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    Aceinthehole
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The Golden City - 23. Date Night

Chapter 23: Date Night

When I was a kid all I wanted was a dad. My Mom tried her hardest to fill in that hole the best she could, but at the end of the day it was never the same. I was stuck on the sidelines watching every father son playing catch, or going on fishing trips. But now a days, well things feel different. Adam’s not my Dad, and he’s not trying to be, but for some reason, well that hole finally feels filled.

“What?” Adam asked as he noticed my staring.

“Nothing.” I shook my head as I snapped back into the moment. “I was just zoning out.”

“Alright.” He cautiously accepted. “You sure you’re alright?”

“I think so.” I replied, looking back to the T.V. “Just tired.”

“You’ve had a long day.” Adam agreed. I could tell there was something he was holding back, but instead of forcing it out he just redirected his attention to the video game he was playing.

“Are you alright?” I asked, turning the question back on him.

“Yeah.” He quickly answered. “Just relieved we got all of that off our chests.”

“And there’s nothing else you want to get off your chest?” I led, seeing what I could draw from him.

“We just had this conversation,” He exhaled, glancing over to me. “if you’re thinking something, just say it.”

“Well that’s actually what I was going to say to you,” I forced a smile. “is there something you’re not asking me?”

He took a moment or two to think it over. “It can wait.”

“Go for it.” I encouraged. “We can get all these questions out of the way at once.”

“Aright,” He slowly nodded his head. “I know you said you won’t forgive Ezra, but,” He hesitated as he noticed me begin to tighten up. “if you could have one, would you want a relationship with him?”

“I don’t know.” I confessed as my mind went into overdrive. “Maybe. It depends what he’s like, but I-I imagine it’s more of the same small town crazy. I mean, I can barely handle some of the stuff Sadie says. How would he take me being gay?”

Adam’s face grew serious as he heard that question. Almost as though he hadn’t thought of it. “Not well.” He finally answered. “But he has no right to judge anyone. Especially not you.”

“Do you know where he is?” I asked in a brave voice.

“I heard his Mom took him to Dallas, but I never found out how true that was.” Adam shook his head. “I got kicked out before I could get to the bottom of it.”

“So you were looking for him?” I asked in a surprised voice.

“Oh, I was looking for him.” Adam confirmed, trying to hide how excited he was growing. “I still have some words for him.” I couldn’t help but laugh at his words. “What?” He asked, forcing eye contact.

“I don’t know,” I shrugged. “I just can’t imagine you wanting to fight someone.”

“I was in plenty of fights growing up, thank you very much.” He teased, letting himself calm down. “Besides, I had to stand up for my nephew.”

I nodded my head as a small smile crossed my face. “I don’t think I’d want a relationship with him.” I finally decided. “I, I’m happy with how everything is right now. Besides, if you don’t approve that’s more than enough for me.”

“How about that?” He remarked as he caught my smile. “Now what if I don’t approve of Dizzy?”

“Him, well you’re stuck with.” I shrugged, reaching out and started to grabbing my book off the coffee table, “But I know you like him. You wouldn’t let him stay here if you didn’t.”

“That’s debatable.” He lied, as another question popped into his mind. “Speaking of Dizzy, did he say what time he’d be getting home?”

No.” I replied, reaching out and grabbing the book off the coffee table. “But I wouldn’t worry about it, I’m sure he’ll get back here soon.”

“Yeah, I guess.” Adam agreed, but I could tell it didn’t sit right with him. “Wouldn’t kill him to let one of us know.” He mumbled to himself before picking his controller back up and falling into his own world.

Every now and again I would notice Adam looking towards the front door. The later it seemed to get the more concern grew on his face. When the door finally did push open Adam made sure to shoot Dizzy a serious look.

Hey Prices.” Dizzy happily greeted. “What’s up?

“Not the time.” I tried to quietly mouth.

“Nothing.” Adam answered, watching him closely. “Mind sharing where you’ve been?”

“Tagging this weird artisan donut shop.” Dizzy teased, figuring it was a game.

“Dizzy.” Adam warned in a serious voice.

“Adam.” Dizzy repeated, trying to match his tone. Yet as their eyes connected he finally realized Adam wasn’t joking around. “Sheesh, who died?”

“Sit.” Adam ordered in a stern voice. “Now!” He commanded before Dizzy could talk back. I saw surprise enter Dizzy’s face as he scrambled to the seat next to me. “Let’s try this again,” Adam began. “where have you been?”

“Me and Ky just went down to the wharf to hang out.” Dizzy finally answered. “I guess we stayed a little later than I planned, but I didn’t realize that was a problem.”

