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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 - 9. How to Ruin Mother's Day with a Torpedo

Okay, It's been requested that I issue warnings. Here you go:!

  • Tissue Warning
  • Emotional Rollercoaster Warning
  • Cliffhanger Warning

You're Welcome!

It was 6:30 in the morning when David’s phone started going off. “Hello? This better be good.”

“David! Ben here. We’re on our way. I have Tania with me, and she has several outfits, including that bizarre thing you chose from Project Runway. Really? Technicolor overalls? I don’t get it, but then again, I don’t get much these days. We’ll be there in an hour.”

“Who is this?”

“Wake the fuck up, David! It’s Ben. It’s photoshoot day. Leibowitz and her crew will be there at 9:00. Are you awake yet?”

“Yes, Ben. I’m awake. So—I need to remind you that my mother, a friend of the family, and her Autistic grandson are here for Mother’s Day. Noah can be a little panicky around strangers and loud noises. He’s been doing great all weekend. I just need you to notch it down and be a kinder and gentler Ben—just for one day—please?”

“Yeah, yeah—I get it. I’m not that bad, however. Gentler, I can give ya. Kinder? Really? No one is kinder than me.”

“Okay, whatever you want to believe. But Ben—this is so important to me. I need Noah to be happy and calm. He’s not used to personalities like yours.”

“What the fuck? My so-called personality has never been a problem before. What the fuck am I supposed to do anyway?”

“Just be chill. Don’t bark out orders. Make suggestions. Let Miss Leibovitz do her thing the way she wants to do her thing. She’s the best there is at what she does—just like you’re the best there is at what you do. Please, Ben—you’ll understand all this in a few weeks.”

There was silence on the other end of the line. “Ben? Please?”

“Okay, okay! I’ll be the Sugar-fucking-Plum-goddam-Fairy if it will make you happy.”

“Thanks, Ben. See you in about an hour. I’ll have breakfast for you guys—I love you, Tania!”

“Love you, too, David. See you soon!”

David threw on some sweatpants and walked out into the hallway. He stuck his head in on Noah and found him sound asleep with his Buzz Lightyear doll. He smiled as he quietly hummed “A Friend in Me” while making his way down to the kitchen.

He pulled the second breakfast casserole out of the fridge and preheated the oven. Once it started baking, he set the time for 45 minutes and made his way out to the gym he had set up in the garage. He had 45 minutes to work out and get some definition going for the shoot.

About thirty minutes into his workout, he looked toward the kitchen and found Noah watching him.

“Good morning, buddy. Did you sleep well?”

“Yes. What are you doing?”

“I’m working out. Some people are coming to the house today to take some pictures of me, and I wanted my muscles to look big and strong.”

“Can I have big and strong muscles, too?”

“Yes, we can work on that. But it takes a long time—and a lot of hard work. We can’t do that today, but I bet we can work something out when your Daddy finishes the show.”

“Okay. I’m hungry. Can we eat something?”

David got up from the bench press he had been working on and wiped the sweat off his body. He walked to the door and led Noah into the kitchen. “I have another breakfast casserole in the oven. It’s not quite ready, but I can get you some orange juice—and maybe a banana?”

“Yes, please.”

David got the juice and banana for Noah, poured himself a cup of coffee, and sat at the breakfast bar with Noah. “It’s going to be a busy day, Noah. Do you know what’s going to happen?”

“Yes. People are coming to your house to take pictures of you.”

“That’s right. And there are going to be people to help the photographer—and my friend Tania will be here to help me get into the right clothes. She’s going to bring someone to make my hair look good, too.”

“Can Tania make my hair look good?”

“I bet she can! Would you like that?”

“You have pretty hair. I want pretty hair, too.”

“I think your hair is awesome, Noah! It’s blond and curly—kinda like mine.”

“Not as long as yours.”

“No, but it’s still pretty!”

“Yes, it is.”

“Would you like to take some pictures of the people taking pictures?”

“I don’t have a camera.”

“I do. I can show you how to use mine.”


The oven timer went off, and David pulled the casserole out, setting it on the stovetop to set for a few minutes. The smells of eggs and bacon began to fill the house, bringing Beverly and Nancy downstairs.

“It smells wonderful again!”

“Thanks, Mom. Good morning Beverly.”

“Good morning, David. Noah? Did you sleep well last night?”

“Yes. I dreamed about penguins and sharks. It was good.”

Today’s breakfast casserole was double the size. David knew that Ben, Tania, and whoever else shows up would enjoy it. Noah and the ladies sure did.

David showered while his houseguests were eating. He took the time to shave extra close and left his hair damp so Tania’s hair guy could do his magic. He put on his basic black outfit and headed downstairs just as Ben’s car pulled up to the house. David went out to greet them.

“Hi, guys! I hope you’re hungry. I have some awesome food for you!”

Ben and Tania got out of the front seats. David hugged Tania and kissed her cheek. Ben popped open the trunk as the back doors of the car opened. Eduardo, Tania’s hairstylist, and Jonathan, her makeup artist, got out of the car and squinted in the bright sunlight.

The boys walked to the trunk and grabbed their cases and the garment bags Tania had brought. While they were getting themselves situated, David went to Ben, pulling him aside.

“Ben, I just want to remind you about Noah. He’s an amazing kid that I’ve grown to love more than I ever thought would be possible. But you have to understand that he keeps to himself. He is not very adept in social situations—especially with people he doesn’t know. Loud noises terrify him—so I need to ask you not to shout like you enjoy doing.”

