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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home

Embracing the Tension - 10. Chapter 10

Warning: This chapter may contain sexually explicit content. Reader discretion is advised.

Christmas morning was Erik’s favorite time of year. There was just something about the early winter air, the quiet stillness, and the faint lights of the Christmas tree that heightened the anticipation of something good about to be unveiled. He may have been an adult, but he had always been up first thing on Christmas morning, well before the sun made an appearance and sometimes before his nieces and nephews.

This Christmas morning was no different. He blinked his eyes open at 5:30am and found that he had no desire to sleep anymore. Instead, he turned on his side and watched as Ryan slept next to him, dark lashes fanned across tanned cheeks, lips full and plump, pouting slightly in his sleep. He could wake up like this every day and spend the first moments of awareness gazing upon the man he loved.

It was stupid, this irrational stubbornness that refused to let him leave New York. He knew that. All the evidence pointed to a much happier life in Toronto. And yet, that emotional part of his brain driven by animalistic instinct to be at the top of the food chain refused to budge on the topic.

How had Ryan recognized what New York was doing to him all those years ago and just packed up his life and leave? Erik didn’t think he had the courage to do the same.

He watched Ryan for the better part of forty minutes before he gave up waiting for Ryan to wake. He slipped out of bed and went to make coffee, stopping to check on the little gift-wrapped box that he hadn’t brought downstairs the day before. With two freshly brewed mugs of steaming hot java and Ryan’s Christmas present tucked under his arm, Erik went back into the bedroom and kneeled beside the bed.

Brushing his fingers through Ryan’s hair, he stroked the slight curls until Ryan stirred. “Good morning, sleepyhead. Merry Christmas.”

Ryan groaned and buried his face into his pillow. Some sort of mumbled sound came from the pillow, and Erik didn’t bother trying to guess what Ryan had said.

“Babe, it’s Christmas morning.” As if that was reason enough to be getting up at the ass crack of dawn.

Ryan’s hand shot out with surprising accuracy for someone who was supposedly still half asleep, and he grabbed onto Erik’s hand, pulled it toward him and held it against his chest. He settled back down as if to fall asleep again.

Erik was half-tempted to let him sleep. But it was Christmas morning.

“Babe.” Erik drew his hand away. “It’s Christmas morning, I’ve made you coffee, and you need to open your present.” He gave Ryan a gentle shove and sat on the edge of the bed.

“Whhhyyy?” Ryan whined, but it came out as a low, gravelly rumble.

“Because you love me.” Erik scratched lightly at Ryan’s stomach and smiled at Ryan’s impersonation of Caesar stretching.

“Okay, okay, fine.” Ryan shuffled backward until he sat up against the headboard.

Erik took the carefully wrapped box and shoved it at Ryan. “Here. Merry Christmas.”

Ryan eyed him, gift in hand, and Erik couldn’t hold back his smile. “Go ahead. Open it.”

Slowly, Ryan picked at the wrapping paper, unfolding the seams and carefully withdrawing the box. With his grin and a quick glance through his lashes at Erik, he opened it; then his jaw dropped. Nestled in black, crushed-velvet lining was a pen, Montblanc, black with silver accents. And across the body was engraved, “With Love, E.” Ryan took so long to respond that Erik glanced down at the pen just to make sure there was nothing wrong with it.

“Do you like it?” Erik suddenly second-guessed his choice.

“Yeah, yes. Oh, my god, of course I like it. Holy shit, Erik, it’s beautiful.” Ryan’s fingers hovered over the pen as if afraid to touch it.

“Go on, take it out and try it. It writes like heaven, I gave it a test run at the store.” There was that rush of joy every time someone liked a gift he gave. Knowing that he’d been able to pick out something that someone liked always made him feel like he’d won the lottery.

Ryan handed the box back to Erik without taking the pen out. “Hold on, let me go get paper.” He jumped out of bed faster than Erik had ever seen him get out of bed before and nearly ran out of the room. When he returned, he wasn’t just holding a pad of paper, but he also had a mid-sized box tucked under his arm.

“Here, I want you to open this first.” Ryan handed him the box and took back the pen. “I mean, it’s not as fancy as this pen, but…”

He sat on the bed, holding his pen box carefully as if he was afraid of dropping it.

