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Jay's Loelife - 21. Vanilla




I glance at my phone again, then drop it in my lap. My battery is seriously low. For such a sprawling subdivision, this area of Waukesha, Wisconsin, has terrible service. There is nothing to distract me from Jay driving us in circles.

Except the cows. Only in a Michigan subdivision do you find cows.

Jay can say what he wants, but I know his parents don’t like me. In their eyes, there’s only one reason he’s barely been home, and that reason is me. It’s fine. Jay is staying and training with his brothers for an entire month. I just need to get through a few days.

Their house is every HOA’s wet dream. Three stories, beige, generic white fencing keeping one average size yard separate from the next. Perfectly manicured lawn, brightly painted gnomes playing sentry over the flowers sitting pretty in their beds. It's intimidating. No one looks for the missing boyfriend under the back porch of an HOA house…

Jay parks next to two other trucks and smiles. It’s bigger than his Super Bowl winning smile. You’d think we just pulled up to his own surprise party. “My brothers are here.” He rushes around the front of the truck and opens my door.

I straighten my jacket and smooth my jeans with my hands before Jay grabs me and pulls me toward the front door. His family is waiting, barely holding themselves back from attacking. I think they would have descended on us before we hit the porch if they hadn’t been ordered otherwise.

I’ve seen tons of pictures, but there’s something different about seeing people in person.

Take his dad, for example. I know he carries a few extra pounds and has ever since his boys were little, but in person, it’s almost alarming. It’s definitely shocking how a man who raised three NFL bound boys has so little regard for his own health.

His mom is every suburban mom I’ve seen. She’s a few inches shorter than me, average size, professionally done blonde hair in a mom cut, friendly smile, smart clothes; like she’s about to board a yacht. Very St. James.

Mom and Dad Petermeyer go straight for their son while his brothers hone in on me. Jay is the oldest of the three, the tallest by several inches, and the only blonde. Derek is the middle child and the shortest at only six-feet. Taylor is the baby, having just finished his third year in the NFL. He’s a smaller version of Jay. Same golden retriever vibe.

Taylor sticks his hand out, when I take it, he pulls me in for a hug. “Goddamn. I never thought my loser brother would land himself someone this cool.”

Only a brother would refer to Jay as a loser. I laugh. “Even losers need to be loved.”

Derek sticks his hand out. Unlike his bubbly brother, he’s fine with a regular ol’ handshake. Which is great. “Jay gets plenty of love. He needs someone to keep him humble.”

Taylor puts his arm around Derek and grins brightly. “That’s what we’re here for.”

Mom and Dad interrupt, playfully shooing the brothers away. “It’s our turn. Let us in.” They stand in front of me and stare, taking stock of their next kill, planning how to chop my body up so I won’t be identifiable. Jokes on them, I’ve had several broken bones, lots of x-rays to confirm identification, even a few fillings.

Their faces say I’m two seconds from being the meat in a Petermeyer parent sandwich. Which doesn’t sound appetizing at all. I don’t know what terror they see on my face, but they refrain from making me their lunch and shake my hand instead.

“It’s really nice to meet you, Loren. I’m Donna, Jay’s mama.”

“And I’m Robert.”

“Nice to meet you both. I’m Loren—but you know that.”

They smile kindly. “We’ve set up lunch. I hope you're hungry.”

While everyone rushes to the kitchen, I look at Jay and blow out a nervous breath, making him chuckle. He puts his arm around my shoulder and leads me to the kitchen. “It’s going great. My brothers are really excited you’re here.”


I stand next to Jay and watch Robert as he plays tetris with the meat. He’s got everything you can possibly cook on two side-by-side barbeque grills. He grins when he sees me watching him. “It’s the off season. The boys can eat freely.”

Jay shoots me a look. That’s not true. They do have more freedom but it’s hardly a free for all. No one argues and, in the end, everyone under forty fills their plates with grilled veggies and a mix of meat and seafood, where those over sixty fill up on red meat and creamy pasta salads.

Jay and his brothers are relentless in their teasing of one another, but Mr. and Mrs. Petermeyer are kind. They ask a lot of questions, mostly to Jay. My questions come from Derek and Taylor.


“There’s a football field,” he tells me, as if that particular enticing feature will reel me in and make me love his cabin in the middle of Nowhere, Wisconsin. “My brothers usually crash here, but since you’re here, I told them to get lost. They’ll show up with their bags once you head back. Unless you want to stay…”

I drop my head back and laugh. There’s no fucking way I’m staying here for an entire month.

Jay frowns. “Can’t wait to get back to Washington?”

