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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.

Jay's Loelife - 19. Enjoying the here and now

chapter
nineteen
loren

 

Okay, listen,” I say to the dash mounted camera. I haven’t even hit the freeway yet and I’m getting flooded with DM’s. “Before you all come at me because Jay Petermeyer was sad for like one fucking second in his lifetime, remember it’s okay for us to spend time apart. Jay will survive. He gets to go home and see his parents and his brothers. It will be a great week for him. And while he’s doing that, I’ll be here with you guys. It’s a busy week with last minute Thanksgiving tips, sunrise breakfast, and the new line launching at midnight on Black Friday. It’s going to be awesome. So don’t let Jay and his big sad baby blues get to you. It’s all an illusion. And in case you’ve forgotten, Jay is the reason no one’s seen my abs or my pecs in the last 12 months. Just sayin’…

My plea does not stop the DM’s. Thousands come in by the time I get home. The general consensus? I’m the bad guy. Shocking.

‘Jay just wants to spend his BYE week with you.’
‘If you don’t want to spend time with him when he has time off work, then move over!’
‘Wow. Thought u guys were in luv. Guess not.’
‘Asshole’
‘U sur u deserve 99?’

When Jay’s happy, my followers are happy. When Jay’s not happy…

Loren!” Ruby growls over the car speaker. “What did you do?”

“I didn’t do anything!” I defend. “You know I can’t win in a battle against my followers when it comes to Jay.”

“You knew what would happen when you posted those puppy eyes of his.”

“I know. But, between you and I…I just needed a little…”

“What’s going on Loe?”

“I got pissed a Jay a few weeks back and you know me—”

She whistles. “Oh boy.”

“Yeah…” I may be known for holding a grudge.

“Is our Loe is stirring up a little drama to feel closer to his boyfriend? You’re such a romantic.”

I smile to myself. “Yes, creating drama for attention, so romantic.”

“Why didn’t you just ask him to stay? You know he wanted to.”

“Because I suck, and not always in a good way.”

“Oh, Loe. So clueless.”

“Ya, ya, ya,” I drone. “Honestly, it’s not that bad. I really am busy this week.”

“After the DM mess you’re making? No shit.”

“Take the day off,” I tell her. “I got it handled. Corey is coming over. DM and chill, ya know?”

“What could possibly go wrong?”

“I’ll be good, promise.”

“Well, best of luck. If you need me to jump in, I can.”

“Thanks Ruby.”

“And just tell your boi that you miss him, okay?”

“Bye Ruby.”

****

Corey has made himself at home, lounging on my sofa when I walk in. I eye the gym bag by his feet. There’s this silent undercurrent of speculation that Jay’s departure will somehow negatively affect me, as if I care.

I answer DM’s as Corey drives us to the gym. When we’re done working out, we grab lunch at our go to café downtown, then we’re back at the house. Freshly showered, we park our asses on the sofa. Corey puts on ESPN. Amazingly, I kind of follow along. I wouldn’t call it entertaining, but it’s not as boring now that it’s not a foreign language. Jay’s picture pops up as they talk about his stats for the year. Some of the technical stuff still escapes me.

Speaking of Jay. Have you landed? Starting to worry.

Jay should’ve landed an hour ago, but I have heard nothing. He may have pouted, but I didn’t get the impression he was actually upset he couldn’t stay. He could have. I’m not his boss.

My phone rings. A very unflattering picture of Jay fills my screen. I smile. He really hates that photo. One eye looks wonky and he has a double chin. I only saved it to his contact to irritate him. I kept it because it makes me laugh.

“Sorry, I left the airport and had to run some errands.”

“It’s fine. I was just checking in.”

“So…” he drawls. “Your followers talk some sense into you?”

I grin and glance at Corey. He’s sitting on the other side of the couch on his phone, not paying attention to me. “Not likely.”

“They’re at least giving you a hard time though, right? Or do I need to go on my account and ham it up a bit more.”

“God no,” I laugh. “They’ll skin me alive.”

“Ahh, you have the best followers.”