Erik smiled at the messy wrapping job and ran the tips of his fingers across some of the uneven tape. It looked perfect to him. He wasted no time in ripping off the paper and lifting the flap off the top of the box. Tissue paper was tossed on to the floor, and nestled inside was a picture frame with the selfie of him and Ryan and Chloe at the aquarium with the shark in the background. They looked so happy, all three of them smiling, like such a beautiful family.

It felt like someone had punched him in the gut. His heart jammed into his throat, and he couldn’t breathe. Tears gathered in his eyes at the lack of oxygen.

“Sorry, it’s silly, I know. I just—“

Erik grabbed Ryan’s hand to get him to stop talking. Then he tore his gaze away from the perfect picture before he started dripping tears on it. He was sure all his confused emotions were written plain on his face, but he had no ability to hide them, especially not when Ryan laid his hands on each side of Erik’s cheeks and was looking into his eyes.

“Erik—”

“I love it.” He cut him off, grasping one of Ryan’s wrists. “I love it. It’s perfect. I love you.”

Ryan grinned. Not his lopsided, slightly skeptical and teasing grin. But a simple turn of the corners of his lips, eyes soft with so much love that Erik wondered how big a fool he must be to not want to see that look every day for the rest of his life.

“There’s more.”

Erik inhaled. “More?”

“Under the picture frame.”

When he turned back to the box, Ryan let him go. Carefully, he lifted the frame out and underneath was a miniature replica of the magenta jellyfish stuffed animal that had become Chloe’s ever-present sidekick. Okay, that’s interesting. Erik picked it up and something chimed a second before he realized the mini stuffed animal was actually a keychain and there were keys attached.

He frowned at the keys as they swung in the air.

“They’re for the house,” Ryan whispered.

Oh. Ooooh. Another punch to his gut, so hard this time that Erik dropped the key back into the box.

“I mean, I’m not pressuring you to move up here or anything like that. But I just thought, especially since you’re around this week, you might like a set so you can come and go as you please. I asked Rachel and Tom, and they’re totally cool with it. It just… seemed logical.”

Erik believed him. And not just because he’d eavesdropped on the conversation. He knew Ryan. And pressuring Erik into doing something he didn’t want to do was definitely not Ryan’s style. But the keys were more significant than just a convenient thing for him to have. The problem was, Erik didn’t know where the convenience ended and something more meaningful began.

He placed the picture frame back in the box and the whole thing carefully on the floor where they wouldn’t end up stepping on it later. Then he turned to Ryan and ran his hands through Ryan’s curly brown hair, down his cheek, rubbing his palms against the neatly trimmed beard.

“Thank you.” His throat was tight, and the words came out a little strangled.

Ryan brought his hand up and held Erik’s to his face. And when their eyes met again, Erik felt raw, exposed, as if the mess inside was laid bare for Ryan to see.

“Babe,” Ryan whispered right before he leaned in for a kiss.

Erik poured everything he felt into that kiss: the love he had for Ryan, the desire for things to be different, the fear that he didn’t know how to fix it all. And Ryan took it; he took every ounce of the fucked-up-ness that Erik gave him and gave back acceptance and understanding. Erik didn’t deserve this. He had done nothing to earn it. Why would someone like Ryan love someone like him?

Ryan leaned back and pulled Erik on top of him, their bodies fitting together with practiced ease. Their touches were familiar, tracing over spots guaranteed to make the other man shudder. Ryan smelled like home, triggering associations of love and warmth and desire.

Between lazy kisses, they rid themselves of their clothes with languid motions. The morning was theirs to explore every inch of exposed skin, to linger where they pleased. Erik played with Ryan’s earrings and Ryan played with his nipples until they were both breathing hard and leaking precome.

As much as Erik’s cock strained for release, he didn’t want their easy foreplay to end, it was too perfect and he wanted to stay in that place forever. Their coming together was as simple and slow as their foreplay, more about two souls intertwining than two bodies getting off. It was the most beautiful sex Erik could have ever imagined having.

Afterwards, as they lay in bed, limbs still tangled together, Erik realized something: as much as he loved that framed photo and keys to Ryan’s apartment, neither were his real Christmas present. His real Christmas present was Ryan himself, and Erik couldn’t have asked for anything better.

