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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 - 21. Part Two. Chapter Nine.

The waiter breezed by, setting the beers down and disappearing without a glance. Perry brought the beer to his lips and looked across the table at Reid, who had flown in from Austin, TX that afternoon, just to have dinner. He really was something. A dead ringer for the 49ers’ Nick Bosa in build and looks. He oozed a confidence that bordered on cocky, but he also had a genuine smile and a knack for making you feel like a million bucks, so it was okay.

Reid was a dangerous man. If Perry wasn’t careful, he’d sign the dotted line and end up with more than he bargained for.

“Eight cameras, forty-eight power backups, and three-years free unlimited storage. It’s unlikely anyone would hack your system, but in case, our encryption is some of the best in the industry. I think this is the perfect setup for your home and business. Way better than the Wish version you have right now.”

Perry laughed. The current system was rated among the top on Amazon, but that meant little to someone in the business.

Reid piqued his interest in a new security system during a conversation on Reid’s last night in Hawaii. Kyan and the kids were spending more and more time at his place, and even though his house was kind of remote-ish, which gave the illusion of safety, he wanted eyes in the sky at all times while they were outside. One could never be too careful. Perry was not interested in his loved one’s ending up on a true crime podcast.

None of it mattered now. They set the meeting before that part of his life got squashed. Protecting the business would have to do. “In my defense, I only cared that I could watch live from my phone. Not that I don’t trust my three employees, but—”

“I get it. But your business is growing. It’s important to protect it.”

“And you have a team that will install everything?”

“You don’t have to worry about anything. They are low-voltage certified, but I’m guessing that doesn’t impress you?”

Perry laughed again and patted his pockets for a pen. “Low-voltage certified? Where do I sign?”

Reid laughed as he pulled an iPad from a slim leather brief he had in front of him. “Just for that, I’m charging you an extra ten-percent PIMA fee.”

“PIMA?”

“Pain-in-my-ass.”

Perry smiled at the same time his phone vibrated. He almost ignored it, but he had a minute while Reid drafted paperwork, so he pulled it from his pocket. When he saw the picture on the screen, his smile dropped and the blood rushed from his face.

“Um, I gotta take this,” he said as he shoved his chair backward and hurried past the other tables towards the front entrance. Right before the call kicked to voicemail, he swiped to anwer. “Hello? Hi?”

“Hey.” Kyan’s voice was soft and shy. A balm for Perry’s broken heart.

He stood under the small awning while the rain poured down around him, his heart racing. Perry didn’t know what to say because he didn’t know why Kyan was calling. After several beats of silence, he looked at his phone to make sure Kyan was still there.

“Are you busy?”

Perry turned around. He could see Reid through the glass door. He was on his phone now, wasting time while he waited for Perry to return. “No. I’m not busy.” And then, because he was curious as all hell why Kyan called, he asked, “Why?”

“I was wondering if you wanted to come over and talk.”

“Yes, of course,” he said before Kyan finished asking. “Tonight?”

“Uhh… that would be ideal.”

Perry looked at the time and cursed silently, then opened the door and darted through the restaurant. “I’m in Portland. It will be forty minutes before I can get there. Is that okay?”

“I thought you weren’t busy?”

“I’m not.”

“Okay…”

“I’m not,” he repeated. “I’m on my way.” Perry disconnected the call as he reached the table, his breath labored and his face damp from the rain’s mist. He grabbed his jacket from the back of the chair. “I’m sorry, but I have to bail. I can sign those really fast.”

Reid’s expression was worried. “Is everything okay?”

“Yeah. No. I don’t know. I just have to go.”

“No problem. We can connect later. No rush.”

“When are you leaving? Tomorrow?”

“Nah. I’m going to hang out for a few days.”

“Okay, good. Call me in the morning then.” He put one arm in his jacket, then twisted sideways as he tried to thread the other one through as he rushed out of the restaurant.

