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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 - 20. Chapter 20

He was tired from hours of patrolling the hills around their base camp. The others in his unit looked worse than he felt as they trudged step after step in their uniforms, weighed down by all the equipment on their backs with rifles in their hands. The sound of Mason’s bitching about the heat brought a smirk to his lips as he exchanged a glance with Brandon who just rolled his eyes. It was their fourth patrol that week. Air patrols reported movement in the hills nearby but so far, they’ve had no contact with any hostile forces.

Andy’s eyes scanned the area and his heart felt a tug on it, as if things were not as they seemed. He could remember being here but couldn’t recall when exactly. The bright sun overhead seemed to blind all of them despite the sunglasses they were wearing to cut down on the glare against the brightness all around them. He took a few more steps and stopped when he heard silence around him. He turned to see Brandon just standing there looking at him with a sad, almost expectant look on his face.

“This is where it ends,” Brandon said.

Andy looked behind them as saw the other men in his unit all standing there, arms to their sides, their faces hidden in the shadows of their helmets. It all felt so wrong suddenly. The air felt too hot even as the light around them seemed to grow fainter with each passing second. When he turned his attention back to Brandon, he was surrounded by swirling smoke which hid everything but that sad, loving smile and he could faintly hear him say, “I’ll be fine. Get to cover.”

The air was suddenly filled with gunfire and explosions. Andy reached out for him, but Brandon was suddenly drifting away, and Andy’s legs were unable to move so that he could follow. A sense of foreboding filled his heart and he cried out, but Brandon’s face remained locked in that perpetually sad smile as he got farther away until he seemed to tip and fall into a ditch, several yards away. His heart thudded in his chest, but he couldn’t make a sound. He knew he should warn the others, but he didn’t know what to say.

The fighting around him stopped but everything was still cast in a gloomy darkness that his eyes couldn’t penetrate. Andy knew he had to find him.

“Go on. Go take a look.”

Andy whipped his head around, seeing the face of the guys in his unit huddled around him. Panic filled his heart as he looked from one to the other. The faces were of the friends and brothers he had fought with who he had watched die in one manner or another. From accidents to crashes, bullets, bombs and all manner of ways man had learned to kill man.

“Come on, Stewie. You’re on lookout. Go look.”

Andy turned back to where Brandon had drifted away but froze. He didn’t want to go. He didn’t want to look because it was the same thing each time when he went to look no matter how hard he tried to change it. “I can’t,” he said weakly.

“You have too. You lost him. You have to go find him.”

Andy’s feet started to move on their own despite his reluctance. The crunch of his boots on the terrain sounded like thunder in his ears as each step repeated the one before. He felt his strength starting to wane as the tears started to mount in his eyes. “Brandon,” he called out in a whisper. As he got closer, to the ridge, he could see the tip of a boot sticking out from the edge. The closer he got, the more of it he could see. He whimpered in despair as he could see a leg attached to the boot. He wanted to stop. He had to stop. He couldn’t see this. Not again. Please, don’t do this. But his feet kept moving no matter how hard he tried to stop.

Another step and he could see an arm. The hand was bloodied and missing a finger. But he knew that hand. He knew how those fingers had felt. When they touched his neck. His hip. His feet. The sound of a laugh, the playful taunt, the feel of his breath on Andy’s ear.

Andy was desperate to end this and screamed as he tried to will his legs to turn around and go back. But he was powerless to stop the inevitable as he heard what he always knew were the two last steps of his boots on the ground as he looked down and saw...

Andy’s eyes shot open as his body bolted upright in the bed. He gasped for breath before biting his lip to keep from screaming. In the blackness of the night, he could barely make out his new bedroom in his new house. The panic he felt in his dream was still present, leaving him wondering if he was still dreaming or not being in a new environment. The urge to run was so strong, the muscles in his legs were twitching. But he forced himself to breathe and take stock of his situation.

His heart was pounding in his chest, his hair was damp with sweat and he soon discovered the rest of his body was in a similar state. Andy scanned the darkness for anything moving and felt a relief that nothing looked amiss. He turned his head to the right and found Brian’s darkened form curled up nearby, sleeping peacefully. He took a few more breaths and gave his heart a moment to stop pounding in his head before he silently slid out of bed and tip toed out of the room and down the stairs.