###

It was so fucking cold, and Erik had no fucking clue why he was walking along the Toronto waterfront in the middle of the fucking winter. The wind was like shards of glass as it cut into his face, and the below-freezing temperature had reached its fingers through his winter coat, past his flesh and deep into his bones. But instead of seeking shelter like a normal, sane person, he stood along the railing overlooking the gray water, capped with a gray sky.

He’d just come from that meeting with Buck Cohen at Shadowbox, and he needed to decompress. The meeting itself was nothing out of the ordinary, just them talking about Erik’s past projects, his current projects and the type of work that Shadowbox wanted to back. Some of their interests lined up; some of them didn’t. But that was fine. That was the purpose of meetings like these. A little get-to-know-you, then file that information away for some future date.

So why did he feel so fucking lost? It wasn’t a job interview, and he hadn’t been turned down.

He huddled into his coat and stared at the water as it lapped at the shoreline, pieces of ice floating in the waves.

It wasn’t just the meeting. It was the entire week and that conversation he wasn’t supposed to have heard. It was being in Toronto with Ryan and his family, helping Chloe open Christmas presents, then letting Marie and Rachel boss him around the kitchen as they made an epic Christmas dinner that far outdid their Thanksgiving feast. And all the while that nagging thought at the back of his mind that this could all be his—all he had to do was leave New York. Whenever the idea surfaced, the rest of his brain shut down, and one word rang out, “Never.”

The one word wore on him like rough sandpaper scraping against his soul until he felt raw. He had come to hate that word, hate the irrational stubbornness that kept him captive in a life he didn’t want. Because, honestly, what was waiting for him in New York? Business contacts that never got back to him? Acquaintances who masqueraded as friends? Not appealing. And yet, he couldn’t find a way to escape.

His phone buzzed in his pocket, and he knew without even pulling it out that it was Ryan checking in to see how the meeting went. Ryan was the only one who ever messaged him anymore, the only person he spoke to on a regular basis. Somehow, over the course of the last year, Erik had gone from the most outgoing and extroverted person, to someone who would rather spend the entire weekend alone in his apartment. It was weird. It wasn’t him.

His phone buzzed again. He gave in and checked it. Ryan was taking Chloe skating at Nathan Phillips Square. Erik should meet them there. The smile that grew across his face was involuntary, something that just happened at the mention of Ryan and Chloe. He inhaled the cold, winter air, trying to chase away the melancholy. It didn’t work, not that Erik had expected it to. Because the source of the sadness was still there, a roadblock to what he wanted his future to look like.

Erik turned on his heel and headed away from the water. He needed to talk to Ryan, to sit him down and hash out this whole thing so it would be out of his brain. Maybe then, it would stop driving him crazy.

###

Erik had been off all afternoon. He skated with Chloe with a smile and quick laughter, but the smile was a little too stiff, and the laughter came a little too quickly. Erik was a good actor, but Ryan had learned to read all the signs, the intonation of his voice when he was upset, the way he took deeper than normal breaths and held them in before letting them out in shaky mini-sighs. Something was wrong.

They had dropped Chloe off with her parents downstairs, and Ryan was strategizing how to ask Erik what was wrong when Erik took the matter out of his hands.

“We need to talk.”

Oh, God. An almost physical sense of dread descended on Ryan as he refilled Caesar’s food bowl. “Okay.” He did his best to keep his voice neutral.

Erik stood a few feet away, arms crossed over his chest, frowning down at some spot on the floor. Ryan straightened and waited for Erik to continue.

“I overheard you.”

Ryan cocked his head. Overheard?

“You and Rachel. You were talking about asking me to move to Toronto.”

Shit. Ryan had been so angry with Rachel during that conversation. She had no right to barge into their relationship and start demanding things. But Ryan would be lying if he denied that he hadn’t thought about it. About what it would be like if Erik finally left New York and came to Toronto permanently, what it would be like for them to build a life together here. But he wouldn’t ask him. It wasn’t his place to ask for something like that.

“So, do you want me to move to Toronto?”

What could he say? Yes. Of course. With everything in his heart. “I’m not going to ask you to leave New York.”

“That’s not what I asked.”

