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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.

The Empty Spaces Between Us - 29. Chapter 29

The eastern sky was already brightening as Kyle stirred next to Jacob’s warm body. When he managed to get his eyes to open, the first thing in his vision was the deep blue sky of early morning. A few stray clouds slowly drifted over the brightening world while the songs of birds drifted through the air as they celebrated the new day. He smiled and closed his eyes again as he shifted on top of the sleeping bag he smuggled out early yesterday morning before all the preparations for the wedding had started. It had been their own little secret plan for their wedding night. Knowing the house would be full of people and effectively robbing them of any privacy, the only other place they wanted to be was on their hill in the middle of the orchard. Instead of just spending a few hours before coming inside, they opted to stay the night out under the stars, making love and laying in each other’s arms.

His arm wrapped around Jacob’s chest, feeling the beat of his heart as he slowly breathed in peaceful slumber. For the tiniest fraction of a moment, Kyle couldn’t believe it was all real. That yesterday was just a dream and wasn’t really the happiest moment of his life. Then his mind went to last night and he knew that was real. By the color of the sky, he judged it to be near seven in the morning. His dad would be in the kitchen getting breakfast ready for everyone. His mother would be leaving today, and he knew it would be unacceptable to stay all day out here in this place with the one person in the world he shared the deepest bond.

He suppressed a giggle as he allowed his hand to drift down Jacob’s torso. He didn’t mean to laugh last night when Jacob stripped off his shirt, but he couldn’t help it because he could tell Jacob had found some time to put in at the gym in the last week and he obviously wanted to impress Kyle. He’d been a little miffed that Kyle found it funny, but the moment only lasted a brief second before their arms were wrapped around each other and the rest of their clothes were being removed. As his fingers moved down, he could feel every curve and contour of his husband’s body. He had definitely put in a lot of effort just for him and Kyle showed Jacob his appreciation until they both fell asleep.

As much as he would have liked to pick up where they left off, he knew they had obligations and chores and a child to care for. “Jacob,” he whispered as he slowly rubbed his hand over Jacob’s abdomen. “Jacob, we need to get up.”

Jacob shifted slightly and the back of Kyle’s hand registered that at least part of Jacob was up. But the only vocal response he got was a grunt and then a sigh of contentment. Kyle couldn’t help himself from loving Jacob even more in that moment. This wasn’t going to be as easy as he thought. “Jacob. Sweetheart. We need to get to the house in time to shower and get ready for breakfast.”

A small whine and a softly grunted, “no,” was the response he got.

Kyle broke out into a grin as he chuckled softly. Changing his tactic, he ran his hand back up Jacob’s chest and deftly ran the tip of a finger over one of his nipples. It was a risky maneuver, but he knew he had to get Jacob awake. “Jacob,” he called in a whispered voice.

The effect was almost immediate. Jacob stretched his entire body and moaned before he suddenly rolled on top of Kyle, pressing his lips against Kyle’s in a passionate kiss. Kyle’s mission was mostly accomplished as Jacob pressed their bodies together, his arms slowly went under his shoulders, holding Kyle in his arms. Jacob’s intensity was almost too much for him to bear and he nearly forgot everything else as he felt Jacob’s hips start to rock against his. Their movements and their kiss finally slowed, and Jacob opened his eyes, looking down into Kyle’s.

There was a new kind of peace in Jacob’s eyes as he became fully awake. “I just had a thought that blew me away,” he said softly.

Kyle ran his hand through Jacob’s dark hair. He hadn’t thought about it before yesterday, but he felt Jacob’s new haircut made him look years younger. “What’s that?”

Jacob’s eyes never wavered as he said softly, “my name is Jacob Michael Howard, and this is the first day of my life.”

Kyle smiled up at him. “Not much of a cliché now, is it?”

“No. But I think what’s weird is… It’s not like I only just became part of the family yesterday.” He settled down onto Kyle and nuzzled his neck. “You have been my family for so long now. Just the idea that my named changed being such a big deal, didn’t really hit me until just now.”

“Maybe it has something to do with it being legal and public,” Kyle suggested. “It’s all well and good to think of yourself as a part of the family. But now, everyone will know you are.”

