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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Ian's Heart - 34. Chapter 34 - Epilogue

Patrick

 

The weather seemed to be on our side today, Aunty Kit – my friend Liam’s mom – has had all us kids working our butts off this morning getting the Science Museum grounds ready for my dads wedding this afternoon. My brow furrowed in frustration watching my dad Ian try to fix his tie for like the hundredth time.

“Dad, there’s nothing wrong with your tie. Leave it alone or you’ll mess it up. You look awesome and the tie is fine.”

Dad looks in the mirror dropping his hands to his sides sighing in resignation.

“I just want everything to be perfect for Adam, you know?” he said looking at me in the mirror with a sheepish grin.

“Daddikens,” I said gently and slowly like I was talking to a wild animal. I also know he hates me calling him that. “I honestly don’t think dad gives two flying, uh, rats butts if everything or nothing is perfect as long as you show up to marry him.” I hold out a flute of champagne, he grabs it readily gulping it down. “Relax, geez dad.”

Dad flops down in the wing back chair situated in a corner of the dressing room he was allocated. He held out his glass for a refill. Even though my dad has never really been much of a drinker I filled his glass halfway with a smirk. He gave me the stink eye as he took a sip.

“What? You scared we’re going to run out. Fill her up.” He held the glass out wiggling it demandingly.

I shook my head chuckling. “Uh-uh. You don’t usually drink, and champagne goes straight to your head. We don’t need you stumbling down the aisle. Besides, dad already threatened me with the slammer if I let you drink too much before the ceremony.”

He giggled with such force his back arched of the chair. “He’d do it too.”

Nodding vigorously but still laughing I retort, “I know. Now you sit here and relax–”

The door opened enough for Uncle John to poke his head in. “Everything okay in here?”

Sighing with relief I walked to the door pulling my uncle into the room.

“Can you sit with dad while I check on my other dad? This one can’t be trusted to be left alone.” I opened the door looking over my shoulder. “No more champagne.”

Dad poked his tongue out at me. Yep, he’s had enough for sure. Now onto the next handful.

Quinn, my girlfriend’s brother who’s also my English teacher, smiled at me when I passed by him, he continued talking with Wade one of the detectives that worked with my dad, Adam. He also gave me a quick hello with a nod of his head and a grin. By the time I reached Adam’s dressing room I could here him laughing. I opened the door to find him and Aunt Payne doubled over laughing their asses off.

“What’s so funny?” I asked smiling while I closed the door behind me.

Dad sat up reducing to sporadic chuckles. He waved his hand in front of me.

“We were just talking about work stuff. Nothing to worry about. How’s Ian doing?” Dad’s voice held concern even though he was still trying to calm down from his laughter.

I rolled my eyes. “Nervous, I left him with Uncle John so he wouldn’t drink anymore champagne.”

Dad nodded his head. “Good, I was serious about the jail time kid.”

Flipping him the bird probably wasn’t the best idea, but it felt right. He just flipped me off right back making me laugh. When our Ian isn’t around we can be a little less… let’s just say we’re a little more relaxed when expressing ourselves. Usually they’re followed by, “Don’t tell dad.”

Amy surprised me by coming over with a couple of drinks passing them to their intended victims. I hadn’t realised she was in the room; she’s so quiet.

“Oh, Pat. Hello, sweetie. Can I get you something to drink?” Amy asked hugging me gently.

Both Aunt Payne looked gorgeous dressed in lovely full length apricot colored gown. It was off the shoulder, cut perfectly to show off her figure. All of her figure. She really is a beautiful woman. Amy wearing a gown also but different, her gown is sort of pastel… olive I guess. Whatever it went nicely with Aunt Payne’s gown. Both their hair and make up have been done professionally, no doubt.

“Wow, you ladies look beautiful,” I stated.

“Don’t be hitting on them Paddy,” Adam said with a chuckle making me flustered.

“I… I wasn’t. I was just saying that they, you know?” I waved my hand in their direction.

Amy stood wrapping her arm around my waist then kissing my cheek. “We know you weren’t. Just ignore your dad.”

“I intend to,” I grumbled.

Amy asked me about a drink again.

“Nah, I’m good thanks. I’ve just popped in to see if dad was okay. My dad Ian is freaking out a little. He wants everything to be perfect for dad,” I answered pointing to Adam.

He sat forward his elbows on his knees. “You know I don’t care if everything falls down around us, or the flowers die, or the food is terrible. As long as we’re married at the end of the day, I don’t give a shit about anything else. It’ll be what it will be.”

“That’s what I told him.” I finger gunned dad with a wink.

Just like my other dad, Adam downed his drink in one mouthful. Amy leaned over from where she sat on the arm of the chair Aunt Payne was sitting in to refill his glass.

Snatching his glass away shaking my head I told him, “Nope, dad threatened me with detention for the rest of the year if you weren’t relatively sober when you get down the aisle.”

“Yeah, he did.” Dad said fondly, I could tell he was thinking about Ian.

At least he’s more relaxed than my other handful.

 

<>-<>-<>

Ian and I were standing at the door to the outside waiting for our cue to walk down the aisle. The music started and we watched Aunt Payne slowly make her way down. Adam followed after with grandad, arms linked. My dads had gone as traditional as they could with the ceremony, they knew they didn’t have to and could do anything they wanted but this is what they chose. They weren’t interested in making a statement or going non-traditional, this is what they wanted.

