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About Dahawk

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  1. Dahawk

    Truth Comes Around

    That is correct, Grandpap and Grandson will share the same birthday.
  2. Dahawk

    Truth Comes Around

    Glad you enjoyed it @Wesley8890, we were striving to bring the juveniles to justice before the baby arrives.
  3. Brody was heading to see Principal Waters in his office because he needed a note for his history teacher after forgetting his project at home. He was so angry with himself after working so hard on it, he’d made a diorama of the battle of Gettysburg. So angry in fact that he’d missed the two police cars and one undercover car at the entrance of the administration office. Although due to the declining neighborhood where the school was situated it wasn’t beyond the realm of possibility that the police weren’t at the school at least once a week. The door to the office was opening so Brody stepped out of the way to wait until it was clear but unfortunately heard the tail end of the conversation. The sound of his guardian and principal’s pained voice had him in full eavesdropping mode. “Thank you, detective. You have the full support of the school and its staff. When will you be arresting the offenders?” “Ooh, somebody’s in trouble,” Brody whispered to himself with amusement. “No, thank you Mr. Waters. We’ll be here tomorrow morning once we obtain the proper warrants, their parents will be notified once they’ve been arrested.” The detective said. Wow, Brody wondered what the hell had happened. “Also, it might be a good idea to keep Levi Waters and Brody Grecco away from the school tomorrow until the offenders have been apprehended. No need for them to suffer through any further trauma be it physical or mental.” “We can’t thank you enough, detective, and you officers.” “We’re just sorry the boys had to go through this at all. If Jason Kepple, Mark Garner, or Thomas Skrodski do not appear in homeroom tomorrow please give us a call. We’ll pick them up at their houses. Mr. Cranson will be arrested tonight as you requested, to not arouse the attention of the juvenile.” What the hell? Brody moved swiftly and angrily as fast as his legs would take him. The bell rang out indicating lunch. Lunch. Lunch with Levi, he had to get to Levi at the cafeteria. He was going to kill those fucktards for hurting his Levi and he was gonna make sure they didn’t go anywhere near his boyfriend. “I will kill them,” Brody muttered barging his way through a line of mean girls. “Hey, watch it. Fag!” The queen bee yelled. Brody doubled back getting in her face. “If I didn’t have more important people to see I might consider wasting a snarky remark to such a rich uptight condescending bitch. However, screw you and your pack of breeders.” Brody flipped the group the one-fingered-salute and rushed off. Fleeing the mean girls he made a beeline for the cafeteria, Cody catching up with him. “Hey, Brody where’s the fire, dude? You look like you’re about to murder somebody. What’s going on?” “Grrr, I know who hurt Levi,” Brody said menacingly, “I’m gonna fucking kill them, Cody.” He looked at his friend or brother or friend. He didn’t know didn’t care about the title. The kid was a brother to him and that’s all that mattered. Cody grabbed him by the arm pulling angry panting Brody to a stop. “What are you going to do, Brody? Let’s find dad or pop, Brent even. How did you find out? Who was it? Why did they do it?” Cody asked in rapid-fire watching his friends face. “I don’t know why, Cody, and I don’t give a shit they’re going down.” He angrily pulled his arm out of Cody’s clutches and stormed into the cafeteria. Cody worried about his brothers as he ran off to find one of their dads or Brent and Derek. “The detective said Coach Cranson put Jason Kepple up to it if he wanted to get team captain–“ Kyle was explaining to Brent and Teddy who was in his office when Cody burst through his Dad’s office door. “Dad. Dad. You gotta… Brody is gonna kick the shit outta those assholes,” Cody rambled, “He’s storming through the cafeteria right now.” Kyle looked up in surprise, “What’s happening Cody?” He had no idea what his son was talking about. “Who’s doing what?” “I’m not sure he says he knows about who hurt Levi,” Cody said taking a deep breath, “he’s going to kill them dad, you have to stop him. He’s going to end up in jail, dad. Hurry!” Cody fled the room to get back to the cafeteria. Brent tore off out of the office hot on Cody’s trail as Kyle dialed the detective’s number which was listed on his business card. As Cody and he entered the cafeteria a crowd had formed over by the vending machines. Brent moved through the crowd dispersing the rowdy teenagers. Once he reached the inner circle of kids, he spotted Brody who had a teenager – who had a good six inches of height on himself – suspended by his letterman jacket in the air cursing at the teen. “Brody put Jason down!” Brent shouted which only got a grunt from the teen. “Brody, stop it you’re bleeding kid!” He shouted yet again, this time Brody did break his hold, and Brody slumped against the vending machine. Teddy grabbed the Kepple kid by the collar placing handcuffs on him, while watching the bloody knife which now laid on the floor. “Brody, stay awake son,” Teddy stated calmly, his years in the military have given him an almost icy calmness when faced in stressful situations. Movement caught Teddy in his peripheral vision, “Hey don’t touch that!” he yelled at a kid who went to grab the knife. The kid freaked turning to leave, Teddy pushed Jason to the floor. “Don’t move,” he growled as he saw Blu coming through the crowd pushing kids out of the way. “Blu, grab that kid.” Brent had placed pressure on Brody’s wounded arm with one hand as he called over his portable radio stating he needed an ambulance along with police in the cafeteria. “ETA three minutes,” Derek’s voice came back over the radio. “Principal en route.” “Copy,” Brent answered with authority. “Brody, stay with me buddy. Where’s Levi?” he asked concerned as the kid was nowhere to be seen. “Don’t know. He’s…” Brody said dazedly. “Shit, come on kid. Where is Levi? Stay awake, Brody.” Brent stated glancing down at the pool of blood that had formed on the floor. “Goddammit!” Brent growled takin off his sweater to help stop the bleeding. “Blu! Where are you?” No answer. “Blu?” “Yep, yep, I’m here. Shit, Brody, baby boy,” he said dropping to his knees next to the boy. “What the hell?” “Hold this tight, okay. Don’t let up, the paramedics are almost here. Levi’s missing, just stay here and keep Brody awake.” Brent stood watching Blu for a few moments, he could see the anguish and heartbreak already written all over the man’s face. Brent gave him his dues though he was mildly calm on the exterior keeping it together. “Go find Levi, Brent. We’re fine, we’re going to be fine,” Blu said almost breathlessly concentrating wholly on one of the kids he loved most in the world. Why do people keep hurting his family? He didn’t understand it. “Go,” Teddy told Brent. Brent stalked down the hall looking and listening for any signs of the teenager. Spartan’s muffled growl echoed from within the restroom nearest the cafeteria. As he entered the bathroom, Spartan had a kid by the crotch backed tight up against the toilet stall door. “I told you to quit pushing me,” Levi stated with a bloody lip to Thomas Skrodski who was a bulky kid who wore a leather jacket and had a huge chain dangling from his pocket which was attached to his wallet. The kids grunted responses to Levi, due to the fact if he talked the kid's voice seemed to invoke a primal instinct from Spartan to protect Levi. “Get your fucking dog off me, asshole. Your dead Waters, ya hear me?” Thomas said angrily through gritted teeth, as Spartan growled thrashing his head about while holding onto the kid’s crotch. “Ha, yeah right. You don’t look real threatening right now. It’s hard to take you seriously,” Levi’s eyes darted down to where Spartan held Thomas, he chuckled. “Oh my god, did you just piss yourself?” “Tell the dog to fuck off!” the guy yelled at Levi. Brent had a hard time maintaining his composure from the door, “Levi, are you okay?” He asked as he smirked at Thomas’s situation. Levi wiped his lip with the back of his hand, “I’ll be fine. I suppose you want Spartan to let him go now?” Spartan now had the boy covered in a slimy coat of drool from his crotch down his right inner thigh. “Yeah, buddy. You have to.” Brent smirked. “Spartan, lay,” Levi commanded, his dog let go of the kids soiled crotch laying directly in front of the defiant teenager. “Don’t move a muscle,” he pointed threateningly to the kid then spoke into his radio, “Simba, cafeteria bathroom with Huey, need EMT, not urgent.” “Copy that, EMT en route, Mufasa has Louie in sight he was finding Dewey,” Derek stated, “Scar out.” Levi looked at their close family friend and scratched his head at the weird Disney names flying about. “Okay, I’m assuming I’m Huey? But who in the world is everybody else?” Smirking Brent got back on the radio, “Confirm Louie and Dewey safe and unharmed, any word on Thumper?” Teddy’s voice rumbled over the radio, “Do we really need ‘Lion King’ nicknames? And Thumper is safely tucked away in art class.” “Just be glad Blu is Pumbaa and not you, Mufasa,” Brent snickered while he imagined the grumbling coming from the boss man. “I thought Blu is Scrooge McDuck?” Derek asked. “He is, just giving the old lion hell,” Brent replied. “Medics are taking Prince Charming to hospital, Donald Duck is waiting at the tank for Huey,” Mufasa called over the radio. “Copy, we need EMT and officer in cafeteria bathroom asap.” Brent quickly glanced at Levi clearing his throat. “Levi, um… you’re supposed to meet your dad at the Escalade, I can’t leave this kid or waste time to get into specifics at the moment.” ***** The car ride to the hospital hectic and hurried, Levi was frantic as the car came to a halt in the hospital parking lot. As soon as the motor stopped the father and son along with Spartan rushed inside the Emergency Room entrance. “Brody Grecco was brought in by ambulance. I’m Kyle Waters, Detective Melbourne said to come here,” Kyle rattled off while Levi scratched Spartan’s ear. The receptionist typed some information into the computer, “Hmm.” Typing yet some more she looked up, “Oh, yes. He’s in the trauma bay, somebody will be out to get you shortly.” She smiled and politely helped the next person in the waiting room. “What am I gonna do if I lose him Dad?” Levi asked worriedly. Spartan nuzzled his master’s hand, “Brody got hurt because of me.” Kyle texted Blu quickly to let them know where they were at the moment and the little information they had obtained at this point. “Levi, Brody didn’t get hurt because of you and you’re not losing him. Just calm down, I’m sure he’ll be okay. A doctor came out a short time later and explained that Brody had gotten some stitches and received an IV to replace some of the fluids he lost but they could come back to see him. The doctor directed them to Brody’s curtained off area. Once Levi had seen Brody was awake with his arm bandaged up in a sling, he made his way over to his boyfriend, “Hi, Babe.” He said to the boy he loved. Brody offered a goofy smile, evidentally the pain medications were really good. “Hi, Baby.” Levi smacked Brody’s good arm, “Don’t you ever scare me again. What the hell Brody? I can’t live without you. What were you thinking? Oh, that’s right you weren’t thinking.” Levi grumbled, cursed, ranted, and raved from all of his insecurities of late. The second the adrenalin wore off the boy dropped onto the bed next to the love of his life sobbing. Brody stroked his boyfriend's hair gently with a grin on his face. Levi’s red and puffy gaze met his loves and hiccupped. “Why are you grinning?” “So pretty,” he now smiled at Levi sweeping the hair out of his eyes, “you need a haircut.” Brody sighed. “Pretty eyes.” He bent down gently pecking a kiss to Levi’s nose. “Pretty nose,” kissed his lips, “very f–“ “Okay,” Levi sat up quickly giving his dad a sheepish look. “Obviously you’re enjoying the medication,” he said with a sad smile. ***** Almost a week had passed since the incident at the school, finally, the weekend had arrived. “Oh, I overheard one of the chicks which hung around with those four goons. Supposedly, Thomas can’t have kids from Spartan playing ball with his crotch,” Cody said with a shrug at the dinner table stuffing a French fry in his mouth. “Bro, I’m just glad they all got locked up and Brody is okay,” Levi stated and the rest of the family nodded in agreement. “I just can’t believe that the coach instigated all of it,” Blu said while moving food around his plate losing his appetite. “I hope they throw the book at him.” Kyle nodded placing his burger down, “Mmm, good burger, Babe. Sage did you speak to your brother for me?” Sage smiled brushing his wild hair out of his eyes, “Val, said the contract he had with the school district he is at was only temporary. He’s looking forward to coming in for an interview with you.” ***** Time had come for Blu’s birthday, Lincoln and Sage took charge of coordinating with the other kids the surprise birthday party. Kyle’s responsibility had been herding Blu off and keeping him out shopping. “Kaleb, I hear you new nickname from the security guys is Rafiki,” Sage chuckled thinking back to the day he learned of everybody’s nicknames. “No, way. I’m clearly Simba!” he said indignantly. “No you’re not,” the entire room chorused. Sage laughed at Kaleb who smirked, “Shut up Zazu, at least I’m not some damn talking bird.” Brent entered the room hearing the end of the bantering. “Hey, Dopey, Sleepy, shut the hell up. Anyone seen Grumpy?” Lincoln smiled, “I made Pop go shopping with Dad, turn about is fair play n’ all that shit. He shouldn’t have forced the DMV on me.” Kaleb and Sage both gasped then talking over the top of each other arguing which one was Dopey. “Sleepy?” Sage shrugged his shoulders, “I can live with that, and Kaleb is a bit Dopey.” “Hey!” Kaleb exclaimed, “If I’m dopey how do you explain your love of that one?” he pointed to Lincoln. “Oh my god. It’s like a freakin’ kindergarten in here.” Brent threw his hands in the air. “Seriously guys, where’s Blu?” The group all turned facing Brent, “Shopping!” Sage smirked, “Lincoln got him to return one crib and twenty cases of toddler diapers that weren’t needed at the moment.” “Well, instead of sitting around here bitching about ya nail polish how ‘bout we get things set up before people start arriving. Yeah?” Brent left the room grumbling. “Dumbasses. Fucking circus.” “Wow. That time of the month?” Sage joked to Brent, “I could set you up with Val.” Brent walked into the room backward-looking over his shoulder at Sage, “I don’t do the woman.” Sage belly laughed, “I’m pretty sure if you call my brother a woman he might beat the shit out of you. He’s a little taller than me and really bulked up from the gym from training for sports.” “Really?” Brent asked intrigued, not that he was a lover of setups but a nice go around with a pretty buff boy might do the trick. “Do you have a photo of said tall bulked up sports boy?” Sage gave Brent a strange look, “I don’t carry a picture of my brother around, that’s just weird. If ya want to see what he looks like go on Facebook and search Valerian West.” Brent’s entire demeanor changed, his jaw ticked and his eyes went hard like steel. “Your brother is Valerian West?” his tone harsh and angry. “Ya. Why?” Sage chucked some of the cold cuts on the platter fanning them out. “No thanks,” Brent stalked angrily out of the kitchen while everyone else swapped glances at the complete turn around from the security guy. They knew he could be stern when needed, but never had they ever seen any kind of temper or fury from the guy. Cody talked their littlest brother into messing with Brent. Jonathan found the man outside hanging the few exterior birthday banners. “Brent and Val k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love. Second, comes marriage. Uh, then comes the babysitting in the carriage,” Jonathan ran out of words to sing so he smiled at the man. ***** As Kyle and Blu returned from their shopping trip the pair spotted birthday balloons attached to the mailbox and a homemade banner that read ‘Happy Birthday Pop’ hanging over the covered porch. “Aw, that’s so cute!” Kyle said with his hand over his heart. Blu, however, glared at his husband then around at all the cars parked in the surrounding area of their house. “Fuck, really?” he admonished Kyle. “What? The kids wanted to do something special for you,” Kyle took Blu’s hand smiling at him, “I think it’s a sweet gesture.” Looking at the ground, Blu toed at the grass feeling like an ass. “I guess,” he sighed. He put on a happy face and followed his husband pulling to the house. Jonathan opened the front door smiling, “Poppy you see the banner we made? It has each of hands on it.” “I did, thank you, baby boy.” Blu crouched down hugging Jonathan tightly. “Thank you, it’s wonderful,” he whispered into the boy's ear. “It’s very special.” “Mhmm,” the boy nodded, “An’ Brent was kissin’ Sage’s brother, an’ they’re getting’ married. Oh, and Brent says Uncle Kaleb is Dopey.” “Uncle Kaleb is Dopey!” Blu said a little confused. “I gotta go,” Brent's deep voice said as he fled the house alone. As Blu watched Brent flee the house like it was on fire, the fleabag of Bella’s started clawing at his leg. “Fucking Ninja cat!” Blu griped swatting at the miserable animal. “Cody,” he yelled, “come