Jacob looked into his eyes for a moment. “Wow. Sucked all the romance out of that in like five seconds.” His lips lifted in a playful smile as his blue eyes shimmered with laughter.

“I’m hungry and I want a shower,” He said simply. “We need to get dressed and head back to the house.”

Jacob seemed to think about it before replying. “Alright. But just so you know…” he looked down between their bodies before looking back into his eyes. “…we’re not done from last night.”

Kyle grinned up at him. “If I have my way, we never will be.”

Jacob gave him one more kiss before getting off him so the two of them could find where their clothes landed and get dressed. Once that was accomplished, they made their way down the hill and headed to the house with the sleeping bag over Jacob’s shoulder, holding hands all the way.

 

****

 

Tyler groaned softly as he awoke and rolled onto his side. He was coming awake enough to know that he wasn’t alone in bed and he suspected the other person in bed with him was more awake than he was. Testing his theory, he slowly opened one eye only to find Sean laying there looking back at him and smiling. “Good morning.”

Tyler closed his eye again and managed a smile. “Hi.” A part of him felt uncomfortable. He hadn’t wanted to escalate things so fast between them. It was just supposed to be a kiss, maybe two. But Sean seemed to react like it was something he had been dreaming of doing forever and their emotions got the better of them. Before he knew it, they were in bed together, Sean was underneath him and practically begging him. Now, he wished he could have exercised more self-control.

Sean leaned in close and kissed his cheek. “Great way to start the day,” he said softly. “Though, I think before we do anything else, I should go change and clean up.”

“Did you wanna get breakfast after that,” Tyler asked.

Sean smiled. “I’d like that.” He started to move and then stopped himself. “You’re not gonna disappear on me or anything like that, are you?”

Tyler opened his eyes and gave him a weird look. “Why would I do that? Besides, it’s not like you wouldn’t know where to find me.”

Sean seemed a little embarrassed. “Good point. I just… you don’t feel bad about last night, do you?”

Tyler wondered if Sean was reading his thoughts. “No. It was a little faster than I had hoped, but I don’t regret it. Go on. Go get changed and I’ll be ready by the time you get back.”

Sean grinned and got out of the bed to collect his clothes. “I should be back in about forty-five minutes. Where are we gonna go eat?”

“There’s a diner I like not far from here. I eat there most Sunday’s.”

Sean finished getting his shirt on and let his tie hang over his shoulders. “Sounds great. I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Tyler smiled and watched him as he stepped out of the bedroom. But the smile faded once he heard the front door close. He got out of bed and headed to get in the shower while mentally chastising himself. It wasn’t that he regretted the sex. He regretted that he went too soon into it. More importantly, he didn’t want to feel like a notch on someone’s belt and he definitely didn’t want Sean to feel the same way. He’d been through that once and he didn’t want to do it again.

The hardest part about it is that he still knew so little about Sean’s past and where he was from. He realized, if things were going to work out between them, Sean was going to have to share more. By the time he was drying himself off, he felt more at ease about last night. It wasn’t a complete mistake jumping into bed with him so quick, he decided. Rather, it was just the feelings in the moment running away with both of them.

Tyler spent the next fifteen minutes getting dressed and ready for Sean’s return. He did a quick check of his phone and curiously found no text messages. In the last week he had usually woken up with a few from Jacob or Troy or Andy wanting to know what he was doing or where he needed to be or just some little funny text. But this morning there was silence. At first, he felt a little concern but then realized they had all likely been busy or recovering from their post celebration. Remembering the wedding again brought a smile to his face. It really had been a perfect day.

Not long after he heard Sean’s car return and he went out to meet him. When he saw the look in Sean’s eyes, he felt a little overwhelmed. Here was this guy who looked like a runway model who could probably have anyone he wanted, and he was getting excited about Tyler getting into his car. Tyler had never felt so special in his life.

“So, where are we going,” Sean asked him once Tyler closed the car door.

“It’s called ‘Marcy’s kitchen’ about four blocks that way.” Tyler pointed towards a side street as Sean pulled away from his house and drove to their destination. Tyler looked around the interior of the car. He’d never been inside a Camaro before. “What year is this?”

“Huh? Oh. It’s a 2017,” Sean replied, dismissively.

Tyler was kind of surprised he seemed so casual about driving a brand new car. “It’s nice, that’s for sure.”

