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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 - 33. Our Destined Life

chapter
epilogue
loe

 

Lars watches Isaac, Cole, Corey and myself as we run through the choreography of Danny and the gang's half of Grease’s Summer Nights song and groans. “You guys are so much better at this than I am.”

“We’ve been in front of the camera for a long time. The key—” I snap my fingers as I move like a greaser in the late fifties. “Is to over-exaggerate every move. Make sure your facial expressions are extra. It presents better to the crowd.”

“If your hair isn’t a little messed up by the time the song ends, you weren’t moving enough,” Isaac tells him with a laugh.

“And just be as crude as you can. We’re pigs.” Cole queues the song up from the beginning and we run through it again. I’m not sure I’ll be able to hold a straight face. I can handle our part—we’ve practiced the giggles out—but I haven’t seen Jay and his groomsmen performing their part yet. Knowing Jay is Sandy, which is all too fitting, and Seamus is Rizzo, well, it may prove too much.

Lars bends at the waist and takes a few breaths. “The more we practice, the nervouser I get.”

“Nervouser, huh?” Cole laughs, but shuts the song off. “We don’t really need to practice. We’re about to do it for real. Open the window and let's have a drink. We have ninety-minutes before the show starts.”

“It’s a wedding,” Isaac corrects. “Just cause Loren can’t do things like normal people, doesn’t mean we’re goofing off. Our role today, first and foremost, is to get Loren married.”

I nod. “He’s right. But first, we have to nail our entrance.”

While Lars heads across the room to let some more fresh air in, I grab a couple of drinks from the mini-fridge. Palming three in each hand, I set them on the counter. “Do you want—” I glance at Lars and the words die on my tongue. He’s white as a ghost as he stares out the window. “What’s wrong?”

He jolts from the window like he was struck with a live wire. “Nothing. Just spacin’ out.”

I narrow my eyes and stalk toward him. Lars can’t lie for shit. “What’s outside?”

He steps between me and the window. “Nothing. Just guests. You know, maybe we should do one more run through. I’m a little soft on the shoo-wops.”

“There are no shoo wops, just well-a well-a’s.” I move to the left to pass him. He blocks me. I move right. He blocks me. I fake left, then cut right, sprinting past him to the window.

Lars rushes to my side in full panic mode. “I don’t know why they’re here. I didn’t know. I haven’t talked to them since before I came to visit you in Washington that first time.”

Cole, Isaac, and Corey run across the room, hopping anything in their way until they’re crowded around the window, staring at Jay and his groomsmen as they speak to my birth donors.

What the fuck are they doing here?!” Isaac growls.

Corey scoffs. “They seriously think they’re going to show up and be welcomed at Loren’s fucking wedding? That’s goddamn ballsy.”

While everyone keeps a steady stream of commentary, my blood begins to boil, heated by their fucking audacity. With fist clenched, I back away from the window and march out of the room.

I’m going to confront those mother fuckers.

The guys rush me, halting my mission. “Whoa, whoa, whoa.

Cole grabs my shoulders, putting his face in front of mine. “Let's think this through. It’s your wedding day. We don’t need to let them ruin it.”

“They won’t ruin it, but if they think they can come and try, then I deserve to know why.”

Corey shakes his head. “I think it’s a bad idea.”

“Can we at least sneak down and see what they’re saying?”

I don’t want to hide behind the fucking fence, but it’s clearly the only way I’m going to get anywhere close to the action.

We tiptoe through the kitchen, out the back door, where we slink along the side of the building, past the dumpsters until we’re only a few feet away from where Jay is standing with Them, with only a fence separating us from the fury I feel building.

“I’m not arguing about this anymore. You’re not stepping foot in this event center. There is nothing for you here.”

“Our sons—” a man argues.

Lars and I look at each other. What in the actual fuck?

“No, not sons. At most, you have one son and I’d say that’s a stretch. If you want to fix things with Lars, then you’re welcome to try any other day of the year. The fact you think it’s appropriate to show up today is baffling, but then again, every decision I’ve known you to make baffles me. Now, leave or I will call the police.”

“Someone in your position should know not to make threats to someone who can expose—”

Jay scoffs. “Loren’s entire life is public record. The only thing he hasn’t shared is you two. Which means the only dirt you have is your own. And before you argue—know that I knew things weren’t right. There were pieces missing from Loren and Lars’ story. Not by their choosing, but by yours.”

