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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. 

Jay's Loelife - 14. Aido Potato



“What is your advice to someone who wants to be an influencer?” The blonde girl asks as she unintentionally pushes me out of the group. Loren grins at me, not missing the gesture. We finished taking group pictures but I guess that’s all they needed from me.

I spot Seamus pulling up to the curb so I grab our bags and head outside.

“I’ll just be a minute,” Loren says. I give him a thumbs up and leave to greet my friend.

Seamus rounds the Suburban and quickly pulls me in for a hug. “You look better than the last time I saw you.”

I laugh. No shit. The last time we saw each other Seamus was hoarding my phone so he could kiss and make up with Matt for hours on end while I panicked about Loren’s wellbeing. It wasn’t a great time for either of us. “So do you. I knew you two would work things out.”

Seamus smiles brighter than I’ve seen in a long time. Matt makes him really happy. After his ex, Kelly, this is an answer to my prayers. He deserves the best and, even though Matt gives me a hard time, I like the guy and it’s obvious they have something special.

My friend looks past me to where Loren is still being interrogated. “Does that bother you?”

I watch Loren and smile softly. “Not at all.”

“Doesn’t it interfere with your life? You’re already fighting for privacy, now you’re dating someone who has his whole life posted online.”

“It’s not that big of a deal. Just like any job, he has busy times when he’s online a lot or in his office working, or traveling. He’s usually pretty good about reading the room when we’re together and knowing when it’s appropriate and when it’s private. I have so much respect for what he does and I love watching him work. He’s smart. Plus, I kind of like it when he posts stuff about us.”

“I guess.”

I sigh. “You don’t like Loren?”

“I—it’s not that I don’t like him. I only met him once at the game, but he was being an asshole to you. Plus, I followed him on his Instagram before I knew he was the guy you were interested in. I saw the kind of life he led. He’s not good enough for you.”

Seamus has always been the most critical of potential partners. His expectations are ridiculously high. I think it’s his way of protecting me from ending up with a Kelly.

“If you still follow him then you know that’s not who he is. And as far as what happened at the Championship game, it’s a long story but trust me when I say it shouldn’t be held against him. Besides, I’m the only one who gets to decide who’s good enough for me. You and Loren are more alike than you know.”

Seamus shrugs, half convinced that Loren’s not a total loss. “I was kind of shocked to see you guys make things official back in February. I didn’t think things were that serious. We were all a little shocked.”

I cringe and load my bag into the back of his Suburban. I know it’s not ideal to lie to your friends but they always assume everyone is out to use me. I knew from the start that wasn’t Loren’s MO, but they wouldn’t have believed me. So, I fibbed. I wasn’t a total lie at first, Loren was hard to get, and the guys found it amusing and were even a little invested in it. I figured a little more chase would only help them trust Loren.

“We had a good talk at the game. After that, he had no choice but to succumb to my charm. It was only a matter of time.”

We sit in the SUV and wait for Loren. I glance inside. He’s inching away, one slow step at a time.

“Between his job and how much he shot you down, we don’t have to worry about him using you for money or fame,” Seamus reasons.

“You’re not wrong. He has his own money, his own fame, and his own life. If anything, my career is a setback. I don’t think he’s a fan.”

“Well, I’m sure Matt would consider that a point in Loren’s favor.”

I lean my head back and groan. You’re not going to tell him, are you?”

The back door opens and Loren slides in. “Sorry,” he says genuinely.

Seamus smiles and pulls out. “No worries. Jay and I had a nice chat.”


We’ve maxed out the large banquet table. Wine bottles litter the table as the server circles around, gathering empty plates. This is just one event that is packing our three days in Denver. Matt doesn’t care much about graduating but my best friend is determined to make this weekend worth remembering for him. You only graduate once.

Cavaliers is a high-end restaurant owned by our very own Seamus. I dream of their food when I’m away and then claw my way here when I’m in town. Since the day I found out what Loren does for a living, I’ve dreamed of bringing him here. It’s right up his alley.

