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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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Dichotomy of Love - 11. Part One. Chapter Eleven.

Hope everything is well but really I just want to know if we’re on for coffee Thursday? Maybe earlier??? I’m dying here.

Kyan laughed at the text and responded. Busy week but Thursday no matter what!

You are Satan.

Sitting cross-legged, Kyan tossed his phone aside and then stretched forward, grabbed a handful of toys, and tossed them in bins. Kyan was told over and over what a phenomenal dad who kept his kids emotionally stimulated and healthy. Jessica loved that he was not afraid to get on their level, and he always took his time and helped them practice their independence. According to everyone else, he excelled at all things parenting. It was easy to forget he was only twenty-five.

Like most twenty-five-year-olds, cleaning was low on his list of activities. He did it, but he didn’t like it. His energy went to the main living areas, which left the kids’ rooms severely neglected. It was only the second or third time he ever cleaned their rooms. This was something Dayna loved doing. Kyan probably wouldn’t have done it, but he needed something to occupy his mind from everything that happened over the weekend.

Judging by the food crumbs, dirt, and hidden candy wrappers, he needed to prioritize it a little better. Maybe he shouldn’t wait for life altering events to do this stuff. They were not infants anymore. They were adventurous kids with wild imaginations and terrible housekeeping skills.

He put Noah’s toy bins where they belonged, set the embarrassingly full trash bag in the hall, then swept and mopped. The room looked damn good, except for the bedding, which appeared to be a partial loss. The corner elastic on the fitted sheet was broken, and there was a stain in the middle of the mattress. Kyan didn’t think Noah had soiled the bed recently, which meant it was sweat and body secretions. He was not sure which was worse.

Kyan stripped the foul sheet and tossed it into the hall with the flat sheet that had fallen in the crack by the wall and the blankets that had been discarded on the floor by his seven-year-old.

The bedding situation was truly abysmal.

Then he was off to the twins’ room. He did the bedding first, which was in the same state as Noah’s, and tossed them into the washer together.

As he picked up trash and swept up crumbs and food, he felt like a failure for letting his kids live like this. He vowed to do better.

A few hours later, he grabbed the sheets from the dryer and shook them out. They still didn’t look clean. The body secretions had woven themselves into the cotton fibers and died. He sighed and tossed them into the trash, then set a Target pick-up order for new sheets and bedding, ready that afternoon.

With fresh sheets ordered, Kyan felt better. From here on out, he would wash the kids’ sheets more often, not just when they peed the bed.

The realization of just how long they had gone without clean sheets made him shiver in disgust.

Super eww. Poor kids. Sleeping in their own filth.

His brain sorted through the last three years, trying to remember even one time he had changed his own sheets.

He came to a halt in the hallway.

Oh God. It couldn’t have been that long. Surely he changed them at least a couple of times a year. Right?

Kyan bend over with his hands on his knees and tried to breathe while humiliation and nausea washed over him, making him perspire from every pore in his body.

He bolted to his room, threw back the comforter, and cringed. The navy sheets hid a lot, but they couldn’t hide the years of abuse. Not unlike his kids, his top sheet was stuffed in the crack between the mattress and the wall. His comforter, which was the cheap polyester kind that came in a bundle pack at Walmart, was not in great shape. He was mortified. Kyan ripped off every stitch of bedding, walked past the washer and dryer, and straight to the trash. He shoved them on top of his kids’ sheets, tied the trash bag, and took it outside.

He looked around to see if anyone was watching and then shoved the bag in the big trash can. If there is no evidence of incompetence, does it exist?

He cleaned until Gracie woke up from where she slept on the sofa. They left, picked up the Target order, to which he had added king sheets, a down comforter, and a duvet, then grabbed the kids from school. As soon as they got home, Kyan washed the bedding.

Things took a turn. Kyan ordered basic bedsheets. Pink for Ava and flowers for Gracie. Blue for the boys. He did not, however, order Mulan for Ava, Spider-Man for Gracie, Iron Man for Noah, or Hawkeye for Henry.