Andy crept out of the house through the backdoor into the yard. He didn’t care that it was three days until Christmas or that he was only wearing his boxer briefs. He stumbled out into the freezing cold and sank to his knees and then let himself fall forward. As he lay there in the silence of a starless night, he let go of the tears of his grief and prayed for death. He didn’t make a sound as he let the tears run down onto the frozen ground under him. The cold air around him slowly worked its way into him and he started to think about how easy it would be to just lay here. Close his eyes and let himself just drift away. It would be so simple and so clean.

He lay there for another minute until the tears ran dry as they always did. Then sanity would return, and he knew he had to go back inside. He grunted as he got back on his feet and stumbled back inside. Once the door was locked again, he laid down on the couch, pulling a throw blanket over him to warm back up. It was a waste of time trying to get back to sleep and he knew it, but he laid there, staring up at the ceiling, hoping that maybe this time it would happen.

What happened instead was his mind replaying his memories from his times in Afghanistan. It may have been easier to ignore if it had been the bad memories. The times of blood, panic and fear. But more often, the memories were of the good times. Those precious moments in between the fighting and the dying that helped to make the time there less miserable. For an hour, he remembered those times when he felt like he was a part of something bigger than himself. The brotherhood of his fellow soldiers who slogged their way from one part of the country to another, following their orders and doing what was asked of them. The teamwork and the laughter at the end of a long mission. Those precious few moments where it didn’t feel like they were in a warzone.

He closed his eyes as a certain face and a certain memory started to come into focus. But he didn’t want it there. He wanted that face to go away and stop haunting him. The face was so beautiful, though. His cheeks and those eyes. That beautiful smile he had that could make a pitch-black night light up like a Christmas tree. Sometimes, he could still remember his voice. Andy sighed and forced himself back to the present, even if that brought its own dilemmas with it.

The only reason Harry Whitman was still among the living was because Brian answered the door instead of him. In the few seconds he saw the bastard standing there, he visualized how hard and how many times he wanted to punch Brian’s father until he could grab his neck with both hands and twist until he heard a satisfying crack. He knew he shouldn’t think that way, but it was impossible to ignore. He failed to protect one person he loved. He wasn’t going to repeat the same mistake again.

Eventually, Andy got off the couch and snuck upstairs to put some more clothes on. He ducked into the bathroom to check himself in the mirror. He looked like a man who needed coffee. He didn’t want to think about what else he saw staring back at him. It was still a couple hours until the sun rose, so he put off the coffee and went down in the lower floor to play some video games to pass the time.

That helped take his mind off his dreams until he saw the sky go from black to the stunted grey of a December overcast sky. He put the game away and headed upstairs to start the coffee and then make a decision on breakfast. The boys were out of school for the rest of the year and Brian was done with his teaching job which meant they would all be home the entire day. Since he didn’t have anything to do at work, it sounded like it was going to be just another lazy day.

He set to work getting the pans and ingredients ready for breakfast, knowing in a few minutes the boys and Brian would slowly trickle into the kitchen and he could focus on his family the rest of the day while the dreams of his past can be set in the back of his mind. But when night fell again, he knew the dreams would return.




Tyler sat at the table, drinking his coffee as he listened to the sizzle of bacon on the stove nearby. “You don’t have to go all out just because I’m here, you know.”

David glanced over his shoulder from his place at the stove and grinned. “I like to cook. It reminds me of my younger days.”

Tyler smirked and gave in. “Well, if it makes you feel good, then I guess I’ll just have to put up with it.”

David chuckled silently. He’d enjoyed Tyler’s visits in the last month. They were never all that planned between the two of them. Tyler would sometimes just show up randomly and David was always happy to accommodate him. He assumed part of the reason for his visits was just a feeling of loneliness. At least that’s the feeling he got when he looked into the boy’s eyes. He didn’t press him too far on things and chose to just listen and chime in when he felt he needed too.

