant memory floated into Connor's awareness as they slowly moved together. He remembered a tiny, naked boy standing in the knee deep water behind his trailer. Connor wrapped his arms around M and fucked his cock deep into his body. M moaned wantonly as Connor claimed him for himself and held the beautiful boy close to his heart. Connor promised to never let him go. He remembered sitting with M on that old ratty couch he had. M was in a t-shirt that came down to his thighs and nothing else. They were trying to figure out his name… Vulnerable, sexy, and desperate for love, somehow that tiny, clueless, naked boy Connor had found in the woods all those years ago had stolen his heart. He made love to M for a long as he could last. The blond was in ecstasy and Connor watched the passion play out on his face. Connor came suddenly and without warning. He was so busy staring at M, he hadn’t been paying attention to anything else. He fucked M until he couldn’t anymore. Then he rolled off and pulled the blond into his arms. He kissed him and boldly grabbed his erection. M moaned encouragingly and Connor played with his cock, kissed him, and held him lovingly until he orgasmed. Once they were both satisfied, M fell onto his back, his face flushed and hot. "Wow," he said. Connor smirked up at the ceiling. "I hope we didn't wake anyone up," M said. "Well, we're done," Connor said. "They can go back to sleep now if we did." M rolled his eyes and turned over on his side. "Goodnight, jerk. You've got to get up early and take the girls to the airport. I told them they didn't have to pay for an Uber." "Oh man," Connor complained. "Can I pay for the Uber and sleep in?" M elbowed him and Connor winced. They fell silent and soon, Connor could hear his husband's breathing even into sleep patterns. He closed his eyes and listened to the gentle, steady sound. It lulled him to sleep. The End!!!
  5. I'll think about it 😉 maybe I will
  6. mastershakeme


    Chapter 33 - Showdown Connor sat on the very edge of the bed, as far from Liam as possible. The baby was sleeping still, and Connor hoped he wouldn't disturb him. He stared blankly at the TV. It was some stupid show Marcus had clicked on earlier. Connor was alone in the room. Marcus and Nathan had offered to pick up some baby supplies at the drug store down the road and Connor couldn't find a good reason to disagree He wished he was with them though. He wished he was doing anything besides sitting in this sad motel room, bouncing his leg over and over in a nervous fashion. He wished he was with M… He finally got up and paced the room. Back and forth, over and over. He didn't know what to do with his pent up frustration and energy. He felt like he was ready for a fight. Suddenly, there were three short knocks at the door. Marcus. Connor strode across the room and threw open the door. "That was fast," he said as Marcus and Nathan squeezed inside, both of them carrying a shopping a couple shopping bags. Nathan also had the duffle bag from the house thrown over his shoulder. "I feel like we're stocking up before an emergency or something," Marcus laughed. He tossed his bags on the bed and Connor could see they'd bought other things besides formula and diapers. It looked like one of the bags was filled with nothing but snacks; candy bars, bottles of pop, bags of chips... "I doubt we'll be here for very long," Connor said uneasily. "Who knows," Marcus said. "We drove around the lot when we got back. M's gone." Connor felt his heart clench in his chest with worry. He could vaguely sense to presence of the agent. It felt distant though, not pressing. Connor suddenly had the feeling M had drawn the agent far away and that Connor would never find them. He sat down hard on the edge of the bed. He groaned. "What's up?" Connor buried his face in his hands and slowly shook his head. "I have a bad feeling about this," he said to Marcus. "I wish I could go to him. I wish he'd let me help." Marcus clasped his shoulder and squeezed it comforting. "Don't worry. M has a lot of reasons to come back. I heard you guys talking earlier. You're getting married." Connor snorted. "Yeah." "That's awesome," Marcus encouraged. "You guys got a lot going for you. How's the job hunt going?" Connor laughed bitterly. "It's going," he said. Honestly, his trip to the job agency felt like a lifetime ago. "Great. You'll need a job. You two just had a baby," Marcus grinned. Connor rolled his eyes. "Relax. Take a nap maybe," he suggested. There was no chance of that happening. Still, Connor knew he needed to distract himself somehow… He grabbed the shopping bags with baby stuff and took them over to the other bed. He sat at the end and read the instructions on the baby bottle. Then he read the fine print on the can of formula and the corny company story on the side of the Pampers wrapper. Maybe an hour passed. Marcus watched TV from the other bed, leisurely munching on a bag of chips while Nathan sat in a chair by the door, alternatively texting and looking up every now and then to watch Marcus' show. Liam woke up at some point, cranky and red-faced. Connor had already made him a bottle though and had diapers and wipes at the ready. He gathered the supplies and then hovered over the crying infant, feeling more overwhelmed by the second. He had everything he needed, but he didn't know where to start… Suddenly, a stack of linens and a bottle of water fell to the bed. Connor looked over his shoulder. Nathan stood behind him. "Lay a towel down. He's probably shit in that shirt by now," he said dryly. "Get ready to clean his ass. Oh, let me get a washcloth from the bathroom." Nathan breezed into the other room. Connor quirked an eyebrow, but he did as Nathan suggested. He laid the towel down and gently transferred Liam to the middle of it. Cautiously, he unwrapped the t-shirt. "Fuck," he muttered. Nathan was right. Liam sat in a streak of black shit. There wasn't enough poop for there to be a huge mess on the baby, but Connor's shirt was definitely out of commission. Nathan returned with the wash rag. He chuckled darkly. "Told ya," he said, eyeing the baby poo. "I didn't bring another shirt," Connor complained. "What am I supposed to do now?" "You've been walking around shirtless for a while now," Nathan pointed out. "Did you have fancy plans tonight or something?" Connor huffed, and busied himself with cleaning the baby. He wadded up the t-shirt and tossed it towards the trash can just outside the bathroom door. No point in trying to salvage that. He wiped the baby's behind with wipes, then he did a half-assed sponge bath everywhere else with the damp wash rag. After that, he fumbled through his first diapering. Liam wasn't being very cooperative. He cried, fussed, and kicked through the whole thing. Nathan offered a bit of advice here and there, but he did nothing to physically help. He watched Connor struggle with a smile on his face. "How do you know anything about babies?" Connor grumbled as he struggled to swaddle the infant in one of the blankets Nathan had brought over. "Me and Jamie already went through the baby classes at the hospital. Didn't she mention?" Connor shook his head. "All the other couples were in their third trimester. Jamie signed us up way too early," Nathan said with a faint smile. "We learned baby CPR, diapering, how to feed the baby, how to swaddle him," Nathan gestured to Connor's attempt with the blanket. "Not bad." "I learned from YouTube," Connor said gruffly. Then, he grabbed the baby bottle filled with formula and lifted Liam into his arms. "OK, let's see if you'll eat this," he muttered, tipping the bottle and touching the nipple to the corner of Liam's open mouth. Liam latched onto the nipple immediately and started to suck. Blessed silence filled the room and Connor sighed in relief. He sat on the bed and leaned back against the headboard while the baby in his arms sucked down his bottle. "If that was your first time, you made it look easy. You did good," Nathan commented from the end of the bed. "No better compliments than a quiet baby," Marcus chuckled. Connor glared at them both. "That was my first time. And he shat all over my shirt! This is bullshit." He switched his glare down to the baby, but he couldn't hold it for long. His gaze softened and he tickled Liam's soft cheek with his thumb as he continued to feed. "If it's that big a deal to ya, you can borrow my new shirt," Nathan said. "The one I got at Kohl's. It's in the car." Connor grimaced, thinking about the collage of dollar bills and guns. He was about to refuse when he spotted something happening on the TV. "Turn it up," Connor called to Marcus. "The TV! Turn it up!" "Jeez, ok." Marcus grabbed the remote and turned up the volume. "... sending in a bomb squad and evacuating the immediate area, just in case. The whole block is being sectioned off and secured until the scene can be cleared." The image at the bottom of the screen blew up. It was footage from a helicopter as it flew over a block of stores. In the middle of the intersection, there was a large semi truck with a trailer attached. It was barely visible though the cloud of smoke billowing from under the flaming engine, but as Connor watched, a tiny drone zipped through the air. "I recognize that street. That's less than five minutes from here," Connor said quickly. Marcus nodded. "I think we came that way when we went shopping. That truck definitely wasn't there when we were." "It's M," Connor said firmly. "I know it." He looked down at the baby. Liam was just about done with his bottle, but he was struggling to finish. Connor pulled the bottle away and almost instantly, Liam's little eyes fluttered shut. "I'm going," Connor said, gently setting Liam between the pillows. "Watch the baby for me." "What?" "Where are the keys?" Connor asked, ignoring the question. Marcus stared at Connor. "You should stay here where it's safe." "M isn't safe," Connor said. "I'd be a coward if I stayed here. " "No, you'd be rational, " Marcus said." You have no idea what's going on out there." "Yes, I do," Connor snapped. "M is risking his life out there while we sit in here, watching TV and eating chips." Connor pointed a finger at the offending bag of chips on the bed. "This is a sign. I need to go help him." Marcus thinned his lips. "You'll be back in one piece?" "Of course." "Good," Marcus said as he fished the car keys out of his pocket. "Because I'm fine with being Liam's godfather, but I don't have time to raise him. I've got my own kid on the way." He tossed the keys across the room and Connor caught them with a grin. "You want to be godfather?" "Might as well. I was here when he was born," Marcus said. "What about me?" Nathan whined and Connor and Marcus looked his way. "I'm the one who delivered him!" "You're Liam's uncle," Connor said with a snort. That's better than a godfather anyway. You're family. " Nathan thought about it for a second." Alright, " he said slowly. Connor pocketed the keys and looked around the room for anything else he might need. "That shirt…" he started. "You said it was in the car?" "I think it got wedged under the passenger seat," Nathan said. Connor nodded. "Cool. Ok. Wish me luck." Nobody said anything though. Connor strode to the door, opened the lock and then stopped and looked back at the sleeping infant on the bed. "See you later, kid." He slipped out the door and hurried to the car. It was parked on their side of the building now, so he got there in just a few short seconds. He checked under the passenger seat, first thing. He found Nathan's shirt and with a grimace, he ripped the sales tag off and pulled the top over his head. It fit. It was a size too large though and with the stupid print on the front, it looked like Connor was trying