Turns out they would rather sleep in their own swamp filth than new sheets they didn’t pick out.

Lucky for him, an ice cream bribe went a long way toward forgetting life’s injustices.

He looked at his watch. It was almost four. Perry usually came by around six. If Kyan did not forget to switch the load, he could have everything dried and put back on the beds before Perry showed up and no one would ever know what a disgusting piece of soiled hotel trash he was.

And to prevent this from ever happening again, Kyan set a recurring alarm on his phone for every Monday.

Change all bedsheets.

Then he waited for Perry.

And waited.

Kyan set a plate of food aside. It could be reheated.

By eight, Kyan had a feeling Perry was not coming over. What if Perry knew Kyan had not changed the bedding since he replaced the mattress after Dayna died?

Perry would be absolutely revolted. He definitely wouldn’t touch Kyan inappropriately again if he knew the truth, which is why Kyan wouldn’t breathe a word to anyone.

He shoved the leftovers in the refrigerator and went to bed. The new sheets felt great. He should have slept like the dead, but sleep was elusive. Kyan stared at the wall and tried to think of anything except the truth: the bedding was not why Perry never came over.


The next morning, Kyan helped the kids make their beds, even Gracie, who had a small toddler bed set up in Noah’s room.

“This is an important life skill,” he explained as he helped them put the top sheet back on their beds for the first time in their little lives. “You don’t want to wake up one day and realize you’ve been sleeping in nasty filth for longer than your youngest child is years old.”

Kyan made his bed, too. He had never cared before, but Perry’s bed was always fresh, Kyan realized, and it smelled good.

Wondering how bad his bed smelled sent another wave of humiliation through his body. Did Perry notice?

Cringe fired at point-blank range. No survivors found.

It was all he thought about as he dropped the kids off. In fact, the entire situation played like a horror movie in his brain all day. And then all night when he lay in bed alone because Perry no-called, no-showed.


He contemplated calling his best friend, but he was afraid of what Perry might say. What if he had reconsidered their new arrangement? What if he told Kyan it was over? What if he said he didn’t feel anything special? It had barely begun, so it was a good time to end it, but that wasn’t what Kyan wanted. He might have distracted himself by deep cleaning the kids’ rooms and freaking out over the bedding, but he’d be lying if he hadn’t thought a lot about their time together and what would happen in the future.

Kyan set his phone face-down and paced the living room. He couldn’t risk that call. There was too much at stake.


Henry was curled under a blanket on Kyan’s chest. Poor little sad-i-pillar. Kyan didn’t know what was wrong. He walked Henry through some common reasons he might be feeling the way he was, but came back empty-handed. Kyan surmised it was just a sucky day in the life of a six-year-old.

He rubbed Henry’s back and spoke affirmation into his buzz cut. Kyan needed to start dinner, but Henry was a bigger priority. If it took an hour for the little guy to process his feelings, then Kyan would sit there for an hour.

“Any special requests for dinner?” he asked, because food proved to be a solid motivator to overcome emotional obstacles. “Today feels like a Henry picks dinner kind of day, don’t you think?”

There was silence, and then a mumbled, “Macaroni and cheese,” from under the blanket.

“Cowboy or regular.”


“You always pick the best dinners,” Kyan complimented his little sad-i-pillar while simultaneously texting Perry to see if he could pick up a couple of boxes of macaroni and cheese and a can of chili.

And butter.

And milk.

Kyan could load the kids up in the car and take them to the store, or even use a delivery service. But seeing how his brother-in-law had avoided him for two days, this was as good an excuse as any to end the weird standoff. For someone as easy-breezy as Perry, the man was surprisingly wound tight about certain things. Lucky for him, Kyan mostly wasn’t. He was happy to talk candidly, no matter the subject. While some kids with unengaged and toxic parents turn into unengaged and toxic adults, Kyan had enough awareness to see the truth and enough desire to break the cycle.

Communication, respect, and valuing those you love.

He valued Perry. He valued their relationship. They clicked from the beginning. There was no doubt in his mind that hooking up with Perry could be easy because of how close they were. That was the benefit of friends with benefits.