“They’re a bunch of Benedict Arnolds.”

“They have good taste is all. Anyway, I have to go. I’ll see your face in the morning?”

“Sure. I have sunrise breakfast. FaceTime before or after?”

“Before.”

“Okay, see you then.”

“Yes, I will see you then.”

After saying goodbye, I look at the phone. Most people don’t know this about Jay, but he’s so weird sometimes. He can be pretty intellectual but sometimes he feels over my head, like I’m missing a whole section of the book he’s reading.

Corey and I spend the rest of the evening laughing at some of the DM’s and posting a bunch of nonsense on the stories. We share one about a rental car we got once that had a full length snake skin under the back seat. That leads to a whole discussion on the craziest things people have found in rental cars. We don’t go to bed until well after one in the morning. Too many hilarious and unbelievable tales that must be re-shared with the world.

****

Before I was with Jay, sunrise breakfast was the easiest thing to do. The recipe, food, and equipment were prepped in advance, all I had to do was wake up and go straight to the kitchen with whatever I fell asleep in. Less was more.

It’s still easy, but now I have to get dressed. Actually dressed. More is more or so Jay makes it seem.

I usually sleep in sweatpants and a long sleeve shirt but last night I slept naked so I’d be ready for Jay’s Facetime. While I wait for him to call, I flip through TikTok. I exit the app and look at the time. He’s pushing it, should’ve called by now.

Time has run out. If I don’t call him, then we won’t talk. I’m about to dial his number when the bedroom door creaks. Slightly panicked because I’ve had creeps sneak into my house, I scramble for the nearest weapon.

Before I can unleash my fury via a large can of bear spray that stays stashed in my pillow case, the moonlight reflects off the intruder's face.

Jay watches me with one brow raised, questions why I’m crouched on my bed with a giant metal spray can that is clearly not hairspray. As if I expected him to show up when he’s supposed to be in Wisconsin with his perfect family.

“Morning.” He shrugs out of his jacket, tosses it aside, then lifts the sheets, nudging me over so he can crawl in.

“What are you doing here?” I recoil when he snuggles his cold, damp body against mine. “Jesus Christ you're freezing cold.”

“It’s raining.”

I warm him up with my hands and make sure the blankets are wrapped tight around him. “What are you even doing here? You should be in Wisconsin.”

His lip pops out. It’s not a real pout, it’s the ‘don’t be mad at me’ thing he does so well. “I didn’t want to go but you wouldn’t ask me to stay, so I took matters into my own hands.”

I roll him on his back and start kissing him.

“Hmm,” he moans. “Does this mean you’re not mad at me?”

“Mad at you?”

“For staying. I wanted to stay but I thought you’d be upset. Seamus called and needed to get away from Colorado so I ditched the flight and headed home while he, Matt, and Aidan caught the next flight over. They’re here all week. I don’t want you to feel pressured to hangout or anything. That’s not my intention. If you’re busy, I’ll be at my house with the guys, but if you’re free or want my help with the launch, I’d want to do that. I’m not trying to trick you into a holiday or anything like that,” he rambles. “We don’t even have to hangout on Thanksgiving if you don’t want. Or we can just have something dumb like pizza. Whatever.”

I smile down at him. He’s fucking cute. I kind of like that he’s ruff and gruff on the field, taking down full-grown men like he’s swatting a fly, but with me he’s just a big fucking softy who rambles on when he’s nervous. I run my fingers through his blonde hair and cup his jaw. “I’m glad you’re here.” I give him a quick kiss and pop out of bed. “But I have seven minutes before I gotta be on camera.”

After a quick piss, I throw on sweatpants and a hoodie, leaving the hood on, and jog downstairs. Showtime.

Fuck, was it extra hard getting up this morning or is it just me? Fresh off the time change, dark, raining—” I look at the comments coming in. There’s already seven-thousand people watching and I’ve only been on for less than thirty seconds. I laugh at one of the comments then read it aloud. “'It would be hard getting up without Jay'. Thank you scrubber6620, but I have no problem getting it up when Jay’s gone.” I wink at the camera. “As you know, we’re making baked eggs with swiss chard and green olives. One dish breakfasts are my favs. Assuming you did your shopping and have everything ready, let’s go ahead and get started.”

