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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 - 23. Part Two. Chapter Eleven.

While watching Max and Kyan climb into Max’s Range Rover, Reid released the most exhaustive and resigned sigh Perry had ever heard. He sat next to Perry at the island, looked at the crumbs where his sandwich once was and at the now-empty coffee cup, and grinned almost wistfully to himself. “If you want the Aleeto package, I’ll sell you the Aleeto package, but it’s overkill. I recommended the Beelik because you live in a decent area. You border BLM land with limited access roads. The business at the end of the road has a great system with two cameras angled at the traffic coming and going in your direction—”

“Reid, it’s fine.”

“I’m not trying to screw you over.”

Perry laughed. The thought never crossed his mind. “You have an incentive to oversell me, not undersell me. I don’t care what system I get, but I think I’ll go with the Aleeto because I’m a little scared of Max now.”

“Max?” Reid chuckled as he edited the contract on the iPad, seemingly amused at the thought of Max being scary. “If you ever want him to do something for you, just tell him I’ll do it. Oh! Better yet, tell him I told you not to get the Jenkins locks because they’re trash.”

“Are they?”

“They’re his best work. Way more than you need. Built for high clearance, top secret, commercial stuff.”

“It should protect four kids?”

Reid laughed. “Yeah. I think they’ll be ‘aight.”

“So, what is the backstory here? Max is one of the sweetest guys I’ve met, but you come around, and suddenly I don’t know who he is.”

“Count your blessings,” he said, then turned the iPad around and went over the contract line by line. Perry signed off on it and wrote a check as they discussed the installation process. It was quick and painless.

Then Reid was gone, and Perry was home alone, still in the dark about Max, he mused. It was the first time in over a week that he wasn’t working himself into the ground, staying gone until the wee hours of the day.

Twenty-four hours ago, he was nursing a broken heart, not knowing how he would move on from the depths of despair. Perry couldn’t even pass the kids’ rooms without an overwhelming sense of dread and loss. Everything was different now. Brighter in a way his heart still couldn’t fathom.

He stretched out on the leather sofa by the giant window overlooking the property. He pulled a throw blanket over his body and fell asleep thinking about Jessica’s expression when she found out they were together, and how the kids might react.


He woke up several hours later in a sleep-induced fog brought on by a week of poor self-care and insomnia. Perry swung his legs off the sofa and sat up, scrubbing his face, then checked his phone to find several missed texts.

Kids are home. They need a nap and then we’ll come over.

Twenty minutes later.

Umm… your parents came back.

Your dad brought a sewing machine???

Help me.

Perry wasn’t sure what his parents were doing to stress Kyan out, but everyone was on thin ice for keeping Kyan in the dark to begin with. Even Perry. He wanted his family to be safe for Kyan since his own parents were borderline negligent or lackluster at the very least. So, he jumped off the couch and laced up his boots, then grabbed his keys and hustled out the door, ignoring the lock that lay in shambles on the floor.

It was less than fifteen minutes before he pulled in behind Kyan’s SUV.

Jed and Kyan sat at the kitchen table, surrounded by bedsheets and sleeping bags.

Kyan looked up like a startled bunny, or maybe a prisoner of war, as Jed helped him run fabric through the old Husqvarna machine—a hand-me-down from Grandma Steele—while it hummed along like a lawnmower.

Perry closed the door behind him and slowly walked to the table. “What are you guys doing?”

His dad, wearing the same thing he’d worn for the last forty years—a trucker’s hat and suspenders over a white v-neck t-shirt—smiled. “Working on the next prototype.”

Perry looked closer. They were sewing the brown sleeping bags from Perry’s childhood onto a floral fitted sheet Kyan recently bought for Ava. It was distinctly Frankenstein-ish. If this was the next prototype, what was the first one?

On the floor near his feet were a few more old sleeping bags, with elastic straps clipped to the corners. “What are we prototyping exactly?

Kyan kept his eyes on the machine, his hair falling over his forehead and his cheeks pink under the scrutiny as he continued sewing. Jed, however, smiled proudly. “He has an idea for bedding that stays on like fitted sheets do.”

“It’s not that big of a deal,” Kyan mumbled, turning the fabric as he rounded the corner.

“It’s actually quite genius. I brought the old Husqvarna over to see what we can do.”

Ahh. That’s why Kyan called for help. Too much positive support from a parental figure had him squirming. Perry grinned. “Well, I’ll let you two at it.”

He squeezed Kyan’s shoulder as he walked past, following the muted sound of children playing. He peaked in one of the bedrooms and found his mom on the floor, drinking from a mint blue tea cup.

Trudy held up a small yellow plate with a burger. “Hungry?”

As appetizing as a plastic burger sounded, he shook his head.

One pint-sized chef with unruly hair and snot smeared across her cheek had other ideas. Gracie huffed, then dug through her food basket and quickly brought him a wholesome meal of eggs and a banana.

