Jump to content
  • Author
  • 10,980 Words
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 - 37. Chapter 37

I want to thank all of my readers for being so patient with me in the last month. I hope it will be worth the wait.

Tyler gritted his teeth and tried not to sound as scared as he felt as the plane’s back tires made contact with the runway. Taking off had been an almost enjoyable and easy experience while the flight itself was mostly unremarkable. Sean had generously given him the window seat as they sat in the first class cabin which kept Tyler fascinated by the sight of the world below them and the clouds around them as they made their way across the country. Tyler dared to glance next to him and saw Sean sitting in his seat calmly with his head tilted back slightly. To Tyler’s perspective, he seemed so impassive almost to the point of looking bored, Tyler felt almost mad at him. As the plane had descended, his mind had filled with all the possible way things could have gone wrong. Considering it was his first time flying, he felt he did remarkably well for himself. Only when the plane shuddered to slow its speed and everything went back to normal, did Tyler finally let go of his grip on the arms of his chair.

The sound of the engines winding down filled the cabin and Tyler let out a long exhale of relief. “See? Told you it was easy.” A lop-sided smirk appeared on Sean’s face as he glanced over at his boyfriend.

Tyler frowned slightly in annoyance. “And we gotta do this again to get home?”

Sean chuckled, mostly because he could tell Tyler wasn’t seriously angry. “Give it a couple times and you’ll barely notice when the plan touches down.”

“I still think a road trip would’ve been more fun,” Tyler mumbled. It would have been nice seeing all the sights across the country in the middle of December, he thought to himself.

Things at home had slowed down a lot after Aaron had been born. Jacob and Kyle had their hands full with a house full of people and a baby that required constant attention. Even between four adults, it seemed like a hard challenge to him. But he couldn’t deny the change it had made in Jacob. Two months later, he could still remember the look on Jacob’s face when Tyler stopped by the house to congratulate him. There was this softness to his eyes that hadn’t been there before. As he held his newborn son in his arms, Tyler could see a kind of warmth radiating from his smile. After that day, Tyler barely saw Jacob. He was always busy either working on something in his workshop or spending his waking hours with the baby. But he understood. All in all, he was happy for his friends.

As they taxied to the gate, Tyler relaxed and looked over at Sean. “So, how do we get to your dad’s house from here?”

“We get our bags and get out of the airport,” Sean said. “There’s someone waiting for us.”

“Waiting for us…?”

Sean grimaced slightly, realizing that this was where things were really going to change for Tyler. “Yes. My dad’s driver is most likely already parked outside waiting.”

“Oh. Hadn’t thought of that for some reason.” Tyler felt an irrational fear start to creep into his heart. They’d spent so much time together living in a small town, the idea that his dad was a millionaire and had things like drivers and maids and huge houses had kind of fallen to the back of his mind. Now he was in Los Angeles, waiting to get off a plane and enter an entirely new world. Tyler could feel his gut start to turn to ice as he thought about what he should and shouldn’t do around Sean’s father and anyone else he will be meeting for the next two weeks.

“Don’t read too much into it,” Sean cautioned. “It’s just Coop. He’s like an old friend.”

Tyler nodded absently while trying to fight down the anxious feeling that told him he’d made a mistake in coming. “So, do we have any plans for today?”

“Honestly?” Sean stretched as he unbuckled the belt on his seat. “Probably just relax and rest. It usually takes me a day to readjust to the time change. It’s only three hours but that can be enough to screw with your body.”

Tyler just nodded in response and tried his best to relax and just go with whatever happened. The plane reached its gate soon after and they busied themselves getting their carry-on luggage. After disembarking, Tyler followed Sean out and was immediately overwhelmed by the huge size of the airport. When he was looking at it from overhead, he figured it was nearly as big as the entire town he lived in. Once inside, he realized he was probably underestimating it. Sean walked casually as he made his way to the baggage claim and Tyler stayed as close as possible to him, trying not to bump into anyone or lose any of the bags he was carrying. He’d been in Philadelphia and other larger cities before, but this was an entirely new experience and he had no point of reference to use to navigate or make sense of where he was or where he was going. The need to rely on Sean to keep from getting lost was paramount in his mind as he followed along beside him.

As nervous as Tyler was in a foreign environment, Sean seemed to be totally at ease. He never broke his stride as crowds of people seemed to part for the two of them while they made their way through the airport. With each step, the desire to go back home got stronger in Tyler. Rationally, he knew that was out of the question. Beyond the obvious that they had just landed and had two weeks left before their return flight, he recognized that his feelings were mostly born of a lack of connectedness that he was used to having at home. He didn’t like feeling reliant on Sean or anyone for support or basic independence. There was no way he could just decide to go out to eat somewhere or take a walk without the possibility that he would get lost. And in a big city like this, getting lost might be the least of his worries.

“Are you feeling okay,” Sean asked as he looked at him with some concern.

Tyler realized his inner thoughts were playing out on his face. He gave Sean a smile and banished the negative feelings. “Yeah. Just tired, I guess.” He knew all of these feelings were temporary and he would eventually get used to this new place. All that was needed was to ignore the fear that kept popping up.

“Well, once we get to the house, you can take a shower and lay down.” Sean’s smile widened as he thought about how good it was going to be having Tyler there with him. He hadn’t been very eager to return home when his dad first called him about it. But knowing he was going to be spending the last two weeks of the year with his boyfriend and the opportunity to show him around the area and expose him to new things made him excited.

Once they got their luggage, Sean led Tyler out of the airport. Within seconds, Sean raised one arm and headed towards the curb a few yards down. Tyler dutifully followed behind through the entrance of the airport that was crowded with people pushing their way to get to taxis, reunite with friends or get to the parking deck as soon as possible to avoid the scrum outside the doors. When Sean finally stopped, Tyler saw an older man standing alone looking at them with an expecting smile standing next to a white Mercedes. He was dressed in a suit and tie with his hands clasped in front of his body, exuding an air of patience and professionalism.

“Good afternoon, Coop.” Sean greeted the man with a friendly smile.

“Welcome home, Mr. Brighton. And it’s still morning here,” the older man replied. He took notice of Tyler almost immediately with a careful eye. “And who do we have here?”

Tyler stood a little straighter as Sean replied, “this is my boyfriend, Tyler.”

Coop’s facial expression changed from cautious to welcoming as he smiled politely. “Welcome to Los Angeles, sir. I will see to your bags and we can hopefully get to the house in good time.”

Sean relinquished his bags and Tyler watched as the man carefully put them into the trunk followed by Tyler’s. Sean put a hand on Tyler’s back and opened the rear door for him before climbing in. Tyler had never been in a car that had real leather seats before. It was much more comfortable than anything he had experienced. “Is this the car you usually take,” Tyler asked Sean as he put on his seatbelt.

“No,” he responded with a chuckle. “This is the ‘professional’ car. Used to pick up people from the airport, go to premieres, impress people, that kind of thing. I have my own car.”

Tyler grinned and looked over at him. “Oh, so you’re just now trying to impress me?”

Sean gave him a small laugh. “If so, I hope it works.”