“It’s almost six.” Adam pointed out, continuing to use a strong voice. “It’s fine to hang out with your friends after school, it’s not fine to go missing for almost four hours!”

“Sorry,” Dizzy forced out. “I didn’t think it mattered.”

“Well it does.” Adam argued as Dizzy tensed up even more. “You forced me to give you my number last night, then you don’t even use it! Do you realize we were worried?”

“I kind of figured he was alri…,” I began but froze as Adam turned to me. “in trouble.” I lied, changing what I was about to say. “We were really worried.”

Dizzy shot me a look before looking back towards Adam. “I’m sorry.” He apologized. “This usually doesn’t matter.”

“Well while you stay here it does.” Adam instructed, still using a booming voice. “You don’t have to let me know everything you’re doing, but you absolutely need to be checking in.”

“I’ll do that from now on.” Dizzy said, slightly shaken from Adam’s lecture. “I’m sorry.”

“It’s alright.” Adam finally softened up as their eyes connected. “I know your Mom’s a bit more relaxed with you, but in this house you have to follow the same rules as Artie. Which means I’m going to treat you like I treat Artie.”

“Okay,” Dizzy accepted, letting his eyes drift from Adam’s. “does that mean I could come to you with stuff?”

Adam looked to me, caught off guard by the question. “Yeah.” He finally answered. “Whatever you need.”

“You can come to me.” I offered, drawing Dizzy attention.

“I know,” He swayed his head. “but Adam’s, well, Adam.”

“And what’s that mean?” I asked, faking offense the same way Dizzy would.

“It means I’ve got experience.” Adam teased, standing up and giving me a light shove as he made his way towards the kitchen. “Now come one, it’s time to cook dinner.”

“One of these days I’m going to teach you to cook on your own.” I complained as me and Dizzy slowly stood up.

“Go ahead, either way you’re the one who has to eat it.” Adam shrugged, beginning to rummage around the kitchen to find whatever we had to cook.

“Yeah.” I surrendered in a sigh as we both joined him to put together whatever we could find.

--

--

It didn’t take long for tensions to relax and everything to return back to normal. Adam can lecture us all he wants about following rules, but at the end of the day I don’t think we’ll ever stop seeing him as the fun uncle. Eventually I found the right moment to slip away and finally call Lindsay about the surprise dinner with Mason.

Artie?” She picked up as I quietly shut my bedroom door. “Is everything alright? Is Adam alright?”

“Everything’s fine.” I couldn’t help but laugh. “Geez, you really do worry a lot, don’t you?”

“I do not!” She exclaimed in a defensive voice. “Did Adam tell you that? He’s so dramatic!

No.” I lied, incidentally getting him into hot water. “It’ just something I noticed.”

“And you called to test that out?” She teased, patiently waiting for the real reason.

“Actually, I did.” I played along. “But while I have you, I was wondering if you knew something about a guy named Mason.”

“I might.” She cautiously responded. “Who wants to know?”

“Me and Dizzy.” I answered as I took a seat on the corner of my bed. “We’d like to invite Mason over and set up a surprise date for Adam.”

“He’s going to hate that.” Lindsay exhaled as she thought it over. “I’m so in!

Once more I couldn’t help but laugh at her words. “It’s not supposed to annoy him, it, never mind.”

No, come on,” She encouraged as she began to grow excited. “what’s it for?”

“He just, we just, he deserves a night off and we want to make it special.” I answered as a blush began to coat my face.

“I think you’ve lost track of how many days he’s taken off of work recently.” She teased, not actually meaning a word of it. “But I think it’s a great idea anyway.”

“So you do know about Mason?” I asked, eager to learn what I could.

“I’ve met him,” Lindsay swayed her head. “and I may have gotten his number.”

“You’re the best!” I shouted, before quickly catching myself and quieting down once more. “Wait? Does this mean they’ve been going on dates? Why does Adam feel like he needs to sneak out about this stuff?”

“He just wants to make sure it’s going well before he tells you.” She answered, trying to carefully plan out her answers. “But yes, they’ve been on a couple of dates and I think Mason would love to come over for dinner.”

“Can you text me his number?” I continued to pressure. “Me and Dizzy want to get this started as soon as we can.”

“You two are turning Adam’s hair gray so early and I love it.” She remarked as I felt my phone buzz. “Just sent it. I can call him if you’re not comfortable with it.”

“No, I can do it.” I dismissed, knowing I should be the one taking the initiative. “I mean, you’re totally welcome to help out if you want. We do need someone to keep him distracted after all. We’re thinking of trying to make it tomorrow or Saturday night.”

“I can do that.” She happily agreed. “Just let me know when.”