Perry took the on-ramp corner a little too fast, and the back tires of his truck fish-tailed around the sharp corner. He gripped the wheel and powered through it. The January weather might be a bitch, with rain so thick you might as well be underwater, but damned if it was going to stop Perry tonight.

He didn’t know what Kyan wanted to talk about. If it was good or bad, he wasn’t sure, but he needed to find out. Working himself to the bone, not sleeping, isolating and hating himself was no way to live but a great way to die.

Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. If Kyan wanted to work things out, he’d open the door with a smile, maybe pull Perry through the door and kiss him.

If not, Kyan would open the door but not let Perry in. He’d stand on the small porch, barely shielded from the monsoon, while Kyan told him he was his biggest regret. Perry would swallow his feelings down and take the blame for everything if it meant Kyan shouldered nothing, and then he would do everything in his power to return their relationship to how it was before. He would be the best uncle and friend in the world.

When he pulled onto Kyan’s street, Perry had everything planned out. He would need some time to collect himself, but he would still show up for the kids. He would drop off groceries and bring breakfast over now and then. He’d be at every sporting event, maybe even coach. To prove he was over Kyan and things were normal, he would start dating. He’d find a nice guy, someone who was ambitious and driven, and spent a lot of hours working. It would be a nice distraction. Maybe he’d even find someone who he could truly learn to love.

Perry put the truck in park and stared at the house. All the lights were on, which was abnormal for nine-thirty, and Kyan was leaning against the kitchen table, watching Perry through the window with an unreadable expression.

If Perry’s heart had been beating fast at the restaurant, it was downright manic now.

He inhaled as he approached the front door, which did not fucking calm him down. He lifted his hand to knock, then paused. Kyan knew he was there. He’d watched him approach the house. Did Perry knock, or did he walk in?

When Kyan didn’t magically open the door and welcome him in, Perry pushed it open, but stayed outside.

From his spot at the table, Kyan pressed his finger to his lips. It wasn’t a smile, but Perry wasn’t being kept outside like a wet, troublesome dog. He closed the door behind him and was about to walk over and join Kyan when he noticed the children slouched over on the sofa like a row of slumped over dominos.

Kyan answered the question in Perry’s eyes. “It’s been an interesting evening.”

Well, he had called Perry unprompted, so yes, it was an interesting evening. Now Perry was there and he couldn’t get a read on why Kyan had called him. The man was chill as a refrigerated cucumber. He seemed unrushed and untroubled, like he had all the time in the world.

Perry wanted to pull his hair out. Why couldn’t Kyan put him out of his misery one way or another? Tell him why he called instead of staring at the kids asleep on the sofa.

Kyan breathed in deep, and Perry steadied himself because that breath meant Kyan was about to lay it down. Whatever the reason for his call, Perry was about to find out.

Then Noah stretched his long body. As he moved, the weight from his sleeping siblings pushed him off the sofa and onto the floor. He sat on the carpet, blinking tiredly. As if sensing Perry’s presence, he turned, his hair sticking up in all directions, and gasped. Instantly awake, he sprung off the floor, across the room, and into Perry’s arms. “You’re here!”

Perry smiled. “That I am, little buddy.”

Noah clung to him tightly. “It worked,” he said as he breathed into Perry’s neck.

“What worked?”

“Uncle Perry?” Came another sleepy voice. Ava sat still for a moment, then leaped off the sofa and bounded across the living room.

Before he knew what was happening, Perry was covered in his nieces and nephews, each fighting for more of him. Their collective weight was a little uncomfortable on his knees, so he carried them to the sofa and let the dog pile resume.

Perry wrapped his arms around everyone and squeezed. They weren’t the only ones who needed this. He’d missed the hell out of his rugrats. He missed watching as they came out of their rooms in the morning, all sleepy and sweet, and he missed bringing them special treats and giving them cuddles before bed. Perry prayed this wasn’t the last time he got to do this.

“You no leaving,” Gracie declared with the authority of five-star brigadier general, having burrowed under her siblings and onto his chest. “You stay allll night.”