Dad turned to me straightening my tie to my consternation.

“You okay, dad? Are you ready?”

“I’ve been ready since the day I met Adam.” Stepping back once he’d finished fussing with my tie. “You sure you’re okay with changing your last name again? You know we’ll support you if you want to keep Wright or even change it back to O’Rourke?”

“I know dad, I don’t mind. Honestly. I could always go with the nickname Trick or Rick. Trick Price. Sounds like a NASCAR driver.” I chuckled, dad laughed along beside me.

“As long as you’re sure?”

“I am.” I answered smiling. “Love you, dad.”

“Oh, god, Paddy. I love you too. You’re my favorite person in the world.” Dad hugged me tight.

“Except for dad.”

“As well as dad.” He reminded me while releasing me from his death grip wearing his stern dad face. “And, Riley of course.”

I rolled my eyes. That’s a given. My baby sister is absolutely my favorite. Then there’s Declan, my brother. We’ve been getting closer, bonding, spending time when we can. I’m still a little bitter we didn’t get to grow up together, – but as my therapist keeps reminding me – I’m grateful that we’ll get to spend the rest of our lives as brothers; knowing each other as brothers. I must admit he is a cool younger brother, even if we are only a year apart.

Our lives have intertwined thanks to our friends. Since we have the same group of friends, we get to spend a lot of time together. He’s even gotten a job at the bowling alley with me. His and my family now do a lot of things together. All celebrations for any of us kids means we all celebrate together whether it’s me or Riley, or Declan and his sisters. We seem to be coming together as an extended family unit. I’m thankful to Will and Liam because they have given Declan and his family an open arms welcome making them part of the full extended family.

Looking out the window I could see grandpa waiting to walk dad down the aisle. It’s his job to let us know when our cue is to commence walking dad to his new life. I’m so excited. For my dads, for me and Riley, more than that. When they come back from their honeymoon and the adoptions are going to be finalized, we’ll legally be a family.

Dad stood quietly next to me his face pensive, his brow furrowed. He turned to me pointing a finger at me. “It’s you.”

I could bet you a million bucks my face has expression that dad has two heads.

“Yeah, it’s me,” I answered slowly and very, very, confused.

Dad’s hand started to shake. “You, you’re the one.” He looked out the window wistfully.

How much freakin’ champagne had he drank?

“What’s wrong dad? You’re not making any sense. Are you okay?” I moved closer to dad putting my hand on his shoulder to try and calm him. He was clearly rattled.

He turned to me slowly again wearing an affectionate grin, somewhat calmer. He looked like the answers to life had just dawned on him, he’d figured this whole chaos of life out, he understood.

“You, it’s you.” Jesus, his cheese has slipped off his cracker. “I don’t know if I told you this. One day young Will told me James would send his heart back to me. I just assumed it was Adam.” He shook his head gently like he was clearing away the cobwebs. “It’s you, James sent me you. You gave me back my life, everything. You’ve made all of this possible. You have no idea.”

I didn’t say anything. I couldn’t, there was a big lump in my throat and my eyes were stinging like crazy. I don’t really understand but I do get the sentiment. Kind of.

“I was closed off before you came along. You made the walls come down and let me love you, which in turn left me open to find love again with Adam.” Dad looked away again in a daze. “I have everything I’ve ever dreamed and never thought I would get.”

My heart soared and one final wall that I wasn’t even aware I had, crumbled away. This really is my family, they would always and forever be my family. I’m no longer afraid it’s going to go away. How is it possible that was still in the back of my mind and heart after all the love and support these two men have shown me. They’ve given me everything, a sister, grandparents, the space to work out my feeling in regards to my brother. I knew they loved me but now I know, know they love me. I’m the luckiest kid in the world that first Ian and then Adam chose to love me. Couldn’t be helped, I launched at dad squeezing him in a death grip my tears dropping to the shoulder of his tuxedo while he held me tight in a hug.

“I love you so much dad. I’m so happy you’re getting everything you want. You deserve to be happy,” I whispered.

“I love you too. Pat.”

The door finally opened. Grandpa stood silently waiting for us to end our hug. His eyes held water until he wiped away his own tears.

“You ready boys?” he asked wiping his face with a handkerchief, never acknowledging the tears spilled between the three of us.

“Yes,” I said happily still attached to my dad.

Dad nodded swallowing nervously, wiping his eyes dry. “Never have I been more ready for anything in my life.”

“Let’s do this then.”

<>-<>-<>

I stood silently next to dad as he and Adam exchanged their vows. Who’d have thought there would be so many tears on the happiest day of my parents’ life together. I could hear dad sniffling quietly as Adam spoke stumbling over his words. His face expressed nothing but love for my dad Ian. A look I hope someday someone would look at me the same way. Don’t get me wrong, I love Sasha, we’re young we don’t have the depth of love and connection my dads share. I hope someday soon we will.

“Ian, I never thought love like ours existed. It was a fairytale, something other people had or talked about. You’ve shown me how to love, made me into a better man. I was lost before we met. Your kindness, understanding, and patience is endless. I’m blessed with your love and the love you brought with you to our relationship creating our family. I’m not really very good with the words but you hold my heart in your hands. I give it to you willingly, I trust you’ll always take care of it. I love you and will love you until my last breath.”