“Awesome, I will.” I cheerfully replied, relieved at how much of a help she would be. Don’t get me wrong, Dizzy will do his share of work, but at the end of the day, he’s still Dizzy!

“Oh, and Artie,” She began but hesitated. “by any chance, would you like to get lunch or coffee with me one day?”

“Like just us?” I asked, surprised by her question.

“If that’s okay.” She timidly offered.

“I would really like that.” I answered as I felt my smile begin to grow. “Does Sunday work?”

“It does, I’ll come home with Adam and we’ll figure something out.” She answered, clearly relieved by my answer. “I’ll see you soon.”

“See you soon.” I reflected back before hanging up and quickly calling the number she had sent.

With every ring that sounded I felt my heart begin to beat faster and faster until finally the other end picked up. “Hello?” The voice on the other end began.

“Hi, is this Mason?” I cautiously replied as my nerves grew stronger.

“Yes,” The voice answered, just as guarded as me. “who is this?”

“I don’t know if you remember me, but this is Arthur Price.” I introduced, having to force the words out of my mouth. “I’m Adam’s nephew.”

“Oh, I remember you!” Mason exclaimed, quickly growing comfortable with the call. “What gives me the honor of talking with you tonight?”

Well, Adam’s friend Lindsay gave me your number,” I began, trying my hardest to combat my anxiety. “and I was wondering if you’d like to come over tomorrow night for dinner to surprise Adam. It’d just be the two of you, and we’d take care of everything.”

“Did Adam put you up to this?” Mason asked in a laugh.

“Nope.” I quickly rejected. “He has no idea about any of this.”

“Alright.” Mason accepted. “I’m in.”

“Really?” I excitedly asked. “What time works for you? Do you need the address?”

“I can be there by six,” Mason answered in a laugh. “and yeah just text me it.”

“Awesome!” I cheered, relieved my plan was finally coming together. “And it’s a surprise, so don’t mention it to him!”

“I won’t.” He laughed once more. “I’ll see you tomorrow night.”

“See you tomorrow night!” I smiled, hanging up the phone before quickly texting Mason and Lindsay the details.

When I finally rejoined Dizzy and Adam, neither of them really seemed to notice. After all, they were both too wrapped up in their video game to pay me any attention! Not that it bothered me, trust me, after a couple hours of them together, it helps to be invisible!

Eventually I was finally able to fill Dizzy in on all the details I had planned. I’m not sure he understands how much work it’s going to be, but I could tell he was excited. If there’s anything that’s become clear since he started staying here, it’s how much he looks up to Adam.

--

--

The next day couldn’t seem to pass fast enough. I was just excited, excited to see what Adam is like with a boyfriend, excited to actually surprise him this time! I mean sure, I took him into Chinatown that one time, but he’s been there before! This, this is something new! And when time finally rolled around to start cooking, well I finally started to understand what a big challenge this would be.

“So what are we cooking?” Dizzy asked, looking at all the ingredients I had laid out on the table.

“Garlic brown sugar chicken?” I said, unsure about the answer just as much as he was. “I found the recipe online. It’s one of the only things we have ingredients for.”

“Adam eats a lot of chicken.” Dizzy observed, taking another look into the fridge.

“I think it’s the only thing he knows how to cook.” I shook my head. “He only really gets steak or hamburgers when we order out.”

“Because that makes sense.” Dizzy commented, shutting the fridge before starting to rummage through cabinets.

“I told you, this is all I could find.” I shook my head as I started to organize my ingredients even further. “We need to focus, Lindsay can only keep Adam out of the house for so long, and even then Mason will be here in like an hour!”

“Okay, but we can’t just serve only chicken.” Dizzy explained, finally turning back to me. “There has to be something more. Are you sure he doesn’t have potatoes or frozen fries or something?”

“Adam? Stock up on food?” I rolled my eyes. “You should see him in a grocery store. He doesn’t know whether to check his ass or scratch his watch.”

“What?!” Dizzy exclaimed before bursting out into laughter. “What the hell does that even mean?”

“It means he’s confused.” I groaned, unintentionally setting him off. “Now come on! I need you to focus here!”

“Alright,” Dizzy exhaled a heavy breath as he tried his hardest to regain his composure. “alright,” he repeated finally standing up straight. “does rice work with what you’re doing?” He asked, pulling a small box out of the cabinet.

I guess.” I shook my head. “I don’t really think so, but you do have a point.”

We’ll make it work.” Dizzy tried to comfort. “Besides, we’re only teenagers, how much could they really expect from us?”

“Good attitude.” I sarcastically encouraged as I took out a pan and poured some oil into it.