“Yeah,” he replied as he turned down the street. “My dad bought it for me. Something for me to drive while I’m… well… not home, I guess.”

“So, where is home exactly,” Tyler asked.

Sean glanced over at him and regained some of his smile. “You really want to know?”

“Of course,” Tyler said with a little concern. “My God, we slept together last night. I don’t just do that with anyone. I want to know everything about you.”

Sean was quiet as he carefully chose his words before he spoke up. “Well, I’m from Huntington Beach.”

Tyler sat there quietly. Sean had said it almost like a criminal confession and he didn’t understand why. “Okay. What’s the big deal?”

Sean smiled and shook his head. He turned into the small parking lot at the diner Tyler pointed out. “I’m hungry. Let’s get something to eat and then we’ll sit and talk for as long as you want.”

Tyler gave him an odd look. Not sure what was going on, but he could see that Sean seemed uncomfortable about his confession. “If it’s that big of a deal, just remember, I’m a trailer park kid. I’m sure your dad was nice enough to buy you a car and all, but I understand if you have problems making ends meet.”

Sean shut the engine off and turned his face away for a moment. He’d always been attracted to Tyler and his words only endeared him to Sean more. Maybe it was time to drop the act he’d been playing. “I appreciate that. Let’s go in and get some food.”

Tyler went along with him and they found a booth to sit in. After ordering coffee and food, Tyler returned to the subject. “So, what’s the big deal about you living on a beach?”

Sean smiled and leaned over a little towards him. “Before I explain, can I just say that I’m really, really glad I got to spend the night with you? I’ve never felt that good before with someone else.”

Tyler’s look showed his incredulity. “Oh, come on! You’re five years older than me, been to college and god only knows who or what you were doing while you were gone last winter—”

“I was sitting at my mom and dad’s home in Huntington Beach, California.”

“—and you’re going to tell me that I was the best lay you’ve ever had?!” Tyler blinked. California?” That seemed important. “What’s Huntington Beach like?”

Sean’s cheeked blushed a little. “Well, it’s… warm most of the time. Lots of fun things to do there.” He was fumbling for the words. “Tyler… I’m… not like the people there.”

Tyler shook his head. “Sean, if there’s something you want to tell me, then just say it.”

Sean sighed. “The reason why I felt so good about sleeping with you last night was because… you were… interested in me, not… not everything else.”

Tyler stared at him with his brows furrowed. What he was hearing didn’t make any sense. “I don’t understand. If it’s so nice and warm there, why are you here?”

Sean stared down at his cup. “I just… I couldn’t find what I was looking for there. I was depressed and I felt alone all the time. I just wasn’t happy even if I had no reason not to be.”

“I’m sorry,” Tyler said compassionately. “I didn’t mean to bring up something that might upset you. I just… I want to know you. All of you. You were here last year, and I thought you looked happy enough. I guess that’s mostly my fault for not getting to know you better when I had the chance. I was so wrapped up in myself and then Alex happened and that blew up in my face.”

“No, no,” Sean said to stop him. “I have been happy here. Meeting you and Andy and everyone else. I’ll admit, I don’t know your friends as well as I’d like. And I suspect they would say the same thing about me. I just want you to know though… I came back because of you.”

Tyler was more than a little shocked. “Why did you start working construction?”

Sean shrugged. “I thought it would be fun. I did some work in the past but nothing serious like that before.”

“Fun…” Tyler was still lost. “And you came back for me?”

“Yes.” Sean chuckled as his smile returned full force. “Is that so hard to believe?”

“What was it about me that made you want to come back?”

“The way you talked to me. Like I was just another person. I liked the way you used to talk. You sounded so unphased by the work we did, and you just exuded a kind of confidence that couldn’t be faked. How you and Andy would get going and making each other laugh while we were working.” Sean stared into his eyes. “The way you would walk on the top of a roof, no matter how steep it was, you just seemed completely relaxed. You were patient with other people. You were polite. I just felt drawn to you. It got to a point… I was too scared to say anything to you because I knew I wouldn’t be able to say much without starting to fumble over my words.”

Tyler was at a loss for words. There was no way Sean was making any of this up. His eyes and the sound of his voice was too real to be some kind of ploy. Alex had never looked that animated or emotional when they talked. Annoyed that he was thinking about that loser again caused him to speak. “I… I’m really surprised to hear all this. Why didn’t you tell me any of this sooner?”