Coop got into the front seat of the car and started up the engine. “I am assuming you wish to go straight home, sir?”

“Yes, please.” Sean leaned back in the seat as the driver pulled away from the curb. He looked over at Tyler and said quietly, “this is just the usual stuff, Tyler. Coop’s been picking me up from the airport and from school for as long as I can remember. There’s nothing special about it.”

Tyler thought it was special, considering he and his mom never grew up with a guy paid to just drive people from one place to another. He had to accept that to Sean, this was a normal way of living. “So, is Coop just a driver or does he do anything else?”

Sean shrugged thoughtfully. “He does… well, mostly he keeps the house in order. Whichever house it happens to be at the time. He’s probably been preparing the house here in L.A. Getting it ready for the Christmas party for the last week or so. He runs whatever errands my dad needs while he’s working. He generally runs things in one way or another. And no, we don’t treat him like a servant. He’s an employee and an important one.”

Tyler sat back and tried to relax while watching the scenery go by. Halfway through the drive Sean brought his hand into Tyler’s and held it gently. That got a smile from Tyler as he felt the familiar sensations Sean’s touch gave him. He reasoned that he was likely over thinking the situation and should just enjoy the moments that he will get to share with him. “When do I meet your dad?”

“That’s a good question.” Sean turned his attention to the front of the car and asked, “hey, Coop, where’s my dad right now?”

“He’s in New York for the next few days,” Coop replied without taking his eyes off the road ahead of them. “He’s expected to be home sometime Friday evening.”

Sean seemed unphased by the news. “And Tracy?”

There was a slight silence before Coop replied. “She’s still at the house in Arizona. But she should be here for the party.”

Tyler noted that Sean’s smile faded, and his grey eyes seemed to grow colder. “Very well then.” He looked at Tyler and his smile returned. “Looks like it’ll just be you and me most of the week then.”

“That sounds awful,” Tyler said with a grin.

Sean leaned over and kissed him tenderly on the lips. “I promise I’ll make it entertaining. I think tonight, once we’re settled in, we’ll go out to eat. There’s a lot of places I want to show you. Then I want to take you shopping later this week.”

Tyler frowned curiously. “Shopping for what?”

Sean’s smile became more playful as he whispered, “you’ll see.”

Tyler became immediately worried. He didn’t want Sean spending a lot of money on him. “It’s not like, a car or anything like that, is it?”

Sean snickered. “No. But we are having a party and I want to get you something for Christmas and maybe a couple other things too.”

“You don’t need to spend your money on me,” Tyler insisted. “I brought some of my own with me.”

“That’s money you got from your dad and you should use that on something important for your future,” Sean replied gently. “Don’t waste that on buying stuff you won’t want or need in a couple years.”

The car slowed and turned a corner, prompting Tyler out of his inner thoughts. In front of him sat a mostly unassuming house. It was undeniably large, but it wasn’t anything close to what he could call a mansion. From the outside, it looked like just a simple single-story house. As the car went around to the side, they drove up to a three-car garage. Everything seemed unusually normal to Tyler. If this was a million dollar home, he felt Sean’s dad didn’t get his money’s worth.

Sean got out of the car and held his hand out to Tyler. “Coop, you can take the bags to my room. I’m going to show Tyler around.”

“Yes, sir,” the man replied as he got out of the car and set to work.

“Thank you.” Sean kept hold of Tyler’s hand and led him out of the garage through a door in the back. Tyler followed behind and stepped into the rear of the house and stopped after only a few steps to take everything in. What may have been a back yard was in fact more like a courtyard covered in marble tile with a small inground pool in the middle that could hold maybe a dozen people at most. A step up from there was a spa set into the ground as well, separated from the pool with a thick pane of glass. To one side was the back of the house which seemed shaped like an oval while a smaller building was set in the back. To the side closest to where he stood was an outdoor kitchen set up with a wood burning stove nearby. The entire area in itself was huge and could probably entertain dozens of people with steps leading up towards the back where there was an outdoor fireplace connected to the house in such a manner as to suggest a matching fireplace was also inside.

“So, this is the back of the house,” Sean said as he kept his hand in Tyler’s as they walked. “Most of the rooms, including the bedrooms have doors leading out in here.”

Tyler saw a lot of glass and French doors that he could look into nearly every room of the house. “All the lights are on,” Tyler pointed out.

Sean smirked. “Coop got the house ready for us. Wanting to show off the place in case I brought someone back with me.”

Tyler narrowed his eyes and gave him a mocking glare. “You told him before we showed up.”

“About you? Yeah. I did.” He chuckled and kissed Tyler’s cheek. “Not for any other reason than to help you feel comfortable. This is your home for the next two weeks. You can do whatever you want while we’re here.”

“At least until your dad gets here,” Tyler added.

Sean shrugged, unconcerned ever as his smirk faded. “He’ll be fine. I’m sure he’ll like you as much as I do.”

“Hopefully not that much,” Tyler countered with a grin. “What about this Tracy person? Your mom?”

“Stepmom,” he corrected. “She’s… she’s got her own thing usually. I barely ever see her.”

“Is she going to be a problem,” Tyler asked.

“No,” Sean said with confidence. “I want these two weeks to be about us. I want to really treat you the way I’ve wanted to for a while now.”

Tyler cocked an eyebrow. “That sounds ominous.”

Sean chuckled at his words. “I guess you’ll just have to trust me.”

“If you insist.”

“Okay, okay. Let me show you the inside of the house.” Sean led him through a door leading into the kitchen and slowly walked into a series of larger rooms with vaulted ceilings, art on every wall and modern and antique furniture in every room. As they walked into the main hall, Tyler caught a glimpse of a nine foot tall Christmas tree standing in a corner of the great room just off the hallway. “This house is mostly mine, to be honest. I spent most of my life here. Dad will use it for parties and schmoozing when the need calls for it. He occasionally does work here when he needs a break from Malibu or Arizona.”

Tyler frowned slightly. “When was the last time you and your dad lived in the same house?”

Sean seemed to think about it before he answered. “Probably when I was about eighteen. I guess it just depends on what you call living together.” His face took on a more thoughtful gaze as he looked around the large room with its tree and other decorations. “When my mom was alive, we all lived together here. I think Dad just doesn’t like being here because it reminds him of her. And I told him I didn’t want to move, so… I kept this house and he bought another one while I was in high school. Coop kind of stayed off and on and Dad would check in on me from time to time. But mostly, I was on my own.”

“Sounds lonely,” Tyler replied. He understood in many ways how lonely that can be. At least he was lucky enough to still have his mother around for him. “Anything else worth seeing in the house right now?”

The smile returned to Sean’s face, though it appeared a bit muted. “Coop should be done by now. I can show you my room.” Tyler followed behind him, walking through almost the entire house as they went. Tyler could track their progression by looking through the windows to the courtyard behind the house. He could understand the appeal to this place. It felt very open and comfortable, even if half of the things he’d seen looked like they cost more than what he made in a year.

Just as Sean stepped up to the door to his room, Coop emerged and nodded to Sean. “Everything is set up for you, sir. Do you need anything else?”