I grab my trusty cast iron pan and heat it up. It takes about twenty-five minutes before we have a bomb breakfast. I serve myself up and then take a bite. “Fucking yummo. Eggs and green olives are my weakness.

I jump on the counter, pulling one leg up by my ankle. Since I’m sockless, I keep my foot out of the frame. I’m not giving that shit away for free. I eat and answer a bunch of the comments. Before logging off, I get a barrage of messages that say basically the same thing. Glad you and Jay made up.

Speak of the devil.

He saunters in and dishes himself up a giant heap of my leftovers. He winks as he shovels in a mouthful. He may as well ditch the spoon and grab a serving ladle. “Mmm, this really is good.”

“Don’t seem so surprised.”

He holds the plate under his chin and readies himself for another bite. “I’m not surprised. You’re good at everything you do.”

I do the same things over and over, week after week. They may change slightly but it’s all basically the same. Take this dish for example. I make one pan breakfasts all the time, I just change the ingredients. It makes me look more talented than I am. Work smarter, not harder.

While Jay stuffs his face with the rest of the dish, I look at my phone as more and more comments roll in.

I re-watch the segment. That’s when I see it. Jay’s barely in the frame, standing in the shadowed back ground of the kitchen, leaning against the cabinet, watching me. He’s got the dopiest smile on his face, like watching me cook breakfast for a couple hundred thousand people is the best thing he’s ever done. I don’t know that anyone has ever looked at me like that before. Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.

Watching him watch me makes my heart beat funny. It’s good and it’s bad. Kind of scary but a lot amazing.

I smile as I watch him scrape the plate for its last bite. He looks up. His brows arch curiously. Jay is as simple and straightforward as they come, yet nothing about him is simple at all. He doesn’t just look at you or smile at you, he consumes you. He breaks you down like data in the Matrix and sends you to another universe.

It’s like he knows how desperately I need him, how I want to be sappy and tell him I love him and how happy I am that he’s here and that maybe I hated the thought of him being gone all week. He doesn’t call me on it, he just grins as I take his plate to the sink with the rest of the bowls I used for prep.

I glance up from the sink. “What’s on your agenda today?”

“What do you want on my agenda today?”

What am I supposed to say to that?

Jay, not nearly as reserved as I am when it comes to putting everything out there, gets up and drags me out of the kitchen. I hope he’ll drag me to the bedroom and have his way with me, instead, we end up snuggled on the sofa.

“What were your plans today?” he asks as he covers us with a blanket, making sure we’re good and wrapped up. Hmmm. He smells good.

“I was going to stop by the warehouse and make sure things are in order for the launch.”

“Then I shall go to the warehouse with you—” He pulls me in tight, “—after a quick snuggle.”

****

Last time Jay was at the warehouse, most of the shelves were bare. He stops dead in his tracks, his mouth agape, as he spins in awe.

“Hopefully we don’t sell out right away.”

He chokes as he looks around the warehouse that’s almost twice as full as this time last year. “How is that possible?”

“Last year we sold out in less than two hours.”

He grabs my hand and pulls me down the aisles. “You did this,” says excitedly as he shows me my own warehouse. Pallets upon pallets are stacked so high we have to have a forklift. It’s like walking around Costco. “I don’t think I’ll ever understand how far your reach is. The fact all of this could be spoken for in less than a week is insane. They trust your product, they trust your taste, but most importantly, they trust you. What a testament to the brand you’ve built.”

“It’s not that big of a deal.”

Jay laughs. “Sure. No biggie. Just another day.”

I put my arms out and spin slowly. “Another day, another dollar.”

On the way to his house, Jay puts his arm behind my headrest and watches me. I glance at him a few times. “What?”

“We’ve been together over a year, right? Is there anything we can’t talk about?”

