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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Empty Spaces Between Us - 16. Chapter 16

The rhythmic pulse of the music seemed to pass right through his body as he stood there, watching men all around move to the music on a central dance floor a few feet away. What song was playing, he had no idea. The lights seemed to pulse with their own life separate from the music in a multicolored assault on his eyes. Along one side of the club was a bar that seemed to glow from the neon lights set with it and the bartenders were all shirtless and looked as if there was a minimum body fat requirement when they were hired. The air seemed thick and humid as various scents vied for his attention as he stood there, barely five feet past the entrance he just came through.

Tyler felt completely out of his element. He looked over at his companion who was dressed much like most of the other guys in the club. Form fitting black pants with a black tank top and a silver half-sleeve shirt over it left unbuttoned. Tyler was just wearing his usual jeans and a blue t-shirt and looking totally out of place. “What are we supposed to do here?” He nearly had to yell just to get Drake to hear him clearly.

“Have fun,” he replied with a bright smile. It had been his idea to drag Tyler out to a real club in Pittsburgh for once. This was one of his favorite places to come dance and enjoy himself and just let go.

“I’m not a dancer.” The idea of gyrating his body in front of a crowd was not his idea of fun.

“Come with me.” Drake motioned for him to follow as he headed up to the bar. Tyler reluctantly went along with him, wishing he were just about anywhere else. When one of the half-naked bartenders stepped up to Drake, Tyler could hear his friend say, “two fireballs and two vodka cranberries.” He flashed Tyler a devilish smirk before saying. “We’re gonna have fun tonight for sure.”

Tyler groaned inwardly. Drake had talked him into coming here for a night. He said it was to get him out of his funk and to get him to experience something in the city for once. Skepticism was obvious in the beginning, but Drake’s enthusiasm won him over and he finally agreed. He didn’t think to ask if he should dress a certain way or expect to be in a place he never thought of going before now. Now, he was looking around and noticing guys kissing each other very heavily on the dancefloor and in other spots around the bar.

The bartender returned with two shot glasses and two other glasses. Drake paid for the drinks as he flashed the guy a playful smile before turning to Tyler, holding out one of the shot glasses to him. “Here you go.”

Tyler looked at it dubiously but took it and looked at him. “So, what is it?”

Drake chuckled. “Only one way to find out.” He raised his own shot glass out to Tyler before bringing it to his lips and tossing it back, drinking the entire shot in one gulp.

Tyler watched him and figured if Drake could do it, he could. He copied Drake’s example and tipped his head back as he drank the contents of the shot glass. The second it was down, his eyes widened in alarm as the liquid fire burned down his throat and into his stomach. He felt like wherever the liquor touched him was starting to melt inside. Drake’s face reddened as his own body reacted to the sudden introduction of the cinnamon flavored alcohol, but his experience taught him to relax and enjoy the moment which passed relatively quickly.

Tyler felt like he was going to die in the next ten seconds. He struggled to get his breath but the fire inside him seemed to not want to abate. Drake chuckled as he watched Tyler fight a losing battle inside him. “Relax, stud. Breathe. You’ll feel better.”

He forced his lungs to take in air and the moment passed, leaving him with just a warmth in his stomach that was surprisingly not unpleasant. “What the hell was that?!”

“A fireball,” Drake answered. “A new experience for you.”

“Never doing that again,” he replied.

“The more you do it, the easier it gets. Here.” He picked up one of the other drinks he ordered and handed it to him. “This’ll make you feel better.”

Tyler took the glass with less confidence than the last one and took a little sip first, just in case this one made his head explode. It didn’t and he took a larger sip, feeling better for it. Drake had been watching him and when he saw the relief on Tyler’s face, he couldn’t help but laugh. “Come on. Let’s find a spot.”

“A spot for what?” He followed along as they went around the dance floor and past crowds of men and some women who seemed to just be standing around with drinks in hand conversing together. How they managed to hear each other, Tyler had no clue. Drake headed towards the back of the building, looking behind him to make sure he didn’t lose Tyler. They could see another long bar that looked just like the first one near the door. To the side were a few standing tables.

Drake went up to one of the tables and set his drink down and looked at Tyler with a pleased grin. Tyler took another drink and looked around at the mass of people in front of him. He had to admit that there was plenty to look at and enjoy. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. On the dancefloor he could see guys grinding and moving to the beat of the music. The lights would shine over them and they looked very sexy as they sweated and moved. Many of them had no shirts on and a few looked like they were in just boxer briefs. They were definitely worth looking at. He glanced over at Drake who was also watching the floor and smiling to himself. “So, what are we supposed to do,” Tyler asked him.

