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    LitLover
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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.

Choices - 10. Chapter 10

Chapter 10

 

"Natascha Petrov. How can I help you?"

"Hi, Nat."

"Liam MacPherson? It can’t be." As expected, Alek’s sister sounded shocked. "I'm surprised to hear from you."

"I know," Liam said as he let himself into his house. "I hope this is a good time?"

"It's fine. I just finished an open house and am heading to the office." Nat was a real estate broker in Ottawa, and from what Alek told him, she was pretty successful. Although he still had her number saved in his phone, he could have easily found her online. "What can I help you with?" Nat’s voice, sounding tinny over her Bluetooth connection, was friendly but aloof.

"I need to ask you something... about Alek."

"Why would you ask me? Wouldn't Alek be the one to talk to, or maybe Elena?"

"No," Liam said, rubbing his palm over his face. "I wanted to talk to you."

"Again, why me?"

"Because, even though you’ve always supported Alek, you didn't really approve of his sexuality."

"It's not that I didn't approve of my brother’s private life." Her exasperation came through as a huff of breath. "I'm just realistic enough to know the complications being gay will cause him."

"That's why I believe you'll be honest with me."

"You don't think Aleksei or Elena are capable of being honest?" There was a touch of steel in Natascha’s voice that made Liam immediately wary of overstepping.

"No, that's not what I mean. I think Elena is a romantic who could potentially gloss over the truth and tell me what she thinks I want to hear."

Nat laughed. "Ellie does have a romantic streak a mile wide."

Liam smiled. Elena was a sweet girl, but seemed to think relationships should be like the epilogue of a romantic novel. "Alek has his own agenda, which means I can't ask him. I need someone who has inside knowledge but won't sugar coat the truth for me."

"What do you want to know, Liam?"

"What happened between Alek and his girlfriend?"

Natascha snorted. "Natalia was never Aleksei's girlfriend."

"But, Elena told me they were dating."

"Oh, they dated," Nat confirmed, "but they were never truly together. Nata’s a smart girl. I’m sure she realized Alek wasn't interested in her."

“If that was true then why would she choose to stay in a relationship with someone who could never want her?"

"The same reasons Alek had, I suppose; interfering parents. Papa and her father have been friends for their whole lives. Sergei moved his family to Canada last year. Nata followed so she could attend school here. Our parents have been plotting for years to get the two of them together. One big happy family, you know?"

"So they pressured them?"

"From the moment she arrived. Her student Visa won’t last forever."

"But they're not together now?" Liam asked, wanting to confirm the overheard conversation between Alek and his dad.

"No, Alek finally ended that charade. I heard the explosion from here when papa lost it. My mother called me in tears lamenting over her lack of grandchildren and her disappointment in my brother's deviant lifestyle."

Liam's breath caught. "I can’t believe he finally came out to your family."

"About a week ago now. I have no idea why he bothered."

"What do you mean? I thought you wanted Alek to be happy?"

"I do, but what’s the point in coming out if you don't actually have anyone to do it for? He's causing himself a lot of problems without someone to turn to for comfort when the family turns on him."

"Maybe he did it for himself. Maybe he was tired of lying?"

"I don't doubt that, but there will be fallout. Papa is furious, and embarrassed. It’s a dangerous combination."

Liam felt his chest tighten. Alek must be miserable right now. "I saw Alek on Saturday. He never said a word."

Nat laughed. It wasn't a happy sound. "Why would he?"

"I thought...." Liam felt a flush heat his cheeks. "He said he loved me when he saw me at the hospital. He knew I’ve wanted him to come out since we started dating. Why wouldn't he say something when he finally did it?"

"Liam," she snapped, her tone scolding. "You have a boyfriend now. What about my brother would make you think he would try to come between that?"

It was on the tip of Liam’s tongue to correct her about his relationship with Nathan, but something held him back. "I... he said that?"