“Is that healthy?” Dizzy asked, but I refused to answer. “Is that safe?” He continued as I turned the heat up and the oil began to crackle.

“Have you never cooked before?” I groaned as I quickly sprinkled some salt and pepper over the chicken before bringing it over to sizzling oil.

“Not outside of class.” He shook his head, watching as I placed a chicken breast into the pan.

“I want to do one!” He excitedly announced. I offered him the bowl as he grabbed one and slowly placed the chicken into the pan before quickly pulling his hand away. “Son of a bitch!” He yelped as he grabbed onto his arm. “That is not safe!

“Oh don’t be a baby.” I rolled my eyes, placing the other two pieces of chicken into the pan.

“Be a baby? That hurt!” He exclaimed, continuing to play it up. “I didn’t expect the oil to attack me! That felt like an army of angry bees! It wasn’t fun at all!

“Who said it would be fun?” I asked as I looked over to him, but all I got was a proud smile. “Just cook your rice.”

“I will.” He replied, grabbing the box from the counter. “At least that won’t shoot at me!”

“You sure about that?” I teased, starting to prepare the rest of my ingredients.

“Not at all.” He confidentially answered, before getting to work on his side dish.

There was a bit more goofing around, but for the most part Dizzy seemed to settle down and focus. Pretty soon he was taking it as seriously as me, trying his hardest to show our little project meant just as much to him. Just as we began finishing up the food a loud knocking began on the door.

“Can you get that?” I turned towards Dizzy as I finished up the chicken.

“Can’t you do it?” He asked, refusing to step towards the door. “I mean it’s probably Mason, and I don’t know him.”

“I have to make sure this doesn’t burn.” I shook my head. “And I’m not letting you ruin it because you suddenly got shy. I mean, where is this side of you when I have a headache?”

“Alright, alright.” He dismissed. “Just be difficult then.”

“Just be difficult then.” I tried to mimic him the best I could.

He ignored my jab as he finally reached the door and pulled it open. “Hello.” Dizzy greeted as I glanced over to see the man from the restaurant take a cautious step inside. His long brown hair was a lot more neatly kept then I remembered, and a nicely sized beard now decorated his face. Not a long beard or anything like that, just enough to add even more style to his look.

“Hi.” The man managed out as he looked over to me.

“Hey Mason.” I offered as I was finally able to pull the chicken off the heat. “That’s my boyfriend Dizzy.”

“Mason,” The man greeted as he offered Dizzy a hand. “I’m friends with Adam.”

“So I’ve heard.” Dizzy began to smirk as they shook hands.

“Stop.” I warned as Dizzy glanced back to me.

Dizzy let out a small giggle before turning back and walking towards me. “I’m not doing anything.” He shrugged.

“Mason you can come sit at the table and get comfortable if you’d like.” I offered, hoping Dizzy would show him the way without saying anything stupid.

“Alright,” The man agreed with a slow nod. “I wasn’t sure what to bring, so I figured wine would be a safe choice.” He explained, holding up a large bottle. “I figured it would be something you couldn’t get, but I’m not too sure anymore.”

“Why’s that?” Dizzy asked as his smirk grew.

“Your boyfriend just seems very mature.” Mason shrugged as they both took a seat.

“A little too mature sometimes.” Dizzy playfully rolled his eyes.

“I don’t even know what that means Diz,” I shook my head. “and I don’t want to!” I cut off before he could explain.

“So like, is everyone in this house gay?” Mason asked, watching us both closely.

“It’s just me and Adam,” I swayed my head. “so yes.”

“Explains the flag outside I guess.” He nodded his head. “Speaking of Adam, where is he?”

“Lindsay’s keeping him occupied.” I shrugged my shoulders. “He should be here soon.”

“In the meantime, we want to explain some ground rules.” Dizzy instantly began before anyone else could speak.

No!” I exclaimed as I locked eyes with Dizzy. “Didn’t I tell you to stop?”

“I just want to make sure our baby boy doesn’t get hurt.” Dizzy shrugged as he rose back to his feet.

“Baby boy?” Mason repeated as he shot Dizzy a strange look.

“I’m sorry,” I shook my head. “Dizzy just gets a bit, excitable.”

“It’s called personality Artie.” Dizzy corrected with a wink.

“It’s all good.” Mason accepted as he glanced back to Dizzy. “I deal with a lot of personalities at the Tavern.” He teased with a smile.

“Ohh.” I laughed as Dizzy shrugged his shoulders.

“Although this one seems especially big.” He encouraged, looking back to Dizzy. “You like this all the time?”

“Twenty-four seven.” Dizzy proudly answered.

