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  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
  • Shadowgod - Almost Home
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  • 5,830 Words

Tied up in Knotts - 13. Chapter 13 - Homecoming

When we started the trip, there was this underlying current between Penn and I. By the end of the trip, it was an open live wire.

From a traveling perspective, the last few days on the road were pointless. From a personal one, it was incredibly enriching. I thought Penn might be a little shy and reserved but the moment things became open between us, Penn was on me like white on rice. He was determined to hold my hand enough to make up for all the years he wasn’t able to. He couldn’t even go two seconds without touching me in some way. And I loved it. I absolutely relished the intimate contact.

He even invented a new game to play on the slow trip home. It happened by accident when his innocent questioning became a hostage situation.

Want me to get you coffee? Tell me how Goddamn sexy you think I am. Want me to let go of your hand so you can pick your wedgie? Tell me about the time you noticed me, even if it didn’t mean anything at the time.

Truth be told, I didn’t hate the game. It was kind of fun. Especially watching him blush as he confessed his crazy stalker ways.

We were on the last stretch before Bangkok. Seven hours or so if we hurried. Sight-seeing had been replaced by hand-holding and Penn breathing into my neck as I drove. It was the best vacation ever.

“Who were your firsts?” I asked during my turn as the interrogator. He knew I’d only ever been with Lee but we hadn’t talked about him. As someone who traveled a lot for work, I figured he had a long list of conquests; nameless blowjobs at random oil stations in the middle of the sea or wherever it was he went.

“Firsts?” he questioned.

“Yeah, kiss, hand job, blowjob, sex.”


“No?” I glanced at his curt response. Penn had been leaning against me for hours, now suddenly he scooted away. Not far, but far enough for me to notice.

“I don’t want to tell you.”

“What? Why?”

“I don’t want you to think less of me because of the choices I made. I wasn’t in a good headspace at the time.”

I squeezed his thigh and pulled him back to me. He sighed and laid his head against my shoulder. He inhaled and I thought he was going to start talking but then he exhaled in defeat. Finally, he pulled himself together.


“Cam?” I asked, my eye bulged discreetly in my head. He groaned and nodded against my shoulder. “You and her...?”

Sex with a girl didn’t seem appealing to me but, then again, I wasn’t married to one.

“Three times.”

Three times?!” I squawked. “How? I mean...how?!”

“I didn’t exactly have a lot of choices. I was never interested in random hook-ups.”

“But having sex with a girl?”

Penn elbowed me. “It wasn’t just a girl, it was Cam.”

“Wow,” I rubbed my face. “I was prepared for a lot of things; like a list a mile long of nameless bathroom Johns but not this.”

Penn frowned and leaned away like he didn’t deserve to be next to me. “You’re disappointed.”

My grip on his thigh tightened as I slowed the car down and pulled off the road. It wasn’t a busy stretch of highway but I wanted to give him my full attention. When we were safely parked, I turned and cupped his face in my hands. His brown eyes were worried as he waited for the bad news.

“Disappointed? How could I be disappointed? Of all the terrible decisions you could’ve made over the last twenty years, I’d say sleeping with Cam three times isn’t one of them. I haven’t given dating much thought since Lee cheated. If I did, I’d be worried that I’d never find a guy who has the same values as me. I’d probably have to settle for a second or third-tier guy. Convince myself that virtue, morals, and integrity aren’t nearly as important, or achievable, now that I’m in my thirties. Disappointed?” I scoffed. “How can I be disappointed that I found someone who I don’t have to lower my expectations for?”

Penn let out a deep breath of relief and kissed my lips.

“So,” I pulled away because I wanted to finish the conversation. “Who was your first blowjob? I mean, it obviously wasn’t Cam. She might’ve been your first kiss and the first person you had sex with but she doesn’t have a dick.”

Penn stared at me. It took me a second to figure it out, and when I did, I was shocked. I pointed at my chest.

Me?” Penn nodded. “You’ve never given anyone a blow job?” He slowly shook his head and looked at me like of course I haven’t, you idiot. “But you’re so good. Like, really, really good,” I praised.

