Jump to content
  • Join For Free and Get Notified of New Chapters!

    Are you enjoying a great story and want to get an alert or email when a new chapter is posted? Join now for free and follow your favorite stories and authors!  You can even choose to get daily or weekly digest emails instead of getting flooded with an email for each story you follow. 

     

    Fitz
  • Author
  • 6,341 Words
  • 3,196 Views
  • 8 Comments
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.

Moving On - 28. Chapter 28 - A House Becomes a Home

Once the four of us got back to the house, Tom and I unloaded the boxes of new furniture from the car while Noah took care of Zach and the paint supplies. I organized Zach's old room and dragged the boxes in there while Noah and Tom pushed the furniture in Zach's new room to the middle. Once the preliminary setup was done, we each found a task to do and soon each room was bustling with activity. Sarah showed up, so Tom and she took on painting duties while Zach did his best to cover his body in paint under the guise of 'helping'. Noah was busy moving bedrooms, but had it under control, so I left him to it. Instead I focused on my new office.

I'm not sure why I never bothered with an office space before, but I was really excited about the idea. I hauled the dresser and nightstand out into the hall, but left the bed. I figured I could cover it with pillows and use it to lounge on when I didn't feel like sitting at the desk. I busied myself attempting to perfect the art of constructing Swedish prefabricated furniture using only cartooney pictograms to assist me. As usual, it took me a few tries to understand the wordless instructions, but I soon figured it out. I'm not brave enough to attempt to forego the directions; I did one time with disastrous results. When I was nearly finished, Noah came in.

"I need to run to the store real quick. We need some paint thinner," he told me.

"Check the basement; there should be some there, but I thought we bought cheap brushes and rollers so we could just chuck them when we were done," I responded.

"Umm, do you have kid's swimming goggles and a nose plug?" Noah said with a completely straight face.

I looked at him incredulously before responding, "Noooo, why? What's going on?"

A hint of a smile appeared on my boyfriend's face. "Grab the camera. You're definitely gonna want to see this!"

I burst out laughing when I walked in the now-purple room. Tom and Sarah stood in the corner, hands clamped over their mouths as they tried not to break into hysterics at the sight. Zach stood next to the only unpainted wall left, on the plastic Tom put down on the floor. Well, it was unpainted except for two small purple hand prints. After he put his contribution on the wall, at Sarah's suggestion, apparently he had run his hands over his face and through his hair before anyone had noticed. Purple streaks and splotches also covered his shirt and shorts. I hoped that outfit wasn't his 'favorite', as they all seemed to be, because I had no clue if I'd be successful at undoing the damage.

Zach looked at me proudly and pointed to the wall. "Look what I did, Scott," he said, beaming.

"Looks good little buddy, but I think you got a little on you," I pointed out to him.

Zach's face grew serious. "I did? Where?" He grabbed his shirt and pulled, adding more purple smudges from his grubby hands.

"Scott," Noah whispered in my ear, "I'm gonna grab a nose plug and some goggles from the store real quick. We may be able to scrub Zach's face clean without paint thinner, but we'll need it for his hair. I want to protect him from the fumes as much as possible. Can you start with his clothes and see what you can just scrub off?"

"Can do, boss," I said before turning my head to give him a quick kiss.

Noah walked over to Sarah and Tom and whispered something to them, after which he left.

I sized up the situation, and decided I liked my shirt too much to risk getting paint on it. After pulling it over my head, I tossed it into the hallway and out of harm's way.

"Alright, little buddy, let's get you cleaned up," I told the tyke, who was staring at his feet.

Slowly, Zach lifted his head. His shoulders were slumped, and tears streaked down his purple cheeks.

"Awe you mad at me? I didn't mean to make a mess, I'm sowwy, Scott."

I knelt down in front of him and looked him in the eyes.

"I know you didn't mean to make a mess. It was an accident, little guy, but now we need to make you look like normal again. Your daddy would hate me if I let you be purple forever!"

"Nooo! Daddy wouldn't hate you, he looooooves you!" Zach exclaimed with a giggle, his tears temporarily forgotten.

Knowing he needed some affection, I scooped him up by the rear and hugged him tightly, doing my best to keep my pants clean. "And both your daddy and I love you very, very much," I said, kissing the most paint-free part of his face I could find.

I carried the boy to the bathroom and set him down in the tub. I stripped him down to his undies, which had somehow survived paintocolypse. I realized a bath wasn't going to cut it. Zach was going to need a shower, and I was going to have to help him.

