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Wayne Gray

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Wayne Gray last won the day on June 6

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About Wayne Gray

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    A Queer Scribe

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    Northern California
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    Camping, Cooking, Yoga, Weightlifting, Writing, Reading, Science, Alternative Building, Hiking, Photography, Art, Music, Singing

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  1. Wayne Gray


    Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jeffrey. I'm glad you liked the chapter, and the dialogue! Those scenes between Kent and Stanley... they've definitely gone just a little further than they had before. Kent exerted some control he never has. Not only did he find Stanley willing to hear him, but that Stanley NEEDED to. Stanley is happiest when he has someone who loves him steering things. That's what Kent did. In our trio, did you notice Tad? How he spoke individually to both Nate and Christopher, and how he asked them to go to him with their fears? Tad is the one going through the most terrifying thing of his life... yet, he is willing to take on all of their pain. As much as they'll give him, he'll take it. Out of all of the characters I've ever written... Thaddeus Coleman is the one I would have liked to have met the most.
  2. Wayne Gray


    Hey, thanks for commenting, Bryan. I think you're right about Kent and Stanley. We're all formed from our pasts, and Stanley can't help but feel those echoes you spoke of. When it comes to Stanley, Kent has slowly grown protective. He can sense the need for it in his lover, and he grows into the void in Stanley's world. He's becoming the rock that Stanley needs. The graphic novel was something I loved, mainly because of the work I was doing with pictures associated with the story. Someday I'll release a version of this story that's edited, and that includes those "artified" pictures. They add a lot to the work. I tried to make them all look like art, and for the most part it worked out well. Story-wise, Tad felt the need to get his work out there. He wanted to have an impact on others in a way that wasn't preachy, or confrontational. Simple scenes of life between people who love one another. That's all he wanted to do. You're not rambling. 🙂 I'm looking forward to Sunday too!
  3. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    Thanks, Parker. The newly minted triad is sort of feeling its way along. Though Tad is the center, both Christopher and Nate bring something they all need. Kent and Stanley are slowly learning that trust it takes to express feeling and emotion to one another. I love telling their part of the story. 🙂 Markus... god. Yeah. I know how he feels too. I really know how he feels. He's a man in desperate need of some help.
  4. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    It is on the small side. A little one bedroom house. It was what he could afford. Does it meet the criteria of a "tiny house"? No. Though, it's small by US standards. A cottage, really. But it's what suits our Stanley. Thanks for reading and commenting, Bryan. 🙂
  5. It was Monday, and Kent stood with Nate behind the counter of the bookstore. At his earliest opportunity, Kent began his curious inquiry. "So, how's your friend, Nate?" Nate smiled. "He's good. He scared us, but he's good." That was now the second time Nate had said "us" associated with his new friend. Kent noticed. "Yeah?" He smiled. "I get the impression that this is a special friend." Nate nodded and looked a little uncomfortable. "Uh, yeah. He's really special." Nate glanced at Kent then chuckled. "Ah, they both are." "Both?" Kent grinned. "Are you dating a couple? Two guys?" Nate exhaled as if he couldn't quite believe it himself. "Yeah, I guess I am." He shook his head. "It's complicated, and I didn't set out to do it," he shrugged, "but here I am." Kent wasn't quite sure what to make of it, but he came back to a simple truth. "Well, are you all happy?" "Yes," Nate answered immediately, "we are." His eyes went dreamy. "It's hard. Parts of it." Nate refocused, and he looked determined to Kent. "But, I wouldn't change it." Kent could easily see the emotion on Nate's face. 'He loves them.' He smiled at Nate. "That's cool. I'm happy for you." "Thanks, Kent." Nate's head moved as the store owner, Mrs. Stewart came in. She smiled and waved at the men, before heading toward the office in the back. "Ah, I need to talk to Mrs. Stewart about something." Nate stepped around the counter and started after her. "I'll be right back, Kent." "Okay." Kent handled the desk solo for a few minutes. Nate reappeared with a smile on his face, and his phone in his hand. "That went well." Kent finished checking a couple of purchases for a pair of college students. "Yeah? What's up?" "Tad, one of the guys I'm seeing, is trying to get his comic published. And he wants to sell it out of here." Nate helped bag the items as Kent rang them up. "Mrs. Stewart was totally onboard. Once he gets it published, he can sell out of here and do a signing too." "Comic? What kind of comic? He draws them?" Kent asked, and he waved at the two students. "Thanks! Have a good day!" Nate smiled and waved at the departing customers, then he turned back to Kent. "Yeah, he draws really well. He's super talented." Nate's voice held such pride, and Kent couldn't help a smile as he listened to him talk about Tad. "And it's a comic about his life, with him and Christopher, our boyfriend." Nate made a face, and then he laughed. "Weird. 