“Well then, thank you,” he said as he fake bit the eggs. Gracie beamed before turning her back on him dismissively and moving on to sweep the remaining food items into the back of one of Henry’s dump trucks. Perry put the plate down and looked at his mom. “Dad looks pretty happy out there.”

Trudy smiled. “Oh boy, is he ever. All he’s talked about is Kyan and his bedding. After we dropped off the kids, he dug out the old sewing machine, got it running, and came straight over. He thinks Kyan’s idea is something special. Though I have to wonder if your father has ulterior motives.”

Perry studies his mother. “Such as?”

“The man has been restless—bothered ever since New Year’s. Last night, he disappeared. First time he ever left the house without telling me where he was going. This morning, when we got a call from Kyan, your dad all but ran out the door. And when we showed up, he wasn’t surprised to see you here, nor did he linger. Without question, he swooped the kids up and took them right out the front door. He’s up to something, and maybe there is no ulterior motive, but there is an additional motivation, and I’m just sitting back while it unfolds.”

His mom leaned back on one arm and sipped her pretend tea as if it was the most satisfying thing she’d ever tasted. Perry couldn’t help but laugh.

Maybe his dad was up to something, but so was his mom.

Gracie stood over them with her arms crossed. “I done. Reder-rant is out of food. You go now. Bye.”

Trudy tugged on Gracie’s shirt but remained silent until Gracie was looking at her eyes. “Is that how you would like someone to speak to you?”

Gracie shook her head.

“Let’s try another way to ask someone to leave.”

“But the reder-rant is closed now.”

“It might be, but the polite thing to do is give them a warning. You could say, ‘exuse me, but the restaurant closes in fifteen minutes’. That way they can finish their meal without feeling rushed or shamed. Can you ask Perry and I to leave again?”

Gracie’s shoulders slumped. “We’s open for fifteen more minutes. You can stay until then. I guess.”

Suppressing a smile, Perry leaned back and ate his banana. “Eh, we’ll see.”

Gracie huffed and glared at her uncle, then turned on her heels and stormed off.

“You can’t say all the things to Gracie that you never said to Dayna. That’s not how this works.”

“Ah man, why not? It’s so fun though.”

As they left the bedroom, Perry’s stomach growled. “She’s out of food now that I’m actually hungry,” he whispered to his mom. “Maybe we can order some pizza? Have it delivered?”

Kyan and Jed were still at the table, working together as they made their way through a mountain of fabric and sleeping bags. Trudy looked at Perry and smiled happily, hardly put out or inconvenienced in the least. “I don’t think we’re leaving any time soon.”

Noah joined Perry on the sofa, and they pulled up the pizza delivery app together. Noah leaned against his uncle and scrolled the menu, helping create the perfect order for everyone. Noah was about to submit the order when Jessica barrelled through the front door.

Everyone stopped what they were doing as she loomed over them with hands on her hips. His sister wore her long black hair in perfectly tousled beach waves, and her thick cream sweater highlighted her Hawaiian tan. “Well, isn’t this just dandy? I happen to drive by for no particular reason other than some minor spying and see the family has been summoned together. I checked my phone, but alas! No text.” She stepped forward, slowly, methodically, and stared them down quizzically. “I thought to myself, isn’t that strange? Why would the eldest and most wonderful not be called? Surely, they hadn’t forgotten?”

Ava ran across the room and wrapped her arms around Jessica’s hips. “I didn’t forget you!”

Perry casually swiped out of the pizza app and into his contacts, then held it up so she could see. “I was just calling you. We’re ordering pizza. What do you want?”

Her glare was so fierce it scorched Perry’s five o’clock shadow. Luckily, Noah, Henry, and Gracie quickly joined Ava, wrapping themselves around Jessica. A week apart might as well have been an eternity to them. While they distracted her, Perry added a pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapeno pizza to the order to placate the savage beast.

Jed and Kyan finished the project a few minutes before the pizzas arrived. Four sleeping bags, sewed to four fitted sheets. Everyone watched as they slipped one of the sheets over Noah’s mattress, then unzipped the sleeping bag and folded the top of it back. Noah jumped inside, and Grandpa zipped it up so he was tucked in like a little burrito, making everyone laugh.

“I want mine!” Henry said, frowning as he watched his brother have all the fun.

Together, they set up the beds so no one was left out. They were a bit rough-looking, but his dad was right. They were kind of genius.

Perry slipped his hand up the back of Kyan’s shirt, grazing his lower back with his fingertips, and whispered, “This was a fantastic idea!”

Kyan shrugged as if the compliment meant nothing, but the corner of his lip curled, and his cheeks pinked just a little, giving him away. “They won’t slip off at night and can easily zip up in the morning. If they get soiled, we can throw them in the wash. Maybe down the road, I can make something more aesthetically pleasing, and maybe a cooler option for the summer months.”

