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Exes and Ohs - 12. Chapter 12 Epilogue

Warning: Adult situations.

A big day....




Drake watched the large moving van maneuver down the residential street while Jimmy, behind him, pulled down their new double garage door. Neither was a fan of the drab pale yellow color adorning it, but it was the only part of the exterior they didn’t care for. The adjoining home was trimmed out in glistening white, and they planned to duplicate it as soon as they could find the time. It would make the thirty-year-old, dark brown brick pop, and give some continuity to the shared structure.

The thing that set their semi-detached home apart from most others they’d viewed was how their façade was set back two feet from the neighbor’s, giving it a more separated appearance. They’d met those neighbors, a friendly young couple and their two-year-old son, when they first viewed the house.

The pair had approached them, with their toddler in tow, in the driveway as they were leaving, and they’d gushed about the area and how good the schools were. It had helped convince them their immediate attachment to the house was a good one. Drake watched another young couple, walking with their dog in the park across the street, before he turned around.

Shading his eyes from the sun as a beaming Jimmy walking towards him, he sighed. He was one lucky, lucky man to be sharing his life and a home with such an amazing guy. Never once in the past year had he doubted what they had together.

“There’s a lot of stuff packed in there. We have to remember to lock that door before we go to bed,” Jimmy said as he wrapped his arms around Drake.

“We could lock it now. You have the key on you, right?”

“Yeah, I do, and that’s a better idea,” Jimmy said, his smile blinding in the late June afternoon sun. “I wasn’t thinking about the access from the inside.”

Drake returned the smile. “We already have enough boxes inside to unpack anyway, and I’m tired already.”

“Me too. A good tired, though.”

“Yeah, an awesome tired. The move went well, though, and the guys were great. All the big stuff is set up and nothing got damaged.”

“That’s because you did so much research on the movers.”

“I’m going to leave a great review on their website. You think our tip was big enough?”

“It was generous, Drake. All you had to do was look at their faces.”

“True, they did look happy.” Drake sighed again as he took in their new home, and he was sure his face looked happy too. He was as content as he’d ever been. Eventually, they’d have to figure out where to put the excess furniture and household items they had in that garage, but it could wait. Painting, and replacing the rug in the basement were a priority before anything could be moved down there, and there was enough room in their driveway to park four cars easily. Their cars should be safe outside for now. It was a good neighborhood… he’d done his research on it as well.

“Our first night together. Can you believe it?”

“What are you talking about?” Drake asked teasingly. “We haven’t spent a night apart since the first one.”

“You know what I mean… this feels different. It’s not your place or mine, it’s ours.”

“I get you. Pinch me so I know I’m not dreaming.”

“You’re not dreaming, Drake, I promise. This is as real as it gets. And, we have a backyard!”

Drake smiled, and then chuckled, but he understood what it meant to have a little piece of land after years spent in a high-rise. They were definitely ready for the domesticated suburban life. “Speaking of which, how about retiring to said yard for a glass of wine. I want to try out those Adirondack lounge chairs you insisted stay with the house.”

“Hey, the sellers went for it. Look at you, wanting to relax when all those boxes need to be emptied.”

“Are you impressed?”

Jimmy smiled just before he kissed him. “Sure am. You always impress me… so, do you even know where the wine is?”

“In the pantry cabinet in the built-in rack of course. We should get out of the driveway before all the neighbors start talking about us making out.”

“Let ‘em talk.” Jimmy punctuated his words with another kiss. “This is our street now too, and they should all know who we are.”

“I agree, but for now can we lay back in the sunshine and hold hands while sipping a really nice red?”

“Talked me into it.”

‘Okay, I’ll open the wine while you lock that door. Oh, shoot… I’m not sure where the wine glasses are.”

“Really, Mr. Organized? Well, mine are in the garage, and I know exactly which box they’re in. I’ll get them, lock up, and meet you in the kitchen.”


“I love our backyard… it’s so private for a subdivision. I can’t believe how long it took us to find the right house,” Drake said, his fingers entwined with Jimmy’s as they reclined on their classic, matching white, wooden loungers.

“I know, but it was smart to take our time, and I’m glad we moved off getting a townhouse. It was worth the extra money to have this big a yard, not to mention getting windows on three sides of our home. Even standing, we can only see the roofs of the houses on the next street, and those cedars block next door. It’ll be a great place for Jack to play.”

Drake sighed. “Won’t be long now. One more sleep and we get custody. I wonder how he’s doing.”

“I called Helen, and he’s fine… he’d just had a bath. She laughed at me.”

“I like her… she’s really attached to him. When did you call?”

“When the movers were setting up the bedrooms and you were cleaning the already clean master bath. I confirmed we’ll be there at ten.”

“Hey, it looked clean, but you just never know. We could have gone earlier.”

“I know, but I stuck to the plan because we have a lot to do, and right now there’s too much for him to get into.”

“I suppose. Speaking of which, the sooner we start, the sooner we’re done.”

“Ah, there he is, the energizer bunny I love.”

“Ha ha. Hey, I’ve been relaxing, but if I have another glass of wine I’m going to need a nap.”