'Our' boyfriend." He and Kent grinned at one another and Nate continued, "Anyway, yeah, he just draws life. You know? I'm even in some of it now." "Oh." Kent frowned, unsure how to say what came to mind. He finally just went for it. "Well, it's not like, superhero stuff? It's just, uh, cooking, and drinking coffee, and driving to the bank and stuff?" Nate leaned over. "That, plus there are some sexy scenes too. Tasteful, always, but still, pretty hot." Kent grinned. "Ahhh." "I know, it sounds a little weird. But, Tad wants to put it out there so others can see and read about gay people. So they know that we're just, well, we're normal." Nate's expression changed as he looked at Kent. "And, it might make a big difference - for someone coming out. Someone who might not be sure how they feel about being gay." Kent swallowed. "Yeah?" He bit his lip, and he looked down at the counter. Nate watched him, then Kent felt a warm, gentle hand on his shoulder. "Would you want to take a look at it? I can probably get him to send it to you, broken into a bunch of PDFs." Nate patted his shoulder. "I think you'd like it, Kent. It's well done." Kent glanced at Nate, and he considered. "Well," he shrugged and tried to act nonchalant, "I'd be happy to take a look. Maybe I can help proofread for him." In truth, Kent was curious. Nate grinned. "Cool, thanks. I'll ask him to send it to you. Can you give me your email?" Kent gave him his email, and Nate happily typed out a text. "Okay. I sent it to Tad." He looked up at Kent and smiled. "Let him know what you think of it, okay?" Kent nodded. "Yeah, of course." Nate grabbed a stack of re-shelves, and he whistled as he walked away. Kent watched him until he disappeared around a shelf. 'Nate's trying to help me?' Kent smiled as he thought. 'That's really cool of him.' Kent was soon busy helping additional customers, but throughout the entire morning, his smile remained. ∞ Tad was alone at home. He didn't have any current projects for work, so he allowed a little time to putter around with his coffee in hand. Last week he’d had a scary bout with the flu. It had been nerve-wracking and frightening for Nate, Christopher, and Miranda, because it mirrored many of the symptoms they would likely see when his tumor began spreading aggressively through the tissues of his brain. But Tad was now completely recovered from that illness and he was ready to get on with his project. His pair of men had already gone to their respective workplaces, though they had spent all weekend together. They also had plans to meet up again once they got off of work. The three of them were going to meet at the apartment in Nate's building, and they'd get a look at the place they had discussed for their new living situation. He received good news from Nate shortly after the redhead got to work. The bookstore owner was more than happy to carry Tad's comic book. Nate had been sure to tell her the subject matter, and she was also on board with his book signing plans. Additionally, Nate asked if his coworker could see the comics. It was precisely the kind of guy Tad was trying to reach - a young, inexperienced person who might have issues coming out, or coming to terms with his sexuality. Tad happily emailed his base PDFs to the address provided by Nate. He had a definite curiosity concerning the feedback on them, and he requested as much when he sent the files. Tad finished his coffee, washed his mug, and then settled in his chair at his desk. Kali used the opportunity to jump on his lap, and Tad turned on the tablet while he absently petted her. Even though he wasn't working for money today, he was still working to a plan. He knew the requirements for Lulu, which was the self-publishing site he planned to use. Every page of his comic needed modification, tweaking, and rework to make them all fit and display correctly on printed pages. So Tad slowly plodded through his archive of art. He didn't even realize it, but two hours passed as he worked, and he had just completed page eight. Tad had already decided that he'd work and prepare at least ten pages of art every single day. The goal was to maintain that pace all the way through until he finished with it. He checked the time. "Whoa, monster." He put down the stylus and stroked the sleepy cat. "This is going to take a while!" He did the math quickly in his head. "Okay, so fifteen minutes per page, on average." He blew out a breath. "Alright. At least we know what we're in for, Kali." Tad smiled down at Kali, and he picked her up. She cried in annoyance at the awakening, but she soon enjoyed his hand