“No, thanks,” he responded with a smile. “I think I’m going to take Tyler out to dinner later so you can go on home.”

Coop nodded in confirmation. “Very well, sir. I should be back sometime in the morning.” His eyes went to Tyler and back to Sean as the corners of his lips lifted slightly in a smirk. “Unless you’d rather I come back later. I still have some decorating to do and planning for the party your father is having.”

Sean got the meaning behind his smirk. “Whenever you want, Coop. I’m fine with it. Have a good night.”

“And you as well, sir. Mr. Brewer.” The man gave Tyler a polite nod before walking down the hall and presumably heading home for the night.

Sean looked back at Tyler and motioned for him to follow. Tyler moved to the doorway to Sean’s bedroom and was more than a little surprised at both the spaciousness and probably the last thing he expected to find. “You have a spiral staircase in your bedroom?!”

Sean giggled. “Yeah. It goes up into a little private room. I used it for just about everything when I was a kid. Now, it’s like my private TV room. I can turn off all the lights in the house and stay up there and watch whatever I want, and no one will suspect I’m home or awake.”

Tyler’s gaze went from the staircase to the king sized sleigh bed in the middle of the room. On the other side of the stairs was a door that led to Sean’s bathroom while on the other side of the bed was a set of doors that you could use to step out into the courtyard. From this room, Tyler could see they were right behind the spa that was just a step up from the rest of the pool. “Wow. This looks like a great place for a kid to live, that’s for sure.”

Sean laughed and laid down on the bed. “I liked it. Still do. I hardly ever go to the other houses.”

“How many other houses does your dad own?” Tyler kicked his shoes off and joined Sean on the bed.

“Four. Sort of.” Sean smirked. “He has this one, even if in most ways this house is kind of mine. Then he’s got his house in Malibu, a ranch in Arizona where Tracy spends the winter usually, and an apartment in Manhattan. That one I’ve used once when I went to New York to see one of my friends in a show there.”

Tyler watched as Sean talked about it all as if all this was nothing important. Undoubtedly, it was normal for Sean, but Tyler was surprised at just what all Sean had. “The thing I don’t get is why you ended up in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania. I mean, if you wanted to go out and have fun or whatever, you could’ve gone to Chicago or Miami or somewhere where there was a thriving gay population instead of tiny Kellington.”

Sean nodded. “All good points. I was tired of the big city though. I wanted to see something I hadn’t seen before and do stuff I had never done. I knew it would be different and maybe uncomfortable, but I just wanted to do something no one else I knew did.” He leaned towards Tyler and said in a quieter voice. “Plus, I found you. And that made me come back because I wanted to be with you and was hoping you felt the same.”

“Lucky me, I guess.”

Sean kissed him softly. “I’m really glad you came with me. Tonight, I think we’ll take a shower together, go get something to eat and then maybe just spend the night out on the patio in the spa.”

Tyler giggled. “I didn’t bring anything to swim in.”

“It’s just us,” Sean replied with a playful look in his eyes. “Who says we need to wear anything out there?”

“Oh,” he said with a raise eyebrow. “Well, good point, I guess.”

“So, you ready to get this vacation started?”

“Yeah.” Sean’s eagerness was a little infectious to him. He decided to just go with whatever happened and trust that everything would work out.

“Awesome.” Sean got up and came around the bed to help Tyler up. “Shower now, then eat, then relax.”

Tyler just chuckled as Sean started to strip his clothes off before they started moving to the bathroom. Despite his initial hesitation in coming, he felt as if their relationship was going to grow stronger from the time spent here.




“This is ridiculous.”

“No, it’s not.”

“You’re crazy.”

“Maybe a little.”

Tyler turned slowly as two older men hovered around him with measuring tapes. He mockingly glared at his boyfriend who sat in a chair nearby with a smug smirk on his lips. “You’re enjoying this, aren’t you?”

“I can’t deny that,” Sean replied with a suppressed grin. It was their third day in Los Angeles, and he had taken Tyler to many different places around town in that time. They ate at fancy restaurants, took in the scenery around the area, shared walks along the beach and relaxed in the pool at night. “I want you to be wearing something that will stun everyone at the party next week.”

“Okay,” Tyler conceded. “I get that. But a custom made suit?”

Sean shrugged. “I already got mine. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were wearing matching suits?”

“Is that what everyone else will be wearing?”

“For the most part,” Sean replied. “Trust me in this.”

“This is going to be so expensive,” Tyler lamented.

He shifted his gaze to the two tailors. “Did either of you tell him how much this was going to be,” Sean asked.

The older of the two men looked over at Sean and replied, “no, sir. We don’t discuss price as you well know.”

Satisfied, Sean returned his attention back to Tyler. “See? No worries.”

Tyler rolled his eyes and acquiesced. “Fine. Be that way.”

The two tailors shared a private smile with Sean before going back about their work. In addition to the suit he wanted to get for Tyler, he had also requested a suede jacket, a few pairs of casual pants and some shirts, both casual and formal. After a few more minutes they finished and assured Sean that the clothes would be ready by the time they would be needed. Sean thanked them as Tyler got changed back to what he had been wearing before they stepped back out into the warm California sun.

As they walked down the boulevard Tyler couldn’t help but enjoy the warm temperatures that he would have never experienced back home in the middle of December. He was enjoying the area getting more acclimated to where most of the places of interest were. While it wasn’t what he was used to, he could see himself being here if that’s what Sean wanted. “So, now I have a fancy suit for one night to show it off. What’s next?”

“Well,” Sean’s tone became cautious as he chose his words carefully. “I got a couple text messages from a few friends of mine who were wanting to get together. I didn’t commit either way yet because I wanted to focus mostly on you. But I’d like for them to meet you and spend some time together. If you want too.”

Tyler shrugged. “Sure. I mean, you met my friends. Only fair I meet yours. Why do you sound so hesitant?”

“I just didn’t want you to think I was… I dunno. Showing you off or anything.”

“You’re silly.” Tyler chuckled and gave him a playful nudge. “You’re not going to just throw me to the wolves and hope for the best. You’ll be there with me and I’m sure we can talk about something other than you for an hour or so.”

“Then I’ll tell them dinner at six in West Hollywood. How’s that sound?” Sean started feeling both optimistic and cautious about how dinner would go. He would need to remind himself about his friend’s habits that Tyler might not appreciate.

Tyler nodded. “Sounds good to me. What’s next for us?”

Sean stopped and put his hands around Tyler’s waist. “I was thinking maybe we should go back home and relax.”

“Might be a good idea. I should call home and see how everyone’s doing there.”

Sean gave him a puzzled look. “Anything wrong?”

Tyler’s face took on a more concerned appearance. “The medication Andy was given when he got back from his trip had a bad side effect. So, they’re trying to come up with something else.”

“How’s he dealing with it?”

They resumed walking but their hands remained joined as they talked. “As best as he can. It’s a good thing he went to that camp. He’s managing right now just with what he learned there, but Brian said he sometimes comes off as a zombie. But their sex life is back to normal, the boys are doing good and they’re making the best way possible. Andy said he was mostly managing things with the meditation and relaxation techniques he learned and it’s helping. But I think he knows, for now at least, he needs the medication to get back to normal.”

