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

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

     

    Headstall
  • Author
  • 8,432 Words
  • 3,821 Views
  • 50 Comments
Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
2016 - Winter - Rewind: Pre-2016 Themes Entry

Stepping Through the Mirror - 1. Chapter 1 Invisible

If wishes were horses....

 

Special Anthology: Living in the Shadows

 

 

Invisible

 

 

“Mom, the airport limo’s pulling up,” Blake called from the sunlit grand foyer.

“Okay, sweetie. I wish you were coming with me. You know this is an important time for your sister, and it’s something you shouldn’t be missing.” She swept by Blake, handing him her rolling suitcase handle. Her other case was already at the door. “Now, have I forgotten anything? I have my ticket, my phone… oh, my wallet… yes, it’s in here.” Marilyn looked up from her purse to her son. “I hate that you’ll be all alone. You won’t get to see me in the gorgeous dress and shoes Alison has waiting for me. Hand me my coat, would you, dear?”

Blake held back a sigh, and instead gave his mother a smile. “I’ll see it on TV, Mom.” He helped her into her latest designer jacket, thinking it was pretty flimsy for the outside temperature, but he knew better than to say anything. At least there wasn’t much snow, considering it was the middle of January. Looks over function was his mother’s way.

“Oh, good. You’re watching it then? Make sure you tune in to the Red Carpet coverage first.”

“I won’t see it live, but you have the DVR set to record it, and Avery’s hockey game, so I’ll catch them both, eventually.”

“Eventually?” Disappointment flashed across his mother’s face.

“I have my first gallery showing tomorrow night, remember?”

“Oh… yes. Of course I remember. Can you handle my luggage by yourself? I want to get to the airport in plenty of time. It’s not every day a mother gets to see her daughter win a best actress award.”

Blake bit back what he wanted to say. It was probably the tenth time she’d made that statement over the last few days. “Supporting actress, and she hasn’t won yet.”

“Oh, pish. Of course she’ll win. All the entertainment shows are predicting it.”

Not all of them. He kept that to himself too, opening the door, and dutifully followed Marilyn’s brisk walk down the cobblestone path. One suitcase weighed a ton, and the wheels of the other vibrated annoyingly. Or was it his mother’s chatter that was annoying him? He couldn’t wait to see her safely ensconced and on her way. Nodding a greeting, he helped the driver deposit the luggage in the open trunk.

“Now, remember to text me if your father updates you on Avery’s game, because you know he won’t think to keep me abreast.”

“I’m going to be too busy, so don’t count on me either.”

Marilyn gave her son a blank look. “Oh, yes, that’s right. You have your art thing tomorrow. You know we’d have loved to be there, but with Avery called up to the NHL, there was no way your dad was going to miss the game. Just imagine what it would be like if your brother wins the Stanley Cup, and your sister wins an Oscar? My goodness that would be something.”

“Stanley Cup? Seriously? Avery’s team isn’t even likely to make the playoffs, and he’s only getting a look by the big club. You can’t expect him to break in so soon; it takes time, even for a phenom like Avery. He could be back in the minors by next week. And don’t you think you should wait till Alison gets nominated before you go counting Oscars?”

Turning from the open limo door, Marilyn glared at her son. “What has gotten into you? A mother has a right to dream big for her children, doesn’t she?”

“Yes, of course. I was just….”

“You never used to be like this, Blakey, and frankly I don’t care for it. Now give me a hug before I leave. We’ll talk when I get back. I can’t be wasting any more time.”

God forbid, Mother. Blake did as he was told, careful not to touch her hair or make-up. “Say hi to Alison for me. Tell her I hope she wins.”

“Oh, she’ll win. Her performance was the best by far. Now close the door, dear. Driver, we need to….”

Blake did as he was told and shut off his mother’s voice in the process. Instant relief. He did hope his sister won. Marilyn would be hell to be around if her daughter happened not to. He walked back into the big, empty house, his mind already on tomorrow’s showing. To say he was nervous would be a huge understatement. He needed something to occupy his mind now that his mother was no longer a distraction. His chosen twelve paintings were already at the gallery, and they were being organized by Peter, the owner and curator. There’d been a fair bit of promotion for the event, and he wasn’t needed until cocktails began at six-thirty. Blake had never schmoozed anyone before, and he hoped he could pull it off. He just had to get through the next twenty-eight and a half hours before he found out.

The last week had been excruciating, with his frantic mother and aloof—to him—father, talking about Alison and Avery ad nauseam. Blake loved them both, his brother and sister, and was happy for their successes. He was used to their overachieving, but usually it was spread out a little, and thus easier to take. This past week had been a real test, and a few times he’d come close to exploding. Wouldn’t that have shocked his parents? Blake never lost his cool… at least not that anyone ever saw.

Marilyn and Lee Sorenson were good people. Their devotion to their kids, well, to two of them, was admirable. Blake knew they loved him, but he also knew he was somewhat of a disappointment, following his arrival an accidental fourteen months after the twins.

He wasn’t an A student; he couldn’t sing, play musical instruments, dance, or play basketball, baseball, or hockey. Okay, he could play decent baseball, but he wasn’t the star Avery always was; always is. He wasn’t big and ruggedly handsome, nor was he petite and beautiful. But the twins were. And nice. Outgoing and charming, they were social creatures loved by everyone, and accomplished at everything they touched. Blake loved them dearly for it, and he idolized them too.

It wasn’t their fault Blake had no obvious talents growing up. They had nothing to do with him being shy to the extreme, hiding behind doorways when strangers came to the house, and running when his parents tried to coax him out. His parents always joked about it to others, and Blake didn’t mind, not really. They never understood being centered out for any reason only made his reticence worse. But he did know it bothered them. It bothered them a lot, and they didn’t try to hide it when he was a child. Their reprimands weren’t mean, but they hurt. The sighs and head shakes just made it worse.

Blake couldn’t pinpoint exactly when it happened—when his dad gave up trying to relate to him—and he stopped trying to relate to his dad. He just knew it did. Maybe it was when he quit baseball. Maybe it was when he locked himself away in his bedroom for a month when he was fifteen going on sixteen, for no apparent reason. Oh, he had one. He just never told anyone what it was. Alison figured it out, though. Not then, but later… much later.

Or maybe it was when he bought his first set of oil paints on a whim when he finally left his room. Up until then, he’d only worked with a pencil, and kept his love of drawing to himself. He kept a lot of things to himself. It didn’t really matter when, or even who, was to blame. His father supported him, was kind to him, talked to him about superficial stuff—no, he couldn’t really fault Lee—he was a good dad to Blake, and an excellent one to the twins.

He was halfway up to his room when the phone rang. Turning around, he went into the front sitting room and flopped on the prissy couch his mom had paid a fortune for. Who buys chintz anything, anymore?

“Hello, Blake Sorenson speaking.”

“Hey, Son. Did your mom get on her way?”

“Oh, hey, Dad. I didn’t recognize the number. She just left. She’s expecting you to text her during the game.”

“I’m on the hotel phone. I know what she expects, but she’ll want to keep a conversation going once I start, and I just want to pay attention to Avery’s shifts.”

“Text her between periods then. She’ll be wrapped up in Alison anyway.”