scratching her ears and head. He stood up and stretched his back while he held the little black feline. "Ahhh. I should try to do fifteen today. Just to build up a buffer." On days he didn't have paying work, he'd do more and get ahead whenever he could. Tad liked the plan. Invariably, it wasn't long before his little furry charge wanted to run free. Tad released her and she scampered off into the kitchen. He sat back down at his desk, and he cracked his knuckles. "Seven more pages. Let's get it done." The hourglass continued to run, and Tad was determined to beat it. He set his jaw, and the dark-haired man got back to work. ∞ Stanley sat on his little porch in an old wooden chair that he had sanded but had yet to refinish, and he gazed thoughtfully out over his yard as it slowly darkened in the approaching evening. He felt a little bad about Kent always driving to Arcata to see him. Yet, the stocky fellow had no problems with that. "No, it's fine." Kent had waved off his concern. "You have a house, and I've got a tiny little apartment. It's better to hang out at your place." As time went on, Stanley felt the connection between them strengthen. He didn't know how much stronger it would become, but it was already more than he had ever felt for anyone else. He had never said that terrifying, four-letter word either. Stanley wanted to be sure - absolutely confident - before he ever said that he loved someone. When Kent told him how he felt, Stanley had been both thrilled and concerned. He just didn't know what to call what he felt for Kent. It was intense and steadily growing. But love? Stanley just didn't know. Thankfully, Kent didn't seem interested in pressuring him into saying it. He knew that Kent had his own problems with his sexuality and that he needed time to process all of the swirling emotions and thoughts around that. Mainly, Kent stressed over his father's reaction to the news. Stanley understood that. His own dad lived in Fortuna, about twenty-five miles south and the place where Stanley grew up. But it might as well be in a different state. Fortuna was conservative, very different from the liberal university town of Arcata that Stanley enjoyed. Yet, his own dad didn't have an issue. Stanley had agonized over telling him for a couple of years, and when he was seventeen, he finally got up the courage to do it. His father had looked over at him from his easy-chair after a long day of work and shrugged. "Stanley, you never dated, or even talked about girls. Ever." He went back to watching TV. "And I've caught you checking out the guys on the construction crew more than once." Just like that, it was done. But until then, Stanley had been terrified of his reaction. So he empathized with Kent's worry. A hand reached and unlatched Stanley's gate, which led into the yard. Kent entered and shut the gate behind him. He smiled, his bag over his shoulder. "Hey, Stanley." Stanley stood. "Hi, Kent." Stanley watched as Kent approached. 'What does he see in me? I don't get it.' Stanley's doubts ran through his mind as Kent stepped up onto the porch. "Hey, I've got to show you something." Kent grinned, and he patted the bag he carried. "I'll need to show you on my laptop." Stanley nodded. "Oh, okay." He turned to let them into the house, still ruminating over his own questions and worries. 'I'm a nobody. A nothing. There's no way I can keep him happy.' They went inside and Kent excitedly set up his computer. Within a few minutes, Stanley had him logged onto the WiFi, and Kent opened his email. "Man, you're gonna love this." Kent continued to smile and glanced at Stanley. There must have been something of how he felt on Stanley's face. Kent froze. "Are you okay?" Kent turned toward him. "What's wrong?" Stanley felt almost as if he had been caught doing something bad. A weird panic bloomed in his mind. "I, I just ..." He frowned as he tried to figure out how to express what he wanted to say. He looked worriedly at Kent. Kent put his hands on Stanley's shoulders. "Okay, tell me what's wrong." His eyes moved over Stanley's features. "Stanley, what's going on?" 'You need to make him see.' Stanley swallowed nervously. "I, I just think that you shouldn't say that you love me." He nodded to himself. "I think you need to be sure." Kent stared at him. "I, but, I am sure." Kent wet his lips. Stanley looked down, away from Kent's eyes. "Maybe you are right now. But I don't think it'll be the same later when you really get to know me, and when you realize how," he struggled for the next words, "how small, and average, and boring I am." Stanley clenched his jaw, and he plowed on. "I wouldn't blame you if you wanted to take it back." Kent was quiet for a long while. Stanley finally looked up at him, and silent tears rolled down Kent's face. Then Kent uttered the barest whisper into the space between them. "Mercy." It was their safeword. The young man shook his head. "I can't handle it if this is some game. I can't play this one." "It's not a game, Kent." Stanley was going to try and make him understand. "I don't deserve," Stanley began, then he stopped, a surprised expression on his face. He frowned as he realized