“You should’ve seen trying to cook with him.” I shook my head as the sound of keys finally began to jingle in the door. My heart nearly stopped as the door pushed open and Adam stepped inside.

“It smells good in here.” He began, not even bothering to look into the kitchen. “Sorry I’m home late, Lindsay wouldn’t let me leave work. She was like, freaking out over everything.” He shook his head as he faced the wall and took his shoes off. “Thanks for cooking though Artie.”

“I helped!” Dizzy shouted, seeing what kind of response he’d get.

“Moral support isn’t help Dizzy.” Adam teased, drawing a laugh from Mason. The second he heard the mature laughter he quickly turned around. “Mason?” He asked in disbelief.

Surprise!” I called out with a forced smile.

“It was rude to make your guest wait Adam.” Dizzy provoked, trying his hardest not to laugh at the surprise on Adam’s face.

“What are you doing here?” Adam shook his head.

“Arthur invited me over for dinner.” He shrugged his shoulders. “I figured it was an offer I couldn’t pass up.

“You put this all together?” Adam asked as he turned towards me.

“Yup,” I proudly nodded. “and I know, you want to kill me. But the least you could do is have a nice date with Mason first.”

“He’s got a point.” Mason encouraged as he locked eyes with Adam. “Would be a shame for all your nephew’s hard work to go to waste.”

“Alright.” Adam accepted as he finally began to walk over.

“We have garlic brown sugar chicken and rice for you guys,” I began as I quickly set up two plates.

“I don’t want to spoil anything, but the rice is the best part.” Dizzy interrupted, helping me set up the glasses and plates on the table.

“Eat it at your own discretion.” I teased, taking a step back from the table. “Enjoy your dinners.”

“And where are you two going?” Adam asked, finally taking a seat across from Mason.

“I’ll take Artie out.” Dizzy decided as he grabbed my hand.

“Why don’t you two stay for dinner?” Mason suddenly offered. “If that’s cool with you?” He probed, looking over to Adam.

“Are you sure?” Adam asked, more surprised by Mason’s question than anything else. “They’re good kids but Dizzy can be a bit,”

Excitable.” Mason finished with a laugh. “I’ve noticed, but it’s all good. I mean, part of dating you is meeting your family, right?”

“I guess so.” Adam nodded his head. “What do you boys think?”

“There is enough food.” Dizzy swayed his head.

“But we don’t want to ruin your night.” I corrected, shooting Dizzy a serious look. “We did want to give you two a nice quiet evening.”

Quiets overrated.” Mason spoke up before Adam could go either way. “Sit and eat. It wouldn’t feel right otherwise.”

“Alright.” I finally accepted, shooting Adam a proud look. I may not know Mason that well, but I can already tell he’s better than that last loser Adam brought home!

“So how long have you two been dating?” Mason inquired as we got ourselves settled in.

“About since he moved here.” Dizzy answered. “So like, almost two months.”

“Something like that.” I shrugged as I took my seat across from Dizzy and between Mason and Adam.

Mason nodded his head, but I could tell there was a question brewing in his head. “Artie moved in with me all the way from Texas.” Adam explained, predicting the question on Mason’s mind.

“That’s what a good guy Adam is,” I couldn’t help but support. “took me in without hesitation.”

“Smooth.” Dizzy teased with a nod as Mason began to laugh.

We’re already seeing one another.” Adam warned as he forced eye contact. “Mason doesn’t need the added encouragement.”

“I think it’s sweet.” Mason spoke up. “Not many teenagers like their guardians.”

“It’s only been two months.” Adam said with a smile. “There will be plenty of time for rebellion down the road.”

“Artie? Rebel?” Dizzy couldn’t help but laugh. “What’s he going to do? Read more books? Drink a soda? He almost fainted when he heard weed was legal in California!”

“I did not!” I defended with a blush. “It was just surprising, we don’t have weed in Texas.”

“Texas has weed.” Adam corrected as he looked up from his plate. “You just didn’t know about it.”

“You sound confident about that.” Mason teased as he looked over to Adam. “Care to share?”

“Like you said, not many teenagers like their guardians.” Adam smirked, drawing a smile from Mason.

“Teenage Adam sounds fun,” Mason began as his grin turned devious. “I’ve got to pull teeth to get adult Adam to come to a bar.”

“I can’t leave Artie home alone.” Adam lied with a shrug.

“You can totally leave me home.” I rolled my eyes. “You’re just paranoid.”

“He did cook for himself, and organize this whole thing.” Mason nodded his head. “Even found a way to get you your favorite wine.”

“Yup,” I played along. “that was all me, Mason didn’t have anything to do with that.”

“Alright, I get it.” Adam sighed. “Maybe I’ll go to a bar with you.”