And he was. It was part of the reason I assumed he’d been with a lot of guys. I always thought Lee had given good blowjobs but Penn had technique I never knew existed. Technique that came with time and practice. Practice, it turned out, he didn’t have.

Penn puffed out his chest, something he did every time I gave him a compliment. “How good?” he asked, leaning his weight against my side and breathed down my neck, making me crazy.

“Amazing. Straight to the front of the line,” I breathed. I kept my eyes on the road even though I wasn’t driving.

“I guess twenty years of want is good for something.” His voice sounded pretty happy, maybe even a little smug, as his fingers fiddled with my pants.

“What are you doing?” I asked as he unsnapped my buttons and wiggled his fingers beneath the fabric.

He answered by sucking me deep and lapping me with his tongue. I looked around the deserted road; not a soul in sight. Lucky me. For his fourth blowjob ever, he was amazing. Not too fast, not too slow, great suction, and a lot of tongue.

I trailed my hand from his shoulders, up his neck, and through his dark brown hair; messing him up as much as he messed me up. A car sped by paying no mind to us. It didn’t take long before he made me cum in his mouth, then left me air drying and panting like a gym patron after a two-decade hiatus. Maybe I shouldn’t have skipped the last three days of running.

Penn carefully put me away while I collected myself. Then he cozied next to me, looking like a real smug bastard if I ever saw one.

He ran his fingers through my hair and kissed my cheek. “Am I still at the front of the line?”

“What line?” I replied, making him laugh. I knew he needed to be better than Lee and I didn’t even have to lie to oblige. Penn was hands down the winner.

We kissed until he finally pulled away and forced me to keep driving.

“If you don’t get going, we’ll never make it back,” he said, still smug and cocky from driving me crazy, first with his lips on my dick, then with his lips on[ND1] mine.

I shoved him for making it seem like I was the one slowing us down. He kissed me in lieu of forgiveness, then took his rightful place next to me—his body pressed to mine.

Years I’d spent looking at Lee’s smaller, blonde-haired legs next to my blonde, yet, more muscular ones. Now it was my blonde and muscular legs against Penn’s dark and even more muscular legs. I constantly looked down, seeing the way his leg looked next to mine. The way his fingers, thick and long and perfectly rough, slid across my arm, or how he somehow molded his larger frame against mine in a desperate and delicate manner.

If I didn’t know Penn, I’d think he was kind of stuffy. That had always been my impression anyway. I don’t think I ever thought he’d be so soft, so touchy, or so affectionate. But it was. He was all those things and more. Every time I was with him, nothing existed except me. That’s how he made me feel when he touched me, spoke to me, and looked at me. It wouldn’t take much to get used to that kind of love.

“I was thinking,” Penn said after a bit of comfortable silence. “When you get back, you’ll have a job waiting for you—with me,” he finished.

“Doing what?”

I’d only ever worked for Yevo. I wasn’t qualified to do anything else and I wasn’t sure dealing with plastic toilets would fulfill my life dreams.

“If you don’t want to, that’s fine. Right now, I do all the office work, bidding, billing, dispatching, and some of the labor for both the septic and storage units. It would be nice to have someone to help with those things since business had increased more than expected.”

“So, I wouldn’t be pumping potties?” I asked

“No,” Penn laughed against my shoulder. “Not unless you want to.”

“I don’t.”

“I figured,” he laughed again at my quick answer. “So, what do you think?”

I thought about it. “I wouldn’t hate working with you but I want to see what Wayne lines up with Yevo.”

“Of course,” the emotion gone from his voice. “He was talking about jobs in the Portland area.”

“Yeah, wherever there’s an opening that is a good fit. I’d even go to Washington if it felt right. But it would have to be like, the perfect scenario.”


“Well, yeah, if it’s right. It will probably be the Portland area, though. Maybe Bend. I think the change would be good for me. I don’t want to give up Yevo because of Lee but working in Lincoln is out of the question. Now that I’ve been away, I don’t know that I want to see what life in Lincoln looks like after Lee. I don’t want to get asked the same questions over and over. No one will look at me the same or treat me the same.”