Sean frowned slightly in sympathy for Andy’s plight. “You think he’ll be fine though?”

Tyler nodded. “Yeah. I think someday he’ll be past all this and be able to get through a day without needing pills. It’s just that dealing with it all is still new for him and he needs the meds to help him with just coping with it for right now.”

“What about the others?”

Tyler chuckled. “Have you seen Jacob’s Facebook page in the last month? Nothing but baby pictures and about how much he loves having his little boy.”

Sean laughed. “Is it weird that he’s kinda… don’t take this the wrong way, but you got to admit he’s kind of sexier in those pictures with his baby than he used to be.”

Tyler giggled and playfully slapped his arm. “Yes, he is. It’s something about his face and his eyes that’s changed. But he’s so damn cute when he’s got little Aaron in his arms. I think Kyle’s enjoying it all on some special level. He never posts much but what he does is how much fun things have been at the house lately.”

“Have you ever wondered what that would be like? To have a kid?”

“Not really. But, I’m only twenty-three. I still have plenty of time to decide on that.”

“I think I want a child in the future,” Sean stated. “I’d prefer having a girl. Or two. Or three.”

Tyler smirked at the idea of Sean handling three children and was more than a little surprised when he saw himself in that mental image. “Anything is possible.”




By the time Sean pulled up to park down the block from the restaurant they were supposed to be meeting his friends, a chill had settled into the air. While the daytime temperatures felt more like early fall back home, Tyler got a laugh out of some of the people walking around in coats. When he last checked, the temperatures were below freezing back home at this time of night. As he stepped out of Sean’s car, he looked down at himself wearing the new clothes Sean had bought him a day earlier. Blue jeans and a grey knit sweater with a faded black jacket and all of it brand new. It’s not that it wasn’t his style, but he knew from the feel of the fabric and the store Sean had bought it that this wasn’t an outfit you would find at a Walmart or a Kohl’s.

He nearly rejected the idea of Sean buying him anything when it first came up, but Sean won him over after a long discussion of him wanting to give back to Tyler to show his love. Tyler didn’t like the idea that Sean thought he could be bought until Sean made the right argument. “To you, a hundred dollars means a lot. That’s hours and hours of hard work spent where you could fall and break your neck. With the life I’ve lived, a hundred dollars to me is the same as fifty cents to you. It’s just spare change. I know in your heart I’m worth more to you than a couple bucks. So, how come I can’t spend a couple thousand on you?”

Tyler felt his logic was a little flawed, but his heart was in the right place, so stopped protesting. When Sean saw him standing there in the bedroom wearing his new clothes, the look of appreciation mixed with not a small amount of lust told Tyler enough that his boyfriend loved the new outfit on him. For that, and generally just wanting to not look like a poor kid around Sean’s friends, he wore the clothes and hoped that he wouldn’t make too much of a fool out of himself. Sean came around the car and took his hand with a smile. “So, who all are we meeting tonight,” Tyler asked him.

“Just a couple friends. Evan and Tim. Probably Tim’s girlfriend too.” Sean’s voice was languid and unconcerned as they headed down the sidewalk. “College friends.”

Tyler started feeling a little inadequate. “Did you tell them I’m only twenty-three?”

“What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Nothing. Just curious.” They turned a corner and Sean stopped to hold the door open for Tyler. When he stepped in, he found himself inside a dining room with rows of circular tables covered in white linen tablecloths. The lighting was subdued but not dark and just the general feel of the room let Tyler know this wasn’t going to be a cheap dinner. He started to wonder why he was worrying about money during this trip. The obvious answer, of course, was that he’s spent most of his life living on very little. Poverty can make a person be more aware of every dollar and every penny that slips through your fingers. He knew Sean had plenty. More than he probably would ever see in his lifetime. On some level, Tyler knew that letting Sean have his way and spend an exorbitant amount of money on him was making Sean happy and that helped. But Tyler needed to remind him more than a few times that Sean’s money isn’t what he was interested in.

Sean gave his name to a young woman standing at a podium at the front. She greeted him and led them down a row of sparsely occupied tables until they came to the end where two men and a woman was sitting. When they were spotted, the guys at the table greeted them as they rose to their feet. “What took you so long? God, I thought you were never coming back.” The man spoke with a deep voice that matched a large frame. His clothes looked more business casual than just someone out for dinner. When Tyler and Sean got close enough the big man embraced Sean warmly, giving him a friendly pat on the back.

“I thought about it,” Sean replied laughingly as he hugged his friend back. “This is my boyfriend, Tyler. Ty, this is Evan. He’s a drug smuggler.”

Tyler’s eye widened in shock as Evan and Sean laughed. “He means I’m a pharma rep,” the man replied before he let go of Sean and extended a hand to him. “Nice to meet you, Tyler.”

“Thanks. Nice to meet you too.” His laugh was a little nervous from the unexpected joke Sean pulled but he relaxed soon enough to not feel totally thrown off.

As they were shaking hands, Sean was patting the other guy on the back. “Tim. See you haven’t chased Michelle off yet.”

Tim laughed as he stood back to take his seat again. “She knows a good thing when she sees it.”

Michelle kept a polite smile on her face as she witnessed their reunion before turning her attention to Tyler. “Hi. I don’t think we’ve met before.”

Before Tyler could respond Sean jumped in. “This is Tyler. We’ve been dating for about six months now.” He pulled a chair out for Tyler as everyone else got settled back into their seats.

Michelle’s polite smile brightened slightly. “How sweet. How did you two meet?”

Tyler looked over at Sean, uncertain if he was supposed to answer or let Sean do most of the introductions. When all he got in return was a curious smile on Sean’s face, Tyler managed to mutter in a somewhat subdued voice. “We met at the place we were working. About a year ago.” In his own ears it sounded stupid. Not the event itself but how he said it.

Sean gave him a slightly concerned look before turning to the others and adding, “I got a job in the same town, working at a construction company. Tyler was the first person to actually talk to me on the job.”

Michelle’s pinched face made her distaste of the idea of working manual labor clear. “Why did you want to get a job in construction?”

Sean seemed unphased by her words and attitude. “I just wanted to do something normal.”

“I wouldn’t call what we do normal,” Tyler said with a hint of a smirk. His words were met with a round of chuckles from the group.

“Don’t think I could imagine you working with a hammer and nails,” Evan said with a grin. “Have you gone to be beach yet, Tyler?”

“Yesterday,” Tyler said with a nod. “Today we just went shopping for stuff.”

“Sounds like fun,” Michelle replied. “Get anything nice?”

“A few things,” Sean said. “Nothing too extravagant.”

“To you, maybe,” Tyler replied.

“Let him spoil you,” Tim said to Tyler with a casual grin. “He likes doing that stuff.”

“Unlike some,” Michelle said pointedly.

Tim rolled his eyes dismissively. “Anyway, all this should be a treat for you. I’m sure you don’t see big cities like this all that often.”

Tyler’s eyes narrowed slightly at the notion that he hadn’t been outside of his town. That he was just some small town hick. “Well, I’ve been to Philly, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and clubbing in Pittsburgh. Not as big as this place, but everywhere seems to have their own flavor. And their own kind of hospitality.”

