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    Mrsgnomie
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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. 

Dichotomy of Love - 19. Part Two. Chapter Seven.

Ava’s words sucked the air out of the room faster than Perry getting to Kyan’s dick for the first time.

Kyan stared at Perry in pure horror, begging, pleading to be told he heard Ava wrong, that she had not just outed their relationship.

He had not heard Ava wrong, but the situation wasn’t as dire as he dreaded.

Behind Kyan, Jessica and Charlie cringed. Then Jessica realized everything was out in the open, and that should be a cause for celebration, so she did an awkward little dance behind Kyan’s back that reminded Perry of Elaine from Seinfeld.

Jed and Trudy had an entire conversation with one shared look. Jed looked worried and Trudy’s face screamed damage control.

Perry stood frozen as faced everyone, trying to figure out the best way to make light of the incredibly uncomfortable moment.

Before Perry could act, Kyan picked Ava up and laughed awkwardly. “You are hilarious! I think staying up til midnight makes you silly. Let’s get ready for bed.” Without glancing backward, Kyan gathered all the kids and herded them down the hall and away from ground zero.

As soon as they disappeared around the corner, Jessica dramatically threw her upper body on the kitchen island. “That was hilarious, awkward, and liberating. I seriously thought Kyan was going to throw up. Should we just leave? I think we should not be here.”

“I think we should stay. He needs to know we all support him.” Trudy reasoned.

Perry shook his head. “I think Jessica is right. He needs a little space to think and breathe right now while he figures it out.”

Trudy didn’t look so sure. “It will be uncomfortable for a minute, but then he’ll realize there is nothing to fear, and we can all laugh about it.”

They looked at Perry for a final say. All he could do was shrug. He wasn’t sure what the right answer was, nor was it his place to make this decision. He needed to talk to Kyan.

“Maybe Mom is right,” Jessica said. “Let’s kick off the New Year by rallying around Kyan. Then you guys can make things official.”

“Woah, woah, woah,” Perry said. “Just because you guys know we kissed doesn’t mean he’ll be ready for anything more than what we have going. Us being official, or whatever, has nothing to do with any of you and everything to do with Kyan. I don’t want us to push him for more than he’s ready for.”

Ever the steady one, Jed nodded firmly. “Perry’s right. I don’t think we need to make this a big production. If he comes out of that room and wants to pretend like nothing happened, then we pretend like nothing happened. He will tell us when he’s ready. Until then, we know nothing. Just like we’ve known nothing for the last seven years.”

Charlie laughed when her mother groaned at the realization that the show must go on. It was funny to them, but it wasn’t funny to Perry. This was his reality. He was the one who harbored feelings for almost a decade. He was the one who had what he wanted within reach, but not enough to call his. Walking around like they didn’t know Perry was in love with Kyan, or that he and Kyan were finally building something solid, wasn’t the hardship his sister was making it out to be.

He narrowed his eyes and crossed his arms over his chest. “I’m sorry this is an inconvenience for you.”

Jessica dropped the act. “C’mon, that’s not—”

“Not now,” Jed said, his voice firm and unwavering. There was no time for sibling bickering. “Perry, we’re going to clean up. If Kyan wants to come out and talk, we’ll be here and we will support him. If he’s not ready, we’ll take our cue and leave. There is no pressure from us.”

****

Perry found Kyan in the bathroom with all the kids, being his normal, cheery self, as he got everyone ready for bed. If Perry didn’t know better, he’d think Kyan was unbothered by what had transpired, but then the man looked up at him, and his expression was riddled with worry.

How bad is it? Just tell me. Lay it out. I need to know. Am I even part of this family anymore?

Perry knelt beside him, grabbed a flosser, and started on Henry’s teeth. “Everything is good.”

“Yeah right.”

“I’m serious.” He glanced at Kyan, his heart pounding in his chest. “They… already knew.”

With the toothbrush wedged between Gracie’s molars and cheek, Kyan froze. “What do you mean?”

“They already know about us.”

“How?”

“Let’s get the kids to bed first, and then I’ll explain.”

“Can Grandma and Grandpa tuck us in?” Noah asked. “And Charlie?”

Kyan tossed Gracie’s toothbrush in the sink and jerkily stood up. Perry squeezed his shoulder. “If you’re not ready to see them, I’ll wrap things up here and grab you once they leave.”

“Won’t that be awkward if I run away?”

“No. They understand this is a big deal and fully expect you’ll need space. So go. I’ll bring them back to tuck the kids in, and then I’ll have them leave. Okay?”

Kyan nodded and slipped out of the bathroom, looking both ways before disappearing down the hall, probably hiding in the utility closet or the garage. Noah said nothing, but he watched curiously while everyone else seemed oblivious to the unfolding drama.