Short and sweet. Adam looked around nervously to see how he’d done. Dad was sobbing silently, wiping away his tears. I could tell by the way Adam was looking at dad that he must have done okay. He looked happy and smitten. Is that the right word? Yeah, I think it’s the look he has.

“A…Adam,” Dad said stumbling over his words. Adam reached over wiping dad’s tears away; his face showing every emotion but still holding it together – barely. His expression still full of love. “Adam, I had love once, then it was gone. Never did I imagine I would get another chance. Our connection runs so deep that I can feel your presence before I see you. I wasn’t ready to love again when we met. You were so patient with me, at the same time showing me what our souls already knew. We’re fated. We’ve built a family, a life together. I feel it get stronger every day. That’s because of you. I will care for your heart for as long as you’ll let me. I love you, Adam. Today, you’ve made me the happiest I’ve ever been. Our life together is everything to me.”

Also, short and sweet, but he managed to say everything.

Uncle Bill who was officiating moved the ceremony along with the exchange of the rings. Then he read a poem that dad had picked out. Finally, he pronounced them husbands and everybody cheered as they walked back down the aisle and into the Science Museum. Aunt Payne and I followed along with both sets of grandparents, who currently held Riley.

After the guests had moved up to the room holding the reception, Liam brought us back out to the gardens to take a million photos. Before the photos were complete, Adam requested Declan and his family come down to get some family photo’s as well.

“It just doesn’t seem right not to have them included,” he said.

I think he’s right, Declan is my brother by blood. His parents and mine have become pretty close over the last months. They help each other out whenever the situation arises. Dad insisted Liam get a few shots of just me and Declan since what were the chances we would be dressed so nicely again. Typical parental consensus since they all agreed whole heartedly.

<>-<>-<>

The function room here at the Science Museum is decorated and set romantically for the reception. It didn’t feel like we were in a stuffy museum, it felt magical. White table clothes, soft yellow and tan colored accents with hints of a deeper mahogany like splash here and there. It was very much understated like my dad Ian.

My dads were set at a single table near the windows, all the other tables were set for ten people working their way back to the wall. The dance floor and minimal stage were to the left of the guests out of the way. There was a DJ set up on the small stage lightly playing crooners while everyone got settled in waiting for the speeches to start. Cheese and fruit platters were dispersed throughout the tables for guests to help themselves. Thankfully, Sasha and I were at a table with all our friends. My grandparents and extended family were on one side of us, and Adam’s Florida friends were all seated the other side of us.

“It’s so romantic in here,” Sasha stated dreamily while leaning into me.

I took another look around to take it all in. The low lighting and dim twinkle lights around the outside along with the centrepieces had a few lights woven around the arrangements. The crooners softly singing in the background it really was a romantic setting, as far as I was concerned. But what would I know I’m only sixteen. My dads sat at their table sharing long looks and a few simple tender kisses. It was nice. Gross that it was my dads but still, nice.

“It really is, Sha.” I kissed the side of her head wrapping my arm around her pulling her a tiny bit closer.

“Ours was this beautiful too,” Liam said smiling at Will. He reached over taking his husband’s hand bringing it to his lips for a kiss before putting their linked hands together in his lap.

“So, do you know what they are doing about last names?” Will asked his head leaning on his fist of a crooked elbow resting on the table.

“Uh… yeah, we’re all becoming Price’s. My dads wanted to make sure we all had the same last surname.” I nodded.

Lee giggled. “So, you’ll be Patrick Price?”

Will joined his brother giggling too. “Sounds like a car salesman.”

Narrowing my eyes, I glared at him while giving him the finger. Something ricocheted off my head landing on the plate set in front of me with a ding. Looking down while rubbing the dented part of my head I was surprised to see a bread roll sitting lopsided. My head snapping to the left where the roll had come from my grandad sat pointing discretely at my nan. Unfortunately for him, my nan had Riley sitting on her lap with both my nan’s hands holding onto my sister. Her gaze was still admonishing me for the rude gesture.

“Sorry Nan,” I said contritely while all my friends and girlfriend snickered.

“That’s okay, give your grandad his roll back.”

So I licked it and sent it with a high lob over to him. He caught it mid air then held it out with his thumb and finger totally disgusted, which only made me grin at him. At the same time my phone vibrated in my pocket. Pulling it out to see I had a text from my dad, Ian.

Daddikens: BEHAVE!

Giggling I turned to see my dads were still in their own world. My phone dinged again.

Daddikens: This is your Uncle John. And, no phones put it away.

Me: Then stop texting me.

Uncle John, Will and Lee’s dad must have taken my dads phones away so they could enjoy the wedding without interruption. The man was still chuckling as he took over the DJ’s microphone.

“Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats. The servers are bringing around the first course now. While we enjoy our starters Ian and Adam have elected to start the speeches.”

The room quieted while people took their seats, Uncle John waited patiently as they did, having a quick chat with the DJ. Liam left the table quietly to take photos of the speeches. When they’d finished everyone seemed to be seated and the server’s started delivering soup and salad alternately to the guests at each table. While they did their thing Uncle John started with the welcome.