Drake looked at him with an exasperated grin. “Just have fun, stud! You do whatever you want to do and whoever you wanna do. There is never a point other than to just have fun. Explore. There’s probably a hundred guys you could go home with tonight if you wanted too. Get drunk. Get high. Dance!” The last he added with a laugh before he drank down the rest of his drink and stripped his silver shirt off and let it fall on the table before walking up to the dancefloor.

Tyler stared at him as Drake effortlessly seemed to slide his body into the mass of people dance and moving to the beat of the music all around them. He watched for a moment longer as Drake began to dance alongside a couple other guys next to him. Tyler felt a pang of jealousy at how easily Drake just seemed to blend into the crowd. He quickly finished his drink and moved over to the bar to get something else. When the bartender asked him what he wanted, he decided to go ahead and got a rum and Coke instead of a beer. If Drake wanted him to try out new things, then he may as well go for it.

He still couldn’t understand why he had let Drake talk him into coming all the way into Pittsburgh just for some drinks. They hadn’t had many chances to hang out together in months because of all the other things going on in their lives. Drake’s situation with the guy he had been seeing fell apart and he hadn’t been too interested in sharing the details of how it all ended. In return, Tyler had told Drake about Alex and how things ended so badly. He had felt better since the last weekend spending time with Andy and his boyfriend. But the lingering sense of loneliness kept occupying his thoughts most of the time and kept him from really feeling like himself.

It was halfway through that drink when the alcohol started to kick in. Drake was just returning to the table to grab his shirt and get another drink when he felt the effects start. Drake noticed to and sauntered up, looking sexier than he did when he first started dancing. He had kept his tank top on, but Tyler could see a thin sheen of sweat on his arms and an energized smile on his face. “What’re you drinking?”

Tyler looked at his glass and looked back up at Drake. “Something good.”

Drake laughed and leaned in to take a sip of it. “Uh, oh. I can taste Captain Morgan in there. Better be careful.”

Tyler waved his hand. “I’m good. It’s not that bad.”

“Okay then,” Drake replied with a smirk. “Wanna do another shot?”

“Sure,” he replied without even thinking.

They went to the bar together and Drake gave Tyler a mischievous grin as he said to the bartender, “gimme two Kamikazies.”

Tyler looked from him to the bartender and back as a slot smirk started to lift his lips. “What’s that?

“You’ll love it. It’s got orange liquor in it. Goes down smooth.” He was also aware that it would probably lower Tyler’s inhibitions and allow him to really enjoy himself. The one thing that’s always frustrated him about Tyler was how uptight and proper he always felt he had to be. Being a good person was fine and all, but there’s a lot more fun to be had if you just let yourself go and live in the moment.

The bartender placed the shots in front of them and they downed them quicker than the first ones. Tyler felt a slight burn, but he didn’t care at that point. He was feeling happy for the first time in months and didn’t want it to stop. It took him a moment to recover, and by then he was feeling a little lighter and calmer than he felt since he walked in. Drake leaned in towards him and kissed him on the lips. It was a strange feeling for Tyler, being kissed out in the open with crowds of people milling around him. It wasn’t really a lover’s kiss. It felt more friendly yet no less intimate. They may never be lovers, but Tyler knew he was always going to love Drake on some undefinable level in his life. The fact that no one who happened to be looking their way only gave him a better sense of safety in this strange place.

Drake smiled when he didn’t feel Tyler tense up when they kissed. “How are you feeling?”

“Great,” he replied. He glanced around seeing all the men more involved with themselves and their own groups than the two of them. Impulsively, he kissed Drake, letting their lips linger just a little longer. Kissing someone made his entire body tingle and he wanted to feel that again. “Thank you.”

Drake felt like he was watching Tyler change right before his eyes. He wanted to do the right thing for his friend. “Are you feeling great enough to wanna dance with me now?”

Tyler still felt a slight hesitation as he looked over at all the dancing people. There were so many men and even a few women moving their bodies. They all looked so relaxed and energized at the same time. Some stomped and moved their arms about while others seemed to gyrate their bodies as if absorbing the music and make it a part of themselves. But they all looked so alive. He wished he could feel like that. “I’ve never danced before.”

It wasn’t a denial, so Drake knew it was time to get him moving. “It’s time for you to let go, stud,” he whispered into Tyler’s ear. “It’s not about looking good in front of everyone. It’s about feeling good for your own sake. Come dance with me. I’ll stay with you for as long as you need me. I promise.”