“Me too. The sun is nice, but it’s sucking the life out of me.”


“Whenever you are. Drake, are you sure you still want to go to Ottawa next weekend?”

“Yeah, don’t you? I thought you were looking forward to a golfing trip.”

“I am, but we were just there three weekends ago for the wedding, and….”

“And what?”

“Well, what about Jack?”

“He’ll be fine. Don’t worry, Mom will enjoy looking after him, and Callie is back from her honeymoon, so I’m sure she’d love to help out.”

“You don’t think it’s too soon to leave him with someone else? They don’t even know about him yet.”

“Well, they knew we planned to adopt, and we’ll call them tomorrow after we get him home and settled. It’s sweet how you worry too much. It happened fast, but we’ll get to introduce him on Friday, and by Saturday he should be settled in and comfortable. Trust me, Mom will love a chance to spoil him. Besides, we’ll only be golfing a couple of hours, but if there’s a problem I’ll stay with him.”

“No, if there’s a problem I’ll stay. Maybe you and Preston could pair up.”

Drake snorted. “Now you’re just being silly.”


The next morning, after an evening of unpacking, discussing Jack, and making future plans for the house, they woke with one thing on their minds. Bringing home their boy. They were ten minutes early, but Helen was already outside, holding onto the excited seven-year-old. Drake was driving, and he chuckled when Jimmy jumped out before he even had the car in park. Jack suddenly free, came running towards them, leash dragging.

They’d visited him five times since their decision to adopt him, the previous weekend, and he obviously considered them his ‘people.’ Drake stepped out, and was more sedately greeted than Jimmy was. He didn’t mind. Dogs often attached to one person first, before they brought in others, and Jimmy was that one. He had been from the first meeting.

“You’re coming home, buddy,” Drake said when he finally got some devoted attention. Jack’s ears went forward at the words, as if he knew exactly what they meant, and his tail-wagging picked up speed. He wasn’t the prettiest, flashiest dog, and he was definitely not what they had originally come to the shelter for, but he was theirs.

Drake had thought they’d decided on adopting an eight-month-old beagle-cross puppy who was front and center in a round, wire dog pen when they first walked through the door. Jimmy had certainly seemed taken with him, but looking up from playing with the rambunctious young dog, he’d noticed Jimmy had disappeared.

He’d heard his voice before finding him sitting on the floor in front of a different pen that held a forlorn-looking Jack. When Drake asked what he was doing, Jimmy had pointed to the sign that said Jack had been there over three months.

“He’s never going to get adopted, Drake. The lady said everyone wants the younger dogs.” Drake remembered Jimmy’s sad expression as he let the medium-sized black and tan dog with bulging eyes tentatively lick his fingers through the bars. A few gray hairs dotted his dark muzzle.

“What about the puppy?” he’d asked. Jimmy’s response had been that the puppy would be gone to a good home whether they adopted him or not, but Jack’s chances were slim to none, according to the attendant. He repeated her opinion, in a disgusted mutter, that Jack’s prominent eyes and advanced age turned people off. He’d finished up by saying Jack probably had a good eight years of life left, and how people were stupid.

And that had been it. Jimmy had given him a pleading look and he’d nodded in response. Jack became their dog in that instant, and he’d received a bone-crushing hug from his boyfriend before they took him for a walk. He was a perfect gentleman, who kept looking up at the two of them as if he couldn’t believe his luck. Jimmy hadn’t been able to keep the smile off his face… and that was all Drake needed.

Rather than put him through the upheaval of the coming move, they’d arranged for him to stay at the adoption center for the next week, but they had visited every day save one, to reassure him he was a part of their life, and now it was time to bring their new family member home.

Jack was leaving behind a group of devoted volunteers who were ecstatic he’d found a home of his own after losing his original owner to a car accident. The bag of new toys that came with him was a testament to how much he was cared for.

The dog most definitely loved his new home. With tail constantly wagging, he inspected everything as he followed Jimmy, and occasionally Drake, around. He was enamored of the back yard, sniffing every inch of lawn over and over, yet waited for his walk in the park across the street to do his business. He carried himself with more pride and energy than any prior walk, and Drake thought him as handsome as any of the dogs they’d seen during their outing. As well, those big eyes of chocolate brown were so expressive, Drake swore he could read the gratitude in them… he had a family again.


A little later in the day, Drake was on the floor of the bedroom they’d designated as a den, unpacking and putting away some books and manuals, when Jack padded in. Absently, he reached out to pat him as he was reading the first page of an old edition of Moby Dick; his attention was pulled away from it when his hand encountered something strange.

He looked, and hanging from the dog’s new, shiny black collar was a rolled up piece of parchment-looking paper, tied with a red ribbon. Wondering what Jimmy was up to, he pulled on the bow that released the little scroll. It felt like parchment too. Unrolling it, he was unprepared for what he thought would be a joke. Reading it, his mouth opened and stayed that way. “Will you marry me?” was all it said.