“Maybe?” Mason laughed once more. “Maybe like tomorrow night? It is a Friday after all.”

Ooo.” Adam exhaled, already having an excuse in mind. “I’m pretty sure Artie has a baseball game.”

“That’ll be over by like eight at the latest.” I rolled my eyes.

“I like baseball.” Mason shrugged. “Maybe I could come watch, we could get them dinner and then go out.”

“What else are you going to do tomorrow night?” Dizzy spoke up before Adam could say anything. “Play xbox for the hundredth time?”

“Alright, I’ll go out.” Adam surrendered, looking down at his food. “Talk about peer pressure.”

“Poor Adam has to go out and have a beer.” Mason playfully mocked. “Are you going to need a tissue?”

“I think I’ll survive.” Adam smiled as he looked back up. “You sure you want to come to a high school baseball game though?”

“Yeah, we’re not exactly the Giants.” I nodded, still surprised Mason would even consider going.

“That’s alright.” He accepted without putting too much thought into it. “I have a Friday off for the first time in forever, and honestly, I’m not sure what to do with it.”

“So you’re going to spend it at a high school baseball game?” Dizzy asked, shooting him a cautious look.

“If that’s where Adam is.” Mason replied without hesitation.

“Smooth.” Dizzy approved with a nod.

“But it’ll be cool to see Artie play too.” Mason began, looking over to me. “What position do you play?”

“Middle infield.” I proudly answered. “Mostly shortstop though.”

Artie’s the best player on the team.” Dizzy bragged, drawing a blush from my face.

“I’m not the best player.” I shook my head. “Jose is our best player, I just work hard is all.”

“Our district hasn’t had a good baseball team, like, ever.” Dizzy rolled his eyes. “Then you get here and just spark everything. I think that makes you their best player.”

We’re not even that good.” I tried to reject. “It’s going to be a dogfight to get into the playoffs, and even if we do, we’re totally going to get eliminated right away.”

“All that matters is getting in.” Mason supported as he looked over to me. “A team playing with nothing to lose is the most dangerous team of them all.”

“Yeah so have a little confidence!” Dizzy exclaimed, lightly nudging my foot with his. “You put on a show tomorrow, and I’ll plan us an exciting evening out in the city.”

“They’ll be alright.” Mason encouraged before Adam could say anything.

“I know,” Adam agreed in a sigh. “but I want to know what that ‘exciting evening’ is.

“I’ll let you know as soon as I figure it out.” Dizzy patronized with a grin.

“Well maybe it should include Charlotte and Ky.” Adam suggested, starting to shoot Dizzy a strict look.

“Let them have their date night.” Mason spoke up, trying his hardest to help without overstepping. “They did just set up a pretty great one for us.”

“I guess they did.” Adam nodded as he began to ease up. “Where did you find this recipe from anyway?”

“The internet. It was surprisingly easy.” I shrugged my shoulders. “Finding the ingredients though, that was a different story.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Adam dismissed, having heard it from me a thousand times before.

“You’re not dating a very good cook.” Dizzy explained as he looked over to Mason.

“I can make up for that.” Mason replied, shooting Adam a smile. “Anything else he’s not very good at?”

“He gets flustered easily.” Dizzy quickly answered as his smile grew.

“Do not.” Adam tried to reject.

I swayed my head as I thought it over. “You kinda do, and you let Dizzy push your buttons a lot.”

“I don’t let him do anything,” Adam began. “he just shows up and then we can’t get rid of him!”

“Because you don’t want to get rid of him.” I corrected, but all Adam could do was let out a sigh.

“That’s sweet of you.” Mason nodded in approval. “So you like kids?”

“Just these two I guess.” Adam said, but I could tell he wasn’t confident in his answer. “I don’t think I’ve ever really dealt with kids before Artie moved in, and even then, he’s not really a kid.”

“What about you?” Dizzy began to question. “You like kids?’

“I think so.” Mason responded in a bit more confidence than Adam had.

“Do you work with kids?” Dizzy continued. “No, you look too rough to work with kids. I bet you’re a mechanic.”

“I’m actually a bartender at Twin-Peaks Tavern.” Mason corrected, trying his hardest not to look phased by Dizzy’s interrogation.

“I thought you were a server.” I interjected, looking up at him.

“Sometimes.” He swayed his head. “If someone calls out and needs a fill in, or if it’s a really slow night I will. I’m still relatively new there, so I’m trying to show I’m a team player.”

“Where did you work before that?” Dizzy asked, unafraid to keep his interview going.

“Dizzy.” Adam warned, shooting him another strict look.