“You found nothing.”

“That’s not true.” Scott says. “I had the firm’s private investigator pull every piece of paper he could find. I found some interesting information on the lead prosecutor, Paul Messner.”

A female gasps.

I look at Lars in case he knows who this guy is. He shrugs.

“You think someone in his position, someone who enabled you to evade true consequences, who didn’t question Lars or take him from your home after you abandoned Loren, should have a job where people rely on him to do the right thing?” Jay asks. “I would have never slept another night if I turned my back on what I found. And if you don’t leave, the law will see what else there was.”

“It’s time for you to get the hell out.” Seamus tells them. “Now.”

There is no response, so we try to peek through the slats.

Isaac cups his face, as if it’s going to help him see through the wood. “Do you think they’re still there?” he whispers.

“No, they’re gone.”

We freeze and slowly look left.

Jay, Taylor, Derek, Seamus, Will, Scott, Garrett, Shawn, and Marcus stare at us with their arms crossed.

Seamus rolls his eyes. “You guys weren’t sneaky at all. I heard you as soon as you tumbled out of the back door.”

Jay watches us nervously, waiting for us to freak out on him for sneaking behind our backs and hiring a private investigator.

I slide my hand over his perfectly round ass and push him toward the house. “Stop stressing. Nothing that you found changes what was done to us. But thank you for having our backs with them. Maybe, in a few weeks, when we’re back from our sex dungeon honeymoon, we can sit and talk.” I look at Lars. We have a pretty good thing going. Do we want them to come in and ruin it? “Then again, maybe not.”

Without a glance back, we leave them behind. Because this is our‌ day and only we decide how it will go.

****

We mill around in the small room just outside the main hall. We straighten our leather jackets and make sure the laces on our black converse are secure. This video will go viral because it’s fucking epic, not because someone trips on a shoelace halfway through the wedding performance.

The lead producer from Adventure Productions pops his head around the corner. “Ninety seconds.”

Lars holds out my Ray-Bans with a shaky hand.

I put them on. “I’m the one getting married here, don’t know why you’re about to pass out.”

He puts on his sunglasses and scoffs. “It’s not like millions of people will watch this video.”

“It’s not about millions of people, it’s about having fun on my wedding day. This is a memory for us. And if we’re lucky, everyone gets to enjoy it, even you.”

Cole grabs both of us by the scruff of our neck and hauls us out of the room until we’re huddled by the side entrance.

When the intro of Summer Night starts, the doors open and we side-step into the room, snapping our fingers to music.

Jay and his groomsmen, over half who are NFL players, sashay down the opposite aisle looking absolutely proper in chinos, tight white shirts, and pastel cardigans with their hair carefully combed.

Jay looks up, all blue eyed and innocent, and smiles at me.

I trip over myself, almost ruining months of practice. Isaac grabs my elbow and balances me, snapping me back into the moment.

Oh yeah. Song and dance.

But then Jay bats his lashes. ‘I met a boy, cute as could be’.

I’m never getting out of here alive.

****

“Do you, Jay, take Loren, to be your husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do you part?”

Jay stares at me with all the love a person can offer. “I do.”

“Do you, Loren—”

"I do."

Jay laughs and I can't stop the smile that splits my face.

****

“Ladies and gentlemen. It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for, the reason we’re all here. For the first time, I’d like to introduce Jay Petermeyer and Loren Patrick, but as husbands!”

The entire room erupts as Jay and I enter the reception hall. I’m still wearing the leather jacket and shades; Jay is still rocking his pastel cardigan.

Carson, Wyatt, and the twins are dressed like me, with the fucking cutest little 501 and leather Jackets, the boys killin’ it with slicked back hair, while Aidan, Mya, and Lizzie look like they won’t settle for anything less than an A+++ on the next math test.

“Best wedding improv ever.” Megan, my OG friend and owner of Buck farms, gushes as Jay and I make our way through the room. “You were better Danny and Sandy than John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.”

Jay rolls his eyes and hugs her. “I’ll try not to be offended.”

Megan laughs. “You guys absolutely nailed it perfectly. But seriously, congratulations. We’re all so happy.”

Her husband, Mitchell, hugs me. “Enjoy your night, man. You deserve this.”

It really is the best night of my life. We do all the wedding things like the first dances. Jay dances with his mamma, who seems to have warmed a bit to the new normal. I dance with Julie, the best mom I could’ve asked for.