Perry summoned his family. “The kids specifically asked that Grandma, Grandpa, and Charlie tuck them in.”

Jessica’s jaw dropped. “The hell they did!” she yelled, tugging the back of Charlie’s shirt to slow her down as she rushed past her and down the hall.

Trudy grabbed Perry’s arm as they walked to the bedrooms. “You know… you don’t have to provoke your sister all the time.”

“If I don’t, she becomes a monster. Besides, they didn’t ask for her…”

Trudy rolled her eyes fondly, then walked down the hall to the bedrooms. While she tucked in the girls, Jessica stood beside Perry. “I take it Kyan wasn’t ready?”

“Not yet. But we’ll talk once you leave, and I’m sure he’ll calm down.”

“I hope so. I just want him to feel comfortable enough to come out about it. There is no need for you guys to hide. We want both of you to be happy, and I want to talk to him about all the tea.”

With the kids tucked in to an inch of their lives, Jessica grabbed her parents and Charlie and dragged them out of the room. When they were in the foyer, she yelled ‘bye’ over her shoulder, loud enough for Kyan to hear.

Sure enough, Perry found Kyan standing in the utility closet, next to the cordless vacuum and the extra paper towels. Perry held the door open, and Kyan stepped out without saying a word. He kept his gaze averted as they got ready for bed, fluttering around as he worried himself sick.

Perry wasn’t worried, though. In fact, he bit back a smile. Kyan would look back and laugh.

This was the beginning of something wonderful. Perry had no issues keeping things on the down low, and he knew it would still be that way in public, but his stomach fluttered, knowing he could finally hold Kyan’s hands in front of his parents. During the holidays, when everyone sat around, he could pull Kyan onto his lap.

Kyan crawled into bed and nervously fidgeted with Perry’s t-shirt. “What did you mean, ‘they already know’?”

“Remember that reality show where everyone is an actor except the foreperson who thinks he’s there for jury duty?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, it’s kind of like that. I’ve liked you for a long time, and everyone in the family knows.”

Kyan was quiet for a minute. “Except me?”

“Yeah.”

“Even Dayna?”

“I mean, we never talked about it explicitly, but there were signs she knew.”

“Like what?”

“She was territorial. She put herself between you and me. She might have boasted about how great her husband and brother got along, but she was careful about how close we were. She kept you reeled in pretty tight.”

Kyan was quiet for a minute. Perry wasn’t throwing shade at his sister, but facts were facts, and some facts were hard to hear.

“When you and Jerold broke up, I asked Dayna about it. She didn’t say much. In fact, any time I asked about you, she brushed me off. When Max started asking me questions, it frustrated me that I didn’t have the answers, and I didn’t have those answers partially because of her. Was she keeping me in the dark?”

“I can only assume, but I think so. In her defense, I don’t think she realized what she was doing,” Perry reasoned. “She was young, pregnant, and insecure.”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t even gay, so what did she have to worry about?”

Perry’s lips curled as he gestured between them. They were half-naked in bed together. “Maybe she had more to worry about than she knew.”

“I would have never.”

“I wouldn’t have either, but that doesn’t mean Dee’s fears weren’t without merit.”

Several minutes passed without a word, and then Kyan scooted to the other side of the mattress. The reaction was understandable; it was a lot to process. Then he abruptly flipped the sheets back and got out of bed.

Perry panicked. “If you’re worried about my family, they’re fine with us. They love you, and they want you to be happy. They love me and want me to be happy. There is no judgment. Only support.”

Kyan ran hand through his hair as his eyes scoured the floor. “Great. I’m happy your family is sooo cool with it, but you know who isn’t okay with this? Dayna.” He finally found what he was looking for, his clothes, and hastily pulled them on.

Perry shot out of bed and reached for Kyan to comfort him, to figure out what was going on in Kyan’s head, but Kyan physically revolted at his touch.

Kyan narrowed his eyes. “Don’t touch me,” he said icily. “She knew you had feelings for me, and she hated it. She tried to keep us apart. You knew she hated it. Your family knew she hated it. Everyone knew, and no one cared! And worse, no one thought to fill me in? I never would have done anything with you if I knew Dayna had battled that fear while we were married. That is the worst kind of betrayal. Is that why you didn’t tell me? Is that why you kept me in the dark?”

“No. It’s not like that,” Perry told him in a hurry. For years he tried to do the right thing by Dayna and Kyan. Despite his best effort, everything was slipping away right before his eyes. “I didn’t think there was anything to say. Dayna was young and—”

“And yet she knew what was happening. She knew she had reason to guard what she loved.”

Perry’s stomach twisted as he watched Kyan pace the room, but he couldn’t find the words to console him.

