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    Parker Owens
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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.

A to Z - 57. Chapter 57 Obstacles

Obstacles

Warnings for sexual scenes.

Questions and issues raised in this chapter or any other chapter can be discussed at the A to Z story thread here: http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/topic/40860-a-to-z/

March 19 – Sunday

Today’s question: so why is it that when I decided to stand and defy fate, when I chose to shape my own destiny, events occurred to move the earth under my feet? Why is it that even with my well crafted plan, fate had its way of intervening anyway? The world I thought I knew reshaped itself suddenly, and I got left to deal with it. Or float along.

But I won’t be doing it on my own. Zander will be with me. He promised to marry me.

At least that part of my plan worked out perfectly. In fact, most of my plan worked out perfectly. I got so into making it happen that I freaked Zander out. I was so deep in concentrating on it and stressing out about it and keeping it a secret that he started imagining things. Zander actually thought I was going to leave him for someone else. Silly boy.

No, he’s an amazing boy, and I love him. I felt so bad for worrying him like that. He forgave me when I told him why I had been so distant. I had been so nervous that he might say ‘no.’

After the initial shock wore off in the barn, he turned to me in disbelief: “You really thought I might refuse?”

I shrugged. “So I was stupid.”

We held hands in contented silence for a moment.

“Zander? There’s something else.”

“What? You can’t be pregnant,” he joked.

I snorted at that, blushing. “No…it's just… I want to get married right away, as soon as we can.”

He looked at me quizzically. “Why?”

“Because I love you that much. Because I think that’s the way we’re supposed to be, and there’s no point in delaying it. And because, if we’re married, nobody will be able to break us apart ever again. No more Ms. Chandler. No more courts or legal shit. We get married, we can be emancipated – a legally separate couple. We can live the way we want to, together.”

That was a big speech, and it took Zander a moment to digest. Then he looked up at me and asked, “Can we get married tomorrow?”

I threw my arms around him again. Saturday was turning out to be a fantastic day.

Eventually, we walked back to the house, hand in hand. There was more of the plan to complete, and the time had come. We entered the kitchen through the back door, shed our coats and shoes, and held hands again.

Monica looked up from her work at the kitchen table.

“I see you found each other,” she smiled. “Everything all right?”

Zander looked at me and cleared his throat. He knew what had to happen next; I‘d told him in the barn. “Mom? Can you call Dad in here a minute?” he asked.

That earned him a sharp look from Monica. Then she called out to Garrett, who arrived quickly from his study. He took in the scene for a moment, then walked over to Monica.

“What’s up?” he asked.

Zander squeezed my hand tightly, but didn’t fidget or hesitate. “Mom, Dad, Andy asked me to marry him.” He stated simply. “I told him I would.”

There was a very long pause.

“That’s good news. I think,” Garrett said cautiously, recovering first.

“Well. That kind of thing is a long way off,” Monica added quickly, the tension released. “But you two are cute,” she smiled.

“No, Mom, it’s not, a long way off,” Zander said quietly. “Andy asked me to marry him as soon as possible. Like, next week. I’m going to do it,” he added with a touch of defiance.

“Don’t be silly, Zander,” his mother returned much more seriously, “that’s not possible.”

Zander released my hand for a moment and showed them the ring I’d given him. Instantly, I fingered its twin on my own left hand nervously. “See that? That’s the ring Andy gave me. It means I made a promise. I’m going to keep it.”

Monica peered at it with a mix interest and what looked like apprehension.

“Sure, Zander, that’s fine,” his father soothed, “it’s perfectly all right for you to marry Andy. It’s legal now, after all. But it can wait until the both of you are older and out of college.”

It was my turn to speak up. “Actually, I think there are some good reasons not to wait,” I said. I didn’t sound nearly as confident as Zander had.

The adults in the room looked at me expectantly.

“First of all, and most important, I love Zander. I want to be his, and he wants to be mine.” I felt him take my hand again. I felt the reassuring squeeze. "You told me that Stevenson men fall hard. Well, I’ve fallen hard for Zander, too, and I don’t ever want to be apart from him.”

I paused for a breath. “But there’s a good legal reason, too. Marriage law is different from the foundling law or the fostering laws,” I said looking at Garrett directly. “If you tried to adopt me into this family – and believe me, there isn’t anything I’d like better – Family Protective Services would get in the way. At least, they'd try. You know they would.”