I eye him. “If this doesn’t sound like a trap…”

“I’m serious.”

“Uhh.” Fuck. We’ve shelved the big topics for a while, but I trust Jay to dig up something uncomfortable.

“You’re panicking,” he says, his voice laced with amusement. I think he likes making me feel like a bug under a magnifying glass.

“Well, I am. So, rip the Band-Aid off and ask whatever it is you wanna ask before I over think myself into fucking oblivion.”

He seems surprised by my reaction. “Uhh, what do you bring in a year?” he asks. “I’ve been curious. I even googled it, but then I figured, why not just ask him?”

I eye him. “What do you make?

“From just my contract? Or everything including endorsements?”

“I don’t know. You’re the one asking.”

Somehow, we end up in a bit of a stare off. Money is weird fucking thing. I personally don’t care, but other people do. I stopped talking about it a long time ago. “If you don’t want to talk about this, it’s fine. I don’t want to overstep.”

“It’s not a cut and dry answer. What livingtheloelife brings in every year is not what Loren Patrick takes home.”

“Do you get a percentage or how does that work?”

“The guys and I are salary plus bonuses based on profit per quarter. Ruby and Jason are salaried. The others are either hourly or 1099.”

“Do you, Isaac, Corey, and Cole all make the same?”

“I make more.”

“What brings you the most revenue?”

“Product drops.”

“So, like…if this next one goes well, what are you talking?”

“Well, I have two-hundred-and-fifty-four skews launching and each skew has between fifty and three-hundred thousand units, depending on item and size. We average a profit of sixteen-dollar per item.”

He tries to math it out in his head, but ends up pulling out his phone. It takes Jay a second to go through the numbers. The phone falls out of his hands and his eyes go scary wide.

“We drop twice a year,” I add, because I can.

He doesn’t need a calculator to time that by two. “No offense, but I grossly underestimated your reach time after time.”

“What did you think I made?”

“Nowhere close to what you actually make.”

“I don’t make that number, remember?”

He looks at me like it doesn’t fucking matter. It’s still a lot of money. It is. I know this.

“Most of it is in investment and properties. I donate a ton to charities and startups. It’s so hard for me to spend it otherwise. Everything I may want comes to my door for free. I can barely go out and eat or drink. Companies want me to want their product so bad because if I use it, wear it, drive it, eat it…so will millions of other people. More DM’s come in asking for product links than anything else. It’s what Ruby and Jason spend most of their time doing.

I wanted a van for years. When I was finally ready to pull the trigger, I'd been torn between three models. All three companies reached out. Each of them offered not only a free van, but one built to my exact specs, plus money.

Jay knows this. We’ve gotten lots of stuff comped without asking. I never ask for comps. I want to pay. For a long time, I thought I was hurting businesses by taking things for free. I quickly learned that wasn’t the case. If I like what they give me and I share it, well, they make a lot more than what they gave me for free.

Not that I needed to prove my point, but we stopped by a coffee shop on the way to Seattle and ended up getting our drinks for free.

“It won’t always be like this,” I tell him as I sip on my free iced sugar cookie mocha. It’s way too sweet for me, but the barista was so pleased with her choice that I didn’t have the heart to say no.

Jay sips his drink. “Did you know the lifespan of professional athletes is three years? So many guys blow everything they make in those few short years. I’ve been playing for eleven. I’ve lived in my house for the last eight. I’ve had my Sequoia for seven. When I finally retire in the next few years, I don’t want to worry about what I’ll do. I’ve dedicated my entire life to football. When it’s over, it’s over.”

We spend the entire drive talking. A whole hour. As we pull up to his house, he reaches over the seat and grabs my hand. “I’m glad we shared this,” he says with a pleased smile. “Finances can be a weird thing, but I think we’re pretty damn aligned.”

“Did you think I might use you for your money?” I ask curiously.

“Nah…okay, maybe a little. You’d be surprised how easy it happens.”

“Well, I thought you just wanted me for my body,” I tease him as I get out of the van.

