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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. 

The Barnstable Chronicles: The Prodigy - 11. Making Changes - Taking Chances

Here it is! The final chapter of the final book in the Barnstable Chronicles!

I have never written a series before, but it was a pretty cool thing to get into.

No drama/torpedos in this chapter! Just sweetness.

Enjoy!

David called Door Dash and had them bring dinner from Centro Trattoria. Charlie was famished and ordered the Pappardelle Bolognese, while David chose the Orecchiette. They decided to split a Caesar Salad.

While they were waiting for dinner to arrive, they were lounging on the wide chaise on the deck. Laying on their sides and facing each other, the conversation was interspersed with an occasional light kiss or a gentle caress.

Charlie was relieved to find out why he never heard from David once he had left for Russia. At the same time, he was angry to learn that David had wanted not to give up. He had changed his mind about the split and was willing to wait.

“Shit, David. I know I would have waited. But then again, things happen the way they are supposed to happen. If I had decided to wait for you, I would not have met Jacob, and I seriously doubt that I would have Noah. Jacob was pretty instrumental in getting us into the fostering program.”

“You know, even though you were hurt so badly with the divorce and all—I don’t want you to take this the wrong way—but Jacob seems like a pretty decent guy. I hope I can meet him someday.”

“I think that could happen. It might be a little awkward at first, but you two have a lot in common. I’m not talking about me—it’s just that you have a similar demeanor, and your approach to life, with a few exceptions, is pretty similar.”

“So, that wouldn’t bother you?”

“Well, seeing that I thoroughly intend to have you by my side for the rest of my life, it better not bother me. And I think he’ll like you a lot. Hell, before I left for New York, he wished me luck in finding you. I thought that was pretty damned decent of him, ya know?”

David looked at the beautiful young man that was looking back at him and smiled broadly. “I can’t even begin to tell you how completely and utterly happy I am right now. I’ve dreamed of being with you again, and I was so afraid that it would always just be a dream. Charlie Danner, you are my dream come true.”

“I can’t wait to call Mama and let her know I found you. Noah will be so excited, too.” Charlie sighed and looked away. “God, I hope he’ll forgive me for being such an asshole on Mother’s Day. He holds on to things like that for a long, long time.”

“You know something, Charlie? Forgive yourself first. That’s the only way you’ll be able to see that the people who mean the most to you have already forgiven you.”

Charlie kissed David and smiled. “Thank you, David. You are such a kind, gentle, and loving man. How I could have even thought those things—let alone say them—is beyond comprehension.”

“I meant it when I told you not even the gods could keep us apart. Do you think some misguided words from the man I love more than life itself could even come close to ending things?”

David kissed Charlie and gently caressed the side of his face. “It’s so strange. I know we’ve been apart for an incredibly long time, but in so many ways, I feel like we’ve just picked up where we left off—like we’ve been apart a few days, instead. I’ve never felt so complete or content as I do right now.”

“I know. How could I have ever doubted you? I guess I can still be a little over-dramatic at times, huh?”

“A little. Funny, that’s what your mom said after I told her what you said on the phone.”

“Oh, Lord. She knows? I’ll never be able to look at her face-to-face again!”

“Yes, you will. Jesus, Charlie—she’s heard us doing the nasty-fuck and hardly said a word. I’d think that would be more embarrassing!”

“Wow! I forgot about that!” Charlie giggled and thought back on the time she came home a day early. “Remember when we both went down to the kitchen after fucking in the shower—totally naked, of course—and she hardly batted an eyelash?”

David joined in with Charlie’s laughter. “Those were some wonderful times, weren’t they, Charlie?”

“Yeah. And I thoroughly intend on a life filled with more and more of those.”

David and Charlie heard the Door Dash driver pull up to the house, and they walked around to the side deck to meet him—completely forgetting they were dressed only in very short running shorts. The driver’s eyes widened when he saw the two incredibly handsome men approach.

Charlie laughed at the reaction and apologized. “I’m so sorry if we’ve startled you. We’ve just been lounging around on the deck and didn’t even think how we were dressed. David, add on to that tip to help him out with the emotional duress.”

The driver laughed. “No, it’s fine, really. I’m just a little surprised to see two of my favorite people here together. I mean, I’ve always loved your music, Mr. Chase. And Charlie—they’ve only shown the first two episodes of Project Runway, and you’re already my favorite. Did you meet on the show?”

David added a large tip to the receipt and took the bag of food. “No, Charlie and I have known each other since high school. We were boyfriends back then and have just gotten back together again.”

“Oh! I didn’t know you were—”

“What? Gay? Yup! And you’re the first general public person I’ve come out to. I love this man, and I’m not going to hide a damned thing anymore.”

“Wow. That’s just beautiful.” The driver looked at the receipt, and his eyes widened. “Mr. Chase! You didn’t have to do that!”

“No, but I wanted to. It always makes me happy when a cute boy brings me food.”

The driver told David and Charlie he needed to get to his next delivery. He thanked them again and nearly skipped back to his car.

Charlie followed David back into the kitchen. “You just came out to a total stranger. Is that okay for your career?”

“I meant what I said, Charlie. Now that I have you back in my life, I’m not going to hide anything from anyone. I mean, think about it—everyone in Barnstable knew we were together, and there were no issues there. I guess I should ask if it’s okay with you if we’re out now that you have a newly-found celebrity.”