“Because I thought you were straight at first,” Sean replied. He took a drink of his coffee while Tyler looked at him in amazement before he continued. “And once I learned otherwise, you were already taken. First with that bartender and then with that Alex guy.”

“I wish you had said something sooner.” The thought that he could have been with Sean instead of Alex all that time made him feel a little sick.

“I’m sorry. I just didn’t know how to say it then, I guess.”

Before Tyler could respond the waitress arrived with their orders. Tyler knew he was going to have to learn more about Sean before the day was over, but for now this was enough. “Let’s eat. We can talk more later on.”

 

****

 

After breakfast was over David and Helen took a stroll through the orchard while Kyle and the others relaxed in the house. Soon, she would have to depart and go back to her busy life and all the expectations that came with it. “It’s a shame I couldn’t come sooner,” she commented as they walked between the trees. “I remember how nice it looked in spring when the blooms were on the trees. With as many trees as you have now, it must be breath taking.”

“I do alright,” David replied with a smirk. “I’m thinking about getting rid of an acre. I suspect there’s a disease that’s cutting the yield. I’m also wanting to find a few new varieties too.”

Helen smiled and nodded. “Always ambitious.” She let her eyes wander around the orchard. “You really have done a remarkable job, my dear. Never let anyone take this away from you.”

“I don’t think I would’ve managed all this in the last few years without Jacob here. And with Kyle back home…” David looked down at the ground. He was quiet for a moment before sighing. “… just makes things easier.”

Helen gave a slight nod as she kept her gaze on the trees around her. “When were you last at the doctor?”

David’s lips pressed together in annoyance. “A couple months ago. Told the boys I was going shopping.”

“And…?”

He sighed. “They say I’m fine.”

She blinked and said in a dubious tone, “just ‘fine?’”

“They said that they’re not completely sure about the original diagnosis,” he explained. “They want me coming back regularly for checkups just to make sure.”

Helen frowned thoughtfully as they slowly walked through the trees. “You should get a second opinion, I would say.”

David shrugged. “Believe it or not, I feel fine. I haven’t had any weakness come on like I did a year ago before I ended up in the hospital. I keep active and they said that everything looks normal inside.”

Helen stopped in front of a tree, looking up into its branches. “I want you to come visit. I’ll get you into Cedar Sinai and have a real doctor examine you. I’m sure they can give you a better assessment of your heart than the doctors around here.”

He smirked, not at all surprised by her words. “I’m not like you, Helen. I can’t go flying all over. I have responsibilities here.”

“Two days is all it will take,” she replied. “I’m sure Kyle and his husband will live for two whole days without you.”

“I’ll think about it.” He was eager to change the subject. “You could come and visit more often to, you know.”

“Perhaps I will,” she replied. “There comes a time when one needs to stop and enjoy everything they’ve worked for.” She looked up at him and smiled in excitement. “I have an excellent idea. Bring Matthew with you! We can take him to Disneyland while the boys can relax and just be newlyweds for a week.”

David chuckled silently, not ignorant to the fact that she went from two days to a week. “There’s still all this to take care of,” he said with his arms stretched out.

She waved her hand dismissively. “Don’t pretend. They can keep things running for a week without you.”

“What about Stephanie? She’s still here too.”

She shrugged, unconcerned. “Bring her with you. She’s not expected to deliver for another two or three months. That will be plenty of time.” She moved closer to him and put a hand on his arm to get him to look at her. “I’m not leaving here without you agreeing to come.”

David looked down into her eyes. He realized she wasn’t going to budge, and she had given him enough that he reasoned it would be best to keep her happy. “I’ll talk to them and see if they’ll be interested.”

Helen’s eyes brightened along with her smile. “Excellent.” They continued walking around the orchard until they knew their time was up. As they made their way back to the house, she had one more thing to say. “Oh, do be a dear and give me the addresses of everyone who helped with the wedding.”

He frowned in confusion. “Why?”

She smiled a little to herself. “I want to thank them properly for all their hard work.”

David rolled his eyes. “I’ll give you names and you can send it all here. How’s that sound?”