Almost immediately, Perry replied with a thumbs-up emoji.

Henry was still curled up on his chest when Perry arrived, but he was beginning to wiggle around. When he heard his uncle open the door, Henry pulled the blanket back so he could watch what he was happening.

Wearing utility jeans, a dingy company hoody, and backward cap, Perry carried a grocery bag to the kitchen. On the way, he looked at the sad-i-pillar on Kyan’s chest and frowned, but his eye contact with Kyan was limited.

Kyan gestured they would be another minute or two.

Immediately, Perry got to work, filling a pan with water, and igniting the gas top. Kyan smiled and watched him. Perry deserved a handjob for this, he thought to himself, then laughed because it was wild how easy that thought came. He should definitely be freaking out. He wasn’t just thinking about jerking off a guy, he was excited about it.

I’ll get a better angle tonight. Maybe even prolong it just to drive him wild.

“What’s funny, Daddy?”

Kyan looked down at curious green eyes. He ran a comforting hand over Henry’s head. “Life is funny.”


“It’s funny how we change. For example, I didn’t like eggplants growing up. Well,” he corrected, “I’m not sure if I liked it or not because it never crossed my mind to try it. Then suddenly, BAM, I enjoy eggplant.”

“Oh.” After a pause, his son asked, “What is eggplant? Do I like eggplant?”

Kyan threw his head back and laughed. “I don’t know, Henny. You might like it when you’re older. That’s something you’ll figure out.”

“Ok.” He laid his head back on Kyan’s chest and exhaled a long, dramatic breath. “I’m hungry.”

Kyan held Henry tightly as he stood up. Nothing but green eyes and a little patch of spiky hair poked out of the blanket as Kyan carried him into the kitchen, just as Perry emptied two boxes of noodles into the boiling water.

Henry pushed the blanket off his head. “Uncle Perry. Do you like eggplants?”

Having no idea what Henry was talking about, Perry kept stirring the noodles. “Eggplants?”

“Yeah. Dad never liked them but now he does.”

Perry’s brows furrowed, then he blanched. He looked at Kyan, then at his nephew. It didn’t take an expert to know eggsquash had a whole different meaning in the emoji world. Non vegetable related. Luckily, Henry was too little to understand. “Is that right?”


He grinned comically wide. “In that case, I love eggplants a lot.”

Henry wiggled the blanket off his shoulders and sat up in his dad’s arms. “Dad, do you love them a lot? As much as Uncle Perry?”

Kyan laughed. “I don’t know. I just had my first taste this weekend. It was pretty good. I might like it a lot. I guess I’ll keep trying them and find out.” He kissed Henry’s forehead. “Are you ready to run around a little before dinner?”

Henry nodded, so Kyan set him on the ground and tossed the blanket on a dining chair. Once the little boy was gone, Perry narrowed his eyes at Kyan, letting him know the eggplant comment had not gone unnoticed, but he didn’t comment on the trending vegetable or what it meant for them. Instead, he asked about his nephew. “Is Henry okay?”

“Yeah. I think it was just a rough day.”

“Poor kid.”

They finished dinner together.

Perry stayed and helped get everyone ready for bed.

Over the last three years, they had become a well-oiled machine. With a bit of pain, Kyan realized that Perry had known the twins for longer than Dayna had known them, and each passing day only tipped the scale further from his late wife.

Poor Gracie. Kyan’s chest ached as he tucked her into bed. He brushed her hair out of her face and kissed her cheek. Of all the kids, she was the most like Dayna; yet, she would only ever be a stranger to her.

Kyan pulled the freshly washed floral sheet and blanket to her chin and kissed her goodnight.

He picked up the TV remote off the living room floor and joined Perry on the sofa. “Work been busy?” he asked. “Or are you ignoring me?”

Perry smirked but kept scrolling on his phone.

“It’s strange,” Kyan continued, “how you came by the house almost every day until we hooked up, then suddenly—”

“I didn’t disappear.”