“Yeah, maybe I’ll do that. Do you want me to keep you updated?”

“No, don’t worry about it. I’m going to be busy tomorrow night. I’ll watch the recording when I get a chance.”

“Okay. Well. I just wanted to check that your mom got off okay. She’s been pretty excited.”

“I think we all are.”

“Okay. I should go. Avery’s finished practice, and he’s taking a nap, so it’s a good chance for me to get some rest. Good luck with your thing tomorrow. Take some photos for me, will you?”

“Take some photos of paintings? Doesn’t really make sense when they were in my studio downstairs for ages, any time you wanted to take a look at them.” It was another awkward moment to pile onto years of awkward moments. No big deal. It wasn’t like him to zing his father, though.

“You’ve got a point there, Blake. Call me if anything comes up or you need anything.”

“I’ll be fine. Tell Avery I’m rooting for him, but no pressure. Just tell him to play his game, and I’ll send him a text tomorrow.”

“I’ll tell him, and you do that. Bye, Son. Love you. Oh, wait. Do you get your hair cut? I promised your mother I’d talk to you about it.”

“No.”

“I’m not trying to force the issue, but Alison’s family photo shoot is coming up soon, and you know how important it is to your mom.”

“Seriously? Again? Come on, Dad. I’m twenty years old, and you’re treating me like a child.” He was letting his anger loose more and more. Blake took a calming breath. “It’s not like my hair is down my back. It doesn’t even touch my shoulders.”

“I know. I think it looks fine, but you know your mother. She thinks you hide behind it, and she’s worried how it will look for Alison.”

He wanted to scream. Alison never asked him to do this, and she never would. Alison. Avery. Alison. Avery. Did they really think how he looked would matter to their fans, or hurt their incomes? It wasn’t like his hair was a mess. He got it cut at a proper salon for fuck’s sake. “I’ll think about it.”

“That’s all we ask. All for one, one for all, right?”

Blake wanted to say ‘all for two,’ but refrained. “Right, Dad.”

“Thanks. It’ll make your mother happy. Love you.”

“Love you too.”

Blake threw the phone down on the cushion beside him. Lying back, he closed his eyes, angry, and ready to tell someone to fuck off. The irony was, he had been thinking of getting his hair cut short, until his mother brought it up. Yeah… fuck ‘em. That had been his longest conversation with his father in weeks, maybe even months, and as usual, it was about everyone but Blake.

 

After a nap, peppered with fractured periods of semi-conscious angst, Blake gave up, and busied himself with making supper. He normally got great pleasure from cooking, but concentration was near impossible with the crossroads he felt looming. After consuming only one slice of his too-large, homemade pizza, he spent the evening on his computer, evaluating some of the myriad of photos he had taken over the years. Many of the images would someday become paintings, just like a number of them already were.

He thought about going out to take some night shots… wildlife was everywhere in the city if you knew where to look… or maybe call Lauren. He ended up nixing both ideas. Lately, his best friend couldn’t seem to shut up about Alison; her picture in this magazine, and that magazine, and what she said on Twitter. Lauren knew it annoyed him, but she did it anyway, as if powerless to stop fangirling. No, tonight he was best on his own.

For years now, most everyone who approached him wanted something from him. Well, not from him exactly. It was always about his famous siblings, even if it was just a request to meet them, or wanting a simple autograph. He’d had his fill long ago, but he had to be pleasant and put up a good front. Do nothing to besmirch the family name.

Twenty fucking years old, and he’d never had a boyfriend. Never even had a kiss, other than from Linda Kelly, the girl who helped him figure out something that had plagued him for a couple of years. The girl who clarified the reason for the fear that had him hide in his room for a traumatic, almost paralyzing month.

Imagine his parents’ further disappointment—the cherry of all cherries to go on top of the family cake—at him being a gay brother to Alison and Avery. Alison wouldn’t care… didn’t care, and he was pretty sure Avery wouldn’t. He probably suspected anyway.  Maybe he and his twin had already discussed it. They’d always shared everything growing up, and Blake assumed they still did.

His parents thought Lauren was more than a friend even though he’d made it clear she wasn’t. Lauren knew he was gay, and didn’t care either. But his mother. Fuck. His father was already frustrated with him, and his apparent career choice of artist—no money in that, Son—so he would probably take it in his own aloof way.

No, stage mother Marilyn would be the most devastated when the time came. And it was coming. Either that, or Blake was going to break apart. He needed someone to be number one for. He needed someone who didn’t give a rat’s ass who his brother and sister were. Someone who saw him, and didn’t compare him to the twins’ perfection. Did that guy even exist out there? Maybe not, but he was determined to find out. If Marilyn could have her big dreams of Oscars and Stanley Cups, surely he could hope for his very own Prince Charming.

Blake had made the decision months ago, and he was just biding his time until his first showing was over. He’d been saving all his money for years, including a substantial college fund no longer earmarked for school, and was now ready to get out of town. Montreal seemed the best destination for him, but Vancouver was in the running. Anywhere but here. He was tired of being invisible as an individual in such a big city. He was tired of being invisible to his parents. He was tired of hiding.

Maybe even the east coast would be a smart option. It was supposed to be relaxed and low-key, and the cost of living was lower. Wherever his destination turned out to be, by summer he’d be gone. Not before he said the words out loud, though. He was going to be an out and proud gay man, and Marilyn would just have to deal. The gay painter brother and son. So hard to ignore, and it had a nice ring to it.

After hours on the computer, cropping and adjusting light levels and such for future work, he locked up the cavernous house and crawled into bed, eventually falling into an exhausted sleep. Thinking about making big changes in his life, and contemplating searching for his prince, was tiring. He was ready, but he was afraid.

 

Parking on King Street West was a bitch. Too many things were going on in the area, with this being part of the entertainment district. A popular, long-running play was on at The Princess of Wales Theater, and that didn’t help. Public transit would have been wise, but he was nervous of being trapped if someone recognized Alison or Avery’s brother. They’d been in the news even more than usual lately. Hiding behind his hair had come in handy a few times, but it was not an infallible disguise. Fact was, though he didn’t have their stunningly good looks, he did resemble them both. They all had the same noticeably brilliant blue eyes, and the same rich shade of auburn hair. The stand-out combination was making his sister a fortune, but it caused him nothing but trouble.

As Blake neared the gallery, his dread of tackling this night alone grew. He was going to be one of four featured new artists; one of four centers of attention. Damn. Steeling himself, he entered the side-facing door of the gallery, and was immediately greeted by Peter. He was ushered straight through the milling group of cocktail-sipping people and into a small side office. “You’re late, Mr. Sorenson,” he said affably. “You were supposed to have been here an hour ago.”

“Sorry. I should have left earlier. Traffic was heavy, and I couldn’t find parking.”

“No harm done. Here. Give me your coat and hat. You drove?”

“Yes, and I now know it was a really bad idea. So, what would you like me to do? You said I just had to stroll around and answer questions about my paintings?”

“That’s right. We’ll get you a drink, and introduce you to a few people. Word of mouth will do the rest. Just remember, you’re not here to socialize with the other artists. You’re here to promote your work, so I’d prefer not to see you all conglomerate, as so often tends to happen.” He looked expectantly at Blake.

“I understand, sir.”