to be a gangster. Whatever. No time to be picky… He started the car and tore out of the lot. As soon as he got on the road, he could see the smoke. He drove down a couple blocks, then made a quick left. Straight ahead, two police cars were parked in the road, blocking the intersection ahead off from the public. He couldn't see much from here, just a screen of black smoke. He quickly pulled into a parking lot a few buildings away from the blocked-off intersection. The sign on the back entrance announced it was a funeral home. He parked as far from the building as he could and then jumped out of the car. He ran up to the sidewalk and stepped surreptitiously behind the nearest lamp post. From there, he peered down the street, wondering how he could get past the police. There were two men in uniform at the end of the block. They stood guard in front of their cruisers. It looked like they were talking to each other. This obviously wasn't Connor's entrance. He jogged back to the car, took a quick look around to make sure no one was watching, then he quickly stepped over the brick barrier separating the funeral home from the building behind it. Over the wall, there was another parking lot with a couple cars. It bordered a huge brick building with little balconies out the back. It looked like a bunch of apartments. Connor skirted the building down a little alleyway and came out on the street over. He put his hands in his pockets and slowed down some. There were people on this street. People walking into shops along the sidewalk. People strolling casually in pairs. People in cars, driving past with smiling faces inside. Connor power walked through the crowd. He saw very little of the places and people he passed. He had one mission… To reach the column of smoke down the road. The crowd thinned the closer Connor got to the blocked off area. There were more apartments down this way though, so Connor figured he'd use them as his excuse if he was questioned. He was just looking for a friend's place. He slowed to a stop as he got to the corner. He peeked around the bend. There was a single police car at the end of the road. The officer sat in his car, on the radio, totally not paying attention. Connor squatted down and ran for it. He snuck behind the cop car and ducked under the yellow tape. He covered his mouth with a hand as he came upon the cloud of black smoke. The truck in the middle of road was still burning ominously. And there was no one around. Everything was quiet. There were a handful of businesses on either side of the street, a few with busted display windows, one with its door jammed open with someone's abandoned shopping bags. A couple townhouses were grouped together on the corner. They were dark and empty. There were still some cars parked in the street too. They were covered in dust and debris. It was a mini war zone. Suddenly, he heard an eerie scream from the left. He turned. The sound came from an old theater. The glass on the front entrance had shattered and it laid glittering on the pavement below. There was a hole blasted through the marquee over the door. The little black letters were awry; some had fallen to the ground like leaves in the wind. Connor cautiously approached the theater and crept through the open door. He pulled up short immediately. Pain blossomed in his head, deep in his brain, and faint of static buzzed in his ears. The theater's lobby was long and narrow and mostly dark. A few light bulbs remained, but most of the scones along the wall had been torn out. The rugs were a deep burgundy red, littered with glass and spilled popcorn. Signs for old movies lined the hallway, some of them askew, a few of them crashed to the floor. But most shocking was the thin body sprawled in the hallway to the right. Connor clutched his head and shuffled closer to the body. Feeling an intense need to know, he flipped it over with his foot. The body rolled easily. Like it weighed nothing. Connor gasped. It was the creepy old man from the car wash. Skeletal and zombie-like, the old man was surely dead. His glassy black eyes stared blankly at the burned ceiling. The sound of panting drew Connor's attention. He spun around, just in time to see M dodge out of one room further down the hall and duck into another. "Hey!" he shouted, jumping over the old man and running after the blond. He flew down the hall and turned into the entrance the blond had entered and ended up running head-on, straight into the blond with a dull thud. "Connor?" M gaped. He stumbled into the wall, but managed to right himself before he fell. He had the drone clutched to his chest. He wasn't steady. "What's going on?" M blinked up at him. "Where's the baby?" "With Marcus and Nathan. We already got him formula and diapers. He's fine, M," Connor huffed with impatience. "What the fuck is going on here though? You guys tore up the street out there." M frowned. "I didn't do that. That was the agent, making a scene, trying to distract me," he said darkly. "But I got his friend back there. And I'm about to close in on the other one now." "He's in there?" Connor gestured to the room behind them. "I think so. He's bouncing around though. He's got some way of teleporting himself. They all do." Connor rubbed his head. "The agent's here too. I can feel him." "He's last. Don't worry about him until we take this guy out first," M shook his head. "How did you even find me? I was fine on my own." Connor scoffed. "Doesn't look like it. It looks like your in over your head." M rolled his eyes. "Cmon." They pushed the door open and snuck into the dark room. It was a movie theater. There were stadium seats to the left and a huge screen at the front of the room. M released the drone as they looked around the large, empty room. It floated high overhead and threw out a thin green beam of light that roved slowly around the corners of the creepy room. Before anyone could react, a spotlight erupted from the back of the room. Connor shielded his eyes. "It's the projector," he said. A high-pitched squeal came from the other end of the room and Connor jumped in surprise. Behind the movie screen stood a large, round figure. Connor squinted at it, just as M grabbed his arm and yanked him behind a row of seats. The piggy state trooper blasted through the screen like it was notebook paper. He flew at the front row of seats where Connor had just stood. The whole row flew up into the air in pieces. M shoved Connor into the aisle as bits of plastic and metal rained down on their hiding spot. Connor yelled and ducked down as the piggy leapt over them. He landed hard in the back row, leaving a small crater where his feet had connected with the floor. He casually started to rip up chairs in the back and one after the other, he tossed them at M, Connor, and the drone with an amazing strength. They all scrambled to dodge out of the way. Connor yelled as he narrowly missed a flying chair. It launched into another row of seats instead and flattened them totally. "Connor! Watch yourself!" M cried out. Connor turned to look up at his boyfriend and gasped when the blond spun around and charged up the stairs, up the row of seats and then jumped and leapt into the air as the piggy chucked another chair at him. M kicked it powerfully and sent it hurtling straight back at the trooper. The piggy was caught off guard. His eyes widened, but he had next to no time to react. The chair hit him hard in the side and he was thrown back into the wall with a harsh snort of pain. "Mother!" The drone glowed bright red. It was a beautiful aura of light that floated around the little machine like something out of a dream. Then, a rumbling sound took over the room. Connor covered his ears, but it seemed to be affecting the piggy cop much differently. He grabbed his head and snorted and squealed like an animal. He tore off his hat and ripped at his thinning hair. He started to drag himself across the destroyed floor, in utter agony and with no way to escape. M grabbed up one of the discarded chairs and with another powerful kick, he split it into smaller parts. A nice, 2-foot bit of lumber fell off the back and he picked it up. While the piggy continued to thrash under the terrible rumbling sound, M approached him, wood in hand. He stopped over the withering police man. "I'm sorry for this," he said and his face contoured with guilt, but he brought the wood over his head and swung it down so it struck the man violently in the temple. He showed no mercy. He beat the man in the head until he stopped moving. The rumbling stopped too, and the drone, no longer glowing, drifted back down to the floor. "M," the drone called encouragingly. "He's dead." The blond dropped the bloody bit of broken chair and climbed back down the stairs to join them. "Are you OK?" Connor asked. "Yeah," M said softly. "I feel bad for destroying my family though. I don't know what kind of experiments the agent's been trying on our brothers in the hibernation chambers, but it's obviously not good." "They were brainwashed," Connor said. "You did them a favor." "I guess." Connor glanced down at the drone. "So, was that our secret weapon? The glowing-red, rumbling-sound trick?" M smirked. "It's a specialized frequency. The red light gives Mother the ability to focus it on an individual target. That rumbling we heard was nothing next to the sound that police guy was hearing," he said. "It was turning his brain into mush." Suddenly, the projector at the back of the room turned off. Connor narrowed his eyes. He thought he saw movement through the little window that looked into the room. "Someone is up there," the drone said and Connor reached down for M's hand, assuring himself they were both safe and together. "C'mon. Let's get this over with," he said. M's face paled a little, but he nodded with determination. Hands clasped, they hurried out of the room. As they slipped into the hallway, a fat man in grubby clothing was falling all over himself, trying to get to the exit. Connor recognized him in an instant. "Greg!" The fat man looked wildly over his shoulder. Then he turned back to run. Connor was faster than the fat slug. He let go of M's hand and caught up with Greg in few long strides. He shoved him violently from behind and when he stumbled and fell to his knees, Connor grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and brought his face up forcefully. "What are you doing here?" Connor growled. "Do you think this is funny? Messing with us?" "N-n-no," Greg sputtered. His eyes were bloodshot and surrounded by dark circles. "Then what the fuck are you doing here?!" Greg looked so much older and weary than when Connor had last seen him. And that was saying something. The rough prison life he'd been living had kind of been a joke, but it wasn't funny anymore. What kind of fucked up shit had Greg gone through in the past month or so? "A-a man in a black suit came to see me in jail," Greg said. "He told me he could help me get everything back I lost in the divorce if I did what he said… " "Man in a suit?" Connor narrowed his eyes at Greg, wanting to get a straight answer. "He-he doesn't have a name. He wears dark glasses all the time," Greg's bottom lip trembled. "He did something to my head too… I'm… Not always sure I'm doing." The hair stood up on the back of Connor's neck. But still, he tried to play cool. "Do you know what you're doing now?" He sneered half heartedly. "I-I-I saw you kill t-that guy. The police officer," Greg sputtered and finally, he started to cry. "I d-don't even know how I got here today. I was sleeping in my motel room across town and suddenly, I'm up in that projector room upstairs, watching you beat a man to death." He pointed at M and Connor realized the blond had been standing over his