Drake took his hand and gave him a small tug. Tyler let himself be taken closer to the dance floor, excitement and fear vying for supremacy inside him. Maybe it was the drinks or the fact that he was with one of his closest friends that got him to just relax and step into the middle of the mass of dancing bodies around him? Drake moved behind him, rubbing the tips of his fingers against his hips just under the hem of his shirt. The intimate feel of Drake’s hands on him with the music beating around him sent a surge through him. “Close your eyes and move with me.” Drake began moving his hips slowly at first, getting Tyler’s body to follow along with his. Tyler’s trust in him was what made his first movements possible. He felt awkward and still unsure of himself. “Stop thinking,” Drake said as his lips brushed against his ear, “just feel the music. Stop being who you think everyone else wants you to be and just be you tonight.”

The alcohol and being in a place where everyone was just like him or accepting of who he was gave Tyler a freedom he had never felt before. As Drake’s fingers slid up his sides, it sent a current up through his body and the final walls came down within him. As the music played around him, his body began to move again with more confidence. It felt so simple and natural. The hands holding him felt like training wheels on a bike. But he didn’t need that help anymore. He was free. Finally, to be who he was and feel proud of himself. Free to love with all his heart and soul. He turned his body to look into Drake’s eyes. Eyes that showed surprise but a brightening smile that encouraged him and celebrated the newly risen phoenix in his arms.

Tyler’s eyes were lit with an inner fire that Drake hoped would not die out once the alcohol was gone. He felt Tyler’s arms go around his neck and suddenly he was the one in control, moving Drake’s body to his own rhythm within the music. Pressing their bodies together, they danced to the music of Tyler’s own song. As they held onto each other and danced to the music, Tyler found a new kind of love he’d never really knew he had been missing all this time in his life. Love for himself.

Tyler wanted to cry out. Shout and yell. He wanted to show the world this new person that he had finally discovered within himself. He felt rather than saw another person dance up against his body. When he saw the unspoken request to join in, he released himself from Drake and danced with this handsome stranger who fell into step with Tyler’s moves as if he had become caught in his orbit.

Drake stayed close by but let Tyler have his fun. It didn’t take him long to find his own groove and Drake was more than a little surprised when Tyler allowed one of the guys lift his shirt up and off him, letting it fall to the floor. Drake had the sense to pick it up and stuff it in the back of his pants and continuing to dance along with everyone else. He let his guard down a little. As long as Tyler was within his eyesight, he was fine letting him dance and grind next to whoever he wanted. And grind he did. He was relaxed and picking up moves with his various partners. None of them showed any overt sexual interest in Tyler other than as another dance partner but they definitely enjoyed his body. Maybe if Tyler wanted, he could hook up with any of them if he chose. Possibly two or more if he was wanting to really broaden his horizons.

After a couple songs, Tyler was working up a sweat and Drake figured they should both take a break. He gave Tyler a few more seconds before he came up to him and said into his ear, “let’s get something to drink before you pass out.” Tyler smiled, shrugged somewhat reluctantly, and they made their way off towards the bar.

Drake ordered them two waters. They both needed a break from drinking for the moment and the water will help Tyler recover. “I never knew how much fun this could be,” Tyler said before taking a long drink from his water.

Drake laughed. “I’m glad you came. How do you feel?”

“Like I could run a marathon.” He looked around and only just then noticed his shirt was gone. “Oh, fuck. Where’s—”

“Here,” Drake pull Tyler’s shirt out and handed it over to him.

“Thanks.” Tyler surprised him by not putting it back on, opting instead to hang it off the back of his jeans.

Drake’s smile widened. “You sure you’re okay?”

Tyler watched three guys not much older than him walk by. All three of them were wearing just underwear and black boots, showing off their lean muscled bodies. “Better than okay right now.”

“Easy, stud.” Drake put a hand on his shoulder. The look in Tyler’s eyes and how he was leaning back against the bar made him look so sexy. He wondered if Tyler even knew. “You’re just getting started. There’ll be plenty of time for fucking the twinks in your life later.”

Tyler giggled and looked back at him. “Yeah, I know. I’m just… I dunno. I feel really good.”

“You wanna dance some more?”

Tyler gazed over the crowd. “Not just yet. I wanna catch my breath and see if there’s anything else I’ve missed in here. Oh, hey, can we do another shot?”

Drake chuckled. “Finish your water and we’ll see.”

Tyler grinned and finished the rest of his water. He pulled his shirt out of the back of his pants and used it to wipe some of the sweat off his chest. Drake watched with mild fascination as he did so and caught more than a few young men staring at Tyler intently. They finished their waters and Drake took Tyler around the rest of the club in case he starts to get curious and wanders off on his own. While he wanted Tyler to feel free to do whatever he wanted, he was also aware that bad things can sometimes happen, and he didn’t want to completely lose sight of him.