Stunned, Drake’s reaction was to jump up, startling Jack in the process. “Sorry boy. Jimmy?” he called out as he moved toward the door. It was his turned to be startled when the man’s frame suddenly filled the doorway.

“You called?” Jimmy’s expression was blank, but Drake could read him like a book: he was nervous.

“Yeah, I did,” he said calmly, though he was anything but. “We have a problem.”

“We do?” Jimmy was doing his best to act nonchalant, but his eyes flicked to the parchment still in Drake’s hand. Now he looked kind of ill.

“Yeah, we do. Jack just asked me to marry him, and I kind of had my heart set on someone else. What should I do?”

Jimmy’s smile lit up the room. “Would this someone else be me?”

“Possibly. But you haven’t asked me, and I hate disappointing Jack.”

“Don’t worry about that… he was just the messenger. I’m the one asking.”

“Oh… well, in that case… wait… shouldn’t you be down on one knee?”

“Did Jack not kneel? I specifically stressed he should kneel, but since he didn’t follow orders….”

Jimmy dropped to one knee so fast, Drake barked out a laugh. “Sorry… ah, you don’t need to do that. I was kidding.”

“No, no. I want to do this right.”

“You already did, and I say—”

“Shhh,” he said softly, cutting him off. His face was lit with inner light as he looked upward. “Drake Richmond Forrester, will you marry me?”

“Yes, James Dean Calloway, I will marry you… anytime and anyplace.”

Jimmy sprung back up, and grabbed him in a bear hug. “You’ve just made me the happiest I’ve ever been in my whole life. Thank you.”

Drake, despite laughter, felt tears well up. “You are something else, Jimmy. I’m the lucky one here.” He leaned back so he could make eye contact. “And for the record, I have never been this happy since you decided to give me another chance.”

“It was a no brainer, Drake. That day was a dream come true, and I’ve never regretted it for a second.” He followed up with a sweet and perfect Jimmy kiss. “So, were you surprised?”

“Stunned. We’ve only ever talked about marriage in general terms. What brought this on?”

“Nothing… other than it felt like the right time. It’s been on my mind since I met you.”


“Yup… first time we talked, when I found out you were gay, I thought to myself… now there is a guy I could marry. No kidding… that’s the effect you had on me.”


“Yeah, wow, but after we crashed and burned, I didn’t really think of marriage again until Rachel’s wedding. I pictured you and me up there exchanging vows, and looking at each other the way she and Rocco were. Which is why I want to get married at the Ark, if it’s okay with you?”

“Ottawa? It’s so far… and you want a church wedding?”

“Of course I want a church wedding, and you said anywhere, anytime.”

“And I meant it. If you want to get married at Trinity United, I can’t think of a more perfect place. I just thought because we live in Toronto… what about your family? That’s a long way for them.”

“It is, but your dad had a solution.”

“My dad? My dad knows?”

“Well, yeah, I had to ask him for your hand, didn’t I?” Jimmy asked teasingly before he kissed him again.

“Stop distracting me. Did you really ask him for my hand? Wait—Drake eyed his left hand—aren’t I supposed to get a ring?” He was teasing, but he was also curious.

“Yeah, about that. I couldn’t decide.”

“You couldn’t decide what?”

“Come on. I have a bottle of champagne sitting in ice. Let’s have a toast.”

“Champagne? You really planned this out, didn’t you?”

“I tried, Drake, but I had too many ideas….”

“Well, I like the one you chose; Jack makes a handsome messenger.” He grinned as, hand in hand, they went down the stairs, the messenger close on their heels.

“Going to have to work on his kneeling, though,” Jimmy said deadpan.

“Hey, you made up for it, and to tell you the truth, I’d rather have you kneeling in front of me.”

“Oh, is someone asking for a BJ?”

Drake snorted. “Maybe later.”

“Maybes don’t apply, Drake. Ask and you will receive.”

Drake laughed. “Don’t I know it. Oh, what’s that?” Drake was referring to the potted plant holding a tall vibrant red flower sitting on the dining area table beside the ice bucket.

“That is a Prunotto Asiatic lily. Isn’t it beautiful?”

“It is. I figured it was a lily, but I’ve never seen a red one before.”

“I know, right? I thought we could plant them along the back fence to commemorate today.”

“Them? There’s only one.”

“Nope… four more in the garage that are just about to bloom. They’ll come up every year around this time and bloom for about a month.”

“Wow, you’ve been busy… and sneaky.”

“So, you like?”

“I love… you and the lilies.”

“I love you too, Drake. Shall I pop the bubbly?”

“Go for it.” Drake walked up behind him and wrapped his arms around his waist. “This is probably the safest place to be right now,” he murmured as he kissed the back of his fiancé’s neck.

“Hey, don’t you trust me?”

“Always, Jimmy… just not your aim. You have a habit of getting stuff in my eyes.”

Laughter pealed out of Jimmy. “Guilty as charged.”

The cork hit the kitchen island, ten feet away. “See what I mean. That could have taken my eye out,” Drake joked as Jimmy poured.

His toast was simple. “To us, and the rest of our lives together.”

“To us… and to Jack, the first addition to our family, but not the last.”