Ryan stuck his fingers into his hair. “Would I like it if you lived here? So we could see each other every day? I mean, yeah, I do. Without a doubt, I do. But I’m not going to ask you to leave New York.”

The scowl on Erik’s brow deepened. “Why?”

He dropped his hands to his sides. “What do you mean why?”

“Why won’t you ask me to leave New York?”

Ryan scoffed before he could stop himself. “Seriously? Don’t you remember all those conversations we had? The ones where I kept going on about how much New York sucks and you countered every argument with how great New York is? Or how about the time you implied I left New York because I was weak?”

Erik had the good sense to wince at Ryan’s words. He took the opportunity to grab a beer from the kitchen and strode past Erik into the living room.

“If I asked you to leave New York and you ended up hating it here, then you’d end up hating me. You’d be miserable, and I’d be miserable, and it would have all been for nothing.” He dropped onto the couch and put his bottle down on the coffee table a little harder than was necessary. “I can’t take on that kind of responsibility.”

“You don’t know that I’d end up hating it.”

“And you don’t know if you’ll love it, either.”

They glared at each other, but Ryan knew he was right. He could see Erik’s stubbornness, and that refusal to believe that there was anything outside his grasp. Except Ryan knew what it felt like to try for something and be disappointed—to want something with everything inside of him and yet find himself lacking. He had built up a good life in Toronto, a delicately balanced life that was working. Could he risk throwing everything off kilter by having Erik here permanently?

Erik lowered himself onto the couch with a good foot of empty space separating them. It felt like a good metaphor for their relationship: they were in the same place, facing the same direction, and yet still so far apart.

“I really like Toronto,” Erik said.

“Visiting a city isn’t the same thing as living here,” Ryan countered. “And what would you do for work? All your work is in New York.”

“You sound like you don’t want me here.” Erik actually sounded a little wounded, but Ryan didn’t feel so charitable.

“I’m just repeating the same arguments you’ve given me before.”

They fell into a drawn-out silence, and though the awkwardness grew, Ryan couldn’t find words to make the situation better.

“Just forget I said anything.”

Ryan turned from his beer to find Erik studying his hands, looking like the weight of the world was on his shoulders.

“What?”

“Just…” Erik straighten and shrugged his shoulders as if to shake off the weight. “Just forget I said anything. Tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and then I go back to New York, and then we’ll figure something out.”

It was on the tip of Ryan’s tongue to object, because kicking the problem down the road sounded like it would only make things worse when they finally decided that the long-distance thing wasn’t working. And yet, what could he say now that he hadn’t already said? He could see no solution to their predicament.

He didn’t like it, but it seemed like the best option—the only option. Sure, Ryan could forget about it for a while, but he was certain the question would rear its ugly head again.

###

Erik had secured tickets to some hot New Year’s Eve party in Toronto through some sort of contact who knew somebody who knew somebody. Ryan couldn’t follow the connection when he had asked. In all honesty, Ryan had zero interest in hanging out in a crowded dance club until midnight. Plus, the doubts from their fight the previous day still lingered in the air, like an anvil waiting to drop on them as they continued to ignore the problem.

But Erik seemed very excited about the party, and Ryan didn’t want to taint Erik’s good spirits with his worries. So, he put on his best New Year’s Eve outfit and went along with Erik’s plans.

They almost didn’t make it out the door. Not when Erik stepped out of the bathroom in the tightest black-leather pants Ryan had ever laid eyes on and a silver t-shirt made of some satin-y, slinky material that molded to every single muscle. His smoke tattoo peaked out from under a sleeve, trailing down to his elbow in the most enticing tease. The best part, though, was the guy-liner that made his intense blue eyes pop in sharp contrast to his black lashes.

Ryan had attacked him then. Had messed up his hair, and then Erik had to spend another ten minutes fixing it. But it had been worth it, because Erik’s already impressive bulge strained against the leather of his pants in the most obscene way. Ryan had been happy to keep it chubby during their Uber ride down to the waterfront club. And when they stepped out of the car, hand in hand, Ryan experienced for the first time a kind of possessive pride at the looks Erik got. Back off, he’s mine. And he made sure people knew it.

His hands never left Erik’s body the entire evening, lingering on his arm, his shoulder, his waist, the small of his back, his ass. Oh, god, his ass in those pants. More than once Ryan had to turn away from the crowd and adjust himself, not that his own tight pants were any help.