shoulder the whole time, watching the interrogation with interest. "He wasn't a real police officer," M said gently. Greg stared at him in complete horror. He didn't acknowledge he'd even spoken. Connor let go of his stepdad… ex-stepdad, whatever. He was disgusted by him, but he also felt pity for him. It seemed he too had gotten some brain surgery courtesy of the man in black. "You should probably get out of here," he said briskly. "And don't do what the man in the suit wants anymore. He's not your friend." "A-alright," Greg said. Connor stepped back and watched the fat man make his escape. He hoped he'd never see the man again, but in a weird way, he also wished him well. Whatever happened to him, he hoped Greg got a chance to live for himself… Not under the influence of alcohol or aliens from outer space. As they stood there, watching Greg make his exit, a dull, humorless laugh started up behind them. Connor and M turned as one. The agent stood at the end of the hall, his arms crossed. "Well done, you two. You've completely dismantled my team," he said with a grin. "And you scavenged up your beloved AI. How sweet." Connor glanced at the drone. It floated silently at M's shoulder. "I know you had your baby," the agent said suddenly. "Congratulations." "Thanks," M said guardedly. "I could really use him as an addition to my team. Now that have zero members," the agent smiled brilliantly. "I'll thank you for the contribution. Let's call it even." "I don't think so," M said firmly. "Over my dead body." "I was hoping you'd say that," the agent said cheerfully. "I was willing to form a partnership with you, but after all this bad blood between us," shook his head sadly. "I think it's best if I end you." "Fuck you," Connor snapped. "We just killed two of your buddies. And nice try with my stepdad, but he's a wimp. I could have told you that. You're not as great as you think, and I'll bet you're not as strong as you think either." The agent's lip twitched. "I guess we'll just see about that now, won't we." The agent flew at M. They collided into one another and crashed back into the wall, knocking a whole row of movie posters to the floor. They tore at each other, their arms moving faster than Connor's eyes could keep up. "Do something!" he cried, turning to the drone. "Do the red light trick!" "I can't," she said. "They're too close. I'll hit M too." "Fuck!" M and the agent threw each other around at high speed. They smashed up the hallway before moving back into the lobby area. The agent hurled M onto the concession stand and then leapt up on the counter beside him. He slammed his foot into M's stomach a few times before the blond grabbed him and yanked his leg out from under him. The agent crashed into the fountain drink machine and bits of plastic went everywhere. "Now!" Connor screamed at the drone. "I don't have a clear line of sight," the drone snapped, zooming up high into the air. M yelped and jumped up on the counter, looking frantically around the narrow room. "He's gone. He's not behind the counter," the drone said for Connor's benefit, rotating her cameras to see different angles of the room. "He must have transported—" A flat square of metal spun through the air and slammed directly into the drone. She fell heavily to the burgundy carpet and her lights dimmed. "No!" M cried out. He hopped off the concession stand and ran to the lifeless drone. Sobbing, he picked up the little machine and hugged it close. As Connor watched the sad scene before him, he suddenly felt a body come up behind him. An arm slipped around his throat like a snake through the dirt. "That AI is so last century," the agent said in Connor's ear. "She's not very smart, M." M looked up from his broken drone. At Connor, pinned against the agent's chest like a fucking damsel in distress. Connor struggled in the agent's arms, but the alien tightened his arm over Connor's throat and he instantly stopped fighting. He couldn't breath. He was afraid he'd be strangled to death. Luckily, the agent released his strangling hold after a moment or two. Connor sagged helplessly in his arms, gasping for lungfuls of needed air. "Let him go," M said slowly, standing up, abandoning his fallen robotic friend. "Or what?" the agent laughed. "Start begging before I get bored and snap his neck." Connor felt a cold hand on his throat. The fingers caressed him gently even as they vibrated with power. He suddenly imagined his throat being crushed, like an aluminum can in a fist. Then, M caught Connor's eye. He was trying to say something with his gaze, Connor could see the words swimming in the depths of his beautiful green orbs. Connor didn't know what he was trying to say, but he felt his body relax. Somehow, M was going to get them out of this. He knew it deep inside. He had total faith in M. Suddenly, M hurled himself at them. Connor screamed as he and the agent were thrown through the air. They slammed into another movie marquee against the far wall and glass rained down on their heads. M had them pinned and was pressed firmly to Connor's chest, holding him there with an incredible force. Connor gasped. He couldn't breathe again. There was pain radiating from his abdomen too. It felt like broken ribs, maybe. "I'm going to let you go. When I do, you need to get out of the way," M said through his teeth. He seemed to be struggling. Suddenly, he released Connor and grabbed at the agent behind him. Connor slid out from between them, clutching his broken ribs in pain. He crawled through the glass and flipped over to watch. M had a good grip on the agent's throat. He was struggling to hold him though. M yelled out some kind of war cry and as Connor watched, the agent was slowly forced through the wall merely from the pressure of M's hand. "Find something heavy!" M called to Connor. "Bash his brains out!" Connor turned over and frantically searched the area for a weapon. He spotted one of the poles that held the velvet cords in line. It was a thick brass pole with a ball on top. Connor crawled across the carpet and picked it up. Back across the room, M trembled with the strain of holding the agent. The agent had his hands latched onto M's forearms now and was trying to force him off. M held steady though, sweat on his brow, angry spit on his lip. "I'm not letting you terrorize my family anymore. I'm not letting you have my baby either," he spat. "This is my life and I'm not letting you control it any more," he said intently. "No one is going to control me ever again or tell me where or how to live. I decide all that. Not anybody else." Connor dragged the pole closer and stood up straight, ignoring the pain in his middle. He swung the pole over his shoulder and his ribs instantly began to ache. "I should have made sure you were dead the first time I bashed your head in," M continued, clenching the agent's throat hard enough to make him moan. The guy's pale face was bright red and his glasses were slipping off his nose. He didn't look too good. "I'll make sure you're dead this time. I guarantee it." Connor took that as an invitation to start the beating. He used every ounce of his remaining strength to bring the pole directly into the agent's skull. The man in black's glasses flew off his face when he was struck. A thick stream of blood, like ketchup, rolled from under his hairline and traveled down his cheek. Connor yelled and swung the pole again. The agent's head lolled to the side and his hands fell away from M's forearms. "Let me," M said, holding out a hand for the pole. Connor happily obligated. He handed it over. M twirled the pole through his fingers with ease. It wasn't the slightest bit heavy to him. M yanked the agent away from the wall and when his head was laid out in position, M began to beat him to a pulp. When he stopped with the pole, be tossed it aside and reached into the pocket in his sweats. He pulled Marcus' pocket knife out and grinned in Connor's direction. "I thought maybe this would come in handy. I hope he doesn't mind I borrowed it." Connor swallowed. "Probably not." M crouched down beside the agent. He already looked dead, but M had promised… without warning, M plunged the blade into the agent's neck. He sawed through his jugular. Blood spurted everywhere. Connor turned away in disgust, feeling his stomach roil. He walked back to the concession stand and searched through the candy and spilled pop for something to drink. He found a cooler that had been knocked off the counter at some point. It was filled with cold waters. M found Connor near the front doors, drinking a water. The blond was covered in blood, but he was grinning ear to ear. "It's over," he said. "He won't ever bother us again." Connor nodded. "Maybe we can get on with our lives now." M laughed and threw his arms around Connor. "Uh, actually," Connor said, gently pulling away from the hug. "Let's head to the bathroom before we go. We need to get some of this blood off you." M pouted, but he looked down at himself and seemed to realize how soiled his clothes had become. "I think I saw the bathrooms down here," he said, leading the way down the hall and to the washroom. "And where did you get that shirt? I've never seen it before." Connor huffed. "Nathan," he said simply. M laughed. *** Before they left, they went back for the drone. "Maybe I can fix her," M said as he cradled it to his chest. "It wouldn't hurt to try," Connor said. He put his arm around M and helped him out the door. Somehow, they snuck out of the war zone just as easily as Connor had snuck in. They walked past a hundred different people on their way back to Marcus' car. Connor was amazed when they reached it unbothered. They got in and pulled out of the funeral home. No one paid them the least bit of attention. They drove back to the motel, holding hands, enjoying the quiet peace of the car. "I can't wait to see my baby," M said cheerfully as they got closer. "He's going to sleep a lot at first. He won't do much besides sleep, eat, and cry." "That's alright," M said. "He's so tiny and helpless! He's got a lot of growing to do." Connor smiled. As soon as they got back to the motel and parked, Nathan popped out of their room and ran at them. Connor rolled down the window. "Thank God you're back," Nathan said, gasping, as he came up to Connor's side. "Wow, you were really that worried about me?" Connor snorted with amusement. "What? No!" Nathan scowled. "Jamie came out of her coma just now. And she's going into labor." Connor's eyes widened. "What?" "Cmon asshole!" Nathan cried. He jumped in the back seat and leaned over the armrest. "We've got to get to the hospital! Now!" Connor glanced at M. "Want to stay here with the baby and Marcus? I've got to get him to the hospital, apparently." M nodded slowly. "But hurry back," he said. He leaned over the seat and kissed Connor softly. "I love you." Connor kissed him back while Nathan huffed from the back seat. M finally pulled away and got out, heading to the room. Nathan immediately slipped over the armrest and got in his vacated seat. "Go. Now. Drive," he commanded. "I've got the hospital on Google maps." "Make the next left," the Google girl said. Connor sighed. Maybe he could get his ribs looked at while he waited for his niece to be born. Kill two birds with one stone or whatever. He settled in for a long wait at the hospital and a nice 40 minute drive to get there.
  7. mastershakeme


    Thank you! For better or worse, I'm finally finished! I'm writing up the epilogue now!!!
  8. mastershakeme


    Yea! I love that Irish sound! Connor, Michael, Liam... Idk is Nathan Irish??? Lol! I don't even know how I was writing those 20k chapters! It was totally wiping me out. At least, I'm getting somewhere now. I'm finally closing up the story! Hurray!