Helen’s smile dimmed a little, but she nodded. “I guess that will be sufficient.”

David led her up to the house, pleased that he won at least one battle with her.

 

****

 

After breakfast, Tyler and Sean went back to his house just to sit and talk. Tyler felt he should be up front and told Sean about everything that happened with Alex. Opening up about it at first was difficult, but the more he went on he could see the concern and sadness in Sean’s eyes which gave him the confidence to keep going. Sean didn’t ask many questions while Tyler told him about the final few days, instead just letting his compassion show for everything Tyler went through.

“I’m surprised you can talk about it all without getting emotional,” Sean said when Tyler was finished.

Tyler frowned and shook his head. “I’m done crying over that bastard. He’s in jail now and I hope that he stays the for a long time.”

“Even if he does get out, I promise I wouldn’t let him get near you again.”

Tyler chuckled silently. “Well, you’ll have to get in line. Pretty sure Kyle will know if he gets out of jail before anyone else and then Andy will turn into my personal bodyguard.”

Sean smile softly. “They care a lot about you. That’s what friends do.”

“What about you,” Tyler asked him. “Don’t you have friends at home that miss you?”

Sean’s smile turned into a melancholy sigh. “They’re too… wrapped up in themselves. Everyone’s chasing the next reality series or posting on Instagram whatever insignificant little thing happened to them to make themselves look larger than life.” He shook his head. “About the only thing they were interested about me was my checkbook.”

Tyler frowned. “You mean you’re a millionaire or something?”

Sean chuckled. “Technically, no, I’m not a millionaire, nor a billionaire. My father is. He’s an influential producer in Hollywood. He creates shows and movie ideas for them. He usually leaves the big task of writing to other people, but he tends to be the big guy in charge.”

Tyler suddenly felt uncomfortable. “Oh. Well… I really can’t top that.”

“Who says you have too?” Sean leaned over and kissed him softly on the lips. “What you have isn’t as important as who you are, Tyler. I couldn’t give a shit if you were the richest man in the world or the poorest.”

Tyler blushed and smiled shyly. “Well, I’m probably closer to the latter than the former.” He looked down at the space between them. “I’m just a guy in a small town. I like baseball, working hard and taking care of myself as much as I can.”

“What about me?”

Tyler looked up to meet his gaze. He was still getting used to how Sean would look at him as if he was the only thing in the world. “What do you mean?”

Sean gave him a crooked smirk. “Don’t you like me too?”

Tyler giggled and nodded. “Yeah. Yeah, I do like you. So, I still want to know; why did you come here of all places if you’ve got money and friends and everything else back at home?”

“Because all of that is fake,” he replied. “None of them really care. I came out to my parents while I was in college and you would’ve thought I’d stabbed them in the back. They accepted it, of course. They had to or else they would’ve been labelled intolerant and that would’ve been a death sentence for them in Hollywood. Even if Hollywood goes out of its way to brush their gays under the rug whenever they can. It’s so hypocritical there. I just got tired of it. My dad was pissed that I wasn’t turning out who he’d planned me to be. I think he had it in his head that he could get me to marry some other rich starlet or producer’s daughter and become a power couple in town.

“And the guys who I would date…” Sean got a disgusted look on his face for a moment. “All they cared about was what I could do for them. Getting them in the door. Or maybe a favor or something stupid like that. I remember once… There was this guy my senior year in college. I was really attracted to him. I loved how he laughed, and his eyes were this green color. Kind of like Andy’s really.” Sean leaned back on the couch and looked up at the ceiling. “I fell in love with him. He seemed so sweet, and we would go out together to clubs and everything. We’d have sex whenever possible and I was sure he was going to be the one. And then, one night, we were out clubbing, and it was like he was attached to me every time someone had a camera pointed in our direction. It was really strange, and I asked him what was going on. He said something about exposure and that ‘we’ needed more. And when I said a week later that I wasn’t interested in going out, he got all pissed and that’s when I found out he’d been going out on auditions and name dropping me. I didn’t say anything until one night we were having sex and… he was just so passive. And when I looked in his eyes, I could tell we weren’t making love. He was just doing what he had to do to get ahead.”

Sean sighed and shook his head. “I really tried to save the relationship, but I knew he wasn’t in love with me like I was with him. He was just in it for the money and the chance at stardom.”

