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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.

A Tattoo for Lex - 30. Chapter 30

Cassie's back!

Sunday morning found the two men stuck in traffic trying to get out of Boston. They had gotten on the road by late morning but an accident on the Mass Pike was snarling traffic down to a slow crawl. Lex took in his surroundings as they inched their way through the congestion. He suddenly realized that they must be close to Fenway when he saw the famous Citgo sign. Lex didn’t really have a favorite sport and he knew enough to keep his opinions to himself regarding anything to do with football or baseball. New England fans were positively rabid in their loyalty and woe to those who got in their way. Lex did admit to himself that he would love to see a game at the park. Baseball was one of those sports that was boring to watch on TV but to see it played in a stadium was literally a whole different ball game so to speak. There was something about the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd when the ball was hit into home run territory that just didn’t translate when you watched it on television.

At long last they passed the accident and traffic finally picked up. A flatbed trailer had jackknifed, spilling its load of what looked like bags of cement powder all over the road. The only way past was along the shoulder as the state police had all the other lanes blocked off. Luckily it looked like the truck was the only vehicle involved and Lex saw the driver speaking with one of the troopers as they passed. Once they were on their way for real the rest of the trip was uneventful. By unspoken agreement Lex and Ian did not talk about the events of the past few days. They were both still processing everything and they needed to let all the information bounce around their brains before they would be able to sort it all out. Instead they listened to music, more of the indie stuff Ian had found. Lex called Ms. Helen to see if she would be alright with Cassie renting a room for a little while. Of course Ms. Helen said she would be delighted. Lex also told her he would like to take her up on her offer to have guests stay there for the wedding. He didn’t tell her who, he wasn’t ready just yet, only that it was a family of four, two adults and two little girls. Once again she quickly agreed.

When the call ended Lex rested his head against the headrest and sighed. Ian looked over and asked “Are you OK?”

Lex kept his eyes closed and replied “Yeah, I’m still trying to process everything. In a way this weekend was everything that I hoped for and everything that I feared. And before you say anything, I’m over the fear part, but I guess I should explain. The past two years have given me time to imagine every possible scenario from being welcomed with open arms to being thrown out on the sidewalk to having my ass kicked. Whenever I imagined the whole ‘welcomed with open arms’ scene I would picture him with a family. I admit, I did picture a wife and not a husband. That one definitely threw me for a loop for sure. I guess the apple really didn’t fall far from that tree huh? But I always had trouble with imagining the family part. I guess it’s because I wasn’t raised in a traditional sort of family. I was always afraid I wouldn’t know how to react, or how to interact with new siblings. Let’s face it, I’m a self admitted non-people person, if such a thing exists. But as soon as we stepped into their house and I saw those two little faces, all my fear vanished.” Lex opened his eyes and looked over at Ian who kept his eyes on the road. He continued “I know it’s because you were right there next to me. You have shown me that it’s OK to open myself up. I know that as long as I have you in my life I can deal with other people. My back doesn’t define me any more, thanks to you. So, yeah, I was afraid, and then I wasn’t. You keep me on my toes. I feel like I’m ready to take on the world with you by my side.”

Ian glanced over at Lex and smiled saying “I feel the same way about you. You make me feel like I can accomplish anything just as long as you’re there with me.” Turning his eyes back on the road he added “Let’s start small. Instead of taking on the world, let’s start by taking on Cassie tomorrow. You with me?”

Lex laughed and snorted “You call taking on Cassie ‘small’?”

Ian laughed with him and tried to backtrack “I take it back. I think I’d rather take on the world than Cassie, but I believe that we can do it together. You handled her on your own for how long? I think the two of us might, and I repeat, might, just be able to handle her!”

Lex’s phone buzzed with an incoming text. “Speak of the devil! Her flight gets in around 6:15 tomorrow night. She’s going to rent a car so we don’t have to go get her. I’m going to tell her to stay with us for the night and we can get her settled at Ms. Helen’s on Tuesday.” Lex told Ian as he typed out a reply. Ian nodded his agreement.