Erik seemed to know everyone there, which felt impossible, given he didn’t even live in Toronto. But it was either that or he was one hell of a networker. Ryan just tagged along for the ride, playing the possessive brooding boyfriend and loving every second of it.

The space was impressive. Glass walls and a sloping-glass ceiling made it feel like they were floating out in the middle of the water. To one side, there was nothing but inky darkness over Lake Ontario. The other side was the twinkling lights of the city, with the CN Tower lit in the distance. A dance floor had been created in the middle of the space, and when they first got there, it was empty. But then the drinks flowed, the crowd grew, and the celebrity DJ—whatever his name was—cranked up the music until Ryan felt it thrumming through his body.

Erik took the beer he had been nursing and put it down on a nearby table, using the movement to step in close until their bodies touched.

“Wanna dance?” Erik whispered in his ear, his lips grazing over his sensitive earlobe, and Ryan shuddered against him.

“I don’t know how to dance.” His hands trailed up Erik’s torso, his fingertips tracing the ridges of muscle so clearly outlined by the soft fabric of the shirt.

“Bullshit.” Erik pressed himself into Ryan’s hands. “I’ve seen you move.”

Erik pulled back just enough for Ryan to look into his eyes and understand exactly what he was thinking. All those nights, in bed, moving against each other in a way that felt like the most natural thing in the world. Ryan had never needed to think about that, had never been conscious of how exactly his body moved. He just moved. Because with Erik, everything worked.

He let Erik steal a kiss. “Just move.”

Erik took one of his hands and led them out to the dance floor. But he couldn’t just pick a spot near the edge. No, he had to go right to middle of the fucking dance floor where people glanced over their shoulders at them with blatant looks of want in their eyes. Then Erik began to move, and Ryan was suddenly reminded that Erik could move. How could he have forgotten that Erik had been a dancer in a previous life?

Arms raised above his head, Erik rolled his body in time with the deep bass of the music, his shirt lifting up to reveal a narrow strip of skin low across his belly. Ryan stared. That was the only thing he could do. Just stare at the beautiful man who was his boyfriend, his love.

When Erik danced up to him, body parts grazing against each other, Ryan couldn’t do anything but stand there. His breathing came in short little pants, each one giving him a little whiff of Erik’s musky scent, made all the more potent with the sweat glistening on his skin. The disco ball threw colored light everywhere, painting Erik in shades of red, blue, and green; Ryan was reminded of a time long ago when he also watched Erik dance while lit by the multi-colored lights of a night club. That was a different lifetime. How those early days of skepticism would bring him to today was a mystery that Ryan didn’t want to ponder too closely. He just knew that he was here, and Erik was here, and that was enough for him.

Erik grabbed him by the hips and pulled their bodies together, hard chest colliding with hard chest. Ryan automatically tilted his hips to seek out the answering bulge to his own erection. His hands floated up to Erik’s chest, feeling the taut muscles under his fingers, just as Erik licked a path up his neck and blew hot air against the wet skin.

“Erik.” It came out as a whimper.

“Dance with me.” The words were innocent enough, but the way Erik said them, low and raunchy, with his lips brushing against Ryan’s ear; Ryan felt debauched, and everything in his body screamed yes!

Ryan reached his arms around Erik’s shoulders and buried his fingers into the thick curls at the base of Erik’s neck. Then he pressed his face against Erik’s and let Erik lead him in what must have been the hottest dance that club had ever seen. At least, that’s the way Ryan felt as a fire burned up inside of him. Erik’s hands on his hips, across his back, bending him and pulling him closer, their bodies rubbing against each other in a mimic of sex save for the presence of clothing.

Then suddenly Erik spun him around and he found his sweat-soaked chest exposed to coolness. His hips sought out something to grind his erection against, but found nothing but air. Erik’s arms were still around him, this time pulling him back until Erik’s bulge dug into his ass, and Ryan reversed the direction of his hips to rub his ass into Erik’s groin. He covered one of Erik’s hands with his own, and his other hand went up to grasp Erik behind the neck.

They kissed. A dance of tongues as their bodies danced.