“I get it, especially since Tania explained the relationship you have—or hope to have with the boy. I’m just thrilled that this is all a part of the new, happy David. And I promise to be on my best behavior.”

David hugged Ben and took him inside. He told Eduardo and Jonathan that they could take everything up to his bedroom and pointed the way. Tania and Ben were introduced to Beverly, Nancy, and Noah. Noah was engrossed in his Candy Crush game, barely noticing the new activity around him.

Ben and the others accepted the offer of the delicious breakfast. He explained that he was having lunch catered in so no one would have to worry about preparing anything for the people invading his home.

While everyone sat around the large table in the kitchen, David made sure to sit next to Noah. David watched a round of the game and quietly cheered when Noah cleared a level. Noah looked up at David and smiled.

“Noah, can I introduce some of my friends to you?”


“This is Ben. He’s my manager—which means he helps me get all the cool things I get to do—like when you saw me play the piano on Ellen.” Ben smiled and waved to Noah.

“I liked watching you play on Ellen. Daddy liked it too—he cried.”

David chuckled and introduced Tania. “Tania helps me find clothes to wear and helps me look good when I need to.” Tania smiled and blew a kiss to Noah—which confused him. He didn’t know what that was about.

“Daddy and Nana help me find clothes.”

“It’s just like that, Noah!”

Noah pointed towards Eduardo and Jonathan and asked, “Who are them?”

They are Eduardo—who will make my hair look good, and Jonathan—who will make my face look good.”

“You already look good.”

“Aww, can you get any sweeter?”


Everyone around the table chuckled, and David gently continued talking to Noah. “Now, do you remember why all these people are coming to my house today?”

“Yes, they’re going to photo you.”

“That’s right. So I want to know if you can do something for me.”


“I want you to watch real close when Tania and the guys get me ready for the photoshoot. Can you do that?”

“Yes, please.”

“And then, when they start taking my pictures, I want you to watch real close again. Sound good?”

“Yes, please.”

“When I’m done with the photoshoot, you can have Eduardo and Jonathan make your hair and face look good, and then we’ll let them take some pictures of you—and I bet we can even take some with you and Buzz together.”


“Do you need to shower before the others get here?”

“Yes, please.”

“Tell ya what—why don’t you use the shower in my bedroom today? I’ll be in my room getting ready. That way, your Nana and my Mom can use the other bathrooms for their showers.”


Everyone finished their breakfast. Nancy decided she would load the dishwasher while everyone else was getting ready upstairs. Ben set his laptop on the table and said he was going to do some work on David’s promo tour for the new album. He looked up at David and smiled. “It looks like we’re going to get you back on Ellen again. She contacted us, and I told her I would get back to her with date options.”

“Sounds like fun—but please—I want to keep my clothes on this time, okay?” Ben laughed and promised to let her know. “And thanks, by the way—you’re doing a great job around Noah.”

“Speaking of—I’ve never seen you like this. It’s—it’s—astounding. That kid adores you, ya know.”

“It goes both ways. It helps that I completely adore Noah’s father. Now—I need to get upstairs. Tania and the guys are waiting for me.” David grabbed one of the stools from the breakfast bar and carried it upstairs to his bedroom.

When David walked into his room, he heard Noah in the shower. Tania had laid several outfits out on the bed, including Eric’s overalls. David was both pleased and surprised to see Charlie’s coat in the mix.

“I can’t believe you got both designs from the show! You are fucking incredible!”

“Well, we have to be careful. I promised that we would do a series of photos in four different outfits. That way, no one around the shoot will know for certain which outfits were from the show.”

“Oh—that makes perfect sense.”

“And you can’t mention to anyone—especially Charlie’s family—that one of the designs is his.”

“Of course, I won’t say a word.”

“I can’t believe you—of all people—picked such a fun design as the winner. It’s going to be so much fun being your stylist now!”

“What? It hasn’t been fun already?”

“Yes, it’s been fun—most of the time. But now—we’re looking at some cray-cray fun!”

“Speaking of fun—I’ve already spoken with Miss Leibovitz, and she’s agreed to do a short session with Noah. But part of that is I want you and the guys to give him the royal treatment. Don’t go overboard. I need him to look like the amazing teenager he is.”

“How do I win him over? He needs to let me in so I can work with him.”

“You know? Yesterday was an amazing day for him. I took him to the aquarium, and he had an amazing interaction with the penguins and the sharks. Ask him about that when you have a chance alone. That might do the trick.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“I want to give the photos to Charlie as a gift. That’s pretty much all there is to it.”

David realized Noah didn’t have a change of clothes for when he finished his shower, so he excused himself and put an outfit together for the day. He placed the clothes on the countertop and went into the bedroom to get started on his transformation. Eduardo was first with the hair.

“Eduardo, when you finish with my hair, can you do Noah’s?”

“It would be my pleasure. Do you want a new style or just work with what he has?”

“No—a new style is something that would have to be decided by his father. He has that great curly hair. I’m sure you can do something wonderful. He told me he wanted pretty hair.”

David heard the water cut off in the shower. He called into the bathroom for Noah just to towel-dry his hair so Eduardo could make it look pretty.

“Okay,” came the timid voice from the bathroom.

About ten minutes later, Noah stood at the entrance to the bedroom and observed Eduardo putting the finishing touches on David’s hair. A few minutes later, Beverly knocked on the door, came into the room, and stood by her grandson. He began to relax again.