He had no problem with that, but it wasn’t his call or his house. He looked over at Kyan, who pushed off the kitchen table, grabbed a few blankets from the closet, and spread them over Perry and the kids. “I think Uncle Perry should definitely stay the night.”

The kids squealed and arranged themselves around him until they were all tucked in comfortably on the down sofa. It wasn’t a lot of space, but he wasn’t complaining.

“Why don’t I put on a movie?” Kyan suggested, picking a title before anyone else could and then setting the timer so the television would shut off in forty-five minutes.

Perry watched him lock the house up and turn off the lights. There was no way Kyan called just to have him sleep on the couch with the kids, but that’s what was happening. There was more to the invitation, and Perry desperately wanted to know what it was, but he had a feeling that wasn’t happening now that the kids were awake.

Kyan kissed each of his children, his cheek grazing Perry’s cheek as he kissed Ava. Kyan hesitated, his eyes locking with Perry’s—the first sign of weakness. Perry’s heart thumped wildly in his chest. “I’ll see you in the morning?” Perry swore there was a hint of fear in those words, as if he might change his mind and leave in the middle of the night. The thought never entered his mind.

Perry nodded. “I’ll be here.”

Kyan walked backward towards the hall, the corner of his lips curled. “I’ll help un-bury you.” Then he was gone, disappearing down the hall.

The children pressed Perry into the sofa. He thought it would be hard to fall asleep, not because of the four bodies plastered against him, but because he and Kyan had resolved nothing. Despite the looming conversation, Perry found it increasingly difficult to keep his eyes open. The soft breathing and the rise and fall of the children’s chests against him were the perfect lullaby.

Perry didn’t remember the television shutting off.

****

There was a fifty-pound weight strapped to his chest when he tried to breathe in. This is what death felt like. His pulse quickened, and his eyes flew open only to find one pint-size terror with his green eyes and a mischievous grin peering down at him from where she was kneeling on his chest like a gargoyle.

He cupped her squatty little legs in his hands and moved her off his chest. “‘Morning.”

Gracie clambered back on his chest, her elbows digging into his collarbone, and cupped his face. “My belly need donuts.”

Perry chuckled and rolled onto his side, holding her against him like a baby. “I don’t think you need donuts.”

“Chicky-lay then?”

Perry yawned and looked around. Gracie was the only one left. The other kids were at the kitchen table while Kyan cooked. “I think your dad is making breakfast.”

Gracie huffed and fought like a wrangled alligator to get out of Perry’s arms, as if he was holding her against her will, then stomped off to the kitchen table and angrily crawled onto her chair. That wasn’t enough. No, she looked around for something before swiping Noah’s silverware off the table and sending it clattering onto the floor.

Perry shot off the sofa as Noah threw his hands up. “What was that for?”

Perry squeezed Noah’s shoulder as he grabbed the silverware off the floor. He knew what it was like to have the wrath of a sibling rain down on you. It sucked. “It’s alright. She’s just mad I told her no when she asked for donuts.”

“Yeah, but I didn’t do nothin’!”

Kyan appeared. “You’re right, Noah. You didn’t do anything,” he said as he plucked Gracie from the chair and marched her down the hallway and out of sight.

No one could hear what he was saying, but Gracie was getting a talkin’ to. Perry exchanged a look with the children, like, ‘oooh, someone is busted’. The waffle maker beeped, and Perry hurried over to plate the food. Everyone ate in silence as Gracie screamed and cried from the other room.

Never, not once, did Perry hear Kyan raise his voice at her. A true saint.

Being part of the chaos was a VIP pass to their lives but this morning, he felt like an outsider. After not speaking for a week, Kyan called him out of the blue and told him to come over. Perry stayed the night and was now having breakfast with the kids while Kyan handled Gracie, and not two words had been spoken between them this morning. Was he supposed to pretend everything was fine?

Gracie came out from around the corner, eyes puffy and bottom lip activated as she dragged her feet. She stood in the living room with her arms crossed, waiting for someone to give her attention. Kyan walked right past her. He sat at the table and ate breakfast like he didn’t just have a full-on brawl with a three-year-old.