  9. mastershakeme


    Chapter 32 - Liam Nathan held the duffle bag and Connor carried M on his back. The drone buzzed behind them. Connor took a deep breath and opened the garage door. It slid upwards, the gears grinding as they worked. He narrowed his eyes as he spotted the legs of the man in black, but Marcus pulled into the drive and coasted seamlessly into the empty garage port, cutting off the view of the yard. He parked the car and got out smoothly. "What's up? You guys look awfully prepared," Marcus laughed uneasily. M groaned into Connor's neck and his legs clamped around his waist. Connor tightened his grip on M's thighs and squeezed him soothingly. "You didn't tell me you got a brand new car," he said enviously, looking at Marcus' new ride. It was nice, dark red Nissan Altima. "It's a couple years old… Shit, what was I supposed to do? Refuse the car because it's nice?" Connor snorted and pushed Nathan up front. "I'll sit in the back with M," he said, his tone loaded with suggestion. Nathan sighed and nodded. He slid into the front passenger seat, holding the duffle bag to his chest. "Get in," Connor said, pulling M off his back and helping him into the backseat. He got in beside him and groaned a bit when he looked through the open garage door out and though the back of the Altima. He could see not just the agent this time, but Greg too! The old man was roaming in the front lawn, muttering wordlessly to himself, while the agent continued to stand motionless on the sidewalk at the end of the drive. He watched the group in the car through his dark glasses. Connor opened the back window and let the drone in. "Let's go," he said a tad impatiently. Marcus buckled up and shifted into reverse. "Cool your jets," he said. "And you still haven't mentioned where we're going." "I will once we're out of the neighborhood," Connor said quickly. "Cmon! Back up!" Marcus looked at Connor in the rear view mirror. He didn't say anything, but, he still waited a good minute until he started to back up. "Use the door opener," Connor said to Nathan. They'd grabbed it on their way out. Nathan did as commanded and the garage door started to close as they exited the double port. "Wait," Marcus said, peering in his rear view mirror. "Who's that? A Mormon?" He stared at the grim reflection of the man in black with narrowed eyes. "Go around him," Connor snapped. "Who's that?" He pointed at Greg. The old, fat man knelt in the grass now. He pulled up bits of grass here and there. "Is that your step dad?" "Yes," Connor said through his teeth. Nathan craned his neck around to see his father. He covered his face once he'd spotted him and slid down in his seat. Slowly, Marcus navigated around the agent. The infamous man was just as pale-faced as ever. They were just inches from him… The enemy stared emotionless at them through the window, unmoving, unflinching. "That was weird," Marcus said as they took off down the street. "I feel like I've seen that guy before…" "That's our stalker," Connor said bluntly. "And M's in labor. We know from a good source that the guy stalking us is going to follow us wherever we go." "So…" Marcus slowed as they came to the red light at the neighborhood's exit. "Where are we going?" "Nowhere," Connor said. "Jump on the highway and go in circles." Marcus snorted. "Sounds like a great plan." "I'm out of ideas. I don't know what I'm supposed to do," Connor said, rubbing his face. "I can't believe this is happening." "Labor? Like, he's going to have a baby soon?" "Yeah," Connor said wearily. "Well, shouldn't we be heading to the hospital?" Marcus asked, sounding a little shocked. "So he can be the first male pregnancy in history?" Connor laughed. "No thanks." Marcus sighed and headed towards the highway. "So, birth on the highway. It's a plan," Marcus said sarcastically. They got on the ramp as M moaned and shuddered through another contraction. "You want some water?" Connor asked him. "Nathan. Give me a bottle of water out of the duffle." Connor didn't know what to do for the trembling boy. He helped him get a drink of water and rubbed his back. "Try some deep breathing. I heard it helps," he suggested. "Like this," he demonstrated the breathing the girl on YouTube had showed him a few days back. M copied him. He took deep breaths instead of moans. He nodded his head. It seemed to be helping. "I thought you said you could do something about the pain," Connor whispered to the drone, sitting in the back window behind them. "I'll give him the mock epidural in another hour," she said in a soft voice. "He won't be able to walk for several hours after I give it to him, however." "What's that?" Marcus said from up front. "Nothing," Connor muttered. He went back to rubbing M's back as the blond practiced his breathing. He was trying, but he felt useless. Over the next hour Marcus drove aimlessly, huffing and complaining under his breath. "I think we're good to stop for a while," Connor said. "Just find a parking lot or somewhere we can sit." "I'm hungry," Nathan complained. "Go through a drive-thru. I have money." Connor sighed, but he didn't argue. Marcus picked Burger King and they all ended up ordering something. Even M piped up that he wanted a cheeseburger and a milkshake. Connor shook his head, but told Marcus what M wanted. Then he ordered a Whopper, fries, and a coke. Marcus paid for everything on his card. "At least take some cash, fuck," Nathan said snottily. He threw a ten dollar bill Marcus' way and folded his arms. They got their food and went to the huge department store across the street to park in the over large lot. They got a space in the back and ate their burgers. "This is boring," Nathan said between bites. "I almost wish he would have the baby now, because then at least something would happen." "This is kind of pointless," Marcus agreed. "What's happening back there?" Connor glanced at M. The blond was eating his cheeseburger with a grimace. "I guess we're going to let the drone give him an epidural," Connor said casually, gesturing at the blond. "Maybe you guys want to go shopping or something for awhile." "I wonder if Kohl's has any Xbox games," Nathan said. He gazed towards the store. They were about a mile away from the venue . It gleamed softly on the horizon, pulling them in. "I doubt they'll have the ones you're looking for, but sure," Marcus said. "They have really good prices on sportswear though. That I do know." The two of them got out and started towards the Kohl's. The drone whirled into action the moment they were alone. She seemed antsy, like she'd wanted to move for a longest time. "Put your food down, M," Mother clucked. "And Connor, lift up the back of his shirt so I can see his mid back." Connor turned M so his back faced Connor and the drone and M faced his window. He yanked his t-shirt up and exposed his narrow spine. The drone floated slowly off the back window and approached M's curled back. "Don't move, M," Mother said very seriously. "I could really hurt you if you move." "Ok," M whimpered and he held perfectly still as Mother drew closer and directed a thin beam of light directly into his spinal column. "There," Mother said, drifting back to her perch. "That should simulate the effect of a spinal block. The pain should fade…" "I don't feel any better," M whined, turning back around so he could drink his milkshake. Connor shared his fries with him. The blond popped them into his mouth. He seemed better already, even if he didn't feel it. They ate the rest of their meal and then sat in the sun, listening to Marcus' radio. "We should get going soon," Mother said suddenly. "They're catching up." Connor felt a dull kind of pull on the edge of his brain. He could sense the agent too for some reason, it seemed. "I'll call Nathan," he said. He whipped out his phone and pulled up Nathan's number. "Yo," the younger boy said in greeting. "The bad guys are catching up," Connor said quickly. "We need to go " "OK, we're almost done." Connor growled. "We'll meet you up front then. Hurry." Nathan hung up and Connor pocketed his phone and wedged himself over the front seat. "Jerks," he muttered. "Too busy shopping to make a quick escape." He started Marcus' car and drove up to idle in front of Kohl's entrance. "I feel pretty good now," M said cheerfully. "Except when the contractions start up again. Then it feels like I'm going to poop the baby out any minute." Connor cringed. It took a couple minutes, but Nathan and Marcus appeared at the doors. Connor started to get out, but Marcus slid into the back and sat next to M. "You drive for awhile," he said with a laugh. "I don't know where we're going. " Nathan jumped in the front. He had a Kohl's bag dangling from his wrist. "What did you get?" Connor asked him. "A t-shirt." The teen showed Connor through the bag. It was a graphic tee patterned with dollar signs and pistols. "It was on clearance, 3 bucks." Connor rolled his eyes. "Great." They pulled away from Kohl's and got back on the road. The faster they went the calmer Connor's strained nerves became. He got them back on the highway and almost instantly, the dull pull of the agent disappeared. They were safe for now… "Do we have any plans?" Connor asked the drone. He stared at the machine in the rear view mirror. "You're not asking me, right?" Marcus laid a hand on his chest. Connor sighed. "No." Luckily, the drone spoke up, before Connor looked completely stupid. "The baby should be coming in an hour or so. We can drive until he's due, stop to deliver him, and then lure the agent close for an attack. We'll probably have to take him from wherever we stop next." Marcus blinked at the drone in the back window. "What's that?" "It's an alien thing," Connor said casually. "Don't ask." "Umm." They drove for 40 minutes in silence. Both Nathan and Marcus played with their phones now. M practiced his breathing and seemed generally content under the effects of the epidural. As they got closer to the hour mark however, he started to make faces and his breathing got ragged again. Marcus put his phone down to watch. "Are you getting close," he asked, peering at M with interest. "I think… soooo," M moaned. "Wow," Marcus murmured. "Connor… You're going to be a dad before any of us." Connor flushed, not totally in embarrassment, he was kind of proud too, in an awkward sort of way. "Trust me, I didn't do it on purpose,"Connor said, staring straight ahead, at the road. Nathan snorted. "I don't think any of us guys were doing this on purpose," he said. Marcus shook his hand. "Definitely not." There was a cop ahead, on the shoulder of the highway, watching for speeders. Connor tapped the breaks and coasted past the trooper's vehicle at a legal speed. M howled with pain in the back. "The contractions are getting worse." Connor glanced in the rear view mirror. The cop car was stationary in the reflection. The vehicle sat on the shoulder in the same position it had been when Connor first approached. He let out a sigh of relief. It was just a regular cop. It wasn't a trap set by the agent… "Maybe we should stop," Marcus said. Connor glanced at him and the blond in the mirror. M's forehead was slick with sweat and his face was wracked with pain. Marcus gently rubbed his back. His movements were awkward, but his expression was filled with concern. Connor let out a huge breath of air. He wasn't breathing. He was holding it nervously. "We can stop for awhile," the drone spoke up, and Connor let out another gasping breath. "We've got a head start again." "Alright," Connor nervously muttered to himself. "We need a hotel or something… You guys have money, right?" he loudly asked the other men in car. Initially, Connor's question was met with silence. Then: "I have my debit card," Nathan said. "Me too," Marcus said. "And Angela's credit card," he finished in a rush. "Great." Connor spotted a sign for a Super 8 in the distance and he signaled to get in the far right lane. "We'll get a