After doing a circuit around the club, and Drake felt Tyler was a little more sober than before, they stopped at one of the bars and ordered another round of shots followed by another mixed drink. Tyler still had that new energized look on him, and he still hadn’t bothered putting his shirt back on when the music and the lights in the club changed. The beat seemed to slow, and the music had a sultry sound to it.

Tyler felt the urge and didn’t fight it. He turned to Drake and smiled before taking his hand and pulling him towards the floor. “Come on. I wanna dance.”

Drake laughed softly as he let Tyler take him. “I thought you didn’t dance.”

“Shut up.” Tyler put his arms around Drake and pulled him into a kiss before they began to dance together.

They kept pace to the music which wasn’t very difficult considering that the music playing now wasn’t as fast as it was previously. Around them, couples seemed to be pairing up but neither of them seemed to notice. Drake could feel Tyler’s body relax and a playful smile on his lips as they danced. He felt so lucky to have a trusted friend like him. A part of him wished they could be more, but he knew it just wasn’t meant to be. They were friends. Maybe more than just friends but it would never go anywhere other than that. And that was enough for him. If he could make Tyler’s problems drift into the background for a little while, that’s all that mattered. And he didn’t feel all that alone when he was with his friend.

Tyler was still buzzing and feeling on top of the world as they moved around the floor. He would sometimes press his crotch against Drake’s in what felt a lot like intense flirting. The first few times he did it, Drake laughed quietly and gripped him a little tighter. Knowing he wasn’t used to this kind of physical contact with someone, he invited Tyler to explore and experiment to find a new way to express himself. It was something Max had taught him years ago and he felt it only right to pass on what he’d learned. In the back of his mind the entire time they danced, Drake found himself thinking, ‘Max would have loved him.’

After a few songs, they mutually decided to head back to the bar. Tyler was feeling thirsty again after what felt like a good workout, but Drake just wanted some water. “Did I thank you yet for bringing me out here,” Tyler asked as he smiled at his friend.

“I figured that last dance we had was my reward for all my hard work,” he replied with a chuckle.

“Well, maybe later I’ll thank you again.” He giggled happily. “I think I’m drunk.”

“You’re definitely drunk and it’s only just past midnight. Drink anymore and your pants will be the next thing coming off.”

They both laughed and Tyler tossed back his water. When he looked back at Drake his smile suddenly dropped, and he got a wide eyed, almost panicked look. “Oh, fucking shit!”

“What?” Drake saw his eyes going just behind him and he turned. Standing just a few feet away was a familiar person he’d seen but couldn’t remember his name. It was hard to miss him though.

He was wearing a pair of white shorts that clung to him like a second skin from his waist down to just above his knees, bright white shoes and a white mesh top that seemed to sparkle with hints of gold woven into it. The mesh was more fashionable than functional as his sculpted chest and abs were plain for all to see. The man’s eyes were fixed on Tyler as his mouth seemed to have fallen open in shock. “Tyler?!”

Tyler gulped as his face paled slightly. He was suddenly very aware of how exposed his body was and how he must appear. “Sean. Hi.”

“Hey,” Sean said as he took a step towards him. His eyes were constantly looking up and down Tyler’s body. “You… you look amazing. I never thought I’d see you here in a place like this.”

Tyler’s nervousness was overcoming the alcohol inspired bravery he had what only felt like a second ago. The first thought that became clear to him was Sean was gay and now knew he was gay as well. “Well… Drake wanted me to come.”

Drake started to get a little concerned and moved next to Tyler, putting a supportive hand on his back. “I was wanting him to have some fun outside of Kellington.”

“Oh.” Sean watched the two of them together, coming to the conclusion that they were there together. “Aren’t you the bartender there?”

Drake smiled and couldn’t help but feel a sudden awkward air about them. “Yeah. Just on Sunday and Monday nights, though.”

Sean nodded absently. “I see. Well, it was good… seeing you outside of work, Tyler. I guess I’ll see you Monday.”

“Yeah. Sure.” Tyler managed a smile before Sean walked away.

Drake watched as Sean blended back into the crowd before looking over at Tyler. “What happened?”

“I don’t know.” Tyler turned to the bartender, pulling his shirt back on before ordering another rum and coke.

“It looked like he was friendly enough,” Drake said. He’d had so much to drink he was trying to remember the guy, but his memory was murky at best. “You seemed to like him.”

“He’s…. I work with him,” he explained. “And I was kind of his boss for awhile and he stares at me a lot.”

