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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 - 5. Chapter 5

Chapter 5

 

Liam woke feeling marginally better than he had the morning before, which he hoped was a good sign of his progress. He was nowhere near ready to start rehab, but was excited by the prospect of getting back to his old self. As he lay in bed stretching his aching muscles, he heard the telltale sounds of another person moving through the house.

As footsteps passed by his door, the memory of his last conversation with his best friend made him flush with happiness. Marty moving to Toronto hadn’t seriously occurred to him. It was something he might`ve wished for, but never expected to actually happen. The man loved trudging all over the Nova Scotia countryside as a land surveyor. A promotion would mean being pulled from the field and becoming more involved in the actual creation of the plans and surveys for the company’s larger projects. According to Marty, the compensation given would more than make up for the fresh air he’d be giving up.

Deciding he’d lazed in bed long enough, Liam shuffled and yawned his way to the bathroom, pleased to note his legs barely protested, even though he had yet to take any painkillers. After taking care of business and brushing his teeth, he headed for the kitchen, snickering when he heard a loud metallic clang followed by his best friend cussing quietly.

“Don’t wreck my damned kitchen,” he teased as he rounded the corner, grinning at Marty’s startled expression.

“Don’t blame me. Your pot rack is rigged to attack.”

Chuckling, Liam sat in one of the stools by the island. “The left corner does have a loose hanger.”

“Nice of you to mention that after it almost killed me.”

“My most humble apologies, my liege. Is there anything I can do to make it up to you?”

Marty grumbled about lawsuits, but the humour in his eyes told Liam he wasn’t truly upset. The two men chatted about nothing in particular while Marty prepared breakfast. Soon the smell of pancakes and warm maple syrup filled the room, making Liam’s mouth water.

“I know you’ve been living on your own for a while, but when the hell did you learn to cook like this?” Liam asked when he was finally able to taste the delicious food.

Marty shrugged. “Mom taught me. I guess she got tired of me calling every time I set off the fire alarm.”

“Well, you are the same guy who burned Kraft Dinner so badly the fire department had to be called,” Liam teased, laughing when Marty gave him the middle finger. “Your mom’s tried to get you into the kitchen with her for years. She must’ve been thrilled.”

“She was in heaven. I learned to dice, julienne, chop, grill, and broil with the best of them. She even made me a copy of my grandmother’s cookbook. Some of the stuff in there is way out of my league, but I can handle the easier things. My biggest problem is remembering I have something on the stove.”

Liam hummed in appreciation as the delicate pancakes practically melted in his mouth. “Tell her I said she did a great job. Maybe I need to fly her in to teach me a few things.”

“You’re already her favourite,” Marty scoffed good-naturedly. “All she needs is a reason raise the pedestal even higher.”

Liam grinned. Eileen Harrison had always treated him like one of her kids. The woman was a godsend after his dad died. She’d managed to deflect most of the well-wishing mourners away, and organized meals for him to last for months. Besides Marty, she was the person he’d missed most when he moved to Ontario.

“How are your parents anyways? The last I heard from Eileen, your dad was digging in his heels about the healthy diet she was trying to put them on?”

Marty shook his head as he joined Liam at the counter with his own plate. “Dad’s a stubborn ass. The doctor told him his blood pressure was too high and he should cut back on the salt and fried food. He’s pissed she wants him to give up his McDonald’s and pizza.”

“I’d put money on your mom being the more stubborn of the two of them.”

“You’ve got that right,” Marty replied with a laugh. “She’ll get him whipped into shape. She’s informed him he’s not allowed to make her a widow just yet.”

They ate the rest of breakfast in companionable silence, and Liam managed to help clear away the dishes before Marty shooed him back to the couch to rest.

 

A light lunch and two short naps later, Liam was flipping through one of Corey’s textbooks when there was a knock at the door.

“I’ll get it,” Marty said as he rose from the armchair with a joint-popping stretch.