room at the Super 8… We're going to have the baby at the Super 8… Fuck." Nathan touched Connor's knee over the middle arm rest. Connor looked down at his brother's hand, then up at the dark-eyed teen. Nathan met his eyes steadily, his gaze utterly serious. "You were always going to have this baby somewhere weird," he said. "Since you decided not to do at the hospital like everybody else, that is." Connor snorted. "Yeah. I guess." He got off at the next exit and followed the signs for the lodgings. Super 8 was to the left. They drove down the road maybe 3 minutes. "There it is!" Connor announced when he spotted the motel. It was on the right side of the road and Connor quickly turned into the lot. The motel was a tan, two-floor building in a U-shape. From the big sign outside the office, Connor figured the pool was in the middle. "I'll get us a room," Marcus said, moving to get out at the door. "I'll help," Nathan said. He got out too, leaving the duffle bag behind. Connor signed as he was left alone with the laboring blond. "Want to check out the pool?" M gasped for breath then let out a wail of pain. Connor sighed and pulled around to the back of the building. The pool was in the center of the U-shape, two levels of rooms on side behind black metal railings. There was an open hallway in the middle with stairs to the second floor. There were ice machines and vending machines across from the stairs, 9on both floors. "Well, that's the pool. I doubt we'll get to use it, but…" Connor glanced in the back. M was panting, hyperventilating. "Honey, practice that breathing I taught you." "I can't. I'm freaking out. It's time." M looked deep into Connor's eyes. The green orbs that met Connor's were full of panic. Connor swallowed. Just looking at the blond, perspiration on his upper lip and brow, he too started to sweat. "Cmon, the guys will find us. They'll have keys to a room and we can get… comfortable…" Connor shut the car off and got out. He ran around to M's side of the car and opened his door. M huffed and puffed as Connor pulled him out of the back seat. When he was out, Connor started to set the blond on his feet when he remembered the epidural. In an instant, Connor scooped the blond up into his arms and went through the little white gate at the back. M clutched Connor around the neck as they went. He moaned into Connor's ear and trembled in his arms. The pool was empty at least. Plastic white chairs and recliners surrounded the bean-shaped pool. It was aqua blue. Beautiful and cool… Suddenly, M lurched in his arms. "What are you doing? M! I can't—" The blond shoved Connor hard in the chest and broke away. Connor lost his grip and watched in horror as the blond angled his flailing body toward the water. M banged his hip into the concrete edge of the pool, but then he dove smoothly under the water and disappeared. Connor cried out in shock. He fell to his knees and scrambled to the edge. M surfaced. He gasped for air and waded to the edge. "What the fuck?" Connor yelled. He grabbed M's hand in both of his, splashing water all up his shirt and over his knees. "Why are you in there?" M dipped lower in the water so just his eyes were above the surface. He blew bubbles with his mouth. "What are you doing?" M rose in the lapping water until his mouth was free. "I thought it would be nice to go swimming. I didn't want to ask." Connor rolled his eyes. "How does it feel? Everything you dreamed?" "Yes," M said simply. "The water feels nice." Connor sighed. "Well, cmon. Get out. The guys will be showing up any minute." Slowly, M drifted away from the edge. Connor frowned. He stood up and glared at the willful pregnant boy. "Let's go." "I don't want to," M said. "I feel so much better in the water." "Then you can get in the tub when we get to our room," Connor snapped. "Now, cmon. Get. Out. Of. The. Water." "No." Connor threw his arms up and started to pace. He didn't know what to do. Normally, he'd let M do as he pleased. He hated being the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. He was cool. He was fun… But they were in plain view of anyone who wanted to see. Nobody was out yet, but who knew when that would change… Connor ran his fingers through his hair. "Are you going to have the baby in there?" "Maybe," M said as water from his hair dripped into his wide eyes. Connor shook his head. "There you two are!" Connor turned, narrowing his eyes to see in the glare of the sun. Two figures rushed through the open stairway and towards the pool. Marcus and Nathan. It was Marcus who had called out. He pulled up first. He took in the scene, his eyes flashing from Connor, his arms crossed, red in the face, and damp in more places than one, and M, insolent and totally soaked in the deep end of the little motel pool. Marcus snorted. "We got a room. First floor," he said. "It's in the front though. Through there." He pointed back to though the open stairway from where they'd come. The office must be through there. Nathan cleared his throat. He seemed to be holding in laughter. "How's the pool?" he called to M. "Good," M said happily. "I think I'm going to stay here." Connor huffed. "He wants to stay here," he said for the benefit of the other two, if they hadn't just heard, that is. "Right here. Out in the open." Marcus smiled. "I heard." Nathan shrugged. "It's a water birth," he said. "Some women like to be in the water when they're in labor. They even have big tubs at the hospital if you want to do it there, too. Me and Jamie saw them when we toured labor and delivery" Connor rolled his eyes. "Yeah," he snapped. "Tubs. The motel probably has a tub, too." "Not like this," M said. "This is what I need. " Connor clenched his fists and started to pace again, frustrated beyond belief,wanting to scream. Marcus shook his head. "Well, the pool did come with the room," he said with a laugh. "Relax, Connor. We'll keep a look out for people." Nathan pulled up a chair and yanked his phone out of his back pocket. "I'm not watching this," he said. "Well, you can still keep watch," Marcus said firmly. "Turn around. Make sure nobody sneaks up on us." Nathan growled, but he dragged his chair around anyway and glared up at the motel. Marcus turned back to the pool. "You should get in the water with him. In case he needs any help," he said to Connor. Connor signed. He certainly hadn't been planning on swimming today. He stepped out of his boots, ripped his t-shirt off and tossed it towards Marcus, then he hopped in the water in his shorts. He swam close to M. The boy's body seemed to radiate warmth, even in the water. "How are you doing?" Connor asked once he was in reach. He cupped M's cheek, feeling the heat under his skin. "Wow, you're so warm." M smiled. "I'm ready to meet Liam." Connor quirked an eyebrow. "Liam?" M flinched a little. He crouched a little under the water and pulled his sweats off. "The baby," he said as if it were obvious. "I'm ready to push now." "Oh god," Connor muttered, his body filling with equal parts dread and excitement. The baby was coming either way though, and Connor hooked his arm around M's waist and dragged him to shallow water. He pulled him to the steps and sat him down. M sat. He was naked underwater. Connor could see his cock floating around. The blond didn't care in the least that he was technically naked in public though. He leaned back and pulled his knees up, out of the water. "Hold my leg." Connor scrambled to do as M asked. He grabbed the leg nearest him and held it supportively at the ankle as he watched M get in the zone. The blond's body was still mostly underwater. His top half, with his wet t-shirt, was out of the water, as were M's knees and lower legs, braced to begin pushing. M's face screwed up. "Now," he whispered and then he pushed his foot into Connor's stomach and his whole body tensed up. His eyes shut tight and he grunted and strained. "Shit…" M's foot was pushing Connor across the bottom of the pool. "Somebody get in here and grab his other leg!" Marcus jumped in and swam closer to assist. M relaxed though as Marcus got closer. He opened his eyes, breathing hard. He seemed a bit shocked to see the black man in the water with them. "He's going to help," Connor said, rubbing M's ankle with his thumb. Marcus gingerly took M's other ankle. "Ready?" M bit his lip. "It's coming. Another… contraction… oooooh." M's body went rigid. He used Connor and Marcus to shove and push with his lower half and he braced his arms and back against the pool stairs up top. M groaned. He cried. Long minutes passed in an agonizing silence, interrupted by the sound of sloshing water and pain. Marcus finally started to talk to the struggling blond… Saying little words of encouragement… Connor joined in after listening a few times. "You're doing so good, M." "Just a few more pushes; you're so close." "You're doing great. The baby's almost here!" Connor watched M's face as he spoke to him. Marcus faded away. The pool, the motel… even the agent, were no longer important. Connor was terrified. He didn't know if he was going to be a good enough father… He didn't know what a good father was, to be honest. "Oh my God, I think the baby's coming out," Marcus said suddenly. "Connor, look!" But Connor couldn't. He continued to watch M's straining face. The blond whined a bit, flexed his foot in Connor's grasp and then with a deep breath, M gave an almighty shove that took over every muscle in his little body. He struggled and howled in pain. "Nathan!" Marcus yelled. There was a splash at the end of the pool and the water sloshed dramatically as Nathan hurried to their end. "Shit, shit, shit…" he cursed as he got close. He wormed his way between M's legs, stepping on Connor's foot underwater. "Ow." Nathan didn't even notice, however. The blond gasped suddenly and there was more splashing and moaning. Connor couldn't help it. He looked down between M's legs. Nathan had both arms underwater and at first, Connor didn't understand what he was doing, but then, as a cloud of red emerged from M's lower half, Nathan collected a small, pale form into his arms. M sobbed in relief as the baby's entire body slipped from his. Nathan pulled the tiny thing out of the water immediately and they all looked at it in utter shock. "Tilt it, dummy," Marcus said suddenly. "It's got water in its mouth." He reached around Nathan, forcefully adjusted his arms, and then gently tapped the baby's back. The pale, tiny little baby yacked up some fluids, but then he started to cry. M had tears in his eyes. "Hi, baby Liam." "Its a boy," Marcus said with a smile. He gently touched the baby's delicate face. His eyes were shut tight and his skin was red and wet, but he seemed to be a normal newborn. He had all his fingers and toes. And an umbilical cord attached to his belly. "We gotta get something to cut that," Connor said bluntly, gesturing to the bloody cord. "I've got a Swiss army knife in my car," Marcus said helpfully. He swam for the edge of the pool without being prompted and ran towards the Altima. "Can I hold him?" Connor turned back as M asked Nathan for his baby. "Of course," Nathan snorted. "He's kinda yours after all." Nathan and M exchanged the baby. Nathan couldn't take his eyes off the tiny infant though. "He's so small. I can't believe it," he said softly. He was small. Connor watched M hold and rock the baby for first time ever. His heart swelled and filled with a tender, vulnerable sort of love as he studied the little person in his boyfriend's arms… their baby. Marcus came back and easily cut the cord. There was an after birth, but Marcus had come prepared for that as well. He had a plastic shopping bag from the car and he bagged all the bodily waste into it and took it to a dumpster on the other side of the parking lot. "That part's not so glamorous," Nathan said with an uncomfortable laugh. "Gross." "Shut up," Connor said, glaring spitefully at his little brother. Then, in the next instant, he was