and get your sister's cat before it becomes tomorrow's entrée.” Cody saunters up eyeing Scarlett, “I don’t think she’ll make much Chinese, so I guess we are ordering out tomorrow.” He said while picking the cat up. “The next person going to California is taking that freakin’ thing with them. Let Bella look after the hellcat.” “Poppy she’s just lonely,” Jonathan said. “She needs another kitty to play with.” “Aww, so naïve my beautiful boy. That fur-casted skeleton is the bride of Satan sent here to torture me,” Blu said sweetly while thinking of forty-seven different ways to feed the thing to Khan or Spartan. Nobody has to know. “Why are you smiling like that?” Jonathan asked his pop. “Huh? Oh, just happy with the party, little man. You guys did a great job. Now, how ‘bout you and me go and greet some of the guests. I see Captain Reardon and his wife. You haven’t met them yet. You’ll love them,” Blu told his son grabbing his hand as they made their way through the Birthday wishing crowd. As Blu and Jonathan entered the backyard the birthday cake candles were lit, there had to have been seventy or more of the things on it. When lit the older kids chuckled and thought of what a fire hazard their Pop’s cake was. And then the crowd broke out singing “Happy Birthday.” Jonathan finished singing, “You smell like a monkey, and look like one too.” “Brat,” Blu mumbled with a smile, “help me blow these out will ya?” Jonathan nodded, “I’ll help since you’re gonna be a GrandPop you need help.” He sucked in a deep breath and puffed the air out at the candles. Everyone applauded and congratulated the pair once the fire was out. “Happy Birthday, poppy.” Jonathan hugged his pop around the waist tightly. “Thank you.” Blu returning the hug just as enthusiastically. Kaleb shouted out to the crowd, “I know Blu is almost elderly now,” he chuckled at himself. “For those that have to watch their sugar intake like the ‘old fella’ I made a sugar free cake. That just leaves more of the white-chocolate raspberry-filled one for us.” Kasey wandered up pulling a twenty from his pocket holding it out to Blu, “You going into a nursing home soon? You need an allowance for the hard candies to suck on.” “You little,” Blu started stomping his foot as if to run after the kid, Kasey hoofed it as quickly as possible waving the twenty around. “You can have it; if you can catch me, old man,” Kasey teased slowing to let Blu catch up then fleeing out of arm's length again. The guests watched as Blu ran around the yard looking like he was herding chickens while Kasey evaded his grasp every time. “Give up!” Kyle yelled while belly laughing, “You’re never gonna catch him baby, just come and have a beer, and later I’ll make ya feel better.” “Dad! Dad! Pop!” Lincoln shot up out of Sage’s embrace, his voice panicked. He looked around, turned around, put his phone on the chair, turned again, grabbed his phone back. “Dad!” Kyle flew to his son who looked like he was just turning in circles swatting at an insect. “What’s wrong?” “The… it’s… he’s… coming… now… right now…” Lincoln’s flustered appearance also mirrored by Sage who was also at a loss of words. “Who is coming?” Kyle asked a little confused, it seemed everyone had arrived at the party just fine. Sage grabbed Link’s cell thrusting it into Kyle’s hands, then embracing his boyfriend. “Blu!” Kyle yelled excitedly. “Put the cat in a carrier, we’re off to California.”
  4. After spending two hours in the Department of Motor Vehicles, Lincoln came out clutching a paper in his hands but still held a glare for his boyfriend, who had seemed determined to have him jumping through hoops along with his parents. So far his day had consisted of going shopping and being told he bought the wrong thing, then his dads contacted Sage to have them pick up cat litter and onions. Onions? Then Sage somehow decided that Lincoln needed to get his permit, Blu had been riding Lincoln’s ass to get it for quite a few months but everything just seemed to be too stressful following Levi’s injury. Once Lincoln flopped into the seat he turned facing Sage, “I swear to God if you decide I need to do anything else beyond relaxing I am taking you to the Clippers Veterinarian’s office and having you neutered. And quit fearing my Pop, I know the permit was his idea and I passed the damn thing.” He waved the paper in front of Sage’s face. “The instructor I think was born before my Nan and had horrible hygiene, she might have been decaying.” Link cringed at the picture he put in his mind of zombified driving instructors. “Congratulations, baby!” Sage told him excitedly. “We just have to–” “Nope, nuh-uh. We don’t have to do shit! We’re going home, now,” Link whined rubbing his tired eyes. “Just one quick stop,” Sage stated as he started his car and glanced at Lincoln, “it will be quite painless and I will even stop at the ice cream shop and buy you a blizzard.” Link side-eyed his boyfriend, “You’d better, jackass!” “Oh, my grumpy man.” Sage smiled while reaching out and pulling his face to his for a kiss. “Fine,” Link said kissing Sage quickly. “Mush, let’s go.” Sage placed the car in drive, pulling out barely going the speed limit, driving in a direction that Lincoln seemed to pick up on almost immediately. “Why are we driving in the direction of Uncle Kaleb’s restaurant?” Link eyed Sage suspiciously. All Sage done was smile innocently, “Kaleb texted saying Kayden wanted to see me.” Lincoln snatched his cell phone off the car charger looking at Sage’s text messages, “Okay, he did say that, but we aren’t bringing the trips home with us.” “Be nice,” Sage chuckled, “soon we will have a little one that will demand our time. Would you deny the baby family time if it wanted to see Kaleb or the triplets?” “I feel this is leading to me being tricked into something,” Link shifted in his seat. “Is my Pop threatening you, or blackmailing you to irritate me today?” As they pulled into the restaurant parking lot Sage shut off the car, “You’re definitely being a drama queen today Babe, although I do fear the shit out of your Pop. That vein poppin’ thing in his forehead is just plain creepy.” Sage hopped out of the car rounding to the passenger door and opening it. “Come on my prince,” He offered his hand to Lincoln to escort him inside. Jonathan hid behind the hostess station peering out the plate glass window, “They’re here!” He shouted to the group as he ran to hide with the rest of the guests. He plastered himself next to his pop peering up at him. “Pop, don’t be mean to Sage today, okay?” His pop looked into his sons very young eyes feeling guilty. “I’ll be nice. I promise.” “Good, he’s really cool and you’re always mean to him. It’s not fair,” the kid admonished his pop in a way only a young kid can do with their big damn innocent doe eyes and damn mature logic – when it suits them. Not that they know they are doing it. Kids see everything simply. “You’re a good kid, you know that?” Blu said running his hand over his son's head affectionately. “Because I’m yours, pop.” Blu’s heart shattered into a million pieces for so many reasons. The front door opened as Link lectured Sage at being sneaky today, “I swear, I have Clippers on speed-dial from when Bella’s psycho cat was spayed. I’m sure they will be willing to do the deed.” Sage rolled his eyes, “Yes Dear.” He just let his boyfriend continue to ramble since the young man seemed oblivious to the decorations. Kasey who was huddled with Shawn, “Can we yell surprise yet?” He said it loud enough that Shawn slapped his palm against his own forehead. Lincoln stopped dead in his tracks, “Surprise? Sage? What the hell did you do?” His grip on Sage’s hand tightened. The rest of the group of family shouted “Surprise!” “Our baby shower?” Link placed his free hand over his heart, “I still can’t believe our little one will be here in no time. I’m sorry I was bein’ such a bitch, babe.” Cole ran by covered in pink glittery make-up, “you’s no botch, her is,” he pointed at Kassidy, “I no wants to be princess.” Kaleb had accepted the fact his kids were ‘special’ and shrugged his shoulders at least Kayden was calm, somewhere above Nan would be laughing her ass off. He flicked his son’s ear, “Language, Cole. Now scoot.” “Ouchie,” Cole yelped rubbing his ear, “you mean,” he screeched while running to his papa. “Papa, daddy hurt me.” Davis picked his son up who was delicately primped in pink thanks to his daughter. “Well, buddy, you said a bad word and he didn’t hurt you.” He placed a kiss on the side of their son’s head, “Off you go,” glancing at his daughter, “Kassidy if you insist on decorating your brother at least let him pick the color.” Cole puffed his chest up, “I no wants to be princess,” he broke into a run heading toward Kasey and Shawn. Kasey tapped Shawn on the shoulder whispering, “See these kids could make us rich if we get them to push Uncle Kaleb and Davis’ buttons, they break out swearing.” He got an evil grin on his face, “And, Bam, lotsa money in the bank.” Lincoln and Sage stood nearby his cousins listening to the conversation, “that kid could make money without much trouble. We’re never letting him babysit when he’s old enough.” Sage continued to make rounds as Lincoln sat speaking with his Uncle’s business partner, he stopped standing beside Kyle and Blu. Shoving his hands into his pockets to hide his nervousness of being around Blu, “I got him here, but he has threatened to have me neutered at Clippers. I’m a little intimidated of that threat after getting the cat litter dropped on my nuts.” Kyle pinched Blu’s inner arm as he opened his mouth giving him a warning look not to say a word. “Ha, yeah he can get bitchy when he’s in a mood,” Blu stated. “While it’s just us three, I’d like to ask your permission to take Lincoln out on like a real date,” Sage shifted nervously from one foot to the other, “like dinner and a movie type of date.” Throwing his head back with a laugh Kyle squeezed the young boy’s shoulder. “You don’t need our permission. If I were you two I’d get as much dating in as you can before the baby comes.” “I know Mister Waters tolerates me,” Sage shrugged his shoulders, “I’m trying to be respectful, and I’d never intentionally hurt your son. I love him with all of my heart, I’ve been through being hurt from people I loved.” He took a deep breath releasing it slowly, “My sister and me didn’t have a great home.” Blu frowned assessing the kid, he glanced at his husband then back to Sage. “No wonder you spend so much time at our house,” he grumbled, “are you… is it unsafe at home now?” Sage glanced down at the floor steeling himself, it was a defensive mechanism that he had become accustomed to over the years. “When I came out to them, my parents that is, well they beat me near to death. I told you, Mister Waters, I know what Levi is goin’ through. When I woke up three months after the beating,” Sage wipe at his eyes quickly trying to dry them so Blu wouldn’t think he was weak, “I can’t… I don’t remember things real well. They went to jail, Valerian came home from college when he was told Thyme was in foster care and I was in the hospital.” “Fuck me,” Blu uttered, he stepped over to the kid scaring the bejeezus out him when the man gave him the biggest bear hug he’d had in his entire life. “I’m so sorry, kid,” he whispered into his ear. He tensed after being called a kid, “I don’t need pity, felt bad and mad, and just plain pissed off a long time.” Sage loosened the leather band that was wrapped around his wrist uncovering a gnarly looking scar, “I uh… well… I umm push Val and Thyme away and wouldn’t let them support me. My own parents didn’t want me,” he shrugged his shoulders, “Why live, you know? Well a shit ton of therapy and medicine that I’m told I have to take for the rest of my life, I’ve found who I am and who I love. Funny thing is if Thyme didn’t suck at picking out boyfriends, I wouldn’t have found Lincoln at that parenting class.” He let out a dry chuckle at the irony of his life. “You know Link’s had a hard young life, why haven’t you told him?” Blu asked curiously. He glanced over at Link who still had his back toward him. “Mister Waters I’m gonna let Lincoln know all this shit, I swear.” Sage rubbed his temples, he got headaches sometimes when he got stressed. “I just don’t want him overwhelmed by my shit, he’s the sweetest person I know that wears his heart on his sleeve.” Levi walked over with Spartan by his side, “Hey, Sage you gotta see the outfit Brody and I gave Link.” He spotted how red-faced his friend was, turning to his dads, “Dad, why’d you let Pop upset Sage? On today of all days, it was meant to be special for Link and Sage too.” Sage stood there staring at his friend quietly not sure what to say, at the fierceness of his friend protecting him. “Levi, stop,” Kyle said calmly placing his arm around Blu’s shoulders. “It’s wrong Dad, just because Pop can intimidate Sage. He never acts like a bully to anybody else,” Levi looked directly into Blu’s eyes, “I love you Pop, but you taught us to treat people with respect.” He shook his head and leaned into Sage’s shoulder, the teen that seemed to know the shit storms that came upon him and didn’t judge him. “You’re right,” Blu said, his eyes stinging while he felt completely ashamed of himself. He cleared his throat. “I’m sorry. I…” he pointed to Link, “just going to…” The three of them watched as Blu made his way to Link pulling him aside and exchanged a few words, Link glanced quickly over at Sage smiling. Blu hugged his son and then to their surprise Blu walked out of the restaurant without another word to anyone. “Damn, did I say something I shouldn’t have?” Levi asked after Blu left the building, “I didn’t freak out, did I?” “No, no you didn’t.” Kyle still looking at the door where his husband departed. “It was a long time coming. I’m sorry Sage. Look, guys, give pop some time okay. I think he’s… just give him some time. He loves you kids, more than anything in this world. Okay?” Sage looked around at the people he considered friends, hell a part of him felt like he was family. “I’m sorry if I upset him, Mister Waters. I figured if he knew some of who I was, he might trust me.” Kyle placed a hand on Sage’s shoulder, “Son, first off the Mister Waters stuff has to stop. I get called that enough at work.” He offered a warm smile, “Call me Kyle or Dad, whichever you’re most comfortable with. Blu will let you know what to call him, just give him time to gather his thoughts. One thing I can tell you, Sage, is that you will always be welcome in our home consider it a safe place if you need one.” “Thanks, umm…” Sage looked at the hand that was offering him support, “Dad, not that I ever really had one but it seems a fitting title for you.” Spartan put his cold wet nose in Levi’s hand, pulling him back from some distant place. “I missed something, didn’t I? Pop, wasn’t really intimidating Sage, was he?” Sage shook his head, “No, he was being okay.” Offering a sad smile he said, “I told your dads why I understood so much about your injury. But I owe your brother an explanation before I can share more with you Levi.” “It’s cool dude-man,” Levi patted his friend’s shoulder. “It’s your story to tell.” Kaleb stood up on the stage that was used for banquets and wedding clearing his throat and tapping on the microphone, “If I could have everybody’s attention. Yep up here,” He waved his hand, “See I’ve known this little shit,” he grabbed Lincoln by the collar pulling him backward before wrapping an arm around his shoulders, “since the day my brother and brother-in-law drug their trio home. This boy cause quite a few laughs for all of us and Nan, god rest her soul. That candy bag was always a load of laughs,” he chuckled, “and some pretty decent treats if you could find its hiding spot. Well, this young man is about to become a parent. Don’t say I didn’t warn you but the poopy diapers at three am in the morning really suck. But you’ve already found a partner that wants to share in the dirty diapers and early feeding, take it as a blessing that you have people to support you and the little one.” ***** Sage laid snuggled in the bed with Lincoln a few weeks later, watching some cheesy horror movie that probably cost as much as a single pizza to create with make-up that Kassidy was capable of doing. After a watching a bit of the movie, Sage told Link about his past. “So, I told your Pop at the baby shower and that’s why I guess he left. I never wanted to hide anything about my life from you Lincoln, but I don’t want pity either.” “S’okay,” Link said pressing his lips to Sage’s leaving him with a short tender kiss. “I guess that explains why pop’s been avoiding us though,” Lincoln told him sadly, “pop’s sister killed herself when she was twelve.” He snuggled in closer to Sage gathering as much comfort from him as he could. “Oh my god,” Sage whispered. “Yeah,” Lincoln replied. “Pop was only little at the time, but it’s always seemed to have haunted him. Usually, he can’t stand bullies, but he’s been a little… weird lately, especially with you. I don’t know why.” “Think if I tried to talk to him again it might be alright?” Sage asked with concern, “I mean I know my decisions affected Val and Thyme, I was just lucky to survive my crazed actions.” “Yeah, maybe.” Link sighed. “Do you want to go and see what the other’s are up to? I feel a little left out lately. Everyone seems to be giving us a wide berth.” “Let's go,” Sage kissed the top of Lincoln’s head. Rolling over he planted his feet standing up offering his boyfriend a hand, “Babe, I love you. Thanks for being a part of my life.” “So, sappy. But I love it