“No.” Yes. “But I hadn’t planned to be gone for a month. I have a ton of work at home. What would I even post about for an entire month?”

“You can post anything. Film all you want. My family doesn’t care.”

I think they do care, but if they’re okay with it, it might be worth a shot. A Day in the Life of the Petermeyer family would be a big hit.


It’s barely light when I feel a nudge on my side. A moment later there’s another one, then a hand on my shoulder and a warm body pressing me into the mattress. “I’m horny,” Jay whispers in my ears. “We have fifteen minutes before my brothers show up.”

Despite wondering how the fuck he’s awake this early on a three-hour time change, I spread my legs. Jay mounts me, working me over quickly but languidly. When he’s done, he pulls my hips so I’m on all fours, then presses my shoulders down. “I like you like this,” he says as he runs his hand down my back before pressing himself into me.

It’s over embarrassingly fast for the both of us. There’s something about morning sex that’s quick and satisfying. Jay flips me over and collapses on top of me. He sings the jingle, “The best part of waking up...

“Is bein’ in Loe’s butt?”

Jay cracks up. “Well, yeah.” A second later, his phone beeps. He reaches towards the nightstand, dragging me with him so he can read the message. “The guys will be here in two minutes. Better get up.” But he doesn’t get up. Not until I push him off.

“I’m not keen on your brothers seeing me naked.”

“Why not?” His eyes go straight to my lower half. “You have nothing to be ashamed of.”

I cup my junk. “I know.”

Hello!” Taylor hollers. “We’re here. We’re walking through the living room. We’re heading towards the bedroom. We’re almost to the bedroom. I’m opening the door.” After a long pause, the door slowly opens.

Jay’s sitting on the end of the bed, pulling on a compression shirt when his brother’s head pops in. “What if we were boning?”

“I gave you plenty of time to wrap it up.”

“You gave me less than a minute.”

Taylor waggles his brows. “Like I said, plenty of time.”


Jay’s gym is a giant converted garage equipped with everything your gym-heart desires. It’s better than other professional gyms I’ve been to. The workout itself hits different. Something to do with three competitive brothers who moonlight as NFL players. It’s no joke.

Taylor’s at the plyo boxes, murdering himself on the tri level. When he finishes his round, he puts his hands on his hips and bends over next to me. “I’m surprised you’re not filming.”

I adjust the weights in my hands then begin my second set of Bulgarian split squats. “Everyone’s entitled to their privacy.”

“For sure, for sure,” he says, intentionally not looking at me. Then he stretches a little too casually, like he’s buying time. “If you want to film, we don’t care.”

I laugh. The guy is not smooth at all. “Did Jay tell you to say that?”

“Jay? No man, I was just…”

“Taylor wants to be in your stories,” Jay teases.

Taylor flips him off, but he’s a bit red in the face and I don’t think it’s from all the vertical jumps.

“If you’re cool with it…”

Taylor lights up. “Totally. Just let me catch my breath and we’ll show everyone what’s up.” The what’s up had a gangsta twang to it, making me laugh at this Wisconsin raised country boy. He hasn’t been playing in Pittsburgh long enough for street clout.

Derek comes from the other side of the gym, pretending to be casual, but I’m pretty sure he and Taylor are in cahoots about strong-arming their way into my social media. While Jay has five-million followers, Derek has a pickle shy of five-hundred-thousand and Taylor has a respectable eight-hundred-thousand. They’re not bad numbers considering they only post about football. Not exactly riveting content unless you’re a diehard fan.

I don’t know what they expect from me, it’s not like I was prepared to post content. I look to Jay for help. He re-racks his weights and comes over. With a barely contained smile, Jay sets up the plyo boxes side-by-side. “Alright, we’re going to run ourselves a little competition.”

They stand on Jay’s invisible start line and we spend the next thirty minutes busting our asses trying to come out on top. In the end, we each have our wins and losses. Much to their surprise, they’re up fifty-thousand followers by the end of the workout. That gives them the momentum they need. By the time we arrive at their parents' house for brunch, they’ve taken over as producers. They’re a lot like Jay in that way.

Donna watches her two youngest fondly as they set the table with a mastered precision they somehow picked up out of thin air. “If this is what it takes for them to put brunch on the table, then you’re welcome here anytime you’d like. If only they mopped.”

I put my fingers to my lips and blow. Donna’s hands fly to her ears. Hindsight, I should’ve warned her. I feel bad about that. Taylor and Derek stop what they’re doing and look at me.

“Can one of you do a once over with the mop?”

Taylor drops what he’s doing and scrubs the entire dining room with the mop while his mom watches in something like a wonder. I take pity and start filming.