When he was finished eating, he pushed his plate to the side and faced Noah. “The way Gracie treated you was very rude. As siblings, I don’t expect you guys to get along all the time, and I’m sure there will be some blow-out fights, but taking your anger out on another is not how we treat anyone, especially those we love. No one has the right to treat you badly, not a stranger and not a sibling. That goes for each of you,” he said, pointedly looking at each of his children.

They nodded, but remained quiet. Gracie had been in trouble before, but not like this. No one knew how to act except Kyan. He went about the morning like nothing had happened. He made Gracie a plate of food, perfectly cut up and everything, set it on the table, and let her know it was ready, but he didn’t force her to sit down. He gave her space to be angry as long as she wasn’t taking it out on anyone else. She eventually sat down, though it was a big production, and the less attention she got, the more upset she got.

Perry desperately wanted to give her a hug and tell her it was okay. Instead, he helped clean, silently drying the dishes as Kyan washed them. He was beginning to think Kyan’s plan was to pretend nothing had happened when there was a knock on the front door. His parents came in and smiled when the grandchildren stopped what they were doing and ran to them… except Gracie, who doubled down at the table. Thinking she could garner sympathy from her grandparents, she began crying like she was a prima donna influencer gunning for a million reactions on a TikTok reel.

Noah hugged his grandma. “What are you guys doing here?”

“We want to take you all ice skating. How does that sound?”

Ava and Henry started jumping around, so Jed picked them up and grinned as they wrapped their arms around his neck and hugged him tightly. “But you have to get dressed. It will be cold, so make sure you wear pants and a sweater.”

“I will dress sooo warm!” Henry said as he wiggled out of Jed’s arms and ran with Noah and Ava to their rooms as fast as they could go.

“Are you coming, Ms. Gracie?”

Perry bit back a smile when Gracie looked at Jed and Trudy with tear-filled eyes and a quivering lip.

“Are you kidding me?” Kyan scoffed at his youngest daughter before returning to the dishes. “I called your parents this morning and asked if they could take the kids today so you and I could talk,” he whispered as he handed Perry a pan. “That was before Gracie’s outburst. Part of me wants to make her stay home.”

He dried it, not sure what to say. “Do whatever you need to do. We can talk later. Anytime that works. No rush.”

“No. If we let Gracie’s mood dictate when we talk, we’ll never get the chance.”

Being prioritized had Perry feeling all sorts of tingly. He tried not to grin. “Okay.”

Kyan rinsed out the dish scrubbie and set it in the holder, then faced Perry, standing so close he could feel Kyan’s body heat. “I’m going to get them out the door, and then we’ll talk?”

Perry nodded, swallowing loudly as he watched Kyan walk away to check the kids over. Noah, Ava, and Henry had done a good job getting ready. Gracie was quiet, almost bashful, as Kyan got her dressed. Before they left, Kyan got on her level and had a quiet conversation that ended with a few apologetic tears and a giant hug before Jed picked her up and carried her out of the house.

Kyan stood at the window overlooking the driveway and watched his kids get loaded into his SUV, and then watched as Jed backed out of the driveway. Even after they were out of sight, Kyan stood motionless.

Perry shoved his hands in his pockets and took a few steady breaths, then fanned the back of his shirt to cool himself down. He was growing more nervous by the second, and just when he couldn’t take the tension for another moment, Kyan turned around. He stalked across the room, his expression unreadable. Perry wondered if he was about to be punched or shoved. To his surprise, Kyan did neither. He wrapped his arms around Perry’s waist.

“I’m so sorry,” he said into Perry’s shoulder.

Perry stood stunned but recovered quickly, wrapping his arms around Kyan, squeezing, and breathing in. “I’m sorry, too.”

Kyan shook his head and pressed his face to Perry’s neck, smelling him. “I overreacted,” he said, pulling him tighter. “I never should’ve left like that.”