“Yes, and to Jack.”


They were settled in their lounge chairs, holding hands, and another glass of champagne. “So, what couldn’t you decide?”

“Oh, yeah, the ring. I couldn’t make a decision on which one. Vic helped me narrow some choices down online, but it didn’t feel right.”

“The choices?”

“No, choosing without you.”

“Jimmy, I would have loved anything you picked.”

“I know, and that’s what Vic said, but we’ll be wearing them for maybe the next seventy years or more, and I finally decided we should pick them out together.”

Drake grinned. This guy was amazing in every way. “Seventy years or more? You’re optimistic… how long do you think we’re going to live.”

“I don’t know… a hundred would be about right. So, what do you think? I know I probably should have had one for you today—”

“What I think is I’m a lucky man that you would put so much thought into it, and I agree we should pick them out together. We’ll know when we see the right ring… it could be one of those you narrowed down.”


“Yeah. You did good.”

“Thanks… I don’t think I want you to know which ones I chose, though. We’ll start from scratch.”

“Fair enough. So, my dad knows about this?”

“Yeah… and Vic, but that’s it. Lawrence didn’t know when… just that I was going to propose.”

“Of course Vic would know. We could never hide anything from her. She’s like a bloodhound. She knew when we found this house. All I got out was hello before she figured out we’d found the one.”

Jimmy laughed. “Yeah, she guessed before I even said anything. She said she could tell something was up with me.”

“Did you really ask my dad for my hand?”

“No, not exactly. We talked at Callie’s wedding, about how nice it was, and I asked him if we would have his blessing if we got married.”

“What did he say?”

“That he would be proud to have me as a son-in-law.”

“Of course he would. My family likes you more than me.”

“Hey, that’s not true.”

“I know… but they do think you’re the second coming.”

“Because I make you happy, that’s why.”

“Whatever,” Drake said with a grin. “So that was it… with my dad?”

“No. I told him I would like to get married in the same church, and he thought it was a good idea. He offered to pay for the wedding, Drake. Said he paid for the other two, and wanted to pay for ours… reception, bar…everything.”

“That doesn’t surprise me.”

“And he offered up his house for my family to use.”

“But, it’s for sale.”

“Not anymore. Hold on, don’t panic… your mum and dad are fine. He said he was taking it off the market just in case you said yes.” Jimmy gave him a cheeky smirk. “I told him it wasn’t necessary, but he insisted, and said it will increase in value the longer he owns it, so he loses nothing. I think he’s just being generous.”

Drake had started to panic. He loved that his parents were together again, and couldn’t remember them being happier than they were now. “It probably would, but yeah, my dad is being generous. He still thinks he needs to make things up to me.”

“My thought exactly.”

“Well, we won’t get anywhere if we argue with him. So, when do you want to do this?”

“The sooner the better. Next month?”

Drake wasn’t expecting that answer, and choked on his champagne, spraying it outward while Jimmy pretended to scramble sideways. It took him a few seconds to be able to speak. “You’re not serious?”

“Yes and no. It would be nice if we didn’t have to wait, but yeah, I know it takes a lot of planning. Lawrence volunteered Dot to look after stuff in Ottawa.”

“Oh, my mom would be in her glory, but it’s fine with me.”

Jimmy nodded agreement before he made a show of carefully taking a sip from his glass. “So, I guess it will have to be next summer?”

“I’m no expert, but I can’t see it taking less than a year. The church would have to be available, and so would Loch March’s banquet room, and both will be booked well in advance. We’d have the reception there, right?”

“That’s what I would like, and your dad said he could get it for us. Members get preference.”

“The more I think about it, the happier I am you want to get married in Ottawa. That’s where we got on track.”

“Yes it was, and that’s the biggest reason I want to get married there. So it’s not a silly idea?”

“No way. I just told you I feel the same way.”

“Good… just double-checking. Do you know who you’d pick for your best man?”


“Thought so.”

“And you would want Victoria, right?”

“Yes, but I think my brother would be disappointed if I don’t pick him.”

“Okay, then I’ll take Vic and have two best persons.”

“You can’t have two, Drake. What would Callie think?”

“Why not? And Callie thinks Vic is the greatest. I’m surprised she wasn’t in her wedding party.”

“That’s true… they do get along great. Okay, so if we can have two, I’ll take Vic and my brother. You can take Callie and Preston.”

“As if. Preston? No way.”

“Why not? He’s trying.”

“Sort of, I guess, but I can’t see him wanting to stand up with his gay brother. Can you?”

“Yes. And the Ark is his church now. Besides, he let us take Patrick to the aquarium.”

“That was Cathy’s doing, just like them changing churches. She’s the one who’s really trying.”

“Even so, Preston isn’t putting up a fight, and he’s always pleasant to me.”

“That’s because he’s afraid of you.”

Jimmy chuckled. “Yeah, he is, but still… he talks to me as an equal, and he initiates conversations now. He attempts to with you, but you shut him down.”

“Why are you pushing for him?”