“Good evening, I’m John Blundell-Sunderland. I’ve been graciously asked to be the MC for the night and was honoured to do it. So you’re stuck with me.” There were a few chuckles around the room, Will rolled his eyes at Liam, who just smiled lovingly leaning over pecking him on the lips. “The man to speak next holds a special place in Ian’s heart. Please welcome Mr. Connor McCormick to the stage.”

Who the…. I quickly glanced over to my dad to see him sobbing into my dad Adam’s side. Dad wiped Ian’s tears away then gently kissed the top of his head. Ian looked surprised to have this man speaking. When I sought out my grandparents to see if they knew who the man was, my grandma was dabbing at her teary eyes. Grandpa sat stoically with his arm around her, his eyes glistening with emotion.

“Hello everyone. I don’t expect any of you know who I am apart from a few. My wife and I were elated to get the phone call about making a speech for the wedding from Adam.” I looked over to my dad quizzically. He was smiling at my dad Ian who stretched a few inches to meet his lips with a quick kiss. Adam pulled back wiping a few more tears away from Ian’s face. “We’ve known Ian since he was a teenager, our son James was his first love. They were together for everything growing up. They were lucky to have a connection that most people only dream of, there was no heartbreak in their future. Until… there was. Our son was diagnosed with cancer when they were in college, we sadly lost him not long later. To say we were devastated was an understatement, but we still had our Ian.” The man paused to gather himself as his voice had become gravelly. When he opened his eyes he swallowed smiling at Ian. “The one thing we’ve always wished for you was the ability to move on, live life, love again, and be happy. Just looking at this room fills our hearts. You have a lot of love to give, but you also deserve to receive.” He chuckled lightly. “I don’t think we have to worry about that anymore, son. Congratulations to you and Adam, may your love for each other last an eternity. We’re so proud of you, Ian.” He held up his glass of champagne. “To Ian and Adam.”

“Ian and Adam,” the crowd all mumbled sharing the toast. After climbing down off the stage Mr. and Mrs. McCormick made their way to my dads while Uncle John turned the focus back to him to give the foursome the illusion of privacy.

He wiped his eyes quickly. “Ladies and gentlemen, up next we have Mr. Wright, Ian’s father.”

Grandpa took the microphone from Uncle John with a quick handshake. Ever the military man, my grandpa. Most of the time, until he and my grandad team up anyway.

“Hello, it makes me happy to be able to finally stand up here and tell the world how happy it makes my wife and I that Ian has found someone to share his life with. Adam is a good man with a heart of gold to match my son’s. After he lost his first love James his heart was broken, then when it somewhat healed it was sealed shut. That is until young Patrick came into his life. He smiled more, and little by little as the two of them bonded Ian was returning to his old self. Still reserved mostly but more open. The moment Adam came into his life Ian was a completely different person. He laughed, joked, and above all else the love the two have for each other shone through. So to you Adam, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts and officially welcome you to the family. We couldn’t be happier with Ian’s choice of husband. The way you’ve brought our son back to us is something we’ll always be thankful for. You’ve both built a beautiful family together with Patrick and Riley.” Grandpa raised his glass. “To my sons, Ian and Adam.”

Again, the crowd followed along.

And back to Uncle John while the server’s raced around clearing the soup and salad plates.

Grandad stood next to Uncle John stealing the microphone before he could announce him.

“Hi all, don’t mind the accent. I’m as dumb as I sound.” Grandad snickered into the microphone. He’d really laid the native Floridian accent on thick. “And… since my wife is nodding along, I’m assuming it must be true.” He laughed, but so did everyone else. “When our Adam told us he was seeing someone and it was a man, we were taken aback. We probably could have, no that’s not right, should have handled it a little better than we did. But after meeting Ian, and Patrick, well… what can I say. There are no words when you watch your son look at another person like they are the very gift of love itself. Afterward we went to group meetings with other parents of the LGBTQ community and found ourselves in love with it. Anyway, you don’t care about that. I’m up here to welcome Ian and Patrick into our family, I actually think we like them better than Adam, but don’t tell him that.” Grandad snickered again. “In fact, once we realized how beautiful this family was together, we moved ourselves on up here to Kentucky because we didn’t want to miss one minute of it. Haven’t regretted it for one second. We are the ones who are blessed to have the Wrights in our lives.”

Adam

 

Ian tucked into my side when I swung my arm around his shoulders pulling him to me as we listened to my dad’s speech. He’s an amusing guy that alternates between awkward and funny.

Dad lifted his champagne glass in the air to the reception. “To Adam and Ian.”

John chuckled as dad handed him the microphone and downed his entire glass of champagne while trying to flee the stage. He came in our direction, mom meeting him at our table as we stood.

“Congratulations, boys. We wish you a lifetime of happiness,” said mom as she stepped closer patting my cheek. “We are proud of you both. Love you.” That gave me the warm and fuzzies, mom kissed my cheek and then before wrapping Ian in a tight hug. I peered at dad; his eyes were watery. He wiped at them grinning at me sheepishly that he’d been caught showing all his emotions.

“Love you, dad,” I said quietly into his ear while we hugged it out.

“You too, son. This is a very happy day for us.” He took hold of mom unwrapping her from poor Ian, then gave him a pointed look before walking away and saying. “No returns Ian.”

I grumbled while hugging Ian, “Such a shithead.”