“Good, and I have great news for you. The large coyote painting, and the one of the snowy owl on the window ledge have already been purchased. No other artist has had a sale yet. You’re on your way to being a hit, Mr. Sorenson.”

“Holy smokes. That’s awesome. Please, call me Blake.”

“Not tonight, Blake. Mr. Sorenson has more cachet.” The man raised an eyebrow as if to imply he should have known that.

The astonishingly good news of the sales was tempered by the fact this man wanted to take advantage of his connection with two hometown stars. Blake sighed. There was no escaping it. Did those paintings sell because of the family name? Dammit. Of course they did. The short-lived bloom of achieving something totally on his own, faded away. It just reinforced how necessary it was to get the fuck out of this city.

After being judged, and informed by Peter he looked presentable, they walked out through the throng of milling people, and over to the bar. He was introduced to two of the other featured artists, and they were all given a warning look by the owner. The other two, years older than Blake, grinned. They’d obviously been given the same little lecture.

He’d yet to see his paintings, but upon receiving a tall, chilled glass of Perrier water from a good-looking bartender, he was herded over to the front windows of the spacious gallery. ‘His area,’ he was told by Peter. It looked to be the best spot in the place, and his paintings, beautifully lit, graced both sides of three large dividers. He was pleased to see two of them faced the busy street.

As he was introduced to an older couple of obvious wealth, Blake took notice of the sold tag below his largest painting. They had talked in generalities about the pricing, but he hadn’t expected much for a first showing. Granted, it was a superb painting, and he was his harshest critic, but the price tag had him reeling. Forty-five hundred dollars was well beyond his expectations. He was in that designated category of starving artist. Did his family connections bump him up to a more accomplished echelon? Or was he being too negative?

When it was appropriate, he excused himself and walked around. Three smaller paintings were priced at fifteen hundred, and that surprised him too. The rest averaged three thousand. The owl had been priced at thirty-five hundred. Being as productive as he was, he could make a living from prices like these, even with the commission deducted. Doubts again crept in. Were they really seen as good, or had the purchasers bought them from the brother of Alison and Avery Sorenson?

He was deep in thought when a masculine voice spoke from directly behind him. “Great stuff. Do you always paint wildlife?” Blake felt warm breath stir the ends of his hair and caress his neck.

He turned slowly, that voice triggering something… a memory? “Yes, mostly. How did you know I was… hey, I know you?” He stared into sparkling brown eyes and heard a laugh he never could have forgotten.

“Yes, you do. How are you, Blake?”

“I’m fine. Good, actually. How are you, Ryan? You’ve grown.”

“I’m good too, actually. And so have you. You look great.”

The fondly-remembered man grinned, and Blake was transported back a few years. “So do you.”

“Thanks. Fancy meeting you here, a rising star in the art world. I haven’t seen you since Sunday dinners with your family. How is everyone?”

“They’re all good.” Blake felt a little twilight-zone-ish at seeing his sister’s old boyfriend again. “Rising star might be an exaggeration. What’s it been? Three years?”

“Thereabouts. I’m closing in on twenty-two now so, yeah, three is about right. Are you twenty yet?” A quick nervous smile came and went on the face that looked even better than Blake remembered. Ryan had been his first full-fledged crush after he’d accepted he was different… gay.

“Yeah. I just changed decades two months ago. So, what are you doing here?”

“I came to see you.”

“Very funny. No, really? Did you come with someone?”

“What? Like a date?” He shook his head, seemingly amused by something. “Nuh uh. I came by myself.”

“Do you know someone here?”

“Yeah. You.” That impish grin Blake remembered so well made a flashing appearance.

“Yeah, okay. Whatever. Still a joker, I see.” Blake smiled, but his heart was thumping. Ryan was standing close, and he could smell a hint of cologne.

“No joking. I saw the Gallery notice in the paper and saw your name. It said you were nineteen, but I thought that couldn’t be right. I decided to come for a visit, and find out what you’ve been up to.”

Oh, fuck here it comes. “Let me guess. You want to know about Alison. Maybe you’d like an invite to dinner, so you can see her again?” Blake kept the disappointment off his face, at least he thought he did.

“You can invite me to dinner if you want. I wouldn’t mind that at all.” Ryan was peering closely at Blake, and his eyes clouded briefly.

“I’m sure you wouldn’t.” Bitterness was rearing its ugly head.

“Blake? Is something wrong?”

What was the point? Blake shook his head. “No, of course not. Sorry. I find this gallery thing a little intimidating, and I’m kind of distracted. I’m out of my element, that’s all.” He was saved by Peter coming up to them.

“Mr. Sorenson, we’ve made another sale on your behalf. The fox carrying the bird wing. Hello again, Mr. Dalton.”

“Wow. Three paintings. Thank you, sir.”

“No, thank you. Many of our patrons are complimenting your work. You really should circulate. I’ll just go tag that one.”

“I’ll be sure to make my rounds, Peter. I was just conversing with Mr. Dalton here.” He turned his attention back to Ryan with his mind and face composed.

“Congratulations, man. I’m not surprised, though, after seeing some of your early work. I still remember the tabby cat on the fence. I loved that one.”

“That was one of my very first. I still have it, along with hundreds more. I’ve gotten better since then, at least I hope I did.”

“Hundreds? Impressive. All of these are incredible. I’d love to see those others sometime.” Whatever his reason for being here, Ryan came across as genuine. He really was a great guy.

“Thanks.” Even knowing he was after the invite, it was still nice to talk to the dark-haired crush of his youth. Yeah, it was a lot more than a crush. He’s still in your dreams. “So, how did Peter know your name?”

“Oh, we talked earlier. I got here before you did. I asked if you were still coming. You were a tad late.” Another grin, a teasing one that Blake thought beautiful. Those lips had always been expressive.

“Yeah, I drove. It was a bad move with the state of the parking in this area. I should have known better. So, anyway, I should circulate like Peter said. I’ll check to see when Alison will be home. She can call you if it’s workable.”

Ryan gave him a questioning look that bordered on outright confusion. “Am I getting the brush off?”

“What do you mean?”

“What does Alison have to do with me coming to dinner?”

Now Blake was confused. This was a new tactic. Was he wanting to worm his way back into the family first. “I though you would prefer if she was there.”

“Well, it would be nice to see her again, but I thought you were the one inviting me.”

“I guess I was, but… you know what. I’m being unprofessional. I really need to play the social game. It was one of the requirements for getting a showing here. Maybe you can give me your phone number and I’ll get back to you.” It was his standby move when he had to field requests. Disappointment spread across Ryan’s face. Blake was used to that reaction, and held out his phone to make it look like he meant it. “Enter your digits, and then I do have to go.”

“No, that’s okay. Maybe we’ll meet again at a better time.” His disappointed look was replaced by one Blake considered sad. Sad was strange. As was his abrupt turnaround. He headed for the door without saying goodbye. Blake couldn’t tear his eyes away. Expecting the man to disappear, he was taken aback when he turned around and retraced his steps to Blake. His expression was unreadable, but his stride was resolute.

“Blake… I was wondering if I could catch a ride home with you. I’m pretty much on the way, and I have something to carry that I’d rather not take on the subway. Would it be all right?”