He had to grudgingly admit that Tyler’s visits made being alone for the first time in his life bearable. Before Jacob, he had Kyle all the time and before that, his wife and before that the marine corps. In forty years, he’d never felt as alone as he had the last few weeks. The other reason why he enjoyed Tyler’s visits was that in many ways, he reminded him of his son. It took him awhile to get the boy to relax, but once he did, David found Tyler to be a very dedicated young man to everything he did. He suspected the boy held some secrets back and he was tempted to ask more pointed questions or grill Troy and Andy about him, but he opted to just trust his instincts.

“Have to admit, you make good coffee,” Tyler remarked as he got up to refill his cup.

“I try to get the good stuff,” David replied. “Makes a hell of a difference when I’m trying to get Jacob moving in the morning.”

Tyler giggled and leaned up against the counter. “Jacob’s a little grouchy in the mornings?”

David snorted as he smirked again. “More like a zombie. Dunno how he’s gonna manage with a baby.”

Tyler blinked. “Baby? What baby? Emily?”

“No.” David glanced over at him as he was scrambling the eggs. “Kyle told me before they left that he and Jacob plan on having another baby once they’re married. Well, something along those lines.”

Tyler frowned slightly. “That’s… kind of a big decision, don’t you think?”

David shrugged. “Well, they talked it over for awhile, I guess. It’s not something they just spontaneously decided. Kyle can have a habit of flying off the handle at times but normally, with big decisions like that he tends to plan things out.”

“Still…” Tyler wasn’t sure he was comfortable talking about Jacob and his soon-to-be-husband. “It all seems to be happening pretty fast.”

“They went nearly ten years apart,” David replied. “That’s a long time for anybody. Normally, two people who don’t see each other that long don’t have the same feelings they used to have for each other. But they did. Oh, they tried to think they didn’t, but I know my boys and no amount of bullshit either of them said could deny the fact that the two of them were still in love with each other.”

“So, Jacob is really happy then?”

David’s lips lifted into a bright smile. He could sense some kind of reluctance on Tyler’s part about Jacob getting married. Now he understood why. “Yes, Tyler. He is very much in love and over the moon about being with Kyle again. And I can tell Kyle feels the same. They were just meant to be.”

“How did they meet?”

David chuckled as he reached in the cabinet for two plates. “Jacob nearly beat the shit out of some kid at school and Kyle stopped him.”

Tyler was perplexed. “That’s not the Jacob I know. What started that?”

“I don’t know exactly. But Jacob came from a broken home. His dad was abusive and used to take out his anger on his son. I think it started to rub off on Jacob at the time.” He started to dish the eggs and bacon along with some smoked ham onto some plates before leading Tyler to the table. “I think if Kyle hadn’t stopped him then, he probably would’ve turned out differently. That was their junior year, I think. It wasn’t a week after that first run in that the two of them became inseparable.”

Tyler sat down as David placed the plate in front of him and the two of them started in on their breakfast. The idea of Jacob being anything other than the careful and kind person that he’s known for over a year. It was an interesting notion that Kyle could have had such a big impact on him. “I haven’t met Kyle yet. Just seem to not be in the same room together or something.”

“You could drop by in a couple days,” David suggested. “They’ll be home for Christmas in a few days and you can meet him then. I’m sure he’ll like you.”

Tyler looked up at David. For a moment, it sounded like David was asking him to come. “I might. Not like I have much else to do.” Other than his attempts to avoid Alex, he really didn’t have much else planned most of the week. Their relationship had become strained. He couldn’t bring himself to outright accuse Alex of cheating on him. But he wasn’t sure what else to do.

“Come by Saturday before Christmas Eve,” David suggest. “You can have breakfast with us. Or you can come by Sunday night and have dinner with all of us.”

Tyler kept his face neutral as he shrugged, noncommittally. “Maybe. Just depends on what Ma has going on with Stan.”

“Her and Stan getting married,” David asked. “Sam tells me he’s a pretty decent guy. Ran into him at the office when Stan picked your mom up at work.”

Tyler relaxed into a small smile. “Yeah. He really is something. I’m glad Ma’s got someone who makes her feel special. She hasn’t mentioned them getting married, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re married by this time next year.”