Ian chuckled. “At least he’s funny.”

Payne was already speaking when we sat back down.

“ – at least Ian has me as a buffer.” The horrible woman beamed as everyone laughed. I’ll have to ask her what she said later then make her pay. “But, in all seriousness. I enjoyed being his partner and miss working along side him every day. No offense Wade, you’re awesome too baby.” My eyes panned over to Wade who kissed his hand blowing the kiss over to her with an affectionate smile glowing on his face. “Aww, anyway. I’m so happy for you guys you’re an inspiration to us all. You’ve made an awesome family and can’t wait to see what the future holds for you. To Adam and Ian, one of the greatest love stories that we’ve all had the pleasure to witness.”

Payne left the stage to a round of applause, she went back to her seat, kissing Amy before sitting down beside her. She was wearing a grin on her face when she glanced at me, I winked back at her in appreciation and in true Payne fashion she stuck her tongue out at me. Amy chuckled giving her arm a little slap in admonishment but went unnoticed as Amy kissed Payne’s shoulder. They really are the sweetest couple.

My eyes followed Paddy when he walked behind Payne and Amy on his way to the stage.

“He looks nervous, babe,” I whispered, kissing into Ian’s hair.

“Mmm.” But I heard the concern in his voice and I imagined his brow was doing that scrunching thing it did when he worried.

Paddy took the microphone from John with a strained smile. He looked over at the two of us, his smile softening eventually reaching his eyes.

“Hi,” he said to me and Ian his face pinking up nervously. His head snapped back to the audience at the reception when there was a small hum of laughter. “Sorry.” His smile waned slightly. Taking a deep breath our son soldiered on. “Hi, I’m Patrick, Ian and Adam’s son.” My chest swelled at the pride in his voice when he told everyone we knew that he was our son. “When I first met my dad Ian, I was in a rough place emotionally and mentally. He took me in with no hesitation which surprised me at first. I waited for the other shoe to drop, for him to send me back, or for him too…” Paddy looked at his feet for a moment. “Well, anyway you know what I mean. But he never got mad or hurt me and the longer nothing happened the more nervous I became. Then one day it happened, he yelled at me. He told me to, “Stop being so well behaved it is freaking me out.” Then he laughed. I knew I’d found a home to feel safe. After a while he officially adopted me, I had a real forever dad. It was just us. Both lonely, both broken, and we helped each other go forward. One day a time later, dad met Adam, also my dad. From the first time we met I knew he was going to be it for dad. He smiled, he laughed, he would get excited over things. I’d never seem him that way before. Together with my younger sister we are a family. My dads show affection freely, they’ve taught me all the important things. They are the best men I know. I hope I turn out just like them. Congratulations, dads. I love you.”

Paddy made a beeline straight for us, by the time he was in our arms we were all in tears. I could feel both of my men shaking as I wrapped them in my arms. “Love you,” I told them both with a kiss to the top of their heads tucked under my chin. We probably looked ridiculous, but I could give a shit. This is my family, us and Riley our beautiful baby daughter and sister. Before we knew it we were forced to separate with the mention of the main meal. That was enough to get Paddy moving back to his sweet girlfriend and table. Teenagers are bottomless pits.

We took our seats while they served the main dinners. It was hard to keep our hands and eyes to ourselves. This was our day, it felt like it had taken all our thirty-something years and a lot of excess baggage to get where we are right now. Just one smile, laugh, eyeroll, wink, brow twitch, it doesn’t really matter what Ian threw at me I loved him more with each reaction. Our sex life is amazing, if feels like it gets better every time. Ian’s kind of reserved, not timid, nor shy, but he doesn’t… I don’t know what the word is, like I said he’s reserved. But in bed, the man is wild. I don’t know how I got so damn lucky but I’m not going to question it – ever.

“Do you want to try some of my lamb?” Ian asked holding his loaded fork up from his plate. Smiling I nodded and leaned over to meet him half-way. It was amazing the au-jus was packed with flavor without being overly salty. “Good, huh?”

“Oh my god, yes. Did Pat pick this out?”

Ian nodded, “And the dessert, which I’m not telling you what it is yet?”

“I like surprises,” I commented while rubbing my nose with his.

“No, you don’t!” he laughed.

“No, no I don’t. But for you babe, I’d endure just about anything but kiwi fruit.” The statement made me shudder, hairy fucking donkey nuts. “Did you want to try the crab?”

This time it was Ian’s turn to shudder. “No and keep that creepy crustacean away from me.”

“But they’re delicious,” I retorted with a pout, negated by me forking meat from a leg and dunking it in the ridiculously, again, delicious buttery sauce then sucking it into my mouth.

“You are not kissing me tonight, not until you brush your teeth and bleach out your mouth,” my wonderfully gorgeous husband said with a curled lip in disgust. Throwing my head with the intensity of my laugh I wrapped an arm around him bring his body to mine. I burrowed into his neck whispering in his ear.

“I bet you’ll let me suck on you without brushing my teeth.”

Ian’s breath caught as he pulled back from me with a heated look. “How much longer do we have to stay at this stupid party?”

Quickly standing up I almost laughed at the incredulous look Ian gave me. “I need the bathroom,” I announced while winking at Ian. Before I knew it we were in a small conference room with the door locked and I was balls deep in my new husband laughing way too much for the task at hand.