“Well, you didn’t come around, either. If I was that bad at touching your wiener, you could just say so. No need to pull a D.B. Cooper.”

Perry sunk into the sofa, clearly not wanting to have such an open conversation. “I thought you needed space after hooking up with a guy,” he mumbled.

Kyan grabbed Perry’s phone and tossed it on the coffee table. It’s not like he was using it for anything useful. “You assumed.”

“I know how these things work.”

“You don’t know how they work for me.

Everything Kyan knew about his sexuality was in question, and there was a lot he wanted to talk about. Needed to talk about. There was a whole world of feelings he’d never considered, and Perry was a big part of that, but instead of furthering the conversation, Perry crossed his arms and stared across the room.

Kyan waited.

After a minute, Perry turned his head toward Kyan. “Wanna watch TV or something?”

Grrrrrr. Kyan put his hands around Perry’s neck and shook. “Sometimes I want to strangle you.”

He desperately wanted to talk, but forcing this kind of conversation wouldn’t yield the results he was looking for, so Kyan put their favorite reality show on, then angled himself closer to Perry.

They mostly watched in silence, occasionally commenting about how stupid Ronald was for not realizing he was being filmed the entire time. Even if you looked past the unrealistic things the producers did for ratings, there were at least three semi-familiar actors on the jury with him. That should’ve been a red flag, right?

Perry was slouched with his legs spread and his hands crossed over his stomach. Kyan propped his leg on the coffee table and pressed it against Perry’s.

Kyan’s heart thumped in his chest.

Perry scratched his leg, and Kyan thought, this is it. But this wasn’t it. Minutes ticked by, and Perry did nothing but sit like an awkward statue.

Halfway through the extended commentary, Perry grabbed his phone off the table. He responded to a text, then leaned back a little closer, brushing his shoulder against Kyan.

Kyan’s dick tingled. He wondered if they would end up in bed again and if Perry would comment on the new bedding. Probably not. They’d be preoccupied.

Perry’s hands dropped to the sofa cushion, a hot breath away from his hand. At this point, Kyandidn’t know what was happening on TV.

His dick pinched at a weird angle. If things continued on like this, he would likely sustain serious, long-term nerve damage to his penis. He looked at Perry from the corner of his eye and then subtly adjusted himself.

Perry froze, then he looked at his watch. “Oh, ten o’clock already?” He stood up. “I should get going.”

Kyan blinked. The next thing he knew, Perry was almost to the door.

Kyan rushed through the house, sliding across the small kitchen in his socks and slamming his body between Perry and the front door. “Why aren’t you staying the night?” he asked in a rush, panting and breathless from the hundred-yard dash. “And tell me the truth.”

Perry opened his mouth, but the words seemed stuck on his tongue. He swallowed. “I don’t want to do anything you’ll regret.”

Kyan looked Perry in the eyes. “If you were concerned about what I might regret, you wouldn’t have avoided discussing it earlier. If you don’t want to do this, just tell me. That’s what I’d regret.”

Perry averted his gaze. That was fine. Kyan was happy to wait him out. So what if it was creeping up on Kyan’s bedtime? He put his hands on his hips and gave Perry his best I can wait all night look.

Less than a minute later, Perry rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. It was hardly a defensive stance. In fact, it was kind of cute.

Perry narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “What?”

Kyan grinned. “You’re cute when you pout.”

You’d think the compliment was the most ghastly thing Perry ever heard. He fidgeted awkwardly, adjusted his hat and avoided eye contact.

“You’re still cute.”

Perry blushed from his neck to his ears. “Fuck you.”

Maybe later. Kyan stepped into Perry’s space and pressed his leg between Perry’s, putting pressure on the bashful man’s crotch. “How about a handjob instead?”

Perry shook his head, but the corner of his mouth curled, and Kyan knew he was holding back a smile.

Kyan pushed him backward, across the kitchen and down the hall. “Tell me no.”


Kyan nudged him down the hall.

Perry kept smiling as he stepped backward, clearly enjoying what was happening. Maybe he wasn’t so against it after all. He definitely didn’t appear to object.