“What about you,” David asked with a smirk. “Shouldn’t you be out there finding the man of your dreams?”

Tyler’s eyes dropped to his plate as he shrugged. “Guess so.”

“You guess so?” David snorted. “You’re old enough to date. What’s holding you back?”

Tyler searched for a plausible excuse. He wasn’t comfortable talking about Alex with David. He wasn’t even sure what to say. “I’m just… taking my time, I guess? I’m fine doing what I’m doing for now.”

David gave him a look that let Tyler know he was unconvinced. “No harm in trying, son. You’ll never know what can happen unless you try.”

Tyler frowned a little, remembering what happened over the last few months. “Yeah.”

David kept quiet and ate his eggs and bacon while he let Tyler mull over his words. He really was a lot like Kyle in some ways. Privately, he felt Tyler’s dad was an idiot for abandoning the boy when he was so young. If he had known about Tyler back then, he would’ve taken the boy in sooner.

They finished breakfast and David got up to clean but Tyler insisted on helping him. “You don’t need to do that,” David said.

“And you didn’t need to feed me, but you did,” he replied. “The least I can do is repay you by helping you clean up.”

“Guess I can’t argue with that.” David started washing the used dishes and pans while Tyler cleaned up the table and then helped him dry the dishes.

“Did you take your pills,” Tyler asked.

David smirked. “What pills?”

Tyler smiled at David’s weak attempt to sound innocent. “The pills I know you’re supposed to be taking. Jacob told me about them when I texted him the other night.”

“Oh. Those pills,” David muttered. “You want me to take one in front of you, so you know I’m being good?”

Tyler shrugged. “If you did, I could text Jacob back and tell him you’re taking them. If you don’t, then I guess he and Kyle will start calling you and then someone else will be over to make you take them…”

David gave him a bemused look. “Blackmailer.” He put his sponge in the sink and left the kitchen to the sound of Tyler’s quiet laugh.

Tyler finished up the dishes and drained the sink, putting away the final pan when David walked in. With a pill bottle in hand, David stepped up to the table and picked up the glass with the last remnants of his orange juice. He made a big show of swallowing the medication and washing it down with the last gulp of juice. “There,” he said as he sat the glass back down. “Happy?”

Tyler smirked as he pulled out his phone and typed out a message. “Ecstatic.”

“Are they paying you spy on me?”

“No,” Tyler replied. “This is just out of the goodness of my heart.”

“Keep it up and you’ll reach sainthood,” he replied dryly.

“My dream come true,” Tyler said with some sarcasm. A ping on his phone a moment later and he read it out loud. “Kyle wants to know when his next doctor’s appointment is.”

David groaned and rolled his eyes. “January twenty-first.” Tyler sent the reply and waited, looking at David with a sly grin. “I’m not sure if I like you anymore.”

“Well, if you want, Troy can come over and check up on you,” he offered helpfully.

“Okay, you’re back on my list,” David sat down, smirking to himself. “This is all Kyle’s doing, you know that, right?”

Tyler shrugged. “All I know is I got a text from Jacob last night asking me to check up on you since Andy and Troy both seemed to be busy.”

David wasn’t sure how truthful that was. He’d talked to Jacob about Tyler and his father’s passing. That Jacob was trying to give him something to take his mind off his troubles was probably closer to the truth, so he kept his mouth shut about it. “Well, they have kids and all that stuff.”

Tyler got a text on his phone and he glanced at it before reporting, “Jacob said if you need him to, he and Matt can come and take you.”

David’s eyes narrowed as he replied. “Tell him I said, ‘thank you, no.’”

“Done.” Tyler sent the message and then looked back up at David. “Need anything else?”

“No. What are your plans for today?”

Tyler shrugged. “Play some video games at home. Then dinner.” He left out the part about Alex coming home from work. Usually in a bad mood lately.

David shrugged. “Well, you can hang out here if you want. I think I’m having Andy and his crew over for dinner later.”

“I’ll think about it,” he answered evasively.

David just nodded and wished him a good day as he headed out the door for his trip back home.




“If you want anything else to drink, help yourself to the fridge,” Colleen said to her son as she and Stan were clearing off the table.