“With sturdy zipper pulls,” Jed added, clearly eavesdropping as he followed them down the hall.

Perry almost dropped his hand but decided against it. This was what he’d wanted for years. He leaned in until his lips touched Kyan’s ear and whispered, “Should we tell everyone at dinner? Or should we tell the kids first?”

Kyan smiled and pressed himself against Perry as they walked. “I would like to tell the kids so they’re not having to process a big change in front of an audience, but I don’t want to wait to tell your family.”

God, Perry wanted to kiss him, but now was not the time. He stepped away from the biggest temptation of his existence and helped clear the table of the home ec project, only to cover it with pizza boxes a minute later.

With everyone squeezed around the kitchen table, Perry slid his hand over Kyan’s knee and tried not to smile when Kyan’s surprised gaze darted his way.

Kyan’s shock quickly turned to a challenge. He ate his pizza with one hand and boldly slid his other hand up Perry’s thigh.

“Okaaay…” Jessica wiped her face and threw her napkin down, pinning Perry with her best big-sister-ain’t-messing-around look, arched eyebrow and all. “Is someone going to clue me in?”

“Nothing you don’t already know,” he told her, trying not to give himself away, but life was too sweet, and he just couldn’t hide it.

She looked between Perry and Kyan. Jessica was no one’s fool. She nodded, looking a little smug as if she had anything at all to do with it. “Nice.”

Jed and Trudy smiled. The kids smiled, too, because of the pizza, but still. Everyone was happy. They ate, talked, and laughed for the first time in what felt like forever. It had been a long week emotionally for Perry. When the food was gone, and the pizza boxes were broken down, they played a few rounds of Go Fish while Noah told them all about his big birthday bash coming up. His entire class was invited.

Kyan hooked his foot around Perry’s as they listened to the children talk about their dreams. Henry talked about playing baseball in the spring because Keegan was. Ava thought it would be fun to join a dance club so she could be a backup dancer to Beyoncé one day. Gracie wanted to fly a spaceship to the moon or maybe pop a hot air balloon to see if it would shoot across the sky.

So many choices. Perry wanted to be a part of all of them.


They stood by the front door after bidding his family farewell. Perry grabbed Kyan’s hips, yanking him flush against his body, and softly pressed their lips together. “You better watch your six,” he warned in a whisper.

Kyan bit his lip. His big doe eyes shone brightly, radiating absolute happiness. “I thought we were going to wait another day or two because I’m still sore.”

Perry burst into laughter. He wrapped his arms around Kyan and squeezed. This man of his was just so… amazing. He would never get enough. “I love you so much, but I was talking about Jess. She let us off easy tonight, probably happy to finally see something official. She’s going to want all the details. From each of us. Separately.”

While Kyan thought about the severity of a Jessica Inquisition, he flicked the button open on Perry’s jeans. “How detailed does she want?” He slid his hand inside Perry’s pants and palmed his dick.

Perry closed his eyes and enjoyed the feeling of this new freedom. “Maybe just tell her how you called and demanded I come over right away.”

“I never demanded,” Kyan said, laughing, not stopping the slow, methodical work of his hand. “I simply asked if you would come. I wasn’t even sure what would happen.”

“You knew what would happen. You knew I was at your mercy.”

“I didn’t know what I wanted.”

Perry grabbed Kyan’s wrist and pulled his hand out of his pants. He looked Kyan dead in the eyes. “Yes, you did.”

There was a moment of silence, and then Kyan smiled, so bright it lit up the living room. “You’re right. I knew what I wanted. I think I’ve known for a while.”

Perry wanted to tie the man down and make him confess it all. He was dying to know just how closely their ‘wants’ aligned. Kyan’s wants included Perry. He knew that. He knew this was a done deal between them, but there was a lot they hadn’t discussed.

With his pants still undone, Perry pushed Kyan across the room and onto the sofa, where he arranged them so they were lying down, tangled in each other. “I want to coach Henry’s baseball team and help get Ava to and from dance practice.”

“That would be awesome.”

It didn’t seem like Kyan was picking up what Perry was putting down. Understandably. Perry wasn’t being blunt, opting to skirt around his desires. Before he could clarify his motive and explain he wanted a serious conversation about their wants, Kyan continued. “It could be the biggest mistake I make, but I want to see how far I can take this bedding idea. I told Max about it, and when he dropped me off, he asked to see what I had so far. Granted, it was rough, but he was into it. He said he knows people who can help with the prototypes and manufacturing. He even said he would invest in the startup costs. I mentioned it to your dad, and he said he would invest also. Your dad is, like, really into this thing.”

“I think my dad is into you,” Perry explained, laughing at Kyan’s obliviousness. “I think it’s fantastic, and I want that for you.”