Sean paled slightly at Tyler’s tone and changed the subject. “So, how are things in your neck of the woods, Tim?”

“Can’t complain,” he replied with a kind of bored shrug. “Dad got me in the business and so far, I’ve been doing pretty good for myself. You should get into the scene to. You’d like it.”

Sean shook his head slightly. “Hedge funds aren’t my idea of a fun job.”

“Didn’t say it was fun,” Tim countered. “But, there’s really no way to make a couple million in a year as easy as this.”

Tyler was confused. Tim didn’t appear any older than Sean. “How’re you making so much?”

“Hedge funds,” he said with a smile. “Offshore funds so next to no taxes. I make a killing for myself and my other investors.”

“I see.” He didn’t really understand what he was talking about, but Tyler felt it was the politest way to end the topic. He was obviously out of Tim’s league when it came to financial matters and Tim didn’t seem to have a problem looking at him with a smile not unlike how an adult would smile at a child. Polite but superior, bordering on smug. Tyler was more than a little befuddled over the menu and opted to order what looked and sounded most appealing, even if he didn’t completely know what he was getting. He didn’t want to ask Sean to explain anything, since his lack of proper upbringing had already been made clear and he didn’t feel as if they needed to be reminded. Once they had their drinks, Tyler sat back, content to watch things unfold between Sean and his friends as they talked and shared news with each other on what they’ve been doing. Whenever a question was directed to him specifically, Tyler smiled and kept his answers short and concise.

As they started eating, he noticed Sean talking more animatedly about their plans once they go back to Pennsylvania. “Spring is great there. A couple of our friends lives on an apple orchard. It’s amazing to watch when they ripen and there’s hundreds of people who come out and pick them.”

“Do they use immigrant labor,” Michelle asked.

Tyler slowly turned his head to regard her. “No. It’s mostly family and friends. Most of the people around town take a good portion, there’s still a lot to pick afterwards. He hires a firm that comes and takes the rest of what can be sold. The rest he uses for other stuff.”

Sean frowned slightly at her. “It’s a good operation. They’re good people. His son is gay and married with a kid.”

“Two kids,” Tyler corrected him. “They just had another baby in October.”

“How’d they pull that off,” Tim asked in honest confusion.

“Surrogate,” Tyler replied. “Friend of Kyle’s.”

“You’d think people would want to have less babies with the climate problems and over population,” Michelle commented dismissively.

Tyler was getting tired of their attitude and his voice sharpened slightly even as he maintained a pleasant tone. “Maybe it’s because they have a lot of love to share.”

Sean watched Michelle’s frown. She was no stranger to the feeling of being talked down to. When she looked like she was about to respond, Sean caught her eyes and silently shook his head. When she sat back and went back to her meal Sean subtly breathed a sigh of relief. Under the table, Sean reached over to Tyler’s leg and rubbed it in a sign of comfort. He wanted Tyler to know he was proud of him.

The rest of dinner passed more amiably. Sean and Tyler opted to skip dessert and left soon after the table was cleared. Sean made a point of putting his arm around Tyler’s waist as they left. When they were back out on the street heading back to the car, Tyler finally spoke up. “I don’t think they liked me all that much.”

“Too bad for them then,” Sean replied with a slowly growing smile. “They’re decent people most of the time. You gotta give them a chance. I’m sure they’ll warm up to you after a while. They just don’t really know the kind of life you’ve led.”

“Don’t see that happening,” he replied. “I’m sorry if I sounded out of line in there.”

That got a laugh out of Sean and he pulled Tyler closer to him. “You were not out of line at all. You have nothing to apologize for. If anything, Michelle owes Kyle and Jacob an apology for casting assumptions about their orchard.”

Tyler smiled as they walked to the car. “I definitely feel like I don’t fit in here.”

Sean stopped and took hold of both of Tyler’s hands. “Forget them. You’re here with me. You belong here. What do you want to do the rest of the night?”

“Can we just sit and watch a movie or something…normal?”

Sean let go of him and went around to open Tyler’s door. “I can’t think of anything else I’d want to do with you tonight.”




It was long past midnight as David came downstairs and was heading to the kitchen to get a glass of water. When he noticed a single light on in the silent living room, raising his curiosity. His first thought was that the boys left a light on as he quietly crossed the hall and poked his head in. The sight of Jacob sitting on the couch with Aaron tucked in his arm and a bottle in his hand brought a glow to his smile. He wondered why he chose to be out here instead of in their rooms in the back. David stepped into the room, keeping his voice to a whisper. “How come you’re out here so late, son?”

Jacob looked up at him as he approached. “Sorry. My back was a little stiff from the chair I’d been using.”

The fatigue in Jacob’s eyes didn’t go unnoticed by him as David carefully sat down next to him, looking down at the tiny treasure in his arm. “How’s our newest Howard doing?”

“He’s almost done eating,” Jacob said softly as he returned his gaze to the baby in his arms. “For now.”

David grinned and gently ran his fingers over the dark wispy hair on Aaron’s head. “It’ll get better. Just be patient. Don’t rush this, Jacob. Savor every moment because they never last.”

Jacob withdrew the empty bottle and smirked as he stared down at the face he had become so entranced by. “I barely know what I’m doing.”

David chuckled silently. “Jacob, none of us know what we’re doing at first. You learn as you go along. Each baby is different.” Memories of Kyle came to him as he stared at that little boy who grabbed their attention so easily. “I envy you, son. Getting to watch him grow. All the things he’s going to do...”

“You make it sound like you’re not going to be there,” Jacob said with a smirk.

“Oh, I plan on it,” David replied. “But, it’s not the same. He’s gonna look at me and see ‘grandpa.’ But you? He’s gonna look at you as his father. It’s you he’s going to want to grow up to be like. The one he’s going to copy and learn from. Oh, he’ll pick up things from Kyle and me and probably Matt in time. But it’s going to be you he’s going to come to with all his questions about the world. No pressure.”

Jacob smirked for a moment before he got a more pensive look. “Dad… I’m an alcoholic. What’ll I do if he ends up like me?”

David sighed but didn’t bother to hide a look of pride and love he felt for his son-in-law in that moment. “You’ll do the right thing. I don’t know what it is, but you’ll protect him from anything. Even himself. When you know it’s time, you’ll talk to him about it. Just be honest with him. Kyle will be there with you all the way.”

“And you,” Jacob whispered.

David smiled and leaned over to kiss his forehead. “And me.”




When Tyler woke up that Friday morning, the first thing that struck him as odd was that he was alone in the bed. He lifted up his head and looked around the room, but Sean was nowhere to be seen. Figuring he was out in the kitchen Tyler rolled out of bed and went over to his bag to pull out some sweats and a shirt. When he stepped out into the hall, the silence in the house gave him a slightly uneasy feeling. Sean had never left him alone since they arrived, so he irrationally felt like an intruder in this house that wasn’t his. He went back to Sean’s bedroom to find his phone and check for messages. Sure enough, there was a message there from an hour ago.