what he was about to say, as Stanley realized how he really felt. He began to well up, and he hung his head. "It's selfish. I can't expect you to be happy with me. I don't have a degree and I never will. I'm not a handsome guy. There's nothing special about me. I'm just a mechanic in training, Kent." He wiped his eyes with his sleeve. "You should expect more out of life than Stanley Morris." He blinked to clear his vision, and he looked up into Kent's green eyes. "I can't let myself love you. I can't do that to you." Kent simply stared. He blinked when Stanley reached to wipe his face, then Kent did the same thing to Stanley, gently clearing the wetness off of his lover's cheeks and chin. It confused Stanley at first, but as his hand rested on Kent's face, Kent began to smile. "You are everything I want, Stanley." He shook his head, and his eyes narrowed. "And if you ever feel bad about yourself, or like you don't deserve to be happy," Kent's expression turned aggressive, "then you'll have to deal with me. Nobody is allowed to make you feel crappy - not even you." 'He'll never see. He's blind to the weak. The ugly.' Stanley looked in naked wonder at Kent. 'He only sees good.' Stanley clamped a hand over his own mouth and closed his eyes. That didn't stop the tears. Kent pulled him into an embrace. For a few minutes, Kent stood patiently and lovingly with Stanley in his arms. Stanley worked hard and got himself under control. At last able to speak again, Stanley lifted his lips to Kent's ear. Though his voice wavered, the words were clear enough. "Okay, Kent." Kent grinned, and he pushed back to look at Stanley. "Yeah? We're okay?" Stanley took a deep breath. "Well, there's no accounting for your taste, but we're okay." "Good." Kent pulled him back in, and he squeezed him once again. "If you need to talk more about this, we can." Stanley shook his head and enjoyed the feel of Kent's body against his own. "I'm alright. Sorry, I guess I'm being needy." "That's why I'm here, Stanley. You're allowed to need stuff from me." Kent's voice slowed during his delivery, and it became a sultry growl at the end. ∞ Despite what Stanley had said, Kent could feel the lack of certainty in him - his doubt and struggle to accept his own worth. The urge to prove what Stanley was to him burned in Kent's mind, and he let his hands stroke down Stanley's back to his small, yet perfect ass. Once there, Kent squeezed Stanley's butt, and he rubbed his face against the patchy beard on Stanley's chin. "The computer can wait. But I can't." All Stanley could do was to snuggle closer to his broad lover and mumble, “I'm yours, Sir." That was all the permission he required, and Kent quickly started unbuttoning and unzipping until he had both of them naked, piles of clothes lying around them. He pulled on Stanley's hand and led him to the bedroom. Their kisses were full of the angst and passion that they had just poured out to each other. They were needy. Kent needed to show Stanley how much he meant, how worthy he was, and how much meaning Kent found in their connection. Kent was in control, and he soon had his smaller lover flipped over on his belly. He pulled on Stanley's hips, and he forced the little man's ass into the air. “You're beautiful to me, Stanley.” Kent had never done anything like what he felt the urge to do, but it felt like such a small leap for him. He wasn't afraid, and he didn't have any sort of trepidation. "And I'm going to prove it to you." Kent's own feelings of denial and shame at his sexuality faded into the background. He had to help Stanley. He had to make him see. Kent licked the exposed, vulnerable ring of muscle in Stanley's butt. That elicited a moan and a shiver from Stanley. The sounds from his skinny partner made Kent want to continue, and he strove to shove his tongue inside him. "Ahhhh! Ah god." Stanley rolled his head from side to side. "Nobody's ever …" His speech cut off as Kent's tongue entered him, and he groaned. Kent grinned against Stanley's ass, and he continued to pleasure the writhing man. Kent reached under him and took hold of Stanley's drooling, hard cock. He began to stroke Stanley, determined to make this all about the man he had chosen for his lover. Kent pulled away a moment. "Do you doubt what I feel? Are you worth what I'm doing to you, right now?" Kent went back to Stanley, and he continued the intense play with his tongue, and his hand never stopped the slow, firm strokes around Stanley's dick. "Ahh. Fuck. Sir, I…" Kent interrupted him, and he turned Stanley onto his back. He quickly lubed his cock, and he pushed his slick fingers inside his squirming lover. While he worked Stanley's hole, he bent for a kiss. Stanley's eyes rolled in his skull as he made out with Kent, but the younger man's gaze was open, alert, and focused on Stanley. Kent pulled back, positioned his erection against him, and then he brought his hands up, one on either side of the small man's head. Kent held him still, and he stared into Stanley's blue eyes. "I won't give you anything you're not worth." Kent shook Stanley's head once, as if trying to wake him, showing for a moment the strength