"Zachy, how would you like to take a shower with me? We'll make you all squeaky clean again."

"Ok! I never had one of those before!" he said excitedly.

"First let me try to fix your clothes. I'm going to do my best to get out the paint, but we'll figure something out if I can't. Sit right on the edge of the tub and I'll be right back."

I grabbed the clothes, and quickly treated them as best I could before dashing into my bedroom and pulling on a bathing suit. I hadn't expected the possibility of being naked around Zach, and didn't want anyone jumping to wrong conclusions.

When I walked back into the bathroom, Zach was standing in front of the mirror, giggling at his appearance. I couldn't help but crack a smile as well, but I sternly, not angrily, told him, "Didn't I tell you to wait for me in the tub?"

Immediately, his bottom lip began to quiver, and tears began to fill his eyes.

"I sowwy, I just wanted to see what I looked like! Please don't hate me," he wailed.

Surprised by his reaction, I picked him up and wrapped my arms tightly around him. This was the third time in only a few hours where he had reacted so strongly, and by now, I was certain something was going on inside his head. However, in order to figure out what it was, I first had to get him to calm down. I held him, rubbing his back and kissing his hair, probably getting purple paint all over myself in the process, until he finally quieted down enough to be able to talk.

"Zach, I could never hate you – not in a million years. I just didn't want you to accidently make a bigger mess, that's all."

"That's all? You promise?"

For the first time when he'd been upset all day, he hadn't resorted to the soft 'r' sound of a timid child, which made me feel a little better. I still had to try to get at the root of the problem, though.

"I promise my very best promise. Now what's going on today? You keep getting worried we don't love you or you're not good enough. Can you tell me what's going on?"

"I don't know," he responded simply and shrugged.

"Well, I want you to tell either your daddy or me if you figure it out. Neither of us like seeing you this upset. Now let's get you cleaned up!"

It took a good bit of trial and error to find a water temperature he was comfortable with. It was a tad cool for me, but I could deal. Zach squealed happily when I pulled the knob and it began to 'rain' on us. His batman undies were instantly soaked, but I expected that to happen. He wanted to wear a pair of shorts in the shower after seeing me in my swim trunks, but I insisted his underwear was close enough.

Zach giggled and splashed about, not even caring I was aggressively trying to scrub away the paint. It didn't get everything, but it did a better job than I thought it would.

As I was working on Zach's hair, Noah poked his head in the shower curtain.

"Well, what do we have here?" He asked.

Hi, Daddy! Scott's giving me a shower," his son replied before I had a chance to respond.

"I see that!" Noah said, before asking me, "Is it doing any good?"

"A little, but we'll need paint thinner on his hands, hair, and a couple spots on his face. Can you grab me a handful of junky towels? They're in the linen closet in the hallway. We'll dry off and see what we can do to finish cleaning him up."

Noah grabbed the towels as I rinsed off Zach's hair, but he held them hostage until Zach and I posed for a few pictures with the water running. I dried us both off while Noah got a dry pair of underwear for Zach to wear. I expected Zach to struggle while we applied paint thinner, but I think he loved the attention he was getting from his two dads too much to complain. He did say the nose plugs felt funny, though.

I was about to clean his hands when Noah stopped me.

"Actually, I had an idea while I was out. Zach, come with me!"

With that, he led Zach out of the bathroom. Curious, I followed them back into Zach's new room. Noah reached into a shopping bag and withdrew a tube of white paint.

"Now this is going to be messy, so you have to do exactly what I say, but it's going to be a lot of fun. We're going to decorate your walls a little. I'm going to put paint on your hands. When I do that, I want you to hold your hands palm up and keep them like that. Like this," Noah explained, showing Zach how to hold his hands.

"When I tell you to, put your hands on the wall, like this, but only for a second. Then put your hands out like they were before. Don't touch anything except the walls and please be careful."

Noah had Zach's undivided attention, and I could tell both father and son were excited about the little art project. I realized Tom and Sarah were nowhere to be found and was about to ask Noah if he knew where they were when Tom walked back into the room.

"Sorry, guys, Sarah bailed on us," he said, looking a little shaken up.

"Is everything ok?" I asked as Noah started squirting paint on Zach's hands. The little boy let out a happy squeal as messy goo came into contact with his hands.