I squeeze Loren’s thigh under the table. He’s chatting with Will and Scott, laughing about something I can’t hear because everyone is talking over everyone else. He glances at me and pats his belly. I was right, he loves the food. He couldn’t stop raving.

Seamus taps my shoulder, pulling my attention away from Loe, and leans in. “Remember a while back when you offered to watch Aidan if we ever needed a weekend away?”

My pulse skyrockets. I take a calming breath so as to not show my cards. I’m doing Seamus a favor, not the other way around, I remind myself. “Yeah, I remember that.”

“Well, we’re thinking about staying in Orcas Island and I was wondering if—”

“Yes, absolutely,” I say in a rush, then cringe as the deck of cards falls apart.

Seamus grins. “You don’t even know when.”

“Doesn’t matter. I will quit my job if that’s what it takes.”

Seamus laughs. “Well, you won’t have to do that. We want to leave in ten days.”

It’s pressing pretty close to the upcoming season. I should be training harder than I am, but I want to do this. It’s going to be the best week ever. All the things I can do with Aidan run through my head. I’ll need to prepare. Crib, highchair, sippy cups.

“It’s only for a week. We will be back to pick him up.”

“Can’t pick up what you can’t find,” I say with a sinister grin.

“I knew it wasn’t a good idea to have Jay watch Aidan,” Matt says out of nowhere. He’s clearly eavesdropping.

I flick my hand at him. “Go away. This doesn’t concern you.”

“Excuse me!” he laughs. “It’s my kid.”


Loren stares at me with his hands on his hips. His lip temporarily caught in his teeth as he snarls at me with narrowed eyes. “You volunteered us to babysit while Matt and Seamus head to Orcas Island for eight days?!”

“It’s not that big of a deal. I’ve been offering to babysit for months.”

Loren takes a deep breath and walks away like I stole his PIN then drained his bank account. For the record, I didn’t volunteer ‘us’ to do anything. I volunteered myself.

He’s still pissed about it when Matt and Seamus drop Aidan off. He stands off to the side with his arms crossed like a petulant child while I greet our newest guest.

“Hey Aido Potato!” I quickly scoop him out of Matt’s arms and perch him on my hip. “Are you ready for a super fun weekend with Uncle Jay and Uncle Loren?”

Loren chokes at the words, paling a bit at the title. I laugh to myself. I couldn’t help it. He’s acting like such a child. Besides, no one is forcing him to be here. He could chill at his house but he’s decided to come here and pout instead.

Matt looks at Seamus, who’s watching Aidan and I like he’s made a grave mistake. Matt rolls his eyes, knowing exactly what’s running through his boyfriend’s head. He takes the bag off his shoulder and plops it on the ground. “We planned to stay and walk you through everything but our flight was delayed, twice. If we don’t leave now, we’ll miss our ferry. Or worse, Seamus will change his mind about this whole thing and I won’t get my vacation,” he says, eyeing Seamus letting him know he’s no one's fool. “We’ll have our phones on us and I’ll text you a cheat sheet once we’re settled.”

“Don’t worry. You guys have a relaxing trip. I’ve got Aidan handled. There’s nothing to worry about. “I give Aidan a big kiss on the side of his head. His nose scrunches up and he immediately tries to push me away, because he loves me so much.

“That’s the worst thing you could say,” Seamus says, glaring at me like the evil villain in every Disney movie known to man. He knows there’s not much he can do. If he doesn’t take Matt, it will be a different kind of hell. He leans forward and kisses Aidan. “Have a good weekend Potato Brains. I’ll see you in a week, okay?”

Matt does the same. When Seamus leans forward for another goodbye, I push him backwards, out the door, and then give him a little shove. “Bye!”

With the door closed between us, I look at Aidan and smile. “We’re going to have so much fun together lil Spud Man!”