and power locked up in his broad frame. "Do you believe that?" Stanley stared back into his eyes. "Yes, yes, Sir." "Good." Kent shoved forward, and his cock entered the smaller man in one swift motion. Stanley yelped, and then he groaned. Kent knew that he actually liked a little pain, and Stanley's jaw dropped as he enjoyed the sensation of the sudden entry. "I wouldn't give this to you if you didn't deserve it." Kent started to move, and Stanley whimpered under him. "You hear me?" "Yes, Sir." Kent started how he knew Stanley liked it - rough and hard. He allowed the smaller man to stroke himself while he hammered away. "Come for me," Kent whispered, as he slammed into Stanley. "I want to make you come, Stanley. Show me you deserve this." Stanley gasped, and his neck relaxed while his back arched. "Oh, God." His free hand gripped the back of Kent's neck. Kent was determined, and he postponed his orgasm as long as he could. He neared his limit, and he felt his body prime itself for the moment. "Come for me, damn it," he growled. He was rewarded with a gasp, and then Stanley shot up the front of his stomach and chest. "There you go. Good boy." When Kent said "boy," a huge grin appeared on Stanley's face, all while his orgasm burned its way through his body and mind. The last straw for Kent was the way Stanley's muscles clamped on him, and the knowledge that he had helped his lover get to the goal. He grunted and shoved himself as far as he could into Stanley. Kent let Stanley pull him down for a kiss while he continued to thrust into the man under him. Both finished while they kissed and Kent's pelvis was now still. Then he drew back, propped himself up on his arms, and looked down at Stanley. His eyes roamed over Stanley's delicate features. Stanley's blue eyes looked up at Kent, and his prominent Adam's Apple moved as he swallowed. A light dusting of stubble was on his face, but only in parts - facial hair was something Stanley struggled to grow evenly. Yet his lashes were dark and full, framing his marvelous eyes as if they were exquisite works of art. Everything about him, everything, Kent loved. "Do you understand me, now? Do you get it?" Kent stared intently at him, willing Stanley to see. "You're mine. I'm yours. That's what I want." Stanley bit his lip, and he nodded. "I get it." He breathed, and he wet his lips. "I think I might love you, Kent." Kent blinked, then he smiled. "Say it without 'think.'" "I might love you, Kent." They stayed in eye contact as Stanley spoke. "One more time," Kent whispered. "Without the 'might.' Just try it on for size." Stanley worked his mouth. "I, I love you, Kent." He blinked up at Kent's green eyes. "Oh, uh." Stanley nodded. "Yeah. I love you." Kent grinned. "You'd better." Then he laughed, and he wiggled his hips, which made his cock slide back and forth, still inside Stanley. "You just love my pecker." Stanley laughed. "Oh, I love that too!" He grinned at Kent, then he made a noise of realization. "Wait, before I forget, what did you want to show me?" "Oh!" Kent released him, and he stood up. He reached a hand down to help Stanley up. "Come on." They walked back into the living room and Kent turned to his laptop. Stanley watched as he selected an email - one in a long list of them with attachments. "You've gotta see this. It's a comic, but not like superheroes. They're done by Nate's boyfriend." "Uh, okay?" Stanley smiled fondly, but a little confused at Kent's excitement. Kent double-clicked, and soon a beautifully colored PDF opened. Kent scrolled quickly through a few scenes, then he stood back. "Here, look. I opened it to the panel with Tad and his boyfriend together, before they met Nate." Stanley looked. "Whoa. Sexy drawing!" Then he cocked his head, and his mouth dropped. "Uhhh… I know that guy." He pointed at the taller of the pair depicted. "That's Christopher." He tapped the screen. "I work with him!" Then he frowned and shook his head. "Wait. Who is a boyfriend with who again?" In response, Kent only smirked. ∞ Christopher and Tad were on their way to Nate's apartment building in Chris's old GMC truck. Chris looked over at him as they stopped at a light. In the fading light of the sun as it kissed the horizon, a golden glow framed his lover, and Chris lost himself for a moment as he stared. Tad blinked, then he turned his head. "It's green." "Ah, yeah. Thanks." Chris refocused on the road and continued on. Tad reached over, and his warm hand rested on Christopher's leg. Chris put his right hand over Tad's and squeezed lightly. There was so much that ran through Christopher's mind. His thoughts were not exactly coherent, and many were nothing he could vocalize. Instead, he felt raw emotions, and flashes of memory played behind his eyes. Chris knew Tad watched him as he drove. Yet there was nothing Christopher could say. There was so much he wanted to get out that he didn't know where to start. They pulled up to the curb of the apartment building. It was beautiful. Thanks to a strong earthquake that had happened a couple of years ago, the building had to be repaired and retrofitted. While the owner was at it, he had also paid to have the