“Hell, that doesn’t bother me. I mean, come on already. Look at this!” Charlie pointed to himself. “Isn’t it more than a little obvious I’m more than a little gay?”

“The only time your sexuality truly matters is when we’re kissing, sucking, or fucking. Now let’s eat this food. I promise you, it’s amazing!”

While they were enjoying dinner, Charlie cleared his throat. “David, I need to ask you a question. If it’s too soon, just say so—I completely understand.”

“Too soon? What? Nothing can be too soon where you and I are concerned.”

“Well, here’s the thing—and you can’t say anything to anyone until the show has aired all the episodes—but Christian Siriano has asked me to join his team as his Couture Director. I’ll have to relocate to New York, find a new school for Noah, there’s just so much to get done, but I’ve accepted the position. So—what I’m asking is if I can stay with you in your townhome until I find a place large enough for me, Noah, and a sizable workspace.”

“You don’t want to live with me? You don’t want us to be together?”

“Of course I do. I guess I’m saying until we find a place large enough for all that.”

“That’s more like it! We’ll just have your things shipped up to the townhome. And the next time we come out here, we’ll bring some of your stuff. We can even set up a workspace in one of the extra bedrooms here in case you need to do some work while you’re weekending in the Hamptons!”

“Well, there’s a lot to deal with to make everything happen. I have to figure things out with Jacob and set up a new visitation schedule for Noah. And then there’s Mama. God, I’m so not looking forward to telling her I’m moving to New York and taking her grandson with me. She’ll not be a happy camper about that!”

“Just remember this, Charlie—the only happiness that matters is yours—Noah’s, too. You can’t worry about trying to make everyone else happy. If they love you like I know they do, they can only be happy for you. I mean, holy shit Charlie! That’s an amazing opportunity—working with Christian like that! You are going to take the fashion world by storm!”

After dinner, Charlie and David cleaned up the kitchen, threw on some tee-shirts, and decided to take an evening walk on the beach. Holding hands the entire way, they talked some more about the past eight years.

Charlie told David some more about the details of his marriage to Jacob. He told him about Cam and Ian, Janet’s tragic death, and how they ended up with Eli. David was shocked to hear that Eli was Cam’s biological son and nearly fell to the ground in laughter when Charlie told him about Prom night.

David told Charlie about finding Parker after the San Francisco concert and how surprised he was to see him there.

“Did you guys fuck?”

“Like rabbits. It brought back a lot of memories of our competition days—locked away in those hotel rooms and discovering boy sex. But the chemistry was purely sexual. There was nothing to build anything on relationship-wise. That didn’t sit well with Parker, but hey—you sometimes get to have fun and then move on.”

“I’m sure you had fun. I remember the night we had that three-way after your last competition. That was amazing fun!” Charlie pulled David into a kiss while standing at the edge of the surf. “But I promise you it’s not going to be even close to what’s going to happen tonight when you plow me with your amazing cock!”

David took Charlie’s hand and placed it over his growing bulge. “You want this, baby? You better come and get it then!”

David ran down the beach toward his house, with Charlie right at his heels. When they got to the deck, both were breathless and laughing. I think a shower is in order, and then I’m taking you to my—no—our bed and lay claim to the hottest boy on Long Island!”

“You tipped him quite nicely, isn’t that enough?”

“Shut up, you little shit!” David pulled Charlie into his arms and kissed him passionately. “Mmmm! Garlic breath!”

“Mmmm, I didn’t even notice. I mean, when you’re getting kissed like that by the Sexiest Man Alive—what can I say?”

“Stop! We don’t get to talk about that anymore!”

“We’ll see. I’m sure it will come in handy sometime in the future!”

David and Charlie stepped into the shower and washed off the salt from the ocean breeze. Although there was quite a bit of playing around in the shower, they held off from bringing each other to orgasm, knowing that it would only bring even more pleasure in bed.

Their love-making was intense, passionate, and fulfilling for both of them. Charlie understood David’s tears in the limousine as he was brought to tears when he felt David’s thick cock slide into his ass. Charlie was thrilled when he was riding David’s cock as it exploded deep inside while bringing him to a hands-free orgasm as only David knew how.

Charlie fell on top of David as they fell into mutual post-orgasmic bliss. David decided that there was nothing in the world that could match the feeling of his boy lying on top of him as they dozed off.

It was 8:00 the next morning when David woke up, finding Charlie exactly where he was when they fell asleep. He gently ran his fingers through Charlie’s curls, kissing him on the side of his head.

Charlie opened his eyes and smiled at the man looking up at him. “Good morning. It wasn’t a dream this time. You’re here—you’re really here!”

“I know. I’ve been having that same dream for the last month.”

Charlie started to move and realized the two of them were stuck together from his dried cum. “Shit! It’s like glue!”

“Thank God, neither of us has any hair that would pull out when we do this!”

“Do what?”

“This!” David placed his arms on Charlie’s shoulders and pushed him up.

“Ow!”

“It’s like removing a Bandaid—you just gotta let ‘er rip!”

David crawled out of bed, leading Charlie into the shower. They cleaned each other and washed each other’s hair. Charlie thought back to the countless times their mornings started the same way back in Barnstable and smiled as David’s fingers worked through his curls. He couldn’t help but feel how right everything was with his world.