“It’s cool.” Mason forced a smile. “I’ve got nothing to hide.”

“I kind of want to know too.” I spoke up causing Adam to shake his head.

“I was a data analyst for a company over in Idaho.” Mason explained, drawing in our attention. “But I hated every single second of it. It was just so, boring.” He shook his head. “One day I realized I could waste my whole life being bored and making good money in the middle of nowhere, or I could take a chance and move to a big city.”

Dizzy seemed to lean forward in his chair, starting to get fully wrapped up in the story. “So you just left?” Dizzy interrupted, too excited for his own good.

“More or less.” Mason answered. “I got my bartending certification first so I had at least some kind of back up, then I just left.”

“But wasn’t that scary?” Dizzy interrogated once more.

“Not as scary as thinking you’re wasting your life.” Mason laughed, drawing a smile from Adam. “Besides, I’d grown up in Idaho my whole life, it was time to go somewhere new. Somewhere a little more gay friendly too.”

“That’s why you chose San Francisco?” I jumped in, getting enwrapped in the story myself.

“I suppose so.” He thought it over. “I also had a friend from college who lived in the area and was willing to let me move in.”

“So then how long have you lived here?” I probed, picking up where Dizzy had left off.

“Something like three or four months now.” He explained, this time with pride showing through his words. “So I guess I’m just as new to San Francisco as you.”

“I guess so.” I nodded with a smile.

As Mason looked over to Adam, he couldn’t help but reflect my smile. “I’m sorry about the twenty questions,” Adam began.

“Don’t be.” Mason cut off. “I like telling that story.” He explained, looking back over to Dizzy then me. “It’s never too late to change your life.”

“No wonder Adam likes you.” Dizzy shook his head. “That’s basically his mantra!”

“It is.” I supported before Adam could say otherwise.

“Then I guess that’s why I like him too.” Mason grinned as he held eye contact with Adam for a few moments.

“Alright,” Dizzy spoke up as he noticed everyone had finished their food. “why don’t you two go hang out in the living room and we’ll clean up?”

“Please let me help clean,” Mason began.

“It’s fine.” I interrupted, noticing the same thing as Dizzy. “You’re our guest, plus me and Dizzy promised we’d handle the whole thing.”

“It wouldn’t be fair to go back on our promise.” Dizzy supported as he tried his hardest to pressure them into the other room.

“They’ve got a point.” Adam agreed as he began to stand up.

“Alright.” Mason shrugged. “Dinner was great boys, thank you.”

“Anytime.” I smiled, happily watching them wander into the other room.

“They’re so perfect for one another!” Dizzy whispered as we began to clean off the table. “I totally approve!”

“Me too.” I couldn’t help but laugh. “But are we sure Adam likes him back? He’s kind of been quiet.”

“I think he’s just watching how Mason acts around you.” Dizzy observed, glancing into the other room before quickly looking back to me. “Besides, he was totally checking Mason out the whole time.”

“Good.” I giggled as I felt my smile grew. “I want them to work out.”

“Me too.” Dizzy agreed. “So let’s just give them space for the rest of the night. Besides, I need to start planning tomorrow night.”

“Yeah? And what will that be like?” I asked as my smile turned to a smirk.

“You’ll see.” He winked, before turning around and clearing off the rest of the table.

As me and Dizzy finished cleaning up the kitchen, we couldn’t help but overhear all the laughter coming from the living room. If Adam was being shy before, well that’s certainly over now! It seemed like they were talking about anything and everything, as though they could go on for hours! Eventually me and Dizzy’s laughter from the kitchen overshadowed theirs, as we all branched off into our own couples.

But even then, Mason made sure to come over and say goodbye before he left. “Dinner really was great.” He praised as he shook my hand.

“I’m glad you liked it.” I replied with a proud smile.

“Maybe you’ll have to cook for us again sometime soon.” Adam teased, wearing a goofy smile he seemed to develop the second we left them alone.

“Well next time I’ll swing by earlier and help.” Mason nodded towards me. “We’ll cook for Adam and Dizzy.”

“Thank god,” I exhaled in an overdramatic tone. “because Dizzy was no help.”

“My rice was amazing.” He argued as he shook Mason’s hand goodbye.

“Sure it was.” Mason laughed. “I’ll see you both tomorrow. I look forward to catching that game.” He smiled as Adam began to lead him towards the door.

“Still unsure if Adam likes him back?” Dizzy asked as Adam shut the door behind them.

“Nope!” I exclaimed in a confident voice. “What was that smile? I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before!”

“That my innocent friend, is what it looks like when you’re falling for someone.” Dizzy answered with a nod. “I should know, I’ve seen it on your face since you moved here.”