original facade replaced on the front of the underlying brick structure. Chris put the truck in park and killed the engine, then he looked over at Tad. Those handsome, dark eyes seemed to peer straight into his soul. Tad always made Chris feel as if he were the only person in the world. Even while they were with Nate, somehow, Tad connected with Christopher in such a deep and profound way. Yet he managed to do the same thing with Nate simultaneously. Tad's hand rubbed Chris's beard and his face. "I love you, Bear." Chris closed his eyes, and he turned his head. He gently kissed the palm of Tad's hand. With his lips still against Tad's skin, he whispered, "I know. I love you." He bit his bottom lip, then he looked up at Tad. "Does it hurt you, that I need Nate too?" That thought had bothered Christopher, and he could no longer put off knowing for sure how Tad honestly felt. Tad grinned at him. "No." He ran his hand over Chris's brown hair, almost as if he were petting his tall lover. "Nate's good for us." Tad leaned forward, and he kissed Christopher's lips. He leaned back again to look at Christopher. "And we're good for him too." Tad let his eyes roam over Chris's face. "Bear, I know you're scared sometimes. And it's okay to be." He smiled and looked in adoration at Chris, then he sighed. "I just want you to talk to me when it happens. Okay?" Tad shook his head. "I worry about Nate, you know? I know you guys talk, and that's great. But the scary stuff, your worries, and your fears, you can bring them to me. I can take it." Chris swallowed the lump in his throat. He looked at Tad, and he felt the emotions run so deep as he did. He nodded. "Okay." "Good." Tad and Christopher kissed again, and they stayed with their heads together and communed in the simple, primal way skin on skin contact allows. Then, Tad chuckled. "I just don't want to run him off." Tad leaned back, and he grinned. "The sex is too good!" Christopher laughed. "You're right about that!" He looked fondly at Tad. "Come on. Let's see if this place is gonna work for us." With smiles, the men left the truck and started up the stairs of the apartment building. ∞ Nate had already been let inside the third-floor apartment by the manager, and he turned when his men entered. "Hey!" He grinned at the pair, and he motioned over the large living room space. "Come check it out." After some quick but affectionate kisses, Chris and Tad both walked around the room. Chris was pretty easy and had few needs or wants when it came to his living spaces. He quickly approved of the living room, and the tall fellow disappeared down the hallway to the bedrooms. Tad ambled around, and his artist's eyes looked at the last of the light as it poured through the western facing windows. He stood in the sun, and he smiled as he looked out of the large pane of glass. "Kali will love this window." Nate smiled at him. "Yeah, she will." He stepped over next to Tad and looked out over the street and old town Eureka below. Tad continued to gaze toward the west, at the horizon. "Do you like it, Nate? The apartment?" The redhead nodded. "Yeah. I love it. It has a great view, it's renovated, and super nice. The bedrooms are all generous." Nate put his arm around Tad's shoulders. "Come on, I want to show you the kitchen and the bedrooms." Tad smiled, and his eyes looked dreamily out over the view. "It's great. If you and Chris like it, then it's perfect." Nate frowned. "But, it's not just about us." He pulled gently on Tad. "Come on. You'll love the kitchen." Tad finally turned toward him, but he surprised Nate when he put his arms around him. Nate stood there, holding Tad, and the dark-haired man smiled in his ear. "It will be about you guys, and just you guys." Nate frowned as Tad spoke. "If you and Chris like it, then it's where we'll be." Nate fought the gut-punch sensation in his belly and squeezed Tad. "Maybe they're wrong? Maybe it's not what they think it is, and you'll be fine. You still don't have symptoms, right?" Nate still struggled to accept that Tad's time was limited, and he couldn't imagine life without him now. "Not yet. But don't let Bear hear you say that, okay?" Tad rubbed his back. "I know you don't want to believe it - neither do I, but we can't let Chris hear those doubts. He's just starting to accept things, and how they'll be." Tad pushed back, and he looked at Nate's sad, blue eyes. "You can be weak with me. But, with Christopher, we both need to be strong. Okay?" Nate bit his lip. He had so many things he kept to himself. Things that he didn't want to saddle Tad with - his worries, and his stresses. But Tad was so insistent, so Nate agreed with a nod. Tad smiled broadly at him. "Good." He gave another quick hug to Nate, then Christopher appeared in the hallway. "Hey! Come look at the tub. It's huge!" His bearded face grinned. "I bet all three of us could get in there." Tad laughed, and he glanced at Nate. "Shall we?" He put out his arm. Nate took a deep breath, and he forced a smile. "Yeah." He linked his arm in Tad's, and the two of them met their excited boyfriend in the hallway of what would become their new apartment.
  6. Wayne Gray