“Oh my god, stop it or this is going to be over,” I said trying to concentrate.

“I’m serious this is better than the time we went hiking and you thought you got bitten by the snake, turns out thorns can bite too.” He laughed then groaned when I slammed into him. “Nghhh, yeah.”

“The next time was better,” I said pulling out and slamming into him again to hear him make that growling noise again.

He turned his head over his shoulder with an eyebrow raised. “We got poison oak. On. Our. Junk.”

I laughed remembering how embarrassing and down right uncomfortable that was. Out, slam back in.

“Fu…. Yeah. Right there,” he moaned, “again.”

Out slowly, forceful and fast I went back in.

“Gaaww… yes. No more embarrassing - fuck yes! – than the time your mom walked in on us and she freaked out. Do that again.”

Slamming back into husband I felt the familiar tingling in my spine.

“Don’t,” I huffed while keeping rhythm, “talk about… fuck babe. I’m about to come. Go with me.” Out, then slam back in sending my husband over the edge with my own cry of release. Panting I leaned over him biting his shoulder hard.

He laughed but it came more of almost a gasp. “Ow, why?” he panted his question.

“Don’t talk about our folks when we do the loving and stuff,” I say trying to find the actual words. It will have to do. I’m sure he’ll figure it out. “It’s a mood killer.

Ian threw his head back and laughed, lucky I have quick reflexes or this session would have ended in blood, sweat, and tears. That would be hard to explain to the four gazillion people at our reception. He looked over his shoulder at me with the biggest grin but his eyes dopey and glittering.

“Love you.” He leaned back as far as he could since we were still attached, meeting him halfway we kissed. “Thank you for marrying me.” His voice soft and gentle.

“Thank you for marrying me, babe. This is one of the best days of my life.” We kissed passionately for a moment. “Okay, we better clean up and get back out there.”

Ian (Several years later)

 

Babies are adorable, none more so than our little baby grandson, Finn. God, I’m not even forty and I’m a grandpa. He looks so cute in his teeny tiny overalls and shirt with giraffes. Lifting him off the changing table we still had from when Riley was a baby, I kissed his chubby cheek making him smile.

“Daddy, where are you?” Riley called out as she ran up the stairs.

“In here, angel girl.”

She skipped into the nursery her adorable pigtails bouncing with a huge grin on her face coming directly to my side then tickling Finn’s chin.

“Hello, Finny-boo,” she cooed then looked up at me smiling, “dad says hurry up or he’s leaving without us. And,” she huffed, “Paddy has already rung three times checking up on Finn and it’s driving him crazy.” Her head bobbing as she spoke trying to remember verbatim what Adam had told her.

“Okay,” I chuckled, “tell him we’ll be right there, angel.”

With Finn held to my side I grabbed his overnight bag heading for the car. Adam came through the front door letting the security door swing closed behind him.

“Babe,” he called out, his words dying when I came into view.

“We’re coming, sorry, someone thought they were funny dropping one right as we were walking out to the car.” I nuzzled Finn’s nose with mine. Adam held his arms out to pass him our grandson.

“Are you giving your grandpa a hard time. Huh?” he kissed the baby then held him to his chest. “Come on, we’re going to be late. Pat is threatening to go ahead without us.”

Following behind them I hefted the baby’s bag onto my shoulder taking a quick glance around to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything. I feel a little bad for holding everything up but I wasn’t the one who pooped as we were leaving and needed a diaper and clothing changing. I stand corrected, babies are adorably gross.

<><><>

 

Patrick and Declan stood in front of the gathered crowd outside surrounded by local news reporters, there were even the local nightly news taking an interest. We stood off to the side with Riley and Finn to show our support while the boys did their thing.

“Wow,” Adam said beside me, “smart move hiring the PR firm to help them with the opening.”

“Mm, it was. The turnout is amazing. I’m not sure they are going to fit everyone in there.”

“Thank you, everyone for coming. We are honoured and humbled with the support you’ve all shown us as my brother, Patrick, and I start this new journey together. We weren’t sure what we wanted to do after college but the further into our education we got we knew we wanted to do it together. With my business degree and Pat’s remarkable flare for making everyday meals magical and with his knowledge and experience in Irish cuisine we thought this would be a good fit for us.

“With the support of our family and friends we put our heads and finances together and ended up here. We are beyond excited to have this opportunity and look forward to many years working together for our community. Please stay, eat, drink, enjoy. Patrick and I will be around, please grab us if you have any questions or would like to chat.”

Declan moved slightly to the side and back a tiny step to give Paddy the chance to speak.

“We’d like to thank the William Sands Foundation for all their support and guidance through this process they stuck with us the entire time. And the contractors and builders who were patient with our many last-minute changes. Our families who have endured long hours and temper tantrums and not only from the kids.” Pat chuckled with Declan when they gave each other a quick glance. The crowd also tittered along with them. “This has been one of the most rewarding times of our short lives so far. We realize how lucky we are. Not everyone gets their dream job and to work with their best friend and brother so thank you. Without the patience and support of our families, friends, and associates this wouldn’t be possible.”