"We'll see," Tom replied. "Once you two went into the bathroom, it was like she was trying to pick a fight with me. I don't know what the deal is, but I guess I'll find out tonight."

"Don't worry; I'm sure everything will work out. I'm here for you if you need relationship advice," I told him, squeezing his shoulder.

Tom and I watched as Zach happily put a couple dozen white hand prints on his purple walls. Since the base layer wasn't quite dry, some of the hand prints had little purple swirls in them, which created a neat effect. When he was done, Zach insisted Noah and I added some hand prints of our own to his walls. Tom agreed to help clean the three of us up, so we quickly added our own personal touches.

Once cleaned up, I gave Zach another good rinse in the shower to make sure all the paint thinner was washed out. I went back to finishing up my new office. Tom was playing with Zach in the living room, and I assumed Noah was still organizing his clothes in the bedroom. He walked in just as I slid the desk into place and placed the photo of Steve and I on the surface, carrying the same shopping bag he'd pulled the paint out of earlier.

"I got something for you when I was out," he said withdrawing two picture frames from the bag. Tears filled my eyes when I gazed upon the photographs. One was of Zach hugging his favorite mouse, and the other was Noah standing beside me, Zach in his arms. Sarah had taken that last Saturday shortly after we brought Zach home with us. It was hard to believe that was less than a week ago.

"Oh, Noah, I love them!" I said, wiping my eyes before wrapping my arms around him and pulling him in for a kiss. "Thank you so much," I added before placing the two photos of our new family to the desk beside the one of Steve.

"I still need to arrange some things, get stuff for the walls, set up the laptop, and all that stuff, but this is definitely good enough for now. Zach's room will be ready by bedtime, right?"

"Yep, the purple should be dry in an hour or so, but the white will take a few more hours."

"That was a great little art project. Zach really had fun getting messy."

"He was so damn proud of his purple hand prints. I knew we needed to do something fun with the room after he got upset."

"About that, something is definitely going on with him, but he won't tell me what. All I know is he's super-sensitive right now that we still love him. I'm guessing he wasn't quite ready for a sleep over, and he was worried we were going to leave him."

"Let's just keep an eye on him and make sure he feels special when we're around him. He'll get over his abandonment issues eventually," Noah responded, pulling me against him again and kissing me tenderly.

"C'mon, babe, let's go see what your son is up to, and maybe tackle the basement, if possible," I told him after stealing another kiss.

"Sounds like a plan," Noah responded, stealing one more kiss before we broke our embrace. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

We found Tom on the couch, flipping through one of the books he found on the end table.

"Where's –"

My question was cut off when Tom put a finger to his lips, and at the little boy curled up on the floor beside the couch. I picked Zach up and placed him gently on the couch, trying not to wake the little guy. He'd had a busy and emotional day so far, so it was no surprise he'd worn himself out.

"So, Tom, any chance you'd be willing to help us do some basic organization in the basement? Other than a few seasonal decorations, I don't think there's much of sentimental value down there. We just want to clear a little space, but you might find something you or your parents might want."

"Why not? It beats the heck out of going back to Sarah's and dealing with the argument."

We'd gone through and organized about a quarter of the boxes when Tom spoke up. "What brought up all these changes today, Scott?"

"Now that we have a little more space, we thought we'd just get a little more organized. Noah suggested last night that we give Zach a bigger bedroom, and I asked him to move into my bedroom this morning. Since we no longer have the time to go to the gym, I put Noah in charge of converting the basement into a home gym. Speaking of that, have you come up with any ideas for that yet?"

"I was thinking we could just get by with some dumbbells, a few free weights and a weight bench.

I grimaced slightly as he said that, knowing he had given the most bare-bones, and cheapest, solution to getting us a home gym. Noah did not miss the look on my face.

"What's wrong?"

"We'll talk after dinner."

"No, Scott, seriously what's wrong? You asked what I thought we needed for working out, and I told you. What's the big deal?"

"Noah, it just reminded me that there's a part two to a previous discussion we need to have, which we will have after dinner. I promise I'm not mad, or anything, but this isn't the right time and place for it. Actually, can you stay, Tom? After Noah and I talk, I could use your assistance with something."

"Um, sure, I guess," Tom responded, a little unsure about the tension that suddenly appeared between Noah and me. "Let me just text Sarah quickly so she doesn't think I'm completely blowing her off."