ducking down, beaming joyfully at his son. Liam Flynn. "Do you want to hold him?" M asked. Connor thought about saying no, but he didn't want to offend the blond boy, looking up at him with hopeful, glittering green eyes. Gently, he took Liam from M. The baby cried and turned his head into Connor's warm chest. Connor touched his head, feeling his soft hair and skin. "We should probably get out of the water," he said. M nodded. He winced, but turned and pulled himself out of the pool. He was still half naked (Nathan looked politely away) and from what Connor could see, his butt wasn't horribly maimed. Sitting at the edge of the pool, M awkwardly wrung out his sweats and pulled them on. He looked uncomfortable still, in pain, but he seemed to be managing alright. Connor got out. He recognized M's hesitation to stand and he wrapped an arm around him. Still holding the baby, he easily managed M's weight too. He hoisted the blond up. Nathan got out of the water too and came to stand beside them. "So… are we going to the room?" Connor glanced at M. The blond nodded. "Let's see what mother says." Connor helped him back to the car. M slid into the back seat and Connor was left with the baby. Liam cried weakly and Connor cuddled him to his chest, wrapping his t-shirt around him like a blanket. "I see you had no problems with the birth," the drone said. "Nope. It felt natural," M said. "I knew what to do and everything." Connor rolled his eyes. He leaned down and gently kissed the top of the baby's head though. M had done a pretty good job. "The agent is getting close," the drone said. "Are you ready, M?" "I think so." M looked up at Connor and the baby. "Do they have time to run?" "It's probably best if the humans stay here. Have them hide," the drone said in her mechanical, unaffected tone. Connor and M held each other's eyes. "You can stay in the room and protect the baby," M said. "The others can protect him," Connor said through his teeth. He clutched the baby close. "I want to make sure you're alright so you'll be here for us. You're not leaving us already," he said in a rush. M bit his lip. "I'll come to the room with you…" He turned back to the drone. "Mother? I'll be right back." The drone didn't say anything. Connor glared at it. Marcus waited for them when then finished their meeting with the alien AI. Nathan stood a little closer to the motel, obviously ready to get inside. Connor walked past Marcus and left M sitting in the car. How was M supposed to fight anyone anyway when he was basically crippled? "Where's the room?" He asked Nathan. Nathan started to lead the way. "Back through here." They went through the little hall, past the ice machines. "And down to the right. Here." He was wet head to toe, but he took a key card out of the back pocket of his jeans. "Two beds for four guys and a baby." He shook his head, but unlocked the door anyway. Connor and the baby slid inside. The room was plain. Two beds, a TV, and a wardrobe. He went to sit on the far bed, closest to the bathroom. The baby made soft, pathetic noises in his arms and Connor gently rocked him back and forth, shushing him softly. "We need that baby stuff mom got us," he said. Nathan nodded distantly. He leaned against the wall, his back to the motel door. He watched Connor and the baby without saying anything. He seemed to be thinking. Connor looked away, irritated at the look on his brother's face. He bounced the baby and tried to be extra interested in him, but he was really dying to know what M was up to. The obsessive wondering ate away at him from the inside… he couldn't concentrate on anything for long, not even the newborn. With a huff, Connor swaddled the baby tightly in his t-shirt. It was a lot harder than he'd read it would be online, but he figured it out in only a few tries. Liam seemed to like the swaddling at least. Once Connor settled him against the pillows at the top of the bed, the baby instantly went to sleep. He got off the bed and went to check out the window. He pulled the drapes back and peered outside at the busy road a few thousand feet from the edge of the property. He didn't see anything interesting and he quickly dropped the grimy window treatments back into place. "Shit, where is Marcus?" Connor started to pace again, thinking about the dangers of the aliens outside. "I thought he was right behind us," Nathan said vaguely. Then he pulled his phone out and checked it. He leaned there against the door, seemingly unworried, totally cool. Connor glared at the teen as he scrolled casually through his phone. "So, what's the latest on Jamie?" he asked quickly. Nathan glanced up from his phone. "She's still having seizures. A couple an hour," he said. "Mom said they're doing a lot of tests, but there's no apparent reason for the brain disturbance." Connor hadn't checked his messages in hours, but he instantly knew he had at least one from Bradley complaining about Hannah's continued seizures… Suddenly, there were three soft knocks on the door. "That's them, "Nathan said easily, pocketing his phone again. He turned and opened the door. Connor watched, his eyes wide and a tad desperate as he waited to see if it was just Marcus or if it was Marcus and M. Connor was happily surprised when Marcus and M shuffled into the room together. Marcus had his arm under the blond's, wrapped firmly around his middle. M moved his legs, but he wasn't putting much weight on them. He had the drone in his arms, tucked under his chin. He released it as he and Marcus came into the small motel room and the drone flew smoothly up into the corner of the room, watching the humans from up high. Connor came forward and reached out for M. The blond smiled and shifted from Marcus' arms into Connor's. Connor picked him up and carried him to their bed. "Oh! He's sleeping," M said from Connor's lap. He stared down adoringly at their wrinkled little infant. "And look," the boy reached out and very gently, he curled a strand of Liam's hair around his forefinger. "His hair is golden blond." Connor nodded slowly. M was right. The baby had soft, blond hair on his tiny, white head. "He's so cute, Connor," M whispered. "I love him… I love you." Connor wrapped his arms around M and kissed him passionately. He stroked his hair back behind his ears and clasped his face in both his hands. When they separated, Connor used his hands on M's face to keep him close. He started into his green eyes. "As soon as this stuff with the agent is done, and we're safe, we'll get married," he said softly, just so M could hear. "I love you, too, baby." M grinned and leaned in to kiss Connor again. He sucked Connor's tongue sweetly for a long moment and pressed his warm body close to Connor's. After awhile of this, Connor had to push him away and out of his lap when he felt his penis start to respond to the kissing. He glanced nervously at the other two occupants in the room, but Nathan was still buried in his phone, by the window now, and Marcus was browsing boredly through the guide on the TV. Neither of them cared about the show on the other bed. M smiled wryly when Connor turned back to him. "Hopefully, my body will recover soon. Like mother said." He smiled. "I wish you could fuck me now though." Connor swallowed. "I have to go, through," M said sadly. "The agent is very close by. I can feel him." Connor chewed his bottom lip. "What is your guy's plan?" "We don't really have one," M said, his smile returninghl. "I think we'll try to take out his friends first though," he said. "They aren't as powerful and they're in the way. They'll stand up for the agent no matter what." Connor nodded slowly. "Ok." M took a deep breath and slowly, he stood up on shaky legs. Connor jumped up in an instant, reaching out fearfully, in case M started to tumble. "Are you sure it's safe for you to stand yet?" "I have to go even if it's not," M said simply. "The agent poses more of a threat than my wobbly legs," he said with a wink. Connor snorted. "You're fucking insane. I'm not just afraid you'll fall, I'm afraid you won't be able to defend yourself properly! I'm coming with you." He got off the bed and started at M, thinking he'd bump into him to prove how unstable he was. But M stopped him with a single hand on his chest. "Stay with Liam," he said. "I promise you. I'll be back." Connor bared his teeth and grabbed at M's hand. He tried desperately to pull it away, but it was unmoving, like a stone. He gave up with a cry of frustration, letting M's hand stay firmly against his heart. "Maybe I'm not as strong as you, but I'm not stupid. I won't get in the way. I can help you!" Connor said fervently. M sighed. "I'm taking Mother with me… If I need help, I'll send her to get you." Connor growled. He didn't believe that for a minute. But he knew they couldn't afford to argue all day… his head was tingling and pounding with a dull pain again. It signaled the agent was close and up to no good. "Be careful," Connor said lamely. He felt sick inside saying it though, thinking there was the slightest chance he might not see M again if this fight didn't go the way they were hoping. Connor kissed M again and stroked his face lovingly. He didn't care what M said, if he was going to be in danger then Connor was going to find a way to follow him. Soon after, M and the drone went out the door. Connor fell back on the bed as he watched them go and the door slam behind them. He felt cold inside. Like his heart had just frozen over… Liam made a soft baby sound in his sleep and Connor leaned over him protectively. The tiny little thing was so delicate and sweet looking wrapped in his shirt… "Daddy will be back soon," he said to little Liam. "I promise." He tenderly kissed the baby on the forehead
  10. mastershakeme


    chapter 33 is going to be hard for me because I think it'll probably be the end of the story. I'll be so worried about what everyone's expecting, I'll know I'll struggle to come up with something I'm happy with. I actually wrote this chapter, 31, weeks ago, but couldn't figure out how to do the birth scene, so... i waited weeks until i finally cobbled something together and now i'm posting 😅 anyway, I'm already nervous about ending this! Nobody is going to be pleased! I know it! Hopefully, a fun epilogue will cheer everyone up 😋 allllright. I'm getting it ready for midnight