“Went to run some errands. Wanted to wake you first but you looked too cute to disturb. Be back in a couple hours.”

Tyler smirked and texted him back to let Sean know he was awake now before going to the kitchen to find something to eat while he waited for Sean to respond. Taking just a bowl of cereal didn’t seem like he was imposing too much and he settled into a seat with a view of the television, so he had something to watch as he ate and waited for Sean. He knew that Sean would have chastised him for being so frugal with his choice of breakfast, but he couldn’t help but feel as if he was still a stranger in this place. Sean could tell him over and over that this was his house and that Tyler could treat it like it was his but the idea that someplace this amazing could be home to him still seemed like a dream. The idea that maybe Sean was trying to get him to think that this could become their home was slowly starting to gain traction in his mind. Since their time in Los Angeles began, Sean seemed to be going out of his way to point out all of the possibilities that they could explore here. He had to admit some of the ideas had merit. But this was a far cry from his little rented home in Kellington. Still, he wasn’t sure how well he would fit in or what he would do if he was here. If Sean’s friends from the night before were any indication, Tyler definitely lacked the superior attitude that seems to be required.

A rumble of noise coming from the direction of the garage brought a smile to his face as he finished up his cereal and went to the sink to wash the bowl out. There was a moment of silence until he heard two car doors close. He stood and looked towards the door to the garage just as it opened, and Coop stepped in carrying two bags. Tyler was about to ask him where the bags were from when an older man stepped inside and locked eyes with him.

“Who… is this?” The voice had an edge of authority to it as Tyler looked at the man who could only be Sean’s father. They shared the same smokey grey eyes and a few other similar characteristics that there could be no question. But this man’s face looked colder and more critical as he took a few steps inside, giving Tyler a vivid reminder of Alex. He was taller than Sean by a few inches, Tyler thought to himself. He was a little bigger around the waist as well but the added weight to his body gave him a more intimidating air about him as his face set into a stoic frown.

“That would be Mr. Brewer, sir,” Coop said neutrally. “He arrived with Sean earlier this week.”

“I see,” Mr. Brighton stated. His gaze never left Tyler as he stood there, staring at him.

The silence became heavy in the air as Tyler scrambled to say something. “I, ah, h-h-hello, Mr. Brighton. Sir.”

The man slowly removed his suit coat as he looked Tyler over. The stern look in his eyes seemed to fade to something closer to disappointment. “So, you’re Tyler? Sean’s mentioned you more than a few times. What brings you here?”

Tyler felt like his feet were rooted to the spot. His sweats and shirt seemed so out of place around his dad and he was obviously not making a good first impression. “Uh, Sean asked me to come with him for Christmas.”

Sean’s dad stared at him intently, revealing nothing that was going on behind his eyes. “Well,” he finally said with a tight smile, “I guess we’ll be getting to know each other.”

Tyler attempted a smile and was somewhat successful. “Great. I should go shower and put some real clothes on.”

“Good idea.” The man kept his eyes on Tyler as he walked past and disappeared into one of the other rooms.

Tyler swiftly retreated to Sean’s bedroom and closed the door behind him before sending Sean a text to let him know his dad had arrived. He wanted to beg him to come back now but he didn’t want to come off seeming as terrified as he felt. Choosing some of the clothes Sean had bought him the day before, he hurried through a brisk shower and tried to calm himself. He realized he didn’t even get Sean’s dad’s first name! Not that he seemed inclined to share it, but Tyler should have been polite enough to at least ask. As uneasy as he’d felt the first few days, Tyler now felt justified to feel like an intruder in this man’s home. As he dried himself off, he kept checking his phone for a response from Sean. Pulling on the pants and then shirt from their most recent shopping trip, Tyler gave himself a quick check in the mirror before running his hand through his hair and sighing. He still saw the freckled poor little kid from a trailer park, but it would have to do for now. He wished Sean was here, but there was no way he could hide in his bedroom all day.

Working up his courage and reminding himself that he wasn’t going to be alone with the man forever, Tyler finally opened the door and cautiously stepped out of the bedroom and walked back towards the kitchen. He got halfway there when he saw Mr. Brighton sitting on the couch in the adjoining room. When they made eye contact, Tyler’s steps faltered as he stopped and met the stare of Sean’s father. “I’m sorry, sir,” Tyler began. “I don’t think Sean would have been gone from the house had he known you would be arriving.”

The man’s lips lifted in another flat smile. “You can call me Rob, Tyler. I don’t mind. Come have a seat. Let’s talk.”

Tyler moved to sit on the other side of the sofa, self-consciously clasping his hands together on his lap. He tried to smile but his nervousness made it hard to relax. “I’m sorry for being nervous, sir. I really don’t know that much about you and I feel like I’m invading your space. This is your home, not mine.”

“Well, we can fix some of that,” Rob declared in an even tone. “I’m, obviously, Sean’s father. He’s my son from my first marriage. I’m assuming he told you that much.”

“Yes, sir,” he replied with a nod.

“I’m a sometime writer, sometime producer and investor here in Hollywood. I started out as a staff writer for a few sitcoms back in the eighties and branched out from there.”

“Oh.” His smile became a little more relaxed. “It sounds like you’ve done very well for yourself. Obviously from the house, I guess that’s an understatement. It’s beautiful, by the way.”

“Yes, thank you,” Rob replied as if he expected Tyler’s words. He looked around the house as he continued to speak. “I prefer my house in Malibu, to be honest. Almost sold this one but Sean insisted I keep it. So, what school did you go too?”

What little confidence he had started to gain was quickly dashed. “I wasn’t able to go to college, actually. I’ve thought about it now, but I’ve been wanting to take it slow and figure out how best to make it happen.”

Brighton leaned forward with his elbows resting on his knees. His previously unemotional face took on a slightly more curious look. “What’s kept you from going?”

“Mostly lack of money,” Tyler conceded. “But, also, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I know I like a lot of stuff, but I want to know for certain what I want to do before I take a big step like that. Right now, I’m working hard and saving up what I can along with what my dad left me. It should be enough to get a decent education, but I feel I wanna make sure all my bases are covered.”

The older man fixed him with an enigmatic stare, as if he was trying to decide how truthful Tyler was being. “And where exactly does my son fit into all of this?”

Tyler blinked in surprise and leaned back a little. “Um…. We’re dating. He’s…” Tyler chuckled despite himself. “He’s kind of spoiling me. I keep telling him it’s not important to me, but it makes him happy. He’s special. He kind of made his way into my heart when I was in a bad spot. He’s suggested I apply for colleges here, but I’m not so sure I wanna be that far from my mom and my friends.”

Brighton’s head tilted slightly as he frowned with curiosity. “You’re serious.”

“Yes, sir,” Tyler replied with a nod.

“And all this,” the man motioned to indicate the entire house, “doesn’t mean much to you?”

Tyler’s eyes went around the room at all the expensive furniture, the paintings and everything else that exhibited a state of wealth to anyone who was there. “It’s all very nice, I suppose,” he replied meekly. “It means a lot to Sean because it’s his home. But, to me, it’s just stuff. None of it is mine so it feels more like a museum to me in some ways.”