Later that morning, David drove Charlie to the aquarium, where they met up with Mike, the young man who showed David and Noah around the last time.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Charlie. I have to say, I still think about your remarkable son and the way he connected to the animals here.”

“Yes, he’s quite an amazing boy. When I spoke with him, he seemed especially excited about the penguins and the sharks.”

“Let me take you to the penguin habitat so I can show you what happened.”

When the trio got to the habitat, Mike showed Charlie where Noah sat and explained that as soon as he sat, a few penguins walked up to the glass to have a look at him. When Noah placed his hand on the glass, it was miraculous how nearly all of the penguins practically ran to him.

Mike told Charlie that Noah kept his hand on the glass and was grinning from ear-to-ear. What surprised everyone the most was when Noah had turned to Mike and told him that the penguins wanted more snow and ice to play in. “As you can see, there is plenty of snow and ice now, and the penguins seem to be having a blast.”

“You did that based on what my son told you?”

“Yes, but it was the shark tank that really surprised us. Would you like to take the dive?”

“Yes, I want to experience what Noah did so I can enjoy talking with him about it even more.”

Mike took Charlie and David into the changing room so the three of them could get suited up for the Shark Dive. When Charlie saw the helmet, he asked Mike how he could convince Noah to put it on.

“Well, I have a brother on the spectrum, so I understand how those fears can work. I had David put on the helmet so Noah could see that David was completely visible. The next step was putting it on him for just a second and then taking it off. When he discovered that he could talk to David and see him while the helmet was on, he agreed to go through with it.”

“Amazing! I’m so glad you were here, Mike. I’m sure no one else would have known how to approach it.”

“Well, David was a big help, too. Noah adores and trusts him. That made things a lot easier for him to deal with.”

Charlie looked at David and smiled. “Thank you, David. I really do mean that.”

Once all three men were suited up, they got into the cage and were lowered into the tank.

“Can everyone hear me okay?” Charlie and David both answered yes, and Mike continued, “As you can see, the sharks are swimming around and completely ignoring us. That’s their typical behavior when people are brought into the tank.”

“What happened when Noah was in here?”

“That’s the amazing thing. Nearly every shark came to the cage as if they were acknowledging Noah’s presence.”

“Charlie, the sharks told Noah that they were glad he was there and that they like him.”

“What?”

“That’s right! Apparently, your son has this amazing telepathic ability to communicate with animals. I’ve never seen anything like it. Even more amazing was his sense of calm when he was here with the sharks and fish swimming around him. It was as if he felt right at home.”

Charlie looked around the tank, trying to imagine the scene Mike had just described. He felt David take his hand. “Are you alright, baby?”

“Yeah, I—I had no idea. I think this is something we might want to look into.”

Mike nodded in agreement. “Charlie, your son is very special. And I’m not talking about special in regards to his Autism. He has a special connection with animals. How far that connection goes, we can’t say. But it’s definitely something that should be pursued.”

The tank was raised, and all three men got out of their wet suits. Charlie thanked Mike again for being so wonderful with Noah. “Noah and I are going to be relocating to New York. We’ll be spending many weekends up here in the Hamptons, and I can almost guarantee that Noah will be insisting on visiting the penguins and sharks. I hope you will be able to be here with him.”

“I would love that! Do you think he would like to meet my little brother? Jonah’s only twelve, but he’s a great kid. I think they might get along well.”

“I’m sure he would. His best friend in Barnstable is also on the spectrum. It’s going to be hard separating them, but I’m sure Timmy will be making several visits down here with his mother.”

Before leaving the aquarium, David purchased an annual family pass since they would be making several visits. “We need to get back to the house and grab some lunch. We’re heading back to the city this afternoon. Thanks again, Mike. I’m thrilled that you were here today.”

“The pleasure was completely mine. Give my best to Noah and tell him I’m looking forward to seeing him again—as are the penguins and sharks.”

After a light lunch of Italian leftovers, Charlie packed his suitcase, and before he knew it, they were heading back to the city. This time the limo was arranged for by Ben, and the guys decided to behave.

“I should let you know that I’ve invited a few people to the townhome for dinner. Ben and his wife will be there. I’ve also invited Christian and told him to bring along a plus-one if he had anyone he would like to be there.”

“As much as I would like to spend the evening alone with you, I don’t mind at all. It will be fun seeing Christian away from the show—and me being drama-free will be a nice surprise for him.”

“I want you to meet Ben. He’s my manager and runs my life. I’m going to tell him my idea for coming out. If it works out, you and I will be accepted and loved just like Neil Patrick Harris and David Burka.”

“Let me see your iPad. While we’re traveling, I think I want to see what kind of schools are in the area for Noah.” David smiled knowingly as he handed the tablet to Charlie. “What part of the city do you live in?”

“Excuse me?”

“Oh. My bad. I still can’t believe this is happening. What part of the city will we be living in?”

“Check for schools in the Upper East Side.”

“No way! Are we that rich?”

David smiled and shook his head. “We’re going to be just fine. I have a great team that has taken excellent care of me and my money.”

“Oh wow! This looks like a great school. It’s called The Aaron Academy, and there are some wonderful reviews here as well. I wonder how close it is to the townhome? It needs to be a manageable walk. I don’t think Noah could handle the subway—well, not yet anyway. You guys got him into a helmet! That’s a miracle in itself!”