    GD Bus

    Cool to see, from a safe distance while it is not in operation? Yes, I agree completely. 🙂
  7. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    Hehehe. Yep. You sorta called what was coming. Close enough! It took Nate to make Christopher see what he did was wrong (I forget which chapter they had their little confrontation about it). I tried hard to make it apparent that Christopher loves Tad. But he's not perfect. Emotionally he wasn't ready to accept that Tad's life would end. He wanted, so badly, to believe that if Tad just tried, that he could beat the cancer. He's finally coming to terms with things, and it started (of all places) with Nate. Mmmmm... that scene. Yeah, I like that scene with all three of them. Kent and Stanley are becoming more than they were, while Markus circles the drain. There's a reason I'm telling all of these stories. It's all connected. Or, it will be. Thanks for reading, Jeffrey.
  8. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    They're taking a big step, yes. And Eureka is a small place. You'll run into the same people over and again if they run in similar circles. These guys have yet to have that happen, but as you've guessed, it's coming. 🙂 Thanks for reading! More's on the way.
  9. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    He's stuck in that feedback loop. That negative self-reinforcement many of us deal with. You're right - he needs proof that he is loveable, worthy, and that he's not broken. Let's hope he finds that proof... somewhere. Thanks for reading and commenting, Tom.
  10. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    Christopher is still in that process. He's still going through it. He has begun, though. With Nate and Tad both there to help him, he has just about all he could ask in terms of support. Markus... yeah. That one is painful. Amarillo isn't exactly rural, but it's firmly southern. It's not a place crawling with visible examples of alternative sexuality. Thanks for reading and commenting, Fae. 🙂
  11. Okay... this is funny.  Only because it applies.


    One of our cats has this routine.  When I feed him he always stands by his bowl and waits while I pat him a few times before he starts to eat.  Today, I did it.  I squatted down beside him while my legs were just screaming.

    "This proves how much I love you," I mumbled as he stuck his face in his bowl, purring away, unaware or uncaring of my pain.  Then I proceeded to make all sorts of unholy noises in the effort to stand up.

    I don't overtrain, but I do train hard.  Today is the worst for my legs (two days after working them).  By the time I'm ready for them again they will have just gotten over this last session.

    I forgot how much fun this is.  😄

    1. Mikiesboy
    2. Brayon


      Never skip leg day! The kitty knows, they are just jerks and want to torture their servants.

  12. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    No need to be sorry. Thanks for reading and commenting!
  13. Wayne Gray

    Next Steps

    Yeah. It's very hard for Markus to view his sexuality as anything but a liability and as something deeply wrong and broken. Right now he truly hates himself, and he feels unworthy of any kind of affection. Someone needs to intervene in his life, or there may be more than one sad ending after all. Thanks, Bryan. More is on the way on Wednesday. Though, Markus won't show up again until next Sunday.
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