"He didn't have to. Elena told me she spoke with him. She said he seems more withdrawn than usual, but he's determined." Nat sighed over the phone. "He always was a stubborn bastard."

"So, you don’t think he and Natalia were actually together… really together?"

"It’s only speculation since I didn’t get to see them every day, but I don’t think so. I got the impression she knew what was going on. I still gave Alek a piece of my mind for using that poor girl as a beard, though. She didn’t deserve that."

"Why end it now? It sounds like he had the perfect set-up to continue flying under the radar. Why torpedo his life?" Liam was having trouble wrapping his head around all he’d heard… why was his heart beating so damn fast?

"Aleksei hasn't confided in me, except to say he realized life was too short to live a lie. Other than that, he won’t discuss it with me or Elena.”

Liam took a deep breath. “I have to go. There’s somewhere I have to be. Thank you for talking to me Nat. I know I’m probably not your favourite person right now.”

“It’s not that I don’t like you, Liam. I know why you left. You gave Alek a lot of chances, and he still managed to screw up. I get it. It makes me sad for him, but I understand. If you’ve managed to find someone to make you happy, then I’m happy for you.” Liam thought again about correcting her about Nathan, but kept his mouth shut.

“Thank you.”

“It was good to hear from you again. Take care of yourself.”

“I will. You too.”

When the line went dead he set down the phone and stared at it for several minutes. What he’d dreamed of for months had finally happened. Alek came out to his family. How did he feel about that? One thing was certain; he was confused. Yes, he was happy Alek was able to find the courage to be honest, but also disappointed that the man he loved for so long didn’t tell him, himself. Of course, if Alek thought Liam had moved on, why would he expose himself to rejection? Nat was right; the Aleksei he knew would never poach, and if he thought Liam and Nathan were together, he would back off. With a deep sigh, Liam headed to the bathroom to shower. Nathan was expecting him.

 

The restaurant was buzzing with activity when he arrived. Though crowded, it didn’t take him long to find Nathan sitting in a corner booth. He was waving him over.

“I thought you might have gotten lost,” the paramedic teased.

“Sorry.” Liam gave him a guilty smile and grabbed the menu. “Something came up, and I lost track of time.”

“Nothing bad I hope?”

Liam looked up at his friend, seeing concern and affection in his eyes. “Nothing bad, just thought provoking.”

Their conversation paused when the waiter arrived to take their drink orders, and didn’t start back up until the young man brought their water glasses. Once they were alone again, Nathan reached across the table and squeezed his hand.

“What’s going on? Is there anything you want to talk about?”

Liam considered whether or not he wanted to discuss his ex-boyfriend with Nathan. Maybe it would be better to talk to Marty, since his best friend knew more about the situation. After a brief internal struggle, he bit the bullet and relayed Alek’s argument with his father, and his own conversation with Natascha. Nathan didn’t speak through Liam’s entire narration, simply sitting quietly, and nodding on occasion.

“What do you think?”

Nathan shifted in his chair and stared across the room before his blue eyes met Liam’s again. “Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course.”

“Are you considering taking Alek back?”

Liam nearly choked on the sip of water he had taken. Peering at his friend, he didn’t see jealousy or anger, but there was an emotion there he wasn’t sure of. “I don’t know,” he finally replied. “A lot happened between Alek and me. There are a lot of hurt feelings. I don’t know if I can trust him again.”

“I think you’re right to be cautious. He had a lot of chances to make things right while you were still together. I would understand if you never wanted to go there again.”

Liam nodded, wondering if Nathan was going to advise him to walk away from Alek completely.

“That said, I do think you do need to talk to him, at least to find out why he never told you he came out. This is obviously bothering you enough that you contacted his sister. I have no idea why Aleksei wouldn’t rush over to tell you he’d finally done what you’ve wanted for over a year. That’s something only he knows.”

“I suppose so.”

Nathan squeezed his hand again. “Even if you decide you can’t take him back, maybe it will give you the closure you need to move on.”