Tyler moved closer and reached for his hand. “That’s a shitty thing for someone to do to you.”

Sean chuckled, but it held a little pain in it as he stared up at the ceiling. “After that, I just took what I could, and I got out of there. Told my parents that I was going to go out and ‘find myself.’ Stupid cliché, but it’s what got them off my back. They call once in awhile and I’ve been home once or twice since then, but I spent most of my time between then and now going out and looking for something… real.”

Tyler leaned over and put an arm around him. “Sean, I’m really sorry about what you’ve been through. I wish there was something I could do to help.”

There was a long silence before Sean said quietly, “would it be okay if I stayed here tonight again?”

Tyler smirked a little and looked into his eyes. “Sure. What do you want to do between now and bedtime?”

“Honestly?”

Tyler nodded.

“Can we just… lay here and watch movies all day?”

Tyler smiled before leaning over to kiss him tenderly. “Yeah. We can do that.”

 

****

 

All of Helen’s bags had been loaded into her car and Cindy was patiently waiting in the car. Five boys, Stephanie, Kyle, Jacob and David stood on the porch as Helen stepped out of the house. She was dressed in a light blue business skirt and jacket with a white satin blouse underneath. Her hair pulled into a bun completed the look as she stepped out of the house and closed the door behind her. She smiled as she surveyed them all. “Well, it’s been such a wonderful weekend. I cannot wait to get home and tell all of my friends about the wonderful time I’ve had with all of you.” She stepped up to Stephanie and hugged her gently. “Don’t let them coddle you too much, dear. Stand up for yourself when you need too.”

Stephanie giggled and hugged her back. “It’s been a pleasure meeting you.”

“And you must visit in a few weeks when David comes as well. I insist.” Her smile and voice were sincere.

“Well,” Stephanie blinked in surprise at the invitation. “I’m sure I can manage something.”

“All you need to manage is to pack a bag and drive to the airport. I will handle the rest.” She stepped up to Jacob and her smile brightened as she reached out her hands to gently hold his face. Her voice was more subdued but no less emphatic. “You, my darling, are amazing. I took pictures of most of your work. Don’t be surprised if you get odd phone calls from the west coast.”

Jacob blushed. “Thank you. I’m really glad you could come.”

“We shall meet again, my dear,” she said with a grin. “And when we do, I expect to see you with your new child nestled in your arms.” Jacob was overcome at the idea and she didn’t press him any further before she leaned up to kiss his cheek. She released her hold and made her way past Kyle to David. She stood there, staring up at him. “Three weeks. That’s as long as I will give you. Give our boys some alone time and you some rest before the harvest.” The last she said with a knowing grin. She knew he’d rather die than miss the apple harvest.

David smiled and nodded. “yes, ma’am.” He leaned down and hugged her warmly. “Be careful on your way home.”

She laughed. “Just like you to always be mindful of people’s safety. I promise, I will get home in one piece and I will phone you before I go to bed just to prove it to you as well.” She looked down at the children. Her eyes shined a little brighter as she took them all in. “Such handsome young men in front of me. Grandma will be sending you presents before too long. But I expect when I return, I will find five exceptionally polite boys who will make us all proud. Matthew.” She leaned down and opened her arms as the little toddler trotted up and gave her a loving hug. She delighted in the feel of the child in her arms and kissed his cheek several times. “Just like holding your father so long ago. Oh, my little Baby Boy, you will be in for such a good life, I can already tell. But, do play with your friends and enjoy every day that you can.”

“Bye grandma,” the little boy said in his voice that sounded like music to her ears.

She released him and chuckled as he went back to his friends. She was in awe of the sight of the five boys in front of her. It almost made her wish she’d had more than the one child. She rose back to her feet and looked back to Kyle before extending her hand. “Walk me to the car, please, Darling.”

Kyle smiled, took her hand and walked her down the ramp. “I’m really glad you came, Mom.”

“As am I,” she replied. “You’ve done an outstanding job, Darling. I couldn’t be prouder of you.” She shrugged and added, “true, there were some dark moments in there, and I feel you probably got a little too much of your father’s stubbornness than you needed but I will share some of the blame in that.” As they neared the car she stopped and looked up at him. “Your father and I always knew you would be special. And here you are, still exceeding our expectations. You have a good family and a good heart. Just remember I still expect to see you from time to time, even if there are apples to be picked, runny noses to wipe, diapers to be changed and court cases to see too.”