and you.” Link smiled as the door burst open Jonathan grinning like a loon. “Link, Sage, come play,” he said excitedly, “Brody is teaching me how to play baseball, Shawn and Kasey are here, and the trips and Brent even promised he and Derek were going to join in. Come on, hurry.” The kid practically bounced out of the room. “Come on, hurry.” He waved Levi’s old glove at them. “Levi said I could use this, how cool is that?” Sage chuckled at the kid's enthusiasm, “Do ya think our little one is gonna grow up as cute?” “Way cuter!” Lincoln chuckled. On the way outside Sage spotted Blu setting in a lounge absorbing some rays while watching the chaos unfolding with Levi and Cody both trying to coach Jonathan. “Cody, I’m older, I can’t play but I know what the hell I’m doing,” Levi grumbled. The kid waved his hand forward toward Jonathan, “Have at it then, stop being a grouch and do your thing. Coach Drama Queen.” Sage shook his head at the bickering, “I’m gonna go talk to your Pops and see if I can get him to participate in the loving baseball drama.” Kissing his boyfriend quickly he headed over to where Blu was lounging, plopping himself in the lounge directly beside the man. “How’s it going, Mister Waters?” Blu gave the kid a cursory nod. “Good.” “So, don’t be mad or anything but Link told me about your sister,” Sage glanced over at the man who was wearing sunglasses. Blu’s focus remained on Sage giving him his full attention but stayed silent. “Blu, is it ok to call you that?” Sage scratched his forehead, “If you’re anything like my siblings, they didn’t understand my actions when I tried suicide. I felt so alone, maybe your sister felt the same way? I mean I’ve been told depression is different in everybody.” Taking a deep breath Sage pushed on with the conversation, “If me being here makes you feel uncomfortable I can leave, it’s just you seem uptight since I told you about my life. And Link is starting to feel avoided by the family, which isn’t fair to him.” The older man stared Sage down behind his glasses, his jaw ticked in aggravation. “Maybe it’s not about you. I’ve never said you weren’t welcome here, if you leave and break my kid's heart I will hunt you down, don’t think I won’t. Just give me some space to work out my own shit, and maybe the kids are avoiding Link is to give you two some time and space because your lives are about to change.” Blu stood and went inside the house. Sage sighed and stood taking his shirt off he threw it on the lounge and went to join his boyfriend, partway there he stopped and turned around heading inside hunting down Blu. Locating the man pacing in the office with his husband who stared at the man who was venting. Seeing the situation Sage turned and went to leave until his name was mentioned. “No, Blondie, I won’t apologize. He was so condescending, ‘Can I call you Blu?’ What kind of crap is that?” Blu huffed. “The kid thinks everything is about him. He doesn’t even think we have a past, he brought up Rain, like it’s the same thing. Well, it’s not!” “Babe, it kind of is the same though,” Kyle sighed. “I think Sage is just trying to find some common ground and help you reach it.” “Suicide is common ground now?” Blu’s voice rose. “Jesus fucking Christ, Blondie. You think I’m not ashamed of how I’ve acted toward the kid. I’m an asshole, a bully, just like all those assholes that caused my sister to…” Sage heard a sob come from the man. “Hey,” Kyle said, Sage knew he must have been hugging his husband. “C’mon, babe, you’re not a bully,” the man chuckled sadly. “Not usually anyway. The kid just seems to rub you the wrong way. You just need to remember he loves Link. He’s not given us one reason to doubt him.” They were silent for a few moments. “You need to find a way to let go of your own anger, this isn’t you. Please?” Sage could hear them kissing then the door slam shut and other noises came from the office which told Sage it was time to get the hell out of there before he was scarred for life. Jogging out the back door he considered running straight across the yard and not stopping until he reached the Canadian border – it would only take a month or so if he didn’t stop for rest. Reaching Lincoln’s side his face scrunched up, “I doubt your dads are joining this baseball games unless it goes into extra innings.” “Hey, are you girls going to gossip all day or join the game?” Kaleb called out to the two young men huddled together in the makeshift outfield. “Yep, I’ll play the outfield it looks sexy,” Sage smirked at Lincoln. “Well, cover the gap over there. Or, you could just go to the laundry room…” Kaleb winked at Link. Levi’s eyes went wide and had a shit-eating grin, “He doesn’t have the balls, and Pop would pop a blood vessel.” “I have my own room for shenanigans, just play and mind your own bees wax.” Link gave his brother the bird, so did Cole. “Are you happy now,” Kaleb griped pointing to his kid. “Cole, time out. Go and sit on that chair for five minutes,” Davis told his son firmly then followed the kid to tell him why he was in trouble – again. “Remember there are kids around Lincoln.” “We will Davis,” Sage said as he swatted Link in the ass. “Link you caused this, it’s only fair if Cole is in time-out so are you. Five minutes for bad influence.” He swatted his boyfriend’s butt again. “Kiss first.” Link pecked Sage’s lips quickly then thumped the guys arm with a grunt then joined Cole and Davis for the lecture. Jonathan was up to bat, Levi had shown him how to stand in the batters box and how to hold the bat and to swing through the ball. Cody was pitching, the ball hurled into Kaleb’s glove who was playing catcher as the bat flew at Cody’s head. “What the hell?” Cody shouted. “Levi, did you teach him to do that? Did he Jonathan?” “No, I swear,” he said looking almost in tears. “I’m sorry.” Levi laughed rubbing Jonathan’s back as he shot back at Cody. “Trust me, if I taught him to throw the bat at you he would have his the mark, dude.” He turned back to Jonathan with a grin and whispered, “Nice shot, yeah?” his brother gave him a sad smile. “This time hold on to the bat, okay?” “Yeah, but a bug was flying in my face so I let go last time,” Jonathan stated simply. Levi winked at Jonathan, “Nah, that’s just Cody’s face. You’ll get used to it. Now, remember what I said, it’s all about timing. Keep your eye on the ball and have the bat meet it. I’ll get Cody to slow down his pitches, if not we’ll put Brody in, he’s not as good as Cody at pitching he’s a better catcher.” Levi smirked. Kaleb choked, “Holy shit, keep the bedroom talk off the field coach.” “Bite me, Uncle Kaleb,” Levi shook his head. “What bedroom talk?” the kid screwed up his cute little face confused. Brody trotted over shaking his head, “They’re talking about grown-up stuff just ignore them they are worse than little kids. You’re doing fine Jonathan,” he patted the boy on the back. “Okay, Cody give him a slow pitch let your brother get a hit.” “I’ll try,” Cody sighed, “I didn’t know you played catcher?” he said to Brody. Brody looked over his shoulder at his boyfriend. “Asshole.” Jonathan scowled at the curse word. “That’s five minutes, Brody. Cole got in trouble and so did Lincoln.” Brody took his glove off stuffing it under his arm, “Damn, this game is giving penalties like a god-forsaken hockey game without the contact.” Turning to look at Cody, “And just for your information I’m the pitcher in bed, your brother catches quite gracefully.” “Oh, seriously,” Kaleb covered his face with his glove. “That’s honestly more than I ever needed to know.” “You’re not allowed to play with balls in the house,” Kayden called out, “it’s naughty.” “It’s naughty, alright,” Brody grumbled to the slowly filling penalty bench. “Are we playing or what?” Kyle called out to everyone dragging Blu behind him as they crossed to the grass area. He took in Davis, and an upset Cole, an amused Lincoln and grumpy Brody. “What’s all this?” Kaleb smirked, “They’re all in the time-out penalty box. Cole got five minutes for flipping the bird after Link flipped Levi. Link was given the time-out by Sage for instigating Cole’s time-out. Brody… well are you really sure you want to know his infraction?” “Probably not,” Kyle answered. Blu sat down next to Brody. “I’ll just save time and take my seat here,” Blu said to Kyle. Kayden looked at Kyle, “Brody pitches in bedroom and Levi catches the balls.” Blu glared at Brody. “is that right?” “Uh-huhs but Levi says he pitchs toos n Brody catches,” Kayden scratched his head. “They allowed to play wif balls in bed but we can’t.” “No, they aren’t. But, we’ll be having a chat about it after dinner. Won’t we?” he said sternly looking between the two offenders. “Well, shit,” Levi mumbled and Jonathan pointed to the penalty box. “Come on Spartan we know our place,” the pair made way to the over-flowing penalty box, “make room Pops the area is gonna need expanded.” “You can just sit here, right next to me.” Blu patted the spot on the bench beside him away from Brody. He leaned in to talk quietly with Levi. “We will be having that chat after dinner, Levi.” The kid just nodded his head letting Spartan’s coat calm him as he run his fingers through the dogs fur. Cody chuckled as he looked into the penalty box, “We could get a really cute family picture of you guys.” Kyle brought his phone from his pocket snapping a photo of all the offenders sighing. “We can start the wall of shame with this photo. I’m a proud man standing here right now.” He stated as Kasey sidled up next to him and started pointing his finger along the line of criminals. “You owe me fifty cents,” he told Cole, “You owe me two-fifty, Lincoln. Five dollars for you Brody and Levi. Uncle Blu you’re already covered under our standing agreement. By the way your payment is late this month. I checked my account this morning.” Sage was sitting in the outfield, where he gained the companionship of Shawn and Kayden. Kayden pointed at Kasey, “How he not in bad box?” “I have no idea,” Shawn sighed, “he’s sneaky, I’ll admit that. I think he likes the money too much.” Sage chuckled over the whole Brody and Levi ‘pitching and catching’ situation, then glanced at Blu who sat himself in the penalty box – was he playing catcher in the office earlier god I honestly don’t wanna know. His whole body shuddering at the thought of Blu having sex at all. ***** A week later Sage showed up ringing the doorbell in his least holey of clothes and nicest button-down over a t-shirt for Lincoln and his date in one hand a CD of his boyfriend’s favorite band, in the other a couple of boxed cheesecakes he bought from Kaleb’s restaurant. He waited patiently for the door to open. Link flung the door open, “Sage, you gotta see. I got it in the mail, it’s him. It shows his thingy.” He grabbed his boyfriend dragging him by the arm not giving him a chance to say a word into his bedroom. Lincoln tried thrusting something into Sage’s already filled hands, “Babe, I’d love to look at whatever you want me to, however, I brought something for you and stuff for the family.” Sage handed the CD to Lincoln who might have glanced at it before it being sat on the nightstand. “Thanks, can I show you his thingy now? It’s so cool.” Levi stated like a hyperactive individual. Sage chuckled setting the cheesecakes on Lincoln’s desk, “Okay, now what am I supposed to look at?” Lincoln shoved this 3D sonogram image in Sage’s hand. “See right there?” Link pointed, “That’s our boy’s thingy, his dinky.” He said excitedly, “We’re having a boy, one of the people from the attorney office sent it over earlier. You’re the first person I told or showed or whatever!” He practically floated around the room, “We can buy his clothes now, and one of those music playin’ things for his crib. But it has to play good music.” Sage looked at the picture, he could definitely see it was of a baby but not much else but he wasn’t a doctor. “Wow, our boy is definitely hung,” he chuckled which earned him a smack in the head. Link glared at Sage, “Be nice it’ll grow. Grab those cheesecakes, we’ll take them to the kitchen then we’re goin’ shopping.” He tapped his foot expectantly, “Hurry up Sage, we need to buy a car seat, no two of them one for your car and one for the one I don’t have yet. Oh, and one of those playpen things, and Teddy Bears. Kids like teddy bears, don’t they?” Sage smiled affectionately at his excitable Lincoln leaning his head down and kissing him. “I love you. We can do whatever you want, baby. I just want to spend time with you.” “Love you too,” Link kissed his boyfriend then paused, “Do they make cute little boardshorts like you wear to the beach?” Sage shook his head laughter filling the house, “I have a feeling this is going to be an interesting shopping trip.” The boys stopped long enough to put the cheesecakes in the fridge and left a note on the island telling the rest of the family they would be back later. ***** Four-and-a-half hours later the pair returned home, not only was Sage’s SUV’s hatch filled but the entire back seat was filled from floor to ceiling. Lincoln and Sage both carried two car seats, at Link’s insistence that both of them would need car seats and both grand-dads need one too. Getting to the front door, Lincoln realized he had no clue where is house keys were so he started tapping the doorbell button like a maniac. Blu opened the door, to have two car seats thrust into his hands by Lincoln, “Hi, Pop, those are yours and Dads.” “Uh… sure. Um, does my credit card have the numbers still raised on it?” Blu asked stepping back to let Link and Sage through the door. Link bent down to grab a few more bags beside him. The boys entered the house heading toward Link’s room, Blu put the car seats on the floor stepping out to see Sage’s SUV still stuffed with more boxes. “Holy shit!” he shook his head going back into the house calling up the stairs. “Boys, come help your brother empty the cargo container in the driveway.” The thundering and less than enthusiastic thuds came behind Blu from where he now stood on the porch scratching his head. It felt like it was about to explode as Kyle pulled in behind Sage’s vehicle. Sage came to a halt standing beside Blu, “I swear Blu, he was like a possessed shopper. If it was cute and somewhat close to a shade of blue he bought it. I had no clue you could get customized teddy bears, but he found a shop that made them on the spot.” “Fuck me,” Blu said flabbergasted. “Me or Kyle should have gone with you guys.” “I probably would have preferred you, for some reason Kyle would just let him get whatever he wanted, not what he needed.” Sage scratched his head too, Kyle smiling at them both as he got closer. “Looks like he got everything he needed.” He kissed Blu and waltzed into the house. Sage gave Blu a look that said “See?” Then he spotted the two boxes tied onto the luggage rack, “Can you please tell Link we don’t need two cribs? I tried reasoning with him, it didn’t work.” “Oh, I believe you. Fuck, did he even get diapers?” “Do you think three cases are enough?” Sage chuckled, “And you don’t even want to know about baby wipes and shampoos and all the other things he called necessities. Each of us has a babybag with our names on them, I’m not even sure why.” “Fuck.” Blu sighed. “We’re going to have to sit down with him and sort all this crap out. What we can send back we will. The rest….” Blu shook his head. “Holy crap,” Brody exclaimed from beside Blu scaring the shit out of him. “Some help, guys,” Lincoln swanned by them heading for the car. “The Amish made rocking chair and dresser will be delivered Friday,” Sage stated as he watched his boyfriend bark orders at his brothers. “By the way when he shows you the baby’s sonogram, don’t make fun or laugh at the size of the babies junk,” he motioned toward his crotch, “I got smacked over it.” Blu snorted a laugh. “I’ll be sure to school my reaction.” “Pop, why aren’t you helping?” Link asked stumbling up the stairs to the door, he could barely see where he was walking. He shook his head. “Sorry, just calculating how long I’m going to have to sell my ass on the corner to pay for all this crap.” That earned him a smack to the head from his husband. “Shush, he’s excited.” Sage snickered from next to Blu, which in turn earned him a smack to the back of the head from Kyle. “Stop it.” “Have you ever seen a Chihuahua try humping a stuffed animal? Imagine that energy being spent shopping at a frantic pace. I’m sure credit card companies all over the world are happy today,” Sage saw his other half glaring at him, “I’ll be right there dear.” Blu slapped Sage on the back. “Get used to it, kid. He takes after his dad,” he said while avoiding his husband's hand to his head – again. “One question,” Kyle look at Sage, “everything is blue, does that mean?” “Yes, and ask him to show you the babies dinky,” Sage smirked to Blu. “His dinky, how the hell can you see something that small on a picture?” Kyle asked nobody in particular. After all of the boxes and bags were in the house there was barely a walkway through Link’s bedroom or the hall as the boys called strike and refused to unpackage the stuff they had to cart inside of the house. Sage sat in the middle of the dining room floor looking at the assembly directions for the crib that both Link and he loved. “Is this shit even possible without an engineering degree?” He asked spotting Blu. “Uh…” he looked at all the parts strewn around the space. “I have to… poop. Have fun.” Blu fled the room with a maniacal laugh. “Coward,” Sage mumbled. He swore the first poopy diaper would find its way into the wastebasket on Blu’s side of his bedroom.
  5. Dahawk