He had not expected this at all. “Ah, yeah, I guess so. I have to stay here for at least another hour and a half. You’d have to wait.”

“That would be perfect. I can take a cab, though, if it’s inconvenient.” He swallowed, and Blake’s eyes were drawn to his Adam’s apple.

Why was Ryan nervous? He sure was working hard at this. Maybe he was still in love with Alison, and he wasn’t giving up so easily. It wouldn’t surprise him in the least. He’d always wondered why Alison had ditched him in the first place, because he’d always thought Ryan was a catch and a half and a perfect match for her. Jeez, maybe he was a creep? Nah. He trusted this guy. Those brown eyes ensured that. “No worries. It’s not inconvenient, Ryan.”

“Great. I’ll be back at nine-thirty.”

 

Blake found it got easier to talk to people as he moved around the room, but he never ventured too far from his own section. These patrons were genuinely interested in his art, the process, and his inspiration. One man expressed a desire to check out, and possibly acquire some of the photographs he’d worked from. An eavesdropping Peter was quick to step in to say that they were for sale, matted and framed on the premises. The gallery owner was sharp, Blake had to give him that, and it turned out schmoozing was not so bad after all.

It was actually pleasant to talk to others who understood brushstrokes and paint composition, perspective and shading. The weirdest thing was, not one person mentioned Alison or Avery. Maybe he’d been wrong, and his name wasn’t such a defining thing in the art world. He kept his eye on the door while he conversed. At first he dreaded the potentially awkward drive with Ryan, but as each minute ticked by, Blake found himself looking forward to it. Maybe he was pathetically lonely, but talking to the guy he used to joke and tease with at Sunday dinners and the occasional evening had left him with a pleasant feeling. After he’d gotten over that inevitable letdown, of course. Besides, Alison, the real rising star in the family, could do far worse than this hometown man.

At nine-thirty, Ryan walked through the door empty-handed, which caught Blake’s attention. Only two paintings remained unsold, and Peter, in a very good mood, insisted they were sure to be purchased by Monday’s close. He wanted Blake to bring more paintings by in the next few days for inspection, along with some of his better printed-off photos, and an ecstatic Blake agreed. The owner was considering him as a regularly featured artist.

They arranged to settle up when Blake brought in the new work, and he was reminded to watch for a review of his debut showing in the morning papers, and in the online editions. He was astounded to learn there was to be a photo of the coyote painting within an already planned article written by a friend of the gallery owner. In this case, a photo of a painting made sense, and he couldn’t help think of the previous day’s phone conversation with his father.

Ryan, after nodding to Blake, had been walking around the gallery, obviously not wanting to interrupt. Peter, once their discussion was concluded, excused himself and scurried into the back, causing Blake to chuckle. He liked the man.

There weren’t many people left when Blake finally approached Ryan, and a part of him was thrilled at seeing the man’s face light up. “I’m ready to go if you are.”

“Me too. I just have to grab something first.”

Blake followed his gaze, and was stunned when Peter walked up with a wrapped painting. It was the exact size of his coyote painting. Ryan met his eyes and smiled hugely, holding it up like a trophy.

Blake felt anger. He almost dropped the coat and hat Peter handed to him with his other hand, and had to bury that anger as he said his goodbyes. Without a glance to Ryan, he walked to the door, and out. What the hell was going on? Was the man that fucking desperate to reconnect with his sister? He’d thought that painting, his best work, was bought by someone who fell in love with it. Instead it was nothing more than a tool for someone he thought he knew, but clearly didn’t.

“Blake! Slow down! What’s wrong?”

He didn’t want to talk, but the man kept calling to him. Finally, he turned. “Is that my painting?”

“Yes,” Ryan answered uncertainly.

“You asshole!”

“What the fuck? What’s wrong with you?”

“What’s wrong with me? What’s wrong with you? If you want to see my sister that bad, call her yourself. Don’t be using me to get close to her. Fuck, man. I thought you were a decent guy. My art is the one thing that’s mine, not theirs.” Blake was shaking with emotion. He had to walk again. Where the fuck was his car? Goddammit!

“Blake! Stop! What did I do? Please explain to me what I did, because I have no idea.”

Blake did stop. His hands were clenched and his heart was racing. “You bought my painting to get close to Alison. You came to see me to get close to her. I’m sick of people using me to get close to her or Avery. I’m not their fucking pipeline. And you. You! You went way too far. I was going to help you, because I thought you were a good guy, but I was wrong, and you can go fuck yourself. Now can you just leave me alone? Take a fucking cab because you’re not getting in my car.” Blake ran out of steam, and slumped down onto a street bench, closing his eyes while he tried to calm his breathing.

“Blake?” Ryan asked softly.

He opened his eyes. “Fuck off.” He felt tears well up as the anger receded. Maybe he would never be able to escape his siblings’ shadows. He closed his eyes again, and wiped away the wet.

“I will, but not before I say something.”

Blake didn’t respond.

“I came tonight to see you, not to get close to Alison. You have to believe that. And I bought your painting because I was blown away by it. It’s incredible. I know it’s not titled, but I’ve named it in my head. I call it Urban Jungle, and it speaks to me on so many levels. Those two coyotes, forced to look for food behind a mall; that one bare light, the misty rain, the garbage bins in silhouette, and them emerging from the darkness, lean and wary….”

Blake opened his eyes. That was what he called it in his head. It sounded like the man understood the plight it represented. “Guys your age don’t buy forty-five-hundred dollar paintings.”

Ryan stepped closer. “Says who? This guy does, and it has absolutely nothing to do with getting close to your sister. She gave me her number. I can call her any time I want. I bought the painting because I had to have it. You know my family owns Dalton Outfitters, and we just opened a new one on Steeles Avenue. That’s my store, Blake, and this is going to hang just inside the front doors, where everyone will see it. And to tell you the truth, I was going to buy the owl for another location, but someone beat me to it. I would have bought this painting anyway, but it is a deductible expense.” One corner of his mouth lifted, before dropping.

Blake sat up straighter. “So, you have no interest in Alison?”

“Not even a smidgeon. I can’t say that about you, though.”

“What does that mean?” What had Ryan just said?

“Blake, why do you think Alison and I broke up?”

“I have no idea. I was surprised she dumped you.” He was still trying to figure out what Ryan had meant.

“She didn’t dump me. I broke up with her. Do you want to know why?”

You broke up with her?”

“Yes, and it was because I was falling for her seventeen-year-old brother.”

“What? No fucking way!” Blake figured this had to be some kind of cruel joke, but Ryan’s expression screamed sincerity; that look couldn’t be faked, could it?

“I’d been wrestling with these feelings, and the more I saw you, the more impossible it became to ignore them. I felt guilty as hell, so I told Alison. Not how I felt about you. But I did tell her about those feelings. I told her I’d figured out I was gay.”

Ryan… Ryan Dalton had just said those words? The words Blake needed to voice. “What… what did she say?”

“You know Alison. She was understanding and supportive. I talked to her not long ago. She called out of the blue, and we talked for a couple of hours. I finally told her how I’d felt about you.”

“Shit.”