“Thanks,” he replied as he got up and went into the big living room in their house.

Stan and Colleen had been living together for months now and Tyler could see the good changes in his mom’s demeanor. She definitely seemed to carry herself with a different kind of look now. Stan was a tall, broad shouldered man with a big shaggy beard and a decent sized belly sticking over his belt. He was loud, boisterous and funny with an infectious smile that made his grey eyes light up.

Even without his mother’s insistence, Tyler could tell what she felt for Stan it was returned threefold. He was always kind and gentle towards her and did all the gentlemanly things a man does to win her approval. As Tyler sat on the sofa, he relaxed a bit as he listened to Stan and his mother’s casual banter in the kitchen as they put the dishes into the washer to run later. In a few minutes, Stan entered the room with two cups of coffee and handed one to Tyler as he sat down with his usual gleaming smile.

“Must be rough having nothing to do with your time while it’s too cold out,” Stan remarked as he sat back on the sofa.

Tyler smiled and shrugged. “I still got some savings to get me by. I paid up my rent for a couple months, so I don’t have to worry about that. Just have to be careful with what I spend.”

Stan nodded his approval. “If you run into any troubles, let me know and I’ll be happy to help.”

Tyler smiled a little brighter. “Thanks.” He took a drink of the coffee he had been handed and let himself relax. He wished Alex had come with him on this visit, but he didn’t like Colleen or Stan. Alex thought Stan was too arrogant and self-centered with the amount of money he makes as an investment manager. His office was in Pittsburgh, but he usually worked from home with the occasional trip into the city when he was needed for a meeting. Having come from a poor background, Alex seemed almost insulted by having to be around Stan.

Colleen stepped into the room with her own coffee and sat down on the loveseat near her son and her boyfriend. “How’s everything going with you, dear?”

Tyler shrugged. “Just like I was telling Stan. Boring mostly. I spend a little too much time at home. I think I’m gonna go back to the gym while I have the free time just to stay in shape. Other than that, I’m just waiting for Spring so I can get back to work.”

“And Alex?” His mother leaned a little closer in her seat, watching him.

Tyler glanced at the floor and then to his coffee as he replied, “it is what it is, Ma. Don’t worry about it.”

“I just… don’t understand what you see in him, sweetheart.”

Tyler sighed. He didn’t feel like getting into it. “It’s alright. He’s not that bad.” The more he thought on it, the worse he felt. But, if he got rid of Alex, who else would there be? He was pretty sure he didn’t want to be alone. After their last big fight last summer, Tyler had gone weeks without seeing Alex and he had been filled with guilt. He wasn’t sure he wanted a repeat of that. Despite how things were, he was confident he could find a way to fix their relationship. He just needed to love Alex and sometimes overlook his flaws. Even if he wanted to part ways with Alex, he pretty much closed the door on Drake and Sean left town and out of his life. Now that he thought about it, he didn’t even know Sean’s last name. He should check his personnel file at work next time he thinks about it.

Colleen looked at her son and sighed. “Well, just… be careful.”

“I will be.”

Stan turned his attention to Tyler. “Would you mind if we had a moment to talk in private?”

Tyler looked at him with mild surprise. “Uh... sure.”

Stan got up and smiled down at Colleen. “This should only take a few minutes.” She smiled and said nothing as she sat back and watched her boyfriend and her son leave the room.

Stan led Tyler to the back of the house where he kept his home office. They stepped inside and Stan closed the door behind them as he made his way over to his desk and sat down. When Tyler moved to sit on the other side, Stan said, “no need for you to sit, Tyler. I just wanted to show you something.” He opened a drawer in his desk and pulled an object out before standing again and coming around the desk to stand in front of him. Stan stood there for a breath before he opened his hand to reveal a small ring box.

Tyler looked at it in Stan’s hand and grinned. “Is that what I think it is?”

Stan smirked and opened the box. Inside was a diamond ring with three stones, the largest in the center. “I haven’t shown it to her yet,” he said. “I was planning on doing it around New Year’s Eve, but I wanted to ask you first.”

“Ask me what?”