Jay rounds the van and grabs my ass as we walk to the front door. He leans in and whispers. “Oh, I definitely do.”

****

Jay bursts into the house and beelines for Aidan, who was playing peacefully in the living room until Jay snatches him up and runs out of a room like a thief in the night, high pitched squeals giving way to uncontrollable giggles. I can’t tell which are Jay’s and which are Aidan’s.

I’m left with Matt, who I enjoy, and Seamus, who I’m confident wouldn’t be upset if I didn’t show up one day.

“Big plans for the week?” I ask as I take off my jacket and hang it on the back of the chair no one ever sits in. Its proximity to the front door makes it popular.

Matt grins. “I’ve never been to Seattle except the one time we dropped Aidan off. I’d like to see Pike Place and maybe the Space Needle. I know that sounds lame.”

“Not lame at all. Just make sure you don’t miss the gum wall. You should also check out the Fremont Troll.”

Matt looks at Seamus with an eager smile. The stocky red head might hate me but it’s obvious he’ll do anything and go anywhere for his boyfriend.

With Matt good and excited about their visit, Seamus looks at me with crossed arms. “Maybe you can be our tour guide.”

I don’t know if it’s a genuine invite or something he's doing for Matt’s sake…definitely Matt’s sake. “Uhh, I’m not sure, I have a lot—”

“What’s going on?” Jay asks as he rounds the corner with a really smiley two-and-a-half-year-old on his shoulders.

“Thought it would be cool if Loe was our tour guide this week.”

Jay frowns. “I’m pretty used to being second fiddle to Loe but from my own best friend? Ouch.” He clutches his chest. “That hurts man.”

Seamus laughs and, I gotta admit, he’s pretty damn attractive when he’s in a good mood.

“Not that you’re not fun or anything,” Matt says. “But you only have four million followers.”

“It’s four-point-nine, jerk, and I am too as cool as Loren. Maybe cooler.”

“Definitely not cooler. Taller? Sure. Blonder? Okay, I’ll give you that. But cooler?” Matt shakes his head.

Jay glares at him in the playful way they do. “I did not ditch my flight for this crap. Besides—” he points to me, “This guy has a pretty full schedule. So you’re stuck with me, Sucka.”

Matt crosses his arms and pouts while Jay makes childish neener neener gestures. I look at Seamus in disbelief. “Is this really happening?”

He sighs like a resigned mother in a house full of unruly children. “You’ll get used to it.”

Aidan squirms until Jay sets him down then comes running to me. His giant grin is pretty damn contagious. “Lowen!” he says with uppy arms.

I grin down at his smiling face. “Heyo Aido. Wass up?”

He grips my jeans and tries to climb up. Before his toes can bruise my shins, I grab the waistband on his pants and heft him the rest of the way up. He scoots around and then he sits on my lap like a little adult, waiting for the conversation to continue.

 I chuckle. “Okay then.”

Jay hasn’t seen his friends since we watched Aidan back in June, so they spend the next few hours catching up. I jump between conversation with them and working on my laptop.

After dinner we deep dive into life in Denver. Seamus is going through a bunch of drama. In January when we last talked about his legal crap, Matt had found some evidence that Mike, Seamus’s accountant, had embezzled money from under Seamus’s nose. Since then, it’s turned into a giant fiasco where Mike and Seamus’ dead ex-husband's family are suing Seamus for everything his husband left him. Talk about a clusterfuck.

The more they share the story, the more ridiculous it gets. There are five businesses ranging from car dealerships to high end restaurants. They may have started out as Kelly’s but it’s Seamus who built them into what they are now. The café he owns was nothing, now it’s one of the most popular coffee shops in the area. In fact, the loesdrinkoftheweek hashtag started there.

Worst part is, there’s a small chance Seamus could lose simply because his in-laws are cunning bastards with a lot of clout.

But so are Jay and I. And I think Seamus isn’t too bad off himself. Between the three of us, we can afford a killer team of lawyers. But that’s not all of it. I get the impression that his in-laws are image driven, which is why they want what’s not rightfully theirs.