  11. Chapter 31 - Surrounded The very next day, Connor saw Greg standing across the street when he was taking the dog for his morning run. He was in the same grubby clothes from the night before and he had a terrible grin on his face. He brought his arm up and waved. Connor gave the old fucker the finger. "Cmon, Jack," he said, then he lead the dog through the neighbors back yard and they hurried across the patio and slipped through the back door at Julie's. He locked up immediately. "M!" he called, striding into the hallway. "M! We've got a problem." He checked the front door was locked, then went to the other door through the laundry room and checked that too. When he got back into the kitchen M stood in the hallway, holding his belly, an eyebrow quirked. His eyes sought out Connor's and instantly, Connor moved to be next to the blond. Gently, he put his hand on M's stomach. The baby rolled in tight circles. He had outgrown M's small, little frame and he was ready to come out… "I saw Greg," Connor said, dropping his hand. "He was standing across the street, watching me walk the dog." M eyes widened. "That's not good." "No. Who knows what he even wants," Connor said with a sneer. M shifted his weight guiltily. "I have some good news to share, though." Connor huffed. He didn't see what could possibly be good about this mess. "What?" "We finished the device," the blond said. He smiled slowly… "I think we're ready to face the agent." Connor blinked. "You're not seriously thinking about facing him before the baby's born, are you?" M shook his head. "I'm not planning on anything," he said. "But I do feel like we're running out of time, here. This feels like a huge success, because we aren't just sitting ducks any more. We have a weapon." "What's it do?" Connor asked. "The device." "We'll have to wait and find out," M said sweetly. "Mother knows what it's supposed to do, but she's keeping it under wraps." Connor frowned. "Why?" M shook his head. "Because the less we know, the better." Connor rolled his eyes. "Right." M chuckled. "Well, my news isn't as bad as yours, but it's still important, dammit." "I didn't say it wasn't." M pulled a face. "Well, I feel like you did." Connor sighed and rubbed M's belly in a mindless sort of comfort. "Listen, I locked all the doors because I'm trying to keep you safe and out of harm's way." "We already determined that locked doors won't keep the agent our for long," M said through his teeth. "Yeah, you're right," Connor said gently. "I'm glad you finished the agent war machine. I wish I knew what it could do though, so I could plan—" "That's exactly what Mother warned against. Planning," M said. Connor huffed. "Of course." The rest of the morning was spent in a tense sort of worry. Connor tried to eat, but as he found himself staring into his bowl of gray, lifeless oatmeal, he realized he had no appetite. He settled for a cup of coffee and the news. M went upstairs to keep the drone company or something. Connor didn't try to keep tabs on him anymore. He didn't know what he was up to. A little after noon, Julie and Nathan came in from the garage. Even from the living room, Connor heard Julie grumbling and complaining about the locks. Connor smirked, morbidly amused. He languidly got off the couch and wandered into the kitchen. "Hey, we don't normally lock the door to the garage," Julie said the second she spotted Connor entering the room. She was in the middle of setting groceries on the island. "It was a hassle looking for the key on my keychain. It's been a million years since I had to use it," she said. Just then, Nathan came in said door with a couple more bags. He sat them on the counter then moved to sit at the bar stool. He pulled out a jumbo sized bag Doritos from the pile of groceries and ripped it open. Connor wasn't immediately forthcoming, but he did slip back into the laundry room and lock up once more. "We got some baby things for M," Julie said as Connor came back into the kitchen. "Formula, bottles, diapers, wipes, baby wash, lotion, and a couple little outfits." She help up a bag with the mentioned items. "Cool," Connor said blankly. "What are we going to do when he goes into labor?" Julie asked. Connor sighed. "I don't know. Help him?" he said. "I think the drone can probably talk us through it, as well, if we need it." "The drone?" Connor had forgotten Julie was still in the dark about the AI drone friend M had brought home to play. She knew nothing about what was going on upstairs. "Nevermind," he said quickly. "But there's no way we can take him to the hospital. He'll be a medical marvel. Everyone will want to see him…" Julie nodded. She turned and stared to put the groceries away. Nathan crammed Doritos into his mouth. "I wish my biggest problem was who was going to deliver my baby," he said around his mouthful. "They're worried Jamie's body won't be able to respond when she goes into labor so they're talking about doing a c-section now. " Connor swallowed. "They know what they're doing, at least. We're supposed to figure everything out ourselves. Here! In this house!" Nathan shook his head. "I'm not messing with this anal birth shit," he said. "I'm definitely planning on skipping the birthday party." Connor scowled. Julie put the groceries away and Nathan continued to eat chips. Connor shook his head in disgust. They were so fucking oblivious! "You didn't happen to see Greg on your way into the neighborhood, did you?" he asked sweetly. "I saw him this morning when I was walking the dog." Nathan sat up and pushed the bag of chips away. Julie slowed a little in her methodical process of putting the eggs into a plastic carton. Neither of them said anything. Connor snorted. "Is that a yes?" "Ma," Nathan started. "That guy on the corner—" "You're father wouldn't be caught dead in this neighborhood looking the way that man did," Julie snapped. She finished with the eggs and put them into the fridge. Then she threw the store carton away and grabbed the cereal boxes on the island. She put them neatly in their place under the counter. Connor watched her. His bottom lip curled. "Did you not look at Greg last night? He was dressed like a homeless bum." Julie frowned. "I didn't get a good look at him, no." Connor rolled his eyes. "He's fucking stalking this family," he said. "If I see him again when I'm out with the dog, I'm making you call the cops." Julie's face grew paper white. Connor left them in the kitchen. It was kind of early for a second walk, but he felt obligated to do a little walk-around for safety. It was early still and the sun was out. Now would be a good time to spot Greg and not get snuck up on. So, he wasted no time. He got the dog together and they went out the back. He took Jack on the long path, down the bike path and around the bay. When they got back to the neighborhood, Connor led them cautiously down to the sidewalk. He kept his eyes peeled and the dog close on his leash. About a block from Julie's, on the street opposite the one Connor had seen him on that morning, stood a large man. From the grubby clothes, Connor recognized him instantly. Greg. The old man turned his head in Connor's direction and watched as he walked past with the dog. There was no change in his expression. No reaction to Connor's sudden appearance. Connor averted his eyes and led Jack past the crazy fucker. He made a direct path to Julie's house, the back of his neck burning the second he turned away from the weirdo. He was being watched. He could feel it. "Mom!" he yelled through the house once he and the dog got back. "Greg's standing on the corner a block down from here! We need to scare him off. We need the police involved." Julie wandered out of the kitchen. Her expression serious. "I don't know if a block violates the restraining order. It might technically be within legal limits." "Fuck that!" Connor snapped. "He has no business in this neighborhood. I'm surprised someone hasn't already called the pigs on him. He absolutely looks like he's up to no good!" Julie touched the crown molding around the entry to the kitchen. She hesitated, avoiding Connor's eye. "Mom! Call the cops!" Julie flinched into action. "Alright!" she said. Her cheeks filled with color as she brushed past Connor and went to sit at the desk in the living room. She pulled her phone out of her breast pocket and sighed. "I really don't want to do this," she said under her breath, but she was already dialing. Connor watched his mother like a helicopter parent. He wanted to make sure she did the right thing. "Yes. Hello," Julie said into her phone. "I'm having an issue with my ex husband. I just got a restraining order on him because he was recently let out of jail… Yes. He's been a problem," Julie said grudgingly. "Well, he's standing down the block from the house… Yes. Right now. My son says he's been there all day." "What's going on?" Nathan poked his head downstairs. He started to come down. "I'm having mom call the cops," Connor said as the teen came into the living room. "His name is Greg Lowery. I'm Julie Lowery," Julie said to the officer on the phone. "Yes, we were married for almost 13 years. My address?" Nathan came to stand beside Connor, his mouth agape. "Are you forcing her to do this?" "Forcing her? She needs to do this," Connor sneered. "It's for her own good. And ours too," he said. "Your dad looks like a fucking maniac, right now." Nathan bristled, but he didn't say anything in response. He'd seen the bum on the corner, same as Connor had. M suddenly appeared in the doorway to the living room. Jack went up to sniff his crotch with interest, but the blond pushed him away and came into the room with his arm around his belly. "What's happening?" he asked. "Ok, thank you. Bye," Julie said and then she let her phone slip for her face and fall to the desk. "I can't believe I just did that," she moaned, dropping her head into her hands. "Ma—" Nathan started for his mother. "Leave her alone, Nathan. She needs to get used to protecting herself," Connor said stiffly. "Mega harsh," Nathan said with a frown. "Maybe take it down a notch, these are my parents you're talking about. " Connor sneered. The next hour and a half was spent in tense sort of limbo. Connor quickly filled M in on the couch and then they settled in to wait on the police. Whether they found Greg or not, they'd come by for a brief report, Connor figured. He turned the TV on and they all watched the news in a daze. There was a big protest over some new immigration laws happening downtown right now… Connor wondered if there'd be less police available, and if so, if they'd have to wait awhile. An hour passed. Nathan texted his friends from the loveseat. Julie worried endlessly at the computer. M rubbed his stomach uncomfortably and Connor bounced with a nervous energy. He had a crazy idea maybe he should take another quick run around the block, just to see what was going on. He managed to suppress it, but he kept thinking about it… Another 40 some minutes slipped away. It was starting to get dark and Connor was frustrated with the lack of action. He was close to getting up. He wanted to see what was going on. He couldn't stand to wait one more minute!!! Just then, there was an authoritative knock at the door. "That's them!" Connor leapt up. "Cmon mom." He rushed to answer the door, hopefully he'd get to see Greg in the back of a police cruiser or something. Connor was instantly let down though. A tiny lady cop stood on the doorstep. She didn't even try to come in. She explained briefly that she'd done a couple loops around the neighborhood in the past 45 minutes and she'd run into absolutely no one. Connor frowned. "But I saw him twice." The little police woman shrugged. "What can I do? I didn't see anyone. I'm telling you that." Connor sighed. Nope. There wasn't anything they could do. Greg must have fled at the sight of the police cruiser. Fucker. The officer left and Julie let out a huge sigh relief once they'd shut the door and were alone again. "Anyone want dinner?" she asked, shuffling into the kitchen to get something started. Connor, his stomach in knots, just decided to skip the meal altogether. He took himself upstairs and to bed, grim and depressed. He was so tired of this lifestyle… He was tired of being stuck. *** The instant Connor woke up the next morning, he knew something was wrong. There was an odd electricity in the air. It felt charged and full of energy. He sat up straight and leapt out of bed to get dressed. His head was pounding, but he kept moving. He felt like he needed to. Downstairs, he heard moaning and sobbing. "M?" he pushed his way into the guest room. The blond had finally moved mother, all his machines, and experiments to the spare room for privacy. He spent a lot of time in here now… And it looked like he'd spent the night in the bed, too, last night. The bed sheets were ruffled and disturbed, and strangely, there was a puddle of moisture in the middle. It was empty, too. "M?" Connor glanced around the room. There were laptops on every free surface, whirling away with activity. They were crammed on top of the dresser, clustered on the bedside table, there were even a couple resting on the windowsill. The room looked completely different than it had the last time he'd been up here, helping Bradley move out. There were cardboard boxes of mechanical parts shoved under the bed and a stack of newspapers in the corner. Connor turned to look at the back side of the room and flinched when he saw Mother, the drone, floating in the corner of the room. Uneasy, Connor moved around the