Once Eduardo was finished with David, Jonathan invited him to sit in a chair by the window. David got up from the stool and walked over to Jonathan. Tania looked at the overalls and said, “David, I think you’re going to have to freeball with this outfit.”

“Yeah. I think you’re right. Glad I don’t have any tan lines!” He smiled at Tania. Beverly raised an eyebrow and cocked her head. David laughed and told her that he had had a spray tan done the day they flew in.

Noah sat in the chair while Eduardo combed, twirled, and shaped the boy's hair. Beverly was amazed at the transformation. "Jonathan, it's amazing. Noah, you got the pretty hair you wanted!" Noah grinned from ear-to-ear.

David went into the bathroom, took off the overalls and underwear, then put the overalls back on. He looked in the mirror and smiled at how that simple move turned the colorful design from fun to pure sexy.

Tania made some minor adjustments, and David was ready to go. The entire group made their way downstairs just as Ben had started up to tell them that Annie Leibovitz and her crew were all set up and ready to go.

“Miss Leibovitz. It is a pleasure meeting you. I’ve admired your work for years.”

“Mr. Chase, the pleasure is mine.”

“Okay, can we drop the Mister and Miss stuff? Please call me David.”

“And please call me Annie.” She looked up the stairs and saw Noah. “And this must be Noah. My, you are a beautiful boy, aren’t you?”

“Yes, please.”

“My name is Miss Annie. If you would like, I’m going to take your picture this afternoon. Would you like that?”

“Yes, please. I’ll watch close now.”

David introduced everyone else to Annie, and after all the pleasantries, she continued. “Wonderful! Okay, David. Let me tell you what I have planned for you. As you can see, I’ve set up two green screens—one in the middle of the room and the other behind your piano. Of course, the green screen allows me to add any background we agree might be appropriate.

“Now, it is my understanding that you have started a new look for your concerts. I want to use that look with you at the piano. That screen will be used to superimpose you in front of the Phil so you can use that look with the new album.”

“That sounds great!”

“Let’s start with the album cover photo. If you would stand in front of the screen over here, and we’ll get started.”

For the next hour, Annie shot hundreds of photos of David in a variety of poses—some close-ups, some full-body, some fun, some serious, some with David sitting on different pieces of furniture from around the house. Some with one of the straps unbuckled, and some with the top of the overalls completely folded down.

The entire time, Noah watched intently and with fascination. When they finished with that round of shots, she sent David to change into his new concert look.

Noah followed David up to his room and stood in the doorway as Tania held up the two coats he wore for the third Philharmonic concert. David smiled, “I loved wearing these. I was never more comfortable onstage.”

“You created quite a stir with all those traditionalists in the audience. But once you started playing, no one cared about what you were wearing.”

David picked up the coat Charlie designed. “This one. I want to wear this one.”

“It is beautiful, David. Put it on, and I’ll make any adjustments.”

David took off the overalls and stood in the room, completely nude. Noah’s eyes widened as he let out a small gasp.

“Hi, buddy! I didn’t know you were there. Are you having fun today?”

“You’re pretty.”

“Aww, thank you.” David slipped on his Andrew Christians and his tight, black v-neck tee-shirt. “You know, you’re a pretty handsome boy, Noah. And I love your new hairstyle. It’s pretty, too!”

Noah blushed as David eased into his black tuxedo pants. “I’m not pretty. I don’t have muscles like you. I’m just a boy.”

As David put on the beautiful brocade jacket, his entire body filled with the warm energy he has only ever felt with Charlie. Knowing that every stitch—every piece of fabric—was there because of the man he loved more than life itself filled his body with emotion.

“David—it’s perfect. I don’t have to make a single adjustment. How can that be?”

“He knows me, Tania. He made it for me.” David looked at Noah and held his arms out. “Come here, Noah.”

Noah walked to David, wrapped his arms around his waist, and rested his head on his chest. David slowly ran a hand up and down Noah’s back and quietly said, “Do you like this coat, Noah?”

“It’s pretty.”

“Do you know who made it?”

“A coat maker?”

David smiled and said, “No. Your daddy made it. Your daddy made it for me. That makes it even more beautiful, don’t you think?”

“Yes. Daddy loves you.”

“Did he tell you that?”

“No. He didn’t tell me. I just know.”

“I love your daddy, too.”


“And I love you, Noah. You’re the most amazing young man I think I’ve ever met.”


“Do you want Miss Annie to take your picture when I’m done?”

“Yes, please.”

“I think it will be fun—and we’ll have something we can give your daddy when he finishes his TV show.”


There was a knock on the door, and Jonathan came into the room. “They’re going to take the filters off the lights so they can get something closer to stage lighting at the piano. Miss Lebowitz said we'd need a bit more makeup, so you don’t wash out.”

Tania took the coat off David and had him sit in the chair so that Jonathan could fix his makeup. After ten minutes, David was good to go. He stood, and Tania put the coat back on. “Okay, guys. Let’s go down and get this done!”

On the way to the door, Noah stopped David and asked if he could still use his camera.

“I’m so sorry, Noah! I forgot I had mentioned that.” He went into the walk-in closet and returned with his Canon digital camera. “I’ll teach you how to use it when we get downstairs, okay?”

“Okay.” Noah smiled, took David’s hand, and walked downstairs with him.

The crew was still setting up the lights. David took Noah across the room and sat with him on the sofa. He showed the boy how to focus and the button to press to take the picture. “Now, when you take pictures, I need you to stand behind Miss Annie and her crew. You can take pictures of them taking pictures. I think that’ll be kinda cool!”