Kyan smiled, relieved. It probably took tremendous courage to say his dream aloud.

“I want to stop resenting Dayna,” Perry confessed. “I’m afraid she’s going to ruin things between you and I, and that scares me.”

Kyan ran his fingers through Perry’s hair above his ear and gazed into his eyes. “I won’t let her do that, but I want to find a way to create a life with you while honoring her without making you uncomfortable. I’ll always love her, not just because she’s the kids’ mother, but I’m scared there is too much damage between you two to make that happen.”

“I wouldn’t ever take her from the kids, and I’d never take her from you, but I don’t want to be runner-up, either.”

Kyan kissed Perry softly. “You’re no runner-up. You’ve crossed the finish line with no one behind you as far as the eye can see.”

The nervous anxiety that had pitched a somewhat permanent tent on Perry’s heart toppled over.

“I want you and the kids to move in with me eventually. Whenever you’re ready, I’m ready.”

Kyan smiled. “I want the state to legitimize your relationship with the kids.”

Perry blinked. “You mean–?”

“It’s exactly what I mean. Unless you don’t want that?”

“Oh, I want that.”

Kyan sighed, with a twinkle in his eye, and melted into Perry’s arms. “What else do you want?”

“I want you to accept my family as yours. My parents and my sister want to be there for you. They want to be your first line of defense for whatever you need, and I want that too. As much as I want to spend all my time with the kids and take them on all kinds of amazing vacations, I want to pawn them off sometimes so we can have weekends alone. I want to whisk you away to Mexico, the Bahamas, or Mt. Hood and not watch you stress that you’ve inconvenienced my family because we know they’d be having the time of their lives.”

“I’m making progress after talking with Jed and Trudy in Hawaii. I will work on it, though, because I want to spend time alone with you, too. Sex between Dayna and I was fine. Sometimes we talked about doing other stuff, but nothing ever came of it. I’m not complaining. I would never sex shame anyone, but I want it all. I want to be with someone who wants me as much as I want them, who is comfortable talking about sex and is willing to try whatever, or is at least open to the conversation. I’m not saying I have any big kinks, but anything outside of basic vanilla was almost always shut down. Maybe I want to try vanilla with sprinkles. I don’t know!”

A montage of scenarios flooded Perry’s imagination. Things he’d never seriously considered, like being tied up and gagged, were under genuine advisement.

Would he do it? Absolutely. There wasn’t a whole lot of anything Perry would say no to. The opportunity to blow Kyan’s mind had his blood pounding.

“Are you hard?” Kyan pressed his knee against Perry’s crotch and laughed. “You are! You sicko.”

Perry rolled on top of Kyan and shut him up with a kiss, then another one until they were lost in their own world. A world with nothing but possibilities.

Their tongues slid against each other as they made out. Suddenly, Kyan froze, then pushed Perry back. “Do you hear that?”

Perry sat up and concentrated. He heard something but couldn’t place it. He got off the sofa, zipped his pants up, and followed the noise.

Kyan got up, too, and they tiptoed across the living room and peeked around the corner. Ava was curled into a ball in the middle of the hallway floor, crying softly into her knees. She sat up and wiped her eyes when she realized she was spotted. “I didn’t see nothing. I’m sorry.”

Confused, Perry looked at Kyan for clarification, but Kyan looked just as stunned by his daughter's distraught—almost fearful—reaction.

Kyan kneeled next to his daughter and lifted her face. “What’s going on, Ava? What didn’t you see?”

Giant tears filled her eyes. “I didn’t see you and Uncle Perry kissing on the couch. I promise.” She covered her eyes. “I never saw nothing.”

Kyan looked at Perry, having no clue what was happening, then back at Ava. He chewed his lip, then said, “It’s ok if you see us kissing.”

She shook her head vehemently. “Last time I saw it, you and Uncle Perry got in a big fight, and we never saw him again.”

“Oh, baby girl!” Kyan lifted her off the floor and into his arms. “It wasn’t your fault that Perry and I fought. It was my fault.”

The bedroom doors opened at the same time. Three sleepy but curious faces poked out.

Kyan’s gaze met Perry’s. It was now or never. He stood with Ava in his arms. “Why don’t we all go to the living room? Uncle and I have something we want to tell you.”

The kids filed out of their rooms and followed their dad. They were strangely quiet, like they knew something big was going down.

When everyone was on the sofa, Perry pulled Noah next to him while Gracie and the twins snuggled with Kyan.

This conversation shouldn’t be an announcement. The kids were Kyan’s life. If they had an issue with Kyan and Perry, then the relationship was DOA.

Who would’ve thought that four little souls, most of whom needed their breakfast cut into small pieces and used safety scissors at school, would hold his future in their barely-coordinated hands?

Perry took a breath and braced himself. “There’s something I want to ask you guys.”

Never before had so much been riding on the line than was the answer to one simple question.

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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