“Shit? No. It wasn’t a bad thing. She knew I was single, and when she found that out, she, ah… she outed you to me. She told me I should connect with you again, that it would be good for both of us, but I was scared to death. And then I saw your name at the bottom of the big ad in Extra, and I haven’t been able to think of anything else since. When I saw you tonight, all those feelings were still there. You are the most beautiful, captivating man I’ve ever met, Blake, and I was hoping maybe you might consider going out with me. That is why I came tonight. But if you’re not interested, that’s okay too. Maybe we could be friends at least. If you want?”

“I, ah… could you sit down? I don’t like anyone standing over me.” Blake was stalling for time as his mind raced to catch up.

“I will if you put your coat on. You’re going to get chilled.”

The soft words reached him, and he slowly focused on the coat over his arm. “Oh, yeah, right.” He stood up and shrugged into it, and they both sat down at the same time. “I’m sorry.”

“For what, exactly?”

“For acting like an ass. This has been a tough few weeks, and I think my paranoia is on full alert.”

“I get it, Blake.”

“No, you don’t. Nobody does. So, you’re gay? Wow.”

Ryan smiled, and it seemed like he was somehow closer even though he hadn’t moved. Maybe Blake had. “I hope that was a good ‘wow.’ Yes, I’m gay, and you’re wrong. I do get it. I’ve seen it. I’ve watched it. I like your parents, but I saw where most of their attention went. When you left the table early, which you always did, they didn’t even seem to notice. Am I right? Has it changed any?”

Blake nodded. “Yes, you’re right, and no, it hasn’t changed.” Ryan’s eyes seemed to be looking inside him… not through him or past him.

“Your father never asked you a real question during those dinners. His focus was on Avery, and his latest game, or his next game. And Marilyn?” His eyebrows rose an inch and dropped. “I like her, but that is one oblivious woman, at least where you were concerned. To be honest, she used to piss me off.

“And at school, Avery and Alison were practically worshipped. Every day, they were idolized, by the students, the teachers, and even the administration. Your brother and sister were open books. Between the two of them, I think they had every club in the school covered, except for maybe AV. They’re great people, Blake, and I care about them both, but you’re the intriguing one. I’ve always thought that, even before I got to know you. I always wondered what made you tick.  

“And now, look at you. Tonight, I got to see something awesome. It was your light that shone bright, and it doesn’t matter if theirs shine bright somewhere else. I’m sorry no one was here for you. Maybe your parents had a tough choice to make, but I think it’s long overdue they chose you. I know Alison’s nominated tonight, and I know it’s Avery’s first NHL game—God, who doesn’t know that in this city—but for my money, it was your night, and yours alone. Sorry if I overstepped. Do you still want me to fuck off?”

“No,” he answered quietly. “No,” he said louder. “So, you really came with no agenda?”

Ryan smirked, not too noticeably, but it was there. “Oh, I definitely had an agenda. What you saw was my very pathetic attempt at flirting. I know you and Alison are close, so I thought, wrongly it turns out, she would have told you about our last conversation. My bad.”

Blake was still digesting what Ryan had said. He remembered how, of all the people who came to their house, Ryan was the only one he’d clicked with. The only one he’d shown his fledgling studio to; the only one who actually cared to see it. They’d seemed to have their own wavelength, but he’d had no idea how perceptive he was. He’d gotten Blake’s life, but more importantly, he’d gotten Blake. He even understood his art. And he’d said Blake was the most beautiful man he’d ever met. How could he say that? Did he really mean it? Negative thoughts began their assault. He’d been looking downward, but he made himself look at Ryan. Wasn’t it time to trust? “Flirting?”

Ryan laughed. “Of all the things I just said, you want to point out how bad it was?”

“No, I just….” Blake tried again. “No guy has ever flirted with me before. You were probably good at it, and I was as oblivious as Marilyn.” He tried a grin on for size.

Those lips lifted at the corners again. “Okay. So if you’re as oblivious as your mom, maybe lots of guys have, and you just didn’t notice.”

Blake laughed. He was feeling so much better. “Do you think?”

“Yeah, but to be honest I don’t want to think about other guys flirting with you right now. I’m hoping I get a chance to do some more, and refine my skills so to speak.”

“Maybe we could both practice that. I could ask Avery for pointers.” Blake kept a straight face until Ryan finally exploded with laughter.

“That was good. Very funny, but you don’t need his help or anyone else’s. You just have to point those gorgeous eyes at me and smile that smile of yours, and I’m mush. Yeah, just like that. I’m pure mush right now.”

“Oh hell. That was some good flirting, Ryan. That was flirting, right?” Blake teased.

“Yeah, but I can do better, if you’re interested. You are interested, aren’t you?” Blake got that despite the lightened mood, the question was serious.

“I’ve been interested since I was Alison’s seventeen-year-old brother.”

“Really? Are you serious?” There was a little pleased disbelief in his voice.

“Really. You have no idea how interested I was, Ryan.”

“And now that you’re twenty?”

“Even more so.” He stopped at the smile greeting his words. “But, I should tell you. I’ve never even kissed a guy. I kissed a girl once, well twice… the same girl, but….” Blake was fascinated by Ryan’s face getting closer and closer. Without thinking he did his part, duplicating the lean until their lips met. The touch was gentle, but the feelings weren’t. There was magic there, and he hated when Ryan pulled back.

“There. We got the first one out of the way. What did you think?”

The caress of warm breath on his face added to the experience, and made Blake feel brave… and special. “This is what I thought.” He closed those few inches again. This one was even better.

Neither spoke as they drew apart. Finally, Ryan sighed. “I like what you thought. And to think I almost walked away, believing you had no interest at all. You’re making me very happy, Blake. The fact is, I’ve been carrying a torch for a long time, so this seems a little surreal to me, like a dream I’m slowly waking up from.”

“Is the dream better than the reality?” Blake’s stupid doubts reared again despite what they’d just shared. He mentally cringed, but he’d asked the question out of reflex. Years of feeling inferior had done its damage.

“What? Fuck, no. The absolute opposite. Someone needs to pinch me.” He grabbed Blake’s cold and fidgeting hand. “When you handed me your phone earlier, after me finally seeing you again, my world crashed, but I rallied, and decided I wasn’t going to give up. I risked rejection again, and asked you to drive me home. I was over the moon that you agreed. So when you took off, pissed at me, I had to rally again. And it paid off. After kissing you, I don’t think I could ever stop rallying; not where you’re concerned. I just meant it seems too good to be true.”

“Sorry. I never should have asked that. I have issues. This is the first time I feel like someone might want me for me, over anyone else. Honestly, you’re not the only one that’s having a surreal experience. I really am sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry. I understand. I see you, and I want to be that someone. I am that someone… if you let me.”

“This is all happening so fast. I should tell you I’ve been planning to move away from Toronto. I made the decision that in order to be the person I think I can be, I have to make the change.”

“I see.” Ryan’s face lost its previously joyful look. “What are you trying to say? I mean… maybe I could move if….”

“Wait, Ryan. I wasn’t finished.” Despite the cold flush, he’d watched all color drain from the man’s face. “What I was going to say was I think my decision might have been a little hasty. Toronto doesn’t seem so bad anymore.” Who knew he could make someone look so happy? He smiled at the now-beaming man. “I’m getting cold. We should go find my car and get you home. What do you think?”

“Have you got any plans for the rest of the night?”

“Nope. Not a one.”