“You’re so stupid.” I rolled my eyes, but began to laugh as he wrestled me down to the couch.

“Okay, maybe it’s been on my face too.” He admitted, as he laid on top of me.

Imagine that? Adam already starting to fall for Mason? I thought it was going to take forever to get there! But they’re a good couple. Mason, he’s exactly the kind of guy I picture with Adam. I just hope I can give them a good game to watch tomorrow!

Copyright © 2018 Aceinthehole; All Rights Reserved.

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Very nice.  Finding out a little more about teenaged Adam.  Adam and mason do sound perfect for each other. Both with a midwestern background.  Looking forward  to the baseball game and Dizzy and Artie’s date.  Thanks for the chapter. 

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Great Chapter, helped satisfy the hunger for you chapters. Great to see Mason and his personality. He sure seems like a good positive person. It was good to see dizzy get put in line and he took it pretty well. I keep thinking something is going to pop up about the grand parent’s legal battle. It would be fine with me if it never  really happened. Can’t wait for the next chapter. 

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Methinks Ezra is gonna show up sometime...just a feeling when Artie said he didn't think he wanted a relationship with him. This foursome of Artie, Dizzy, Mason, and Adam is just too precious. You just want everything to be peachy and work out smoothly...I hope there aren't too many bumps in the road ahead!!!

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Amazing chapter! The dinner for Adam and Mason was a success. Great job Artie on making a meal out of nothing at all! Dizzy’s rice was helpful also. The dinner interrogation was pretty funny and Mason handled it like a champion. The interaction between Adam and Mason is sweet, and Dizzy’s questions were pointed but germane to his inclusion into this family. Adam doesn’t want to admit how attached he’s become to Dizzy. I think Mason will fit nicely into this dynamic family. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️

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Making rice doesn’t impress me. All I have to do is measure the rice and water, then turn on the rice cooker. No trouble at all!  ;–)

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Pretty sneaky of Artie to get Lindsey’s cooperation in arranging a date with Mason for Adam. It’s a very good sign that Mason wants to include Artie and Dizzy in their dinner date. Bonus points for wanting to see Artie’s baseball game!  ;–)

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I’m glad that the date that Artie came up with worked out for the best even when Mason insisted on Artie and Dizzy join them instead of them giving them the space and the time to get to know one another better. I think it’s great that Mason wants to come to see Artie play baseball with the team from school, then he and Adam will have their date night while Dizzy and Artie have theirs. I’m glad to see that Mason likes the boys and even had a great meal with them and Adam even though it was only supposed to be the two men. During dinner they all learned a bit more about the others and it helps that they don’t have any real secrets from each other. I agree that the grandparents are going to try to get Artie back with them, which I think is a very bad idea because they have no idea what Artie has been doing since he arrived in San Francisco. I’m not sure about Ezra or if he even knows about Artie. I kinda think that maybe Adams parents are going to just show up and then get Artie to try to go with them. That wouldn’t be a good idea especially since he’s dating another male. 

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Sounds like Artie’s gut instincts when trying to find Adam a boyfriend resulted in a good match for him and he managed to pull off a very sweet evening even with the meager ingredients on hand. 🤦🏻‍♂️ Artie needs to do the grocery shopping going forward and Adam can pickup his beer & weed when he needs to restock because Artie is liable to starve with Adam’s grocery buying. I suppose they could live off day old donuts. 😂

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On 11/11/2018 at 2:30 AM, droughtquake said:

Making rice doesn’t impress me. All I have to do is measure the rice and water, then turn on the rice cooker. No trouble at all!  ;–)

The rice cooker is a definite necessity when eating a majority of Asian meals. Even having grown up with red beans, rice and corn bread, gumbo, etc., I cooked it the old fashioned way. Now, I haven’t been without a rice cooker since living in Japan and I hate having to cook rice in a non-believer s kitchen! 😖

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52 minutes ago, Philippe said:

The rice cooker is a definite necessity when eating a majority of Asian meals. Even having grown up with red beans, rice and corn bread, gumbo, etc., I cooked it the old fashioned way. Now, I haven’t been without a rice cooker since living in Japan and I hate having to cook rice in a non-believer s kitchen! 😖

Much better than the fake stuff some people eat. Things like Uncle Ben’s Converted Rice – what is it converted from?

originaldetail.png?sfvrsn=6068000f_17

;–)

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Oh Please! I love to cook and --  you can make good rice --and-- you can make GREAT rice.

Anyway, back to this great story!  Mason is definitely an improvement over the last loser Adam was seeing!

And I too think Ezra might make an appearance.  Let's hope Artie has his BEST game ever !!!

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