We even do the cake eating contest. Instead of a garter toss, we toss a five-thousand-dollar getaway.

Jay’s always been such a lame dancer. Total dad moves. Every cringey and ironic dance there is, Jay has mastered them all. I’m here for it. I bring the cup of water to my lips and watch as he finishes swinging his mom around the dance floor, then drags a bunch of kiddos out and teaches them how to Beyonce. He’s so patient, so kind.

I’m fucking lucky.

Jay spies me and crooks his finger, summoning me to join him. I throw the cup in the trash and grab the twins from Lars and Courtney on the way. If we’re dancing with the kids, we’re dancing with all the kids. Every one of them will know exactly how loved they are by us.

At 9:07pm the alarm on my phone dings. I signal to the DJ. He cuts the music and tosses me the mic.

“Alright folks. Jay and I have to be in the car and on the road in seven minutes. That means you have three minutes to move your ass to the steps out front with a bag of rice. In four minutes, those doors are going to open and we’re going to walk outside. 3-2-1 and go!”

Don’t worry, we hired the best staff. They get all six-hundred people out the front door and perfectly lined up down the steps and along the walkway.

I hold the phone in one hand, watching the seconds count down, while holding Jay’s hand with the other. When the next alarm rings, the staff opens the door and we make our final exit, running through a tunnel of people while getting doused in rice.

By the time we get to the waiting SUV, we have forty seconds.

It takes us exactly twenty-two minutes to get from the event center to the airport. Forty-one minutes before we’re in the air. The flight is four-hours and seven-minutes. The car service is waiting when we land. It takes ninety-nine minutes to arrive at the private beachfront villa that is home for the next two weeks.

I shove Jay into the house and start tearing at his clothes. “According to my calculations, I have seventeen seconds to get you naked.”

Jay laughs as I attempt to undress him, but his cardigan is clinging to his shirt and I can’t seem to get the fucking thing off him. I tug and tug and tug but it just won’t come off. Jay cups my face and doesn’t let go. Then he kisses me soft and slow. The vibrating energy within me settles as I melt into him. We haven’t kissed like this in a year for fear we couldn’t stop.

Now that I’m not so strung out on pheromones, Jay strips his cardigan off and then pulls his shirt over his head. Then he plucks undone the button on his chinos.

Oh fuck. I moan into his mouth and run my hands over his chest and down his abs. I grab his open waistband and pull him with me as I walk blindly backward. I push open a couple of doors before landing in the master room. It’s big, that’s about all I can see.

I stick my hand down Jay’s pants and shudder at the hard heat against my fingers. I want to cry. It’s been so long and I want him so fucking bad I’m shaking.

We only break the kiss long enough for Jay to take my shirt off. Even as we step out of our pants, we’re still kissing, running our hands everywhere. Jay grabs my ass and hefts me onto the bed until I’m stretched out, and he’s on top of me.

My lips move from his lips, to his jaw, to the curve of his neck. “The lube is in the bag.”

“It’s fine,” he pants. “I won’t make it that far.”

The fuck he won’t. I push him off me. “I didn’t wait a fucking year to not consummate this thing as God intended.”

I escape from his bulk hovering over me and storm out, not actually angry, but really fucking horny. I squeeze my dick to stave off the tension as I find the door that leads to the garage, where our bags are stowed. I grab the small green travel bag and rush back to the bedroom. I take the lube out and drop everything else on the floor before crawling back in bed and sprawling on top of Jay.

He holds me tight against his body as we make out. He moans. “I could make out with you forever.”

 I crawl down his body. “Isn’t that the point of getting married?”

He stops me and flips us over. Jay pushes my legs up while giving me a few more bruising kisses, like he can’t tear himself away, but then he does. He grabs the lube and opens me while sucking my balls. My toes curl and my back arches as he brings me to the brink. Before pushing me over, he comes back to me, hooking my legs around his body.

Jay kisses my face and presses against me. “I love you so much.”

I close my eyes and breathe through the pressure. Jay and I have had sex countless times, yet I’m more nervous than I was the first time I ever had sex.

“Open your eyes.”

I do, and the most comforting sea-blue eyes stare back.

He smiles. “There you are.” Then he presses into me.