bed, following the sound of M's sobbing into the tiled bathroom. "Baby?" Connor called as he edged into the bathroom, ready for anything. The blond stood naked in the shower, soaking wet, shivering and crying. He looked up as Connor came into his line of sight, his long, wet locks dripping into his eyes. "What the fuck?" Connor grabbed a towel off the rack. He pulled M out of the shower stall and into the warm embrace of the towel. M didn't stop shaking… even as Connor squeezed him tight and kissed his neck. "What's wrong?" he asked softly. M sniffled. "My water broke and I'm having contractions," he said as he trembled in Connor's arms. In pain. "What?" "The baby is coming." Connor looked around them in a panic. "OK. Is Julie home?" "I don't know," M said through his teeth. He closed his eyes and huffed until he was close to hyperventilating. "M?!" "It's… another… contraction!" Connor scooped M into his arms and carried him to the bed. "Shit," he cursed. "It's wet." Making a command decision, Connor left the creepy drone behind and carried M up to their room. Gently, he deposited the naked, laboring blond on the bed. Then he stood back, totally lost. "His contractions are eight minutes apart," a cool female voice said from behind Connor. He whirled around and glared when he realized the drone had simply followed them upstairs. "What's that mean?" "That he's still hours away from delivery," Mother said. "We'll get concerned when they're four minutes apart, but he still won't be close until there's only a minute's delay between the contractions." Connor nodded. He wrung his hands and watched his lover writhe on the bed in agony. "I'll get help," he said vaguely. He glanced up at the drone. The machine floated silently, a foot and a half over Connor's shoulder. "You'll watch over him?" "Of course." He turned and ran out of the room. He took the stairs three at a time and reached the second floor in less than a heartbeat. He sprinted down the hall to the second flight of stairs the instant his feet hit the floor. He took the stairs like a madman when he reached them. He slid through the foyer downstairs on his socks and burst into the kitchen. "Mom!" The kitchen was empty though. He spun around and ran into the other room, looking for the woman with a terrible desperation. "Mom! Fuck… Mom!" Finding the living room empty, but for the dog, Connor jogged upstairs again, feeling his heart drop with each step he took. He couldn't believe this was happening… and that he was apparently going to do it alone, too. Julie, Jamie, Hannah, Bradley… Connor wished one of his female friends were here. He shook his head… Great. A fucking robot's going to be my midwife…. Suddenly, Nathan's bedroom door sprang open and the sleepy-eyed teen emerged in a funk. "What's with all the yelling? It's way too early for a Sunday." Connor grabbed his brother by the front of his t-shirt. Nathan's eyes widened in shock and surprise and he swayed in Connor's iron grip. "M's in labor. I need help." Nathan gaped. "No, no, no way. I told you already—" Connor shook the teen. "This is serious," he said grimly. "But it's… gross," Nathan said, making a childish face of disgust. "I'm completely alone up there and I'm freaking out, man!" Connor hollared his voice breaking in his distress. "Fuck! Alright!" Nathan cried. "But I'm leaving if I see any blood." Connor sneered and let go of the insufferable teenager. He started towards the attic. "Grab your phone. Maybe you can get ahold of mom." Nathan veered back into his bedroom and Connor rushed upstairs. M was still on the bed, naked, curled in the fetal position now, rocking back and forth as the drone ran light beams over his body. The drone stopped and pulled back as Connor approached. "His and the baby's vitals are normal," Mother said. Connor nodded and drew a sheet over M's lower half. He sat beside him after that and put a hand over his sweaty head. "Is it constant pain?" he asked. "No," M said quietly, looking up at Connor with his wide, childish eyes. "But it's not just the contractions… Connor… The agent is outside. I can feel him. He's tearing through my brain, he's trying to get a front row seat to the baby's birth." Connor gulped. He stroked M's hair soothingly for a moment, then he got up and went to the window. In the backyard, two of the agent's cronies stood in the grass, one at either corner of the house. The thin, zombie man and the pig-like police officer we're watching the house. Connor felt numb all over. "There's people in the backyard," he said. M groaned and rolled onto his side. Nathan came into the room suddenly. He had his phone pressed to his ear. "But she's alright? The baby's alright?" he said. His expression was utterly serious and Connor watched him carefully. "Ok. Take care of Jamie for me," he said and Connor got confirmation his brother was talking to their mom. It didn't sound like he'd begged her to come home, though, like he'd wanted. "What's up with Jamie?" he asked the second Nathan hung up. "I don't know. She suddenly went into a fit of seizures…" Nathan came slowly into the room, staring down at his phone. He hadn't once looked at M since he'd come into the room. He seemed to be avoiding it. "Hey," he said. "Check your phone. Bradley messaged me." Connor went to the bedside table and grabbed his phone. There were a bunch of messages from Bradley. Hannah had gone into a set of seizures, too, maybe 40 minutes ago. She wondered if it had something to do with the agent. The energy in the air took on another meaning. Connor heard faint static cracking in the back of his head. Goosebumps popped up all over his body. He turned back to M. "What should we do?" Mother spoke up before M could. She sounded super bossy. "We need to evacuate the premises," she said. "My weapon will work best if we can put some distance between them and us." "So we are fighting the agent before the baby comes!" Connor cried out. "Fuck! This is so bad." "Mom's busy with Jamie," Nathan said, looking at M shyly for the first time. He seemed relieved by the lack of blood. "She can't help us right now." "Well, fuck," Connor scratched his head. "I have that moped in the garage." Nathan chuckled. "How are you going to put him on the back of a bike?" Connor glanced at M again. The blond thrashed back and forth in pain… Connor sighed. "Shit. Ok. That won't work at all." "Right." Connor thought for a moment… The only other person he knew down here was Marcus… And shit! Marcus had mentioned over the phone that he had a car now! "Let me call Marcus really quick," he said and then he slipped out into the hall, dialing his old work buddy in a frantic rush. Marcus, the beautiful bastard, answered on the second ring. "Hey, this is Marcus." "Marcus! Dude… Are you busy?" Connor asked in a rush. "Not really," Marcus laughed. "What kind of craziness are you guys up to?" Connor ignored him. "You said you have a car now, right?" he asked. "Yes…" "Well, bring it over. We need a ride," Connor said. "Um, I'm game. But a ride to where?" Connor chewed his bottom lip. "I'll tell you when you get here. Oh! And call me when you're pulling in. I'll let you in the garage." "Fancy." Connor hung up. He looked around again, feeling overwhelmed. He wanted to grab a few supplies though. Towels, blankets, water… He couldn't think of anything else, so he hurried to grab the linens from the hallway closet. He found a big duffle bag up on the top shelf too, so he stuffed everything into that. He ran down to the laundry room and grabbed five or six bottles of water. When he came back through the front hall, something caught his eye out the little window beside the front door. He paused on the first step and turned back. Slowly, he crouched down and peeked out the window. There was the agent… all in black like usual. He stood at the end of the driveway totally motionless. Connor imagined he was using his mind power and was concentrating. Connor rushed upstairs. "Marcus is coming," he said as he burst into the attic. "And the agent is in front of the house," he finished breathlessly. M whimpered and Nathan turned from his spot near the bed to glare hatefully. "This is all your guys fault. Isn't it?" Connor rolled his eyes. "What exactly are you blaming us for." "Apparently, I'm trapped in my house by a bunch of aliens or something…" Nathan said. "And your boyfriend is in labor and it's weird and I wish I didn't feel obligated to stay now." Connor laughed meanly. "The aliens aren't my fault." "Fuck you. Yes they are," Nathan growled. Connor shrugged. He doubted he'd be able to change Nathan’s mind. He turned to the drone. "So, is there a safe place we're evacuating too?" "The only place he won't follow and directly attack us are places with large crowds." "Then we should attack him in the middle of a big crowd! While he's defenseless!" "No," Mother said quickly. "I want M to have a life here. None of you should be seen in anything alien involved. Your government will mark you as a threat. It's a bad idea." Connor sighed. "Whatever. But where should we go? You said we're still a couple hours off from the baby coming. Are we supposed to have him in the back seat of Marcus' car?" "Why not?" Mother asked. "It'd be best to keep moving. They're swarming the house now. They'll do the same elsewhere, even if it isn't immediate." Connor laughed. "Great! Marcus will love this." He sighed and glanced down at the blond in the bed. "We need to get you dressed." M moaned. Connor picked out some sweats and a t-shirt. He went to the bed and helped M slide into the loose items of clothing. "Cmon," he urged. "We're getting you out of here." "But I don't want to go anywhere," M whined. "I just want the pain to stop." "I don't know what we can do about that," Connor said, "But we have to leave. We're surrounded. Maybe you won't be so miserable if we get some distance from that bloodsucker." Connor had been referring to the agent, but he knew M was confused by term. "The agent," he clarified. "I saw him outside playing mind games." M grinned weakly. "Are we leaving the dog behind?" Connor rolled his eyes. "His water bowl is fresh and there's food in his dish," he said. "Jack will be fine." M nodded sadly. Connor glanced at his phone and saw he had another message from Bradley. He answered her quickly. I think the seizures have something to do with the agent. M's in labor right now and the agent is outside the house, waiting for something, he said in his first text. He thought for a minute, then sent another. Jamie is having seizures, too. Maybe she and Hannah are even more connected to the agent than we thought. We're talking about taking him out today, too, somehow, and if we do that, maybe the girls will wake up. It felt unfair to be optimist like that, but shit. Connor was ready for this to be over already. He had a kid on the way and a life to get on with. Bradley messaged him back, but Connor didn't notice. Marcus' name lit up the screen. He was calling.
  12. Happy Birthday!


  14. mastershakeme


    Wow! You pointed out a huge glaring error to me! Yes! Why *is* M so fearful? While I suppose, he doesn't exactly understand what's happening, and he probably isn't jumping to negative conclusions when he realizes Greg had stopped by for a surprise visit, there isn't any logical reason for him to be afraid. Connor's being protective, of course. He doesn't *need* to be. But he does *feel* the need protect. Hahaha! Am I just making excuses??? Either way, I'm in total agreement with the first part and I'm thinking I"ll just change it in the working doc and silently post an edit here I like the idea of M being confused as how to act, not afraid. Connor will keep M and Greg separate, out of a desire to conceal the pregnancy . Greg makes a joke and Connor becomes even more uneasy. Leave it at that...
  15. mastershakeme


    We'll see! It all depends on whether you're good or not 😜
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