They managed to pull in their driveway shortly before two and hauled their bags in the house, leaving them near the cellar door as most of the clothes were going into the laundry. Ian took a couple of steaks out of the freezer for later and then grabbed two beers from the refrigerator and handed one to Lex. They went out to the patio and enjoyed the mid afternoon sun as it made its way across the sky. They both had to motivate themselves to move when the sun started to dip behind the treetops. Lex managed to get up first and hauled Ian to his feet. Once inside he grabbed the bag with their remaining clean clothes and toiletries and set off down the hall to put things away while Ian took the dirty clothes down cellar to start a load of laundry. Together they prepared supper and cleaned up after.

Before settling on the porch in front of the big TV Ian called his parents. Lex hadn’t wanted to tell them about his father until after they came back. Rick answered the phone and Lex listened to Ian explain where they went this weekend and why. Both phones ended up on speaker so it turned into a fourway conversation. Rick and Kathy were happy and excited for Lex. Kathy was thrilled that there would be two more little kids to spoil. She couldn’t wait to meet them. The call ended with her making plans for entertaining the kids while they were here. Apparently Jessie and her brood were coming up the weekend before the wedding and Sean would fly up on Wednesday as there was a big event at the marina that he needed to oversee. Lex and Ian managed to get in a couple of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy in before horniness took over and they abandoned the TV for better entertainment in the bedroom. Both knew that Cassie would in all likelihood end up in their bed tomorrow night so they took full advantage of the time they had now.

Monday morning they were both up early. Ian wanting to get to the shop and catch up on paperwork. The new girl, Brieann was coming in and Ian wanted to start her training. Lex needed to finish the gazebo. The weather was supposed to be nice as it called for an Indian summer day, one of those last truly warm days that fall occasionally brings. Throwing on old shorts and a t-shirt he set off to do just that. The cool morning air felt a little nippy, but as he worked it gradually warmed up until he was glad that he had on shorts. The sealant he was using stunk and he hoped the smell wouldn’t cling to him later. By early afternoon he was almost finished. All he had left was the floor and the stairs. He took a break and stepped back to admire is handiwork. The gazebo practically shone in the sunlight. All the weathered gray had been sanded away and the wood gleamed with its natural honey amber color. Lex pictured him and Ian as they said their vows and smiled. Finishing off his bottle of water he got to work again and a few hours later nodded his approval to himself as he admired the finished project.

After cleaning up his supplies and putting everything away for the final time Lex rewarded himself with a long, hot shower. His muscles were a little sore from the work but in a good kind of way. Once he was dressed he looked at the time and saw that Ian would be home soon. Making his way into the kitchen he inhaled the delicious scent of the pork that Ian had put in the crockpot that morning. It had simmered all day long and taking off the lid, Lex stuck a fork into the meat and hummed his approval when it pretty much fell apart. He made quick work of pulling the meat apart. They would be enjoying pulled pork sandwiches once Ian arrived and there would be plenty for Cassie when she got there. Lex was sure she would be hungry, just as he was sure the sun would rise in the east.

As he finished with the meat he heard the truck door slam and he smiled to himself. Ian came through the door with a smile of his own and the two embraced like they hadn’t seen each other in ages.

“Mmmmm, that smells fantastic,” Ian exclaimed, and then biting down on Lex’s neck he added “You do too!”

Lex squirmed under the assault and laughed “You should have smelled me earlier when I reeked of sealant. You’d be singing a whole new tune.”

“Did you finish the gazebo today? Ian asked.

“Mmm-hmm, it looks amazing in the sunlight. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to really get a look. I hate that the sun starts setting so much earlier.”

Ian looked out the slider at the gazebo which was shaded in the waning light. The sun was fully behind the trees but he could still see hues of amber in the dimming light. He admired Lex’s work and told him “It looks amazing. I’m proud of you. I don’t think I would have had the patience to do that. You’ve given us the perfect backdrop for our wedding. I can’t wait.”

Lex kissed him and replied “I can’t wait either. Let’s go eat and enjoy the peace and quiet before Hurricane Cassie arrives.”

Ian laughed and turned to the counter where Lex had set out the rolls and coleslaw and potato chips. They both fixed huge sandwiches and sat down to enjoy. Ian told Lex that he thought Brieann was going to work out really well. He was hoping that she would be able to handle the business that he normally would take so he could concentrate on getting the foundation up and running and concentrate on scar work. Lex agreed that it was a good plan. After they cleaned up, they both grabbed their laptops and Ian worked on some billing for the shop and a supply order while Lex sifted through his emails that he had neglected. His inbox, while not overflowing, still had a lot to sort through. He was floored by the amount of junk that came through. Most of the work requests that he had received were easy to respond to. He had decided to refer all requests for the next several weeks to a couple of other computer techs that he knew from his college days, not really friends, but more like acquaintances. He didn’t need the work and wanted his time free to concentrate on the wedding.