I saw Garrett nod.

“And Judge Harrison said that my being here is only temporary, just ninety days,” I reminded him. “According to the law, he’d have to renew his order at the end of that time, wouldn’t he?”

Garrett nodded again, and I could see realization dawning.

“FPS could contest the placement then, insisting on a hearing. They might actually get jurisdiction,” he said, carefully.


“But surely, that’s not going to happen!” Monica interjected.

“It could,” Garrett admitted, “that’s the weakest part; at the hearing, FPS could just thank the Judge for his time and effort, and then make a claim that the agency should assume custody, based on experience and convenience. After all, they are the agency charged with this kind of task, and the Judge can’t claim to have a busy schedule, but simultaneously have enough time to manage one teenaged foundling indefinitely. Ms. Chandler doesn't even have to be involved.”

“But if we’re married, the law changes for us,” I put in. “I become your son-in-law. That’s a legally recognized relationship. You can take over as legal guardian immediately. No adoption agency, no courts, and no Ms. Chandler.”

“And you conveniently pass out from her jurisdiction,” Garrett added. “You’ve got this all figured out, don’t you?” he asked me wonderingly.

I nodded, flushing. “I think so.” I had conveniently left out the part about emancipation. That could wait, I figured.

“Oh, this is ridiculous,” Monica spluttered. “Teenagers don’t get engaged, much less married.”

“Mom, how old were you when you fell in love with Dad?” Zander asked, innocently.

“I know what you’re saying, Zander. We were younger than you, but we didn’t get engaged until much later.”

“But you knew then – even when you were kids, like me and Andy – that it was only a matter of time, right?”

Silence greeted his question. Of course it had been that way.

“Well, I don’t think Andy and I have the luxury of waiting,” Zander went on, appealing. “If we waited, and the worst happened, I’d never forgive myself. Could you? And I think Andy’s had enough hurt to last a lifetime. Why add more?”

More silence.

“Andy, aren’t you forgetting an important part of the marriage statute?” Garrett asked, his face impassive.

“The part that says minors must have the written permission of their parents to marry in order to get a license? That part?” I asked.

Garrett nodded. “Yes. That part.”

I actually grinned. I hadn't forgotten. "I went to see Judge Harrison at his house at noon, after work. He was very nice – argued with me about it for about an hour – but signed my request for permission when he understood I'd get out from under Ms. Chandler, and at the same time become your problem, not his."

Those had almost been his exact words.

For once, Garrett looked stunned for a moment. "You thought of everything, didn't you?"

"Almost everything," I admitted. "But there's one more thing." I smiled. I cleared my throat. “Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson, I’m asking you to give your son, Alexander Garrett Stevenson, Jr., permission to marry me.”

Garrett looked at Monica, who looked back. How they made their decision without words, I’ll never know. Monica turned her head to Zander and nodded once, decisively.

"Yes. All right. You can marry Andy whenever you want," she said shortly.

I turned to Zander and hugged him tight.

"But…" she added, and the word froze us in mid-embrace. "But. I insist that you get married in church."

"A church wedding, Monica?" Garrett asked, confused. "We haven't gone to Queen of Peace in a decade. And besides, I don't think they'll marry the boys there, anyway."

"I don't care what church it is," Monica said stubbornly, "but the wedding has to be in a church. Think about it, Garrett. The most important thing right now is family. If it's a church wedding, the family is much more likely to support the whole idea. Think about your parents and Mama Costanza – let alone our kids and my siblings. They'll take Zander and Andy much more seriously if it's done in a church and not in a rush at the courthouse."

That threw a dark cloud over the whole plan. Maybe that was Monica's idea. I don't know. They were Catholic, and Garrett said they wouldn't marry us. So who would? They brainstormed. Not the Presbyterians or Lutherans. Not the big new evangelical church north of town. Zander and I stood there for a few minutes, holding hands, while the adults threw out ideas.

Minor question to add: if we get married, does that make me and Zander adults, too? What does that make Monica and Garrett? Super adults?

Finally, I tugged on Zander's hand. Garrett and Monica could wrangle over this. I wanted another kiss, in private. We headed upstairs.

I got my kiss and plenty more. Zander and I wound up happily tangled on his bed – our bed – kissing and nuzzling and holding each other. "When did you get these rings?" he asked me, holding up my hand in front of us, admiring.