"Sorry, babe, I wasn't going to say anything until later if you hadn't noticed my face. Let's just finish up here, then I'll whip up some grub," I said rubbing Noah's back gently.

It took a while, but the basement was finally a usable space. We really didn't get rid of much, but Tom found a few things he wanted, along with a few things for his parents, and we condensed and organized several half-full boxes.

Zach was still asleep on the couch when we got upstairs, but he quickly perked up when the smell of food began to emanate from the kitchen. It wasn't long before we were enjoying a nice meal. Conversation between Noah and I was a little tense, despite my best efforts, but I'm sure he felt a little frustrated and wasn't looking forward to our talk.

When we finished eating, Tom offered to do dishes and play with Zach. Noah and I retired to our bedroom (oh, how I loved the sound of that!) to air some things out. Pretty much as soon as we sat on the bed, Noah went on the offensive.

"If you want more gym equipment, just tell me. You don't need to start something in front of Tom."

"It's not that at all. Look at yourself, Noah, and then look at me. Only one of us really knows their way around weights. If you really, honestly think that all we need are some free weights and a bench, then that's fine, but I'm worried you're just trying to spend as little money as possible," I said calmly, a little taken aback by Noah's aggressiveness.

"And so what if I am? You're the one worth millions, Scott. I'm just trying to hold my own."

"I know how important it is for you to be able to contribute financially. I don't want this to become a relationship where I'm just your sugar daddy, or something."

"Yeah, but you've continued to spend money nonstop all week, even after we had our discussion. Hell, I let you buy us a car, for fuck's sake!"

"Ok, hold the fuck on," I said, raising my voice, "I'm a grown-ass man, Noah, and I have several million dollars, at least two of which I had before Steve died. I don't live extravagantly, nor do I flaunt my wealth, but if I want to buy a new car, I'm going to fucking buy one! You're not in a position to 'let' me do what I want with my money!"

Noah's nostril's flared and his face reddened with anger as I snapped at him. The conversation had been derailed from the beginning, and I really wanted to try to get back on track. When he tried to respond, I just held up my hand.

"Hold on, Noah. We're starting this out the wrong way. Let's just both take a deep breath and try again. As you can see, we need to talk about this, or it will eat away at our relationship. I love you far too much to let this destroy what we have."

Noah sighed, and I could see some of the anger dissipate. After a moment, he responded, "Yeah, I guess you're right. You have done a good job for the most part of not making me feel like I'm just along for the ride, but I've been spending more of my money this week than I have in a long time, and I'm worried it's going to run out and I'm going to have to rely on you for everything."

"I know, and I've thought about that a bit. Keep in mind, though, part of being in a relationship is having to rely on each other from time to time. Maybe part of the problem is that for many years, I had joint accounts with Steve. When we first graduated college, I was still struggling to get my business off the ground, and I had to work all sorts of menial jobs to keep food on the table until it started to take off, while Steve was in law school. Once he got his degree, we never had to look back, but I was no longer the primary bread-winner, and it was a little difficult to get used to the fact I was using 'his' money when I was shopping."

"I get that, I really do, Scott, but we've only been together for two weeks. I know we've moved fast, but I just want to be able to help out more. I've been thinking of going around to restaurants and stores and filling out applications to help bring some of my own money in."

"I don't want you to get a job. Starting next month, your job is going to be focusing on your degree. Honestly, I have enough money that we could both live a good life and never have to work again, but I'd be bored to tears within a year. I already promised you I'd give you a loan to pay for school. I've actually gone ahead and typed out a loan agreement that is almost ready to sign, if you want to look at it."

"Sure, why not, but it doesn't really get to the heart of the issue right now, does it?" Noah asked.

"I think it'll help, at least. Just read over it, and we'll talk about it," I said, and stood up. I walked over to my dresser, and opened the bottom drawer, which doubled as my filing cabinet.

"I always wondered where you kept your papers," Noah said with a laugh.

"Yeah, you were right about me needing an office, I guess. Steve needed one more, so I just made do. I was so used to my system I never even saw it as a problem, but it will be nice to be able to use my whole dresser for clothes. Now read over this, and tell me what you think" I replied, handing him the legal document.

It was a fairly standard loan agreement, with a few exceptions. Since Noah had said that an interest-free loan felt too much like I was giving him money, I was charging him two percent interest, but instead of demanding repayment within six months of graduating, the loan didn't start accruing interest or need to be repaid for five years, or one year after graduating, whichever was later. There was also a clause that set how much he had to repay if we broke up before the loan was repaid, as well as one that declared the whole loan null and void if we were married.