Liam stared at the handsome man sitting across from him, feeling warmth spread through his chest. He was a wonderful man. Why couldn’t he want Nathan? Life would be so much simpler if he was committed to this kind and generous soul. Wiping a stray tear, he nodded in agreement. “I think you’re right. I want to know why, but I don’t think I’m ready to see him yet. Everything is too much of a jumble in my head. I don’t want to see Alek, and possibly rush back into his arms without thinking this through.”

“You’re too hard on yourself. Why would you even think you need to deal with this today? Or even tomorrow?” Nathan quirked an eyebrow. “If you need time to process before you talk to Aleksei, then take the time. If you can’t rest until you talk to him, then call him after dinner and arrange a time to meet. You are the one who gets to decide this. Who knows, maybe after more thought, you’ll decide you want to leave well enough alone. The choice is yours.”

“You’re a good friend. Much too good of a friend for me.”

“What are you talking about?” Nathan’s expression darkened, and a frown marred his expression.

“Here I am running to you and crying on your shoulder about my ex after you invited me out to a nice dinner. I feel like I’m being unfair to you. I know you had hoped… well you know.”

“Liam,” Nathan sighed and ran a hand through his short hair. “You’ve been upfront and honest with me from the beginning. I know you still have feelings for Aleksei, and I accept that. I wanted to be your friend then, and I want to be your friend now. Would I have liked it if you were free to go out with me? Of course, but I walked into this with my eyes wide open, and I’m happy you’ve allowed me into your life.”

“You’re such an amazing guy. I really wish things could be different.”

“Me too, but some things aren’t meant to be.”

“So,” Liam said with a wink, wanting to lighten the mood. “Anything going on between you and Bryce I should know about?”

Nathan blushed bright red, coughing into his hand. “I don’t know what you mean.”

“Don’t play coy with me,” he teased. “It was obvious there was chemistry between you two.”

“I don’t think that was about me. Bryce must have chemistry with any guy he comes into contact with.”

“He does like to flirt, but he doesn’t generally stick around long if he’s not actually interested. He didn’t leave your side for most of the night.”

Nathan’s blush deepened again, and he toyed with his water glass. “I guess. He’s cute enough. I just don’t see anything happening there.”

“Okay,” Liam acquiesced. “I’ll stop trying to throw Bryce at you. I know I hate when people do that to me.”

“Thank you,” he replied, his shoulders relaxing noticeably. He watched the waiter approach with their menus before turning back to Liam. “Now, let’s figure out what we’re ordering. I haven’t had a good steak in over a week.”

 

After dinner Liam thanked Nathan with a hug before sending him on his way. He stood in the middle of the sidewalk for a moment, unsure what he wanted to do. The situation with Alek still had him unsettled and wary. A part of him wanted to forget he’d heard anything and continue to try to pick up the pieces of his life. He knew a lot of people who would say forgetting Alek was probably the best choice. After all, how many times was he expected to open himself up to someone, only to be disappointed again? Wrapping his jacket tightly around himself, he walked to his car. Nathan was right; this was his choice and he wasn’t going to force himself to make a decision tonight. His damn heart, though, was still beating faster than normal.

I'd like to send out a big thank you to my editor/beta and dear friend, Gary, for all of his hard work and dedication and helping me become a better writer.  :worship: :worship: :worship:   Thank you to all of you who read and support this story. :thankyou:

Copyright © 2017 LitLover; 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



Talk to the man! You won't have peace of mind until you do. That doesn't mean it has to be tonight, but still.

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I hope he and Alek have that talk soon. It was obvious that Alek still loves him. I jhope he came out for himself and for the sake of love

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How come all Canadians seem so nice ? Liam, Nathan, Alek, Natascha, Elena ... etc ... Sure, they might make mistakes but no one seemed to have a mean bone in them ... It sounded so nice ...

 

Does this chapter gain some points for Tram Alek ??