There’s no sweet talk or eye gazing. Once Jay is in me, he’s thrusting. It takes a minute to adjust. He’s a fucking horse, but then I’m squeezing his ass with my feet, arching my back, making noises that would frighten most God-fearing folk. I reach between our bodies and grab my hard, aching dick and squeeze. I don’t need much stimulation ‘cause he’s got me tippin’ right to the edge. He lifts my ass and goes hard and deep, then faster as he cums. I’m right there with him. My legs tense and body shakes as the longest, most intense orgasm rips through my body. A year’s worth of cum shoots out of me.

Jay slumps over me with his head on my lower chest, his hot breaths on my skin.

I sling an arm over my face and try to steady my heart rate. “Sex is better when you’re married.”

Jay pushes himself up and looks at me with a crooked brow. “Is that so?”

I take a deep breath, still struggling to breathe. “It’s likely the year of no dick play lowered my standards.”

Nope. Jay pins my hands above my head and makes a liar of me. Still hard, he hovers and presses into me again. With his arms on either side of my head, he rocks in and out of me. I’m spent and a little tender, but he’s gentle. I tug my arms, but he won’t free them. He’s hitting everything just right, but he’s not giving me enough friction to satisfy the knot in my belly. Only when he loses it does he touch me where I want it.

Jay flops beside me and slides his hand across my stomach. “I’ve waited a long time to do this—to lie in bed with you as my husband.”

With no Stratego to distract us, I snuggle against my husband and rub my hands all over his muscular body. I still don’t care for football, but I admit the NFL did a bangin’ job on Jay’s physique. Even in retirement, he’s kept it tight. I walk my fingers everywhere, just making up for lost time.

Soon, his breathing slows to a soft snoring.

Husband. I never thought that word would apply to me, but here we are. Look at me, having sex with my husband, the last man to ever taste my dick. And the thought doesn’t sour my gut. The opposite, actually. Lying here next to Jay, my husband, knowing that he’s the man I will spend the rest of my life with, fills my soul with the same glow I see when I look at Jay. What does that say about him and how his internal goodness shines so brightly it overflows into me?

I press against him until he stirs and tightens his arm around me, then I drift off into a slumber of post orgasmic and wedding bliss.

****

I block the sun with my hand as I step outside. Holy shit. It’s fucking bright.

Jay steps beside me and hands me a pair of sunglasses. “Thought you might need these after spending four straight days in the sex dungeon.”

“First—” I hold up my fingers, “it’s a luxury villa. Second, I didn’t hear you complaining.”

“How could I? You had me bound and gagged.”

I laugh. The expression on his face when I slipped the blindfold over his eyes and then led him to the room and tied his hands to the headboard was fucking priceless. Did he love it? Fuck yeah he did. He was hard as hell and loud as a howler monkey as I rode him until he was a bumbling mess.

“Your sensibilities are enacted. Plus, I gave you vanilla ice cream after.”

“Which was insulting.”

“And delicious.”

Jay doesn’t respond because the ice cream was just as good in a bowl after sex as it was when I ate it off his dick while he was blindfolded. Found out he’s insanely sensitive to temperature variations, so that was fun.

I follow Jay to the pool chairs. We drop our towels, SPF up, and then float around for a bit. My dick is pretty dead at this point and my ass is in recovery, but watching Jay be all shirtless in his ball cap and aviators as the sun dries the water droplets from his skin makes my dick twitch. It’s absolutely insane how someone can be that attractive and not know it.

Jay adjusts his hat to block more of the sun. “Stop staring. We’re not having sex outside.”

“I know.”

Fucking paps. I’m ninety-nine percent sure they don’t know where we are, but it only takes one nosey reporter to ruin the trip.

I adjust my shorts. He may have gotten a twitch from me, but that’s about as much life as it has. Just enough juice in the battery to keep the power light blinking, but not enough to run the toy.

Luckily, we have nothing but time.

 

Cousin Camp
————

 

The loudspeakers vibrate as they blast some fun Kidz Bop music in the driveway. A brightly colored bounce house sits in the side yard, under the zipline. Drinks are in the coolers and a smorgasbord of snacks line the colorful outdoor buffet table. The whole yard looks like the aftermath of a Crayola explosion.

On cue, a luxury coach turns the corner and rolls toward us. The air brake whooshes as the coach slows to a stop. After a long moment, the doors open.

It’s showtime.

I lift the megaphone to my mouth, and wait for the first couple of kids to stumble off.