I have to admit, I thought they looked good. Solid silver, with three small stars and one large star cut into the surface. Four points of the compass. Four corners of the earth.

"Friday. That's why I left early, with Jeff. His dad owns Ellison Jewelry downtown. I ordered them that afternoon and picked them up on my way home from seeing Judge Harrison." I didn't mention that the cost of them had just about cleaned me out of cash stash money.

"You had to order them special?"

"I wanted a little engraving done," I said, sheepishly.

"Where? I don't see anything," Zander pointed out.

I slipped my ring off my finger for a moment and held it up close to our faces so Zander could see.

"Look there, on the inside surface. At the bottom, under the smallest star." He peered closer, and found the 'A' engraved there. "Now look under the big star. See it? It says 'Z.' That's you. My North Star. You're where I'm going. Always."

Zander's eyes got big, and then asked: "What about my ring?"

"Look for yourself."

He twisted his off in a moment and examined his closely. Under his South Pole, a 'Z." Under his North Star, an 'A.'

"You're unbelievable, you know that?" Zander asked, not really waiting for an answer. He slid his ring back onto his finger and kissed me again. It might have gone further, but there was a tapping on the door frame. Really, I can't wait until we can get married and close that damn door.

Garrett stood there. "Andy? I need that form if you want me to sign for Zander. And I think the two of you should come down and help get supper ready."

I nodded and slid off the bed. There would be time for us later, I hoped.

Downstairs, I heard Monica on the telephone as I entered the kitchen. "…thank you, Father. Thanks very much. We'll see you tomorrow morning." She hung up and turned to me and Zander.

"So, tomorrow morning, bright and early, we're going to church at St. James' Episcopal. Father Brewer agreed to talk to us after the mass," she said in a businesslike way.

"What time is church?" Zander asked.

"Eight o'clock. That means you two need to be awake and showered and dressed up no later than seven forty five, all right?"

"That's so early!" Zander protested.

"Tough. That's when Father Brewer can see us. And it's no guarantee he'll do the wedding – he's just going to talk to us about the possibility. That's all," she said, looking at me.

During supper, we learned that, while the Episcopal Church smiles on marrying gay couples, Zander and I are unusually young to be married yet. No surprises there. What was news to me was that we seem to be in the middle of a part of the church year called "lent," whatever that meant. Monica sure knows quite a lot about lent – it's the forty days before Easter - and she took the opportunity to give both me and Zander quite a bit of instruction about it in response to an innocent question. I guess Catholics do lent, too. Garrett watched us with some amusement, I thought.

Anyhow, ordinarily, they don't have weddings in the Episcopal Church during lent, unless there is a damn good reason. Father Brewer would need to get the permission of his bishop both to marry so young a couple as us and to have the wedding anytime in the next three weeks or so. So maybe there wasn't going to be a wedding after all. Monica absolutely insisted on a church ceremony.

My plan seemed to be faltering.

And worse still, Monica and Garrett were leaning towards keeping Zander and me apart until we could actually get married. Just in case – again. I was getting tired of that.

Apparently, so was Zander. "No, Mom. I'm sorry, but no. I'm not spending another night in the wrong bed."

"What, do you mean you want to switch with Andy?" she asked.

"Mom, the wrong bed is the one Andy isn't in. I'm going back to our room tonight."

I liked hearing him say that. Our room. Our bed.

"Zander, I…"

"Mom. Family Services isn't going to stage a midnight raid. They've always come right after supper time. And neither one of us sleeps well without the other."

"Yes, but if…"

Zander wouldn't let her get a word in. "And I promise, we'll be sleeping. Just sleeping. Nothing else."

At that, Monica fell silent.

"All right, boys. Go ahead," Garrett intervened, "but we'll be holding you to that promise."

Later in the evening, we all sat together as a family and watched a movie. I snuggled up against Zander, and it was a beautiful thing. We got ready for bed together, just as we used to. It was wonderful. Before bed, I decided to take a shower. It had been a long day, and I needed one. I let the water warm, then stepped under the spray, and closed the curtain.

I shut my eyes and let the water pour down my body, washing away the dirt and the tension and the excitement. I relaxed for a few moments. And then I heard the shower curtain opening. I turned and wiped my eyes to find Zander in behind me, finger to his lips to keep me silent. And then his lips were on mine, and our bodies pressed together, and suddenly I had to fight the urge to moan. I could feel our cocks sandwiched deliciously between us; the silky smoothness of the skin on the sway of his back, the hot insistence of his mouth and tongue.