“Because, it would make Dot and your dad happy… especially Dot. You know they’ve read him the riot act more than once, especially after they heard Patrick say faggot, and they are really trying to make up for letting your family go the way it did. But mostly, I’m pushing for your sake. I think you need this even more than he does.”

Drake sighed. “Sometimes I hate that you are such a good person.” He sighed again. “Okay, I’ll think about it. If I’m lucky, I’ll ask him and he’ll turn me down.”

“He won’t, Drake. I guarantee it.”

“Damn. I hate how you always prove to be right too. I guess it’s time to see where Preston is really at.”

Jimmy looked pleased, and that made Drake happy. If he was honest with himself, he had been punishing Preston. It was easy to do when he had such a strong and supportive partner at his side—but—that punishment was spilling over onto his reunited parents, and Callie—even Cathy, and that wasn’t fair. His entire family was coming together, and it was time for him to trust in it. Raising his glass to the man studying him, he toasted, “Cheers!” and finished the last of it.


“Do you know what would make this day even more perfect?”

“What?” Jimmy put his glass down.

“Come with me.” Drake stood and held his hand out.


Hand in hand, Drake led him toward the stairway. He stopped as they reached it and pulled him in for a kiss… a passionate one.

Jimmy’s groan triggered a similar response from Drake. “How about a little afternoon delight?”


He nodded. “I want my fiancé to make love to me.”

“Ask and you will receive.”

“I’m asking.”

“And you’ll be receiving.”

“Good, that’s exactly what I had in mind.” He laughed as Jimmy took the initiative and practically dragged him up the stairs. Following him into the bedroom, he closed the door behind them.

Jimmy, in the midst of pulling off his shirt, looked at the closed door. A whine sounded on the other side. “What about Jack?”

“What about him?”

“He’s all alone out there.” When he went to open the door, Drake stopped him.

“Don’t you dare! He’s not coming in here while we’re having sex.”

“But this is his first day… I don’t want him to feel deserted.”

“Jimmy… I love how you care about him. I do too, but he’ll just have to learn his daddies need their alone time.”

“Right, sorry. I just didn’t like hearing him whine.”

“He’ll be fine. He’ll lay out there and wait.”

Another whine sounded. “Um, I’ll be right back.”


Jimmy was out the door in a flash, and he heard him and Jack thundering down the hardwood stairs. He was back before Drake could figure out what he was doing.

“What the heck was that about?”

“Sorry, I was giving Jack a cookie.”

He looked so contrite, Drake had to hug him. “Okay… but you know what Helen said about how getting fat is an older dog’s worst enemy.”

“One Milkbone isn’t going to make him fat.”

“No, but giving him one every time you and I have sex will.” He raised an eyebrow at a frowning Jimmy.

“Good point. We do have a lot of sex.” Now the man was grinning. “Okay, I’ll just give him half a one from now on.”

Drake shook his head while chuckling. “One cookie a day, and that’s all he’s allowed, no matter what. It’s easy to see I’m going to be the disciplinarian when we have kids.”

“And I’ll be the fun dad. Sounds good to me.”

“How about you be the fun fiancé for now. Kids are still two years off.”

“Or less.”

“Huh. Are we changing the plan?” As always, Drake’s attention was diverted when Jimmy dropped his shorts. He had to force himself to look up.

Jimmy, as always, was smirking. “Maybe. Why not? We have the house and the dog, and we’re going to be married within the next year. I wouldn’t mind getting the adoption process started after we tie the knot… would you be against it?”

“No, of course not, but I thought you wanted to wait.”

“Things change, Drake.”

“Yeah, they do. Okay… so next fall then?”

“Next fall. Yeah, next fall sounds about right. Why do you still have clothes on?”


Ten minutes later, Jimmy entered him. This was Drake’s favorite part, the slow slide into his depths, after all the loving foreplay. If sex was music, Jimmy was a maestro. Drake had learned that quickly on their first night back together. From the shower to the bed, he had been a revelation.

Every time since, it had been the same. No matter what the act, they were always in tune, so Drake wondered why Jimmy had halted his progress. He opened his eyes to see the motionless man staring at him.

“I’m not pushing too fast am I?”

Drake’s nerve endings were firing on all cylinders, so he had trouble understanding the question. “What are you talking about? You’re not pushing at all. Why did you stop?”

“Sorry. I’m not… I meant, with the proposal and adopting. I kind of sprung them on you.”

“Oh? You want to talk about that now?” Drake’s voice rose a little with each word despite of his efforts to be calm. In his defense, though, he had a rather large dick partway in him, and he was craving the rest of it.

“Yeah, so not the time… sorry.” He reversed an inch or so and began again, this time giving Drake what he wanted.

Drake heard his own soft moan, but knew he needed to say something coherent. “Don’t… don’t move for a second… no, you’re not pushing me into anything. I want it all, just like you do. Do you get that?”

Jimmy nodded, his stare still intent. Drake reached up with one hand and cupped the back of the man’s neck, encouraging him downward. Just before their lips met, he whispered into Jimmy’s mouth. “Never doubt that, okay?” Jimmy answered with a prolonged kiss that made Drake forget to breathe.