“Well, I’ll be damned.” She gently touches my forearm and smiles. “What else can we make them do?”

She’s being kind, but it’s not lost on me that she and Robert have spent most of the day glued to Jay’s side, a reminder that they’re not seeing their eldest as much as they want. But if getting her kids to help out is gonna keep me from rotting under the giant wrap-around porch, then damn it, they’ll make this place shine.


Donna glances at the plate and silverware tossed about and sighs. Her boys may have been keen to get ready for lunch, but it’s clear she’s left with the cleanup.

“Hey, let’s do a Q&A while you guys clean,” I suggest. They go from lounging to collecting plates in less than ten seconds. “Let me know if there are any topics you want to keep off limits.”

Nothing X rated. They’re serious about a clean family image.

They start scraping off dishes and putting leftovers in their rightful containers.

“So, do you guys have girlfriends?”

"Fiancées,” Derek corrects.

“Both of you?”


“Are you having a dual wedding?”

Taylor laughs. “Not a chance.”

“Where do they live?”

“In Pittsburgh, but they’ll be joining us tonight and staying for a few days.”

“What’s your favorite thing about your fiancé?”

Taylor stops washing the dishes and looks at me with a familiar dopey smile. “Niki’s real. In a world where nothing is as it seems, she’s a breath of fresh air. Doesn’t hurt that she’s a professional dancer.”

We go on. Question after question. They start flowing in from followers, people curious about Jay’s brothers. Once the kitchen is clean, dishes washed, and everything’s put away, we head outside where they do lawn care.

Jay’s on the porch, chatting with his parents. He looks up and grins at his brothers as they break their backs for a little screen time. Taylor’s pulling the weeds that are growing between the paver wall under the massive deck.

“Do your parents ever use that space under there?”

You know, for dead bodies and such?

“Dad had the landscaper enclose it so it looked nicer. There is a little door on the other side, as far as utilizing that space? Nah. I mean, who’s going under there? Dad?” he raises his brow, daring me to say otherwise, which I don’t, because I’ve seen Robert…he’s not crawling under anything.

Which is probably why I’m still alive.

Mama Petermeyer smiles at me from said deck like I’m the ultimate mastermind for getting her grown kids to do all the work, but Derek and Taylor gain one-hundred-thousand followers by the time their fiancées arrive, so maybe I’m not the mastermind after all.

“The hard part is keeping them,” I tell ‘em. We’re sitting on the deck. It’s sunny but cold. Jay brings me a large black coffee to keep my hands warm and a jacket. Since his brothers and their girlfriends scooted their Adirondack chairs around mine, Jay sits on the other side with his parents. I take a sip of the coffee and resume the conversation. “You should post more than football.”

“Football is what we know and love.”

Danielle leans in and hugs Derek’s bicep as if consoling him. “He’s awkward in front of the camera.”

“He did fine today.”

She looks at him with hearts in her eyes. “Yeah, he was pretty hot.”

Derek smiles and wraps his arm around her shoulder until she’s pressed against his chest.

It seems that all the Petermeyer men are good to their partners. Robert and Donna must’ve set a good example. I don’t remember how my parents were as a couple, I only remember them as individuals, but I wonder how their relationship might have influenced me differently if they’d stuck around. It’s probably because of Isaac’s parents that I’m not doing a terrible job with Jay. It could definitely be worse.


As great as Jay’s family is, twenty-four hours in and I’m not convinced his parents are sold on me. It’s possible I’m seeing my own self-doubt. As we inch closer to dinner, Donna kicks Taylor from his seat next to me. She sits and wraps her hands around mine. “I know you do a lot of cooking. How about we make dinner together tonight?”

“Sure.” I’m not sure at all. Not even a little, but when I look at Jay for help, he’s smiling, quite pleased that things are going so well. I’m a sucker for his happiness. He even gives me a thumbs up as I follow his mom to the kitchen.

Okay, he’s amazing,” someone whispers from the deck as the screen door closes behind me.

Donna gives me a kind look as we walk down the hall. “Those two were so excited when they heard who Jay was dating. He didn’t tell us right away. Did you know that?”

“I didn’t.”

“Jay has always brought boyfriends around, sometimes before they were official. He values our opinion and always wanted to know what we thought before things went too far. When he visited last year, we knew he had a boyfriend but he wouldn’t answer any questions about you, and you better believe we asked. It’s unlike him to be so hush-hush. It’s actually Taylor who figured it out. He’s followed you for a long time. He saw Jay on some video with you.”

I glance down the hall, hoping Jay has miraculously decided to join us. It would be so much better if he’s here. But the hall is empty except for the echoes of laughter coming from outside.