Charlie spent the rest of the drive looking at the Aaron Academy website. He said he couldn’t wait to meet with someone about Noah. He then pulled out his phone. “I need to try Mama again. I don’t understand why she isn’t answering. She might be out of town with Noah. But it’s not like her not to answer the phone!”

Charlie waited for Beverly to answer her phone, and for the fifth time, his call went to voicemail. He didn’t leave yet another voicemail. “Weird. I hope everything’s okay. I’m starting to get worried here.”

David took Charlie in his arms. “I’m sure everything’s fine. We’ll try again when we get home, okay?”

Charlie grinned at David. “I like the sound of that—when we get home.”

About ten minutes later, they did get home. The driver pulled up in front of the townhome, opened the door for David and Charlie, and retrieved the suitcases from the trunk.

Charlie looked up at the townhome and gasped. “David! It’s beautiful. What part of the building is yours?”

“The whole thing is ours, Charlie Danner. Welcome home.”

David took the suitcase and led the way up the landing to the front door. He smiled as he slipped the key in the lock. “By the way, the day you and I get married, I’m carrying you over this threshold, Charlie Danner!”

“Is that a proposal?” Charlie’s eyes began to well up with tears.

“Don’t cry, baby. It’s not the official proposal. More like a statement of what’s in store for you.

David opened the door, and Charlie immediately smelled the aroma of baking lasagna. “Damn! That smell’s just like Mama’s lasagna! What’s going on?”

“Daddy! You’re here!” Noah ran from the kitchen to the foyer to greet his father. Beverly followed him.

“Charlie! My dear, dear boy! Do you even know how hard it was not to answer the phone every time you called? David asked me not to take your calls so we could surprise you.”

“Mama! I’ve missed you so much! Noah, did you get taller?”

“Yes, Daddy, I’m not your little man any more. I’m just a man now.”

Charlie took both Beverly and Noah into a group hug as David looked on and smiled.

When Charlie stepped back from the hug, David called out to Noah, “Hey there, buddy! Do I get one of those hugs?”

Noah looked at David and smiled, “Hi, buddy David!” David opened his arms and folded Noah into them. He kissed Noah on the head and smiled at Charlie—who was beaming at how easily his son had taken to the man he loved.

David let go of Noah and asked him if he liked the new house. “Yes, it’s big. I like the elevator.”

“Elevator? Your townhome has an elevator? How big is this place?”

“Umm—eight floors. It had eight bedrooms, but I made some changes, and it has only five now.” David resisted correcting Charlie on the “your townhome” comment. He thought Charlie should talk to Beverly and Noah about his relocating first.

“Can I get a tour?”

Beverly told the boys to show Charlie around while she worked on dinner. “Noah, darling—do you want to help me with dinner, or would you like to show your daddy the house?”

“I’ll show Daddy. Then I’ll help you.”

“That’s perfect, sweet boy.” Beverly gave David and Charlie a kiss on the cheek and told the guys to take their time. The guests wouldn’t be arriving for another hour.

“Daddy? Can we take the elevator?”

“Well, maybe you should ask David?”

“David? Can we take the elevator?”

“Yes, we can—but only if it takes us to the top floor. Is that okay, buddy?”

“Okay.”

David pressed the call button on the elevator, and the doors immediately opened. Noah took Charlie’s hand as they stepped into the small space.

“Noah, we want to go to my bedroom. Do you know what button takes us there?”

“Yes. Number eight.”

“Go ahead, son. You can press the button.”

“Okay.”

Charlie looked at David and said, “Seriously? An elevator? This is amazing!”

After the short ride up, the elevator opened onto the top floor of the townhome. When they stepped out, Charlie was surprised to see they were in a beautifully furnished living room.

“Is this the living room?”

“Not really. The master suite has this sitting room. David opened the double door next to the elevator and ushered Charlie and Noah into the massive master bedroom.

A California king-sized bed dominated the room. There was a fireplace at the foot of the bed that David had redone in a modern slate.

David then showed Charlie his walk-in closet that was stocked with quite a bit more clothes than the beach house. Across the hall from David’s closet was an identical one that stood empty. “I guess you know what this is for,” David said to Charlie in a soft voice.

Both closets had a door at the end that led to the en suite. Charlie fell in love with the modern fixtures, the large walk-in shower, and the large Jacuzzi bathtub.

“Each bathroom has an on-demand water heater, so you’ll never run out of hot water. Noah, do you know how to get to the terrace?”

“Yes, you press the “T” in the elevator.”

“That’s right. Do you know where the stairs are?”

“Yes, by the elevator.”

“Let’s take the stairs up to the terrace, okay?”

The first thing Charlie saw when they got up to the terrace was the hot tub. Tall, tree-lined walls surrounded it. “I had the walls installed so people in the surrounding buildings couldn’t get cheap thrills by watching any potential hot tub fun.” David winked at Charlie, who blushed in response.

In the center of the terrace was a fire pit surrounded by a group of comfortable chairs. There were two double chaise lounges and a deluxe wet bar with a refrigerator, microwave, cabinets, and a wine chiller, fully stocked.

David took Charlie’s hand and led him to the end of the terrace. “Come here. You have to see this view.”