After several minutes of reading the dense document, Noah looked up to me with a smile.

"This looks good, Scott. You're clearly going a little easy on me, but every aspect of it reads like an honest-to-God loan. It's even written in legalese! I do have one question, though. Why are all the references to amounts blank? We already know how much my degree will cost."

"We do, but that's why I said seeing this will help. I don't want you to have to balance school, Zach and I, and a job, but I know you want to be able to contribute freely. I have two ways to help you on this, and the loan is the first one. I can go ahead and cut you a check for ninety thousand dollars, which will cover your degree, and probably most of your supplies, but that's about all it would cover."

"You say that like there's a second option," Noah said with a knowing grin.

"You know me too well," I responded. "The alternative is that I can cut you a check for a quarter-million. Obviously, much of it would still be spent on school. This would give you plenty of spending money to use as you see fit. It would be your money, and I have no say in how you use it. If you think you need more, I'm willing to talk about it, but that gets into the second part of the discussion that I'm not quite ready for until we finish this."

Noah's eyes bugged out a little, but he didn't really protest the amount. He flipped through the loan for a minute before speaking. "I assume the amount in the break-up clause will be the same as the loan amount. I appreciate what you're offering to do here, and I'm definitely considering it, but I have to look after my best interests here. I don't plan on going anywhere, but things happen in a relationship. I'm worried that taking such a large sum of money now will put me in a pickle if we break up and I'm unable to pay you back. I wouldn't want money to drive a bigger wedge between us if we don't end on good terms."

"I'm glad you noticed the wording there. With your approval, I'm going to set the repayment to ninety-thousand if we break up, regardless of the size of the loan. I may not be a great investor, but Steve and Tom did teach me a few things. I view this loan as an investment in us. In the past week, we've had a few squabbles over money, and I'm worried it's going to keep being an issue. I see great things for us in the future, and I don't really know any way to put this to rest other than to help make you feel like you are on equal footing with me."

"So if you do that, wouldn’t the extra money be nothing more than a gift?" Noah asked. I was worried he'd view it that way, but fortunately, there was no anger in his voice. I was glad he was just trying to make sure he understood what I was saying.

"I guess you could view it that way, but I don't. Hell, if all works out the way I hope it will, the entire loan is a gift. I'm sure you noticed that stipulation," I said with a smile.

Noah blushed and smiled slightly, obviously remembering the marriage clause.

"I'm not saying I expect it to happen, though. For all I know, we'll go our separate ways in six months. I'm just worried if we don't address the money situation, and put it to bed for good, it will impact any chances our relationship has on survival."

Noah thought for a minute, taking in everything he'd read and that I told him. Finally, he said, "Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm not sure this is the best solution, but it seems solid. I'm on board with it, now what's the second part of this discussion?"

"That's why I asked Tom to stick around. Let's go out to the kitchen and see if we can start making your money work for you. First, though, now that we've had this talk, what do you really think we need for a home gym?"

"Well, I guess an elliptical or treadmill would be nice. We can always go jogging around the neighborhood for cardio, but if we had something basic in the house it would mean we could do it without worrying about Zach. Otherwise, my suggestion pretty much stays the same. Free weights and dumbbells will give us most of what we need. It may be a bit intimidating at first for you, though. I'll look around later, and see if I can find a decent generic machine that doesn't break the bank. "

"What about one of those machines with the bars that I see advertised all the time on late-night TV? Remember, I don't know what I'm doing, so anything that simplifies the workout might make things easier for me."

"Actually, that's not a bad idea. They don't do as good of a job creating definition as free weights, but they are easy to use and there's no need for a spotter. Why don't we get that in addition to the free weights?" Noah suggested.

I couldn't help but smile. "See, now this is progress for us. You just voluntarily added a few hundred dollars to your expenses!"

Noah chuckled, and leaned in for a kiss.

"For the record," I told him, "I'm sure we can get all of the things we want from people sick of having a thousand-dollar drying rack in their house."

"If it's alright with you, I'd rather buy the more expensive stuff new. That way, we know it works, and it's still under warranty if anything were to go wrong. I have no problem buying the weight bench and all that used, though."