He doesn’t look so sure. His parents left so quickly and now he’s stuck in a house he’s not familiar with ill a person he loves but doesn’t see that often.

“We have different ideas of fun,” Loren mumbles from the dark recesses of the house as he rummages through my liquor cabinet. After a few that don’t hit right, he lands on a cinnamon whiskey and pours a double then takes a long pull.

“That is sipping whiskey,” I remind him.

“It was a large sip.”

“Not a kid person?”


“Ah, c’mon. It’s not so bad. We’ll have fun.”

He brings the glass to his lips for another swig, then wipes his mouth. “There’s no we. You’re on a solo ride for the week.”

“Fair enough.” I might believe him if he wasn’t still here when he could be an hour away, chilling at his own house where there is no toddler to send him into an emotional tailspin. “Could you at least hold him for a second while I take a piss?”

He glares at me. When I hold Aidan out, Loren doesn’t move. I take a step closer and put Aidan into his space, forcing him to react. “I’ll just be a minute,” I reassure him.

I’m gone for a minute. A really, really long minute. I triple wash my hands and refold a few towels. When I come back out, Aidan and Loren are staring at each other, neither sure about the other.

Suddenly, Aidan’s in my arms and Loren’s rushing around the house, grabbing his wallet and keys so quickly they go flying and he has to chase them as they slide across the floor. He’s spooked like a teen at the local cemetery on Halloween.

“Loren, wait—”

He keeps his head down and away as he heads to the front door. When he reaches the door, Aidan starts whimpering. When he opens the door, Aidan starts crying.

Loren looks at me like I’m an asshole for letting the kid cry. Then he sees Aidan reaching for him and realizes what’s happening. His eyes widened. “Hell no.”

“Loren…” Aidan wants you.


Aidan starts screaming, then does that thing little kids are experts at, whipping backwards so fast that I almost drop him. “He’s starting to hyperventilate.”

“Not my problem,” he snaps, crossing his arms like he’s completely unmoved. But then he sees Aidan’s big crocodile tears and his shoulders sag. “What the fuck am I supposed to do?”

I bring Aidan to him. “Just hold him.”

In a last-ditch effort to hold his ground, Loren shakes his head, but takes Aidan anyway. Aido clings to him like a bad case of static electricity. Loren looks at me with panicked eyes.

“Just let him calm down.” I herd Loren to the couch and help them get settled. “Let’s put some cartoons on, okay?”

“Okay.” He takes a deep breath but he’s stiff as a board as he holds Aidan.

I sit next to them and lay my head on the sofa so Aidan and I are looking at each other. He’s sniffling and there’s a few tears hanging onto his lashes. I grin, amused by the whole thing.

“You can stop being happy about this,” he growls.

“Happy that my boyfriend is a baby whisperer? Sorry, can’t help it.”

After a while, Loren tries to pass him off but Aidan won’t have it. His eyes snap open the instant Loe leans my way. Every time he tries, Aidan clings even tighter.

“He’s going to be sore tomorrow,” Loren says. “He hasn’t relaxed in three hours.”

“I guess you shoulda left when you had a chance,” I tease.

Loren glares at me, not finding any of this as funny as I do.

“Can you get me water?” he asks.

I jump off the sofa and get him his glass. When I come back, he looks at the water and smirks. “Can I have a glass with no ice?”

No problem. I get him a glass with no ice.

“Actually, ice does sound good.”

Once he has ice water 2.0, Loren takes a sip. “You know…a lemon would be wonderful.”

I just smile. He can send me on a million wild goose chases. I don’t care. I get up and find one random lemon in the refrigerator. I slice it, along with the lime I found, and put them on a plate. Before heading back out, I see an orange and a cucumber and slice them up too. You know, just to be safe. I grab a bottle of room temperature water and an empty glass of crushed ice. I want to cover any request he might have.

I set the platter on the coffee table and smile. Loren laughs and takes his lemon. I wait for another request but it never comes.