Liam heard voices coming from the direction of the front door before the enticing scent of spicy tomato sauce wafted toward him. He turned to see Nathan enter the room, with Marty close behind.

“Nathan,” Liam greeted the man with a smile. “You found the place.”

“Yep,” the paramedic replied, holding up the pizza box. “And I come bearing gifts. I was going to bring a movie, but figured we could find something on Netflix we’d all like to watch.”

Marty excused himself, telling Nathan to make himself comfortable next to Liam on the couch while he went to the kitchen to grab plates and drinks. Mentally rolling his eyes at his friend’s pathetic set-up attempts, Liam scooted over to make room, patting the empty space beside him.

“How are you feeling? It looks like your colour is coming back.”

Liam reached up to straighten his hair, realizing it was probably standing up everywhere after laying on the couch all day. He loved having his friend there to take care of him, but he couldn’t wait until he was able to stay awake for more than a couple of hours at a time. ‘Sloth’ was not a good look for anyone.

“I’m feeling much better. It doesn’t feel like every muscle in my body is bruised anymore… only half of them.”

The other man laughed, his eyes lighting up with amusement. “And what about your head? Any headaches or dizziness?”

“What are you, my doctor?” Liam kidded, immediately feeling bad when Nathan’s expression turned from amused to apologetic. “I’m only joking… the headaches are still there, but they’re not as severe, and I’ve only had a couple of bouts of dizziness since being discharged.”

Nathan’s smile was tentative, but at least he was smiling again. “Good to hear. Are you up for pizza?”

“Definitely. We should also pick a movie before Marty comes back and makes us watch whatever horror flick he’s obsessed with this week.”

“I heard that.” Liam and Nathan both chuckled when Marty returned with a scowl on his face. “As punishment for that remark, I should make you watch Resident Evil.”

“Not a freaking chance. The last movie you made me watch was the goriest thing I ever saw in my life. You’re just as bad as Aleksei. He convinced me watch Cabin the Woods because Chris Hemsworth was in it. I think he had ulterior motives though because I spent most of the movie in his lap.” Liam realized what he’d said when Marty shot him a funny look. Shifting uncomfortably in his seat, he grabbed the remote and brought up the Netflix option on the television. “So what do we want to watch?”

In the end, they settled on The Avengers because Chris Hemsworth was easy on the eyes as Thor, and according to Marty, ‘Scarlett Johansson looks hot in a body suit.’ Marty and Nathan joked back and forth, parroting lines of the movie, and Liam was pleased to see the two men getting along so well. They’d even discovered a shared an interest in hockey, The Walking Dead, and a dislike of reality television.

Between the three of them, they’d quickly laid waste to a large pizza and a six-pack of beer, although Liam abstained from the alcohol. Nathan had taken a cab over and was free to indulge. Liam was tired and yawning heavily by the time the end credits started to roll. His stamina was still not back to where it was before the accident. It was frustrating, even if he knew he was improving. Although he realized it wasn’t going to be easy, he was looking forward to starting rehab with Corey and getting his strength back.

“Judging by your yawn, I think that’s the cue for me to get going,” Nathan said as he stood.

“Sorry,” Liam apologized. “I can’t seem to get enough sleep lately.”

“Don’t apologize. You’re recovering, and that takes a lot of energy.”

“Do you want me to give you a ride back to your place?” Marty offered.

“No, I’ll be fine. A buddy of mine just moved a few streets over, and I promised I would stop by to see the new place. It’s not too late, so no time like the present. I’ll just call a cab from there, or get him to drive me home.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Liam noticed Marty making a stealthy escape from the room. Obvious much?

“We’ll have to do this again when I can stay awake for longer than two hours at a time.”

The paramedic laughed, nodding. “You’re on.”

Liam struggled to get up to see the man out, but was quickly waved back down. “Stay where you are. I can see myself out.” With another smile, Nathan left the room. Moments later he heard the front door close, followed by Marty peeking around the corner.

“Did he leave already?”