The air that had been awkward since last night had a renewed energy as they clung to each other. Kyan moved his lips up Perry’s neck, along his jawline, hovering at the corner of his mouth, putting the ball in Perry’s court.

Ever the athlete, he took the ball and ran, pressing his lips against Kyan’s. The two men kissed like they’d been apart for years, not a week. They tugged and pulled and clawed, stumbling across the kitchen to the living room.

“I’ve missed you so much,” Perry said between kisses.

“Same. So much.”

Perry dropped back onto the sofa, pulling Kyan onto his lap. Kyan ran his fingers through Perry’s hair as they made out, eliciting a moan. He closed his fist and tugged, yanking Perry’s head back a nudge. “I was so mad at you,” he said against Perry’s lips.

“I know.”

Kyan looked at Perry, his soft eyes filling with pain. “No, you don’t. Keeping me in the dark like that, deciding what I can or can’t know is something my parents would do. You can’t do that to me.”

Perry slid his hands around Kyan’s back and squeezed. It hurt knowing his words had caused this man to suffer. “That wasn’t my intention.”

“My parents didn’t intentionally mistreat me, but that doesn’t negate the fact they did.”

Oh god. Was Kyan about to leave him? Perry squeezed his eyes closed and held on to Kyan for dear life.

Kyan lifted Perry’s chin and waited for him to open his eyes. “Promise me.”

“I promise.”

He chuckled. “What are you even promising?”

“Everything.”

He rolled his eyes and pushed himself up but Perry pulled him back down and cupped his face. “I promise to never leave you in the dark, to always respect you and support you. I will put you and the kids first and always try to anticipate your needs. I promise to do everything I can to make you happy.”

“And?”

“I promise to always talk things through with you first.”

Kyan couldn’t hide his small smile, but he shook his head. Wrong answer.

“Um, I promise to wake up earlier?”

Nope.

Perry was at a loss. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for Kyan, but he couldn’t figure out what was being asked of him. “Tell me what you need from me.”

“It’s not about what I need.”

“Okay. Tell me what the kids need.”

“It’s not about them either.”

Perry blinked.

“Promise to stop appeasing Dayna’s ghost.”

“Oh.” He wasn’t sure how to respond.

“I get it,” Kyan said, stroking the side of Perry’s face. “It’s hard for me, too. I want to honor her even though she’s gone, and I think you do, too. The problem is, we are honoring two different people. The Dayna I know and love would be surprised, but supportive of us. The Dayna you know, well, I don’t know her, but I hear she would hate this.” Kyan frowned, and pointed between them. Perry watched as a war raged behind those beautiful brown eyes.

Finally, Kyan sighed and his gaze dropped to Perry’s chest. “It’s hard, but if life works out the way I want, I have seventy years left, give or take. I can’t let the greatest love I’ve ever known walk away because Dayna disapproves. And what is she disapproving of? Someone who cares for me and the children more than anyone else in this world? You are the best thing for us, and if she’s not okay with that, then she can’t claim she ever loved us. I know it’s not that easy for you because your relationship with her was beyond complex. You might have to just say fuck it.” Kyan fisted Perry’s hair, pleading with him. “Can you say fuck it?”

Wait up. Hold up. Back up.

Perry’s eyes widened, and his heart started running like an old Craftsman lawn mower. “The greatest love you’ve ever known?”

Kyan smiled, and his face lit up. “Without question.”

Oh fuck. He had been playing house in a home that wasn’t his and those were words he fantasized about late at night when he was alone, never once believing he’d hear them aloud.

“Say it again.”

Kyan licked the outside of his ear, then nibbled it. “I love you.”

Perry dropped his head back and moaned.

“You are where I see my future.”

Everything in Perry’s body exploded like live wires in a hurricane. He grabbed Kyan’s face and kissed him hard. Kyan moaned, deep and throaty and full of unbridled need. His hips moved against Perry’s as he straddled him on the sofa. Perry’s hands roved over Kyan’s body, feeling the curve of his spine and the soft flesh on his hips. He grabbed the t-shirt hem and lifted it off Kyan’s body, tossing it to the side like a piece of trash.