“Want to head up to Steeles, and see how your painting’s going to look when it’s hung front and center in my store?”

“I can’t think of anything I’d rather do.”

“It’s a start, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it is. A good one. Maybe we could follow up with you helping me choose some new paintings to take to the gallery. You obviously have a good eye.”

“I’d have to agree with you there. I know quality when I see it.” Ryan’s appraising look made Blake feel instantly warm, despite the surrounding temperature.

Yeah, there was no doubting his sincerity, and that was a weird and welcome feeling. Something he planned on getting used to. “Hold on, my phone’s vibrating.” Blake reached into his jacket and checked the lit up screen. “Sweet. Avery scored twice in the third period, and they won.”

“Good for him. That’s quite an accomplishment for his first game.”

“Yeah, it is. I’m really happy for him. Happy for Dad too.” Blake put his phone away and turned his full attention back to Ryan. “I got him beat, though.”

“Ryan smiled. “Oh yeah? How?

“I scored a hat trick. Three goals in one night.”

Ryan’s smile grew bigger. “And what were those goals you scored?”

“Well of course there was my first showing.” Blake smiled playfully back.

“And?”

“I had my first kiss… an amazing one I might add.”

“Sounds like a pretty good night so far, if you ask me.”

“It gets better. I snagged my very first date with a hot guy.”

“The hot guy would be me, right?” Ryan looked so adorable, so handsome, Blake just had to kiss him again, feeling a bit like he was under some sort of spell. Was this really him, finally going after what he wanted?

“Does that answer your question?” He blushed as the words left his mouth. Why was he suddenly reverting to shyness after being so brazen?

The dark-haired man opened his eyes and grinned. “Oh, yeah. You answer my questions better than anyone I’ve ever known.”

 Blake chuckled and stuttered both. “I’m… I’m just a beginner… I’ll get better.”

“Lord have mercy,” Ryan whispered, amusement and something else in his eyes. Intensity.

Blake couldn’t look away. “Okay… ah… if this is our first date, I think food should be involved.”

“Sounds like an excellent idea. What did you have in mind?” The intensity was still there, and it was giving Blake confidence.

“Maybe after we look at my paintings, we could finish off this pizza I made yesterday. It’s usually better the next day. Or I could cook something else. Did you know I’m a pretty good cook?”

“No, but there are a lot of things I plan on finding out about you. We have three years to catch up on, and pizza sounds perfect. I could live on pizza.”

It was Blake’s turn to beam. “Come on, and help me find my damn car. I think it’s two blocks west of here, but it could be three, or….” He stood up and shivered as Ryan joined him, standing close.

“Doesn’t matter. It’s a nice night for a walk.” Ryan held out his hand, and Blake took it. It was a new experience, but entwining their fingers felt comforting and right, telling him he was no longer alone. Four goals now, and Blake’s first step as the out and proud gay man he needed to be. He couldn’t care less if he was recognized. No more hiding. No more being invisible. Maybe it was time to cut his hair after all. He was confident… yeah… confident the man squeezing his hand as they walked would like him whatever he decided.

“Ah, Ryan?” Blake stopped and turned to him.

“Let me guess? You want to kiss me again, right?” he asked with a cocky grin.

Blake matched it with one of his own. “I do, but, I think we forgot something.”

Ryan stared blankly, and Blake waited.

“Oh, shit. Our coyotes.”

“Uh huh.” Blake looked back to the bench. “Don’t worry. They’re still there. And they’re your coyotes now.”

“An hour ago, they were my coyotes. Now, they’re ours.”

Blake’s emotions surged as they began the short walk back. He couldn’t help thinking Prince Charming had nothing on Ryan Dalton. To him, they were one and the same, and this fairy tale was only beginning.

“Ryan?” he asked when they reached the painting.

“Yeah?”

“You don’t happen to have a white horse, do you?”

Ryan turned his head and their eyes met. It took about five seconds before his laughter rang out in the chill air. “No white horse, but I think I might have kissed you awake.”

“Hell yeah, you did. I can hear bugles; either that, or our coyotes are howling?” There was only one thing in that moment that had a chance of removing the grin from Blake’s face.

The theater had let out, and a smiling group of people had to separate as the pair stood their ground, kissing on the busiest street in the busiest area of the downtown core.

 

 

 

 

A huge thank you to my editor, Timothy M., and thank you to Valkyrie for proofing this story.

Copyright © 2016 Headstall; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 37
  • Love 16
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.
2016 - Winter - Rewind: Pre-2016 Themes Entry

Story Discussion Topic

Open Club · 96 members · Last active

A fan club for Headstall to chat about his stories as well as home to CoTT House of Cards Chat Topic

You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments



When Blake mentioned moving to Montreal or Vancouver I thought it probably meant the story was set in Ontario. I'm not familiar enough with Toronto to recognize King Street West, although it didn't sound like any of the numerous famous streets in the numerous large US cities that we usually read about. But I was happy to have my guess confirmed! ;-)

 

I remember being puzzled by the references in the comic strip For Better or For Worse [Yay Lawrence!] to driving to London! It took me a while to realize that it's a town in Ontario. Strangely enough, none of the US towns named after the UK capital are well known – but there are at least a couple fairly well known US cities named after Dublin including one I lived in! I hadn't realized the comic strip was set in Canada – there were no maple leaves or beavers incorporated in the comic's logo! ;-)

 

I have a hard time remembering to take off my US-centric blinders. Hockey should have been a clue too, but there's a team in San José (Silicon Valley) and it gets mentioned on the sports reports regularly. You may have included other hints that I'm oblivious to. I would have recognized Loonies. And Marilyn never mentioned her passport while she was checking off the items she needed as she left the house… ;-)

 

I understand what it's like to live in the shadow of siblings, in my case my older and younger brothers. They were both much more outgoing and popular than I am. And being Gay also meant that I too was reluctant to make many friends. My first kiss was with a female classmate who everyone was convinced I was destined to marry even though we were just friends. But I'm no artist.

 

I'd love to read more about Blake and Ryan!

Link to comment

Blake's story is sadly not uncommon for siblings of high achieving (or even sick) siblings. All of the parents' attentions can easily be taken without the parents even realizing how lopsided things have become. Good for Blake for finally taking a stand and carving out a life away from the shadow of his famous siblings.
I completely understand Blake's initial reaction to Ryan's attention. He's had years of being trained to be suspicious of people's motives, which isn't going to change overnight. Fortunately, Ryan is tenacious and fought through the suspicion so they have a chance of happiness with each other. :)

  • Like 3
  • Love 2
Link to comment

You know, I just wanted to take a brief look at the story and eventually read it later tonight...only I couldn't stop until I reached the end. That's why I have a half decorated Christmas tree in my living room right now.
It had just the right amount of tragic, angst, hurt, hope and love. Thank you for sharing. :)

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment

I'm so glad that Blake managed to listen to Ryan's explanation of why he went to the Gallery...he seemed so dead set against it, and I was very worried that his dream of finding a boy who loved him would never come to pass.

 

Alas, I was never neglected as a youngster--I was over-protected by my mother--the stereotypical gay childhood? My father wasn't inattentive, but by nature he was very stoic and didn't say much, even to my mom. And yet, if I asked for a trip into town to shop at bookstores, or to do other errands, he made time for me. I can empathize with Blake's situation so far as his father, but his mother's dismissiveness was alien to me.