Charlie wrapped his arm around David’s waist and leaned his head onto his lover’s shoulder. David pointed out various sights, including the UN Towers in the distance.

The serenity of the moment was interrupted by Noah. “Daddy? Is David your boyfriend now?”

David and Charlie turned around, facing a smiling Noah. “Yes, Noah. Your daddy and I are boyfriends again. Is that okay?”

“Yes. That makes me happy.”

Charlie pulled his son into a three-way hug and kissed his cheek. “It makes your daddy happy, too. Are you ready to take me to the next part of the tour?”

“Yes, Daddy.”

“Let’s take your daddy to your Nana’s room.”

“Okay. Elevator?”

“Sounds good to me!”

Noah let Charlie and David to the elevator, and they stepped in as soon as the doors opened.

“Noah? Which number takes us to your Nana’s bedroom?”

“I know! It’s seven.”

“That’s right. Go ahead and press the button.”

Noah smiled and announced, “Here we go!”

The elevator went down two floors and opened on a floor nearly identical to the master suite. Only it was furnished similarly to Charlie’s home in Barnstable.

“David! Did you do this just for Mama?”

“Well, I guess I did. I wanted Beverly to have a wonderful space whenever she came to visit—that is, if you decided to be my boyfriend and we’re going to be spending a lot of time here! And you did—and you will be!”

“It’s beautiful.”

David showed Charlie how the layout was the same, but the look was completely different. He then asked Noah where he wanted to take his daddy next.

“My room!”

David didn’t want Noah to become too dependent on the elevator and suggested, “Let’s take the stairs this time, okay?”

“Okay.”

The sixth floor had two bedrooms. The front room was set up similarly to the Toy Story-themed room in Westhampton. It wasn’t a duplicate of the actual bedroom from the film, but there were the same four posters, the same bedspread, and the walls were painted a light blue.

“Wow, Noah! This is a great room! Do you like it?”

“It’s my favorite room in this house. My buddy David fixed it up just for me!”

“Noah, why don’t you take your daddy to your second-favorite room in the house?”

“Okay. C’mon, Daddy.” Noah took Charlie’s hand and took him to the floor’s back bedroom, which had been set up as a playroom for Noah. There was an X-Box, a desk with a computer, an electric train, and several toys from the film.”

“Wow! This is awesome! And you have a computer!”

“Yes. I have to learn how to use it, though.”

David leaned into Charlie and spoke softly, “Okay, I might have looked a bit into the Aaron Academy and saw that a large part of their curriculum is technology-based, so I got him a computer—just in case. I hope you don’t mind.”

“I love you even more for that very thing, David Chase!”

Charlie gave David a light kiss, and the trio made their way down to the fifth floor. “There’s nothing too exciting here—just two guest bedrooms. They each have their en suite. Let’s go down to the fourth floor.”

When they took the steps down to the fourth floor, David asked Noah, “Do you know what this floor is?”

“This is your floor, David.”

David chuckled, “I like the sound of that! For the first time in my life, I have an office in the front room, and I’m using the rear room as my music library. Finally! I have a single space for all my music.”

“Nice! But we probably need to get a move on before your—our—dinner guests arrive.”

“Good idea. Let’s get into the elevator and go to the living room. Do you know what button to press, Noah?”

“Two!” Noah smiled as he pressed the button.

“Noah, you did a great job learning where everything is! I’m proud of you!”

“Son, how long did it take you to remember everything?”

“We got here after lunch, and David left a list so me and Nana could find our way around.”

The elevator opened onto the sizeable second-floor living room. A white-leather sectional sofa dominated the room, facing the fireplace. The ten-foot Steinway grand piano stood in the area by the rear windows.

David picked up a remote from one of the end tables and told Charlie to watch the painting over the fireplace. It soon slid up to the ceiling, revealing a large, sixty-inch flat-screen television.

“Daddy! That’s a big TV! You can watch Ellen here!”

“Yes, I can! Would you like to watch her with me?”

“Yes, please.”

“The cabinets on either side of the fireplace have the DVD’s and all the electronics.”

Noah suddenly became quite excited and started jumping up and down. “Can we show Daddy his surprise now?”

“Surprise? What surprise is this?”

“The base—”

“Shhh! Don’t say anything, Noah! Let him be surprised, okay?”

“Okay. Let’s go now!”

“Shall we take the elevator, then?”

“Yes, please!”

When they stepped into the elevator, David asked Charlie to close his eyes. “No cheating, Mr. Danner!”

“Okay! Okay!”

When the elevator opened on the basement level, Noah bounded out and started to giggle with excitement. David led Charlie out of the elevator by his elbow and motioned for Noah to open the door to the main space. David led Charlie into the room and asked him if he was ready.

“Yes, I’m ready, already!”

“Open your eyes!”

Charlie opened his eyes and gasped when he saw the state-of-the-art workroom. “Christian? Eric? What are you guys doing down here?”

“Surprise, baby! This is your new workspace. Christian helped me put it together. I told him to get the top-of-the-line everything.”

Christian stepped toward Charlie and said, “Welcome home, Charlie. I had this place set up for your new position, just hoping you would say yes. David had me get here a couple of hours ago to make sure everything had been set up correctly. He told me to bring along a plus-one. So I asked Eric, hoping he’d say yes.”

“What? Wait—when did you ask Eric to come over here?”

“This morning, when we woke up.”