Donna grabs a couple of aprons and hands one to me. Baby blue with wild flowers and lace trim. “I was thinking we could make chicken lazone.”

Chicken lazone. I look up to find her smiling at me. She knows this is my recipe.

“I’ve been dying to make a meal with you ever since I saw your first cooking segment.”

“It’s nice,” I say. Not sure if I’m referring to the compliment or us cooking together…or maybe I enjoy saying awkward things when I'm uncomfortable. I grab ingredients from the refrigerator while she gets everything else.

“Does Jay cook with you?”

“When we’re together for meals, yeah. During football, his food is usually prepared for him by professionals.”

“That’s common for single men in professional sports. Even some of the married ones.”

I’m saved from over thinking that last comment when everyone piles into the kitchen.

Jay grins at my sexy outfit and quickly pulls out his phone, aiming the camera my way. “I guess you won’t be short on content after all.”

Halfway through the meal prep, Jay’s brothers huddle around him, laughing. “Jay did a ‘who wore it better’ poll between you and ma,” Taylor says with Jay’s signature big golden retriever smile. “You’re winning by an alarming rate. No offense Ma.”

“Ignore them,” she says with a smile and a wink. “They’re just jealous. They could never pull off that apron.”

“We’d be pulling off the apron alright—” Derek mumbles to his brothers, “—and throwing it in the trash.”

They’re not talking shit forty-five minutes later as they inhale their chicken lazone. Donna notices the same thing and gives me a victory grin. Since we cooked, the boys clean up. I slip my apron over Jay’s head as pay back. Donna does the same for the other two. Now it’s my turn to film. It’s hilarious watching three giants, who are built for their profession, wearing frilly aprons.

I slap Jay’s ass. “You’re right. I have plenty of content after all.”

He simply smiles and shakes his money maker. This kind of thing has become normal for him. Maybe he loves it, maybe he does it for me.

Jay finishes drying one of the cast-iron pans and then hangs it on the wall. He winks at the camera. “Husband training.”

I instantly close my eyes. He knows better than to make those comments on camera. It always sends people into a frenzy of speculation.

“Husband training for my brothers!” He clarifies. “They’re both engaged.” But it’s too late. Not only are DM’s coming in, but his family is eyeing us. He looks around the room, then at the camera. “Loe and I are not getting married.”

“That’s not what you said earlier,” Taylor says with a smug smile. His tone is exactly that of a predator honing in on weak prey. Or a brother getting ready to pounce on another brother. “You were all ‘As God as my witness, I will marry that man!’ It was very Gone with the Wind.”

Derek nods. “Very romantic,” he confirms.

“I didn’t say that,” Jay tells me seriously.

“Okay, maybe not that dramatic,” Taylor admits. “But you did say you’d marry him.”

Jay narrows his eyes at his brother. He’s about to kill him, a sentiment I fully back. Still, I laugh. It’s fucking hilarious watching Jay get picked on by his brothers. I turn off the camera. The last two minutes have already put me underwater, no need to pile on more. “Well, there goes my plans for the night.”

Jay put his hands on his hips and glares at his brothers. “Remember when Loren asked if there was anything off limits and you guys said nothing rated R?”

They nod, clearly sensing the trouble they’ve brewed.

“Well, comments like that are Loren’s limit.”

“What’s the big deal? It’s just for fun.”

“Fun looks different when you have thirty-eight million followers.”

I’m not upset about the comments, but Jay is livid. The easy going, light-hearted afternoon sours. Everyone is walking on eggshells and Jay won’t leave my side. His brothers and their fiancées are in the yard playing ladder toss, which is more of an excuse to get away from volcano Jay.

I squeeze his thigh. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. It’s not the first time something like this has happened.”

Jay leans his head against mine and exhales. I can feel the weight he’s carrying come out in that one breath. “It’s different when it’s because of my family.”

“No one’s perfect.”

“My family is. That’s why this is so irritating. They’re better than that.”

“They were just giving you a hard time. It’s normal. I do it with the guys all the time. Your brothers didn’t know better.”

“They should have,” he argues. “They might not be household names like Tom Brady, but they’re making their way. They know what it’s like to be in the public eye.”

“I don’t know why you’re crying about it. I’m the one with one-hundred-thousand unread messages. And to be honest, you throwing a fit about this in front of your family is making me more uncomfortable.”

“I’m sorry. I just wanted you to enjoy your time here. I want you to want to come back.”

“I want to come back.”

He gives me a look that says he doesn’t believe me.

“I do. It’s not terrible, I promise. Your brothers are a hoot.”