“I know, it’s just that, Portland is two hours away. Washington is even further. I know that Lee is trying to change things so you don’t get what’s yours. I just thought that if you worked for me then you wouldn’t have to worry about him being an asshole—and you wouldn’t have to move so far away. I can pay you more. I can pay you whatever you want. Whatever the number, I can pay you.”

“It’s not about the money. And if you think I’m going to just let Lee walk away with more than he deserves than you’re crazy.”

It’s not about the money,” he said, dejectedly. It was a play on my own words, both a repeat and a standalone statement in one. And it wasn’t about money, for either of us, I realized.

“Penn, I can’t change everything because there’s something starting between us. I have to put myself first.”

He didn’t look mad but he wasn’t touching me like normal and he wasn’t holding my hand or breathing down my neck. He was right next to me, but he felt a million miles away.

“I know. I get it. I’m not trying to be unreasonable. It just seems like being with you is like holding sand: the second I get a hand full, it’s already slipping away,” he sighed. “I’m just being selfish. I’ll get over it.”

He looked so defeated and sad. It broke my damn heart. It would’ve been stupid to pass up a dream job or change my plans because of Penn at this point in my life, but I didn’t need to put that between us yet. There was still so much to figure out.

“Can we cross that bridge when we get there? I still have a month left in Bangkok, I’m still dealing with Lee. I have to be six months divorced before I can go back on staff anyway. I definitely want to see where things will go between us but I have to handle everything else, too. I have to finish things with Lee before I can fully move on. I don’t want to get ahead of myself or bite off more than I can chew. You know?”

“Yeah, of course, I get it. You’re right.” He let out a big breath. I could tell he was frustrated but understood where I was coming from. “I have to remember that we’re in different places. You haven’t been obsessed with me for twenty years like I have you. I have to be patient.”

“You haven’t been obsessed,” I teased.

“Yeah, okay,” he huffed and looked away.

“C’mere,” I pulled his leg toward me. “Warm me up, I’m cold.” It was a burry one hundred degrees outside. “I’ve learned a lot over the years. My experiences have given me perspective. I have never turned away from hardships and never gloated during windfalls. All things have given me knowledge and wisdom. I’m not the same person I was at seven, seventeen, or twenty-seven. Having gained so much over the years—it’s easy for me to look back and cringe at some of the choices I made. They were so bad. How had I not seen the red flags or realized I was making the wrong choices? It was so obvious after all, right? But it wasn’t. Just because it’s a bad choice now doesn’t mean it was a bad choice then. And I’m proud of all those choices. They helped me grow and mature. I don’t regret marrying Lee. It was the right decision at the time. Not marrying him would not have guaranteed a better ending for me—or for you. But I can tell you this; last year, Lee cheating on me was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Nine months later? It’s a blessing if I ever had one. I wouldn’t be here in this jalopy rust bucket, holding hands with Penn Knott, and driving around Asia with no AC and no music. I can’t regret anything that brought me here today and I refuse to overthink where I’ll be tomorrow. I trust the process. It’s never failed me. It didn’t fail me when Ryan kidnapped me or when you and I started becoming friends. It didn’t fail me when you were there for me when I thought my life couldn’t get worse. Or when I up and left Lincoln and came here only to have Lee freeze my accounts. Or when you flew all the way here, or when you dragged me to the club. I don’t think you and I are a blip on the radar of life, so I’m not going to worry about what the future holds because I trust it will work.”

Penn finally smiled. He kissed my cheek then stretched out until he was comfortable enough to sleep while I drove home. We had less than forty-eight hours before his flight and I didn’t want to waste a single one.


He was just as affectionately needy as he’d always been but there wasn’t the desperate urgency he’d been carrying around. He seemed settled.

The final hours would never be published in tour guides but they were the highlight of the trip. Early nights, late mornings, long conversations, passionate kisses, and mutual orgasms. We savored every moment even though his departure loomed heavy between us.

The drive to the airport was pretty shitty but we expected that.

“You’re coming home, right?” Penn asked as he stood with his bag, ready to part ways. He looked nervous. “Last time you said goodbye, you didn’t come home.”

“I’m coming home. If I could go with you now, I would.”

“Then come with me now,” he said, though he knew I couldn’t. I picked up his bag and handed it to him with a smile. He frowned. “I’m serious.”