Kyan grabbed his sweatshirt and tucked it under his arm. He paused at the door. “You were right. This is like a reality show, and reality show characters only care about one thing. Themselves. They don’t care how their actions hurt the people they keep in the dark.”

“Kyan—”

Don’t!”

Kyan left the room.

The accusations cut deep. Never in a million years would he do anything to hurt Dayna. Just because she was insecure at eighteen didn’t mean she wouldn’t want them happy together now that she was gone. Perry was sure of it. Despite her flaws, Dayna was a loving person who cared deeply. More than anything, she would want the best for her family. No one could love Kyan and the kids more than Perry. No one. They were his life. Always had been, even when they weren’t his to have.

He listened for several minutes, but all he heard was silence. Kyan wouldn’t wake the kids and drag them out of the house because he was angry. He was probably lying on the floor in one of the bedrooms, fuming. Perry hated that there was nothing he could do except give him space.

The urge to punch something filled his veins like gasoline.

****

Perry got up before the sun. On his way out the door, he scribbled a note and left it on the counter.

I went to work so the house is all yours. Breakfast is in the refrigerator. Call me when you can. Please.

Even though it was a national holiday, Perry loaded his van with supplies and drove to work. He could get a lot done with no one else at the job site.

Mid-morning, his phone buzzed from the other side of the room, where it sat in the pocket of his tool bag. Perry dropped his pliers and dove for it.

Jessica.

He slipped the phone back into the bag and resumed what he was doing.

Like the annoying big sister she was, Jessica kept calling and calling. Perry stopped going to the phone and let her go to voicemail instead. When he finally got around to checking his phone late in the afternoon, there were several texts.

How’d it go?
What are you guys doing?
Hello??? You two need to get out of bed. I’m dying over here!
Now you’re just being mean :(

If he didn’t tell her what happened, she’d swing by his house, or worse, Kyan’s house. He dialed her number.

“Hello?” she answered on the first ring. Her voice was cautious, and Perry wondered how much she knew and if she already swung by Kyan’s house or maybe his while Kyan was still there. Maybe Kyan was still there? He hadn’t checked the cameras yet.

“I saw you called.”

“And texted,” she added.

“Yes. I saw those, too.”

“How bad is it?” she asked.

Perry’s eyes welled with tears as he remembered Kyan’s expression before he stormed out of the bedroom. His voice broke. “Bad.”

What? How? Why? I don’t understand.”

He wiped his eyes and took a deep breath. “I told him that Dayna knew about my feelings and had been territorial and protective of their relationship because she was insecure. That upset Kyan. He feels like we disregarded Dayna’s feelings and kept him in the dark. He said he never would have done anything if he knew how Dayna truly felt about it.”

“Oh, shit.”

“Yeah…”

“They’re different situations. It’s one thing to be insecure and worry that your husband could develop feelings for your brother while you’re alive, but it’s different when it happens years after your death. I don’t think she would have a problem with it now.”

“He doesn’t see it that way.”

Jessica was silent for several moments. “What do we do now?”

“Nothing.”

“Oh c’mon—”

“I’m serious, Jess. You weren’t there. You didn’t see the look in his eyes. It’s over.”

“Perry, don’t jump to conclusions.”

“I’m not.”

Expressing her waning patience, she let out a loud sigh. Too bad. Perry was done with the conversation. He’d filled her in, and now it was time to go.

“Just leave me alone for a while, okay? Don’t smother me. Don’t come by the house with food. I want to be left alone.”

“Will you at least text me once a day and let me know you’re okay?”

Perry grunted and hung up.

The next day, he kept his head down and powered through, working circles around the other guys. He rarely did grunt work—that’s what Kevin, his apprentice, was for—but Perry crawled under the building and pulled wire through the walls. Kevin watched uncomfortably from the side, but never said a word.

Everyone clocked off while Perry worked late into the night.

A week passed. Every day, Perry left his house before the sun came up and worked his ass off until late into the night.

He honored Jessica’s request and sent a proof of life text once a day, always a picture of food, so she knew he was eating.

No matter how busy he kept himself, no matter how many feet of wire he ran or how many outlets and fixtures he mounted, Kyan was right there in his thoughts.

Perry mounted a control board while Kyan woke the kids up and made them breakfast. He installed GFIs in the lobby bathrooms while Kyan dropped them off at school. He re-wired the lobby entrance to allow for the updated power doors when Kyan was picking them up. And so it went with afternoon activities, dinner, and nighttime routine. He knew Kyan’s schedule like the back of his hand. Every minute was ingrained in his brain. He missed the kids more than he ever imagined. He missed their dad even more.

Thinking about what they were doing was as close as he’d ever get to being a part of it.

And that ripped him apart.

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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