"You're the expert. If it makes you feel better, I'm more than happy to do that. Maybe later tonight we can shop around online and figure it all out. I just felt like you were trying to take the cheapest route possible. We should still shop around for the best deals, but I don't want to sell us short."

"I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess that's exactly what I was doing," Noah said.

We both stood up and embraced. We lingered in that position for a few minutes while we shared a gentle kiss that turned passionate for a moment. I wanted nothing more than to drag him back onto the bed, and I could tell from the lust in his eyes he felt the same.

"Down, Tiger," I gasped, breaking the kiss, "As much as I want to escape to the bed, we need to go talk to Tom. Besides, Zach's still up. Let's go see what they're doing."

We both adjusted ourselves to be less obvious and walked, hand in hand, toward the living room. Tom and Zach were sitting on the couch watching a penguin documentary on television. When Tom saw us, he looked weary for a moment until he saw we were still holding hands. His concern immediately turned into a smile. Without disturbing Zach, he got off the couch and walked over to us.

"What's up with the movie? Did he get bored?" Noah asked.

"No, you guys got a little loud shortly after you went back there. Zach got upset and started to cry, so I found something to distract him. It had the added benefit of covering up any future noise you two made, because I didn't notice anything. By the way, I'd recommend some child-appropriate DVD's. The closest thing to a kid's movie was March of the Penguins."

Noah just looked at me, and I immediately blushed. "Let me guess, Steve bought that for you?"

"At least he never bought me the one with the dancing penguins."

"Hey, don't dis that movie! It has Elijah Wood in it. He's hot!" Noah said, teasing me.

"As a penguin?" I shot back, sticking my tongue out at him.

"Guys, I'm glad you're back to normal, but can we focus? I probably shouldn't stay too much longer, or else Sarah will think I'm actively avoiding her."

"Aren't you, though?" Noah pointed out.

"Only because you asked me to stick around; at least it's a convenient excuse!"

"Alright, let's do this," I said, bringing an end to our banter. "Tom, I want you to work with Noah and help him come up with an investment strategy. We both think it's time to make his money work for him a little better. Oh, Noah, let's sign the loan quickly, and I'll stay out of your way while you two strategize."

Tom glanced at the agreement before looking at me with a raised eyebrow. I simply nodded my head.

"Alright, I'll take care of it. Now show me your accounts, and I'll see what I can do to help you."

Tom and Noah sat down at the kitchen table, while I joined Zach on the couch. His trance was broken, and he looked over to me.

"Why were you and Daddy mad?" he asked, the little boy's eyes wide with concern.

"We didn't agree on a couple things and we had to talk about it. We shouldn't have yelled. I'm sorry we scared you."

"Were you two mean to each other?"

It took me a second to remember Zach equated 'being mean' with the physical abuse he suffered from Willow. "No, little buddy, neither one of us was even close to hitting, I promise."

"Oh, ok," Zach replied, matter-of-factly, before curling up against me and returning his focus to the movie. I wrapped my arm around him as we watched together.

While watching, it dawned on me that Tom was right; we needed more kid's movies, even though I didn't like the idea of using the TV as a surrogate parent. Curling up with the family and just relaxing on the couch would make for many a wonderful evening.

As the movie was finishing up, Tom and Noah joined us. Tom looked satisfied with whatever they'd worked out, but I wouldn't have been surprised if Noah's head exploded.

"Well, this has been fun, but I should probably get back to Sarah's. I hear you guys are going to my parents' tomorrow."

"Yep, we're leaving first thing in the morning," I told him.

"I hope it goes well. Dad sounded like he's looking forward to meeting Noah and Zach. I think he also wants to make amends for the way he acted at the funeral. I'll see you guys in the evening; I figure it's a good excuse to go home for dinner and spend the night. Sarah may come too, but she hadn't made up her mind as of the last time we talked about it."

"I take it she's not sure if she's ready to meet the parents yet?"

"Honestly, I'm not sure, but that wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, have a good night, and I'll see you tomorrow," Tom said before walking out the door.

Once the movie was over, we double-checked to make sure the paint was dry before pushing Zach's furniture into place. We quickly packed a bag for him before tucking him into bed and heading to our room. After throwing together a couple of overnight bags – neither of us knew if the O'Neil's would allow us to share a bedroom, considering it took years before they allowed me to share one with their son – we got ready for bed ourselves.