Kyan clawed at Perry’s shirt, trying to get it off, so he leaned forward and lifted his arms in the air. Shirtless, Kyan pressed his chest against Perry’s and moaned at the contact. That was it. Perry held onto Kyan and hefted himself up, forcing Kyan to wrap his legs around his waist. He carried him to the bedroom, not breaking the kiss for anything, even as they stepped out of their pants.

He tossed Kyan on the mattress and then crawled over him, their cocks rubbing together as they made out. Perry closed his eyes and tried not to come. “Fuck.”

“Yes.” And if that wasn’t enough, Kyan wrapped his legs around Perry, smashing his cock against his ass.

Wild with lust, he wasn’t sure he could say no. The most he could muster was, “You sure?”

“Questioning my judgment?”

Perry shook his head.

“Good. I’m so fucking horny right now. Your fingers feel so good when they’re in me. I’m sure your dick will feel better, and I don’t want to wait another day.”

Perry flipped him over and kissed his neck and back while Kyan stretched across the bed and grabbed the lube and a condom from the nightstand.

“Are those expired?”

Kyan laughed. “The opposite, actually. Fresh off the press.”

Perry applied the liquid liberally between Kyan’s cheeks, slowly opening him up. Kyan was shaking beneath him, bucking back as Perry worked him deeper and deeper.

He grabbed Perry’s wrist and tugged. Perry went willingly, covering Kyan with his body. He pulled Kyan’s hips up so he could stroke his leaking erection, getting him good and worked up.

Perry prayed he would last, but Kyan was rubbing back, pushing his ass against Perry. He lined up the tip of his dick against his hole and pressed slowly.

Kyan tensed a little. Perry eased back, rubbing his lower back before trying again. He worked himself in slowly, watching Kyan for any signs of distress. There was some obvious discomfort, so Perry pumped Kyan’s cock as a distraction, and the way Kyan was moaning into the pillow confirmed Perry knew what he was doing.

Once he was completely in, he held still for a moment, added a little more lube, and then started moving. Kyan gripped the sheets below him, flexing and moving his legs as he tried to figure out what felt best. As for Perry, it all felt great. Kyan was hot and tight and everything he ever wanted in a partner.

“That feels sooo good,” Kyan sighed, with one leg tucked under his chest and the other leg stretched out to the side.

Perry kept it steady, reading Kyan’s body language as best he could. When Kyan’s breathing picked up, and his hand snaked under his body to his own dick, Perry moved faster.

“Oh god,” Kyan cried into the pillow, his hand moving faster. He began squirming, his ass muscles clenching around Perry, drawing him closer to the edge. Kyan moaned, almost screaming as he came. Perry’s balls tightened, and his vision narrowed as a tidal wave of dopamine washed over him.

Still inside Kyan, he laid across his back, careful to keep some of his weight off him.

“Why didn’t we do that to begin with?” Kyan panted.

Perry smiled against Kyan’s neck as he eased from his body. “It wouldn’t have been right.”

Kyan slowly turned around, so they were facing each other. He was smiley and happy as he snuggled against Perry. Once he was comfortable, Kyan sighed contently. “I’m glad we didn’t. I don’t regret what happened between Dayna and me, but things moved fast between us. I like that things with you were slow. There is something special about taking each step as it comes, working for it, and sharing it with someone you love.”

There was nothing Perry could say in return, so he kissed his forehead instead. His fingers stroked the curve of Kyan’s waist and over his bare hip. He couldn’t wait to wrap those long legs around him again, maybe over his shoulders. A new level was unlocked and Perry couldn’t wait to explore it, especially now that Kyan loved him.

“So…” Kyan drawled, breaking Perry from his reverie.

Perry gazed down at Kyan, who was still smiley and happy and all sorts of gorgeous with messy brown hair and swollen red lips. His brown eyes sparkled in the late morning light, waiting for an answer. “Are you going to tell me you love me?”

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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