    Finding Hope

    Four months had passed since Levi was attacked, he had completed a ton of intense in-house therapy. Levi often found himself frustrated for not being able to do everything the way he used to, or even fast enough for his likings. Since he returned home, it felt like Brody is always on the receiving end of his outbursts. This also left Levi angry and ashamed most of the time. Levi and Brody were playing ‘Baseball All-Stars’ on the Wii game system with Lincoln and Sage in the living room while the rest of the family was relaxing out near the pool. Levi took a swing at a pitch that he miss-timed and lost his balance when his vision blurred more than normal causing Brody to try to steady him. “Stop it!” the teen jerked his shoulder away from his boyfriend. “I don’t need to be treated like a freak,” Levi teetered on the edge of a meltdown. “I didn’t–” “Just save it, Brody, I’m so sick of everybody treating me like I’m an invalid who barely can wipe his own ass,” Levi shouted as he shook from his own emotions. Brody reeled back his eyes filling with tears, he ran from the room causing Sage to follow after the boy who he considered to be a friend over the time he spent with Link’s family. Link looked at his twin, “Seriously? Brody loves you, you jackass.” He sighed and shook his head, as Levi slouched on the couch overcome with frustration. ***** Sage found Brody sitting on the edge of the pool with his feet dangling in the water distancing himself from the rest of the family. Even the laughter and quiet conversation echoing from the other side of the yard was no comfort. If anything it made him feel more alone. He brought one foot up resting on the side, his chin leaning on his bent knee. He wiped away the few tears he’d allowed to spill since he sat down hoping no one had seen him. Placing his hand on Brody’s shoulder as he shucked off his shoes lowering himself beside his friend dipping his feet into the water gingerly testing the temperature. “Hey, B, you mind some company?” Nodding his head before pausing and then shaking his head, “Nah, he can be so mean sometimes.” Brody wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, “He tries so hard, Sage, he places so many unrealistic expectations on himself.” Sage sighed placing his arm across Brody’s shoulder giving him a squeeze, “Dude, you don’t need to make excuses when Levi plays the ass. I think you deserve so much credit man,” Sage removed his arm from the teen’s shoulder when he eyed Blu vigilantly watching from his chair with the other family members. “You’re a saint dealing with those tantrums of Levi’s.” “I love him, you know.” Brody sighed. “I do, I get it. At some point, you’re going to have to push back. I don’t mean create drama or problems but let him know that you’re there for him no matter what, but you’re not his punching bag.” Brody rolled his head watching Sage as he spoke, the boys gaze fixed on the water, distant, as if he was speaking from experience in someway. Had he gone through the same thing at one time? He found Sage somewhat wise for a kid their age. He gently bobbed his head in recognition of Sage’s advice and quietly went back to searching the pool water for some type of epiphany or answers. ***** Sage peeked his head into his and Link’s room, “I’m gonna check on your stubborn brother.” Lincoln paused from reading ‘What to expect when you’re expecting’ which was the newest of his parenting books. “I think he’s in his room, he knows he screwed the pooch.” Snickering and rolling his eyes Sage smirked, “So eloquent, Babe. Love ya, be right back.” He turned trotting off in the direction of the stairs. Taking the stairs two at a time Sage made quick-time getting to the door of Levi’s bedroom. He paused knocking on the door frame since the teen left the door slightly open. “What?” Levi laid in his bed staring at the ceiling. Sage opened the door a little further poking his head around, “Can we talk dude?” “Why bother?” Levi let out a long exasperated sigh crossing his arms protectively across his chest. Casually strolling across the room plopping down on the bed beside quite possibly his future brother-in-law, he stretched out elbowing him, “Levi, you really need to cut yourself some slack. Brody, your family, and well I guess we all only want you to be happy.” He laid next to Levi with his hands comfortably set behind his head. “It’s hard being happy all the time,” Levi elbowed Sage then he gave him a slight shove and chuckled, “Umm… dude-man you do realize your sock has a hole in it? Your big toe is sticking out.” Sage raised his leg in the air so they could see his digit sticking through on proud display. “He’s cute, I think we should name him.” He rolled his head grinning at Levi. “God, Sage you’re a dork.” Levi chuckled, “I approve of my brother dating you, even with your horrible sense of style.” Letting out a sigh, “Aren’t gay guys supposed to have some fashion sense?” He shrugged his shoulder, “Aren’t gay guys supposed to be able to handle hard times better?” he snickered at his double entendre. “Our community is riddled with an over abundance of sensless tragedy and difficult times. A lot of people lost their lives, families, identity, you name it.” He shook his head gently looking up at the ceiling. “Don’t you see how lucky you are? You still have all of those things, with everyone’s support – if you let them – you’ll find yourself again, and a new normal.” He sat up quickly giving Levi a thump to the shoulder. “Soldier up, dude. Apologize to your man in the good way.” Sage waggled his eyebrows at Levi grinning. He swung his legs over the side of the bed bouncing onto his feet leaving the bedroom with a swagger. Levi’s eyes followed the guy as he left the room pondering his words. They were almost what Brent had said to him. Levi sighed, “Maybe they’re right,” he mumbled. Forcing himself out of bed, Levi went on the search for his beautiful boyfriend promising himself this is the last apology he would owe him. He would do better, he had to do better. “I have to stop feeling sorry for myself.” ***** Sage entered the kitchen to find Blu standing at the counter with a beer. It almost felt like he was waiting for him, his spidey-senses tingling. His boyfriend’s pop’s scrutinized him from head to toe, clearing his throat before he spoke. “Thank you.” Scratching his head with puzzlement, “For what exactly?” Blu chuckled dropping his gaze to the label of his beer picking at the edges, he cleared his throat again. “For what you said to Levi,” he held up a hand, “I wasn’t eavesdropping,” he tilted his head, “not on purpose anyway. I came in to go to the restroom and talk to Levi but you were already in there.” The man gave Sage a nod. “Thank you.” “Mr. Waters, I know you don’t necessarily like me or trust me.” Sage shoved his hands into his pockets, “I know what Levi’s going through, and family means everything or it should.” “Hmm, okay. Well, thank you again.” Blu went to leave stopping to turn back to Sage. “I don’t not like you kid, I just don’t trust you yet with my baby boys heart - yet. We’ll see how you go, huh?” He stated and left. Sage shrugged his shoulders turning to head to Link’s room – ‘It’s a start,’ he thought to himself. He didn’t appear to want to drive down a highway and hurl Sage out into oncoming traffic at the moment, maybe, just maybe, Jack Frost was thawing out. ***** Sage walked into Lincoln’s bedroom as a cellphone whistled passed his head a popping sound of the screen breaking as it hurled against the wall. “You bitch!” Link screamed with rage, yet filled with worry. “Uh, I haven’t even said anything yet but I agree I can be a bitch,” Sage deadpanned at his boyfriend trying for amusement but failing miserably. Link’s stared at Sage with his mouth hanging open while trying to make sense of how Sage claimed to be a bitch, when the first and god willing last female he will ever “be with” has found a new way to destroy his life. “I uh… you are so not a bitch.” He pointed at his cellphone, “that thing… she… oh fucking no way is she gonna do this.” “What happened?” Sage asked sitting down next to Link pulling him into his arms. Lincoln tried to slow his ragged breathing, “Melissa wants me to pay her from some supposed trust fund her ‘daddy’ found out about. If I can’t come up with the money that she wants they are threatening to put the baby up for adoption.” “Hmm,” Sage kissed the top of Links head. “Can they even do that? Wouldn’t they need your permission as the father to even try?” “I don’t know? Everytime Melissa talks to me, my life turns to shit.” Lincoln’s hands shook from nerves, “I need to talk to my dads, I’d talk to the entire family but I don’t think they can handle much more stress after Levi’s attack.” Clutching his hands together he looked at Sage, “I tried dealing with Melissa on my own, back when she first got pregnant.” “Shh, shh, shh,” Sage cooed softly into the top of Link’s head. He pulled his boyfriend into his lap enveloping as much of him as possible. “I think… first, we need you to calm down. Second, I think it’s wise to get your dads help. This isn’t something you can do on your own. I don’t think anyone would if they didn’t have to. Do you want me to text your dad and ask him to come in here, ask him to do it discreetly so you can talk to just him first. I think your pop might lose his shit – just guessing.” He chuckled. The door burst open and Jonathan started to run in stopping at where the broken cellphone laid on the floor, spotting his brother upset in Sage’s arms the boy turned and ran from the room. With the door to the room still hanging open, the boys could hear Kyle’s voice. “Blu for the love of God, slow down and calm down.” A few moments passed, “Don’t give me that look, you can be so unreasonable sometimes.” Blu whirlwind into the room with Kyle in pursuit of his now nearly psychotic looking husband, glaring at Sage who was holding his baby boy in his perverted lap. “What the hell?” Blu raged. “What did you do to him?” his face red with that one pulsating vein in his forehead that freaked Sage out every time it appeared. Sage’s eyes were huge, he expected Blu to be unreasonable but this man was causing his seventeen-year-old heart to have palpitations. “I… umm,” Sage’s throat felt very dry, “I was only trying to uh–” “Dammit Blu, stop trying to grab Sage,” Kyle said as he attempted to keep ahold of his wiry husband who seemed to be able to wiggle more than a venomous snake at the moment. “MELISSA!” Sage yelled grimacing at his outburst, “It’s Melissa,” he said in his normal volume clearing his throat, “she threatened Link.” Sage pulled tighter around Lincoln nuzzling into the boy's neck. “Oh,” Blu stopped struggling pulling himself together, “why didn’t you say so.” He turned to his husband with a ‘What the fuck’ expression. Kyle shook his head sweeping his hand through his hair. “You’re an idiot. I told you Sage didn’t do anything. I suggest you apologize and go back outside with the other children while I sort this out. Then I’ll come find you.” He tugged on his husband’s arm pulling him to the doorway, pushed him through the gap slamming the door then locking it.” Blu banged on the door, “Let me in or I’m keeping the triplets here for the weekend.” Sage and Kyle’s eyes grew big knowing Blu would do exactly that. Link sat up in Sage’s lap calling out to his pop, “Good, do it! Go and calm down old man.” Kyle texted Kaleb telling him under no circumstances was he to bring the kids over to their house today due to a situation with Lincoln’s baby’s momma. After making sure the text sent he slipped the phone back into his pocket and the boys both filled him in on the threats the teenage princess and her family were leveling he cracked open the door spotting his husband who sat on a kitchen chair glaring at the door. “I uh, Babe before you go all Bates Motel on us, maybe put on some clothes. I called George, my attorney,” Kyle looked at Blu who was approximately the shade of a well-ripened tomato, “we are to meet him at his office in forty-five minutes and I don’t think the speedo is quite appropriate.” “Pop, I swear to God, Sage didn’t hurt me,” Link said over top of Kyle’s shoulder who both teens were using as a shield. “Mister Waters I would never hurt Lincoln, I would rather somebody hurt me first.” Sage added his input hoping to regain some of the kindness the man had shown him earlier. Blu made a growling noise as some type of apology to Sage before heading off to get changed. Kyle shook his head truly at his wits end to know how to handle Blu and his complete and utter denial of Sage being the good guy. Jonathan came around the corner with Khan on a leash trying to drag the dog along pointing at Sage, “Get him!” The boy shouted. Cody walked by eating a hotdog with his headphones on listening to music as the dog took off after him wanting a bite of that delicious looking delicacy the teenager was eating dragging the ten-year-old by the leash since his hand was wrapped through the leash. “Woah, woah, woah,” Sage said to the dog grabbing the leash in one hand and snatching the boy off the ground in the other. “Let go, little buddy. He’ll rip your hand off.” Jonathan flicked his hand until the leash dropped, just as Blu came back into the room. He looked at Sage, then the dog, then Jonathan. “I… I was just helping,” Sage told him anxiously. Blu shrugged his shoulder dismissively. “I know.” He looked toward Kyle. “Are we going or what?” Kyle smiled as he ushered the group toward the door. “Brody, you’re in charge of this chaotic place. Be back soon,” He called out. “M’Kay,” Brody called out from wherever he was. ***** Kyle, Blu, and the boys sat in a conference room at the attorney’s office after two hours of the entire group talking together before an army of attorney descended into the office preparing for some kind of legal battle if need be. “I don’t understand?” Link exclaimed. “If you don’t get her to back off, where the hell am I going to get the money to pay the b… Melissa. There is no trust fund…” he trailed off looking at his dads closely as they eyed each other. “What? Why are you looking at each other like that?” he narrowed his eyes. Kyle cleared his throat leaning forward elbows resting on the conference table, “Well, that’s not true. Each of you kids has two trust funds, one from your Pop and I, and one from Nan. Neither is attainable until you reach twenty-five-years-of-age. I’m not even sure how Melissa’s father obtained any of that information.” George walked back in the room carrying a legal pad, “Our team in California filed an emergency declaration of paternity. However, Melissa and her father have agreed that if you were to pay all medical expenses along with surrogacy fee of fifty-five-thousand-dollars the girl and her family will consider the baby is being carried as a surrogate and sign all custodial of ‘said child’ away, once the baby is born.” The man laid the notepad down showing a bunch of legal jargon, that left the group feeling overwhelmed. Lincoln threw his hands up, “Well that’s just fuckin’ wonderful, let me just drop my pants and pull the money out of my ass!” He shouted. The attorney peered over the top of his glasses at the kid. “Young man, sit down and shut up. This is going to be dealt with and we’ll do it in a calm and adult manner.” He didn’t need to say anything further before Link realized he was lashing out and being a jerk. He sat his ass down to the angry glare of his dads and a disappointed but understanding one from his boyfriend. “Sorry, sir,” Link replied biting his thumbnail, his right leg bouncing a mile a minute on the ball of his foot. After all was said and done the framework for custody had been arranged, although the money that was being talked about still had Lincoln in the dark as to where the payment would come from since his dad had told him he couldn’t get it from his trust fund. George stood offering his hand to Kyle first and then to the other members of the family, and even Sage which cause a small smile from Lincoln that he was included. “I’ll be in touch once the baby is born to finalize the arrangements,” the attorney had state before looking at the pair of teenagers, “I hope you both realize raising children isn’t a thing to take lightly, I’m sure with your fathers Lincoln you have a solid foundation to raise your child.” “Thank you, Sir,” Lincoln laced his fingers with Sages. ***** Link dropped down on his bed after returning from the attorney’s office. Sage had headed home to spend some time with his sister as her baby due date was getting close and he’d been worried about her as the father seemed to be part-time. The ‘when he feels like it’ type of dad. He scrolled through his contact list on his phone stopping when he got to ‘Sis’. He’d been missing Bella like crazy since she’d gone back to California. Just as he went to press the call button Levi appeared in his doorway. “Hey bro,” he sauntered in flopping down laying next to his brother. “Hi, Levi.” Lincoln was sprawled on his bed, one leg bent with his foot tapping away. “I was just gonna call Bella.” “Do it,” he grinned at Link, passing him an oreo cookie from the packaging he’d been hiding. Link tapped the call button to video chat with their sister. She picked up after a few rings. “Hey, Link. Levi!” she exclaimed while her eyes filled with water. “Oh God, the water-works.” Lincoln chuckled, “Missed you too Bella.” “You guys look great.” She smiled wiping her eyes quickly. “What’s been happening back home?” “The dads and Sage and me, saw Dad’s attorney today,” Lincoln stated. “Oh, why? Is everything okay?” she asked concerned. “Uh, it is now. Melissa and her father wanted money,” Link bit his lip lightly. “What the hell? Can they do that?” Bella asked angrily, both snickered at their sister’s outrage. It had always amused them when she got angry on someone else’s behalf. The jut of her chin with her fire eyes, ones when directed at them they knew better than to argue with. “No, but yes if we want to guarantee she relinquishes custodial claims. Oh, and Bella do you know about any trust funds?” Link worried that maybe he shouldn’t broach the subject with his siblings but they weren’t little kids any longer. She screwed up her face trying for pensive then looked completely guilty, her eyes darted away from the screen. “Shit, guys I gotta go. Hey Levi, call me later shithead. I spoke with Brody earlier and promised I’d kick your ass. So call me bro. Ta Ta’s.” She ended the video chat leaving both boys with no answers but thinking she knew more than she was letting on due to her hasty exit. “Uh-huh,” Lincoln stated. “I call bullshit. Oh, and I’d say you’re about to get the ‘I’m the big sister and you will do what you’re told’.” “Ha! No doubt.” Levi bit his bottom lip. “Sorry about earlier, dude. I’m not handling this really well am I? Um, I have to go and meet the service dog this afternoon. Did you want to come?” “Levi, I will if you want me to. But, I think Brody deserves to be the one at your side. I never knew what it felt like to know how loved you can be outside the family until I met Sage. Your man needs to feel like you need him,” Lincoln kept his lecture on the casual side after seeing how dismissed Brody had felt after his twin’s last melt-down. “I know,” Levi said feeling and looking the part of devastated and asshole at the same time. ***** Kyle and Blu waited in the car while Levi and Brody went inside the dog training kennel. The trainer met them at the front desk of the facility. “Hi guys, we spoke on the phone but I’m Heather. Let me show you around and then I will take you to see Spartan. As we discussed, he is pure-bred Belgian Malinois and is eighteen-months-old.” Both of the teens had been video conferencing with the trainer off and on over the last four months but had never met her in person. The one visit the family had paid to the facility had been to meet Spartan, which the dog had taken to Levi immediately sensing his needs. “And here is your boy Spartan.” The trainer said to the dog who was at Levi’s side before she had said it. “Hi, Spartan.” Levi stated as he knelt beside his companion, “Who’s the good boy?” Levi cooed at the dog, which earned him some four-legged loving. “You’d better stop boy, or Brody’s jealous side is gonna come out,” he chuckled. “Waters you’re such a dork,” Brody shook his head as he patted the dog and offering the dog Levi’s side of the bed when they got him home. “Levi, did your Dad pick up food for Spartan?” Heather asked the teenager. “No, I bought it. He’s my responsibility and I’m Spartans.” Levi said with pride. “And I’ll babysit the both of them so they don’t get in trouble,” Brody said with a smirk. ***** A few weeks had passed when Sage dialed Levi’s phone, “Dude. Is everything all prepared for the baby shower?” Levi had told him the caterer, ‘Kaleb,’ had dropped the cake. “Uh-huh.” “I have Link on a wild-goose chase in the store.” There was a brief pause, “No Link that’s the wrong thing, babe.” The car door slammed closed. “Levi, I swear to God if I delay Link much more he will kill me. Just finish up quick.” “You know what, pop told me one time a story about how dad got his permit. Link has been putting it off. Call and see or beg for them to fit him in, don’t tell him though. That should kill a few hours if you can manage it.” Levi shrugged even though Sage couldn’t see him. “If I get kicked in the nuts by your brother I’m gonna pay it forward dude,” Sage sighed, “I’ll try and hopefully it buys you enough time to get shit straight.” “Whatever dude-man,” Levi had given his friend the nickname, “later. Kasey.do.not.feed.Spartan.cake!” Was the last thing that Sage heard as the phone disconnected. Chuckling at his phone, Sage yipped in surprise when Link pinched his arm. “Who were you talking too?” Link held up a bag of kitty litter. “Is this the right one?” “Uh… that was your…” he squinted at the poop crystals, “yeah, I think so. Um, that was your dad making sure we remembered the onions.” “What?” Link stamped his foot pissy and adorable as ever he turned back to the store grumbling to himself after dropping the bag on Sage’s lap crushing his balls. “Nobody asked for onions. What are we their little errand boys? I need a bigger allowance for this shit.” Sage held his injured crotch cursing the other twin while looking up the number for the DMV. Press 3, press 1, press 5. Everybody hates these automated services. “Thank you for calling the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your call is important to us, you are thirteenth in the cue. Please hold.” Sage rolled his eyes watching through the window in case Link came back before he could speak with someone. “For fuck sake,” Sage griped, rubbing his poor nut sac.
  6. Hi fans,