“Like how some of the guys here have been staring at you?”

“Pretty much,” he said with a frown and a sigh. Why did he suddenly freeze up? He got his drink and took a generous drink while he thought it through. If it had been Andy walking up on him out of nowhere, he knew he wouldn’t have reacted the way he did. A few months ago, if it had been Jacob, he would have stripped his shirt off his muscled chest himself, right there in front of God and everybody. Everyone else he knew, he probably would have had the same reaction, yet with Sean it was different, and he couldn’t figure out why. He took another breath and downed the rest of his drink. It left him feeling a little dizzy, but right now he’d rather feel dizzy and confused. “Okay. I’m better now.”

“You wanna stay here or go home?” Drake wasn’t wanting to ruin Tyler’s good mood. They had been having so much fun together, he didn’t want the night to end badly for him.

“No, let’s stay. A couple more drinks and I’ll be ready to go ahead, if you want.”

Drake smiled and replied, “Two more shots and then we’ll dance until close. Get some food down the street to sober up and head home, how’s that sound?”

Tyler smiled and leaned in to kiss him in a slightly more than friendly way. “That sounds perfect.”




Brian laid in bed with a peaceful smile on his face. The day before had been more fun than he had expected. Getting to spend an entire day with Andy was like a dream. Lately their schedules hadn’t meshed very well, and he had been coming home late for the last week and barely had time to spend with each other before they both collapsed into bed together. But yesterday had been their Saturday together. Andy had conned David and Jacob to take the boys Friday night which left the two of them alone for the majority of Saturday. They spent the time together catching up on sex, Netflix and just talking.

And then there was Andy’s cooking.

He had been so sweet but demanding that everything be perfect, so Andy “forced” Brian to stay in the living room while he cooked dinner. Whatever it was he was cooking smelled delicious. At first, he thought it was some sort of beef dish but then he could detect chicken in the air that was wafting through the house from the kitchen. Every time he playfully shouted out a guess, Andy would yell at him that he had no idea what he was in store for. After half an hour, Brian was starting to get seriously irritated (and hungry) the longer he had to wait.

“I’m about to come in there and eat you,” he had shouted over his shoulder as he watched ‘Orange is the new Black.’

“Do me a favor and go take a hot bath,” came the response from Andy. “I’ll let you know when you can come out.”

“Still not giving any clues?” he shouted as he turned off the Netflix and turned to walk down the hall. He started to sneak a peek into the kitchen when Andy, wearing an apron and a smug half-smirk appeared, blocking his view.

“Your clue is, ‘I’m not gonna tell you until it’s done, and it’ll be done in a few minutes.’ How’s that?”

Brian tried to glare at him, but it came off as a comical frown. “Fine. I bet you burned it all and you’re just waiting for the delivery guy to come save your ass.”

“Stewarts do not burn their food,” he responded to Brian’s back as he marched out in a huff.

Brian went to take his bath and decided to just relax and let Andy have his way. Whatever he had planned, it wasn’t worth needling him about it for now. He opted to go slow in picking out some clothes before going into the bathroom and taking a long shower. He reasoned that if Andy was going to pull off some amazing stunt, he better be ready to give him his reward later after the boys were home and in bed. He made quick work before getting out and drying off before getting some more casual clothes to wear before bed.

When he opened the door, Andy was standing right there, that smug smirk of his in full bloom as he looked into Brian’s eyes. “Are you ready,” he asked as he held his hand out to him.

“To eat a horse,” Brian replied before he took the offered hand.

Andy quickly turned the light off in the bathroom and Brian realized that the entire house was dark. “Follow me,” Andy said in a more subdued voice.

Brian followed him down the dark hallway until he saw a faint glow coming from the area near the dining room. When they stepped out of the hall, his mouth opened in silent surprise to see the table covered in a tablecloth. On top of that was two place settings, two lit white candles and a plethora of food. “What is this?”

Andy moved over to the table. “Filet mignon with a garlic butter of my own making, skillet cooked chicken breasts with brussels sprouts, pecans, a little bit of garlic and…” he turned to look back at Brian, “a honeycrisp apple I saved from our Labor Day weekend at the home of our friends.” He stood there, waiting for Brian’s reaction.

Brian stared at him for a moment before he began to chuckle softly. “Wow. You’ve really outdone yourself I think.” He shook his head. “I really don’t know what to say.”

“That’s the beauty of it,” Andy said as he stepped up to his lover and put his arms around him. “You just need to eat it.”

Brian kissed him softly before Andy released him and allowed him to sit down. Andy poured him a glass of wine before he joined him for a candlelit dinner for just the two of them.