“And my parents?”

“They’re cool.”

“You don’t like them…”

“It’s been two days!” I laugh. “I’m still fucking nervous. Especially since your mom told me ‌you basically bring all your boyfriends home so you can get their stamp of approval. What if they don’t like me? What happens then?”

“That would never happen.”

“Let’s not forget my history with parents not liking me.”

Jay moves to his knees in front of me and wraps his arms around me. “My parents aren’t your parents.”

“I know this. Do you?”

His forehead scrunches in confusion.

“You’re the one trying to replace my parents with yours.”

“I’m not trying to replace them. I just want you to experience their goodness. It’s the one thing I have to offer.”

I run my fingers through his hair. “You have a lot to offer.”

Jay lays his head on my stomach and sighs. “I love you.”

“Are you proposing?”

Jay growls. “Not funny, Loren.”

I love teasing him. “It’s a little funny.”

After a minute, he stands up and holds out his hand. “Are you ready to go? I’m done for today.”

Now that’s an offer I can’t refuse. His family eyes me cautiously as we gather our things. It’s clearly concerning to them that we’re leaving early.

Taylor fidgets with the rope thing. “Are we still on for training in the morning?”

“And brunch after?” his mom adds. “I bought everything for Loren’s one dish with eggs, green olives, and swiss chards.”

Jay slips his hand around my waist and smiles at his family. “Of course. And it’s Loren’s last full day, so I thought we could take him around town after?”

There’s a collective sigh. It’s strange to me ‌they care this much. Neither Corey, Isaac, or Cole’s family cared like this. Not saying they didn’t care, they just let everyone do their own thing. When they fought, people would storm off for a few hours, maybe give a cold shoulder for the day, but no one ever acted like it was the end of the world. The difference in family dynamics is mind blowing.


Jay collapses on the cracked leather sofa. The cabin has the cabiniest vibe there is. Everything is black bears, canoes, fishing, and elk—down to the toothbrush cup and toilet paper holder. He pats the cushion next to him. “C’mere.”

I should change clothes but he looks awfully inviting so I go to him.

He points to a vintage cedar chest at the end of the sofa. “Grab a blanket?”

I hold up the wool blanket with pine trees lining the edges, questioning his taste. “Don’t you think this place is overkill?”

“It’s possible I didn’t have the heart to tell my designer that she didn’t understand the assignment.”

“It’s not terrible…”

“Yes, it is.”

I spread the blanket out over Jay while he scoots back and makes room for me. Once I’m in, he kisses my shoulder and the side of my face. It’s very attentive, almost desperate.

“You should re-do the cabin,” Jay says as he nibbles my neck.

“Re-do the cabin? Why?”

“‘Cause you have good taste.”

“You just want me to come back.”

“I do, but until then, I’d like to feel you when I’m here. I’d also like to not feel like there might be a dead carcass hanging in the garage.”

I laugh. I do a lot of things but interior decorating isn’t really my go to. I can get by in a pinch, but that’s about it. “We’ll see.”

“You could do a whole series out of it. I’m sure people would love to see you invade my space.”

I reach between us and grab his crotch. “You know I love invading your space, but that kind of thing is for OnlyFans.”

“That’s not funny.” Jay scowls. “Do you really have an OnlyFans?”

I shake my head. “I don’t have an OnlyFans you idiot. I have an OnlyJay’s and it’s a one user platform.”

That makes him smile. His hand slides down back and he grips my ass. “Does the user get live shows?”

Not a fan of fucking on leather, I get up and strip my clothes off as I saunter to his bedroom. “I guess there’s only one way to find out…”


I’ll give it to the decorator, she has great taste in beds. The mattress, the sheets, the comforter—it’s what I imagine sleeping in heaven is like. That and the blowjobs. Even after we’re dressed in workout gear and waiting for his brothers, Jay is all over me. “We should workout naked.”

“Yeah—” I laugh. “I don’t think your brothers would appreciate that.”

“Not this morning, just…sometime. You’re so hot when you work out.” He runs his fingers down my bicep. “Your arms turn me on. Did you know that?”

“My arms?”

“Among every other inch of your body. But yeah, every time we work out, I’m fighting a boner. I didn’t know I was so into muscle bottoms.”

I toss my head back and laugh. “Muscle bottoms?”

“Yeah,” he says absently. He’s too busy kissing my neck and running his hands over my body, down to my butt. “You have a thicc ass, too.”

I’m about to tell him he needs to cool down because his brothers will be here any minute, but then the door opens and Taylor, once again, announces their arrival. He notices us and smiles. Then he notices Jay on his knees in front of me and his face twists. “Oh c’mon! Be gentlemen. We brought the ladies with us.”