“I know. You also know I can’t. I have to finish out my classes.”

He set the bag down and wrapped his arms around me. “I’m afraid you’re slipping through my fingers again.”

“I’m not.”


“Pinky Promise,” I said, holding out my little finger. He wrapped his around me then kissed me. Before the kiss became too much, I pushed him away. “Go, or you’re going to miss your flight.”

Penn grabbed his bag and sulked off. He turned around a few times before he was gone for good. I stayed at the airport for a little while, just in case and laughed when I got a text from him less than twenty minutes later. He had figured out the free airport wi-fi. Then he paid to have inflight wi-fi. Then he was back in Oregon where he had unlimited text and data.


My phone rang with an incoming video call. Right on time. It was really early in Oregon. My favorite since it meant Penn had his deep, sexy morning voice and mused hair and sleepy eyes.

And shirtless.

And mine.

“Are you going to tell me?” I asked. He’d been eluding to some news he wanted to share but wanted to tell me ‘in person’, aka, a video call. It also meant I had to overthink what he might say. I wanted him to tell me he was coming back but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.

“Good morning and I miss you too,” he said. His voice was gravelly and his eyes sparkled with sleep and amusement.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Four more weeks. I miss you, too. Now spill.”

Penn laughed, then yawned, then laughed because he yawned while laughing. “I decided to do another welding contract. It’s a pretty big one. I should be done right around the same time you get back.”

“Oh, that’s fun,” I smiled. “And should keep you distracted while I’m gone.”

“Pretty much the only reason I’m going,” he laughed. “I hate being here when you’re gone.”

“Four more weeks,” I reminded him. “When do you leave? Where are you going?”

“Alaska. I leave in two days. I’ll be working on a fleet of boats. It should be fun.”

“Will you have service?” Because heaven forbid I couldn’t see his face every day or two.

“I’m pretty sure there’s Wi-Fi everywhere these days,” he laughed, secretly pleased by how anxious I was about missing him. Regardless, I was excited for him to take the job. He hadn’t done one for a while and I knew he probably wouldn’t take another job once I got back. This was kind of his final hurrah. Penn was ‘investing in relationships’ closer to home which meant he wouldn’t be traveling as much.

“Alaska isn’t everywhere. Alaska is practically nowhere. It’s not a real place,” I complained.

“I’ll miss you, too,” he said, grinning ear to ear.


I learned the hard way that there wasn’t Wi-Fi, or much along the line of service, where he was at. Five days of waiting and all I got was a choppy phone call. The conversation was frustrating and consisted mostly of ‘What? I can’t hear you. You’re cutting out’ on repeat until the call was disconnected.

A few days later he called from a landline. “Turns out there isn’t Wi-Fi everywhere.”

I smiled into the phone and wished I could see his face. “It’s only a few weeks,” I tried to convince both of us. “How is it?”

“It’s pretty cool. I haven’t been to Alaska before. There’s a lot of work to be done and it’s freezing cold. I’m rotating with two other welders. Even with heavy gear, the water gets cold fast. I really like it, but it’s different this time.”

“Why’s that?”

“It’s the first time I can’t wait to get home.”

“Whats waiting for you at home?”

Penn growled into the phone, unamused by my fishing expedition.

“What? I laughed. “I’m not there for you to come home to.”

“You will be and that’s good enough for me. We’ll actually be getting back the same day-ish. Which reminds me, I won’t be able to pick you up from the airport. I fly into Eugene instead of PDX.”

“No biggie, Dad wants to pick me up anyway,” I said. “Tell me more about Alaska.”

I laid on my bed as Penn told me a little more about his work and what it detailed. I found it fascinating. When he was done, we sat on the phone in silence. I was just happy to have him so close.

“I miss you,” he whispered. My chest tightened at his words.

“I miss you, too.”

“The house is pretty much done if you need a place to crash.”

We had stayed mostly at Hostels and a few cheap hotel rooms. Privacy had been pretty limited. The thought of spending real quality time with him was nerve wracking but exciting.

“Can you handle it? There won’t be strangers coming and going or walls so thin you can hear the conversation next door,” I asked.


“We’ll see,” I teased. “You won’t buy the cow if you get the milk for free.”