David put the strap around Noah’s neck and told him to leave it around his neck. Noah nodded and looked through the viewfinder, focusing the lens on different objects around the room. He then pointed the camera at David and took a couple of pictures.

He looked at the screen and smiled. “Pretty.”

David looked at the picture and was quite surprised. The photo was framed perfectly and focused.

“Noah, that’s good. You’re an excellent photographer!”

“I know.”

Annie called David to have a seat at the piano. She asked him to play so that the pictures would look less posed. He started to play, and there was an immediate problem. His hair would drop down the side of his face, causing difficulty in getting a clear shot. Tania called Eduardo over to see if he could come up with a solution.

It took only a few well-placed—and hidden—bobby pins to allow David’s hair to fall naturally without blocking the view of his face. He started playing one of the more difficult cadenzas of the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto, hands flying over the keyboard and blurring to the camera's eye.

Annie then asked David to play something slower so that she could get a clear picture of his hands and face. He started to play the beautiful, slow section of the Variations. Beverly and Nancy came in from the deck to listen. The ladies were moved to the point that tears began welling up in their eyes as they wrapped their arms around each other’s waists.

When Annie finished that series of shots, she too became emotional. “Damn you, David Chase! I’m not supposed to get like this during a photoshoot! But I can’t help it when I hear something so incredibly beautiful. Oh my!”

She told David they were finished with his shoot just as the caterers arrived with lunch. Ben had them set everything up in the kitchen as David went upstairs to change. Noah followed him up to the master suite with the camera around his neck.

“Let’s see those pictures you took!” Noah handed David the camera with a smile on his face. David scrolled through and was impressed. It was apparent the content was well-thought-out, and the composition was rather good. “Hey buddy, these are really good! Did you like taking pictures?”

“Yes, please. It was fun.”

“I’m going to change clothes now. Do you want to go downstairs and wait with your Nana?”

“No, I’ll wait with you.”

David smiled and went into the walk-in closet to change. Tania began putting the clothes she brought with her back in their bags. When David walked back out into the room, he was dressed in his jeans and a Hamilton tee-shirt.

Before they left the room, he handed the camera back to Noah and told him he could use it some more if he saw something he wanted to take a picture of. Noah beamed as he hung the cameral around his neck.

When they got downstairs, everyone was gathered in the kitchen and fixing plates for their lunch. Beverly had already put a plate together for Noah, and they went out to the deck with Nancy. Annie and her crew sat in the living room while David sat with Ben, Tania, and her crew at the kitchen table.

“Ben, you’ve been quiet today—almost too quiet! Are you okay?”

“Actually—not only did I promise to honor your request, but about an hour and a half ago, I got a link to the PBS broadcast. Holy shit, David! I think this is your best concert yet! We must release the album the week the concert airs. If we can get that done, your sales will go through the roof! I’m thinking Platinum here!”

“Nice! I’m gonna need at least that, so I’m able to afford to buy a place in the city.”

“The only thing I’m a little ‘iffy’ about is that they included the encore. The special and album are called An Evening with Rachmaninov. The encore is Chopin.”

“No. No. No. The encore can’t be included in the broadcast—or the album. Not just because it’s Chopin—but it was a very personal and special thing I had to do for Charlie.”

“Personal? In front of 2700 people?”

“Yes. Because only Charlie knew the meaning and significance behind it.”

“Jesus, David? Who the fuck are you?”

“A determined man who is totally in love with the man who has changed my life.”

“Hell! You keep this up, and I’ll fall in love with him!”

As the group was finishing their lunch, the others started to bring their plates into the kitchen. David smiled at Noah when he walked in. “Hey, buddy! Did you like your lunch?”

“Yes. I like sandwiches. But I love cheesy mac.”

“I thought you would—that’s why I had them bring it.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome. Now—would you like Tania and the boys to help you get pretty for your photo session?”

“Yes, please. Will you come, too?”

“Of course I will. Anything you want, Noah.”

Beverly asked David if there was anything she could do to help. Tania asked her if Noah usually had a tan in the summer, and she said he did.

“Do you think he would mind if we did a quick spray tan? I’m pretty sure Annie wants to do some beach shots.”

“If David is with him, I think he’ll do pretty much anything he asks.”

“Great! Now, can you and I look at the clothes he has available?”

“Sure. We didn’t bring much, but let’s see what there is.”

David took Noah into the master bath and asked if he would like an instant suntan. Jonathan waited outside the bathroom while David talked to Noah.

“Can they do that?”

“Yes. Jonathan will spray it on you.”

Noah grinned, “Yes, please.”

“Okay, Noah. I need you to take off your clothes but leave on your underwear. Jonathan—do you remember Jonathan?”


“He will ask you to hold your arms out like you are flying, okay?”


David turned to the door and called Jonathan in after Noah had stripped down. “Hi, Noah. I’m Jonathan. Are you ready to get a suntan without the sun?”

Noah giggled at the humor in Jonathan’s last comment. “Yes, make me pretty, please.”

In just a few minutes, Jonathan had applied the spray tan. David commented on how great it looked. Not too much that he looked like a beach bum, but enough to look like Noah spent a day or two every week playing on the beach.

Tania and Beverly were in the bedroom when David and a tanned Noah came into the room.

Beverly’s eyes widened, and she said, “Look at my suntanned boy! You look like you’ve been at the beach all week.”

“It’s pretty.”