One of Erik’s hand drew up and pinched Ryan’s nipples. His body jerked in response. Then the hand drifted up higher until the long, strong fingers closed around his neck, not tight, just there, holding his head at just the right angle for Erik to attack his earlobe. He was done for. The feeling of Erik’s tongue on his earring, twirling it in circles was more than Ryan could stand. His knees gave out under him, and the only reason he didn’t end up a pile of bones on the floor was because Erik held him up. He bit his lip, trying to muffle the gasping whimpers that fought to escape his throat.

He couldn’t take it anymore. He needed to be out of those clothes and feeling Erik’s skin on his own. He needed to be pressed down into the mattress by Erik’s bigger frame. He needed to scream his pleasure as Erik made his body dance. With a strength that he didn’t know he had, Ryan tore himself out of Erik’s grasp and dragged him toward the door. Ryan didn’t care if Erik still had to meet people; people be damned. They had more important things to tend to.

Ryan wasn’t even sure how they made it back home, up the stairs and into bed. He was consumed with touching Erik, tasting Erik, feeling Erik around him. It was only when Erik sank his cock into his ass that Ryan felt that itching, all-consuming need subside. They fucked hard, and yet it was tender. Stinging bites soothed by gentle laps of tongue. And when they each found their orgasms, Ryan felt sure he had reached some state of enlightenment where his mind disassociated from his body and he was about to float away. But then Erik snuggled down into him and kept him grounded.

In the distance, the boom-boom of firecrackers echoed through the midnight. Oh, right.

“Happy New Year.”

“Happy New Year.”

A new year. If he wished hard enough, maybe they could leave the problems of last year behind.

A bit more reckoning but no resolution yet. Have no fear! Resolution is coming soon!!

Copyright © 2018 Hudson Bartholomew; All Rights Reserved.
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Gawd. The DANCING!!!! I can't dance for shit but I want to be the double-stuf in that cookie!!!!

Yeah, Erik needs to get his head out of his ass. I understand the feelings of failure and that he feels he needs to be there because his family is so charming so he needs to "prove" something to them but being in a happily committed relationship with Ryan would be a better FU than NY. So goes my 2 cents and all it's worth.

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"....he took every ounce of the fucked-up-ness that Erik gave him and gave back acceptance and understanding."  ❤️ *sigh*

 

"....Ryan smelled like home...." ❤️ *sigh*

 

It's what we all look for in our love relationships but don't always find.   Kudos to Ryan for not pressuring or manipulating Erik;  The ball is in Erik's court and the guys know it.  I don't know what it will take for Erik to make up his mind to move to Toronto but I hope it doesn't involve something happening to Ryan.

 

Brava on another great chapter, Mr. H. 

 

 

 

 

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The discussion has begun and now it's only a matter of time until they find a solution. Open minds and patience are necessary for this stage. If they doubt if it's worth it, they only need to think of that dance...  And they know. 

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All the signs show that Eric should move. Ryan and his family, the meeting and all the people he greets at the party ,  balanced with him alone, work connections who never call and acquaintances he never sees , in New York . I can’t believe Mr Top-of-the-food-chain can’t even commit to a real conversation on the issue. 

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wow...like I said last chapter Erik needs to pull his head out of his a and/or Ryan needs to grow a set. He had the perfect opportunity with the keys. He handled that part great. The whole I'm not trying to pressure you thing...but when the conversation came around, he should have raised the stakes, not all in, but a good raise that almost forces Erik to fold and give up and show his hand. He could've called Erik the bluff his mind is telling him. Oh and I think the picture with the keys was slightly manipulative, even if Ryan didn't intend it to be...Hello keys to a house with a picture of home...wow 

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Great chapter HB. These two frustrated the hell out of me in this one though. Ryan is right to say Eric has to choose, but your man wants you to ask with conviction. Let him hear what life could be.

Eric needs to get out of his head. Take the plunge. NYC already isn’t home. Home is where your heart is. The fact that Ryan is the only one he speaks to, staying home... that speaks  volumes.

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On 3/11/2018 at 3:19 PM, Timothy M. said:

Oh well, at least they tried to talk. :rolleyes:  But Erik should probably be a bit more specific about what his problem is. ;)  I don't blame Ryan for holding back, this one is all on his stubborn boyfriend.