“I’d buy the whole damn farm for the one cow. Milk is just a bonus—a really great perk.”

“In that case, this cow might need a place to crash, you know, for a day or two.”

Penn’s laugh made me feel good. I could imagine him leaning against the wall, smiling as he talked on the phone. I bet he was a bit of a mess from working long hours. A stocking cap on his head and a thick jacket zipped all the way up. His cheeks rosy and lips pink from the cold.

“Have you talked to your family?” I asked after another lull in the conversation.

“Not since coming to Alaska.”

“Do they know about us? What should I expect when I come home?”

“They don’t know. It won’t stay secret long but I want you to myself for a little while. Plus, all that stuff with Cam, I haven’t wanted to take any of the focus off her.”

I still wasn’t sure what was going on with Cam but I knew I’d find out when I got home. I could only imagine how crazy his family would be once they realized there was something going on between us. Them not knowing explained why I hadn’t gotten a text from Ryan.

I also understood wanting to keep things under wraps. I wasn’t sure I wanted it to get out, not with Lee being as difficult as he was. I didn’t know what he might do if he found out about Penn and I. I didn’t really care; I just didn’t want the added stress.

We had a few weeks and, even then, things would go how they went.


I was with Lee for a long time. I traveled a lot for work and spent a lot of weekends, weeks, and vacation time apart. It was never an issue for me. Sure, I missed him but it was never a big deal. It wasn’t uncommon to have only a few texts or a single phone call between us.

With Penn, I went nuts not being able to call or text whenever I wanted. I was distracted every day at school and bored out of my mind when I got home. I tried to keep myself busy but, the closer I got to my flight, the more I wanted to leave.

I missed him. I wanted to spend all my time with him. I wanted to talk and laugh with him. I wanted to go to game night and give him a lap dance or serenade him with some lame song from the ’90s. I wanted to stop by his house unexpectedly in the morning and hear his deep gravelly voice. He changed everything and now being away from him was not an option. For the first time in my life, I didn’t want to be in another country. I wanted to be home.

I had no plans of moving in with him, it was too soon, but I didn’t hate the idea of staying sleeping in his bed.

Every day that passed and we didn’t talk felt like a knife to my soul. In the final weeks, we only talked three times and only a few minutes. He was tired and exhausted and the time change didn’t help.

I was packed and ready to fly home four days before I was scheduled to leave. I even tried to get an earlier flight but it was too expensive. I gifted my car to the next person and gave away most of the stuff I had accumulated while there.

I wanted to talk to Penn one more time before my flight. I wasn’t sure when he got back exactly but I wanted him to be the first thing I saw when I got home. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to connect before I boarded my flight. The flight was long. I even paid for inflight wi-fi just in case he was able to text me. He didn’t.

Stepping off the plane at PDX reminded me how long and drawn out the flight home was. It was seven in the morning when I got in Dad’s truck. I was going on thirty-seven hours without decent sleep. Of course, Dad wanted to know everything even though we video chatted every week.

“I promise I’ll come over for dinner if you let me sleep,” I begged. I could barely keep my eyes open.

Dad zipped his lips, and threw the key out the window.

I slept every minute of the two-hour drive home and then another four hours in Dad’s guest room, aka, my old bedroom. When I woke up, no one was home. I assumed dad had gone back to work.

Starved, I decided to go to the store and get some good old American food.

I perused the fresh soup section. It wasn’t the authentic American I wanted, but after a long day of travel, I wasn’t sure my digestive system was up for much more. I was deciding between a basic vegetable or a creamy potato when I heard a familiar voice behind me.

“Well look what Thailand dragged in.”

I turned and smiled. Ryan stood behind a cart full of cupcakes and sparkling cider. His smirk quickly turned into a beaming smile. He stepped around the cart for a hug.

“Are you calling me ugly?” I mocked offense.

“Me? Call you ugly? Never. I’m just saying that maybe you haven’t slept in a week or six.”

“Oh good, I was worried you were about to say something hurtful. In my defense, thirty-six hours of traveling will chew you up and spit you out.”

“Don’t I know it!” he laughed. “You know, Penn’s been in Alaska and flies back today. I bet he’ll be worse for wear. He doesn’t travel well.”