“Yes you are, Noah,” Tania smiled. “Your Nana picked out some clothes for you to wear.”


Tania had Noah put on the khaki pants first, followed by a light, almost sheer, cotton button-up shirt.

Noah was excited to have Eduardo work on his hair so that it looked just as good when he had worked on it earlier in the day.

David asked Noah if he would like to have Jonathon put on a little bit of makeup so he would look even prettier.

“Yes, please.”

“Good boy! Just sit in the same chair I did, but you have to sit very still, okay?”

“Okay. Hold my hand, David.”

“You got it, buddy.”

David sat on the floor next to Noah and took his hand while Jonathan got set up.

“Why do you call me buddy?”

“Well, Noah—I guess it’s because you’re my buddy. Am I your buddy?”


“Do you like it when I call you buddy?

“Yes. I like it.”

“Good. I like it too—buddy!”

Jonathan sat in the chair across from a smiling Noah and looked at Beverly. “I’m not going to do a lot here. I just want to bring back the natural contours in his skin. The spray tan kind of washes them out.”

“Thank you, Jonathan. I trust you to do whatever magic you do. You made David look wonderful this morning. I have nothing to worry about.”

“Okay, Noah. Can you look at the picture on the wall behind me? This won’t take very long.”


David could feel Noah tense up a bit as Jonathan got closer, but was proud of the boy for letting him apply the makeup. Noah seemed to be fine as long as he had that physical connection with David.

After a few minutes, Jonathan stepped back and said, “Finished!”

David helped Noah out of the chair and took him into the bathroom to see himself in the mirror.

“What do you think, buddy?”

“Ooooh. Pretty. They made me pretty!”

“Yes, they did. You are a beautiful boy, Noah.”

“Yes, please.”

“Are you ready to go downstairs and sit for Miss Annie?”

“Yes, please.”

The group made their way downstairs and found the green screen set up behind the sofa. Annie greeted Noah at the bottom of the stairs, “Noah! You look wonderful. Jonathan and Eduardo made you look so good!”

“Yes. Thank you.”

“Would you like to come over to the sofa and sit with David?” Annie looked up at David with a questioning eye. He smiled back and nodded.

“Yes, please.”

As they were walking to the sofa, Annie quietly said to David, “I see the connection he has with you. I think he will do much better with the lights if you are there with him.”

“Of course. Anything you need.”

Annie sat Noah at the end of the white leather sofa and asked David to sit about a foot away. She explained to David that this would be a series of portraits, but she hoped to get a few different looks from Noah. She then turned to Noah and explained what was going to happen.

“Noah, you look wonderful. I’m excited to take your pictures. Is it okay if I talk with you while I take your pictures?”


“Excellent. Now—I don’t want you to be frightened when the lights flash. Do you remember how they flashed when I took pictures of David?”

“Yes, they were bright.”

“Yes, they can be. Would you like to see how bright they are?”

“Yes, please.”

Annie pressed the shutter, and as the lights flashed, Noah jumped a bit.

“Hey buddy, did that scare you?”

“No. It surprised me.”

“Will you be okay with that happening? Will it bother you?”

“Did it bother you?”

“Okay.” Noah thought for a second and sighed. “I’m okay. It won’t bother me now.”

“That’s good, buddy. I’m gonna sit right here with you. Is that okay?”

Annie started to talk with Noah, taking pictures throughout the conversation. “Have you had a nice trip this weekend with your Nana and David?”

“Yes. It’s been fun.”

“What was your favorite part so far?”

“Seeing the penguins—and going in the water with the sharks.”

“Oh my! You sure are a brave boy!”

“Yes. But I wasn’t scared.”

“You weren’t?”

“No, the penguins were funny. And the sharks were nice—they liked me.”

“Can you tell me about your house in Barnstable?”

“I live there with Daddy and Nana and Timmy.”

“Oh, I bet that’s really nice.”

“Yes, please.”

“What is your favorite room in the house?”

“My bedroom.”

“Oh, that’s nice. Why is it your favorite?”

“It’s the Toy Story bedroom. My Daddy and Papa made it for me when I was little.”

“Do you have a favorite song, Noah?”


“Can you tell me what it is?”


David looked at Annie and silently motioned that he would sing it. Annie nodded as she continued to take photos.

You've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
When the road looks rough ahead
And you're miles and miles from your nice warm bed
You just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you've got a friend in me
Yeah, you've got a friend in me

While David sang, Noah looked at him with an intense look of wonder. When David finished, he and Noah smiled at each other.

“That was for you, buddy!”

“Yes, buddy!”

Annie stepped away from the camera and announced she had more than enough shots, many of which were wonderful. She told David and Beverly that she wanted to take Noah out to the beach for the next set of photos.

David and Tania took Noah upstairs to change while Annie’s crew went out to the van to pick up a set-piece they had brought along.

Upstairs, Noah changed into a pair of blue and white shorts that went down to his knees. Tania suggested that Noah unbutton his shirt but leave it on. He was a bit reluctant at first, but when David said he could show off his new tan, Noah smiled and unbuttoned the shirt.

Beverly brought him a pair of flip-flops to wear out to the beach, and soon Noah and the gang made their way downstairs and out to the deck. They went down the steps and took the path that led to the beach.

When they made it there, Noah’s eyes widened as he pointed to a sandcastle that had miraculously appeared in the sand.

“What’s that?”

“That—is an amazing sandcastle, buddy!”


“Yes, it’s a castle made out of sand. Let’s go see it, okay?”