Welcome to the third annual Cousin Caaaaamp! For the next week, we will eat the best food, stay up late, watch the best movies, and play the best games. Who’s ready for the best week of your life?!”

The kids cheer as they walk by us, each getting a high five before they get their custom Cousin Camp shirts, snacks, and juice boxes. They really love Cousin Camp. Jay and I love Cousin Camp. Most of all, their parents love Cousin Camp.

Elizabeth, Derek’s three-year-old daughter, tugs on my pant leg. She’s the cutest little girl with black hair and dark eyes, just like her mama. She looks up nervously. “Uwcle Lowen?”

I swoop her up. “What’s up Lizzy?”

She leans in close and whispers, “Do you fwink uwnkle Jay will hold me?”

I throw my head back and laugh at the request. Clueless girl. “Why don’t we ask him?” I look around and find Jay helping the kids put on their camp shirts. “Hey, Jay!”

With a spare shirt in each hand, and looks at me quizzically. “What’s up?”

I grin and nod to the girl who's dying from embarrassment. Her teenage years should be fun. “Would you mind holding Lizzy?”

Catching on, he smirks and eyes Lizzy with affection. “Well, I don’t know if Lizzy wants me to hold her.”

She pops up. “Me do!

“You do?”

Ya!

“Well, c’mere then!”

Lizzy is running before I even set her down. With her help, Jay finishes making sure all the kids have their shirts. Most of the shirts are too big, going to the knees of the three and under crew, which is a lot of them this year.

“Ten kids. Nervous?” Lars asks as he cracks open a can of sparkling water. His twins are three and this is their second year at Cousin Camp.

“Ten isn’t what makes me nervous. It’s having six that are under four.”

Lars looks at the chaos that is our yard and shakes his head. It’s been a busy few years.

Aidan is helping his brother poke a straw in a juice box. He’s ten now. Carson is five and obsessed with me. I’m a little surprised he’s not attached to my leg. Matt and Seamus are contemplating one more. MB’s on board, ready at a moment's notice.

A pregnant Lily is bent over, assisting Ms. Mya and Wyatt as they try to open their own granola bars. They are four, after all. They’ll do it themselves or die trying. The ‘twins’ are best friends. Inseparable since birth. Mya is the extroverted ying, to Wyatt’s introverted yang.

The actual twins—Milo and Maggie—who everyone says look just like me, come running across the yard. I bend down and swoop them up so there’s each on one hip. It won’t be long before they’re too big, but not yet.

“Nice haircut, buddy.”

Milo’s face scrunches into a frown as he rubs his fresh buzz cut.

Maggie yanks on her pony. The ends look freshly cut.

“Ohhh, looks like someone else got a pretty haircut.”

Maggie beams at the compliment. Neither she nor her brother are talking yet, not to anyone but each other, it seems. No worries, I spend enough time with them to know their language.

I walk them to the bouncy house, finding the Boom Gang along the way.

The baby boom.

Two years ago, Taylor and Niki had a little boy, Ozzy. Two weeks later, Corey and Bekka had their second, a boy, Tobias. And no, he wasn’t planned. Then, two weeks after that, Will and Savannah had a girl, Dixon.

This is the first year at Cousin Camp for all three.

Cole swears he’s not having kids while Scott says he and his wife are trying. All that to say, now beach day in Mexico really does resemble a bunch of baby sea turtles.

By the time we get to the bounce house, I have the twins in my arms; the Boom Gang trailing behind, Aidan coming from the side of the house leading the daisy chain with Carson, Mya, and Wyatt all holding hands.

I look around.

Jay walks up with a still-grinning Lizzy happily perched on his arm. “Missing someone?”

I bop Lizzy’s nose. “Not anymore.”

I open the flap for the inflatable house and help the kids crawl in. It’s a mess of un-coordination as they fall all over the place. Aidan could take them all out if he wanted, but he helps them to their feet and bounces just enough to make a fun wave.

Per tradition, the parents prepare a big dinner feast. When it’s ready Seamus, Matt, Aidan, Carson, Corey, pregnant Lily, Mya, Tobias, Isaac, Bekka, Wyatt, Lars, Courtney, Milo, Maggie, Derek, Danielle, Lizzy (who is still clinging to Jay), Taylor, Niki, Ozzy, Will, Savannah, Dixon, Cole, Scott, Jay, and myself fill out the half dozen picnic tables.