“Oh cool,” I said not-so-smoothly. I didn’t know what else to say since they didn’t technically know that I knew more than they did.

“Oh,” he said as if just remembering something important. “You should come to the Lewis’ tonight! We’re having a party. It’s a lowkey surprise for Penny. I’m sure my brother would be tickled if you came.”

“Tickled? Who are you, an eighty-year-old woman?” I teased. Ryan rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“You always have to make things sooo difficult,” he mumbled under his breath as he pushed his cart of goodies passed me. “Just come to the damn house.”

“I might be busy tonight,” I said over my shoulder. I could practically hear him growl.

“Don’t make me hunt you down. I’ll drag you there kicking and screaming.”

I laughed as he disappeared through the self-checkout. His words were a promise of sorts. He would kidnap me. He’d done it before and he’d do it again.

I kind of like the idea of surprising Penn. I wondered how well he’d be able to hide his expression or if his family would see right through him. Would we make it through the night before they caught on to us? I didn’t think either of us could stay away or keep the stars out of our eyes. We hadn’t seen each other in six weeks.

Plus, it would be obvious when we left the party together and we would be leaving together.

I was half blushing as I bought my soup. I was tempted to text him anyway but I really wanted to see the look on his face when I showed up.

I really wanted to watch him try and hide his feelings for me.

Oh yeah, I was going to have fun.


“So—” Dad strummed his thumbs on the steering wheel as he drove me to the Lewis’. If he was trying to make me feel like a sixteen-year-old again then he was doing a fine job.

I couldn’t have Penn pick me up. I was supposed to surprise him. And my truck was still at his house.

“What time will you be home tonight? Or is this a don’t-wait-up-for-me situation? Should I leave the porch light on or turn it off when I got to bed?”

I rubbed my face and stared out the window. Good god, this was my life again. “You could probably turn it off, no need to waste electricity,” I responded.

“I upgraded to LED so no biggie if it stays on a little later than normal.”

“Okay, then leave it on.”

“But if you’re not gonna come home—”

“Dad. Don’t leave the porch light on, and for the love of God, please stop talking.”

He didn’t. That wouldn’t be like my Dad. “I’m glad to see you happy and moving on. I sure wish things would’ve worked out with you and Lee but you know what they say, life sucks and then you die.”


“I like Penn,” he said as if Penn was someone we talked about all the time. Which he wasn’t.

I hadn’t talked to my dad about Penn ever. I definitely hadn’t talked about him since Thailand, but Dad had me thinking back, had I said something and not realized it? How did he know we were a thing? He must’ve noticed my confusion because he started laughing.

“Good god, Smash. When I picked up to take you to the airport there was enough energy between you two to start my truck. I had to bribe my poor stereo to keep me occupied while you two said your goodbyes.”

“There wasn’t anything between us.”

Dad nodded and winked. “Oh sure, yeah, of course. Just friends looking like kicked puppies because the other was leaving. Totally friendly. Just friends. Nothing to see here.”

Oh my god, stooop,” I whined. He was the worst. Worse than the worst. Luckily, we were pulling into the bottom of the Lewis’ driveway. “Just drop me off here. It’s bad enough being embarrassed when no one is around to witness it. No need to tempt fate.”

“Oh c’mon, I’m only teasing you. You’ve been gone and now I have six months to make up for.”

“Exactly why I’ll walk up. Thanks for the ride, Dad. See you tomorrow.”

Dad rolled his eyes but stopped half-way up the hill and let me out. I leaned over and gave him a half hug and kissed his cheek.

When I got to the top, there were fewer cars than I expected but still more than most people considered normal. Penn’s black truck was blocked in by some of the others. Looked like we’d be stuck until the others left. The jetlag in me was disappointed. The horny boyfriend, or whatever I was, was also disappointed.

I went in through the garage and into the kitchen like normal. What the kitchen and living room lacked in people, it made up for in pink decorations. Lots of pink decorations. Baby girl decorations. I slowly stepped into the kitchen, pretty confused. I swore Ryan said it was a party for his brother.