When they got to the sandcastle, Annie came up to them and said, “I’m afraid it’s all an illusion. It’s really made of plexiglass and coated with sand. But I thought it would make for some delightful pictures.”

“It’s brilliant. I think it’s perfect. What do you think, Noah?”

“I like it.”

Annie had Noah kneel on the sand and fill a bucket with sand, giving the illusion that Noah was working on his own sandcastle.

As he stood off to the side, David asked Noah if he was having fun.

“Yes, please. Will you teach me to make a sandcastle like this?”

“I don’t know if we’ll have time on this trip. But the next time you come up to visit, we’ll definitely do that, okay?”


“Okay, I think we have the shots we need with the sandcastle. Noah, you can stand up now.”


“And Noah, you are a wonderful model!”

“I know.”

“Noah, would you like to go up closer to the water?”

“Yes, please.”

Noah reached for David’s hand, and they, along with the crew, made their way to the edge of the ocean.

“I’d like you to go to the point where the sand is just getting wet. Can you have Noah look out to the water and then step back a few steps, David? If you could talk to him about what is out there beyond what he can see. I don’t care about his answers. I just want to try and get a thoughtful look.”

“I think I can handle that.”

When the waves made their way to Noah’s feet, he giggled and jumped around. Those moments made for some great pictures, but Annie got what she was hoping for when David asked where the sharks might be. Noah pointed out to the horizon and told David they were “out there.”

To finish the shoot, she asked Noah to run out into the water and run back. He loved that he could finally have some fun, as he giggled and smiled while he played in the water.

At one point, he took off his shirt and handed it to David, saying he didn’t want to get it wet. Annie took a few more pictures of a shirtless Noah, spray tan glowing in all its glory.

By 3:00, the photo session had ended, and all the guests had left the house. Noah was tired and asked if he could take a nap. Beverly told him he could, and he went to the sofa and fell asleep almost as soon as he had laid his head down.

David poured a glass of wine for the adults, and the three of them went out to the deck.

“Whew! That was quite a day, huh? I hope you ladies weren’t too bored.”

“Not at all, son! It was fascinating seeing a different part of your world. I was quite impressed.”

“David, may I say something?” Beverly took David’s hand in hers. “I don’t think I will ever be able to thank you enough for what you have done for Noah. I have never seen him smile so much or talk as much as he has since he’s gotten to know you. He has opened himself to you as easily as he did with Charlie.”

“I’m thrilled, too. I promise you. I invited you to join Mom and me because I knew how close you had become while Charlie and I were together. Mom said the two of you had drifted apart—and I totally get it. I just saw this as a perfect chance for the two of you to rekindle your friendship. I only hoped I could get to know Noah a little. This whole weekend is so much more than I had ever expected—or hoped for.”

"It's been wonderful, son. And I love that Beverly and I are getting back together again—well, not that kind of together—before you make a smart-ass comment!"

"I can't believe the things Noah has learned this weekend. Not just this talking to the animals thing—which I completely believe happened. But then you taught a boy who has never held a camera in his life how to take photos. And they are good—really good!"

"That reminds me. I want Noah to have the camera."

"David, we can't—"

"I have three. That is the oldest. Please, Noah loves taking pictures—and I love that that old camera is finally getting put to some good use."

"Thank you, David. God, how I've missed having you in our lives. This has been the most spectacular weekend." She leaned forward and kissed her host on the cheek.

Dinner that evening was a luxurious affair at Starr Boggs, considered by many to be the finest restaurant in Westhampton Beach. When they returned home, Noah was ready for bed. Once again, he insisted David sing him “the Toy Story song.”

When David finished, he bent down and kissed Noah on the forehead. “I love you, buddy. Sleep with the angels.”

“I love you, David.” Noah pulled Buzz to his chest and was asleep with a slight smile on his face as tears of happiness fell down David’s face.

* * * * *

Sunday morning, Charlie and Eric were lying in their beds, talking about their mothers. It was Mother’s Day, and the two young men shared nearly opposite stories.

“My mother is getting ready to go to church with my sister and her children. Dad will make an excuse not to go—which he always does. And my name probably won’t be mentioned. Well, my sister will bring me up, knowing full well that it will piss Dad off and make Mom uncomfortable.”

“My mom will spend the day with Noah. They’ll probably have some of Mrs. Henderson’s breakfast casserole. If there’s a new Disney movie, they’ll spend the afternoon at the theatre. Noah loves movies. When they get home, Noah will insist on watching Toy Story—just to make sure it’s still the best movie ever made.” Charlie laughed, and Eric smiled at his friend.

Eric loved hearing stories about Noah. He hoped that one day he would have a chance to meet the boy and hoped more than anything he would be able to become one of the few friends for the boy.

Charlie and Eric took turns in the shower, and each had their breakfast while the other was in the bathroom. None of the designers knew what was up today. All they knew was they were told not to leave the apartments.

At 1:00, there was a knock on the door. Eric answered, only to find Christian and the camera crew. Christian was holding a box, which he set on the kitchen counter.

Christian called all the guys out into the living room. “Happy Mother’s Day, gentlemen. We have a special treat for you. Your cellphones have been charged. When we give you your phone, you will power it up. You are not to look at any of the texts that will be there.

“You may not listen to any of your voicemails. You will pull up the dialer and call your mother—and we will be filming your calls. You are not to discuss anything that has happened on the show. If you have children at home, you may speak with them as well.”

Charlie looked at Eric and smiled broadly. Eric replied by rolling his eyes and shaking his head. He whispered into Charlie’s ear, “I guess I’m the drama for this week’s episode.”