Declan stood beside Pat again and they spoke together, “Welcome to O’Rourke’s Irish Pub.” They both turned grabbing one door each opening it then stepping aside greeting as many people as possible as they pushed their way in to the restaurant. Sorry, pub, it’s a pub.

We stood back waiting for the crowd to thin, not a good idea to get in the thick of it with a six almost seven-year-old and a fifteen-month-old baby. Our parents came to stand with us as we waited. It’s a beautiful sight watching Pat and Declan were in their element. It’s wonderful to see the happiness and pride evident in the way they smiled and the confidence they had when speaking with people.

My mom took Finn as soon as she reached us. She was Finn’s second favorite person in world next to her dad. They had that special connection between grandma and grandson. Well… great grandma but we don’t say that aloud in fear of her putting a voodoo curse on us.

“Hello, my special little man.” Mom dropped quick kisses all over Finn’s face while he giggled his little head off. No one else could get away with that, only my mom. She nudged me once she had Finn settled. “They’ve finally put the headstone on your sister’s grave. Only took them three tries and seven months to get it right,” she clucked her tongue in frustration.

My sister had been found dead in New York City after a drug overdose, she’d had a baby with her at the time. The poor thing couldn’t have been more than a week old. We were set to adopt Riley’s half-sister, Olivia, but she had suffered withdrawal and many medical issues and only lasted a few days after my sister had passed. We buried her and the baby next to my grandparents who’d finally passed away within a couple hours from each other. I hope she can now find some peace wherever she is.

After my grandparents were buried my folks had sold up and made the move to Kentucky to be with us, and Adam’s parents. They’d become close quickly after Adam and I finally got our crap together and yet they are so different in many ways.

Pat, Declan and his family came over to greet us. We’ve all become one whole family together, with Declan’s parents not having any family, both mine and Adam’s parents decided to adopt them as their kids too. We were all beyond fortunate to have so much love surrounding us.

“Da, da, da,” Finn clapped his hands awkwardly as little ones do, it’s more like flinging his arms around and having luck on his side that they connected at any point. Pat smiled with so much affection as he stole his son away from his grandma. And yes, I mean stole, the woman was not letting go for anything.

“We’ll see you guys inside,” Grandad said wrapping his arms around nan. He kissed the side of her head gently. “Riley, do you want to come with us or stay out here with all the old folk.”

Riley grinned. “I’ll come with you.” She put her hand out for her grandad and he took it snapping her into his side and off they strode.

“How’s nan doing, grandma?” Pat asked.

She wobbled her head gently. “So-so, today is a good day though. Don’t you go worrying about that today, she’s here and happy so let’s enjoy your achievement.”

“Is Sasha coming?” Adam asked as evenly as possible.

Paddy looked away from us quickly then to the ground hugging his son to his chest resting his lips on the baby’s head. He wouldn’t look us in the eye and that told us everything we needed to know.

“No.”

A simple answer that garnered a lot of responses from us, but we knew better. It’s been a long time since he’d openly showed any emotion on the topic of Sasha. They’d fallen pregnant in the last year of culinary and design school. Just before giving birth to Finn, Sasha had been offered an internship at one of the top designers in Paris. The girl really was amazing and had worked so hard to get to a place where she could reach her dreams. Although I do understand leaving for her career dreams, what I didn’t understand is how she could leave Finn and Pat behind. He’d offered to go with her so they could be a family, and he’d always dreamed of someday studying at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. It would have been great for both of them.

Sasha had offered to relinquish any right to Finn, Paddy had disagreed and told her to give it six months before she decided. Even though he was heartbroken he was hopeful that she would come around. Almost to the day, six months later the paperwork came through his lawyers signing away her rights to Finn. To say Paddy had been devastated is an understatement. The entire extended family rallied around Pat afterward and it’s taken a long time for him to get here emotionally. Sasha’s parents have also been an enormous help. They make sure to visit and spend time with Finn and Pat. I think somewhere deep-down Pat is hopeful she’ll come home but his head is at war with his heart.

“Finn and I are just fine so stop looking at me like that dad. There’s nothing I can do about it, I have Finn and now this,” he thumbed over his shoulder at the bar. Dammit, pub. “I’m happy, we really are fine. I promise.”

“Okay,” Adam said his voice thick and gravelly. It kills him to think our Paddy is hurting or not happy. “Just know we’re here whenever you need us. Doesn’t matter when, or why. We love you.”

Pat smiled moving into us, his dads, with Finn in his arms. “We love you both too.”

“Boys, now Patrick has to get to work. He can’t work with a baby in his arms so you better just let me have him.” Mom stole Finn back all the while shooing Paddy into the restaurant to get to work. We watched morosely as Pat dawdled into the bar, restaurant; geez what is wrong with me. Pub, he went into the pub.

“I’m worried, babe,” Adam said pulling me into his side looking for a little comfort.

“Give him some more time. He’s still doing his day to day, looking after Finn, and he’s managed to pull this off with Declan without crumbling. Our son is strong. Let just wait it out a little longer.”

“Okay, oh wise one. I trust your judgement.” Adam looked over to my parents. “You ready to take advantage of our friends and family discount?”

“Yes,” my dad said rubbing his hands together, “got my eyes on some of that Corned Beef and Cabbage Casserole that I saw on the menu.”

Mom rolled her eyes. “You’ll be sleeping on the couch if you do,” she said with a chuckle. Dad just shrugged while moving toward the entrance.