    I am unsure if there will be a chapter released this week to Life's Struggles. Last Friday my tonsils started swelling horrendously, I have been on antibiotics since. I can't speak at this point, and I'm asleep more than awake. If this isn't better by Monday I have to see the doctor. 

    If at all possible, we will try to get a chapter out.


    1. Boybig007


      Please feel better soon and take care of yourself 😘

    2. chris191070


      Hope you feel better soon and take care of yourself :hug:

  7. Blu flicked his temporary gym locker closed looking over to a frustrated Brody. “You ready for this, boxercise classes can be intense?” Blu asked the angry teenager. “Wish it was me beating whoever the hell hurt Levi,” Brody stated as he yanked a muscle shirt over his head. “Soon, very soon, I’m gonna figure out who did it.” Jonathan reached up patting Brody on the shoulder comfortingly. “You’ll figure it out, Brody.” “Yeah,” Cody said slamming his locker door closed then jumping over the bench in front of it. “Besides, karma’s a bi–” he stopped side-eyeing his pop, “beach.” He smirked nodding his head. “We’ll get ‘em.” The kid started dancing around on his feet shadow boxing. “Pow, pow,” he bellowed. “Yeah, well, you kids don’t go doing anything stupid. I don’t even think your grandpa Teddy can get you out of that kind of trouble. You come to me, Derek or your dads if find out anything. You understand?” Brent said sternly to all three boys while shoving his hands into a pair of grappling gloves. “Yeah, I agree.” Blu motioned to Brent. “Uh Huh,” Brody grunted as he slammed a fist into the weight bag. The boys and two men walked into the class, Blu watched with amusement at Brent’s surprised face as he greeted the trainer. “Gage,” Brent said excitedly, “what the fuck are you doing here, man.” They slapped hands ending in a bro hug. The trainer laughed, “Got a job here when I got back from the desert, I wanted something easy,” he shrugged a shoulder easily. He jutted his chin to a guy who entered the room. “We’ll catch up later, yeah?” “Sounds good, I’ll get your info before we leave.” “Great.” The trainer walked to the front of the room to start the session. Blu turned to Brent with a smirk. “I can’t believe I didn’t know you were a ‘bro dude’.” He chuckled at the man who he considered a friend more than their personal-security these days. “Shut the fuck-up dick nose,” Brent said out the side of his mouth. ***** Kyle, Link, and Sage decided to pay a visit to Kaleb and Davis. The elevator doors slid open, and Kyle stepped out first followed by Lincoln while he tugged a skeptical looking Sage out the door. “Don’t worry, I don’t hear Uncle Kaleb crying so she-devil must be napping,” Link said shrugging his shoulders. “One can only hope dude,” Sage glanced around checking for any signs of ambush like they previously experienced. “No paint on naked siblings that has to be a plus.” Kyle shook his head walking toward the living room, “Boys I think you’re embellishing a bit. Kaleb where are ya brother?” he called out. Kaleb flew around the corner out of the living room with his finger to his lips, “Shhhh… they are napping. Nanny number six seems to have their number.” “No shit?” Sage grimaced after he realized what he said, “I mean you’re kidding, the one I met left covered in paint, screaming all kinds of nonsense.” “She’s Brent’s sister,” Kaleb sighed, “I guess if you grew up with a teenaged bodybuilder Brent, you’d learn how to deal with kids quickly.” “Bodybuilder?” Kyle asked more than a little impressed, and more of an understanding of why the guy looked the way he did. “Oh, god, you should see the pictures,” Kaleb flapped his hand moving the air around, “Katie, has some adorable pictures of him.” He focused on the hand holding between his nephew and his friend, “so Link, am I missing a little info,” Kaleb asked as he gestured to the linked hands. “Don’t you start too,” Lincoln grumbled, “Pop, has wanted to remove doors already. I don’t get it,” Link shrugged, “Sage and me aren’t ready to try the laundry room stuff. We only just agreed to be boyfriends.” Kaleb’s eyebrow rose, “Sage, hmm… let me advise you that if you ever reach the serious thing and decide to try the laundry room don’t do it while Blu is around he’s like a bloodhound. He can sense shit that the normal person doesn’t.” Sage chuckled, “Uh, thanks, I guess.” “So are we taking bets on how long til Kassidy runs the new babysitter out of town?” Kyle asked jokingly. ***** Kyle and Blu were hosting a bar-b-que to give everybody a chance to unwind from the stress each of them has been experiencing. The home telephone began to ring, “I got it!” Cody yelled out before answering it. “Dad!” he yelled out shoving the phone at Kyle as he came out of the kitchen. ‘It’s Brody,” Cody mouthed to him. “Hey, bud,” Kyle stated to the boy. “Woah, take a breath.” Kyle said with a sigh, “Levi is just working through all the feelings from his trauma, remember what the therapist has been telling each of us.” “Do you want me to come to pick you up?” “Nobody is here for the cookout yet,” He explained to the teen. “Okay, I’ll be there in a bit.” Kyle hung up the phone. “Babe,” Kyle called out while finding his keys. “Yo?” Blu called out from the kitchen where he was cutting up vegetables. “I have to run and pick up Brody,” Kyle let out a deep breath, “Levi had a meltdown on him.” He heard Blu muttering to himself. “Yep, alright. I thought Brent was with him?” “I think Brent is going to stay with Levi.” Kyle turned the doorknob, “I don’t think Levi knows how to push his buttons the way he does to Brody.” “Yeah, the guy is unflappable. Drive safely, Blondie. Love ya,” Blu called out before he heard the door click closed. ***** Kyle walked down the hallway of the rehab to find Brody, “I told you to go the fuck home!” He heard Levi shouting as he approached his son’s door. “Levi,” Kyle said as he entered the room. Spotting Brody sobbing in a chair next to his boy. “Brody doesn’t deserve your abuse, he loves you.” “Dad, stay out of this.” Levi growled, “Brody, I can’t deal with you crying. Fuck. I can’t take all of this, it’s you have to take this therapy, oh you need to learn to walk with that fuckin’ cane. Oh n’ get this Dad,” he said sarcastically, “the idiot therapist said we should consider a service dog. A dog,” Levi ranted, “What the fuck is a dog going to do?” Kyle placed his hand on Levi’s shoulder, “Levi, a service dog will help you with tasks that are limited with your vision. Pop and I talked to your therapists, we agree with them.” “Oh, so you’re siding with them too!” Levi roared angrily. “Son, you know we all want you to get better as soon as you can.” Kyle glanced from Levi to Brody. “That boy,” He gestured toward Brody, “Has been here for you since the day you got injured. And you know your family would do anything for you, we’ve all been attending the family counseling with you to help each of us.” “I just want my old life back, Dad,” Levi’s anger faded as he broke into sobs. “And look at my hair it looks like I’m done up for Halloween, some grotesque version of the guy from ‘Friday the Thirteenth.’” “You’re not gross,” Brody stated, “but you’re definitely a grouch!” the teen chuckled trying to lighten the mood but the joke fell flat. “Brody,” Levi wipes his face with the back of his hand, “Just go home with Dad, sorry I was an ass. These therapy sesh’s suck, I can’t think straight after them.” “I love you, Levi. I’ll see you tomorrow, or maybe later tonight.” Brody kissed his boyfriend and made his way out of the room somewhat deflated. He felt emotionally exhausted and needed a little distance to regroup and calm down himself. He’s not used to Levi when he felt the way he did. Kyle hugged his son, “Levi, I love you. Pop and the boys send their love too. Brent is gonna hang with you.” Brent walked in the room wearing some old looking army sweats, “Boss,” he chuckled at Kyle who rolled his eyes. “Levi,” he said as he parked himself in a chair looking at the teen. Kyle glanced one last time at his son offering a smile before he left to find Brody. “So you’re my babysitter huh?” Levi asked the man even though he’s been like part of the family since he himself had joined it. Brent gave a disgruntled huff pulling a book from his back pocket and began to read ignoring the snotty attitude of one of his favorite kids in the world. “You’re just gonna ignore me then?” Levi crossed his arms indignantly. The man turned the page on his book, “I ain’t your punching bag Levi. You do you, man. I’m just gonna sit here and read my book, so zip it.” “Zip it?” Levi huffed “fuck you asshole. I got shoved down the stairs and I’m supposed to act like everything is another wonderful day.” “God, Levi,” Brent placed his book on the tray table as he sat forward in the chair glaring at the boy. “Do you even realize the shit you’re saying to people?” “You said to do me,” Levi gruffly stated, “well, I’m being the new me.” “For the love of god, Levi, stop acting like a brat. I get what happened to you sucks, now your whole life is going to change. You can’t keep pushing everyone away and expect them to take it. You have the sweetest boyfriend in the entire world, that kid loves you more than you deserve right now. I’ve never had that, Derek has never had that. Hell, more than half the world wish they had what you two have, and you’re going to throw it away. Get over yourself and do what you have to recover instead of whining.” “What the fuck do you know about recovering?” Levi settled in for a fight. “This,” Brent stood up and pulled his sweat pants down on his right leg displaying a gnarly scar. He watched Levi’s angry eyes soften a touch but they still had fire in them. “Three operations, four months of therapy.” He turned and lifted his shirt to show his back that had three ugly bullet wound scars. “These just missed my spine but did enough damage to keep me in rehab for close to a year.” He angrily dropped his shirt, sat back in his chair and went back to reading his book ignoring Levi. “Wow,” Levi uttered quietly. “I never knew.” The man moved his eyes to meet Levi’s gaze. “Why would you? Do you think I go around whaling on everyone because this shit happened to me. The pain, the anger, the residual mental and emotional scars can all be dealt with, Levi, they may not disappear but you learn to cope and move on best you can. The physical scars, however, will always remind you how lucky you are to still be alive and able to function, kid. We’re the lucky ones, it’s about time you start to realize it.” He again went back to his book. “You don’t understand,” Levi adjusted himself in the bed, “the vision therapy gives me bad headaches when I try to focus on stuff. Reading is hard, how am I gonna keep my grades up and go to college with Brody? He could find somebody that isn’t all fucked up.” Brent turned the book over sitting it open on his leg. “Do you have such little faith in Brody?” “Faith?” Levi rubbed his forehead, “I know he loves me, but what will he do when he figures out I can’t play ball or do the stuff we used too?” “I’m pretty sure he knows that already, and he’s still here isn’t he. Look, Levi, this all comes down to how you handle this from here. I’m not saying you can’t be angry because I sure as fuck would be too, but you need to find a different outlet for it. Use it to fuel your recovery, don’t be a man that others will pity and whisper about. This is your life, it’s in your hands. What happens from here is on you. Let yourself become the person that people are in awe of, instead of a pathetic has been because you were too busy hating the world.” “So, you’re saying even if I can’t do something,” Levi’s face scrunched up, “I can find a way to still do something that… I could like become a coach or something.” Brent shrugged his shoulder. “Sure, if that’s what you want. You can still become anything you want within your limitations, you’ll figure out what they are and how much you can take. You don’t have to change your dream, maybe adjust it a little and become the best damn whatever it is. You’re only fucked up, for now. You’re only broken, for now. You’re only angry, for now. You find a way to cope, you find a way around your limitations, you find a way, Levi. You’re still young. Learn these lessons now, they’re a lot harder to grasp once you’re an adult. Research, work hard, push yourself, over and over, and over. You’ll end up President one day if you want, can’t do any worse than the orange combover.” Brent smiled. “I’ll talk to Brody later,” Levi rubbed his temple, “he’ll help me do research. Thanks, Brent.” “Anytime, kid.” He smiled. “Now shut the fuck up and watch your stories so I can get back to my book.” “Stories,” Levi chuckled, “I’m not the one reading women’s love stories.” “My dad wrote it, jackass,” Brent said defensively. Levi laughed hardily, “Mhmm… and my Pop is gonna be Queen of England.” “I’ll be sure to curtsey in his presence next time, now shut up.” ***** Kasey flew in the door singing “Uncle Blu, where are you?” to the Scooby-Doo theme song. “You won’t find me, I’m not here.” A melodic tone in return. Shawn following quickly behind his little brother apologizing, “Sorry, he has me watching Scooby-Doo every time it’s his pick of the television. I think my ears are gonna’ fall off.” “Pop, hide your wallet,” Cody shouted, “oh my god, he even has Scooby swim trunks on.” “Don’t worry Codes, my wallet is in the safe. I knew he was coming. It wouldn’t matter anyway he has me on automatic deducation from my account. I only have to pay if I go over my quota.” Blu chuckled at his own joke, winking at Cody. Jonathan looked at Kasey and Shawn, “We gonna swim?” “As long as he quits singing,” Shawn shrugged his shoulders, “Daddy and Poppy couldn’t get him to stop since he woke up.” Lincoln and Sage were stretched out in a lounge chair together. Link squeezed Sage’s hand which laid on his stomach before whispering, “DO.NOT.SWEAR. around that kid, you’ll be indebted to him instantly,” he pointed at Kasey before the little one cannonballed into the pool. Jared ran in the pool area carrying Kasey’s floaties for swimming, “Dammit Kasey you know you’re not allowed in the pool without these floaties. What if Uncle Blu installed a shark in the pool?” He smirked toward Link and Sage. “I think the fishy guy delivered a baby shark just the other day,” Sage said barely keeping a straight face. “You’re both wrong,” Lincoln deadpanned, “it was an alligator.” “You’s lying,” Kasey climbed out of the pool shaking his head flinging water on the pair of teens. “I didn’t see nothin’ swimin’ in the water.” Kyle came out in board shorts, “Grandma and Grandpa will be here shortly,” he said as he stuck a tray of hotdogs and hamburgers in the small refrigerator in the poolside grilling area. “Jared where is Mason?” he asked as he looked around not spotting his brother-in-law. “He ran to the pharmacy to pick up earplugs for Shawn and us,” Jared stated as he stretched out on a lounge. “Why?” Kyle asked as he offered his brother a beer. “You’re nephew,” Jared pointed at Kasey, “thinks he’s the next American Idol or something with his crazy singing.” “Pop,” Jonathan called out as he waded in the shallows of the pool. “Jonathan,” Blu called back with a chuckle. “You swimmin’ with me?” The boy hesitated looking at the water, Blu had given him a few swimming lessons but lacked confidence in his own abilities. “I can do that, buddy. We’ll get Uncle Kaleb to man the grill when he gets here, saves everyone eating charcoal burgers and dogs.” Blu put the tray of kebabs in the refrigerator he’d brought out with him. “Just let me change and I’m all yours.” “Babe, I haven’t made charcoal in years,” Kyle grumbled with a smile before taking a gulp of his beer. Blu stole a quick kiss from Kyle. “I was talking about me, love ya.” He told his husband before hurrying off to change his clothes to go into the pool with the kids. “Kassidy” Kaleb yelled, “incoming kid don’t let her hop in the pool!” Jared wrangled the young girl as she tried running past his lounge chair. “Come here, gremlin.” He picked her up blowing a raspberry on her cheek. “Uckies,” Kassidy said wiping her cheek. “I no gremie, Koley is slave,” She pointed toward Kole who was on Kaleb’s shoulders and Davis had Kayden on his. “Hello, brother dear.” Kyle said sickly sweet while Kaleb narrowed his eyes waiting for what was coming next. “You are on grill duty. Aren’t you excited?” Kaleb shrugged his shoulders, “Then you and Blu are on triplet duty, sounds fair to me.” He smirked, “gets you guys a little Grandpa practice in.” “Ha!” Kyle scoffed. “Firstly, not a chance. Davis is here, he’ll be fine. Secondly, do you really want to give Blu free rain with your kids? God only knows what he’ll teach them,” he said wrapping an arm around his brother’s shoulders steering him toward the grill. “Beers in the refrigerator, have at it, brother.” He kissed the side of Kaleb’s head then walked off. “Besides,” Lincoln scoffed, “we decided, our kid won’t be hatched from the chaos egg–” Sage slapped his hand over his boyfriend’s mouth before he could say anything else that may cause more friction between Blu and him. Sage replaced his hand with a light kiss on Lincoln’s lips, “Would you please not say stuff like that, your Pop will be forming a lynching squad for me for de-somethinging” he waved his hand in the air, “I don’t know for messing with his little boy.” “Hmm, I wouldn’t worry too much, dad can handle him.” Link melted into his new boyfriend soaking in all the comfort he could. “Your Dad likes me I think,” Sage looked around the pool area still no sign of Blu, “but your Pop wants to kill me for some weird reason, he still doesn’t believe I’m only seventeen even after showing him my ID.” Lincoln snuggled deeper, “Pop will come around. Just be thankful you’re not dating my sister.” Link chuckled. “Trust me, she is going to have to elope and have babies in secret.” Sage chuckled, “she seemed to think we were dating already when I met her. She pulled me aside before she left and said I better take good care of you or I have to reckon with her.” A shudder tore through him, “I’m not quite sure who is more terrifying her or your Pop.” “Absolutely my sister. The only person who can reason with her is Pop, and they’re in this together.” Link chuckled. “You’re doomed.” Sage poked Link’s side whispering, “Who’s the old people that just walked in?” Link looked over and saw his Gramps and Grams with Grandma Elsie, a big smile grew on his face as he launched out of the chair going to the couple. He was showered with hugs and kisses. “Come meet my boyfriend,” Link pulled on his Gramps’ arm. Sage stood up hesitantly holding out his hand, “I’m Sage, Sir.” “Doug, nice to meet you son.” “Pleasure to meet you, Sir,” Sage glanced between the man and the pair of women. The older man laughed. “Don’t call me sir, save that for my son.” He looked around the yard. “Where is Blu?” Doug asked Lincoln. “Stick removal, I think,” Link laughed at his Gramps ripping on his own son. “Shut up,” Sage mumbled under his breath elbowing Lincoln, “if he hears you he’s gonna try to strangle me.” Doug put an arm around Sage’s shoulder. “If my son gives you any crap take it with a grain of salt. He used to be easy going but he’s turned into bear with a stick up his butt since the kids came along. Trust me, he’s all roar. He’s actually quite level headed except when it comes to this lot. Find some way to bond with his grumpy ass and you’ll be fine.” “Bond?” Sage looked horrified, “I think if you were pouring cement he would have me bonding with it.” He threw his head back and laughed at the dramatic teenager. “Trust me, he’ll eventually come around. He’s just testing your resolve before he trusts you with his kid.” Kyle choked on a mouthful of beer sputtering, “Dad, he honestly doesn’t,” he wiped some of his mess off his face. “I’ve never seen somebody deny that a person isn’t the age he is after being presented with a state ID.” Shrugging his shoulder, Doug said, “He can be stubborn, but if you give up he’ll know he was right not to trust you. Hang in there, grow on him like a fungus.” He laughed slapping the kid on the shoulder before wandering off to find his bride. “What an odd man,” Sage said respectfully but utterly confused. Kyle chuckled, “He’s the best, Blu and his family took in my brothers and myself when our parents didn’t want us.” “Oh, that’s… nice,” Sage said searching his brain for a way to the topic. Kayden wandered over carrying his book, tugging on Sage’s swimsuit, “you’s read wif me?” The boy held his book up. Sage smiled and glanced at Link before looking down at the little boy, “sure I will read to you.” Picking up Kayden he carried the little boy over to the lounge that Link and he had occupied. Settling in the chair the little boy opened his book showing Sage where to start from. “I’m gonna go say ‘Hi’ to my Grandma’s,” Link explained to Sage, “I’ll be back.” Kayden looked up at his cousin, “you’s go he’s mine,” the boy stated shooing him away. Link chuckled walking away. A short time later Lincoln walked back over finding Kayden soundly asleep on top of his sleeping boyfriend, spotting Blu he called out softly, “Pop, come here you gotta see this.” Link snapped a few pictures with his cell phone of the sleeping pair. “Hmm?” Blu mumbled, he didn’t want to say he thought how cute they looked not ready to concede defeat in hating Link’s boyfriend just yet. He pointed at the pair, “Make sure they don’t get burnt.” Then he walked off impressed that Link’s boyfriend had fallen asleep reading to the angel of the triplets. Dammit, he so wanted to hate the guy. Kyle approached his husband. “Why do you look like someone kicked your puppy?” Blu took a deep breath crossing his arms over his chest, “I thought it would be easy to hate the kid for putting the moves on our baby boy, but he’s making it hard too.” Kyle simply kissed Blu in response, proud his man was starting to thaw.
  8. Dahawk