Charlie punched Eric on the arm, “Shut up! We will have no drama. We both know that if there’s drama, it’s because we create it ourselves—especially on a reality show.”

Christian told the group that they would be filming Eric and Charlie first. The crew went into the boys’ bedroom and set up as Christian handed them their phones.

“Which one of you will go first?”

Eric offered to go first, telling the others that his call wouldn’t take very long—and it didn’t. There were brief hellos and an “I love you” through a fake smile. Eric powered off his phone and nodded to Charlie, “Your turn!”

Charlie dialed his mother’s cell phone, and she picked up after the second ring.

“Charlie? Oh my God! Is everything alright?”

“Yes, everything’s fine. They gave us our phones so we could call our moms. Happy Mother’s Day!”

“Oh my! This is the best Mother’s Day present I think I’ve ever had from you!”

“Well, it’s just a phone call—”

“And a complete surprise, that’s what makes it so incredibly special, darling.”

Charlie smiled as he heard an excited voice in the background. “Is that Daddy? Is that Daddy? Can I talk to Daddy?”

“Charlie dear, if I don’t let your son say hello, he just might explode. I’m handing the phone to him now. You and I will talk when you finish with him.”

“Daddy? Is it you, Daddy?”

“Yes, son. I miss you so much!”

“I miss you, Daddy.”

“Are you being a good boy for your Nana?”

“Yes, Daddy.”

“Have you been having fun with her?”

“Yes, Daddy. We went and saw penguins and sharks.”

“Oh? I bet that was exciting.”

“Yes, Daddy. And David took me in the water with the sharks, and they told me they liked me.”

“David? David who?”

“David, your boyfriend. We’re at his house by the big ocean. I love him. He’s my buddy.”

Charlie tried to keep the smile on his face for the cameras, but Eric could sense something was wrong. Eric sat on the bed next to Charlie but was pushed away.

“Noah, can you put your Nana back on? I love you, little man. I miss you so much.”

Tears started to form in Charlie’s eyes as he waited for his mother to get back on the phone.

“Oh, Charlie! You should see Noah! He’s talking and smiling more than I’ve ever seen. He and David have bonded instantly—almost as close as you and he bonded. It’s the most beau—”

Charlie lowered his voice and turned away from the cameras. “I’m being filmed right now, so that’s probably a good thing. But I’m going to take this into the bathroom.”

Charlie got up and started for the bathroom, telling Christian that they had enough footage. He had to deal with a major family crisis that was not for the cameras. Christian just stared at Charlie as Charlie looked back with a pleading look. He finally nodded his head and left the room with the camera crew.

“Crisis? What are you talking about, Charlie? There is no family crisis?”

“You’re at David’s fucking house for Mother’s Day? Is he your son while I’m away? What the fuck, Mom?”

“I spoke with David a couple of weeks ago. He asked about you, and then he asked if I had plans for Mother’s Day since you were out of town. I told him I was going to be spending a quiet day with Noah. He thought it might be nice if I join his mother at his house on Long Island. I’ve missed Nancy, and I thought it would be delightful. And why am I defending my decisions to my son? Especially since it’s been a miraculous time of growth for your son.”

“Put him on.”


“No. David. Put David-Fucking-Chase on the phone, goddammit!”

Beverly asked Noah to get David. In seconds David had the phone to his ear. He didn’t notice the look on Beverly’s face, warning him of impending trouble.

“Charlie! Oh my God! I love you, Charlie Danner! I can’t wait to see you! I miss you—”

“Thief! You’re a fucking thief, David Chase. You fucking broke your way into my fucking family and stole their hearts. It's fucking breaking and entering! My son’s heart was mine to give to you. And you stole it.”

“But—but. That’s not the reason—”

“Fuck you, David. I don’t give a fuck what your reasons are. It’s all about you, and you don’t give a goddamn fuck about the other people your so-called reasons hurt. Put my mother back on.”

“But Charlie—I don’t understand.”

“Too bad, asshole. Put my fucking mother back on! Fuck you!”

Charlie heard a gasp and a sniff as David handed the phone back to Beverly.

“Charlie? What on earth did—”

“I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. I just want to get home and get things back to normal. And please tell that fucking bastard he’s not to come near my family. Never!”

Charlie ended the call ended, and a stunned Beverly looked up to see David running over the dunes and toward the ocean.

Good God! The last three chapters were so sweet I think I have two new cavities!

What the Hell's wrong with Charlie? Shouldn't he be happy that his son has made some progress? Or was he so obsessed with the fact that his son and mother were at David's house that he didn't even listen to what his mother had to say?

And then there's David--running straight out of the house and toward the ocean. Is he going to stop?

I have to figure out the ending to this book now, all options are on the table.

Oh! Tesao! Should I thank you now for the great idea for a wonderful twist to the story? 😉

Look for the final chapter in about a week!

❤️❤️❤️ ❤️

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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Omfg good WTF?!?! Charlie! Do I need to kick your ass? I will jump into this tablet and kick your ass!

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Charlie’s only possible excuse is the stress he’s under due to the TV show. Or possibly the producers have been leaking misleading info to Charlie to ensure that there’s plenty of pointless drama. That sounds like something producers would do if they think things have been going too smoothly since the jealous b*tch got kicked off the show in the first episode.

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Ok I'm calmed down this chapter was so freaking beautiful! Well until the end when Charlie lost his damn mind! Sorry. Noah was so sweet! And ben was amazing!