“Ask you if it’s okay that I marry your mom,” he replied as if it should be obvious. “I haven’t been this happy in my life since my first wife died. We never got to have kids so, I kind of missed out on all that. But I love your mother and I like and respect you. So, I wanted to ask you first if you have any objections to me proposing to her.”

Tyler blushed a little in embarrassment. He didn’t feel it was his place to object even if he thought he had a good reason to. But he understood that Stan was a more traditional kind of man and this was a sign of his affection to both him and his mother. “No. I have no objections. She’s happy being with you and that’s all that matters to me.”

Stan smiled and closed the box. “Thank you. I just didn’t want to think I may be coming between a son and his mother. As much as I love her, I don’t want to take her away from you.”

Tyler chuckled. “Ma will be thrilled. And I’ll keep my mouth shut for now.”

“Good.” He put the box back in the drawer before he looked back at Tyler. “Now. What’s this business with this kid, Alex?”

Tyler rolled his eyes. “It’s… it’s no big deal. He’s just a little hard to deal with at times.”

Stan moved in close and looked him in the eyes. “If you think he isn’t worth your time or affection, you should let him go. You can do better.”

Tyler sighed. “I know. But, I… I do love him. It’s just we’ve had a rough go of things lately.”

“Have you talked to him about it?”

He shook his head. “No. Not sure how to bring it up.”

Stan put a hand on his shoulder and said, “just tell him that you need to talk. Tell him how you feel and then listen to him. Start there and see where the conversation takes you.”

“Thanks. I’ll try that.” Tyler was uncomfortable talking about this with Stan. However, it gave him the idea of possibly talking about it to David. He liked Stan and within a year Tyler figured he’d be his step-dad. But he wasn’t ready to let him get that close just yet.

Stan understood his evasion and accepted it with a smile. “Alright then. If you need anything, just let me or your mom know.” He gave Tyler a pat on the shoulder before they returned to his mother.

They sat around and talked for another half hour before Tyler made his excuses and headed out. Not before his mother gave him one more hug and a kiss on the cheek, reminding him to call her if he needed anything. He was glad she didn’t ask him about his dad’s passing. That’s what he was calling it in his mind now. His passing. Because all their chances were passed up. Tyler had to avoid the thought knowing if he didn’t, his heart would get wrapped up in the leftover feelings that were never going to go away.

When he pulled up to his house, he sighed. Alex’s car was missing, and it was well past dark. He double checked his phone to see if he missed any messages, but he found none. The one upside was that he got to park in his own driveway. Any time Alex was home, he would park in the driveway. While it wasn’t a big deal, it irked Tyler because it was his place he was renting, not Alex’s. He felt he had a right to it. But even if Alex was parked on the street when he leaves, he would come home to find his car parked in the driveway, forcing him to park on the street.

When he got inside, he put his coat away and looked around. There were dirty dishes in the living room and a few discarded clothes. He sighed and went about cleaning it all up, finding even more to clean in the kitchen. His hope had been to be able to just sit and relax when he got back from his mom’s. And here he was, cleaning up after Alex’s mess. As he finished the last of the dishes, he decided he had to say something. Anything to get through to him and get Alex to help him instead of constantly being another obstacle for him to overcome.

Tyler went to change into some comfortable clothes for the rest of the night. With as cold as it was outside, he didn’t want to raise the heat up in the house when he could just put on sweats and a shirt to stay warm. He sat down on the sofa and turned on the TV and waited for Alex to get home. It was already after eight, usually he wasn’t out past ten during the week.

By eleven, Tyler gave up. He’d tried texting him a few times but gave up after the third try with no response. He locked up the house, turned the lights off and headed to bed. He wasn’t sure exactly what Alex was out doing, but he knew that no matter how much Alex tried to persuade him, he was never going to let Alex touch him without a condom.

Copyright © 2019 Jdonley75; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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Chapter Comments

1 minute ago, JayA said:

All I will say is ugggggggg.......next update please!!!!!!

I think in the last chapter I quoted my mother:  "No one gets away with anything in this world."

My second favorite life lesson would be: "Everything happens for a reason."