“You know…” I start even though I haven’t fully vested my own thoughts. “I bet a little spotlight on the situation might dissuade your in-laws from pressing forward.”

Seamus narrows his eyes. “What do you mean?”

“They seem to care a lot about image, if you share what you’re going through online, they might not like the negative attention they’d get.”

“They wouldn’t, but I don’t know that my seven-hundred followers will have much of an impact.”

“Yours might not, but mine would definitely cause some waves.”

Jay sees what’s happening, so does Matt.

Matt leans forward with his elbows on his knees. He’s into this. “How would we do it? I mean, if we decided to air the laundry…”

“Off the top of my head, we’d do exactly what we’re doing now, just a casual conversation. We’ll get flooded with questions, so we’ll need to keep the initial conversation going for two to four days while we build critical mass.”

“Two to four days?” Seamus asks, looking more hesitant than a minute ago.

“Not everyone tunes in every day. Story clips last for twenty-four hours. We need to make sure people have time to tune in. I would save everything to a highlight, that way, no matter when someone joins the conversation, they’ll have all the info. But that will just be a start. We’ll need to make this a regular topic.”

“Are you sure you’d want to take that on?” Matt asks. “It sounds like a big commitment.”

“Sounds like a good cause.”

Jay hands Seamus a fresh beer then sits next to me. “I think it's something to be considered. I for one would love to watch their dirty little secrets be brought to light, courtesy of social media's best detectives. Drag them damn skeletons out of the closet.”

We talk about pros and cons. In the end, it’s their call. If they want me to run with it, I will. I don’t think any of them really comprehend the magnitude of what will happen. Once it goes live, millions of people will descend on Seamus’ in-laws and his ex-accountant. It will be complete mayhem for them.

It could potentially ruin them, which is the point. It’s also why I’m extremely careful about what I share on any given day.

****

The sun barely peeks through the window. It’s fucking early. Earlier than normal. I pad out of bed with one eye barely open.

While I workout in Jay’s home gym, I have a sudden vision of a video that would be absolutely hilarious. I’ll need Jay. I set the weights down and jog upstairs with a smile.

He’s still in bed. Aidan’s giggles fill the room as Jay tosses him around the bed. He spies me and pulls Aidan into his lap. He waits for me to speak. He knows something is coming. I have a certain look when I’m about to drag him into a creative project.

“Basic concept: I’m working out in the gym when I hear Vengaboys: Boom Boom Boom playing. Intrigued, I follow the music. I open the door and find you wearing 80’s workout gear—neon from head to toe, tight shorts, the whole thing—doing a fast-paced, bodypump workout. Instead of leaving, I put on a matching workout headband and join you.”

Jay laughs. “Sign me up.”

Over breakfast Jay tells Seamus and Matt. Matt’s quick to offer him and Seamus in whatever capacity I need. More the merrier. We find everything we need, so we film right after breakfast. It’s a simple video, and an hour later I have the finished product.

It’s fucking hilarious. The cake is that Jay is wearing tight 80’s spandex, looking like Richard Simmons but with better hair and a less creepy smile, while workout-dancing to Vengaboys.

Within an hour it has over twenty million views.

I’ll post the outtakes. Mostly it’s Aidan being fucking adorable with a neon pink headband and little 1lb weights that he ends up flinging across the room while he dances.

I have a photoshoot and a podcast interview. Instead of ditching everyone and catching up later, they join me.

“This will probably be pretty boring,” I tell them as we load up in Jay’s Sequoia.

“I think it’s fun!” Matt says. “Behind the scenes stuff is fascinating.”

The photoshoot is for Rockwears new line. The shoot itself is at Rock Steady. Everything is set up when we get there. Jay, Matt, and Seamus stand off to the side and watch. I’m used to people watching but Jay’s never watched me before. While he’s doing football, I’m doing my thing. They don’t tend to overlap like this. Not for me. Even in the off season, Jay is busy.