I tried to go down on Noah, but soon realized he was making too much noise. He tried the same with me but had the same result. We compromised and settled into a 69 position, playing with each other's nuts and fingering each other until we deposited our loads into the other's mouth. After we had finished, we wrapped our arms around each other and talked for a while.

"I hadn't realized it until Tom said something, but we really haven't let Zach watch any TV this week," I said.

"You're right. Part of it is we've been busy all week, but I kinda like the idea of drastically limiting how much he watches. I haven't had enough opportunities to be a dad before this week, and I'd rather spend time with him instead of just plopping him down and ignoring him. Why do you bring that up?"

"Well, Tom was right about us not having any kid's movies. I really enjoyed spending the time with my little buddy cuddled up against me. Would you have any problems with me buying a few movies for him?"

"That'd be fine, as long as they are rare treats. Please don't go overboard and buy everything in the store, though."

We chatted a little longer before falling asleep in each other's arms. I guess the revelation of the photograph in the dresser was too much for me and brought some insecurities of mine back into play. The pleasant dreams of the last few nights were replaced by a reoccurring nightmare I hadn't had in many years, but with a new twist. Steve was in our bed, having sex with some guy. I couldn't tell who it was, since he was on his back, legs in the air, as Steve passionately thrust into him, but I had a damn good idea. The entire time, he was telling the man how he was just going through the motions of being with me and waiting for the right time to end it. I sat in a chair, unable to move – let alone blink. Noah stood beside me, watching.

"That looks like fun," he said casually.

I awoke with a start. Drenched with sweat and my heart racing, I climbed out of bed to get a glass of water, trying to catch my breath. The entire time, I kept reminding myself that it was just a stupid dream and didn't mean anything. Still, I realized I should probably talk to Noah about my fears. As I walked back to the bed, I could hear the sounds of Zach sobbing.

Please like, rate, and review. I love feedback, be it good, bad, or indifferent!

A very special thanks to my editor, David. All errors that remain are mine alone.

The nightmare sequence was an instance where I was too close to the source material, and it portrayed characters differently than I intended based on readers' knowledge. After countless emails back and forth between David and myself, as well as the invaluable input from Jesus, Oliver, Samantha, and Bobby, I'm much more pleased with this incarnation. Thank you all!

Moving On is © Copyright Fitz, 2011-2013. All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 17
  • Love 1
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.
You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

I really hope Zach had enough love from his dad to avoid attachment disorder. It's a lifelong struggle to overcome and very hard on families. I wonder if we're going to find out what Zach's issue is? I hope he's not screwed up about his Dads' intimacy and if he is that they can fix his misconceptions.

Link to comment

Very full chapter had a lot going on in it in a very short time. Looks like Zach is not the only one that needs to work out a few issues. Though by the looks of it the guys seem to have a handle on the money issue let's hope everything else clears up as well

Link to comment
On 03/29/2013 10:11 AM, Daithi said:
Very full chapter had a lot going on in it in a very short time. Looks like Zach is not the only one that needs to work out a few issues. Though by the looks of it the guys seem to have a handle on the money issue let's hope everything else clears up as well
The money issue was a weird one for me. They weren't SUPPOSED to have to have that talk, but money seemed to keep coming up as a minor source of irritation. Scott's issues are annoying, because the back-story with Ian is supposed to stay in my pile of material for a rainy day!

 

I hope you mean the first sentence as a good thing, and not that it got overwhelming! I've been desperate to get out of this week of the story for SOOOOO long (They came home with Zach in Chapter 18, which was posted back in November!)

Link to comment
On 03/29/2013 10:07 AM, Rebelghost85 said:
I really hope Zach had enough love from his dad to avoid attachment disorder. It's a lifelong struggle to overcome and very hard on families. I wonder if we're going to find out what Zach's issue is? I hope he's not screwed up about his Dads' intimacy and if he is that they can fix his misconceptions.
Zach definitely has attachment issues, but that's only a little bit of what's going on here. Let's just say a little birdy planted some ideas in his head ;) Don't worry, the root cause of his freakouts in 28 will be exposed very soon!

 

I really think that the underlying cause of his attachment issues is that the only person who has ever really loved him always left after a few days. It'll just take time to trust that Noah and Scott aren't going anywhere.

Link to comment

It made me so sad to see Zach so upset throughout this chapter. That Willow certainly gave her son a lot of issues. Zach is so insecure and he is just craving love and attention and he thinks just b/c he does something wrong, Noah and Scott won't love him anymore. It makes me wonder what the hell Willow did to him.