Aidan clings to Loren for the rest of the day. It’s not until eleven when he finally passes out enough that we can surgically extract him from Loren’s person. He’s a limp noodle when I undress him, when I change his diaper, and he doesn’t even stir when I set him in the newly assembled toddler bed that looks like a miniature football field, complete with goal post headboard.

Loren stretches his back and leaves the bedroom. I place the Seahawks blanket with my face on it over Aidan, then chase after Loren.

“You’re not leaving, are you?”

“Why not? This ain’t my thing. This is your thing.”

I look at him with big blue eyes.

He glares.

I pout.

He rolls his eyes at my persuasion and throws his hands in the air.

I grin to myself. Dance puppet, dance.


“You know…” I whisper a little later in bed. Aidan’s just a few yards away, asleep in his crib. I run my finger across his lower stomach, along his boxer line. “You look really hot holding a baby.”

He grips his wrist and shoves his hand away. “Never. Happening,” he bites out. “I don’t know if you set this whole thing up as a test to see how I do with kids. If you did, give me an F right now and let me go. There is not one ounce of me that wants kids at any point in my future. Kids are a hard no for me. If that’s an issue, let's put it on the table now. I don’t want to waste your time.”

“Jesus Christ,” I say softly. “You’re freaking out.”

“I was put on the spot. You make plans to watch a two-year-old for eight days and expect me to be part of it, but don’t tell me? It feels like entrapment.”

“I didn’t expect you to do anything. Is it possible you’re overthinking this a little because of your own childhood?”

“Oh, so you don’t want kids?” he says, refusing to accept the reasons he’s been throwing a fit since before Aidan arrived.

I sigh. “I imagined I would have kids someday, but it’s not a hard yes for me like it’s a hard no for you. I can go either way. Hands down I would rather have you.”

He scoffs. He doesn’t believe me. He has some notion that the perfect family looks like a dad who coaches sports and a mom who brings snacks. He’s convinced I want the perfect family. He just doesn’t realize that he’s my perfect family. Kids or no kids. I don’t care.

I wrap my arms around him. “Okay, maybe I wanted to see your reaction, but it wasn’t a test, okay? Aidan is a cool dude. I like him and I like being uncle Jay. And I think you’re hot as hell being awkward with a little kid, but I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I’ll change all the diapers and everything.”

“Good, cause I ain’t doing any of it.”


Once we’re comfortable in bed, moments before sleep takes us, I lean over. “If you want to get pissed at me for not telling you that Aidan was coming to stay with me for a week, then don’t sneak off and go rock climbing the second I leave the country. Communication is a two-way street and you reap what you sow.”

Loren stiffens besides me. Even as I drift off, Loren remains awake, staring at the ceiling.


Loren’s gone when I wake up the next morning. He just got cleared for light workouts so I know he’s at the gym. A mop of messy brown hair pops up over the railing, followed by a pair of wide, curious blue eyes. I stay quiet and I watch as he scales the railing, climbs over, and slides down the other side of the crib like Ethan Hunt in Mission Impossible.

As Loren might say, ‘What the fuck?’

What are you doing?” I ask slowly and in my very best dad voice. Aidan startles, not realizing he’s being watched. He looks at me, gives me one of those heart-melting smiles kids do when they know they’re in hot water, and runs to the bed with his arms in the air. I haul him up and snuggle for a few minutes. Once he knows I'm not mad at him, he starts to get restless.

He holds my face with both hands and leans in really close. “Foowd?”

I smile. “Sure. Let’s change that soggy butt first, yeah?”

Aidan lays on his back and waits for me to do his bidding. Then we head downstairs.

“Pannies for breakfast?” I ask as I buckle him in the highchair. If he can escape his crib, which is like Fort Knox compared to this juvenile detention center of a highchair, then I must make sure he’s strapped in.

Twenty minutes later the side door opens. Steps echo down the hall. Loren halts when he enters the kitchen. “What the fuck happened in here?”