    Devil Spawn

    Very true, Kassidy knows how to play Kaleb like a fiddle.
  9. Dahawk

    Devil Spawn

    Well, I believe anything is possible but in all reality I can say Levi will find his way through his injury.
  10. Dahawk

    Devil Spawn

    Lmao, Wesley, I never really thought of that even as we have written this book. Nice catch.
  11. Dahawk

    Devil Spawn

    Thanks Chris. I believe Sage will give Link a ground to stand fast as he grows into a father figure.
  12. Dahawk

    Devil Spawn

    Certainly the old saying what comes around goes around applies
  13. Dahawk

    Devil Spawn

    Since Levi had awakened from his coma the Waters household has been filled with tension, leaving everybody walking on eggshells. Brody and Link seemed to take the brunt of cruel comments from Levi when he lashed out from frustration. On Saturday, Lincoln decided to pass on visiting his brother and hang out with Sage at Kaleb and Davis’ house. “Pop,” Lincoln called out from the bottom of the stairs. Blu appeared on the ground floor wiping his hands on a tea towel. “What’s up, buddy?” “Umm… well,” Link swiped his hand through his hair, “Sage and me are gonna go hang with Uncle Kaleb and the trips. I already asked permission from him, he said the nanny is there so us adults can chill.” He smiled after realizing Kaleb had referred to him as an adult. His pop smiled back at him. “No problem.” He sighed as he went to walk away but had another thought. “Um… Link?” “Yeah?” Lincoln said as he raised his arm sniffing his pits to make sure he used adequate deodorant. “No, it’s not that you stink. But seriously kid, shower, we can smell you all the way from the kitchen.” Lincoln scrunched his nose up staring at his dad, “I did shower!” He said in a huff, “What did you need Grandpa?” “Watch it brat. But, I was thinking since you are about to become a father you should have your driver’s license. Can you go online and make an appointment to get your permit?” Blu said walking off without waiting for an answer. “I’ll look into–” Lincoln’s response was cut short with a honk of a car horn in the driveway. He glanced out the window, “Sage is here, have fun keep outta trouble while I’m gone.” Link chuckled at himself as he raced out the door, slamming it behind himself. “Hey handsome,” Sage said as Link plonked down in the passenger seat. “Hi, Sage,” Lincoln smiled with a blush rising on his cheeks as he fastened his seatbelt. “I spoke to my Uncle Kaleb, he said we could chill with him.” He wiped his sweaty palms on his jeans, “You’ll like him, he used to be a prankster before the trips were born.” His new friend chuckled, “Yeah? I bet he doesn’t have time for that anymore.” “No,” Link shook his head, “he definitely doesn’t. Do you know where Boston Square Condominiums are?” Nodding his head Sage silently backed out of the driveway heading to Kaleb's building. “Cool,” Lincoln tapped his fingers on the console, “if Kassidy tries to get you to do something… just don’t. She can be…” he stopped and contemplated his words, “she’s evil, twin two that’s Kole well he’s a glutton for her punishment. Kayden isn’t gullible, and usually steers clear of her nonsense.” “Sounds like I should have worn a cup,” Sage mumbled as he turned at the traffic light. Lincoln nodded his head, “you’re safe I’ll protect the family jewels.” He turned various shades of red, “I can’t believe I just said that out loud.” A loud jovial laugh rang out from the driver’s seat. “You did, and by your tone, I should probably take that warning seriously. But you’re just too adorable.” Sage gave Link a wicked grin. “Alejandra the kid's nanny is there today,” Link changed the subject hoping that would ease some of the arousal he felt toward Sage, “with any luck Kassidy will be occupied by her.” He said as Sage pulled into the parking lot, finding an open guest parking space. “I really hope you like Uncle Kaleb,” Lincoln said as he opened his door stepping out of the car. As the elevator door to Kaleb’s condo slid open, Kole ran past naked covered in paint? “What the f…” Sage whispered quickly moving out of the way so the kid didn’t run into him. Link made an exasperated look and shrugged his shoulders, just as Kassidy ran past the teens waving a wooden spoon like a scepter, “Koley you’s my royal slave, come back. I punish you!” she screamed out then screeched to a halt looking up at Sage pointing her royal stick at him and rudely demanding in a somewhat outside voice. “Who you?” “Uh…” Sage looked to Link for the assist, none came. He focused back on the pretty toddler frightened because he was sure the exterior was misleading from the inside. He stepped back against the wall croaking, “Um…” The young girl stamped her foot, “Who you?” she demanded again. Sage swallowed audibly. “Link?” “Sage is my boyfriend,” Lincoln stammered and slapped himself in the forehead, “he’s my friend and he’s a boy.” Taking a large swallow of air, while hoping the floor beneath him would open up and he could be lost in the great void. “I swear my mouth has no filter,” he mumbled, “I have no control over it when I’m near you Sage.” Link chanced a quick glance at Sage to find him smirking at him with a look that he wanted to eat him right here right now. Link fidgeted for a moment before turning back to Kassidy, but before he could say anything else the young girl was advancing on his new friend with total destruction in her eyes. “WHO,” she advanced on Sage, “YOU?” Link tried to interfere but she turned her fire eyes to him and he backed off. “You not loud to take Link,” Kassidy’s hand waved her wooden scepter level with Sage’s waist, Lincoln’s hand flew out to block the incoming swat to Sage’s crotch. “OUCH! Kassidy,” Lincoln yanked his hand back rubbing it. Alejandra saw the incident uttering, “Jesús sálvame del engendro del diablo.” –Jesus save me from devil spawn. Kassidy turned her glaring eyes on the nanny, “I punish you an Koley!” Alejandra shook her head as she stared down the toddler, “el Diablo.” –the devil. Kole ran back through the room stopping behind the nanny he hugged the nannies legs with his paint-covered naked body, leaving blotches of wet paint on her clothing. Sage watched in horror his eyes flitting between all the players in this crime scene. In his peripheral vision a hot blond guy stalking toward them at a panicked pace, eyes wild and desperate. “Kassidy!” his admonishing as he gasped, “No, Kole!” but he was too late. Sage covered his mouth with his hand warring with himself whether it was acceptable to laugh or cry. His head swivelled toward Link to see his reaction, it wasn’t what he was expecting. His new friend bent over with a hardy bark of a laugh that earned him a glare from his uncle but it just made Link laugh raucously. “What?” Lincoln said while laughing. His uncle stamped his foot, “It’s not funny, Lincoln Abraham Waters.” Sage’s eyes grew quickly as big as saucers mumbling to himself before chuckling, “Lincoln Abraham. Priceless.” Link ball tapped his friend? Boyfriend? “Hush. And Uncle Kaleb you stomped your foot like the trips do when they throw a tantrum.” Alejandra’s shook her head at the entire family before glaring at the paint Kole left on her clothes. “Niño de Satanás,” –Satan’s child. The nanny turned a glare of death toward Kaleb, “necesitas ayuda de jesus!” –you need help from jesus. Throwing her hand in the air to stab at the call button of the elevator she yelled, “Ya no trabajo en la guarida de satanás. Lo dejo!” –I no longer work in satan's lair. I quit! As the doors swished open the woman pounced into the elevator fleeing the chaotic world of the satanically possessed children. “Uncle Kaleb,” Lincoln said between laughter, “I barely passed Spanish but, I think she said you basically gave life to satan, and she quit!” He stated as he burst into fits of laughter again. Once again exasperated at another nanny quitting Kaleb burst into tears. “Well, shit,” Lincoln mumbled patting Kaleb’s shoulder with one hand and calling Grandpa Teddy on his phone with the other. His eyes met Sage’s and they were somewhere between amused, disbelief, and what the fuck. His grandpa picked up after the second ring. “Linc, baby boy, everything okay? Is Levi alright?” his grandpa’s baritone voice laced with concern. “Oh yeah,” he chuckled, “just reporting a blue nanny code for uncle Kaleb.” Kaleb stopped crying for a moment then blabbered, “she said I gave birth to satan,” then he sobbed some more. “Dear god,” Teddy mumbled into the phone, “can you stay with him? I’ll send one of the boys over. And don’t you go blabbing to your Uncle Davis, ya hear me. You let us deal with it. Keep your trap shut. Understand?” “As long as I can use it for blackmail material for when I need a babysitter,” Lincoln smirked while he rubbed his uncle’s shoulder. “Oh, for eff’s sake. Just stay with him someone will be there soon.” “Yes, grandpa. Talk to ya later.” Link ended the call, picked up the cantankerous toddler to put her in a time out like Derek had shown him previously. “Sage,” he pointed down a hallway, “second door on the right, can you run the bath, please? Not too hot, we better clean these kids up before my grandpa’s get here.” Lincoln knew in his heart it would be James and Teddy that came instead of one of his men since Teddy had heard the sobbing of Uncle Kaleb through the phone. ***** As Lincoln and Sage walked in the front door of his house, they overheard Brody talking to his parents. “I don’t understand Levi, he keeps trying to talk me into breaking up with him saying he’s broken.” Link sighed bowing his head, searching for some hidden inner strength he wasn’t sure he any longer possessed. Sage reached out taking Lincoln’s hand in his, giving it a squeeze. “Remember I promised I would be by your side through good or bad,” he said offering a few words of strength. That damn blush of his came over his cheeks before Link answered. “Thank you.” He smiled at Sage pulling him toward the kitchen where he heard the voices of his dads and Brody. “Let’s get this over with,” he gave Sage a sheepish half-smile. Kyle looked up at the pair of boys as they walked in the kitchen, who were still holding hands. His eyes went wide, and he smiled as he walked around the island. “I’m Lincoln’s dad, and you are?” He asked as he offered his hand to shake. “I’m Sage, Sir,” the teen shook the outstretched hand. “This is my husband and Lincoln’s Pop,” Kyle stated as he motioned for Blu to greet the kid. Blu stood strong narrowing his eyes at the thirty year old man who had hold of his son’s hand. “Stay out of the laundry room,” Blu spat. Sage looked at the man like he had lost his mind, “I don’t need to do laundry so no problem… Sir.” “Pop!” Link looked at his dad, “seriously? I never. Ever. Done that. I.AM.NOT.UNCLE.KALEB!” Kyle looked at Blu with a perplexed look, “Uh… Babe?” “What?” Blu asked crankily. “Wow,” Kyle looked at Sage and then back to his husband, “you could be a little friendlier to Lincoln’s umm… friend?” Link glanced at both men who he respected dearly, “Kinda boyfriend,” he smiled quickly at Sage then glaring at Blu who he hoped would quit icing out any relationship that is kindling between Sage and himself. “What?” Blu snapped. “He’s like our age Link. What the hell?” Sage’s eyes grew wide, “Sir, I’m seventeen.” He stammered. “I can prove it,” He reached into his pocket pulling out his wallet flipping it open and offering it to Blu. The older man snatched the wallet taking the ID from it’s pouch, he sniffed it, flicked it, tried to rub the printing and photo off, he still wasn’t done but his husband snatched it out of his hands, smacked him on the back of the head and told him, “Fuckin’ behave, would ya.” He gave the kid back his wallet and ID but not before having a discreet quick inspection on the date of birth. “Pop, you’re so embarrassing.” Lincoln waited for Sage to secure his wallet before lacing his fingers with Sage’s, “You knew I liked Sage the day we met at parenting classes. Why are you freakin’ out now?” “Just ignore him Lincoln,” Kyle sighed, “you know he gets his manties in a wad when you kids date.” “Manties,” Blu mumbled, “fucking manties. Stop laughing Brody or I’m not taking you to pick up your mom.” He stomped toward the front door. “Are you coming or what, kid?” They all heard the door to the garage slam. Kyle was chuckling. “You’d better go now Brody, you know he won’t wait for you when his manties are flossing his crack.” Sage snickered and caught himself, “Sorry, dude, I mean Sir.” Lincoln's father waved Sage off, “It’s fine. This is nothing. When he caught Brody and Levi in the laundry he took of their bedroom door and the laundry door. I had to stop him from taking off the bathroom door.” He shook his head with an affectionate smile. “He loves his kids.” “I promise to be respectful in your home,” Sage made eye contact with Kyle, “I really want to see where this thing between Lincoln and me goes. You know?” “Treat him right and you’re okay with me.” Kyle smiled. “Take your time though, there’s no hurry. Plus you still need to win over the grumpy grandpa yet.” Link smirked at both his dad and boyfriend, “Grampy will get over it, or we will get the trips and leave them here so Uncle Kaleb gets a sanity break.” Pointing at his son, Kyle admonished shaking his head vigorously. “No, absolutely not. You know how your pop is. He will teach those kids the most unimaginable things just to torture their fathers.” Sage laughed, “I’m not sure those kids can be much more,” he clicked his fingers, “incorrigible. I think that’s the word, boy they could be a secret weapon for the military. Instead of chemical warfare, it would be child warfare,” he cringed at thought after seeing the way they reduced their father to tears. “Dad, since pop isn’t here right now we’re going down to my room. Don’t worry I’ll leave the door open.” Lincoln rolled his eyes for effect but it was more about him not ready to be totally alone yet with Sage. If the door was open they couldn’t do too much, could they? “Go,” Kyle waved his hand dismissively as he chuckled. ***** Maria hurried through the airport gateway rushing in the direction that she had agreed to meet Blu and her son. Once she spotted the pair she clutched her carry on tightly as she hustled toward them. “Brody, my baby. You’ve grown so much,” she peppered his cheek with motherly kisses before pulling him tightly into a bone-crunching hug. “Mom, you’re smotherin’ me,” Brody said in a muffled voice, “I can’t breathe.” “Oh, quit being dramatic,” Maria stated as she released him from her clutches and turned to Blu, “oh, get over here and give me a hug, it’s been ages Blu.” He groaned under the immense python like hold she had on him. “Geez, woman. Have you been working out?” Blu laughed. Maria laughed, “You should come lift my mother in and out of her bed and wheelchair,” she tsk’d, “I never thought I would ever be doing such things.” He shrugged taking her carry on from her wrapping his arm around her shoulders as they walked to the exit. “We do what we have to do. Simple as that,” he told her kissing the side of her head. “Brody, how’s that boy of yours been?” Maria looked at him, “Does Momma need to give him a kick in the backside to get his head outta his behind?” “Mom, just stop. Please,” Brody implored the woman, “I think I’m handling it okay with Kyle and Blu’s help.” “Hmm,” she hummed to herself. “Has he been dealing with Levi’s injury okay Blu?” she asked as they walked through the parking lot. “Brody’s just fine. It’s Levi we’re worried about. He keeps pushing everyone away, he’s angry, confused, but we’re persevering.” Blu sighed. “We have to be patient. I honestly don’t know where Brody gets his patience from because he refuses to give up.” ***** Once the group arrived at the Waters's residence, Maria asked to speak with Brody, Kyle, and Blu. Maria sat in one of the armchairs tapping her fingers on it. “I’m not quite sure how to say the things I need to say.” She glanced worriedly at her son, “each of you knows my mother had a stroke a few months ago. She is now reliant on somebody providing her with assistance and care.” “Grandma is okay though right?” Brody asked his mother lovingly. “She’s learning to cope with the way things are going to be,” Maria offered a brief smile. “Blu, Kyle, I have to move to my mom’s permanently. She requires care that I feel obligated to provide for my mother.” “I’m not leaving Levi,” Brody stated as he worked himself up over the thought of losing the person he loves. “Hey,” Blu said soothingly as he reached for the boy, “breathe, sunshine. Let’s hear what your mom out before you start making any assumptions about anything.” He tucked the kid down onto the couch next to him. “Thanks, Blu.” Maria shifted in the chair, “As I was saying, I feel obligated to care for my mother being I am her only child. I don’t want to force Brody to move with me,” she offered a warm smile to her son. “However, it’s asking a lot of both of you, Blu, and Kyle to assume guardianship of Brody while you have to deal with everything Levi is going through.” “I think I can say that Brody is a part of our family,” Kyle placed his hand on Blu’s leg. “We’ve all been a shoulder to lean on when one of us has needed it. Lincoln and Brody have become each other's rock when they are in a rut over Levi.” Brody nodded his head. “I’m glad to hear that,” Maria said softly. “I know my baby is loved here, and he’s told me many times on the phone you guys are both more like a father to him than Carson ever was.” Maria glanced at three of the most important men in her life, “I guess, no I know it is safe to ask. Will you guys agree to become Brody’s guardian?” “Yes,” Blu answered almost before Maria finished talking. “Thanks,” Brody almost shouted, “I love you and grandma, mom, but I don’t wanna live there.” Then he turned focusing on Blu and Kyle, “becoming a part of this family was the best thing to ever happen to me. I love each of you, and I don’t know how I would ever live without any of you. Even if Levi doesn’t believe it at the moment, he is the person I want to spend the rest of my life.” Kyle’s eyes filled with tears hearing how much the young man sitting with them said from his heart. “Brody, you’ll always have a home here with us. We love you too.” ***** Lincoln and Sage sat at the computer in Link’s bedroom, watching youtube videos. “How much hassle is it to get your learner’s permit?” Link asked. “Pop said since I’m going to be a father I need to get a license.” Sage nodded in agreement. “You really should. If there’s an emergency with the peanut or they get sick they only have you to rely on. If there is no one here to help you, you need to be able to drive. Also, babies have doctors appointments, you have school and stuff. Can you imagine doing all that having to use public transport, it’d be a nightmare.” Link googled the requirements for his learner’s permit. He went to the state website and scheduled a time to take his permit exam. He also downloaded the pdf version of the driver’s handbook. “Oh god, I just thought of something.” Lincoln got a horrified look on his face, “I might have to ride with Pop, as my instructor for parent driving time that’s required. And he drives like a grandpa.” Snickering, Sage turned to Link smiling, “Unfortunately, I can’t teach you how to drive. Just don’t rag on your Pops, I kinda need him to like me, Lincoln Abraham.” “Keep it up and I will borrow Kassidy’s scepter,” Lincoln chuckled shaking his head, “you’re kinda lucky I like your cute hippy butt.”
  14. Dahawk

    Broken Roads

    I did state when this part of the story started it would be a lengthly arc. After Joh and I researched TBI's we took a tamer aproach. Trust me we love all of the kids in the story as much as each and every one of you. TBI's are dealt with every day and by various ages. Hang in there, Levi will find his footing. Sage, is bringing a new dynamic to the Waters family. I am sure each of you will grow to love him as his character unfolds in the coming chapters. To all love and good health.
  15. Dahawk