 

I loved the outcome for Ryan and Blake, but I wanted to strangle his mom and tell off his dad--probably nearly as much as Blake did! Every interaction the two had with him just rang so false to my ears, so I had a perfect understanding of why he was so suspect about Ryan's intentions.

 

Can we see more of these guys? Pretty please....

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment

Another captivating story, poor Blake blinded by his upbringing but Ryan's stubborn streak saves the day. Now they just need to find the car :)

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1
Link to comment

Is Alison nominated for a Canadian Screen Award ? Oops, this story isn't about her or Avery is it ? Apologies ...
:rolleyes:

 

It's been ages since I've last visited Toronto, or Canada for that matter, so I have to google the right name for the CSAs, last I heard they were known as the Gemini or Genie Awards (as a matter of fact I only remember the Juno Awards off the top of my head, getting senile). :facepalm:

 

Thank all ye gods for a persistent Ryan, or else there'll be a very unhappy Blake adrift in the world, for a while at least ! Yay, a happy beginning ! Oh another piece of Canadian trivia, what did the Princess of Wales theatre open, answer 1993, courtesy of google. I moved away from Toronto and Canada before it was open ... :( Anyhow, that last kissing scene was so romantic, hopefully more to come !

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 12/23/2016 08:34 PM, droughtquake said:

When Blake mentioned moving to Montreal or Vancouver I thought it probably meant the story was set in Ontario. I'm not familiar enough with Toronto to recognize King Street West, although it didn't sound like any of the numerous famous streets in the numerous large US cities that we usually read about. But I was happy to have my guess confirmed! ;-)

 

I remember being puzzled by the references in the comic strip For Better or For Worse [Yay Lawrence!] to driving to London! It took me a while to realize that it's a town in Ontario. Strangely enough, none of the US towns named after the UK capital are well known – but there are at least a couple fairly well known US cities named after Dublin including one I lived in! I hadn't realized the comic strip was set in Canada – there were no maple leaves or beavers incorporated in the comic's logo! ;-)

 

I have a hard time remembering to take off my US-centric blinders. Hockey should have been a clue too, but there's a team in San José (Silicon Valley) and it gets mentioned on the sports reports regularly. You may have included other hints that I'm oblivious to. I would have recognized Loonies. And Marilyn never mentioned her passport while she was checking off the items she needed as she left the house… ;-)

 

I understand what it's like to live in the shadow of siblings, in my case my older and younger brothers. They were both much more outgoing and popular than I am. And being Gay also meant that I too was reluctant to make many friends. My first kiss was with a female classmate who everyone was convinced I was destined to marry even though we were just friends. But I'm no artist.

 

I'd love to read more about Blake and Ryan!

Awesome review, droughtquake! Yeah, you'll find most of my stories are set in Canada, and I won't often mention beavers or maple leafs :) . What I liked about Blake was that he didn't resent Alison or Avery, but he'd had enough of being in their shadow, and having his life taking a back seat to theirs. He understood his parents unbalanced attentions, but he more blamed himself for his situation... or at least, took on some of that blame. I think Ryan, his knight, took some of that onus off him and placed it squarely on Marilyn's and Lee's. And isn't that what a Prince Charming does? I'm so pleased you would like to read more of these two... that makes my day... thanks for reviewing. and Merry Christmas... Cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 03:52 AM, LitLover said:

Blake's story is sadly not uncommon for siblings of high achieving (or even sick) siblings. All of the parents' attentions can easily be taken without the parents even realizing how lopsided things have become. Good for Blake for finally taking a stand and carving out a life away from the shadow of his famous siblings.

I completely understand Blake's initial reaction to Ryan's attention. He's had years of being trained to be suspicious of people's motives, which isn't going to change overnight. Fortunately, Ryan is tenacious and fought through the suspicion so they have a chance of happiness with each other. :)

No, it's not. And what I like about Blake is that part of him understands his parents' unbalanced attentions... but I also like that he's reached his limits. I think he might end up showing lee and Marilyn that he is just as talented in his own way, yet it doesn't matter if they never get it, because he has someone who puts him first. Yes, let's hear it for Ryan's tenaciousness... not many men would have turned from the door and walked back to Blake like he did. He does get Blake... thanks for reviewing, my friend, and Merry Christmas... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 06:09 AM, aditus said:

You know, I just wanted to take a brief look at the story and eventually read it later tonight...only I couldn't stop until I reached the end. That's why I have a half decorated Christmas tree in my living room right now.

It had just the right amount of tragic, angst, hurt, hope and love. Thank you for sharing. :)

Thanks, Adi. That's really nice to hear, and means a lot. Sorry about your tree :) . Thanks for reviewing, and Merry Christmas... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 08:47 AM, Timothy M. said:

I think what I loved most about this story was Ryan having noticed how unfairly Blake has been treated by his parents his whole life. I wanted to shake Marilyn and kick her husband's backside. Of course I was also impressed with Ryan for not giving up, and he got the reward he deserves.

But I really, really want to see the faces of Blake's parents when they return and the talk of the town is the fantastic paintings of their youngest son. I hope at least a few of their friends are into art or know people who are. It would be the sweetest revenge to have them asking why Blake's parents were not present at the most successful gallery showing of the year.

Oh, and of course it will be hilarious to see Marylin's reaction when Ryan comes around to see Blake, and she wrongly assumes he's there to visit her daughter. It would be so cool if Blake outed himself by greeting his boyfriend with a kiss. Especially if Alison is there too, and calmly informs her she knew about Blake all along, and thinks Ryan is the perfect match. :lol:

I think you may well be right about the Sorensons returning to fanfare about their third child... we already know there is a writeup in the works... media loves a good hook, and Blake is well known because of his famous siblings... maybe someone snapped a photo of their kiss on King Street... hehe. However it happens, Marilyn will have to deal. The nice thing is, through all he's gone through, Blake doesn't hate his parents... he just wants his own life... and now he has Prince Charming at his side... or face... or where ever ;) . Thanks for reviewing, and Merry Christmas, my friend... Cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 11:01 AM, ColumbusGuy said:

I'm so glad that Blake managed to listen to Ryan's explanation of why he went to the Gallery...he seemed so dead set against it, and I was very worried that his dream of finding a boy who loved him would never come to pass.

 

Alas, I was never neglected as a youngster--I was over-protected by my mother--the stereotypical gay childhood? My father wasn't inattentive, but by nature he was very stoic and didn't say much, even to my mom. And yet, if I asked for a trip into town to shop at bookstores, or to do other errands, he made time for me. I can empathize with Blake's situation so far as his father, but his mother's dismissiveness was alien to me.

 

I loved the outcome for Ryan and Blake, but I wanted to strangle his mom and tell off his dad--probably nearly as much as Blake did! Every interaction the two had with him just rang so false to my ears, so I had a perfect understanding of why he was so suspect about Ryan's intentions.

 

Can we see more of these guys? Pretty please....