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4 minutes ago, Philippe said:

Good for Stan, he recognized Tyler’s relationship issues and offered advice and support. Tyler needs to find his confidence but even if he cannot, he needs to protect himself and get Alex out of his inner circle.

Colleen I think is watching her son change, or rather regress.  Of course, time is moving on.  Things that cannot be changed are in motion and eventually, Tyler is going to have to face Alex and deal with the problem.

Bear in mind, there are things going on in all the relationships with Tyler that you don't really see just yet.  Just be patient.  It'll be worth it.

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6 hours ago, Jdonley75 said:

Tyler's backbone got a little lost when he doesn't have his friends around him to support him.  Jacob is gone, Andy is... well, otherwise occupied, Drake has all but disappeared (hmmmm) and we all know what happened with Sean.  Couple all of that with his grief and it's the perfect recipe for a really ugly situation.

Tyler's relationship with David is going to improve over time.  However, David is going to be distracted soon due to Andy's upcoming breakdown (the New Year's Eve scene from the first book.)

I don't want to give too much away at this point.  Let's just say in a few chapters, all of this will be settled.  And you'll be so glad at the outcome.

Hopefully the "few" chapters are in the low numbers. This whole Tyler/Alex situation is getting more and more difficult to read.

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6 hours ago, GanymedeRex said:

The problems Tyler experiences with Alex are realistic.  I see lots of people in bad relationships who don't leave them for whatever reason.  I personally cannot  understand it but it happens all the time.   

One of my sister's best friends was in an abusive relationship for years and years and wouldn't admit there was a problem until something big happened.

Everyone's heard that story before.  The twist to this one?  She's a psychologist.  

And she entered into another abusive relationship with another abuser after her husband.  

It's not about smarts or things like that.

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1 hour ago, jaysalmn said:

Hopefully the "few" chapters are in the low numbers. This whole Tyler/Alex situation is getting more and more difficult to read.

Considering what the size of the book will be by the end?  Yeah.  Pretty small.

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My sister always seemed to be attracted to abusive men.  She just didn't like nice guys.  She's an old spinster now, but at least she is safe.

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It's time...Alex has to go...it's gone on on long enough...any longer is an author praticing self-flagelation. Tyler needs to realize if it's a condom or nothing, it's over and done. Put Alex's clothes in a bag and out on the lawn. 😖

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6 hours ago, drsawzall said:

It's time...Alex has to go...it's gone on on long enough...any longer is an author praticing self-flagelation. Tyler needs to realize if it's a condom or nothing, it's over and done. Put Alex's clothes in a bag and out on the lawn. 😖

I promise, the author is not practicing self-flagellation.  And there are other circumstances going on as well at the same time.  Just trust me on this.  It's all happening for a reason. 

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2 hours ago, mikeinatl said:

David continues to show what an awesome father figure he is.  As far as Tyler, he’s never seen his worth, and even when he’s had hints at it, it’s been a combination of friends lifting him up and circumstances being favorable.  He’s not figured out internally exactly what he’s worth.  And that’s a recipe for putting up with a lot of crap that no one with a positive sense of self-worth would put up with.  I’m looking forward to him realizing how great a guy he is.  And I can’t wait for Kyle and him to meet.  Looking forward to seeing Jacob again, too!

David is papa bear, that's for sure.  You are absolutely spot on about Tyler and why he's putting up with as much as he is from Alex.  As far as he and Kyle meeting...  trust me, that's something else that's totally worth the wait.

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57 minutes ago, Jdonley75 said:

David is papa bear, that's for sure.  You are absolutely spot on about Tyler and why he's putting up with as much as he is from Alex.  As far as he and Kyle meeting...  trust me, that's something else that's totally worth the wait.

I know it will be, and that’s part of my anticipation.  Because they’re both wrong, and they’re both right. 

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Ok,  you're really going to have to start putting these chapters out quicker.   The wait in between is killing me.   Haha!  Great story!  Keep the chapters coming!

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12 hours ago, mikeinatl said:

I know it will be, and that’s part of my anticipation.  Because they’re both wrong, and they’re both right. 

Hmmm.... you could be onto something there.

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