I admit, the kitchen is quite a wreck considering it’s just me and Aidan, but Aidan wasn’t too sure if the pancakes were food or for play. He did both.

Aidan takes one look at Loren and starts squealing with his hands in the air. “Uppy, uppy!”

Loren takes one look at Aidan, who's now naked and covered in sticky syrup and pancake crumbles, and starts laughing. “Not a chance on your life. I’m going to go shower. I suggest you do the same.”

He quickly disappears upstairs, taking the stairs two at a time.

I take Potato Pancake to the spare room. After a quick bath, he’s looking sharp with a side part, designer denim, and a custom 99 hoodie. It’s the perfect outfit for this overcast June day. We take Aidan out to the park so he can run off some energy. Instead of chasing birds or playing on the jungle gym, he follows Loren around. He doesn’t want to be in a stroller, he wants to be carried.

Loren avoids him, walking faster than the two-year-old, as if that’s some amazing feat, or zig zagging while Aidan calls after him with his hands in the air, yelling, “Uppy, uppy!” Aidan thinks Loren’s game is hilarious and laughs harder and harder the more he chases after his new one-sided best friend.

My phone vibrates as I watch the two go around and around.

Matt: Just FYI. Aidan’s been escaping his crib for a while now so be careful. He’s a master Houdini. We lowered the crib side and turned it to a day bed. Seems safer. Do what you will with that info.

I throw my head back and laugh. This would have been valuable last night. Wow, this is brand new information. I tease. Thanks for the heads up.

Matt: Ahhh, so he already did it? Congratulations on your trial by fire. We’ll call tonight before bed. Does 6 sound good?

Me: Aidan will be excited. Now go and relax!!

After a while, Loren gives up. Instead of running from Aidan, he picks him up and puts him on his shoulder, which is healing up quite well. Aidan fists Loren’s hair and smiles so big you’d think he just got to snuggle with an entire litter of retriever puppies. His cheeks are stained pink from running around and his own hair is sweaty and messy.

When Loren sees me smiling at them, he glares. “Stop.”

“Just admit you kind of love it.”

“I really don’t.”

“You’re smiling at him.”

“Well yeah, I’m not going to be an asshole to him. Jesus, Jay. He’s just a kid.”

I pull my phone out and start filming. Personally, I think this is great content. If Loren isn’t interested in posting it on his page, then I’ll post it on mine. Either way, I’m going to get as much mileage from this week as possible.

Loren gives Aidan a lick of his ice cream then leans forward so his face is right in the camera. “I’m not a kid person,” he says. “Don’t get any ideas.”

He’s only convincing himself. I might do all the diapers but Aidan is slowly roping Loren into more and more things like feedings and play time. There’s a little jealousy on my end, of course. I wanted Aidan to come visit but it’s Loren he runs to when I chase him and it’s Loren he falls asleep on.


I hold out my hand, hoping to coax a distracted Aidan. “C’mon.”

We’re standing outside the biggest waterpark in Washington and Aidan is more interested in the landscaping rocks. I’m trying to be patient, letting him wander a little, carefully coaxing him into the building. Loren has other plans. He picks Aidan up and carries him into the building under his arm like a football.

“We don’t have time for this,” he tells Aidan. “Jay has lots planned. Let's get a move on it.” As soon as we’re inside, Loren sets him down and wipes his forehead. “It’s humid as hell in here. Damn.”

He’s not wrong, it’s so humid. Seventy or eighty kids are running around, swimming in either the wave pool or carrying inner tubes up the stairs to the top of the slides.

I pay our fees and lead Aidan to the locker room. Now that he’s near the water, he doesn’t want to do anything else. Loren ends up carrying him, again.

“Water!” Aidan says excitedly as I wrangle him out of his clothes and into his swim diaper and shorts.

“Slow down,” I tell him as he runs out of the locker room. Before he can slip and fall, I jog a few steps and pick him up.