“Okay, you can move now,” he uttered once he could speak again. Jimmy responded with a smile and a quick thrust after pulling back slightly. Another groan told him to carry on, and he did, playing Drake like an instrument. Ever since their unexpected frottage incident, Jimmy liked to draw their lovemaking out, and this time was no exception. Again and again, the man brought him to the brink, and then eased off. Drake understood it was a battle for Jimmy too, not to cross over the edge he rode, but his control was masterful. He always knew when Drake had reached his limits, and how to angle just right to set him off. This ended up being one of those times they came in perfect sync, their voices blending as they shouted their release. A wail from the other side of the door accompanied theirs.

Jimmy’s weight settled on Drake just the way he liked as they fought to restore their oxygen levels. Once capable, they both began to laugh.

“You were so right. Imagine if we’d let Jack in here.”

“I know. It took me a second to figure out what that sound was. I don’t think I like him listening to us.”

“We could put him in the backyard when we do it.”

Drake lost control of his laughter again. “He’ll be spending a lot of time out there if we do that.”

“True that. Ah, he’ll get used to it. So, did that make the day even more perfect?”

“Do you even have to ask?”

“No,” he answered smugly, his eyes locked with Drake’s. “It’s always good, isn’t it?”

“It’s always perfect, Jimmy. You’re always perfect.”

“Thanks. So are you. Maybe you could return the favor after we eat.”

“I would love too. Speaking of food, what do you want to do for supper?”

“We have reservations at Warrington’s for seven.”

“Really? Awesome. We haven’t been there in months.”

“We have to do this day right, and since it’s our favorite restaurant….”

“You did good. Hey, what about Jack? Won’t you be worried?” he asked teasingly.

“No, smartypants. He has to get used to us leaving the house, since we go back to work in another week. I just didn’t want him to feel left out while we were here. It’s dumb, I know.”

“No, it’s not. This is his first day, and I get it. You just want him to feel secure. You’re a special guy to think about stuff like that. You and I are going to be awesome dads.”

“Yes, we are.”

They lay in silence, bodies entwined, and Drake stifled the urge to let Jack into the bedroom. He was surprised Jimmy hadn’t already done it. Eventually, he heard Jack pad off and go down the stairs.



“Since the wedding is going to be in Ottawa, are we going to invite Richard and Bernadette?”

“Oh, I hadn’t thought about it. What do you think?”

“I think we should, but not if it’s weird for you.”

Aware of Jimmy’s gaze, Drake mulled it over. Seeing the pair at Callie’s wedding hadn’t felt awkward. He no longer had anything against them, and there wasn’t even a speck of bitterness left in him.

In the few texts Richard had sent since their talk, he had never once been weird, and a picture of a ten month old Olivia was already sitting on their new mantle, along with the newborn picture Richard had sent after her birth. The fact was, his life with Jimmy had made that once painful part of his past insignificant.

“I think we should too. Rachel and Rocco are close to them, and so are Callie and Luke now, so it makes sense.”

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely. The past is in the past, and Richard can’t hurt me anymore. I have the man I was meant to be with.”

“I love to hear you say that, and I’m proud of you, Drake. You did the hard work, and overcame so much.”

“That’s because I have you at my side.”

“You give me way too much credit.”

“No… I don’t. You’re the reason I could slay my demons. Anyway, I’d rather talk about what’s ahead, not what’s behind me, and I think I’ll be needing a kiss in the very near future.”

“Ask, and you shall receive, my love. Anytime… anyplace.”



As always, I want to thank my editor, Timothy M., for all he does. Thank you to the readers as well, for making this a very rewarding experience. How did you like this glimpse into their lives a year later? Please leave a comment if you can. I wish to know your thoughts, good or bad. As well, now that Exes and Ohs is complete, I would certainly appreciate Story Reviews from those who might be inspired to leave them. Cheers and salutations... Gary....

Copyright © 2018 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

2 hours ago, Drew Espinosa said:

There's only one thing I have to say, Gary: Aww!!! :wub:


Thanks for this amazing story, Handsome! :hug: :kiss: 

I agree btw totally cute with the glasses drew

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I love this story from the first chapter to the wonderful last chapter.  Bringing Jack in is an extra plus. Love that that they picked an older dog, whose's chance to find his family is not very likely.
I feel a bit sad having to say goodbye to Drake and Jimmy. I would not mind reading a sequel to the story.
Thank you,  Gary, for giving us this great story.

Edited by Job
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A great story from start to finish it surely kept me looking forward to usually dreadful Monday's.  


I will echo the words of a few of the others that perhaps it would be nice sometime in the future to visit these folks again in even a short story with the wedding and or the adoption.  


Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us.



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Posted (edited)

I loved the end of this story. I did laugh a bit when reading this.

I also thought that they were adopting a boy, I did not think about them adopting 

a dog. When I got to that part I thought that I had missed a chapter,

but I went back and checked that I had not missed one.

I am so pleased that Jimmy and Drake finally got together, Drake and Preston need to 

talk and air their differences.