The man sat back again in the couch and stared intently at him as if reevaluating him. Tyler noticed his body language started to slowly shift. As if some unseen tension inside him slowly dripped out of him. “Well,” this time it was Brighton who looked away as he recollected his thoughts. “I have to give you credit. Most of the boys Sean has brought home aren’t as sincere are you are.”

Other boys? That sounded to his ears like something Sean hadn’t told him about. “Sir?”

“Rob, Tyler. Call me Rob.” Rob rose to his feet and continued talking as he stepped over to the kitchen. “Do you know how many young men I’ve seen sitting where you are right now?”

Tyler frowned in confusion. He stood and followed behind him, leaving a respectful distance between them. “What do you mean?”

Moving about the kitchen, Rob started making himself some coffee as he spoke. “Sean. Always going off to ‘find himself.’ And each time he seems to come back with someone. Last time is was some college dropout from somewhere in Arkansas who, come to find out, was leeching off his grandmother and saw an easy mark in my son and slowly started siphoning money from him. Then, when he got here, he found himself a sugar mommy and was never heard from again.”

Tyler’s eyes went wide in shock. He’d never heard this before. His mouth slowly dropped open as Rob continued. “Before that there were other guys. All of whom either dumped him or I threw out when I found out they were just using him.” He glanced over at Tyler, gauging his reaction before reaching for a cup in one of the cupboards. “Each time, he’d pick himself back up and then leave the second my back was turned.” He shook his head as he poured his coffee and then motioned to Tyler to take a seat at the island in the middle of the room. Rob sat down across from Tyler, looking over the top of his mug at him. “If you’re planning on doing the same thing, I’d appreciate it if you let me know now.”

Tyler was scrambling to digest everything he’d just heard. Somewhere inside him, he knew he should feel anger or at least annoyance at Sean. At the same time, he could understand why Sean would hide so much from him. How many times had he hidden the more uncomfortable memories of his past and opted to quietly shoulder them on his own instead of reaching out? “I…” He realized he was about to say something he might regret and chose to start again. “Sean means the world to me. He came into my life and I didn’t realize at the time how messed up and confused I was. If it hadn’t been for his persistence and a little bit of luck, you and I wouldn’t be having this conversation right now.

“When I first met him,” a small smile appeared on his face despite trying to seem serious, “I thought he was just another guy I worked with. I thought it was a little odd that he had this brand new car unlike the other guys, but I wrote that off as him being someone who got some money and instead of doing something with it, he blew it on a car instead of something meaningful. I was involved with someone else at the time and then things kind of went crazy in my life and I just kept ignoring the signs. What he was trying to tell me and what I was feeling. I guess love is weird like that. But, I know, deep down in my heart that I love him. I don’t know if it’s going to last. I’ve seen up close how life can get fucked up despite the best intentions. I want it to last, though. He makes me want to be better for him. He makes me forget some of the shit I’ve been through in my life. And, even if there is no money and there isn’t this great big house and everything else and we’re just two poor guys struggling to make it to the next paycheck, I know I’m better off having him with me than without.”

Rob watched him carefully as he spoke. Once Tyler was through and met his gaze, he was quiet for a moment before he leaned his head against his fist and muttered, “that’s probably the most honest thing I’ve heard anyone say about my son in a while.” He let out a heavy breath through his nose as he sat straighter on the stool. “I want to believe you. So, I’m willing to give you a chance.”

The edges of Tyler’s lips pulled down slightly. “All due respect, sir, it’s really between me and Sean.”

His eyes narrowed slightly. “We’ll see. What I’m hoping for is that Sean will come home and put his talents to good use and build on what I’ve started.”

“What exactly do you expect of him?”

“To be better than me,” Rob said before taking another drink of his coffee.

The sound of a door opening ended their discussion as Sean quickly walked into the room and stopped in mid-stride when he saw the two of them sitting in the kitchen. “Dad,” he said with little nervous surprise in his voice, “I wasn’t expecting you so soon.”

“Always expect the unexpected.” Rob rose from his seat and gave his son an almost affectionate pat on the back. It was a little surprising considering how often he’d seen David hug Kyle so warmly, even if they’d only been apart for a few hours. “How was your trip?”

“It was good,” Sean said as his eyes went to Tyler. He wasn’t sure how long his father had been in the house and it was obvious they had been talking when he came in. “Uh, we’ve been here since Sunday. When’s Tracy getting in?”

“Next week. Right before the party.” Rob took a step back and added, “don’t worry. He’s fine. And I’m not here long. Just to clean up and then I have some appointments today at Warner Brothers. I probably won’t be back until late so don’t wait on me if you get hungry.”

Sean managed a small smile. “Will we have time later between now and then to catch up?”

Rob smiled brightly even if it looked slightly strained to Tyler’s eyes. “Sure!” Tyler remained silent watching the two of them. Even if they were acting pleasant towards each other, he could sense tension in the air between them. “Probably in a day or so. We can go grab lunch. Just the three of us.”

“Great.” Sean moved closer to Tyler. Almost as if he was looking for protection. “How about I take you on a sight seeing trip today? We can go check out an amusement park or go on a hike. The weather isn’t too bad today.”

“A hike could be fun,” he replied as he stood up.

“Good idea,” Rob agreed. “You should take him up to the Hollywood hills. I’m going to get cleaned up and then hurry to my meeting. Nice talking with you, Tyler.” He gave them both a smile before leaving the room and heading to the opposite side of the house from where Sean’s room was.

Sean sighed as soon as his father was out of hearing distance as took Tyler by the arm. “Let’s get out of here.”

Tyler felt Sean’s tug on his arm and grew concerned as he followed him out to the garage. “Are you alright?”

“Fine.” The way he said it made Tyler doubt that. “What did he say to you?”

“He told me about some stuff.” Tyler was still trying to sort it all out in his mind. “I’ll explain it all on the way to wherever we’re going.”

When they made it into the garage, Sean stopped and turned to put both arms around Tyler. His grey eyes stared down at him with a look on genuine concern. “Don’t listen to everything he says. He doesn’t know everything no matter what he’d like everyone to believe.”

The words threw Tyler into more confusion and put a lot of doubt into his mind. “I think we both have a lot to talk about later.”

“Just… promise me you’re not going to leave.”

“What?” Tyler’s intuition told him there was much more going on under the veneer of all this money around him. “Why would I leave? I came here with you. I’m going back the same way.”

Sean stared at him. Tyler could see something fade in his eyes. Like Cinderella hearing the first chime of the clock at midnight. “Okay.” He leaned in and kissed Tyler softly. His smile returned and were bright and happy again, almost as if Tyler had imagined it. “Let’s go spend the day together.”

Tyler was confused and desperate to know what was bothering him. What details Sean’s dad may have said that he may have missed to have Sean looking and acting for a moment as if this was the beginning of the end for them. A part of him wanted to pull Sean into his arms and hold him for as long as he could. To protect him and promise him that everything was going to be okay. But he was a small fish suddenly dumped into an almost impossibly huge ocean where he knew nothing of his surroundings or who his friends were. He was on his own as far as figuring out what was bothering Sean and what kind of rift there was between he and his father. But for now, he put his own concerns aside for the moment and focus on Sean, who obviously just wanted to have a good day together and not dwell on what was to come. He put his smile back on and joined Sean as they got into the car and drove off to enjoy however many days they have left together.