His brother’s presence doesn’t deter Jay much, but knowing Danielle and Niki are two seconds behind them is like a bucket of cold water. I lean forward and whisper, “Later tonight you can do whatever you want to this thicc ass. How does that sound?”

“Like a long day,” he groans.

“Do we want to know what you guys are whispering about?” Derek asks.

“Why are you still on the floor, Jay? Are you afraid to face us like a man?”

Jay gets up from his knees and adjusts the bulge in his pants, but deliberately avoids facing anyone directly as we all head to the gym.


Jay’s right, it’s a long day.

The workout is awesome. I don’t hate spending time with Jay’s brothers and their fiancées are a definite bonus. Brunch is good. Donna has me cooking alongside her. I don’t think I’m teaching her anything new. She’s been cooking for this crew since before I was born, but she seems genuinely interested in bonding.

Then we head to town. Waukesha is beautiful. Lots of history of which Jay’s parents are excited to share with us in great detail. Eventually, Jay convinces them to head to a favorite winery of theirs. The Petermeyers must have some serious small town clout because the eight of us are seated in a secluded room that overlooks the vineyard in less than five minutes while others wait in jackets outside.

The sommelier does a selection of Pacific Northwest inspired wines on behalf of Jay, throwing him eye flutters and extra pours. By the time he’s done showing off for Jay, we’re all drunk.

Instead of heading out, Mr. Sommelier sits next to Jay, who’s sitting next to Niki and Danielle. Derek, Taylor, and I sit on the other side of the rustic banquet table, laughing as Jay pleads silently with his eyes for us to come save him.

Derek waves with his fingers then moves his chair, deliberately puts Jay to his back. He looks at me and frowns. “We’re sad to see you go tomorrow. You should stick around longer.”

“Yeah, train with us,” Taylor begs.

“I’m pretty familied out. No offense to you guys, you’re awesome.”

Taylor sighs in disappointment. “You have nothing to be sorry about. We should be sorry, about the other night, we didn’t mean to complicate things for your job or between you and Jay.”

I wave them off. It’s really not that big of a deal. “Jay may have overreacted. I actually expected the weekend to go worse. Staying up for a few hours fielding annoying messages is part of my everyday life. I’m just glad your parents don’t hate me. I came here thinking they wanted to bury me under their deck.”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that,” Derek says dramatically. His face is flushed and his eyes aren’t totally focused. “You’re marrying the King and you’ll be treated as such.”

“I’m not marrying anyone—”

“You’re with Jay and the parents have been shitting themselves over it. They know you’re different. If they want Jay, they have to go through you. That much is crystal clear.”

“What? I don’t want that.”

Taylor looks sympathetic. “It’s not your fault, it’s just family bullshit, you know? Jay is and always has been the golden child. He’s the best and the smartest out of the three of us.”

“And the best football player,” Derek adds. “Which has always been sooo important.”

“Oh yes,” Taylor nods. “The very best. Has the better contract, the better agent, the better endorsements, blah blah blah,” Taylor says. He rolls his eyes and uses his hand to mimic talk, talk, talk.

“I know I’m not the best NFL player, but I was good enough to get drafted and I’m good enough to keep playing. Too bad they can’t see that.”

“Mom has never asked Niki or Danielle to help in the kitchen.”

“Of course not. They’re not engaged to Jay—”

I want to remind them Jay’s not engaged, but there’s no point. This isn’t about me.

Derek seems to realize they’ve gone on a bit of an alcohol induced tangent. “Sorry, it’s just frustrating, you know? We love Jay. He’s seriously the best, but it’s hard to live in his shadow. No matter what we do or where we go…”

Taylor takes another drink of wine. “We can’t even be mad at him about it because he doesn’t even know. He doesn’t realize life isn’t easy for others like it is for him. No one tells Jay no. No one. Even as a gay player, he has it good. The other out players have not had his kind of acceptance.”

“You got in with the good brother. Mom and Dad will do whatever it takes to make sure you’re happy.” Derek thinks about it for a second, then smirks. “I would like to be there when Mom finds out Jay’s not moving back home.”

“Moving back home?” I ask.

Taylor grips his brother's shoulder and laughs manically like he’d completely forgotten that factoid. “Oh yeah. There’s always been talk of Jay moving back when his contract is up. Until now, there was nothing stopping him. I think that’s why Mom’s been so sweet on you, trying to butter you up to bring her baby back home.”

Well, maybe they still want to bury me after all.

I across the table. Niki and Danielle are doing a pretty good job of sidelining the sommelier from trespassing, while Donna and Robert talk happily with their son.