“Yes,” Liam replied with an eyeroll. “You’re not very subtle, you know.”

“He seems like a really nice guy.”

“He is a great guy.”

“Maybe even boyfriend material?”

Liam sighed, grabbing the blanket laying across his knees and tossing it aside. “First of all, you are way too invested in my love life for a straight man, and honestly, I don’t think I’m ready to start dating. Nathan is sweet, but I don’t know if I like him in that way.”

“Not love at first sight then? Are you at least attracted to him?”

Liam gave the questions some serious consideration, examining how’d he’d felt when around Nathan. He found the man attractive, but it wasn’t the wildfire attraction he’d felt with Alek. Then again, look where being with Alek had gotten him. “I… he’s a good looking guy. I just don’t know….”

Marty patted his leg gently with a sympathetic smile. “Don’t beat yourself up. Nothing says you can’t hang out with the guy as a friend. Maybe something will develop out of it, maybe not. The nice thing about being an unattached adult is you get to make your own decisions.”

“I want to move on. I really do, but I just…,” his voice trailed off as he stared at the floor, embarrassed by what he thought of as his weakness.

“Li.” Marty’s mouth thinned into a frown. “We’ve known each other since pre-school. I think it’s safe to say I know you better than just about anyone. You’ve always invested so much of yourself in your relationships, and you loved Alek. I may not have thought he was the right guy for you, but no one can expect you to just pick up and move on with the snap of a finger.”

“It’s been over six months, Marty. How can I still love him?”

“So what? It’s been six months... big deal. You’re not under any time limit, but that doesn’t mean you should close yourself off either. You can give your wounds time to heal, and still be open to the idea of finding love with someone else. Maybe that person will be Nathan, or maybe someone you haven’t even met yet.”

“When did you become so smart?”

“What can I say? I’m a regular Ann Landers. You should start paying me for these pearls of wisdom.” With a wink, Marty grabbed the rest of the trash and carried it to the kitchen.

As he listened to his best friend in the other room, Liam closed his eyes and thought about his advice. Marty was right. He wasn’t under a time limit, so why was he pressuring himself? Nathan was a great guy. Who cares if the sparks weren’t flying when they first met? Maybe he needed something more stable, someone comfortable in their own skin. He deserved a man who was proud to walk by his side.

Resolving to give Nathan every chance, Liam picked up his phone and sent the paramedic a text: ‘I had a great time tonight. How about a repeat on your next night off? I’ll even order Chinese.’

It only took only seconds for Nathan’s responding, ‘I would love to. I’m free again this Saturday.’

‘I’m penciling you in as we type.’

‘I can’t wait. Sweet dreams, Liam.’

Liam smiled as he placed the phone back on the table. He was still smiling as he climbed into bed. His heart ached when he thought of Alek, but now he felt a glimmer of hope that maybe he could get past the pain. It didn’t matter if the eyes he pictured as he fell asleep that night weren’t blue, but a beautiful chocolate brown that always crinkled in the corners. No… he wasn’t going to let that matter.

Thank you to my friend/editor/beta, Gary for all of your advice and support.  :glomp:   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



Who had blue eyes and who had the brown ones ? Had I been Liam, I'd be really confused now ...
Okay, time to sing "Let it go, let it go ..."
:(

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But Liam, you want that spark admit it! I agree with Marty that Liam should give himself a break.. No problem with getting to know Nathan sparks or not. He might not rid himself completely of thoughts of Alek, but he'll be moving on in someway. Putting himself first, which is important..

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Liam still has a thing for Alek. He knows it, and admits it to himself. He does not know if he has a thing for Nathan. Not yet. But at least he is choosing to give Nathan a greater chance, so perhaps this will mean a stronger bond between them. Alek has meant a lot of pain to Liam, and that association has to be a strong one, too, or he wouldn't have dismissed Alek twice over. Still, Marty may have a point - the one Liam may really choose could be someone he hasn't met yet. Great chapter!