Copyright © 2019 Jdonley75; All Rights Reserved.
  • Like 47
  • Love 28
  • Wow 8
  • Sad 2
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. 
You are not currently following this author. Be sure to follow to keep up to date with new stories they post.

Recommended Comments

Chapter Comments

31 minutes ago, Tonyr said:

Wow! Great chapter, lots of revelations. 

Thank you.  There is still a lot more to come as far as their trip is concerned. 

30 minutes ago, Tonyr said:

I thought about that too.

Hm.  Thought about what now?

  • Haha 5
Link to comment

I’ve felt a little of what Tyler is feeling. In my case, it was my ex and his family on a group vacation on a houseboat on Lake Travis, near Austin, TX. I was apparently the first boyfriend he ever took to one of these events. I grew up poor and his family had accumulated significantly more money, especially after his older brothers started working (he has four brothers and a sister).

On a similar vacation after my ex and I broke up, they went snorkeling in Belize as a family.

When I was growing up, our usual vacation involved staying with relatives (usually with my favorite Aunt & Uncle and cousins). Even when we drove from San Diego to Chicago, we stayed with various relatives. On a road trip to Seattle, we stayed with family friends!

  • Like 1
Link to comment

I’ve only been in LAX airport once, when I was 8. I hate LA. It’s over-crowded, artificial, and soulless. And they waste all our water!

Hating LA is one of the few things where San Diego agrees with the Bay Area and the rest of Northern and Central California.

Link to comment
3 hours ago, pvtguy said:

Ah, at last my hunger for the continuation of this story has been sated a bit!  Now we really get to see how Tyler's life develops beyond the birth of Aaron.  Everything now is new.  I have a sense that Sean's life has been just as hard as Tyler's has been  - not money-wise, but whereas Tyler was poor monetarily, he had love and was adopted into the extended Howard family, Sean seemingly lacked those types of close relations.  He has begun to experience that now with Tyler and the family Howard.  I am looking forward to their facing this moment of decision for Sean and their, hopefully, building a life together!  Great job.  May the next chapter come sooner - or as soon as you are able.  Hope you are feeling much better.


I think you may be in for a surprise or two.

But I think you'll be very pleased with the end result.

  • Like 1
  • Love 4
Link to comment
2 hours ago, droughtquake said:

I’ve felt a little of what Tyler is feeling. In my case, it was my ex and his family on a group vacation on a houseboat on Lake Travis, near Austin, TX. I was apparently the first boyfriend he ever took to one of these events. I grew up poor and his family had accumulated significantly more money, especially after his older brothers started working (he has four brothers and a sister).

On a similar vacation after my ex and I broke up, they went snorkeling in Belize as a family.

When I was growing up, our usual vacation involved staying with relatives (usually with my favorite Aunt & Uncle and cousins). Even when we drove from San Diego to Chicago, we stayed with various relatives. On a road trip to Seattle, we stayed with family friends!

Tyler is going to face some very big decisions soon than he would probably like to.

All of my vacations as a kid were much the same as yours.  I never stayed in a hotel room until I was an adult traveling on vacation.  (And only when I was working in the hotel industry and able to get discounted rooms.)

  • Haha 4
Link to comment
5 minutes ago, Jdonley75 said:

All of my vacations as a kid were much the same as yours.  I never stayed in a hotel room until I was an adult traveling on vacation.  (And only when I was working in the hotel industry and able to get discounted rooms.)

Upon rereading what I wrote, it looks like I was saying we never stated in motels on the trips to Chicago and Seattle (which we did). I don’t recall ever staying in a hotel.

On the other hand, I’d been on a plane several times when I was only a few months old because we visited relatives in Chicago just before we moved from San José to Honolulu. In 1959 (just months after Hawaii statehood), my parents knew they weren’t going to be able to pay airfare back to the Mainland. Some relatives did fly out to visit us while we lived there, but plane trips were a luxury few could afford until deregulation began (a catastrophic move environmentally).

Link to comment
22 minutes ago, Danners said:

EDIT: Good lord, I ramble a lot. 

And I appreciate that! Not only does it make my tangental thoughts look less off-the-wall, but you bring up lots of good points. Fortunately, they don’t charge extra for long Comments!

Link to comment
9 hours ago, Jdonley75 said:

Glad you liked the chapter.  As far as how things hold up for Tyler, I guess you'll have to find out tomorrow. ;) 

So we are getting another chapter tomorrow? Oh that’s awesome 😎 

  • Love 4
Link to comment
7 hours ago, Jdonley75 said:

I think you may be in for a surprise or two.

But I think you'll be very pleased with the end result.

I like surprises! 

  • Love 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
3 hours ago, Danners said:

This chapter was definitely worth the wait. You repaid our patience many, many times over.

It sounds like Rob was testing Tyler’s integrity by telling him about Sean’s former companions. They used and abandoned his only son, but it was Sean’s generous nature that unfortunately made possible. A father wants to protect his child. I get the sense that Rob feels no small amount of guilt about not being there for Sean in ways that left him vulnerable, maybe because Tyler reminds him of the life they had when his first wife was alive.

So, as much as he wanted to believe Tyler’s honesty and good intentions, he couldn’t resist stacking the odds against him by revealing rather uncomfortable information. With Rob’s writing and production background, he’s so used to reading between the lines that he can’t trust anything at face value anymore. Also, like Sean said to Tyler, he thinks he knows more than he actually does.

It’s also a test for the boys as a couple in some ways. By spilling [some of] the beans, Rob is forcing a confrontation between his son and Tyler. If Sean rises to the occasion and Tyler accepts that Sean’s past relationships don't define their future together, it proves they’re serious about making this work.

Finally, I think it’s a bit of a test for Sean as well. Well, of Rob’s perception of Sean anyway. Sean needs to stop “finding himself” and decide what he wants, accept what he is rather than define himself by what he isn’t. He needs to marry his privileged status with the self-made man he wants to become. He doesn’t have to segregate being a rich kid and being normal, he needs to find a way to balance the two or incorporate them. Tyler can provide the equilibrium that’ll make that possible — that is, provided Sean is serious about pursuing a life together. If Sean can be honest with himself, he can be honest with Tyler, and their relationship will flourish.

Whatever his reasoning, I see Rob and Tyler’s conversation as a good thing. What Sean and Tyler have to talk about may be uncomfortable but it needs to be addressed at some point. It’s better to get it out of the way now, when they’re free of life’s usual distractions.


EDIT: Good lord, I ramble a lot. 

It's insights like this that make me glad I spent so much time making sure every moment was as detailed as they were.  I'm glad you're enjoying the continuation (and ultimate ending) of the story.  I think everyone will be pleased with the end result.

  • Love 5
Link to comment

View Guidelines

Create an account or sign in to comment

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

Create an account

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

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Newsletter

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

    Sign Up
  • Create New...

Important Information

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