When we finally made it inside a table had already been set for us to fit the grandparents, parents, and kids of ours and Declan’s family. Together we were an entire unit. Dinner was noisy, fun, and exciting. It amazed me as I watched, we all talked, sometimes over each other. There was joking and frivolity as we all took turns ribbing each other about one thing or another.

This is everything I’d ever dreamed about. Our life is good, great in fact. I loved my life, I had a husband I could never get enough of. A son and daughter I absolutely adore, and a grandson who is the light of all our lives.

“Uncle Ian, pass the butter please?” Declan’s middle sister asked. I forgot I get nieces out of this deal, if you include Declan, I get a nephew too. That’s how we’ve handled the whole situation between the boys. Pat and Riley get cousins too.

Could life get any better than this?

Nope. I don’t think so.

Adam leaned into me from the side, his arm reaching around my shoulder. He kissed my temple.

“This is the life babe,” he kissed my head again, “we are the luckiest two men in the world.”

Yes, yes we are.

THE END

Thank you to you all for reading Ian's Heart. I think the delay - personal life garbage getting in the way - aside it's been hard to give these men a good ending. I do hope you enjoyed the story in it's entirety. Again I apologize for the very long wait.
Joh :hug:
Copyright © 2017 Bndmetl; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

Yay they finally got hitched!!!! And I'm so proud of Paddy and Declan!!! So glad you got to finish this one! 

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Just now, Wesley8890 said:

Yay they finally got hitched!!!! And I'm so proud of Paddy and Declan!!! So glad you got to finish this one! 

Thanks Wes, it's been a long time favorite. I'm glad you were the first to comment on the final chapter.

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Life always intervenes - but, in the long run, we're better for it!  After all, it takes all our life experiences to make us who we are.  Thank you for not just giving up and ignoring this story!  Thank you for sharing your talents!  I do hope life rewards you with unexpected blessings daily!

Tony

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Yay!  And the funny thing I just reread all the stories over the past wee and wondered and hoped you would finish them.  Thank you!  This is a good ending to a good story.

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On 3/22/2020 at 5:04 PM, croyde said:

So worth the wait.

Then endings are the hardest to write I think because once you get there you're already attached to the characters like their family. I'm glad  you liked the ending it alleviates some of my anxiety about posting it. :)

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18 hours ago, Terry P said:

A Great ending.  I new it would come one day, but you really got it right.  Thanks.

Thank you Terry for sticking it out to the end even with all the delays. I hope you'll stick with the other stories too. :thankyou:

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17 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Life always intervenes - but, in the long run, we're better for it!  After all, it takes all our life experiences to make us who we are.  Thank you for not just giving up and ignoring this story!  Thank you for sharing your talents!  I do hope life rewards you with unexpected blessings daily!

Tony

Hi Tony, thank you so much for your help throughout the story. Your encouragement and support with all my writing is a gift I will always be grateful for. I hope you're well and staying safe. :hug:

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16 hours ago, empresslovesreading said:

Corned beef and cabbage casserole!?!?!?! 🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢🤢

Hello Missy, yeah, I don't think I've be brave enough to try it either. :puke:

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16 hours ago, mfa607 said:

What a great ending! Thank you! I’m going to miss these guys! 

I'm glad you liked it. Thank you for reading and your feedback throughout. I'm gonna miss them too. But they'll still appear in the other Kentucky stories until they've finally been completed. :2thumbs:

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15 hours ago, Clancy59 said:

Yay!  And the funny thing I just reread all the stories over the past wee and wondered and hoped you would finish them.  Thank you!  This is a good ending to a good story.

Good timing then. I'm glad you liked the ending I must have rewritten parts of it over a hundred times. :) The response has made me happy that I did so. Stay safe.

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11 hours ago, Gomez Stanley C said:

The end of a great story. Sorry to see it end.  Look forward to your next endeavor.View Guidelines

 

Next endeavor's will have to wait a while. I'm working on some of the other stories to get them completed and keep up with Royal Pride. I hope you do stick with the stories you like and give any new ones a try. Thank you for your support throughout the chapters. :thumbup:

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6 hours ago, Brokenbind said:

What a lovely ending

 

Thank you! :hug: I'll be working on completing the others I hope you like those too. 

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A truly beautiful ending to this story.  I had someone recommend the story to me; and got through all 34 chapters in less than two days.  It was very well written and the emotions that it contained were so well expressed.  Like life, the story had the good and the bad; the happy and the sad; and life and death.  Enjoyed this so much; a wonderful story.

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Bft

Posted (edited)

What a lovely ending to this wonderful story. 
we didn’t get a description of the wedding suits. 
what was the something old, something new, something blue, something borrowed? 
I will am looking forward to reading the end of the other stories.

take and hugs to you Joh. X

Edited by Bft
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I was pleased to read a story that had up/downs all the way through.  Some stories are bad until just before the end when everything comes together. Either that or so wonderful all the way through you know they are just fiction.

Thank you for letting us read your work.

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I binge read this story.  It was a great read!!

Thank you for a wonderful heartful story with very real and meaningful family ties.  Something many people miss today - regrettably!!

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Beautiful story second time read I think 🤔 to get the full story you should read William’s Love first love this Kentucky series thank you 

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