“Or—” Kyan stepped away from Perry and toward the living room, “we could watch some more TV, like friends.”

Perry grabbed his wrist before he got too far. He pulled Kyan’s arm behind him, so Kyan was pressed against his chest. He could feel Perry’s breath on his face. “You better want this. I won’t ruin things between us.”

“That makes two of us.”

“You’re not worried?” Perry asked with an adorable amount of concern.

“Nope. We’re solid. What happens after the kids are asleep won’t change that. It’s like whipped cream on a sundae; it only makes it better.”

Perry quirked his lips in a lopsided grin. “You‘ve never had a friend with benefits, have you?”

Kyan shook his head.

When Perry opened his mouth, Kyan knew he was going to tell him that friends with benefits never worked out. They had too much to lose and it wasn’t worth it. They should think of their family, the kids, their friendship. Dayna.

He was ready for whatever Perry was about to say when suddenly Perry fisted his shirt and yanked him to the bedroom. He shoved Kyan on the bed, making him bounce twice, and then whipped his hoodie off, taking his t-shirt with it. Perry had a great body. Kyan always admired it, but more and more, that admiration was taking on a new tone.

Kyan wanted to run his hands over every inch of his skin. It was weird, but Perry had a cute belly button. Kyan wanted to suck on it. And his arms. Perry had great arms. Strong but not bulky, much like the rest of him.

There was another place Kyan wanted to touch.

His eyes went to Perry’s pink, juicy lips. They parted as Perry focused on undressing, and Kyan found it incredibly sexy.

Perry was almost naked, while Kyan was still fully dressed. He remedied that quickly, somehow managing to be in nothing but his boxers-briefs at the same time Perry was down to his. Lust was a mighty motivator.

Kyan laid back and spread his legs in invitation. If he played his cards correctly, and if he sent the right message, Perry would crawl between his legs, press him into the mattress, and kiss the fuck out of him.

He palmed his crotch, which was hard and ready for whatever was about to happen.

Kyan really hoped he was sending the right message.

Perry got on the mattress and gripped the inside of Kyan’s thigh for balance. The caress sent Kyan’s body into hyper fired-up mode. He was beyond hard, he was on the edge, and they hadn’t done anything.

Instead of crawling between Kyan’s legs like Kyan spelled out in his open-legged invitation, Perry kneeled beside him. He slipped his hand into Kyan’s underwear and started jerking him off. Kyan was so fucking horny that he couldn’t stand it. He closed his eyes to savor the feeling.

“Touch me,” Perry said, then grabbed Kyan’s hand and pressed against his erection.

No need to ask twice. He was quick to get his hand in there. Perry was hard and warm and felt so good in Kyan’s hand.

Kyan came almost immediately, which was embarrassing.

After Perry got off, he grabbed a t-shirt from Kyan’s dresser, cleaned them up, and then laid down.

It was a little awkward and not at all how Kyan saw the evening playing out. When they messed around after the club, the chemistry between them was insanely hot. Tonight felt… clinical. Two dudes getting each other off.

He didn’t think it would be like it was after the club every time, but he thought it would be a little more intimate than silent handjobs. Kyan was more than a little disappointed. He was completely and utterly let down.

Now Perry lay uncomfortably beside him. Kyan could feel waves of tension and regret rolling off his friend.

That is not what he wanted.

His heart hammered in his chest when he realized, with much horror, that maybe he wasn’t all that good. When he and Dayna had sex, he lasted a long time. With Perry, eh, not so much. What if Perry was disappointed, and instead of being honest, he was hiding behind the facade of ‘I don’t want you to regret this’.

In truth, what if Perry truly did regret it? The thought unnerved him.

Needless to say, Kyan didn’t sleep much. He thought he was a good communicator, but maybe he was only good at communicating when his own insecurities weren’t on the line. He took a deep breath and vowed to be better because it felt terrible to not know what the hell was going on.

Copyright © 2023 Mrsgnomie; 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.
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. 
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