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Thought for Liam: Yes, by all means talk to Aleksei. But be certain that you are ready, first.
Thought for Nathan: you are one very fine individual, and a paragon of a friend. You may be far too good for Bryce.
Thought for Lit: This is a splendid story, and a delight to read...and to anticipate. Thanks for writing it.

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I tried posting a review this morning only to be told GA was going through maintenance! Aargh!

 

Liam, Liam, Liam. Your apparent obsession for a man who is toxic for you is annoying to me. You obviously cannot be with him since you left him several times in the past, yet you can’t get him out of your mind. He may have Come Out, but his domineering father will always be there to cause more problems in the future.

 

You need to get over him and be with a man who has been supportive from the first time he met you. I don’t think you’ve really given Nathan the opportunity to become more than an occasional companion. Whenever you start to really warm up to Nathan, Alek shows up like a James Cameron movie that just won’t end.

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Well, you surprised me with the phone call to Alek's sister. And an interesting phone call it was too. The conversation with Nathan was really good. As everyone, including me, keep commenting, he is an amazing guy and a good friend. Now it's time for Liam to put on his thinking cap and sort things out. Love these guys; love this story! Thanks. Jeff

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Go ahead and talk to Alek. Who knows you may like what he says. But think long and hard before you do Liam. Cause Alek's dad is NOT going to go quietly into that good night.

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Great chapter, Lit. I loved the phone call, and the talk with Nathan. At the risk of causing trouble, my heart goes out to the big Russian :o . Seriously, I know how hard it is to turn your life upside down. And he's doing it without the man he loves. He's alone. You tugged at my heartstrings, my friend... Alek has finally made a choice, and I'm happy for him. Cheers... Gary....

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I just don't agree. I don't think Liam has anything more to say to Alek. How many times can a person be hurt?? Doesn't matter that Alek finally grew a pair and came out. Obviously from past chapters, his family will always be first before anyone else. I don't kno anyone who would want to live that way. It will be interesting to see what happens, but if he goes back to Alek that will be the biggest mistake of his life!

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Great chapter Lit... The call surprised me, but it was good. Liam definitely needs to talk to Alek whatever the outcome. There's unfinished business there.
Nathan is a good, very good man and friend..
Alek wasn't wrong in not running to tell Liam I don't think. Liam asked him to stay away, he promised to win Liam back and respect his wishes for the time being. Maybe he wasn't done yet. Maybe telling his parents and breaking off with Natalia was just the beginning. He still has to maybe look into supporting himself if his family drops him. He knows what his family is like better than anyone and then guys suffer from something called pride.. What would he have to offer Liam if he was homeless and jobless.. I'm just supposing here, but a talk now would do them good.

 

I am totally on board Team Nyce! Nathan might be the guy to tame Bryce and Bryce the right kind of wild for Nathan..

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Liam bought himself some time by not telling Alek's sister he was still single. Nathan may be right about Liam being able to chose when to talk to Alek, but I think it's better for everyone involved if Liam makes a choice soon. Not to take Alek back, but about whether he can see the possibility because he still loves him. In order to do that he needs to talk to the man - but as he said -only when he feels strong enough, to avoid falling into his former lover's arms (no matter how much they both may want to). Of, course seeing Alek may also make Liam realize he cares about him as a friend and regrets what they have lost, but he's not ready to go back.
Once Liam has made his choice, he can tell Nathan, Cody and Alek, and then they can start seeing each other as friends in order to test the waters. There will be plenty of challenges ahead, particularly if Alek's father turns up and starts slinging accusations at Liam. He may regret that, since Alek is probably more protective of Liam than ever. He may shrug off any insults to himself, but he'll defend Liam vigorously, as a friend or boyfriend.

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Well, well, well, an interesting chapter indeed...

 

I agree with Def - Team Nyce - I can see that working, Nathan might just be the man to tame Bryce

 

And I agree with Tim - I can easily see a chapter ahead with Alek fighting with his father over something said about Liam. It may just be what his family needs to see this is real.