    Broken Roads

    Brody had texted his mom and spoken to her a few times since Levi’s attack, she had promised to return to support her son and his boyfriend as soon as she could. Maria had to make various arrangements for the care of her mother who had suffered a stroke a few months ago, she believed it was her responsibility to provide care for her mother beings she was the only child of the family. Maria’s sense of responsibility has her being torn in multiple directions over her mother and Brody. She has booked a flight back into Boston, in a few days. “Pop, can you please take me to the airport on Thursday to pick up mom?” Brody asked excitedly knowing he’d get to see his mom in mere hours. Looking up from the crockpot after throwing in a few herbs Blu smiled at the young man. “Of course, buddy, let me know her flight details.” He gently tapped the stirring spoon on the side of the pot before throwing it in the sink. “Tell the boys dinner will be in thirty minutes. And can you guys let Cody shower first after dinner? It’s his turn to see Levi with Dad tonight.” “It’s alright if I see him for a few minutes first, though, right?” Brody brow furrowed dejectedly. “You know it. Now scram!” Blu smirked as he snapped the dish towel at the teen. Kyle walked into the kitchen following the aroma that has filled the house, “Mmm… What smells so good?” He made a sniffing sound that had Khan looking to see if the family had traded Bella’s cat for a friendlier companion without claws. Picking up the lid from the pot Kyle inhaled deeply, grabbing a fork to taste the pot-roast. “Oh my god Blu, I think you have outdone yourself.” He said before chewing the hot tasty morsel. “Hey, Blondie,” Blu waited for Kyle to stop chewing before giving him a quick kiss, “feels like forever since I’ve seen you.” Sighing Kyle turned to look at his husband, “Blu, I’m sorry. I know we barely get to see one another, it’s either one of us is at the school or the hospital.” Giving Kyle a quick peck again, his hand reached cupping the side of his husband’s face. “It wasn’t a complaint, just a matter of fact. I was telling you I miss you that’s all. We’ve got our hands full at the moment and once Levi wakes up it might be a little easier. Though, I doubt it,” he said with a morose chuckle. “You want to help me get dinner set?” “Sure,” Kyle said with a smile. “What would you like me to do? Slice the roast or get the place settings out?” “Uh,” Blu hummed looking around making a plan on the fly, “you start cutting the pot roast, I’ll get Jonathan and Cody to set the table. While you guys do that I’ll plate the rest. How’s that sound?” He winked at Kyle. “It’s a –” Kyle was cut off by Lincoln. “Yo, Pop, Dad. Who’s playin’ taxi tonight for me to get to the parenting class?” Link glanced up from the book of baby names he’s been studying lately. “That would be me, sunshine,” Blu said putting his phone down from texting Jonathan and Cody, “I’ll drop you off on my way to the hospital to drop off Cody and pick up Brody.” Blu put the roast vegetables he’d just pulled out of the oven, throwing the oven mitt at Lincoln’s head. “Put that on the table, free-loader.” “Watch it, Grandpa,” Link closed the book, “You rip the book and I will be forced to humiliate you.” He placed the potholder on the table. Blu barked a quick laugh, “Grandpa, that ain’t me.” He pointed to Kyle. “That’s him. I’m not old enough yet.” “Oh god,” Link rolled his eyes and sighing, “First, Dad will be Grandad.” He turned and pointed at Blu, “You drive too slow and almost make me late for class, so you’re Grandpa,” Lincoln chuckled as the last words of the little speech left his mouth. Kyle snorted, “He should be called, Grampy, it’s so close to his usual grumpy state.” Leaning up behind Kyle while he was slicing the pot roast, Blu bit into his shoulder with a growl and in a low voice said, “I’ll show you grampy.” ***** Blu pulled up at the curb in front of the clinic running the night time classes. “Thanks, Pop.” Lincoln opened the door on the Escalade. “Hey, hey, Link?” Blu called out before his son slammed the door. “What?” Lincoln asked hurriedly, “I don’t want to be late.” “Uh, what time do I need to pick you up, buddy? I don’t want you waiting out here by yourself, it’s a crappy part of town at night.” Blu voices his concern. “Pop,” Link whined looking over his shoulder to make sure nobody listened to his father in protective mode. “I’ll call when it seems like class is slowing down. I’ll even make sure to call before your evening nap time,” he chuckled to himself, “love ya old man.” He threw a wave to his dad and smirked as he closed the door. Blu waited for a beat before honking the horn and yelling through the closed window at the back end of his son as he attempted to walk away. “Link, Link?” he waved him back to the car. Link turned around looking thoroughly annoyed, he rolled his eyes before tromping back to the SUV and throwing the door open. “What?” “Uh… how far would you have gotten if I didn’t call you back?” Blu deadpanned. “OH.MY.GOD! Pop what is wrong with you?” Lincoln shook his head slamming the door closed as he stormed off to get to the classroom. He burst through the door practically mowing over a quarter of the class, and ending up on his ass in front of all these soon to be parents. Link fumbled to get to his feet full of embarrassment mumbling to himself or so he thought, “Jesus, could somebody shoot me?” A tall lanky dark-haired hippyish looking teen with a neon green streak in his hair offered a hand, “Wow man you know the class isn’t worried about punctuality, no need to execute ya.” The hippy boy laughed at himself. Link took the proffered hand and got up off the floor, never letting go of the boy’s hand. “I… Uh… hmm… well, see my umm pop made me late.” Lincoln looked down at the hand in his, “You have nice hands.” His eyes got real big, “I swear to god my brain isn’t working,” releasing the young man’s hand. “Thanks, I’m Link?” He stared in the boy’s pale blue colored eyes. The boy laughed at Link’s indecisive responses, “Sage. Sage West.” Flicking his head to a female version of himself, “That’s my sister Thyme. I swear to god my parent’s done too many drugs when they were young. OH! An’ it’s that losers kid,” He pointed to some jock looking kid, “He felt like being a dad for a day I guess,” he grumbled giving the jock a death glare. “So you need a partner?” Sage rolled his eyes at himself, “A partner for class, that is. You’re contagious with ‘foot in mouth’ conversations.” “Hmm.” Link rubbed his chin staring at Sage, “Yes to both.” “To both?” Sage chuckled, “I’m not easy. I don’t put out after a first parenting class.” Link had a mortified look on his face, “I. OH.MY.GOD–” Sage placed his hand on Link’s shoulder laughing hilariously, “I was jokin’ dude. You really need to chill.” Wiping his face with both hands trying to rid himself of his barrage of embarrassing moments, and he’d only been in the building two minutes, he huffed a breath to release the tension. “Sure, if you don’t mind. My brother was going to come with me but…” Link cleared his throat keeping the rest of the statement to himself because he wanted to forget all the crap that’s been going on for at least the next hour. Sage, tilted his head waiting for Link to finish. “That would be great, thank you.” “No problem,” Sage walked alongside Link, “So you’re havin’ a kid? Huh. Where’s the baby-momma?” He chuckled to himself as he used the worst New Yorkish accent he could come up with. “She doesn’t want my kid,” Link stated in a huff. “We got drunk and well, you know.” Sage quirked an eyebrow, “No, what?” “You’re just messin’ with me aren’t ya?” Lincoln studied the boy’s face, “you’re not gonna make me say what happened are you?” “Holy shit,” Sage bumped shoulders with him. “You act like talking about sex will make you burst into flames dude.” “You know how humiliating it is to have to tell your Dads that you got somebody preggers?” Link slouched in his chair. “Dads?” Sage nodded his head letting the information sink in. “Dads as in two, right?” “Ya,” Lincoln looked into his new friend’s eyes looking for any malice. “Why? Is that a problem? Because I don’t care if you’re taller than me I will kick your ass. We’ve been through enough bullshit.” He said hastily. “Woah…” Sage held up his hand to calm Link. “Dude, I’m gay why would I say anything against your family? Even if I wasn’t it wouldn’t matter. Love is love, man.” “Okay,” Lincoln unclenched his fists that had become balled without realizing it. “Sorry, Sage.” “Dude, do you take martial arts or kickboxing or something?” Sage looked at him skeptically, “if so, I’ll make sure I don’t piss ya off.” Lincoln shook his head with a slight smile, “I could beat you with my guitar.” “Oh you’re violent,” Sage joked, “I’m a lover. You could woo me with a love song.” “Barf…” Link shook his head, “Woo? Really? Who even says shit like that?” “I do dick,” Sage jabbed a finger lightly into Lincoln’s chest, “definitely not getting any of this fineness dude.” “I… I wasn’t tryin’ to be an asshole.” Link said worriedly, “Lifes just been crazy man. I don’t know who is trustable anymore.” “Dude, I am harmless,” Sage placed his hand on Link’s knee. “You’re cute when you get that perplexed look on your face. If ya feel like talkin’ about whatever is eatin’ at you, I’m here.” He squeezed his friend’s knee. The class was quite informative, it provided each couple with an electronic controlled type of doll which acted authentically like a true to life infant. It had sleep cycles, varying feeding times, and diaper changes. Link had calmed down being around Sage. He looked at their baby, “You wanna talk to Momma-Sage?” Lincoln cooed to the doll. “Momma? Dude, so not cool.” Sage glared at Link. “Daddy Lincoln got his granny panties in a wad,” he chattered to the doll. “Granny panties,” Link laughed, “Nan would have slapped you for that, she loved her thongs as gross as that sounds.” He smiled sadly, “things have changed so much over the last few years.” Sage sat quietly studying Lincoln for a few seconds. “Times change Link,” He said seriously. “What has you looking like somebody kicked your dog?” “Let’s see,” Lincoln looked at boys dreamy blue eyes. “A few years ago Grandpa Steven was murdered, then Nan died of a broken heart. She was the coolest old lady you could ever know.” A tear trickled down Link’s face, which Sage wiped away with the pad of his thumb. “Then a few weeks ago, some cowardly homophobic prick tried killing my twin brother,” he grumbled through clenched teeth. “Dude, I’m so sorry.” Sage slid his arm around Lincoln’s shoulders. “Thanks, Sage,” Link reached up touching Sage’s arm that was draped around him. “I feel like a part of me is losing control of myself. Hell, Brody, my twin’s boyfriend is ready to take on the whole school to get answers about the attack. The really crazy part I want to get my hands on whoever done it.” “Link, there’s nothin’ crazy about wanting to catch somebody that does that shit. You’re human, and your emotions are running rampant,” Sage squeezed his friend’s shoulder, “so if I’m your baby-momma does that make us a couple now?” he joked to Lincoln. “Let’s exchange numbers,” Link smiled. “You’ve got night shift and so baby needs to do it’s dirty diapers during that time too.” He handed Sage his phone to enter his number who handed it promptly back. “There I texted ya so you got mine too. Shit, I almost forgot to get a hold of my Pop, for a ride home.” “I’d offer to drop ya off but Thyme and the loser shit for brains needs a ride,” Sage shoulder bumped his friend. “No problem,” Link jostled Sage right back giving him a light elbow to his stomach before dialing Blu, “Hey Grandpa, the class is almost out.” He said as soon as Blu answered his call without even getting a chance to say anything beforehand. “Okay. See you in a bit Grampy,” He chuckled as he disconnected from the call. After the class was dismissed, Link and Sage made their way to where Blu was parked. “Well,” Sage kicked a rock around. “I guess I’ll see you next week in class?” “I thought you were takin’ night shift with the baby?” Link joked. “You know, it’s part of the baby-momma creed or something.” He punched Sage lightly in the shoulder. “You’re too cute,” Sage smiled. “Thyme and jock boy is at the car glaring, I gotta go.” He started to walk away but turned around making the motion to call him. “I will,” Lincoln said with a dreamy look as he opened the SUV door. “Wow, you look besotted. Did they let you play with a real baby?” Blu asks as he pulls away onto the road. Blu gave his son a quick glance