I'd dreamed about this, once. More than once.

When it became too much, I had to break the kiss. "What about 'nothing else,' Zander? We promised." I whispered hoarsely.

"This? We're just kissing," Zander rationalized, "and besides, we're not in bed, technically."

He giggled and kissed me again, briefly.

"But I can't help wanting this," he said. And then he dropped to his knees in front of me. I watched, fascinated. He couldn't want to. He wouldn't.

He did.

Zander bent forward and tentatively licked at my cock, just under the head. He glanced up at me and smiled. Then he took hold of its base, and licked it again, more confidently. I trembled at it. And then he put it in his mouth, and I nearly blacked out with the pleasure. The heat of Zander's mouth surrounded and enveloped the head and the first couple of inches. I felt him suck gently, felt his tongue massage the really sensitive spot on the underside of my dick. I saw nothing, my eyes were closed. It was so incredibly good. So this is what it felt like.

Zander bobbed up and down on me for a little while, getting used to what he was doing. Experimentally, he tried taking me deeper into his mouth. And deeper again. The exquisite velvet softness of his mouth, his tongue playing under my dick, the freaking incredible suction – I had to lean back on the shower wall for support.

And Zander was just getting started. He seemed determined to take every inch of me into himself. He got nearly all the way down, but seemed to choke on the last inch or two. He backed off.

"It's okay, you don't have to…" I started, but he shook his head. He slid his mouth over me again, and went down as far as he could, his eyes closed in concentration. I knew what we was experiencing. He had me in his throat, and I could feel it working around the tip of my cock. It felt so good, it was all I could do not to cry out loud and start thrusting my hips into his face; but I remembered what Roger had done to me, and I held still.

"Oh God, Zander, it feels so good, so good, oooohhhh…" I crooned as softly as I could manage.

Zander pulled back a little, just enough so he could breathe – so we could both breathe, really – and then he went back down again. And this time was just too much. He got me all the way in, and again his smooth pulsating tunnel encased me in sensuous, insistent pleasure. It was more than I could handle.

I did try to warn him as I felt my dick swell, but whatever I said was a whispered, incoherent babble.

I came, hard. One, two, maybe three shots down Zander's throat before he slid back a bit and started suckling on the tip, licking it clean at the end. Eventually, my eyes were open, and my lungs functioned more or less normally. I saw Zander gazing up at me with this big smile on his face. "You taste fantastic," he grinned.

"What about…" I started to ask.

"I had to even the score before we get married," Zander smiled up at me.

I tried to smile back. "Hey, lover. Stand up and let me return the favor."

Zander shook his head and glanced down. "No need," he whispered.

Puzzled, I followed his eyes so I could see what he meant. Droplets of cum clung to the inside of his thigh – and my right calf - and puddled on the floor of the shower beneath us. I hadn't even felt it.

We slept well Saturday night.

(***)

A sharp rap on the door startled us awake this morning. "You boys awake yet? Gotta get moving, guys." Monica's voice, insistently, unconscionably cheery. Shit. Church.

Zander and I scrambled out of bed, no time even for good morning kisses or anything. At least, not until we'd gotten into the bathroom and remembered the night before. Then Zander got all cute and kind of embarrassed.

"You, um, okay this morning?" he asked shyly.

"Oh yeah," I said, turning to him and giving him my best, soft, warm wet kiss. Good morning. And now we remembered we'd slept only in underwear. The smoothness of Zander's body underneath my fingers made me want to forget all about getting dressed.

"Come on," Zander finally said, releasing me, "or we'll never get there."

The world felt cold without him.

Faces washed, hair brushed (more or less), teeth brushed, dressed as well as we could manage (I had to borrow a button down dress shirt from Zander), we tumbled down the stairs with about three minutes to spare. Just enough time to grab some juice and a granola bar. Once, not long ago, that would have been a normal Sunday breakfast for me. If that. Funny how things change.

"Andy, you're driving," Garrett said quietly, handing me the keys to the sedan. "You need to practice."

I pulled out of the driveway and turned right to head into town. That's another funny thing. I must have a good sense of direction, because I found the church and the parking lot easily. Must be all the walking around town I've done.

I had no trouble finding a spot; the lot was pretty empty. We were greeted at the door by someone dressed up in coat and tie, handed a bulletin to help us figure out the service, and we filed inside to a pew. I chose my old pew and slid down all the way to the wall, with Zander next to me.