 

Bring on the next chapter

Edited by Bucket1
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My first review on the new site. :D

 

Not sure, why I should be delighted after reading that chapter, though. I mean, why oh why Lit did you have to go and put a gate (albeit locked) in the fence that I was standing so resolutely on the the side that was not Alek's? Ah well, I did mention that it was a locked gate, didn't I? 

 

Other than that little issue, the chapter was terrific as usual. :)

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Guest Dee M

Posted

Ugh I've been torn between heart and head. I was cheering for Nathan but hoping Alek would get it together. He should talk to him, like right now. ? How many days until the next chapter. Lol

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Nathan is such a wonderful guy, and I know he'd be good to Liam. On the other hand, Alek did come out to his family, and he broke it off with his fake girlfriend. But...will family pressures keep him true to himself? Or will he buckle under the pressure? Does Liam want to give him yet ANOTHER chance, despite Alek doing what Liam wanted by coming out to his family? I would really hate to be Liam right now. lol

 

Great chapter, Lit! :)

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Great chapter. I never have understood this poaching concept. I agree that it is rude to come on to someone who is in a relationship but Liam is not an object but a person and has his own say in where his heart should point. I am still rooting for a spark between Nathan and Liam. It is great for Alek to come out but the issue may remain the same: that he is not self confident enough to make choices for himself rather than because of what others will think of him.  Coming out is only one instance where this plays out. Does Liam want someone who may not stand up for them.

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On 3/16/2017 at 0:34 PM, Puppilull said:

Talk to the man! You won't have peace of mind until you do. That doesn't mean it has to be tonight, but still.

 

It's true, communication can be a good thing.  Thank you for your review and support, Puppi. 

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On 3/16/2017 at 0:41 PM, Wesley8890 said:

I hope he and Alek have that talk soon. It was obvious that Alek still loves him. I jhope he came out for himself and for the sake of love

 

Yes, it does seem that Alek still loves him.  Whether or not that can be enough remains to be seen. Thank you for your review and support, Wesley.

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On 3/16/2017 at 1:11 PM, Lyssa said:

Interesting Information, this makes an ending only harder. I guess Liam has to talk to Alek. :-)

 

It seems that most people agree with you that Liam needs to talk to Alek.  


Thank you for your review and support, Lyssa :) 

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On 3/16/2017 at 1:22 PM, hohochan657 said:

How come all Canadians seem so nice ? Liam, Nathan, Alek, Natascha, Elena ... etc ... Sure, they might make mistakes but no one seemed to have a mean bone in them ... It sounded so nice ...

 

Does this chapter gain some points for Tram Alek ??

 

lol well we Canadians are generally thought of as nice people.  

 

I'm not sure how many points Team Alek has gained. I think those who didn't like him before haven't budged too much.  Thank you for your review and support, HoHo

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On 3/16/2017 at 2:11 PM, Parker Owens said:

Thought for Liam: Yes, by all means talk to Aleksei. But be certain that you are ready, first.
Thought for Nathan: you are one very fine individual, and a paragon of a friend. You may be far too good for Bryce.
Thought for Lit: This is a splendid story, and a delight to read...and to anticipate. Thanks for writing it.

 

Thank you, Parker.  Those are wonderful thoughts.  :hug:

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On 3/16/2017 at 8:08 PM, Headstall said:

Great chapter, Lit. I loved the phone call, and the talk with Nathan. At the risk of causing trouble, my heart goes out to the big Russian :o . Seriously, I know how hard it is to turn your life upside down. And he's doing it without the man he loves. He's alone. You tugged at my heartstrings, my friend... Alek has finally made a choice, and I'm happy for him. Cheers... Gary....

The fact that Alek is making these changes without the man he loves is his own doing. Liam gave him every chance he could to make these changes and would have been there to support him 100%. Alek chose to push the subject aside until Liam had finally had enough.  Although I'm happy that Alek is finally being true to himself, I don't feel bad that he's doing it alone.

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