 

Erik is SO stubborn, isn't he? And Ryan apparently has the patience of a saint. :) 

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On 3/11/2018 at 3:55 PM, Wesley8890 said:

Get your head out of your ass!!!! Move to Toronto from that god forsaken hell of a city! Seriously how dumb do you have to be?!? 

 

I give you permission to smack some sense into Erik. :gikkle:

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On 3/11/2018 at 3:56 PM, Sweetlion said:

Nice moments but the talk was not enough. Eric needs to be more open to what he his feeling, to his fears, otherwise he might just ruin what they have.

 

I don't think he understands what's fully at risk. He's thinking about what it says about him whether he can "make it" in New York. He's not thinking about whether he's putting their relationship in jeopardy. 

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On 3/11/2018 at 4:54 PM, FanLit said:

"....he took every ounce of the fucked-up-ness that Erik gave him and gave back acceptance and understanding."  ❤️ *sigh*

 

"....Ryan smelled like home...." ❤️ *sigh*

 

It's what we all look for in our love relationships but don't always find.   Kudos to Ryan for not pressuring or manipulating Erik;  The ball is in Erik's court and the guys know it.  I don't know what it will take for Erik to make up his mind to move to Toronto but I hope it doesn't involve something happening to Ryan.

 

Brava on another great chapter, Mr. H. 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you!!!! :heart:

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On 3/11/2018 at 5:49 PM, Puppilull said:

The discussion has begun and now it's only a matter of time until they find a solution. Open minds and patience are necessary for this stage. If they doubt if it's worth it, they only need to think of that dance...  And they know. 

 

Beautifully put!! :heart:

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On 3/11/2018 at 9:49 PM, deville said:

All the signs show that Eric should move. Ryan and his family, the meeting and all the people he greets at the party ,  balanced with him alone, work connections who never call and acquaintances he never sees , in New York . I can’t believe Mr Top-of-the-food-chain can’t even commit to a real conversation on the issue. 

 

Sometimes it's the people at the top of the food chain who have the most difficult time seeing what's really going on. They're too busy trying to stay at the top to have the right perspective. But fear not! This story has a happy ending and Erik will soon see the error of his ways!

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On 3/12/2018 at 4:57 AM, JayT said:

wow...like I said last chapter Erik needs to pull his head out of his a and/or Ryan needs to grow a set. He had the perfect opportunity with the keys. He handled that part great. The whole I'm not trying to pressure you thing...but when the conversation came around, he should have raised the stakes, not all in, but a good raise that almost forces Erik to fold and give up and show his hand. He could've called Erik the bluff his mind is telling him. Oh and I think the picture with the keys was slightly manipulative, even if Ryan didn't intend it to be...Hello keys to a house with a picture of home...wow 

 

Haha, I think Ryan would be mortified to realize the picture with keys is manipulative, but you're right, it could definitely be interpreted that way. Erik is dealing with a a lot of fear, problem is that he doesn't even recognize that he's afraid. 

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On 3/12/2018 at 7:57 PM, BlindAmbition said:

Great chapter HB. These two frustrated the hell out of me in this one though. Ryan is right to say Eric has to choose, but your man wants you to ask with conviction. Let him hear what life could be.

Eric needs to get out of his head. Take the plunge. NYC already isn’t home. Home is where your heart is. The fact that Ryan is the only one he speaks to, staying home... that speaks  volumes.

 

Thanks!! Yeah, Erik really is stuck in his own head. New York tells people a lie that is really difficult to erase--that one's own significance and worth is tied to whether they can "make it" in the big apple. 

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On March 12, 2018 at 4:57 AM, JayT said:

. Oh and I think the picture with the keys was slightly manipulative, even if Ryan didn't intend it to be...Hello keys to a house with a picture of home...wow 

I'm thinking instead of manipulative, it was more subliminal on Ryan's part, 'cause manipulative really isn't Ryan's way.

He wants Erik to live with him and already thinks of him as family, sometimes we show what we feel instead of saying it.

Edited by FanLit
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7 hours ago, FanLit said:

I'm thinking instead of manipulative, it was more subliminal on Ryan's part, 'cause manipulative really isn't Ryan's way.

He wants Erik to live with him and already thinks of him as family, sometimes we show what we feel instead of saying it.

 

:P I do like subliminal better than manipulative.

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