I leaned over to him and whispered, "I slept under this pew for a week after Christmas."

"What? You slept here?"

"Right underneath us – there's a heater vent. It's warm." I told him.

Zander shook his head in disbelief. Then he nudged Monica. More whispering. More head shaking. She craned her head forward to glare at me. I think she didn't believe it, either.

Then the service started. During the readings, Father Brewer spotted us and smiled. Four new people in church. We must have created a bit of a stir. The sermon talked about "living water from the well that never goes dry." Father Brewer talked about some stuff in the readings that kind of went over my head, but I got stuck on the idea, anyhow.

Is that what love is supposed to be like? You have a thirst for it, it comes naturally to you. Maybe to everyone. And you have capacity to quench someone else's thirst – just not your own. So is that what it's like for me and Zander? He's my limitless well of loving water – and maybe I'm his. I wondered about that as the service wound along through its many prayers and the communion at the end. I'd seen this three or four times, now. I was getting good at it.

At the end, Father Brewer ushered us all into his office. I made introductions, because he didn't know Garrett or Zander.

"So, Andrew," Father Brewer said, leaning back in his chair, "your foster mother called me up last night with a most extraordinary request. You want to get married to Zander, here? Tomorrow?"

I shrugged. "Not quite tomorrow. I have to go to the courthouse tomorrow to apply for a marriage license. I have all the forms signed and ready."

He ignored this. "Your mother told me quite a story. Maybe you and Zander can tell me why it's so important for you to wed in haste."

So, slowly at first, but more confidently as we went on, I gave Father Brewer a brief outline of my sorry life; Zander picked up the thread of when we met at Blackburn High School, and Monica and Garrett chipped in details about how I came to live with them. We all kind of piled in when it came to talking about Family Protective Services and the legal threads involved.

He gamely followed along, but knotted his brows in concern when we got to that part.

"So if I understand rightly," he finally said, "you need to marry now, so that FPS doesn't cart you away and send you off to…what? Jail? Another county across the state?"

Four heads nodded.

"Well. I see." Father Brewer drummed his fingers on his desk. "Andrew, you love Zander, right? And Zander, you love Andrew?"

Our hands were joined. Had been through the whole interview. I would have thought it was obvious. We both nodded.

"Now I'm going to ask what might seem like an impertinent question. Forget about the legal stuff for a second. Lots of kids are in love. Happens all the time. What is it about being married that you can't do or can't be if you're not?"

We digested that question for a few moments. Then I answered.

"Father Brewer, I think it's like what you said earlier. Like about water in the well." Now he listened attentively. "Being married means I can be the water in the well for Zander; I can always be there to give him what he needs. I love him, and it'll never run dry. If we're apart, I won't be able to do that." I paused a moment. "How can I be his miracle if he's not there to see it?"

I saw Father Brewer nodding. Garrett looked very thoughtful. My hand nearly hurt, Zander was squeezing it so hard.

"And Zander? What do you have to say?"

Now Zander looked embarrassed. "I'm not…good at the bible and stuff, Father," Zander started. "But I can tell you that I've been wrestling with who I am and what I want to be for over a year now. And when I met Andy, and got to know him, well, I felt more and more…complete. Like Andy is a part of me that I need…to be everything I'm supposed to be."

Again, Father Brewer nodded. My heart felt so full at that moment, I thought I was going to burst.

He looked at his watch and started. "Oh, my. It's almost time for the next service." Now he seemed much more businesslike. "All right, then. Boys, this is a lot for me to think about. Originally, I had planned to try talking you out of marrying." He held up his hand at me. I was ready to protest. He went on: "It's pretty obvious you feel bound to each other and that a marriage might work out. At least, I think you have as good a chance as many of the other couples I've met in this office."

At this, I began feeling hopeful.

Father Brewer kept talking. "Here's what I have to do: I need to call the bishop and explain to her what you have told me now and over the phone last night. I talked to her as soon as I got off the phone with you, Monica, and promised to call again today. I think I understand the need for haste here. Is it all right if I confirm some of what you told me with Judge Harrison?" he asked this, glancing at Garrett.

He nodded.

"Then I can probably give you an answer tomorrow. I'll call as soon as I know."