****

With dinner cleaned up, the luxury coach gone, and the yard cleaned of all the welcome festivities, the parents say goodbye to their kids. They won’t be far. Everyone except my brothers live in Denver now.

We herd the droopy eyed kids into the house. Bags are lined up and labeled, making things easy to find. An hour later, the last kid is dressed and has their teeth brushed. The kids sprawl throughout the theater room, wearing matching pajamas, mattresses and bedding laid out for each kid, a Pixar movie playing on the big screen even though half of them have already passed out. The other half is fading fast. Lizzy is curled up like a potato bug on Jay’s lap, Ozzy and Dixon on either side. Carson is curled into my side, his dark red hair under my chin. Aidan’s head is on the armrest, his feet in my lap as he plays on my phone.

The next morning, we wake with a bed full of pint size arms and legs and messy hairs.

I look at Jay and smile.

This week is going to be a blast. We have a few busy days planned and also a few at home days. Lots of fun activities, a couple of kid friendly cooking lessons, including DIY pizza night. We even rented the water park for a few hours.

No matter what we do, the best part is moments like this. Every kid we love, here in our home. A million memories we get to replay on loop for decades to come.

****

Jay flops on the sectional and doesn’t move a muscle for a long time. “Do you hear that?” He asks out of nowhere. I honestly thought he’d passed out.

I look around, straining to hear what he hears. “No?”

He grins slowly. “Amazing, isn’t it?”

I nudge him to roll over on his belly and start kneading his shoulders. “You love it, though. As exhausting as it is sometimes, it’s fun. Those kids are pretty fucking hilarious.”

“Of course I love it.”

“Are you worried about the next couple of years? It’s going to be cray cray around here once the newbies turn two. There will be a hundred kids under six. We might need to hire help.”

“Nah, we got this. Besides, they’re only little for so long,” he says, half moaning into the pillow as I dig my palms into his back. “One day they won’t come anymore.”

“Did you imagine you’d turn into a full-time uncle during your retirement? Flying all over the place just to babysit.”

“Who knew retirement would be so fulfilling?”

I massage his back until my hands ache, then pull his shirt back down. “I have to run some errands. Lydia should be here soon to clean up. Why don’t you take a nap? You look like shit. I’ll be home in an hour or so.”

Jay looks at the dirty dishes, toys on the floor, pillows strewn every which direction, and cringes. “I should pre-clean before Lydia gets here. I don’t want to leave her this mess.”

“She’s bringing a team for a reason. Go up to the room and rest. I’ll bring dinner back, okay?”

“Sushi?”

“Whatever you want.”

“Can you pick up a bottle of sweet chili? We’re out.”

“Can do.”

I kiss Jay on the forehead. Before I get too far away, he pulls me back and kisses me properly. “Thank you for being so amazing. When we first had Aidan, Carson, Wyatt, and Mya stay for a week, I never imagined what it would become. Because of you, your heart, and your ability to cast a vision like nothing I’ve ever witnessed, these kids get something that so many don’t. They are loved by you in a way they may never understand. You are unabashedly yourself in how you speak to them and tease them. They get to see true confidence comes in all shapes and sizes. You’re the most intentional and patient person I’ve ever met. You meet these kids where they’re at and love them for who they are. You remember the insignificant details that make them feel like a million bucks. You never play favorites. Sometimes, I wish you wanted to be a dad so I could know in my heart that you know all these things are true. You have proved time and time again that you are a million times the man your parents gave you the chance to be. I’m so proud of you and I’m so in love with you.”

It’s difficult to hear this stuff about myself, no matter how many times Jay tells me. Imposter syndrome. I’m not what everything thinks I am. Except I am. I am all those things.

I lean in and kiss him again. “I’m all those things because you let me be. You showed me it was possible.”

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it’s my pleasure to be a witness. Now go, run your errands and bring me back dinner.” He swats my ass as I leave.

I walk down the street and around the corner where Seamus is waiting in his Suburban.

“So…” he says, the word dripping with a dark foreshadowing. “Jay may have seen the SUV.”

My head snaps in his direction. “What?!”

“He doesn’t know it’s his! He swung by the dealership the other day and it was parked outside getting the final detail. With all your custom work, it really stands out, and since it was tailored to him, it’s right up his alley. Of course he noticed it.”

“What did he say?”