I’m suspended from the wall, decked out from head to toe. The photographer is hanging from the ceiling. He rapidly fires the camera then lowers it and looks at me.

“Why don’t we lose the shirt? I’d like to see your back muscles engaged as you climb.”

I look down at Jay. It’s his call. It’s not something we’ve talked about in a long time but I haven’t been shirtless in over a year. Jay shrugs like it’s my call to make but he looks nervous. He doesn’t want to stand here in front of a dozen people and be the stage boyfriend who won’t let his boyfriend be half naked.

But he is the stage boyfriend and he doesn’t want his boyfriend half naked.

I look at Dan. “Nah, you know what they say, modest is hottest. I think this tank will suffice. We could roll up the sleeves on a tee? Either way, we can make it work.”

Dan is less than impressed but I know how to make this shit work. This ain’t my first rodeo. In the end, I bring both options to life. Or it could be the peek of my abs. Either way, Dan is smiling as we wrap up.

Then we head downtown to Ryan Warner’s office for a podcast interview. It’s a quick interview, less than thirty minutes.

“Are there wedding bells in your future?” Ryan asks Jay. “Is that something you see?”

Fuck. What are these questions? I stare at Jay, waiting to see what shit-storm he’s about to start.

He smiles. “Marriage? I’m just happy Loren wants to hold my hand.”

“But someday?” Ryan presses. “It would be quite the wedding.”

“Here’s the thing, Ryan. The future is full of possibilities and what-ifs. But I don’t live there, I live here, where I am. I don’t want to waste what I have today thinking about what I could have tomorrow. Will Loren and I marry?” Jay shrugs. Who knows. “Is he here with me now? Yes. Will I see if he wants to have dinner with me tonight at Sivi’s? Absolutely. These are the things I get to enjoy now. I look forward to whatever will come tomorrow, next week, and next year. And as they unfold, I will enjoy them, just as I enjoy every day I have with Loren.”

Well, fuck me.

I’m careful not to react like the love-sick fool I feel. I can’t take my eyes off Jay when we leave, or as we drive around Seattle, or when we take Seamus, Matt, and Aidan to Sivi’s for dinner.

But once everyone is in bed…

I crawl on top of him and kiss him until he’s all love-drunk and hard. We roll around naked for the better part of an hour, just enjoying the here and now.

****

Jay is sleeping but he’s also naked and hella tempting. I slide my hand under the blanket, over his hip and... He moves against me as he slowly rouses from his slumber. Mmmm. I lean forward, letting my intentions press against his ass cheek and slide my hand between his legs.

“Good mornin—”

The door flies open with incredible speed, bouncing off the door stop.

Startled to all hell because, again, this wouldn't be the first time someone's broke it. I sit up. “What the—”

A little mop of brown hair bobs across the floor. Jay’s bed is tall, taller than Aidan. Little hands reach up and grab the comforter. He grunts and whines as he tries to get up. Jay reaches down, grabs Aidan by the back of his pajamas, and lifts him up and over like a crane. Aidan’s grinning with his arms out. “Weeeeeee.”

Potato stumbles into my lap, which makes me realize—

I tighten the sheets around my waist and suck in a breath. “I’m naked!” I whisper-shout, glaring at Jay because it’s his fault that there’s a kid in his house, interrupting sexy, naked time.

Jay laughs, completely unbothered that he, too, is naked.

Terror takes over when Aidan starts to dig his way under the sheets next to me. My eyes widen. I open my mouth to ask Jay if it’s a bit pedo to be naked with the potato, but before I can question any of it, the door, which bounced its way half closed, opens once more. Matt and Seamus stand there, looking for their lost spud.

Now I’m naked in a bed with a two-year-old while his parents stand there like it’s no big deal.

Matt waves at his kid brother. “We were wondering where Sir Escapes-a-lot fled to.”

Aidan smiles proudly, perched between me and Jay with the sheets pulled up to his belly. At some point between me panicking and Matt and Seamus making it worse, Aidan got a hold of Jay’s phone and is now trying to unlock it. Good. Jay can spend a small fortune this time.