It had been a perfect night between them and when he fell asleep in Andy’s arms, he couldn’t find words to describe how perfect and complete he felt. The one man in his entire life who had complete ownership of his heart showed him just how important their relationship was to him and all he had to do was create a meal to prove it.

But now, it was Sunday morning and the reality of having to go back to work the next day made him want to stay in bed until January first when he would be free to stay here with Andy and his children for good. Maybe Troy will get him a job, though he doubted he’d do very good nailing siding to a wall.

He already knew Andy was out of bed or else he’d still be wrapped in a marine cocoon. As many times as they slept over at one or the other’s house when they were kids, Andy had never been the kind of person to be that cuddly in bed. Even the handful of times they had sex before he left to join the marines, he slept next to him with maybe a hand around his midriff. Now, it sometimes felt like being wrapped head to toe in someone else. It might have been annoying in the past if it were someone else, but now it felt endearing.

Brian opened his eyes finally only to find bright green eyes looking at him under a bright splash of red hair. Blake’s face lit up with a huge smile seeing him awake. “Hi!”

Brian closed his eyes again and clenched his jaw slightly to suppress a fit of giggles from erupting inside him. He was still getting used to these surprises in the morning. Blake seemed the most adept at entering and exiting a room without making a sound and it made Brian’s heart melt each time he would wake up to that face that seemed so happy to see that he was still there. “Hi.”

“Daddy made pancakes.” No asking how he slept, or if he had any dreams. No checking to see if he was naked or clothed. Nope. Just a report on the breakfast menu.

He wasn’t going to be able to keep a straight face for long. “That sounds yummy.” Brian had a working theory that Blake was on a one-boy mission to insert himself into Brian’s heart one way or another. Today, it seemed he was attempting to be Brian’s concierge.

“There’s orange juice too.”

Brian nodded, biting his lip. It’s possible Andy was using him as a proxy to endear himself to Brian even more.

“And milk.”

“Well, of course.” He took a breath and hoped he could do this without laughing. It’s not that he didn’t want to. He just didn’t want to make Blake think he was laughing at him. Which he would be, except not in a bad way. “If there any coffee?”

Blake shook his head vigorously. “Can’t have it.”

“Why not?”

“Daddy said…” There was a long enough pause to get Brian to open his eyes again as Blake tried to form words that he wasn’t used to using. “No fly putiter.”

One small little laugh escaped his lips. The last word was a mystery that he couldn’t quite decipher. “I see. Well, go tell daddy that I will be in once I get dressed.”

“Okay!” The little red headed boy turned and ran out of the room as if he had warp drive.

Brian used this time alone to silently work out the giggles he had contained inside him as he quickly got out of bed and found something to put on before Blake returned with a new progress report. He threw on some of Andy’s gym shorts, a simple shirt and then wiped his eyes before he headed into the kitchen. Before he was down the hall and into front room, he could hear Blake giving Andy his opinion. “He’s getting up. He wants pancakes.”

“Well then, good thing I made plenty. Now get to the table and I’ll get your plate ready.”

Hearing Andy’s voice every time he spoke to his boys secretly made Brian’s heart melt that much more for him. He was more attentive and while they might not hear it, Brian could hear how much he loved his boys. It brought the best out in him. Brian stopped in the doorway to the kitchen and observed the back of Andy’s body as he was preparing Sunday breakfast. It wasn’t something he did every day since they had busy lives with getting ready for school and work and all of them going in opposite directions through the week so that it made spending time together in the morning difficult. But Andy had wanted to make Sunday mornings just for them. The afternoon they could spend with their friends or going out and having fun somewhere in town doing whatever they might feel like. But Sunday mornings were just for them.

“What’s this I hear about no coffee this morning,” Brian asked with a menacing smirk.

Andy turned and looked at him. His eyes lit up a little more as he saw his lover standing there in the doorway. “We have coffee. What made you think we didn’t?” Andy moved to the pot and poured a mug full for Brian.

“Blake said something about we can’t have it. He also mentioned something about ‘putiter?’” He took the offered mug and went to add sugar to it.

Andy laughed. “He can’t have it. He asked me for some awhile back and I told him if I were to let him have it, he’d fly all the way to Jupiter and back.”

Brian laughed lightly before taking a sip from his mug. “So, when do we get these pancakes?”

“Go sit down and I’ll bring them out.” He stepped over to kiss Brian on the cheek before going back to his work.