Thanks for this story Gary.  😀

Edited by Bft
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15 hours ago, droughtquake said:

My only disappointment was that you tricked me! The first build up, mentioning Jack having had a bath. And then you revealed his canine heritage! Naughty Headstall! Mean author!  ;–)


But the second peak (not peek or pique that many other authors get mixed up with), the proposal was very creative and very Jimmy!  ;–)


I’m still a little sad that Drake & Jimmy won’t be daddies for more than a year! Will they adopt an older child like they did with their canine companion? I can see Jimmy being just as intuitive with a troubled child as he was with Drake and his dysfunctional family!  ;–)

:D  It was a perfect innocent misunderstanding, drought. 👼   I would never resort to trickery. :P  Isn't Jack great, though? He has already fit in, delivering messages and singing songs on his first day. :) Good doggie. 


Yeah, I thought that proposal was sooo Jimmy. Leave it to him to include the dog. :heart: 


Who knows what will happen, but yes, I can see them adopting an older child. Good point about how intuitive he has been with Drake's family... and he's still working at helping them get where they need to be. He really is a special kind of man. Thank you, buddy... your support has meant a lot, as has your comments... cheers... Gary.... :hug: 

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15 hours ago, Defiance19 said:

Fantastic epilogue... yeah, you got me with the dog, but you’re forgiven. Drake and Jimmy are happy as am I

 Thank you for another wonderful tale, as only you could tell it. ❤️

Hey, Def. Jack got me too. Thanks for forgiving me. :P  Yes, it's been a year, and they are happy. Victoria seems as much a friend to Drake as she is to Jimmy, and that speaks volumes to me about Drake's growth, as has being able to invite Richard to their wedding. Drake is no longer that guy... and just maybe, he's punished Preston enough. :unsure:  Thanks for the kind words, and your support, my friend... cheers... Gary.... :heart: 

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15 hours ago, glennish said:

Now that this tale is over my Monday’s will become an empty soulless void!!!!! 😢. Unless there is some more COtT coming in the not to distant future that is. :hug:

Awww... now I feel bad, buddy.  I see I'm not the only one who can be dramatic. :P  Empty soulless void?  :worship:   Hehe. More COTT is coming, glennish, but I'm not committing to when. That doesn't seem to work, so I'll just surprise you.  :unsure:  :hug: 

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14 hours ago, Albert1434 said:

I love this ending it is perfect I think. So good to see that all is coming together for this happy couple. Bad feelings are on the mend and old firers are rekindled. Masterfully done! 


Great Chapter:thankyou::worship:

Yes, old fires... it's nice to hear Lawrence and Dot are reunited. Clearing the air of secrets goes a long way towards healing for these two. Thanks for thinking this ending perfect. I'm really glad I decided to write the epilogue. You're the best, buddy... I appreciate you, and how supportive you've been for all my writing. :kiss:  Cheers... Gary....

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15 hours ago, Bucket1 said:

Good to see Jimmy isn’t perfect, first spoiling their dog and then STOPPING MAKING LOVE TO HIS PARTNER TO HAVE A CONVERSATION  🙄


Timing Jimmy, there is a time and a place for chatting and that was not it :gikkle:


A great wrap up to the story

Oh hell yeah, not the best timing for sure, B, but that's Jimmy. It occurred to him he was springing this stuff on Drake, especially the kids thing... and he had to double check. :rolleyes:  I must admit to some rather strange conversations during... :unsure: 


I'm pleased it made you giggle. It showed just how comfortable they are with each other, and kudos to Drake for kissing him instead of smacking him. :gikkle:  Still, all things considered, I still think Jimmy is pretty damn perfect. 


Thanks, dear friend... I'm happy you liked the wrap up... we can close the book and not wonder how they are doing. :)  Cheers... Gary.... :hug: 

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15 hours ago, FanLit said:

I pouted when I saw the “complete” designation on the story but I understand it was time;  I can’t remember the last time I pouted, 😆.

The epilogue was exquisitely touching.  Drake and Jimmy went through hell to be this happy and it’s deserved.  There were moments that took my breath away (the red lilies to plant and bloom as a reminder of the day they got engaged).

 It was wonderful to see Drake’s parents back together and owning their failings and doing their best to make up for it, as well as the coming together of his whole family.

Jimmy Dean is fucking perfect!!  But you know what?  One’s partner is a reflection of oneself and after Drake Richmond (love the symmetry of his names together) got over his biggest hurdle I know he’s been pretty fucking perfect too.

Happily Ever After doesn’t mean there won’t be fights or challenges but these two soulmates will get through anything together, for better and for worse, in good times and in bad.

My skilled, sweet, sensitive, platonic friend, you done did good!!

😘 🍺 💝

Pouting is allowed, my platonic friend. So glad you liked the lilies. They are making memories the way we all do... and it's those little things that comfort us on the less than bright times. 


Dot and Lawrence had to face p to what they had done. Secrets often destroy us... Jimmy, in that fateful weekend, held a mirror up to Dot, and that started the ball rolling. Rescued love is a beautiful thing to witness, because it is so rare. They are very lucky people.