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I think Marty is a good adviser. The end of an relationship needs time to close the occurred gaps. But Nathan seems a nice person. Not asking if every person might be a potential partner, can be freeing to get someone to know better and deeper as if you put him right under a certain prefix.
Good chapter!

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I love Marty! He is taking care of Liam mind, body and soul. His wise counsel regarding Liam's love life is solely for Liam's benefit which is as it should be.
I can almost - almost being the operative word :P - concede that Nathan might not be the right guy for Liam in the long run. But, just because there weren't any sparks immediately - some fires do take a while to catch on - doesn't mean the fire won't grow to a wondrous glow.
In the very least, Liam will have himself a new and good friend in Nathan.

 

Nicely done Lit. :)

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Hmm... Liam really should listen to himself. Six months isn't a very long time to get over a man who's had such a powerful inpact on him. And still has.

 

His reactions are not a sign of moving on and finding a new love interest. He has to be careful not to lead Nathan on. That would be kind of shitty. At the same time, he's been open about his break up and Nathan as a grown man should know about rebound syndrome... Still, go easy on the flirting, Liam. Also, we don't know what Alek is planning...

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It seems to me Marty and Nathan had more in common and more of a spark than Liam and Nathan did :P . Some loves never go away, and I think this is one of those he has for Alek, and I suspect Alek has for him... Liam needs to make sure it has no hope of ever working out. The ball is in 'brown eye's' court. Sure, keep your options open, but don't try to force what isn't there. Great chapter, my friend... cheers... Gary....

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Okay so the thing is, that wasn't exactly a date in the first place. It was hanging out as a group watching a movie. Narhan seems super nice, and by certain outward appearances he seems interested in Liam to some degree. But in saying that, Liam still doesn't even know if Nathan is gay or not. I doubt I'd be feeling any "sparks" with someone in this situation either. Liam definitely needs to give it more time, and actually get to know Nathan, and spend some one-on-one time with him. After that he might start seeing what kind of chemistry they have. Whatever happens, I certainly hope Nathan doesn't get hurt for his trouble.

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Excellent chapter. I remember walking through the mall in my youth and seeing all the couples wandering about and wanting someone of my own. It's a common desire. But Liam is young and has time. Rushing to replace Alek might actually backfire. He could lose a great friendship with Nathan by forcing it to be more. Marty is great. I'm sensing love and redemption in the future ... and if both are at the same place in the relationship that would be most wonderful. All we want is for Liam to be happy.

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A most satisfying chapter. And Marty is smart to tell Liam there is no timeline he has to follow. Everyone should be lucky enough to have a best friend like Marty. I'm not even going to weigh in on Alek vs Nathan. Time will tell. Thanks for more good reading.

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So Nathan might be available for me? ;-)

 

Why does my brain keep thinking ‘brown eye’ is a reference to a specific orifice? I must have read too many cheesy one-handers in my sleazy past… (as opposed to my innocent, prim & proper present, of course!) ;-)

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I'm liking this story a lot, Lit! I hope Nathan turns out to be the one, but as Marty said, there's no rush.
Speaking of Marty, where can I find one of those? Maybe he has 'tendencies' and could go for Liam? :D

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Marty is a wonderful best friend. :) He is very insightful also. It's so true that six months is not a long time at all to still be sort of pining for someone who left. I think Nathan would be a rebound relationship if anything were to happen now. I hope they continue to hang out as friends as they're getting to know one another better. Then Liam can see how he feels about Nathan. He needs to give it time.

 

I really do like Nathan, and I think he'd be a good friend to Liam (and Marty, it seems! :lol: ) But we'll see what happens.

 

I'm already looking forward to their next 'hang out' on Saturday (well, their Saturday, our Thursday?). :)

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On 02/10/2017 02:22 AM, hohochan657 said:

Who had blue eyes and who had the brown ones ? Had I been Liam, I'd be really confused now ...

Okay, time to sing "Let it go, let it go ..."