Brian went to sit down and looked around at Blake in his seat and Tanner sitting next to him. He looked at them and all the similarities they have with their father. His smile, his eyes, his laugh. It was that moment as Andy was bringing in their breakfast that Brian realized that he wasn’t just going to be spending his life with Andy. They were going to be a family. The thought filled him with a warm joy he hoped would never go away.




Tyler had been sluggish all day as he recovered from his night out with Drake. He spent his morning sleeping and then slowly moving around the house as his head recovered from his hangover. The food had helped some after they left the club, but he forced himself to get up earlier than he should have so he didn’t waste the entire day away. In hindsight, he realized he should have just stayed in bed.

Around noon, he got a text from Drake checking up on him. He let Drake know he was fine and assured him that he had a great time and wouldn’t mind doing it again sometime. After that, he called his dad. He sounded quieter than usual and he made the decision that he was going to go visit him this week. If it meant he could go a few days not having to see Sean at work.

He still couldn’t understand why he reacted the way he did. He also couldn’t forget how Sean looked. Like some kind of kinky, seductive angel with its wings clipped. He still gets shivers thinking about the look in Sean’s eyes. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Sean. He liked him a lot. Sean was fun at work and always had a smile on his face. They always had good conversations even if they were a little impersonal. Sean still seemed to be pretty private in many ways. Tyler started to feel bad that he hadn’t invited Sean to join them. Maybe he screwed that up to, just like he screwed up…

He cut that line of thought as soon as it started. He was tired of feeling guilty for not knowing any better. He really had come to love Alex and felt comfortable with him. But he had ruined it in a moment of stupidity. He had to accept that that was over and never going to come around. Sean did seem to look more than a little interested though. Maybe when he feels ready, he’ll ask Sean out on a date. It’s time he stopped waiting for someone to come to him.

As the sun set, he texted Andy to see how his date night with Brian went. He’d mentioned his idea of a romantic dinner with Brian a few days ago and he was curious how things turned out. He put a frozen pizza in the oven while he waited for a response. Sometime later, Andy texted back and let him know everything went off as planned. He offered Tyler to come by through the week and hinted that he was hoping to share a joint with him. Tyler responded and told him they’d make that happen.

After the sun set and his pizza was gone, Tyler was laying on the sofa playing “Final Fantasy XV” when he heard a knock at the door. He paused the game and went up to answer. In his mind, he couldn’t think of who might be coming over so late. As he opened the door, the sight on the other side caused his eyes to widen and his heart to beat faster.


The tall man stood there, looking uncertain as he stared first at Tyler and then down at the ground between them. “Hi.”

Tyler was trying to think of what to say. He never expected to see him again after how he left. “What… what brings you by?” He felt like an idiot.

Alex stood there as he studied the space between them. “I just… wanted to see you.”

Moving back a step, he held the door open and said quietly, “you want to come in?”

Alex seemed to hesitate for a moment before he stepped inside. They both stood there as Alex slowly looked up from the floor into Tyler’s eyes. “I… ah… I’ve been thinking… About what happened.”

Tyler felt guilt come back. He wanted to touch him. Kiss him and tell him what he felt in his heart. “Alex, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I was trying to protect you and I was so nervous, I wasn’t thinking and just wanted to get out of the situation as fast as possible.”

Alex nodded his head. “It’s okay. I… I don’t know what came over me. I just… I’d been waiting, I guess. Because I wasn’t sure how you felt about… about what we were doing.”

A rush of that confidence he had the night before creeped back into him as he asked him, “what were you waiting to do exactly? Tell me something?”

“This isn’t easy for me,” Alex said in a moment of frank honesty. “I… I wasn’t sure how you felt about me.”

“We talked about you moving in. I love you, Alex.” There. He said it. It was out now. It might have been lost in translation before when they were both upset and not really listening but here and now, he made it clear to Alex how he felt. “You made me so happy when we were together. I never wanted that to end. I still don’t.”

Alex took a step towards him. “I’m sorry I flipped out. But I need to admit that this isn’t just a fling or just fucking around. I love you too. And I want us to be together.”

A weight suddenly fell from Tyler’s heart and he moved closer to put his hand on Alex’s. “I want you to stay here. With me. I know it might seem like I’m rushing things, but I want to make up for how I made you feel.”

Alex’s face brightened as he leaned in closer to Tyler’s face. “I don’t want to leave you again. I’ll stay as long as you want me.”

“I…” His voice faltered as he had to gather all of his thoughts. “We need to put you moving in on hold for a couple days though. I need to go visit my dad.”

Alex seemed disappointed but nodded. “Alright. When you get back, we can talk more. What about tonight?”

“Tonight, it would make me feel a lot better if you’d stay here.”