“When you—wait a minute—when you woke up from—”

Eric grinned and winked at Charlie, “I guess you could say I won the grandest grand prize of Project Runway!”

“Oh my God! That’s so wonderful!” Charlie hugged Eric and whispered in his ear, “Stop being so smug, you little shit!” When he hugged Christian, he said, “You couldn’t have picked a better man, Christian. I’m so happy for you both!”

“And I’m so happy for you, Charlie. I just knew everything would work out perfectly for you and David. Did you see this?” Christian pointed to the wall behind a row of dress forms.

A six-foot-square photo of Noah dominated the wall. It was the one Annie Leibovitz took as Noah watched David sing on the sofa.

“Oh. That’s the most beautiful—” Charlie leaned into David as joyful tears fell from his eyes. “David! Thank you so much! I guess I don’t have to find a place to move into now!”

“Nope. You just get to move in here.”

Noah looked confused. “Are we moving, Daddy?”

“Son, why don’t we go upstairs so you can help Nana. I promise we’ll all talk about that when we sit down to eat, okay?”

“Okay.”

All five stepped into the elevator and made their way up to the third floor. Beverly called Noah to the kitchen to help with the garlic bread while David made drinks for everyone.

Charlie looked at Noah in amazement. “I can’t believe he’s helping Mama in the kitchen! How did that happen?”

“I’m afraid it’s my fault. I asked Noah to help me make sandwiches for the trip back to the airport. When he said he didn’t know how to make sandwiches, I just talked him through one simple task at a time. He was beyond thrilled he was ‘cooking,’ and Beverly saw that he did just fine. She said she would start having him help her out whenever she was fixing dinner.”

The doorbell rang, and David took Charlie’s hand and led him to the door, “This is our house. I thought it would be cool to greet our guests.”

Charlie smiled and said, “I love you, David Chase!”

David opened the door and was surprised himself. “Mom? What are you doing here? This is amazing!”

Nancy hugged her son and explained. “Beverly arranged for me to come down since this would be the first full-on family meal now that Charlie’s a free man!”

“Well, first of all, free isn’t the best choice of words. He’s totally and completely with your son once again!”

“Oh, Charlie! That makes me so happy. Everything seems to be right with the world again!”

“It does, doesn’t it?”

“Charlie, why don’t you fix Mom a drink, and I’ll take her suitcase up to her room. Wow! This night couldn’t get any better!” David grabbed the suitcase and ran up the stairs, two at a time.

As soon as David got back downstairs, he saw Charlie at the door, greeting Ben and his wife.

“You must be the amazing Charlie!”

“And you must be Ben!”

“Ben! Sally! Welcome to our home!”

Our home? I’m guessing there’s going to be quite a bit to talk about over dinner!”

“Oh yeah, you have no idea!”

Charlie and David led Ben and Sally into the dining room and introduced everyone just as Beverly announced dinner was ready. Everyone took their seats, and Noah beamed as he delivered a plate of his salad to each of the diners.

David sat at the head of the table, and Charlie was seated at the other end. David stood and raised his glass. “I’d like to propose a toast to everyone sitting at this table. All of you make up the most important people in Charlie’s and my life. Today, Charlie Danner made me the happiest man on the planet. Here’s to Charlie, his family, and our friends!”

Everyone raised their glasses, gave their “cheers,” and settled into their delicious Caesar salad. Noah watched to make sure everyone was enjoying the salad before he began eating. Charlie smiled at his son and asked, “Did you make this delicious salad?”

“Yes, I did. It’s good, too!”

“Yes, it is! Noah, you did a wonderful job! I’m so proud of you!”

“I made the garlic bread, too—but we’re going to have that later.”

“I can’t wait!”

“Okay.”

As everyone was finishing their salads, Beverly asked Noah to help her dish up the main plates. Noah grinned as he loved being trusted to help in the kitchen. Charlie smiled and shook his head incredulously.

Sally looked at Charlie and smile, “Charlie, your son is absolutely delightful. Ben had nothing but wonderful things to say about Noah after the photoshoot.”

“I can’t wait to see what she’s going to do with David’s album. When we’re done with dinner, I would love to show you a portrait she did of Noah. It’s—it’s—well, I don’t have words yet!”

As Beverly filled a plate with lasagna and Noah added a couple of garlic bread pieces, she instructed him on where to deliver each plate. She explained to him that you serve the ladies first when you serve plates at a dinner party.

“Okay.” Noah did as he was instructed, and soon everyone was seated with a plate in front of them.

Beverly leaned in to Noah and whispered. He smiled and announced, “Okay. We can eat now!”

When everyone was nearly finished with their dinner, Charlie stood and tapped his glass. “Folks, I have an important announcement to make—well, a partial announcement. I can’t give any details until the finale of the show airs.” Charlie looked at Christian and smiled.

“You see, I’ve been offered an incredible opportunity in the fashion industry—one that could make me a household name. Mama, unfortunately, that means I will have to relocate to the city.” Charlie motioned around the house. “Funny thing, I accepted the position before I even knew any of this existed—or that David Chase was waiting for me in the limo that was going to take me away.”

David smiled and said, “Hey—I was ready for some major changes in my life. And as my mother told me many years ago, ‘if you want to make a change, you have to take a chance.’”

“Mama?”