Then I saw it. On the wall were five girly onesies, tiny little things if I ever saw them. Each had one letter and together they spelled P-E-N-N-Y.

I chuckled to myself. Ryan had said it was a party of sorts for Penny. I assumed he meant Penn. Nope. It was a baby shower. Who’s, I didn’t know.

I could hear the sound of people just before someone came around the corner. The guy smiled at me and pointed behind him, towards the back patio. “Party’s out there,” then he went toward the garage.

I went and stood by the patio door, which was really just a wall of windows that overlooked the giant patio/backyard. It was beautifully manicured and decorated. There were smaller kids running around. The older kids were grouped together off to the side near the fire pit while the adults mingled around. It was pretty low key looking.

Then I saw Penn. He and his brothers were laughing as they walked towards the ladies with drinks in their hands. Penn had the biggest smile on his face; all teeth and happiness. His smile made me smile. I was about to go surprise him when I saw Cam.

A very, very pregnant Cam.

Penn crouched in front of her and, with a life-doesn’t-get-better-than-this smile, he cupped her belly. Even from where I stood, I could tell he was whispering sweet nothings to her belly. Everyone looked at him like it was the sweetest thing in the world, and it was.

So damn sweet. The sweetest, most confusing thing I ever witnessed.

“Have you ever seen anything cuter than a gushing Penn?”

I didn’t notice Abby come up beside me. She could’ve landed right in front of me and I wouldn’t have noticed, I was too busy staring at Penn and Cam.

Abby looked stunning in a soft pink summer dress. Even with giant platform shoes she was still a tiny little thing. I bet she could have worn those little baby onesies with no issues. How two babies came out of her was both a mystery and a miracle.

“He’s so happy. I haven’t seen him this happy in years.”

Penn stood up and kissed Cam. It was quick and soft but full of love. He was still touching her stomach. He patted her belly before finally letting go.

Now I knew what the big secret was. Cam was pregnant. And by the look of it, it was Penn's. It would explain why he didn’t want to share our relationship with her during such a delicate time. It’s explained a lot of stuff.

Fuck, I felt dumb as shit for falling for this kind of thing all over again.

Copyright © 2020 Mrsgnomie; All Rights Reserved.
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Now there’s a fly in the Metamucil..  I hope we get another chapter very soon, not a week with that cliffhanger....

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Well there's a twist!

*insert jaw dropping*

Apparently the third time's a charm. Poor Nash. I'm hoping there's a reason behind Penn not telling him

Well played once again.

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Definitely won’t be a week. Last week got away from me and I totally forgot to post until @Jkumbro99 and @Kapucinski said something. I’ll probably post Wednesday. Maybe Tuesday since I’m in a day long meeting Wednesday. 

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Another great chapter to a brilliant story. I had a totally different twist I was expecting.. something along the line of a accident in Alaska.. I like this twist better. Can't wait for the next chapter. Will we find out that Penn really is not the father? Mmmm inquiring minds want to know. 

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Nope nope nope.  Unless that baby really isn't Penns and he's just helping her save face for whatever reason,  Nash needs to gtf away from him.  Nash needs someone who will put his needs first for a change.  If that baby is Penns that will absolutely, positively not happen.  Clearly Cam is still calling the shots with Penn.  Poor Nash.   I was totally rooting for them,  but now Thank You Next!  

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2 minutes ago, Txfilm41 said:

Another great chapter to a brilliant story. I had a totally different twist I was expecting.. something along the line of a accident in Alaska.. I like this twist better. Can't wait for the next chapter. Will we find out that Penn really is not the father? Mmmm inquiring minds want to know. 

Will you find out that Penn is not the father? Hmmm. But I can tell you that a lot happens next chapter. 

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When I was reading the story, I thought the most exciting thing I’d have to say was “road head!!”....but it’s not.

Oh Mrsgnomie.  Why?!?!  It’s clear one of the three times Penn had sex with Cam was a few months ago;  (or is it?) That’s a why in and of itself-the bigger why is why didn’t Penn tell Nash?!?!?!?!?

If Penn really wants a future with Nash (because now I don’t know what the fuck to think) this baby would be a part of their lives;  Even from a best friend perspective, Penn should have told Nash something.  Knowing all that Nash has been through with deception and lies recently, I don’t understand how he thought keeping this a secret would be a good thing.  I guess the baby’s a girl (Penny?)