“We don’t mean anything by it,” Taylor says. He looks a little more sober now. “We probably shouldn’t say anything.”

I watch Jay for another second then turn back to the brothers. “It’s fine. I’m surprised, is all. Thought you guys were the perfect family.”

“Not perfect, well—” Derek winks. “Except Jay,”

“Honestly, we’re a good family. But even good families aren’t perfect families. We love our parents and we love our brother. It’s just that sometimes we want to strangle them.”

“For what it’s worth, we’re so stoked you and Jay are together. We’ve never seen him this happy and you’ve made this weekend so much fun.”

Taylor smiles, a little of the stress he wore a minute ago, evaporating. “Totally. You’re rad.” Then he jolts, like he just remembered something very important. “I follow this chick on Instagram and one day she posted screenshots of some of the stuff people send her in DM’s. I bet you have crazy DM’s.”

I throw my head back and laugh. If he only knew. “Yeah, you can say that.”

His face lights up like the State Fair at night. “Tell us everything.”

“So many DM’s about my feet. People want feet pics and feet vids so bad.”

Taylor leans forward with rapt attention. “Really?”

“Every day.”

“What else?”

Instead of trying to remember, I pull out my phone and show them.

I want you to hit my insides another way…LMAO…but actually ;)

Let me worship your feet

I want to hold your ass not your hands

I had a dream about you last night and it wasn’t a dry one

I want to lick you from your head to your toe after a sweaty workout. Let me worship your armpits I’ll lick them clean for you.

“This is just what’s at the top of my DMs.”

“Has Jay ever read those?”

“I’ve shown him lots.”

“We’ve even role-played a bunch of them,” Jay says as he squeezes a chair into our little circle.

“We’ve not done that.”

“Of course we have.”

I look at his brothers and shake my head. “He’s lying.”

“C’mon. Remember that one time…” Jay winks, as if I will suddenly recall something that never happened. He’s so full of shit.

I narrow my eyes. “You know what we’re about to role play? You never having sex again.”

His brothers cup their mouths and OooOOOoo at the wicked burn. Then Taylor proudly punches his brother in the shoulder. “That’s some kinky stuff right there.”

Jay shrugs his shoulders as if it’s no big deal. I gape. “Excuse me, no. Nothing kinky happens between the sheets. Just regular, boring ‘ol sex.”

Derek and Taylor lose it. “Jay, I didn’t realize you were so boring in bed.”

Jay glares at me, see what you’ve done? He started it. I take a deep, exaggerated, okay-let-me-explain kind of breath. “Jay’s not boring. I just meant that the sex isn’t kinky or anything. Just some good vanilla stuff.”

His brothers laugh harder. Jay glares harder. I’m not helping anything. Which is my intention.

“We have kinky sex,” Jay defends. “Tell them.”

“I’ve had a lot of kinky sex before, and we don’t have kinky sex.”

Jay’s mouth drops open. His brother’s mouths drop open. Danielle's and Niki’s mouths drop open.

Jay leans forward, not wanting to attract attention from his parents, who are busy settling the bill. “Sometimes we do it rough and, what about that time I came back from training camp and you were—” you know…

“Where I was wearing nothing but a jock and your jersey? I mean, it was hot, but not that kinky.”

Jay throws his hands in the air.

“I take it you know a lot about kinky sex?” Taylor asks, eyeing his oldest brother carefully and with much humor.

Oh god yeah. Pretty much my entire sexual life until Jay was full of guys who had crazy expectations. I did all sorts of things to keep up appearances. Probably anything you can think of, I’ve done it.”

Jay crosses his arms like a petulant child. “I can be kinky.”

“You’ll call me Daddy when we get back to the cabin? Oh Daddy. Give it to me, Daddy.’” Wrong suggestion. All the wine Jay drank looks like it might come back up, same with his brothers. They’re all a little pale. I laugh. “I take that as a no.”

Jay shakes his head.

On cue, Robert steps up behind Jay and puts his hands on Jay’s shoulders. “Do you guys want dessert before we finalize the tab?”

“A round of vanilla ice cream?” Taylor says but he can’t even get through the suggestion without falling out of his chair in laughter. Derek collapses on top of him, the both of them laughing hysterically. They’ve clearly recovered from their moment of queasiness.

Jay grabs my hand and drags me out of my chair, towards the exit, shouting, “We have to go. See you at brunch tomorrow!” He takes me to the parking lot and loads me into a waiting car. The ride home is quiet. He does not find my amusement amusing.