“Charlie. David. Nothing in this world can make me happier than seeing the two of you together and happy. I’m thrilled that you have a new job and that you’re about to make your mark as a designer. There are a lot of details to work out. But I think it will be a lot easier than it appears. You both have my full support—and unending love.”

David then took his turn. “Ben, as you know, a lot has changed for me in the last couple of months. And even more changes are on the horizon. I’m totally in love with—and committed to—this wonderful man, and I have no intention to hide my relationship from anyone.”

“Are you saying you want to come out publicly?”

“Yes, but I have a plan. Let’s call it a challenge for you!”

“Should I be frightened?”

“Not at all! I want you to call Oprah. She has a show called The Next Chapter. She did a fantastic piece on Neil Patrick and David. I want her to do a piece on Charlie and me. And she can have an exclusive on the coming out—and this—”

David got up from his seat and walked over to Noah. “Noah, your daddy forgot to ask you if you would like to move into this house. Is that something you would like?”

“Would you be my other daddy then?”

“Well, that all depends on what your daddy has to say to this.”

David got down on his knee beside Charlie. “Charlie Danner, it took eight years to get you back into my life, and I intend to never let you out of it again. Will you marry me?”

* * * * *

“At seventeen, Charlie Danner and David Chase met during their high school musical production of Spamalot. It was an awkward first meeting. You see, David was in the orchestra pit, adjusting the foot pedal on his keyboard, and he inadvertently ripped the seat of his tuxedo pants.

“The stage manager sent David to the costume shop, where Charlie Danner was on duty. Charlie fixed David’s pants and sent him back to the pit. David says he was immediately taken by the quiet boy at the sewing machine. Charlie says the last thing he was thinking about was a relationship, as he had just been through a difficult break-up with a popular athlete on the football team.

“After the performance, David managed to get a ride to the cast party with Charlie—and history was made.

“I’m Oprah Winfrey—and this is Oprah’s Next Chapter.

The opening credits of the show featured video of David’s PBS special and various scenes of Charlie on the recently completed season of Project Runway. The last shot of the opening credits showed the announcement of Charlie as the winner of the season.

Oprah’s producers chose the rooftop terrace for the main interview, with Oprah sitting to David and Charlie's left.

“What a wonderful ending to the Project Runway season. Congratulations! But I have to admit, I’m a huge fan of the show and was rooting for both you and your friend Eric.”

“Eric has continued to be a great friend to both David and me—and my son adores him as they both share a love of Disney films.”

“And David, congratulations are in order for you as well. Your An Evening with Rachmaninov live album has been number one on the classical charts for the last eight weeks, and it just keeps getting stronger and stronger!”

“Thank you. That was a special night, and I guess it showed in my playing. That was the night Charlie and I met again after a painfully long separation.”

As Oprah spoke, there were shots of the concert and the reception that took place afterward. “As with most high school romances, David and Charlie went their separate ways when David went to Russia to study piano in St. Petersberg. Charlie remained in Barnstable, married a local architect, and they adopted a young son, Noah.”

The audience saw a series of photos of Noah, Jacob, and Charlie as Oprah continued, “Sadly, the marriage didn’t work out, and while the couple has remained close, they divorced a little more than a year ago, sharing custody of Noah.”

“Charlie, what went through your mind when you walked up to Lincoln Center and found out that you were about to attend the Rachmaninov concert with David at the piano?”

“Terror—sheer terror. I wanted to leave Project Runway right then and there. I mean, my feelings for David were as strong as they ever were. But I was in no way ready to start a reality television show and see David Chase for the first time in eight years—all in the same night!”

“But you did it. You survived the first challenge!”

“Yeah, thank God, right?”

“But David, whose design did you pick for your album?”

David blushed, “Ummm. Not Charlie’s. But in my defense—I purchased Charlie’s design, and it’s on the album along with Eric’s!”

Charlie looked at David and smiled, “Good save, right?”

Oprah looked across the terrace and saw Noah standing by the elevator. “Charlie, we have company. I believe your son has come up to the terrace.”

Charlie looked behind the chair and asked Noah if he wanted to say hi to Miss Winfrey. Noah walked across the terrace and stood beside his father. “Hello, Miss Winfrey.”

Oprah smiled at the handsome teenager and replied, “Hello, Noah. It’s a pleasure to meet you—and you can call me Oprah.”

“Okay. Hello, Oprah.”

The show then went to a segment showing Noah attending class at the Aaron Academy. He was seen working on the computer, singing in the choir, having lunch and laughing with his classmates, and walking home from school with Charlie.

“Noah also has a weekend internship in Westhampton at the local aquarium, where he spends time with the different animals.”

The next shot was of Mike, Noah’s supervisor for the internship. “Noah is a fantastic kid. He’s a unicorn—you know, one of those people you hear about, but never imagine you would get to meet.

“I met Noah about six months ago when he was a visitor to the aquarium. We were amazed to see his connection with the penguins and the sharks. It’s a telepathic connection. The animals actually communicate with him.

“Oscar, one of our sea lions, is in love with the boy. As soon as Noah walks into the sea lion habitat, Oscar stops whatever he is doing, waddles up to Noah, and presses his head up against his chest, waiting for a hug. It’s adorable.