Wow.  Wow.

Edited by FanLit
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Misunderstandings of this ilk are sooo passe.

As Ariana said, 'Thank You. Next!'

:P:gikkle: :D

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I gotta admit I am actually more stunned that Penn has only had sex 3 times in his adult life before Nash.  Shocked actually.  In high school he’d lost the love of his life and then non-romantically married his bestie, but never ever looked for any form of a physical relationship elsewhere.  Even Nash expected to hear about bathroom blow jobs or quickie liaisons.  So, yeah, I’m kinda shocked. I believe him.  But I’m shocked. Did I mentioned I am shocked? 

Since Penn said he had been in a bad head space when he had slept with Cam I am guessing those three times were very recent and coincided with Nash going overseas and contemplating the job in Portland. They didn’t hang out as much.  Penn even asked if it was ‘goodbye-good bye’.  Penn was thinking Nash might not return or, if he did, move for a job.  I am more interested to learn when Penn found out about the pregnancy and why he hasn’t told Nash.  Why hold the news?  It seems deceitful and untrustworthy.  The baby ties Penn and Cam together in some form forever.  I wonder if Penn realizes that?





Edited by 84Mags
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Well, this could go either way. I'm afraid this will be just the tip of the iceberg for poor Nash, Leland is lurking just around the corner with his crap.

If Penny is indeed Penn's child, I just hope it was an invitro kind of arrangement, kind of a "parting gift" in a divorce settlement. But Penn could still say something, anything, to prepare Nash for this shock. I hope he has a good explanation, because I can see Nash running away, maybe a trip to India or Madagascar or maybe joining Greenpeace… or to a job somewhere in Africa.

I hope you post the next chapter soon, the wait for this one was excruciating. The wait got me thinking about my life, or better the lack thereof, too. I got so involved I even googled Becks Restaurant, after googling Lincoln and other stuff… I have a really boring existence, sad actually…

What keeps me going? The fact you said it's a HEA story

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3 hours ago, 84Mags said:

I gotta admit I am actually more stunned that Penn has only had sex 3 times in his adult life before Nash.  Shocked actually.  In high school he’d lost the love of his life and then non-romantically married his bestie, but never ever looked for any form of a physical relationship elsewhere.  Even Nash expected to hear about bathroom blow jobs or quickie liaisons.  So, yeah, I’m kinda shocked. I believe him.  But I’m shocked. Did I mentioned I am shocked? 


Yep, this is  weirding me out too

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He-he I didn't see this coming! Good drama! I wonder how Penn's gonna handle the situation and if the baby is even his. i'm a bit surprised that he wouldn't say anything to Nash... kinda upset with him actually, why wouldn't he tell him!

(That makes me think you're not gonna believe this, but in the first version I wrote of U-N-I, years ago, it was a bit different from the storyline I wrote this time around) Rach was kinda secretly in love with Mark, who hadn't really noticed it, and after he began dating Rob, they all got drunk one night and Rach made him have sex with her, cause he was drunk, got pregrant... and then you imagine the drama with Rob after that, it was actually a pretty fun version too! lol)

Anyway, back to your story 😅 I'm with the others, I'm not sure I understand why Penn would have stayed a virgin. Ok so he was into Nash, got his heart broken... but never have sex with anyone? I don't know, well you're not gonna change this, but if there are hot guys like him that do exist in this world, I'd like to meet them!😅 I do understand what he means when he said that he made bad choices, cause he had sex with Cam... it's not reallt clear in the chapter and maybe it's done on purpose, but when did he have sex with Cam the first time?


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6 hours ago, Mrsgnomie said:

Still Sunday.... ;)


I actually set my alarm clock 2 hours earlier to be able to read the next chapter before going to work. I'm confused and a bit grumpy, but hey, it's sunday I can stay at home :) 

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Just want to drop a note and say that I got home to an internet outage. It’s not expected to come back on until morning. Just a heads up!

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3 minutes ago, KayDeeMac said:


Penn better talk and talk quick!

The trouble is he doesn’t 

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