We follow him around like peasants, carrying innertubes up the stairs, taking turns riding down with him, letting him ride the waves in the pool. His wish is our commands. After an hour, we’re done. I feel like laying down and passing out. Who knew chasing after a two-year-old was equivalent to a full pre-season workout? It’s probably a good thing. Lord knows I’ve been slacking and distracted.

The next day we take him to the science center. He’s cranky. It’s been a long few days. I don’t think a two-year-old is into science stuff. It’s a bit over his head. The electricity tunnel is fun and holds his interest for a whole four minutes before he’s whining.

“Lowen. I uppy pweeze?”

“How about Jay uppy please?”

Aidan shakes his head and giggles. “You!”

“No,” he points at me. “Jay uppy.”

He wraps himself around Loren’s leg. “Pweeze Lowen?”

“Yeah, pweeze Lowen?” I mock. Loren punches in the shoulder for giving him lip then gives me an evil glare as he lifts the two-year old. But the second he looks at Aidan, it’s all smiles.


I give him a bath after a particularly messy outing. As soon as we're done, Aidan runs naked into the living room, straight to Loren. He tries to flop on the sofa but he’s not quite tall enough so he holds his arms up and waits for Loren to do the rest.

“Can’t you at least put on a diaper?” Loren mumbles as he drags Aidan onto his lap. He has his feet stretched out; his ankles crossed on the coffee table. Aidan settles, his little legs dangle on either side of Loren’s thighs, and his hands behind his head like a rockstar.

Feeling awkward, Loren grabs the throw and covers Aidan up.

My entire soul melts.

“You can take him,” Loren says when he notices the hearts in my eyes. “No skin off my back.”

I sit next to them and lean against Loren. He can’t stand that he’s so snuggable. I have a feeling he’d catch himself on fire to make it stop, like mystery fungus with no cure.

He looks so hot though. The backwards hat, ripped gym shirt, and athletic shorts are too sexy to begin with, but put a toddler in his lap and it takes it to a new level.

“Not happening,” he tells me, seeing the look in my eyes.

I slide my hand down his thigh. “He’s only here for two more nights…”

“Yeah, and then I’m leaving so you and your pulsating ovaries can calm down for a few days. I may even get a vasectomy. Just to be safe.”

I burst out laughing. “You’re so dramatic.”

He eyes me and the way I’m loving this whole thing. “I don’t think I’m being dramatic enough.


Loren’s at the gym. Aidan’s still sound asleep. I have nothing planned for a change. We’ve been so busy all week. I think we could all use a day in. I flip the covers up and head to the shower.

I’m washing the suds from my eyes when the door creaks. A moment later a sleepy faced toddler peeks around the corner of the walk-in shower.

“Good morning, Spuddy.”

He rubs his eyes and frowns. “Lowen?” His voice is adorably gravely and thick from sleep.

I laugh. “He’s gone. He’ll be back soon, though and we’ll all have breakfast together. Okay?”

Aidan’s lip quivers as he leaves the shower. Knowing he’s awake, not corralled, and probably heading downstairs looking for Lowen, I hurry through the rest of my shower. As I’m toweling off, I hear Loren come in from the garage. I smile. This has truly been the best week. Despite Loren’s resistance, he’s warming up to Aidan. It’s kind of sad that his own childhood has ruined him for having kids. He’d be a great dad if he ever changes his mind.

But being a dad is not the only option. Uncles are so underrated. Everyone needs them. How else do parents get a break? Loren’s a great uncle, even if he won’t admit it. I’m sure he’s got Aidan perched on his hip right now, giving him a hard time and talking trash about me while he makes breakfast.

He understands child neglect better than anyone and would move mountains before allowing another child to go through the things he went through. He doesn’t think he is, but he’s so full of love and affection. Why else would Aidan gravitate towards him? They say kids are like dogs in that they sense the goodness in people. Loren’s sooo good. Aidan will polish him up in no time.

Copyright © 2022 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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