The following line made me think why Charlie might have been mad. He's mad David did it without his permission. That one line changed my perspective.

My son’s heart was MINE to give to you. And you stole it.”

CicCharlie kind of has a tiny bit of a right to be mad. But I think when he sees the picture it may help out his out look. 

Edited by Wesley8890
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45 minutes ago, Wesley8890 said:

…until the end when Charlie lost his damn mind!

Maybe that’s the plan! Get kicked off the show so he can get back with Noah and David as soon as possible. Not very logical, but he’s under extreme duress…

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22 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

Maybe that’s the plan! Get kicked off the show so he can get back with Noah and David as soon as possible. Not very logical, but he’s under extreme duress…

Omg that would be genius!

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No, @FlyOnTheWall, you should have ignored my admittedly dark and twisted plot musings. I never expected you to actually adopt them! 😉

Superficially, Charlie’s reaction seems very incongruous with who we think he is.  However, if we dig deeper, this suggests a troubling character flaw that perhaps was floating beneath the surface:  Charlie jealously guards Noah and his relationship with him almost as though he were a possession, and is loath to let anyone else fully inside that bubble.  Charlie’s statement that Noah’s heart was Charlie’s to give away is very telling, and so wrong-headed.  Noah’s heart is his OWN to give away.  I’m starting to think I may have been too hard on Jacob Anderson; no wonder he never felt like he could forge a real relationship with Noah.

I also wonder if Charlie doesn’t still harbor some resentment toward David because of the break-up, followed by five necessary years in Russia.

Your stories usually feature achingly noble, less flawed main characters, so this plot twist (more of a random I.E.D. than a torpedo) seems out of left field.

Next thing we know, you’ll have an angry Charlie in bed with Eric, and Noah discovering David and Parker having sex.   Fortunately, with only one chapter left, you really don’t have time to explore that.  Whew!  Besides, times are tough and we’re stressed and anxious. We need our HEA.



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Well, there’s always the “It was all just a dream” excuse that Hollywood has used several times. Once to explain the return of a character they killed off the previous season (Dallas). Once for comedic effect in a series finale (Newhart). And then there’s the St Elsewhere series finale with an autistic boy (played by Chad Allen) who apparently imagined the entire series.

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PS...and don’t even THINK of incorporating those last hair-brained ideas into the final chapter via a nightmare sequence.  (No Bobby Ewing coming out of the shower!)   I can see it now.  The detail is very graphic and quite erotic, but so wrong.  Charlie and Eric are going at it... suddenly Charlie wakes up in a cold sweat and realizes how wrong he was in the way he treated David.  Only problem is, he has no way to communicate with David who was last seen running toward Ina’s place for brunch way over in East Hampton, where a newly-single Parker is also an invited guest and, well...

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Oh, hell no! With all the bull that has gone in there lives this is in no way fair. (Yes I know life is at times not fair) Charlie and David have a connection and they DO love each other and Noah let David in to that bubble, if this turns out to anything other then a nightmare in Charlie's head it will be a devastating set back for Noah and might even hurt his relationship with Charlie. My heart goes out to David right now, I am mad and sad at the same time!! Please please make it right thay belong together and will make a fantastic family...

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Major WTF. 

It doesn't make any sense. It can only be connected to extreme stress. 

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10 hours ago, droughtquake said:

Well, there’s always the “It was all just a dream” excuse that Hollywood has used several times. Once to explain the return of a character they killed off the previous season (Dallas). Once for comedic effect in a series finale (Newhart). And then there’s the St Elsewhere series finale with an autistic boy (played by Chad Allen) who apparently imagined the entire series.

 How funny that we both had similar thoughts simultaneously,  and without seeing the other’s comment! 

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11 hours ago, tesao said:

...and don’t even THINK of incorporating those last hair-brained ideas into the final chapter

Whew! I thought you were calling my ideas hair-brained! Of course, it wouldn’t have been the first time and certainly won’t be the last time…

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20 minutes ago, droughtquake said:

Whew! I thought you were calling my ideas hair-brained! Of course, it wouldn’t have been the first time and certainly won’t be the last time…

Never, Sr. Seismic Seco.  You’re the sage voice of reason in a tortured culture.  😉 Or is it the tortured voice...no, that can’t be it.

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13 minutes ago, tesao said:

Never, Sr. Seismic Seco.  You’re the sage voice of reason in a tortured culture.  😉 Or is it the tortured voice...no, that can’t be it.

Well few have ever mentioned me and reason in the same sentence unless they’re telling me to listen to reason!

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Excellent chapter! Such a sweet and loving family celebration of Mother’s Day! The dynamic connection between Noah and David is truly inspiring. The two Mother’s re-establishing their friendship after such a long time and years of drama with their sons set the tone for the future relationship between both families becoming one. The twisted phone calls by the producers added unnecessary stress and anguish to Charlie. Charlie’s reactions to David inviting Beverly and Noah to Long Island were somewhat justified. His parental instincts for protecting Noah from any and all harm is overwhelming his personal feelings about David because he’s not familiar with this new David who is sweet and kind, loving and caring. This David is a complete mystery based up on the self serving, take no prisoners, I will succeed at all costs persona that Charlie knows. I’m uncertain if Charlie will complete the show in order to protect Noah. There’s still a chance that David can find a way to introduce his new and improved persona to Charlie and begin to build the relationship between them both back to what it once was. I’m definitely looking forward to the next chapter! 😃❤️

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