Kyle chuckled. “You make it sound so easy.”

“It isn’t. Life never is. That’s what makes it worth living.” She stood next to the door to the car, looking up at him. “But know this; there is no amount of miles between us that I cannot come to you when you need me. All you ever need do is call me.”

“I know,” he replied. “And I’m sorry it was so long. I promise, as soon as the baby is born and can fly, we’ll come out and visit.”

“I will hold you to that then, my dear.” She grasped his face and grinned before leaning up to kiss his cheek. “How I envy you. He loves you so much. Be kind to him.”

Kyle smiled in that way a new husband does when he remembers how strong and deep his feelings run for his spouse. “I will. I promise.”

“I’ll be sending you your wedding gifts in two weeks,” she said. “When you return to practicing law, let me know if you need anything.”

“I will, Mom. I promise.”

She looked into his eyes, smiling as she seemed to commit his face to memory. “Good. I love you, Darling.”

He opened her door for her before kissing her cheek. “Love you too, Mom.”

She stepped up into the back seat as Cindy started the engine. She gave her son one last smile and nod of approval before he closed the door and moved back towards the porch. The Rolls Royce deftly backed out of the parking space and turned before heading down the driveway. Within a few seconds the car was gone and Kyle felt a little sense of loss even as he smiled with the new memories they would all share of this weekend. He went up the ramp and caught Matthew up in a warm hug as he stepped up to Jacob and gave him a lingering kiss. They shared a small smile before Kyle turned to his dad and said with a smirk. “You were right. That was pretty fun.”

Copyright © 2019 Jdonley75; All Rights Reserved.
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1 hour ago, tesao said:

I hope that David’s discussion with Helen wasn’t a foreshadowing. He should take her up on her offer and get to see a good cardiologist at Cedars ASAP.  Her departure was a very tender, well-written scene. It’s interesting how she is so different from the way I initially expected her to be.  I feel so manipulated by a clever writer.  😉

I am so happy that Sean and Tyler are connecting, and that Tyler is giving him a chance. This is the love match I’ve been waiting for.  I am a little confused about his background, however.  I used to live in Huntington Beach and, while it’s nice, it’s not all that. The serious money was always just further south in Newport and Laguna.  Maybe his parents are low-key affluent?  Besides, it’s not nice to dump on coastal Orange County. Everyone knows that the vapid people live up in Malibu.  😁

I felt a little manipulated too...hahaha!😂

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5 hours ago, Philippe said:

Woohoo, Sean is seeing the trust and honesty inTyler and the need for his disclosure to not betray that trust.

So far so good, huh?  😄 

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3 hours ago, FanLit said:

Wonderful chapter.

I loved Kyle and Jacob’s wake up, they deserve their happily ever after.  It was also nice to see Tyler and Sean’s start;  Tyler may have felt they had sex too fast but I’m sure Sean felt they waited long enough, lol!!  Tyler deserves to have someone look at him like he hung the moon and it seems Sean deserves someone who will truly savor the very sweet person he is.  Sean seems refreshingly down to earth for someone raised in a privileged environment.  I am still Team Drake but I recognize everything has a season and this is Sean and Tyler’s;   Watching he and Tyler fall in love will be a pleasure, if they navigate any complications as their own team, I think they can weather just about any challenge.  Something also tells me that Tyler won’t be as poor as he thinks by the time things get straight with his father’s estate.

Helen’s departure was less dramatic than her entrance but equally impactful.  It was nice to get to know her better and I hope David takes her up on the visit;  I gather she will be heard from again before this story is over, lol.

I looked forward to this chapter (was it me or was it shorter than usual?) next Sunday morning can’t come fast enough. Thank you, Jonathan.

Kyle and Jacob waking up the morning after their wedding was the only way I could start this chapter.

In a way, it is the ending of their story that started in The Acquittal and after this, they will be stepping back into the ensemble in a more limited fashion.  After this chapter, Tyler and Andy are going to go back to being the main protagonists that every scene will revolve around.  There is only one scene I have left where neither of them will be in it (make that two).