Jay keys the numbers in and ruffles his hair. “He had to see his favorite uncle first thing." And then, because it can’t get more awkward, Jay tells his friends to take a seat on the bed…where I’m currently naked…with their kid.

I sink down in bed and pull the covers over my head. I’ve never been modest. The opposite, really. The world has seen just about all there is to see of me. I work hard for my body and I’ve always loved to show it off. One year of keeping it under wraps and suddenly I’m some blushing virgin.

They don’t leave. I swear they hang out on the bed simply to watch me struggle. When they finally leave, taking Aidan with them, I fling the sheets off and hurry to the bathroom. “I’ve had to pee for a fucking hour!”

Jay laughs the entire time I relieve myself. When I get out of the shower, he’s dressed. Jay takes one look at me and starts laughing again. I glare and then stomp out. He doesn’t even care I was gonna suck his dick.

We spend the day working. Well, I spend the day working; they spend the day watching. It’s not so bad. Jay suggests we have a big dinner, so while Seamus and Matt spend the entire day out and about, Jay and I take Aidan shopping with us.

“Here,” Jay says, kind of shoving me out of the way to make room for a giant monstrosity of a stool.

“Why does it look like a little boom truck?”

He looks at the stool and laughs. “It’s a stool for little kids. The boom part of the stool has rails and a black nylon strap to keep them from falling off. This way Aidan can help. I even bought this cute chef’s hat. Check it out.”

Aidan’s pretty damn cute. His shoulders straighten, the hat making his job as a chef that much more serious. He means business. But help? Aidan absolutely does not. It’s fun though. I set the tripod up and film the whole thing. Aidan particularly enjoys making mashed potatoes with his hands. And eating it…and then putting his slobbered hands back in the bowl to stir some more...and then eat some more. By the time his dads get back from their day-date, everything’s just about done. We sit down and dish up our plates. I avoid Aidan’s special mashed potatoes but grin as everyone else digs in.

I’m ready when Aidan joins us in bed again the next morning. Full attire, baby, including socks, much to Jay’s amusement.

I leave before breakfast. With the launch going live at midnight, Isaac, Cole, Corey, and I have a very busy Thanksgiving. I only talk to Jay for a moment. It’s cut short because he’s promised his parents a Facetime since he bailed on the families Thanksgiving plans. I can’t say I’m disappointed to be out of the house for that conversation.

Thursday flows seamlessly into Friday with almost no sleep. Now it’s Saturday and the guys and I are at the warehouse, per tradition.

I grab the first order, box it, and then throw it a little something extra. “Samuel Monterey from Maine, this is for you! Congratulations on placing the FIRST order of the launch!

The rest of the crew show up at eight. The place is bustling. Around eight-thirty, Jay comes in with Aidan on his hip and Matt and Seamus at his side.

“We’re here to help.”

We don’t really need help, but it’s not about that. I put them to work. Aidan rises in the ranks, and before long, he’s foreman of the entire operation. Someone even gives him a safety vest and hard hat. I don’t know where either come from and they’re way too big, but it makes an adorable fucking picture and everyone eats it up. That kid is an engagement goldmine.

The only thing people like more than an adorable little kid, is an adorable little kid with Jay, or myself, or Jay and I together.

****

I stretch out on the sofa with my legs crossed at the ankles. Bringing the toasted vanilla latte to my lips, I savor the quietness of an empty house. Jay is likely on his way home from taking Seamus, Matt, and Aidan to the airport.

I can’t believe the week is over. I had pretty low expectations. Work, work, work and all that. Somehow, Jay made it fun. I got everything done plus some, yet it barely felt like a chore. I hardly even noticed it was Thanksgiving. For the first time since I can remember, I kind of wished I’d celebrated. The dinner, though not on Thanksgiving itself, has been nice. I liked cooking with Jay and eating with friends.

I bring the drinks to my lips for another drink and pause. Jay is such a sneaky bastard. An evil mastermind disguised as a blonde bombshell, here to ruin me.

And I love him for it.

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.
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