Alex’s smile appeared as he leaned in closer. “I’ve missed you.”

Tyler closed his eyes and felt their lips come together in a gentle kiss. He’d been given a second chance and he was going to make sure he was going to be the best boyfriend Alex could ever hope for.

Copyright © 2019 Jdonley75; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

Loved the chapter! I loved the Andy and Brian moments.  I’m glad Tyler was able to cut loose! It’s confirmed Sean’s gay too. Alex is back...hmm. Thank you! 

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6 hours ago, spikey582 said:

Why is Tyler letting that fucking loser off the hook like that?  He just shows up at the door unannounced and Tyler is apologizing to him.  What a pushover.  

Tyler is letting him back because he thinks he's in love.  It's unclear if it's going to work out or not at this point. 

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Posted (edited)

I'm glad Tyler enjoyed himself at the club with Drake, although I admit I was a bit concerned with the amount of alcohol the pair of them seemed to be consuming (but that probably says more about me than it does about the boys). I was also pleased to hear Drake's thoughts about the relationship between himself and Tyler. I take back those doubts I expressed about Drake's character when he first entered Tyler's life in the early part of this story. And, although I'm often wrong with my suppositions, it turns out I was right when I wrote this in my comment to the last chapter: "And who knows who they might meet at the club? I don't know why I'm thinking Sean might be there." But that meeting went a little strangely. Tyler obviously fancies Sean, but I still reckon there's more to Sean than meets the eye. Tyler even wondered the next day about inviting him out on a date, but that may now be forgotten about with the return of Alex... :unsure2: And I'm still not sure about Alex. He may be the one for Tyler, but I still have a bad feeling about him...

And I hope Tyler's planned visit with his Dad goes okay.

Good to see Brian and Andy so happily together. Like Brian, I was also completely confused by Blake's No fly putiter comment. Unlike Brian though, I did laugh out loud when I found out what it meant! And I really hope that Brian's final thought: "They were going to be a family. The thought filled him with a warm joy he hoped would never go away" comes true. I just fear, if only because of Andy's PTSD, that there may be a number of twists and turns ahead before it finally does (hopefully) come true.

Good stuff, @Jdonley75! :thankyou:


Edited by Marty
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7 hours ago, Okiegrad said:

Sea totally intrigued me.  He is the one meant for Tyler.  There is a lot more to him than we’ve seen so far.  His appearance in the club, his Gold Amex, his perfect appearance.  I’m betting that Sean ends up playing quite a pivotal role later on.  Loving the story!

Sean does like to keep his secrets.  What kind of role Sean plays remains to be seen.  I think Alex is going to be Tyler's main priority for awhile.

Glad you're loving the story as much as I'm loving writing it.

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7 hours ago, Kitt said:

Think the boys need to talk more and Alex needs to get his head on straight.  The whole blow up was because Tyler was trying to keep things low key as Alex had asked!

Not sure exactly which "boys" you are referring to, but don't worry.   Everyone's going to be heard one way or the other.  Alex's blow up and Tyler's response might hint at future moments with them.

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6 hours ago, Bill Christiansen said:

I do t trust Alex. Think he's a "user" and not a partner

You may be onto something.  However, if Kyle were here, he'd probably point out that you can't convict a person on your feelings. (He did that once and it ended badly.)

Guess that means you'll just have to come back and see what happens next. :)

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5 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Both Alex and Tyler have issues that need to be dealt with - Tyler with self-confidence that seems to be improving, though not completely strong enough yet, and Alex with his denial/fear of being open.  While I said before that it appeared that Alex was emotionally abusive to Tyler, it can also be interpreted as his overpowering fear of being openly himself and thus, was lashing out and avoiding his own truth.   Great chapter JDonley 75.  You're keeping us eager to see the development of these characters and the story.


I'd like to think one of my better traits is the ability to hook people into really wanting to know what happens next.  (And also I'm pretty good at misdirection. :gikkle:)  Alex and Tyler do indeed both have issues.  But I think you may only be about 75% right about them. :)  

Keep on reading, Tony.  The best parts are yet to come.

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5 hours ago, Andre Delport said:

Agree  with the comments above - still have a baaaaad feeling about Alex - I think he's a sponger/leech (the latter is worse than the former and I can't make up my mind which one he is yet. I predict more heartbreak for Tyler (maybe then The Team will get involved - then heaven help Alex! I really hope I am proved wrong  about Alex - time will tell as will the author!!

Alex does seem to have that "oily bastard" appearance about him as far as everyone else is concerned...

If he ends up hurting Alex and one of his friends finds out..... :unsure:

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