 

I think what Noah did with the fingerpainting on the walls was a brilliant idea. Not only did Zach have a say in his room, but he was able to help in one of the biggest ways possible. They could even start a tradition where every year or so Zach will add fingerprints to sort of show how he's growing. Kind of like a growth chart, but in fingerprints.

 

I think Noah is such a stand-up guy. Scott should be so pleased that Noah wants to contribute to the household and he doesn't want to be seen as a mooch who is only using Scott for his money. I have a mooch and let me tell you, I wish he was like Noah, who actually felt BAD about taking from me. Scott always comes up with great plans and this school loan is no different. Especially since Tom is now helping Noah figure out where to invest his money. That's a great idea.

 

I really want to know what's going on with Sarah. Why is she picking fights with Tom?

Link to comment
On 03/31/2013 05:57 AM, Lisa said:
It made me so sad to see Zach so upset throughout this chapter. That Willow certainly gave her son a lot of issues. Zach is so insecure and he is just craving love and attention and he thinks just b/c he does something wrong, Noah and Scott won't love him anymore. It makes me wonder what the hell Willow did to him.

 

I think what Noah did with the fingerpainting on the walls was a brilliant idea. Not only did Zach have a say in his room, but he was able to help in one of the biggest ways possible. They could even start a tradition where every year or so Zach will add fingerprints to sort of show how he's growing. Kind of like a growth chart, but in fingerprints.

 

I think Noah is such a stand-up guy. Scott should be so pleased that Noah wants to contribute to the household and he doesn't want to be seen as a mooch who is only using Scott for his money. I have a mooch and let me tell you, I wish he was like Noah, who actually felt BAD about taking from me. Scott always comes up with great plans and this school loan is no different. Especially since Tom is now helping Noah figure out where to invest his money. That's a great idea.

 

I really want to know what's going on with Sarah. Why is she picking fights with Tom?

Let's just say that this time it's not just Willow's influence causing Zach to act the way he was this chapter! I remember always wanting to help on household projects.

 

It's interesting that while Scott is largely modeled after me, but the 'mooch' aspect of Noah is me. Hubby is the primary bread winner. I don't vocalize it a lot, but I do feel bad at times at my inability to contribute in finances.

 

Let's just say that Scott's doesn't know too much about Sarah. They became close when Steve died, but were not really much more than good neighbors before that. Most of what he knows is what she's volunteered since he returned last month.

Link to comment

I really want to commend you on this chapter. Sorry to disagree with Rebelhost85 but Zach does not have attachment issues (abandonment issues maybe) and i am really impressed at how you portray him adjusting to living with Noah and Scott. It is too easy to write about huge life changing issues and have the characters fully resolved with the changes by the end of the chapter. I am so glad that you are able to show how Zach would have insecurities and fears as he further attaches to his father and to Scott having been neglected by his mother. The story is richer for showing how the boys cope and grow as they work it out with each other and with Zach.

Thank you

Link to comment
On 06/17/2013 11:39 AM, Rndmrunner said:
I really want to commend you on this chapter. Sorry to disagree with Rebelhost85 but Zach does not have attachment issues (abandonment issues maybe) and i am really impressed at how you portray him adjusting to living with Noah and Scott. It is too easy to write about huge life changing issues and have the characters fully resolved with the changes by the end of the chapter. I am so glad that you are able to show how Zach would have insecurities and fears as he further attaches to his father and to Scott having been neglected by his mother. The story is richer for showing how the boys cope and grow as they work it out with each other and with Zach.

Thank you

One of the things I've really tried to do is think about each characters motivations behind their actions. I've read a lot of stories where a character suddenly reacts a way that seems drastically out of character, and it's never fully explained what caused that action. Their actions don't always make sense to readers if Scott isn't actually aware of the underlying issue, but as Scott becomes aware of it, it gets passed on. A perfect example of that would be Will's actions in the earlier chapters of the story.

 

Sometimes, things really do go smoothly for all involved, and the changes they are currently adjusting to have been fairly trouble-free, but there have been (and will continue to be) several little bumps on the road for them.

Link to comment
View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

    You probably have a crazy and hectic schedule and find it hard to keep up with everything going on.  We get it, because we feel it too.  Signing up here is a great way to keep in touch and find something relaxing to read when you get a few moments to spare.

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Our Privacy Policy can be found here: Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..