:(

I know it wasn't super clear, but Nathan has blue eyes and Alek has brown eyes :)

 

Thank you for your review and your support, hohochan

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On 02/10/2017 02:33 AM, Defiance19 said:

But Liam, you want that spark admit it! I agree with Marty that Liam should give himself a break.. No problem with getting to know Nathan sparks or not. He might not rid himself completely of thoughts of Alek, but he'll be moving on in someway. Putting himself first, which is important..

Sometimes people just want to get past the hurt so badly that they feel like they need to rush things. That's where Liam is right now.

 

Thank you for your review and your support, Def :hug:

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On 02/10/2017 02:59 AM, Lux Apollo said:

Slow-burning love or the spark? It's a tough thing.

It is a tough decision. Only time will tell.

 

Thank you for your review and your support, Lux :)

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On 02/10/2017 03:27 AM, Parker Owens said:

Liam still has a thing for Alek. He knows it, and admits it to himself. He does not know if he has a thing for Nathan. Not yet. But at least he is choosing to give Nathan a greater chance, so perhaps this will mean a stronger bond between them. Alek has meant a lot of pain to Liam, and that association has to be a strong one, too, or he wouldn't have dismissed Alek twice over. Still, Marty may have a point - the one Liam may really choose could be someone he hasn't met yet. Great chapter!

Alek has meant a lot of pain for Liam, so it will take him time to get past all that. Nathan may or may not be the one for him, but yes, he is open to giving him a chance at least.

 

Thank you for your review and your support, Parker :)

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On 02/10/2017 03:34 AM, Lyssa said:

I think Marty is a good adviser. The end of an relationship needs time to close the occurred gaps. But Nathan seems a nice person. Not asking if every person might be a potential partner, can be freeing to get someone to know better and deeper as if you put him right under a certain prefix.

Good chapter!

I agree, it is good to get to know someone as a friend and see if anything deeper comes of it.

 

Thank you for your review and your support, Lyssa :)

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On 02/10/2017 04:12 AM, Reader1810 said:

I love Marty! He is taking care of Liam mind, body and soul. His wise counsel regarding Liam's love life is solely for Liam's benefit which is as it should be.

I can almost - almost being the operative word :P - concede that Nathan might not be the right guy for Liam in the long run. But, just because there weren't any sparks immediately - some fires do take a while to catch on - doesn't mean the fire won't grow to a wondrous glow.

In the very least, Liam will have himself a new and good friend in Nathan.

 

Nicely done Lit. :)

Marty's advise was solely for Liam's benefit. He wants his friend to be happy and isn't concerned about anything other than that.

 

No sparks immediately isn't necessarily a bad thing. As some reviewers have said, a slow burn can be good too ;)

 

Thank you for your review and your support, Reader :hug:

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On 02/10/2017 05:30 AM, Puppilull said:

Hmm... Liam really should listen to himself. Six months isn't a very long time to get over a man who's had such a powerful inpact on him. And still has.

 

His reactions are not a sign of moving on and finding a new love interest. He has to be careful not to lead Nathan on. That would be kind of shitty. At the same time, he's been open about his break up and Nathan as a grown man should know about rebound syndrome... Still, go easy on the flirting, Liam. Also, we don't know what Alek is planning...

I agree, Liam has to be careful that he doesn't lead Nathan on. It could happen very easily if he's not careful.

 

Thank you for your review and your support, Puppi :)

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On 02/10/2017 05:42 AM, Headstall said:

It seems to me Marty and Nathan had more in common and more of a spark than Liam and Nathan did :P . Some loves never go away, and I think this is one of those he has for Alek, and I suspect Alek has for him... Liam needs to make sure it has no hope of ever working out. The ball is in 'brown eye's' court. Sure, keep your options open, but don't try to force what isn't there. Great chapter, my friend... cheers... Gary....

Haha yes they do seem to have a lot in common, don't they. The ball is most definitely in "brown eye's" court, whether he realizes it or not.

 

Thank you for your review and your support, my friend :hug:

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