focusing back on the road. Silence. He looked over to Link seeing the kid happily sinking into the seat with a smile he couldn’t explain. It was like the boy had love hearts floating from his eyes. “Link,” Blu said again. Nothing. “Lincoln,” he sang clicking his fingers in front of the kid's face. “Huh? Sage is cute,” Link shook his head trying to make sense of things. “The herb?” Blu smirked. “Herb?” Link got a puzzled look on his face. “What?” he scratched his head. “Did you see him? He has the cutest blue eyes and dimples.” Blu chuckled a little confused. “You’re gonna have to explain, Link.” Link huffed, “Didn’t you see him? I walked out with him Pop.” “The lanky kid, who had at least ten years on you, as well as a foot taller?” “He’s seventeen Pop,” Lincoln stared at his dad. “I just haven’t hit my growth spurt either, maybe I’ll be taller than Sage eventually.” Laughing Blu shook his head, sobering quickly then narrowing his eyes on the road as it wasn’t safe to do it at Lincoln while he was driving. “What was he doing at a parenting class?” he asked cautiously. “Thyme his twin sister has one in the oven,” Link glanced at the stars through the window. “But jock boy the baby-daddy decided to be daddy finally.” “Ok-ay,” Blu said still thoroughly confused. “Don’t forget you’ve got homework when you get home. If you need any help let me know. I’m not saying you’re not capable or smart enough, but your focus is split in so many directions at the moment it’s got to be hard to concentrate.” “Oh ya,” Lincoln turned to face Blu, “you wanna watch the baby while I do my homework?” He uncovered the electronic baby doll, holding it in Blu’s direction. Turning in the driveway as the garage door lifted, Blu looked over. “Wow, cute kid. No time like the present to learn how to prioritize your time.” Completely changing his tune. “Good luck,” he said to Lincoln as he turned off the engine and exited the vehicle hastily. “But… Pop, it eats, pees, and other god-awful stuff,” Link called out as he pursued his father. ***** “Lincoln!” Blu yelled from the kitchen. He received no response but kept on making a to-go coffee for himself. “Pop,” Bella said with a panicked pitch, “I’m gonna miss my flight.” “LINCOLN!” Blu screeched again losing his patience. “We’ll get there Bella, take this ridiculous creepy 'Chucky' thing to your brother. Tell him, and I quote, “Hurry the fuck up.” “Pop!” Bella gasped in surprise ending with a chuckle. Lincoln scrambled into the kitchen holding little ‘Chucky’ in one arm trying to smooth his hair down, grabbing his dad's coffee. Taking a large swig of the black liquid, “Thanks, Pop, I swear to god this kid woke up every hour on the hour either wanting to be fed or needing a diaper change. What age does that stop and they like sleep?” Blu snatched his coffee back, “I’ll let you know.” He griped. “Next time, leave the brat with someone else when you want a shower, or wait until it’s asleep. I swear you kids.” “Pop,” Bella whined holding up her phone to show him the time. “I’m gonna miss my flight.” Her pop jogged his chin at the cat. “You going to take the hell-cat with you?” he asked for the fiftieth time since she’d left for college. He’d even tried to sneak Scarlet O’Hara into her luggage. “Bella? Do you wanna babysit your nephew,” he held out little ‘Chucky,’ “til it’s like old enough to be outta diapers?” “As soon as I finish college, and get a job, and get married, oh, and raise my own kids. Ask me then?” she laughed. “You people are no help,” Link grumbled, “Sage will help.” “What’s a sage?” Bella asked curiously. “It’s a herb.” Blu retorted with a smirk at Link. “No he’s not,” Lincoln got a dreamy look again, “he has long hair, the cutest blue eyes, and dimples.” He swooned at the thought of the boy. Blu snorted, addressing Bella, “He’s about eight feet tall, weigh like ten pounds and is probably almost my age.” “Sage is seventeen Pop,” Link glared at him, “You were born like before they invented the wheel right?” His pop swatted at him. “Move your ass kid, your sister has a flight to catch.” As they passed the staircase he yelled for Brody, Jonathan, and Cody. Blu held the door open counting the seconds out loud until he heard the thunderous clapping of feet not wanting to miss their ride to school. Blu dropped the boys off at school, then Bella and himself continued to the airport. Once they checked in they received her boarding pass and gate information. Bella and Blu had said their goodbyes and she made her way to the security check. Blu’s phone indicated he had a text from Kyle, so he opened the app to read it. Kyle: Babe, he’s awake. They are doing some tests on him now. ***** Bella stepped forward in the security line fanning herself with her boarding pass. Looking over her shoulder to see if Blu was still waiting for her to go through security, she felt a pang of regret for choosing a school so far from home. Her pop’s head was down looking at his phone, she noticed his shoulders shuddering up and down like he was crying. At that very moment, his head popped up gazing directly at her. He held up his phone yelling, “He’s awake, baby girl, he’s awake.” She covered her mouth with her hands almost in disbelief, tears automatically fell from her eyes. Bella picked up her bag barging her way back to her father. “Let’s go,” Bella told him. Her pop looked pained. “You have to get back to school, Bella.” “No,” she shook her vigorously. “I’m not going back until I see Levi for myself. I want to talk to him, hug him, then I’m going to stay with him until he’s better.” “You can’t Bella, school is too important. He’s awake.” He smiled. “He’s going to be okay.” She stuck her chin out defiantly taking the handle of her suitcase and walked off back to the car without another word, and, of course, her father chasing her down. ***** The Trauma-Surgeon completed Levi’s assessment along with multiple Neurosurgeons and then asked for Kyle and Blu to meet with them in a consultation room. “Misters Waters’,” the surgeons shook both men’s hands. “We’ve determined what deficits Levi will face from the TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury. Levi has some blind spots along with intermittent blurred vision, along with difficulty reading, and spatial awareness. Traumatic Brain Injury patients also tend to suffer from anxiety.” The doctor paused, “we agree these will most likely be lingering side effects of the TBI.” A therapist stepped forward offering a pamphlet to Blu, “Levi, is going to need therapy. Probably extensive. Not only to adjust to his new everyday life, along with coping from the original trauma.” “Is there anything we can do to help him with the TBI?” Kyle asked the group of doctors. The therapist nodded his confirmation. “Levi is a strong young man, however, his life is going to change from his previous expectations. He will need a lot of support. There are many ways of treating him, but in my opinion, he’s a lucky kid. His physical injuries could have had catastrophic effects. We will help him adjust to his new life. I have some literature here about different services available also a pamphlet that offers information about service dogs, I believe that one could help Levi resume his everyday life. I’m giving this to you now so you can research what methods and services you think will help him. Also a list of therapists who specialize in trauma counseling.” Kyle took Blu’s hand, “What do you think, Babe?” “I… I…” he shook his head trying his best to keep his emotions at bay. “He’s… he’s an athlete doc, what the hell is he going to do?” “Mister Waters, there are special baseball leagues for the visually impaired,” one doctor offered. “It will be an adjustment, patience is the key with TBI’s.” “Is there any chance he will recover more than you thought, I mean, I can’t…” he held his fist to his mouth, “We can’t go in there and tell our boy that he’s lost everything he’s worked for,” Blu let out a sob, “we just can’t.” “I understand your situation,” The doctor pulled at his tie, “I hope all of you realize how lucky of a young man he is to be alive. Honestly, when he was first brought into the trauma suite in the emergency department, I gave your husband a grave prognosis.” Kyle frowned. “I don’t know if he shared it with you due to you being on a trip.” The doctor tapped his fingers on the conference table. “Unfortunately, TBI’s don’t have a fix-it button we can flip and make everything all better. Every day your son will face challenges, be there to offer him whatever support you can. He’s going to need his family.” “I… we’ve loved those kids before they even came to live with us, they’re our babies,” Kyle sniffled and wiped his eyes, “We will be by Levi’s side. He’s our son, he deserves nothing but the best of what we can provide. His brothers and sister will be there for him too. Brody is a great kid, he loves Levi with all of his heart.” Blu stood cuddled into Kyle’s side each giving strength to the other. How are they going to get through this? Everything feels hopeless. Their son had done nothing to deserve any of this and for no fathomable reason, some asshole went out of their way to alter his life. Why? What could Levi have possibly done to deserve this? What? He’s a typical sassy, full of life teenager. ***** Kyle and Blu sat on both sides of Levi’s hospital bed, each holding a hand. They had explained everything the doctors had told them to the best of their abilities, waiting for a response from their son. “What about baseball?” Levi quickly asked, “How am I to play when I can’t see right?”Levi got a blank look on his face, “So I’m done playing then. Brody and me can’t play in college together. I was a jock, now I’m a cripple. What good am I?” “Levi, you’re still the same boy we love with all of our heart,” Kyle said as he squeezed his hand. “Your Pop and I would both give anything for you to not be laying in that bed. We’d gladly take your place for you if we could.” Levi snatched his hands away from his dads, grabbing the little pitcher of water a nurse had brought him throwing it. The pitcher shattered against the wall sending ice and water across the floor. “Why would Brody want a cripple? I might as well be blind,” Levi cried. “Son, Brody loves you.” Kyle tried to remain calm, “that boy has been to this hospital every day for as long as we would let him be here. There were nights we had to drag him out of here arguing.” “Whoever shoved me might as well have killed me, they took every good thing from me,” Levi screamed with rage. A nurse heard Levi’s shouting and hurried her rotund body in the door, “I think Levi needs some help to calm down, the doctor ordered him a mild sedative,” she raised the syringe to a port on his IV injecting the calming liquid. Levi’s eyes became heavy, “Dad, Pop, I’m scared,” were the last words he spoke as he drifted off to sleep. ***** Back at the Waters residence Kyle and Blu had told the kids about Levi’s injuries and the deficits he now faces. There were many tears shed, and many questions asked by all of the kids. Each vowed they would always be there for their brother. Brody was filled with nothing but tender love for his boyfriend, and rage for the individual that had perpetrated such a heinous thing on Levi. The family went their separate ways after the family meeting to deal with their feelings some separately and some collectively. Kyle had taken Blu by the hand practically dragging him into the master bedroom, closing the door behind them. Kyle’s emotions have been all over the place since the meeting with the doctors. “I get everybody’s emotions that were voiced downstairs.” Kyle sat down on their bed, “There were only three people I can say I ever hated up until now. How could somebody hurt our baby the way they did?” His voice cracked with emotion. ***** Lincoln sat in his room strumming his guitar for a while, not really sure of how to face everything that had occurred that day. Link rolled to the side of his bed placing his guitar on its stand. He slid the phone out of his pocket, dialing the one person that seemed to have a calming factor on him as of late. “Sage?” Link sniffled. “Lincoln,” Sage asked worriedly, “What’s wrong?” “I dunno,” Link muttered, “Everything? Levi woke up today, but everything is different now.” “I just… I needed to hear your voice,” Lincoln said the phone slipping from his hand as he wiped the tears from his eyes. “Can you just tell me everything will be okay?” Sage was quiet for a brief spell, “Link, I can’t tell you that. I can guarantee I will be right by your side when you need me.”
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