“Several of the staff were skeptical that Noah could communicate with the animals until a few weeks ago. Noah was in the shark tank and spending time with the Tiger. When he got out of the water, Noah told me that the Tiger wasn’t feeling well. There were no visible symptoms, but the vet staff checked him out, and sure enough, they found a minor problem that was taken care of immediately. If we had waited until there were visible symptoms, the shark would have most certainly died.”

The show went back to the terrace, and Noah was sitting between Charlie and David. David asked Noah if he would like to give Oprah a tour of the house. Noah smiled and answered with, “Yes, please.”

Noah showed her “Daddy’s floor” first and followed that with “Nana’s floor.” Beverly was reading a book by the window in her sitting area, and the cameras cut to a short interview with her.

“It’s funny. I walked in on David and Charlie when they got to the house after their cast party for Spamalot. Apparently, I witnessed their first kiss. I knew at that moment that those two boys were destined to spend their lives together.

“When Charlie took the position with Christian Siriano, the boys asked if I wanted to move down to New York and help out with Noah. I was hoping they would ask and was thrilled when they did.

“Ironically, we sold the Barnstable house to Charlie’s ex-husband and his father. His father was the architect who designed the remodel when we moved in, and before we even went on the market, they told us they wanted to buy the house. It works out great for Noah since he’s in a very familiar space when he visits his dad once a month.”

The camera crew showed Beverly teaching Noah more cooking skills before the tour of the townhome continued.

At the end of the tour, the audience saw Noah sitting at the piano with David, who played while the two of them sang “You Got a Friend in Me.”

The last segment of the interview took place on the deck of the beach house in Westhampton.

“So you guys got married over Labor Day weekend. Congratulations on that!”

“Thanks! I knew when I saw him play on Ellen that I was going to marry him—come Hell or high water!”

“I understand there was a little bit of both on the way to the altar?”

“Well, yeah. Charlie and I decided that we wanted to make sure we were getting off on the right foot and agreed to couples counseling before becoming an official couple. We discovered a lot about ourselves, each other—and not all of it was pretty.”

“But the great thing about that experience is that David and I were able to talk through every issue that came up. I know we became a stronger couple—and better dads—as a result. I have zero regrets.”

“And zero secrets!”

The camera zoomed in on Oprah, and she wrapped up the show, “David Chase is currently preparing for a nationwide symphony tour while Charlie Danner is busy preparing his first line of couture gowns for the upcoming fashion seasons in Paris and New York.

“David, Charlie, Noah, and Beverly may appear to some an unconventional family. However, I can tell you from my own experience that you can feel the love in the air when you walk into their home. It’s palpable. I promise, there’s not a family on this planet that wouldn’t want that much love and care in their own home.”

There you go! I'm going to miss Barnstable, but I'm going to be happy to move onto another city! Don't know where quite yet. Will the next book be the first in another Chronicle? Who knows!?!

It's your comments that help me decide what to do next.

Thanks for reading!

=Geoff

Copyright © 2019 FlyOnTheWall; 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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Ellen early on and ending with Oprah!
;–)

I only have one suggestion. LGBTQs and preference. The answer is yes, most of us prefer to have sex! But we have a sexual orientation.
;–)

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What a wonderful ending I am happy for everyone.  Charlie and David married finally.  Charlie's new career and his winning of the season on Project Runway.  And Sweet sweet Noah and his internship with Mike at the Aquarium. 

I guess the only thing I am left wondering about is Noah's friend Tim as they were living together in Barnstable and Tim is on the spectrum as well and I can't remember what kind of support system he had aside from his mother but it must have been hard on him when Noah had to move.  Noah had basically his whole support system when he relocated Bev, Charlie and his new daddy David so that probably helped to relieve a lot of his stress. And he also had the opportunity to meet with Mikes little brother plus his new school with others on the spectrum to help him.   

I know I mentioned in my last review but I have loved and enjoyed all the Barnstable stories and the characters I will miss them as this series comes to an end.  

Thanks again Geoff for sharing your writing talents with us readers.  Authors like yourself and others that share on here are able to add a bright spot to peoples days with your stories.  I know for me its nice to take a step back and enter another world on occasion. 

 

Q

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Whatever! Just bring on another great story, and i mean a long one. GRATZ!

Edited by Tonyr
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Loved it.  A very satisfying conclusion for my three favorite characters in all the Barnstable stories.  Well done!

i’m lookIng forward to the next series, and hoping it is set in an escapist location.  I wonder what you’ll come up with.😉

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OMG, amazing end to the book! I have loved and cryed in everyone of the books in this story. It's sad to see it end but happy it's on an amazing high note. I am looking forward to reading what ever your next story is! Thank you! 💓 :worship:

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Congratulations on the successful completion of a great series.  I thoroughly loved it.  I look forward to your next  one.

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Just a quick question, are there any remote cabins in a secluded area in the woods? Asking for my friend Annie Wilkes...

I am so sad that the story has ended but I am totally happy with the way it did. I'm going to miss my buddy Noah!!!

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There are so many wonderful characters in the Barnstable Chronicles that it would be hard to pick a favorite or two. Charlie is one I have liked since he first showed up. I really enjoyed this story about Charlie, David, and Noah! I am certain I will enjoy whatever you write next. Thank you.

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I have to say that I have really enjoyed reading this book, but I will say Geoffrey, Geoffrey, I have she a few tears along the way, I am a hopeless romantic.

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