Lee and Marilyn aren't really evil parents... more oblivious than anything. And Marilyn is extremely concerned with appearances. I believe they have a wakeup call coming when they realize just how big their third child's night was. I find myself very proud of Blake... I understand his suspicious nature, and luckily, so did Ryan. I'm pleased you did too, buddy. Seeing more of them is a possibility... we'll see... thanks and cheers... Gary.... xo

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 01:42 PM, Bucket1 said:

Another captivating story, poor Blake blinded by his upbringing but Ryan's stubborn streak saves the day. Now they just need to find the car :)

LOL. Yeah, where the hell is that car? I don't think they care how long it'll take to find it. I don't think Blake could have asked for a better Prince Charming really... he hung in there... I'm glad you found it captivating, B... I really appreciate the review... cheers... Gary

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 01:48 PM, Arazon said:

I was really feeling for Blake, being in the shadows of his siblings and treated that way by his parents. It was no wonder he had his guard up with Ryan at first. I was pleasantly surprised when Ryan came straight back. Goes to show, persistence can pay off! Good for Blake, pursuing his art dreams and then more dreams came with Ryan :) Awesome read, thanks!

Thanks, Arazon. I'm pleased you liked this one. I loved Ryan's persistence too... it was certainly needed :) . I appreciate the support and the kind words... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/24/2016 03:31 PM, hohochan657 said:

Is Alison nominated for a Canadian Screen Award ? Oops, this story isn't about her or Avery is it ? Apologies ...

:rolleyes:

 

It's been ages since I've last visited Toronto, or Canada for that matter, so I have to google the right name for the CSAs, last I heard they were known as the Gemini or Genie Awards (as a matter of fact I only remember the Juno Awards off the top of my head, getting senile). :facepalm:

 

Thank all ye gods for a persistent Ryan, or else there'll be a very unhappy Blake adrift in the world, for a while at least ! Yay, a happy beginning ! Oh another piece of Canadian trivia, what did the Princess of Wales theatre open, answer 1993, courtesy of google. I moved away from Toronto and Canada before it was open ... :( Anyhow, that last kissing scene was so romantic, hopefully more to come !

Nope. I deliberately kept it vague but that was not the awards I had in mind :) . Yes, Ryan's persistence seems to be popular... and I'm pleased you liked the final kissing scene, buddy... it was the perfect moment to introduce himself to the world as a proud gay man. Thanks so much for your support, hohochan... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 12/26/2016 02:30 AM, Kitt said:

Lovely. All coming outs should be so romantic!

I know, right :) . I'm stoked you liked it, Sis... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment

invisible and forgotten. I wanted to shake Blake's parents. They remembered he had this 'art thing' but the other siblings were more important. No chld is more important than another.

 

I felt for Blake's trust issues when Ryan tried flirting with him.

 

And lastly I cheered when they left together for their happy ever after.

  • Like 3
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 12/28/2016 01:39 AM, Caz Pedroso said:

invisible and forgotten. I wanted to shake Blake's parents. They remembered he had this 'art thing' but the other siblings were more important. No chld is more important than another.

 

I felt for Blake's trust issues when Ryan tried flirting with him.

 

And lastly I cheered when they left together for their happy ever after.

I'm glad I could make you cheer, Caz. You;re right... no child be more important than another... and I think Marilyn and Lee will be in for more than one surprise when they return home :) . Their gay son not only has his Prince... he is also a success in the art world... thanks for reviewing... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment

I liked it Gary. Such foolish parents, missing out on another talented child! However Blake will make his own way, with the help of a loving partner!

  • Like 2
  • Love 1
Link to comment
On 12/29/2016 06:19 PM, Mikiesboy said:

I liked it Gary. Such foolish parents, missing out on another talented child! However Blake will make his own way, with the help of a loving partner!

Thanks, tim. Lee and Marilyn were blessed with amazing children... to let one feel less is a travesty... one I think they'll come to regret... Blake has just made a big splash, and the media is sure to run with it... Blake doesn't care... he has his Prince and a new-found freedom... appreciate the support, buddy... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment

I think Blake was only truly invisible to his mother. Her behaviour at the beginning was so over the top self absorbed diva-like that I was wanted to yell at her or dare I say it? Yes, I felt that a good old fashioned belt upside the head was called for.
Dad wasn't a lot better, but at least he was able to carry on a conversation with Blake and even commiserate the hair cut bit. I wonder if he too, has/had been a recipient or the mother's diva behaviour as well? I don't doubt it for a minute.
Big brother is an unknown (though I'm guessing he's like his twin) but Alison is definitely aware of her little brother and sees and loves him for the person he is. Yay!
It was a bit of a surprise that Blake's crush was his sister's boyfriend (well, at the time he was, right?) but that's not surprising. Kudos to sis for supporting her ex (which is another bit of proof as to her good character) coming out as gay and supporting his having a relationship with Blake.
All in all, this was a very sweet and cute encounter between Ryan and Blake. I wouldn't mind reading more about these two. Course, it's also nice to engage my imagination to conjure more episodes to continue their HEA. :)
As always, nicely done my friend. :hug:

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
Link to comment
On 01/03/2017 05:24 AM, Reader1810 said:

I think Blake was only truly invisible to his mother. Her behaviour at the beginning was so over the top self absorbed diva-like that I was wanted to yell at her or dare I say it? Yes, I felt that a good old fashioned belt upside the head was called for.

Dad wasn't a lot better, but at least he was able to carry on a conversation with Blake and even commiserate the hair cut bit. I wonder if he too, has/had been a recipient or the mother's diva behaviour as well? I don't doubt it for a minute.

Big brother is an unknown (though I'm guessing he's like his twin) but Alison is definitely aware of her little brother and sees and loves him for the person he is. Yay!

It was a bit of a surprise that Blake's crush was his sister's boyfriend (well, at the time he was, right?) but that's not surprising. Kudos to sis for supporting her ex (which is another bit of proof as to her good character) coming out as gay and supporting his having a relationship with Blake.

All in all, this was a very sweet and cute encounter between Ryan and Blake. I wouldn't mind reading more about these two. Course, it's also nice to engage my imagination to conjure more episodes to continue their HEA. :)

As always, nicely done my friend. :hug:

Hey, Reader. While Marilyn was the worst, Lee was almost as bad. He hadn't even walked downstairs to look at the paintings in Blake's studio. Avery is his golden boy... I hope now he realizes he has two of them. I also think it was important Ryan knew and understood the family dynamic. As Blake's boyfriend, I can see 'Prince' Ryan standing up for Blake in every way :) . I'm so pleased you enjoyed this one. They really are a sweet couple. Thanks for reading and reviewing, my friend... cheers... Gary....

  • Like 1
  • Love 2
Link to comment

This was yet another awesome story, Gary! Your endless talent amazes me. :)

 

Parents should never make a child feel he/she is less than his or her siblings. Both parents doted too much on A&A to even SEE Blake and his accomplishments. His 'little art thing' was extremely successful--something both parents should be very proud of.

 

At least Alison saw Blake and treated him like a real person, not someone who was in her shadow.

 

And yay for Ryan's persistence. Funny how they were both pining for each other three years ago, but neither of them knew the other one was. (Did that even make sense? lol)

 

I really loved this story, Gary, and I'd love to read more about Blake and Ryan. :)

  • Like 4
  • Love 1
Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

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

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

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

    Sign Up
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

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