He was just about finished when he heard a car door slam. He and Ian quickly put their computers aside and braced themselves. Sure enough, Cassie came flying through the door and attached herself to Lex like a leech. He hugged her back just as tight until she squeaked and then let go, turning her attention to Ian and latched onto him the same way.

Ian laughed and said “Welcome back Cassie!”

Cassie’s smile was huge and she informed them “Don’t you mean ‘welcome home’? She laughed when they both rolled there eyes.

Lex looked at her and told her “This is our home, get your own, wench.”

Cassie shot him the bird, looked at Ian and demanded “Where’s the food?”

Ian, having been exposed to Cassie and therefore was corrupted, shot her a look and replied “In the fucking shed Cass, where the hell do you think it should be?”

Cassie just turned her back and sauntered into the kitchen like she owned the place. Ian and Lex followed her, smiling at each other. Cassie was back and somehow that made them both happy. Ian still couldn’t get over the amount of food Cassie could eat. She piled two rolls high with pulled pork, slathered them with barbeque sauce and grabbed the rest of the chips and two beers. Lex had already put the coleslaw away knowing Cassie’s aversion to all things mayonnaise related.

After Cassie had taken her first huge bite and swallowed it, moaning in ecstasy, she sighed and then commanded “Spill it Nemo, I need details. I’m still pissed you left me hanging so I want every last detail!”

Together Lex and Ian went over their eventful weekend while Cassie enjoyed her sandwiches and beer. They explained as much as they could about what Ryan had told them. Lex smiled as he recalled the stories Ryan shared about his mom. He even explained about the whole last and middle name fiasco. Cassie laughed when they told her how Lex got his middle name. Lex handed over his phone and let Cassie scroll through the pictures he had taken.

“Oh my God, Lex, they are adorable!” she exclaimed when she saw all the pictures of the girls. “This one has your eyes,” she noticed. Lex went on to explain how they used donor eggs and ended up with each having a biological daughter.

He looked at Cassie and admonished “Stop. Right now. I can practically see what you are thinking and you will NOT corrupt those two little girls. This world can barely handle one of you. I will not let you unleash further terror upon the population. Understand?”

Cassie laughed and stuck out her tongue then said “You’re no fun, just try and stop me!”

“How about if we give you something else to focus on instead?” Ian baited her.

Cassie’s eyes focused intently on Ian’s blue orbs and said “Speak.”

“Cassie, he’s not a dog and if you won’t behave we won’t let you in on our little plan.” admonished Lex.

Cassie pouted for all of two seconds and then said sweetly “Please, continue with what you were going to say my darling Ian.”

Ian snorted and shaking his head turned to Lex asking “Are you sure you want her in charge of the foundation?”

Cassie’s eyes widened and then just as quickly narrowed as she inquired “Just what foundation are you talking about and what do you two have up your collective sleeves?”

Lex filled her in on their idea for a charitable foundation to help those who had suffered extensive scarring from burns or other means. He told her about the work that Seth did at the hospital and how Ian had come up with the idea and how they both thought she would be perfect for the job.

Lex finished by saying “Cassie, you have absolutely fantastic research skills, you know the ins and outs of marketing, you are the brightest people person I know, and you have the ability to network like no one else can. What do you think?’

Cassie looked quite pensive for a few moments, thinking things through. Lex knew she was mentally weighing the pros and cons. Finally she smiled brightly and said “Ink Well. The foundation should be named the Ink Well Foundation. Think about it. An actual inkwell is a container for ink, right? Ink is a primary tool for a tattoo artist. Ink comes from an inkwell and holds the colors that will create something beautiful. Kind of a play on words. Ink. Well. Well being? Makes sense to me.”

Ian and Lex just sat there stunned. Finally Lex found his voice and said “Cassie, you are amazing. That is perfect in every way. Makes total sense. The ink will set them on the path to being well. It worked for me.”