Once we’re back at the cabin, he lifts me up and wraps my legs around his waist. As he takes me to the master suite, he whispers, “If you want me to call you Daddy, I will.”

I smile at the giant goon. “I don’t want that at all.”

“But you said—”

“I was fucking joking. Damn, Jay.”

“You don’t think I’m kinky.”


“And you’ve been with a million other guys and done all sorts of kinky stuff.”

“A million is a lofty number.”

He sets me down and levels me with a very unamused look.

I sigh. Clueless Jay. With a shake of my head, because he can be such an idiot, I lift his shirt over his head and push his pants down. Once naked, I walk backwards to the bed, pulling him like a puppy on a leash.

“Imagine getting your first bowl of ice cream when you’re fifteen. Nothing fancy, just plain vanilla. So good, so satisfying. You invite people to share your ice cream. They bring toppings. You start small, some sprinkles here, chocolate shavings there. The more people you invite over, the more toppings they bring. Each new person trying to outdo the last. Before long you can’t even taste the ice cream because it’s hidden under a mess of whip cream, syrup—”

Jay rolls his eyes. “I get it.”

“Do you? Because I just want some fucking vanilla ice cream, you know? I didn’t know how bad I wanted it until I met you. What we do wouldn’t make great porn, but fuck if it’s not the best sex of my life. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to pretend or perform. For the first time in a long time, I get to fucking enjoy it. I get to lie on my back or on my stomach and bask in the intimacy of sex. There’s no pressure. If I tell you to fuck me harder, it's because I want it, not because I think it’s what you want to hear.”

“Yeah?” Jay hardens against my hip as he presses me into the mattress. “What else?”

“The way you turn me on. It’s not about a pretty face, a hot body, or knowing I’m getting laid. The arousal I feel because of you runs straight to here—” I say, sliding my hand up his chest before resting over his heart. It’s corny, but true, and Jay is eating it up.

His lips ghost against mine. “You rarely want to fuck me.”

“I always want to fuck you,” I correct. “But I spent so many years fucking so many guys that—”

Jay growls and spreads my legs, hiking them up so he’s where he wants to be. It’s possessive and, honestly, really fucking hot.

“Do you want me to fuck you like I fucked them?” I ask.

He grabs my wrists and stretches them above my head, pinning me. He shakes his head.

“No one ever got me on my back and between my legs like you do,” I tell him. “No one.”

Jay looks thoughtful. “Maybe vanilla is the new kinky?”

“Vanilla is the best kinky.”


Donna watches with sympathy as we enter the living room. “You guys look marginally better than the others.”

If only she knew. Jay kept me up most of the night, feeding me the best array of vanilla I ever had. French vanilla, vanilla bean, slow churned vanilla, upside down vanilla, ass in the air vanilla.

Jay nudges me. His face is flushed and a smile pulls at his lips.

We weren’t the only ones who had a long night. Taylor and Niki are curled up on one sofa, while Derek and Danielle are on the other. ESPN is playing in the background. No one looks particularly happy to be alive.

Jay takes my hand and tries to lead me to the last available spot before his mom cuts in. “Loren, you’ll help me with lunch?”

“Oh…only if Danielle and Niki help too.”

“Oh…” Donna wipes her hands on his pants. “Sure, that would be nice.”

The girls look at each other. I get the distinct impression they’ve never been invited into the kitchen before. They don’t have time to think about it, Derek and Taylor push them off the sofa and towards the kitchen.

I make it a point to let the girls take point on the dish, allowing them to bask in the spotlight. “The key is to not overcook the swiss chard,” I tell them quietly.

The smile on their faces when everyone sits down and takes their first bites is everything, but it’s nothing compared to the happiness that exudes from Derek and Taylor, knowing their fiancées got to cook in their mom's kitchen for the first time.

Jay squeezes my thigh under the table and leans in close. “I love you.”


Jay makes everyone squeeze in for a selfie on the tarmac outside of the private jet.

“Don’t be a stranger,” Taylor says. “Maybe we can come visit you soon?”

“You’re always welcome.”

Donna and Robert hand me a bag. “It has some of the best Wisconsin has to offer.”

“Thank you, I’m sure it’s great.”

“There’s more where that comes from,” Donna says. “But you gotta come back for it.”

Taylor gives Derek a knowing look, then they look at me, daring me to tell them there isn’t validity to what they told me last night. Jay really is clueless. He doesn’t see any of it. As I board the plane, I brace myself for what will ultimately be a terrible conversation, but Derek and Taylor are great men and they deserve someone to advocate for them. Like Derek said, a good family isn’t a perfect family. There may not be hope for me to have that good family unit, but there’s still hope for them.

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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