Yeah, the perfection can be spread between the two men now that Drake Richmond has slayed his demons. As Jimmy said, Drake did the hard work. Maybe he and Preston will be able to have some sort of brotherly relationship after all. It appears Preston may have looked in his own mirror... forced to... and not really liked what he saw. 


So, I done did good?  :D  Thank you, FanLit... your support has been awesome... cheers... Gary....

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14 hours ago, Bndmetl said:

Maybe next year when the wedding comes around we could all be invited... just saying!

Thanks for another great story, it was wonderful, funny, and all things heart warming.

Your abilities make me more than jealous. Oh, now they are getting married does that mean I can't have Jimmy for my birthday?

There is always a possibility we'll be invited, I suppose. :)  Thank you for all your kind words, Joh. They mean a lot... truly. Unfortunately, no one can have Jimmy but Drake... sorry... I wish for you a great birthday, but that's just the way it is. :P  I can't see him  being free for at least seventy years. :D  Your support has been wonderful, my friend, and so appreciated... cheers... Gary....

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14 hours ago, Wesley8890 said:

I agree btw totally cute with the glasses drew

Thanks, Wes... and I know, right? Totally adorable, our Drew is in those glasses. :heart: 

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I love this final chapter. So wonderfully warm and gentle and full of light. Thank you for writing this story. 

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16 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

This was a most satisfying epilogue! Thank you. And if some time in the future you decide to revisit Jimmy, Drake, Jack and company, say for a short story about a wedding or an adoption, I'll be right there to read it. Thanks again. 

Thanks, Jeff. I wanted to show how far they'd come, and how solid their future looked. I'm pleased to hear it was satisfying for you, and just maybe I will return to these guys in the future. But, if I don't, we've seen them on their way... Jack has been given a second chance just like this couple was. Your support of this story has been greatly appreciated, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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16 hours ago, Geemeedee said:

Petty McPettyson here. NO, Richard did not have to be invited to the wedding!! And his baby did not need to be on the mantle!


Charmed by the rest.  *sweet smile*

LOL. I love this, Geemeedee!! You're right... he didn't need to be invited, but it shows us that Drake has left the past behind him. Richard was a tortured man for a while, and I don't expect readers to like him, but I won't judge him. His journey, like my own, was not such a clear and distinct one... I will only wish him happiness. :)   I think Drake has reached that point as well, and Olivia is an innocent child. Acceptance of her is probably important to Richard and Bernadette... it's a sign they can shed their guilt... and yes, they had good reason to feel guilty for what they did to Drake. Thank you for the *sweet smile*... I'm happy you were charmed by the story itself... cheers and thanks, buddy... Gary....

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3 hours ago, Potterslashfan said:

I loved the proposal so much! 


"Jimmy just asked me to marry him"

Funniest. Line. Ever. :rofl:

Jimmy....or Jack?  :huh:

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On 5/15/2018 at 2:00 AM, Job said:

I love this story from the first chapter to the wonderful last chapter.  Bringing Jack in is an extra plus. Love that that they picked an older dog, whose's chance to find his family is not very likely.
I feel a bit sad having to say goodbye to Drake and Jimmy. I would not mind reading a sequel to the story.
Thank you,  Gary, for giving us this great story.

I'm a little sad too, Job, but it comes with the territory. My characters become so real to me... and that includes Jack. I pictured him in that kennel, passed over day after day, missing his owner and his old haunts. So yeah, he became very real. I don't think there will be a sequel, but there may be a prompt or update, where we look in on them again. The trouble is, there are so many damn stories in my head. :P


Thanks so much, buddy, for the kind words and the constant support... it helps make all the work worthwhile... cheers... Gary.... 

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On 5/15/2018 at 2:16 AM, quttzik said:

A great story from start to finish it surely kept me looking forward to usually dreadful Monday's.  


I will echo the words of a few of the others that perhaps it would be nice sometime in the future to visit these folks again in even a short story with the wedding and or the adoption.  


Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us.



It is my pleasure to share my stories, Q... I'm thankful there are people who want to read them. :)  If I helped make your Mondays more bearable, all the better.  :D  Popping in on these guys again is a possibility... if the mood strikes, you just never know. 


Thanks for the great comment, and for supporting me on this little journey... cheers... Gary....

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On 5/15/2018 at 3:18 AM, Bft said:

I loved the end of this story. I did laugh a bit when reading this.

I also thought that they were adopting a boy, I did not think about them adopting 

a dog. When I got to that part I thought that I had missed a chapter,

but I went back and checked that I had not missed one.

I am so pleased that Jimmy and Drake finally got together, Drake and Preston need to 

talk and air their differences.

Thanks for this story Gary.  😀

LOLOL. Sorry... I had to have my fun... introducing Jack was a highlight for me. :)  I think, finally, these guys are communicating well, but the effort has to be put in for a lifetime. We see Jimmy urging Drake forward with Preston, and I'm sure he's been subtly helping the family this past year. he's just that kind of guy. :wub:  Thanks so much for the kind words... I'm so pleased with the reception of this little tale... you support was truly appreciated, mt friend... cheers... Gary....

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