“He went on and on about how his has been in the shop for two weeks and maybe he’s due for a new one. I’m surprised he hasn’t mentioned it to you. He keeps asking about it, but I told him it was sold.”

“At least we know he’ll like it.”

Seamus smirks. “Of course he’ll like it.”

“You don’t think he ordered one, do you?”

“He tried. I told him to talk to me next week and we’ll get something going.”

“It’s so hard to buy him anything because he has everything he wants.”

“He can’t buy everything he wants, but yeah, you’re not wrong.”

Seamus parks next to Jay’s new SUV. A Sequoia, like the one he has now but brand new. Fully loaded with a custom black paint job, tinted windows, wheels, tires, front bumper, cargo rack. I’ve been working on this thing for months. It has everything Jay could want.

All the footage of the upgrades is ready to be posted. I just have to give it to him first.

I open the back door. Seamus opens the one opposite of me. We look at each other across the seat and smile.

“I got everything you asked for.”

He sure did. “Thank you.” And I mean it. I couldn’t have done this without him. Seamus helped me plan and do everything to make this surprise possible.

“Are you kidding me? We should thank you. This will definitely be the highlight of the year.”

I grin. Yeah, it kind of will be.

****

I set the sushi on the counter along with his bottle of sweet chili. “Honey, I’m home.

He slides around the corner like a golden retriever and starts rummaging through the containers. He finds his favorite sushi, plates it, grabs his sweet chili, and heads to the table singing, “Yummy yummy yummy in my tummy tummy tummy.”

“I bet the kids would like sushi.”

He laughs. “Tobias won’t even eat oatmeal. No way will he eat sushi.”

“Give him time. He’ll see the light.

While Jay goes to town, dipping his nigiri in the sauce. I can barely eat mine. My stomach is churning. I still have half an order left as he wipes his plate clean.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

I tap the underside of the table nervously. “I have a surprise for you.”

Jay’s brow quirks. “It’s been a week. No need to roll out the red carpet.”

I laugh at his horny mind. He’s not usually far off from my own thoughts. “Get up and close your eyes.”

“Ohh, a blindfold. Kinky.” He stands up, closes his eyes, and puts his arms behind his back like I’m going to cuff him.

I don’t have a blindfold because Jay’s an honest kind of guy and I know he won’t open his eyes. He doesn’t. I walk him outside towards his new car and step back.

“Okay.”

He opens his eyes, then smiles. “Holy shit!”

He circles the SUV, looking back at me each time he spots a new customization.

I rock from heel to toe as I wait.

Finally, after an eternity of waiting, Jay opens the back door. He’s still, then he spins on his heel and stares at me, his jaw dropped. I can feel his heart racing from the other side of the driveway.

He points inside the SUV. “What is that?”

“What's what?”

“Loren…” His tone is full of warning. He takes a deep breath and slowly lets it out. His eyes dart between the backseat and me. “Why is there a car seat?”

I look at him. C’mon. You got this.

His eyes sparkling, the excitement slowly winning against the skepticism.  He reaches in, pulls out a tiny football jersey with Property of JayLoe stitched on the back and holds it up.

I gulp. “I had it custom made from the jersey the guys made me wear that night in the bar.”

Jay’s face shines with happiness as realization sinks in.

The corner of my lip curls into a beaming smile. Did I know this is what my life would become? No.

Sometimes the life we’re destined for looks different from the life we dream of.

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Acknowledgments:

I want to take a second to thank @kbois. She’s been my sounding board when I need to verbalize an idea, she knocks me down when I can’t get it right, and adds a little sprinkle to spice things up when I’m extra lame. Next coconut drink is on me.

Speaking of @kbois. She’s finished the second book in her shifter series and is going to start posting this Saturday (June 18th). If you liked Spirit Wolves, then you’ll love Shadow Effect. If Spirit Wolves wasn’t your thing (what kind of monster are you), then you’ll still love Shadow Effect. Don't forget to check out the latest Ask an Author, which highlights Spirit Wolves. (Also, help keep Ask and Author going. Message @astone2292 with questions about a favorite story/author of yours! He's needs members like you to keep it going)

And @Mawgrim had my back even when I was still spelling Isaac wrong after 32 chapters. Why am I the way I am?! He should have left me high and dry a long time ago. He has a couple of great stories going right now. If you haven’t read them, you really should. Hidden Secrets and To The Weyr. Highly recommend.

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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