Helen's departure was supposed to be filled with meaning and emotion.  It's a reminder to Kyle (and the readers) that while she's far away, she's still a part of him.

This chapter was short, mainly because it is a transitional chapter, moving away from Kyle and Jacob and onto Tyler and Andy.

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10 minutes ago, mfa607 said:

Great chapter! I absolutely love Hellen! Thank you!

Thank you!  Helen does a good job selling herself to a crowd when she needs too. ;) 

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1 minute ago, Petey said:

I know I'm in a minority, but I"m glad to see Helen leave. Full disclosure - I live in a rural area that has been discovered by "Helen".

They have to remind you of how much money they have (my husband has so much money.... I sell mansions), you're not successful until they discover you , you're not well dressed til they dress you and you're not healthy til they tell you.

I'm happy that Sean values what Tyler and the family are and have. Everything isn't always only about money.

 

Try and remember this little town is where Helen grew up. ;)  She just got lucky and she'd be the first one to tell you that.

Sean doesn't really know anyone very well beyond Tyler and Andy.  He can barely put names to faces right now.  It'll be interesting to see how he's received by the others. 

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28 minutes ago, Andre Delport said:

Methinks your nose is growing!

Once again, great chapter.

lol.  Maybe.

Glad you enjoyed.

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I also loved Helen using “Baby Boy” on Matthew, to me it is short hand for him that this adult is okay, is family.  In a way, I feel the phrase came full circle, as it started with David (and apparently Helen, too).

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6 minutes ago, Philippe said:

[A group of Elves is passing slowly through the forest, some on horseback, some walking, some with banners. The group seems to shine of its own light, their white garments softly glowing against the purples and midnight blues of the woods. Their haunting song continues.]

Elves:

"a Galad ren i veniar
hi' aladhremmin ennorath
A Elbereth Gilthoniel
ithil nâ thûl, ithil lîn hen"

(O Light to us that wander here
Amid the world of woven trees
O Elbereth Gilthoniel
Clear are thy eyes and bright thy breath)

Frodo: "They're going to the harbour beyond the White Towers. To the Grey Havens."

Sam: "They're leaving Middle-Earth."

Frodo: "Never to return."

Sam: "I don't know why — it makes me sad."

Calm down, Frodo.  They're not going anywhere.  Just not the main drive of the story. :) 

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7 hours ago, Jdonley75 said:

I think Helen was making a bigger issue out of it because she wasn't here when he was in the hospital (although, I was very close to adding her into the story back then.)  That said, she's probably also giving Kyle and Jacob some alone time.

As far the Sean and his parents are concerned... I settled on Huntington Beach because I saw a nice $4.7 million dollar home there that would be perfect for Sean's family.

And did you just call Tony Stark vapid...?!  Okay, point made. 😆

That makes total sense. Shockingly, $4.7 million is a moderate price for coastal Orange County real estate!  You think that’s bad? It’s worse up here in the Silicon Valley.

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6 hours ago, Jdonley75 said:

Try and remember this little town is where Helen grew up. ;)  She just got lucky and she'd be the first one to tell you that.

Sean doesn't really know anyone very well beyond Tyler and Andy.  He can barely put names to faces right now.  It'll be interesting to see how he's received by the others. 

As long as he reminds people that he’s just from Huntington Beach, and not Newport Beach or Laguna, he’ll be fine.  😏

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I enjoyed reading this chapter, at first I thought that Helen reminded me a bit of Meryl Streep in the movie the devil wears Prada.

I am pleased to see that Tyler and Sean are finally getting together, I hope that it works out for them both. 

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5 hours ago, Philippe said:

Sean steps into this known mostly to Tyler and Andy, but at a time of heightened awareness by Tyler’s new and expansive family; he will definitely be known very soon.

I feel that Sean, perhaps to be seen and accepted as normal, is still not disclosing the full level of pain and sorrow he feels; not that he is withholding but as he is learning to be himself. I do not believe his pain comes from emotional suffering and depression alone; it seems much deeper somehow, but he seems very sincere to share his story. I hope we get to see and learn the full depths of Sean as the newer and more scrutinizing Tyler fines love.

In a lot of ways, we're just starting to learn about Sean and the path he's been on that led him to Tyler.  How long they remain together has yet to be seen. 

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