Ian voiced his agreement and ruefully admitted to Lex “This means we have to keep her you know. She can’t go back to Seattle. Are you going to be alright with her being within reach of the girls? We might not be able to protect them from her.” Ian was trying to keep a straight face and almost managed it until Cassie belched. The sound that came from her should not have been able to come from a girl. Ian could have sworn the walls shook. He couldn’t hold back his laugh anymore.

Lex joined in and when he was finally able to speak he looked at Ian and said “Yeah, we’ll just have to do the best we can. If Ryan and Seth help it’ll be four against one. We might stand a slim chance.’

Cassie finished her beer, wiped her mouth on a napkin and informed them “You’ll have a snowball’s chance in Hell in the middle of August. That’s what you’ll have. So when does this job start?”

Lex told her “After the wedding. Ryan said he’d hook us up with a colleague who’s done this kind of thing before and Seth will help with referrals when things are up and running. We have a lot to plan before it will actually get off the ground.”

“Speaking of wedding, where are you with that? What’s done and what still needs doing?” Cassie asked.

Lex told her that everything was close to being done. He still needed to get fresh mulch for the flower beds, they had scheduled the tent and chairs to be delivered the day before so they wouldn’t have to worry about setting anything up the day of. Kathy was just waiting for Cassie to tell her what day was good and they could get the supplies they needed for the decorations. He reminded her to keep it simple and classy. Duke had everything under control regarding the food. Maggie, his wife was in charge of dessert. Ian said she was an awesome cake decorator, but she may surprised them with something else. Either way, it would be amazing.

Cassie took mental note of everything and told Lex to let her know what they needed help with but she was glad it was all under control. Yawning widely she kissed them both and said she was going to bed. She didn’t specify which bed and neither man was surprised later to find her sprawled out across the king size bed in their room, sound asleep after her long day of travel. They just went with it. After brushing their teeth and taking care of their bladders they somehow managed to wrestle Cassie’s limbs into an area smaller than the state of Texas and slid in under the covers, one on each side. It wasn’t the best night’s sleep they ever had, but it was far from the worst. Both men fell asleep happy and that is what counted in the end.

Things are going to move along now. There's only a few chapters left and still some ground to cover. As always please let me know how things are going. Love the feedback!

Copyright © 2019 kbois; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

I agree, a perfect name for the foundation.   Great chapter and I look forward to more.  Sad it has to end at some point but, ah well, that's life.

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3 hours ago, Ivor Slipper said:

Great name for the Foundation :2thumbs:

Yeah... Cassie's a smart cookie!

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2 hours ago, Fae Briona said:

I'll blame it on sleep deprivation but has Lex seen Briann?  I'd think his ability to see auras would help weed out some people you'd not want working for you.

Loved the chapter, and the foundation name is perfect.

Nope. Lex hasn't seen her.  Ian did all the interviewing and went with his gut.  

I waffled over the name for a while until Cassie yelled at me! 😁 


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2 hours ago, avidreadr said:

I agree, a perfect name for the foundation.   Great chapter and I look forward to more.  Sad it has to end at some point but, ah well, that's life.

Thanks!  And yes the end is coming soon.  It's been written for a while and I've been tweaking it here and there.  All good things must come to an end ☹

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1 more typo : 

« how they both though she would be perfect for the job » (thought ?) 

Cassie always makes me lmao 🤣

(6 more chapters before Jarren’s story 😄)

Edited by Danilo Syrtis
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14 hours ago, Danilo Syrtis said:

1 more typo : 

« how they both though she would be perfect for the job » (thought ?) 

Cassie always makes me lmao 🤣

(6 more chapters before Jarren’s story 😄)

I just backtracked and I think I got all the typos. I may just have to recruit you when I start my next story! 

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Cassie will be a brilliant foundation lead. It makes so much sense with her background, and the author needed a good reason to move her near Nemo and Marlin (Ian. How Cassie hasn't called him that yet should be a crime...).

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2 minutes ago, astone2292 said:

Cassie will be a brilliant foundation lead. It makes so much sense with her background, and the author needed a good reason to move her near Nemo and Marlin (Ian. How Cassie hasn't called him that yet should be a crime...).

Marlin was Nemo's dad. Ewww. 

Peach.... the starfish. That's more like it... a tank buddy. 😉😉

(Yes, it's been almost 20 years, but I know my Finding Nemo. At one point in time I could recite it line for line)

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