He rose from his chair and held out a hand: first to me, then to Zander, then to Monica and Garrett. It wasn't the answer we'd hoped for. We'd have to wait and see. Until tomorrow.

Back at the car, Garrett sent me back to the driver's seat. Fine by me.

Turning out of the parking lot, I heard Monica pipe up from the back seat, "Well, that was interesting. I could almost get used to that church."

I smiled. As long as I'm not asked to live there again, I might agree.

"But it is kind of strange," she continued as I drove away from the center of town, "I didn't know you could have a bishop who is a woman."

"I don't know," I heard Garrett say amusedly– he sat right next to me, but I concentrated on the driving, so I couldn't see the smirk I heard in his voice – "these are strange, modern times we live in. Boys marry each other."

I wondered if Zander blushed back there in the back seat as much as I did. He sat directly behind me, and I couldn't see.

The streets were still relatively quiet as I took the road back home past the high school. Monica talked about breakfast, and I started getting hungry. Nearing home, I noticed a large, dull grey sedan parked across the road from the Stevenson house.

I concentrated on swinging wide of it and then on making my left turn into the driveway. It wasn't until I had pulled all the way in next to the Toyota that I noticed the grey sedan easing into the drive behind me, effectively blocking us in.

Suddenly, I felt anxious. "Who's that behind us?" I asked.

Garrett twisted in his seat. Monica and Zander craned for a look. There were two men in the car, but the sun and shadow made it very hard to see anything about who was inside. "I don't know," Garrett responded. "But if it's anyone from FPS, I'm calling the police." He opened his door and got out, and Monica followed suit. I opened mine and stood, too. I motioned for Zander to stay where he was. If I had to run, I wanted to be ready.

A stocky, fit individual in a dark suit emerged from the sedan behind us. Thinning red hair, bright blue eyes. He looked directly at me. "Hello, Eric," he said, evenly.

Ambrose Whitley.

I cannot thank Craftingmom enough for editing this and every chapter. Her help and encouragement were invaluable.

Please leave a review. Your remarks and comments of whatever sort or variety are much appreciated.

Copyright © 2016 Parker Owens; 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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Nice chapter. Still not sure about marriage but I understand it. I'm a bit surprised the parents are so calm but sometimes you gotta stop kicking against the traces. And well an old friend comes to call. Nice.

 

tim

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Whoah!

 

Parker, you should have named this chapter Surprises!
Surprising Andy had crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's -- got the judge to give permission
Surprising the venue for their wedding will be church he slept in
Surprising the priest will plea for a wedding during Lent
And the big surprise at the end, with the appearance of Ambrose Whitley

 

Now we really can't wait for the next chapter!!

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Ok I gotta say a couple things here... First of all, for anyone skeptical about the marriage, look at it this way, even if by some unfortunate circumstance Andy and Zander do break up eventually, the marriage serves as a strategic move by Andy to get out from under the thumb of people who have literally no business interfering in his life. However, that being said, I'm not as skeptical as some people about two teenagers falling in love and getting married. My own parents were high school sweethearts, together for over 30 years before my dad died. So that can and does happen.

 

Now, I'm on the verge of wanting to throttle Monica. She just seems to me to still have a problem with Andy and Zander's relationship. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but why else would she toss so many obstacles in their way all the time? Her resistance seemed a little too enthusiastic to me. Also what if they can't get married at the church? Will they risk interference from FPS and Andy's removal just because Monica won't get her way? I certainly hope not.

 

Ok rant over, what the holy heck is Ambrose Whitley doing there? Dressed in his suit blocking their car in I'm going to assume he's there in an official capacity. But how did he even find Andy? I mean I literally can think of nothing he's done since arriving in Blackburn that would tie him back to "Eric" Eustace's farmhand. Except perhaps legally changing his middle name. There's plenty to tie him back to Carlsburg, like telling legal authorities he's from there, or again the legal name change, birth certificate etc. But considering nobody actually knew him as Eric except like 3 people and he spent almost the entire time he was with Eustace on the farm, how in the world did Ambrose track him down? He must be some detective. More importantly why did he track him down? Surely not for the completely unsubstantiated robberies or drug running or whatever nonsense Ambrose suspected him of? If Ambrose is good enough to find Eric, he'd have to be good enough to figure out in about 8 seconds that the kid isn't tied to any of that criminal activity.

 

I'm gonna be mad at you for like 3 days for dropping that cliffhanger Parker!

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Thank you for another fun filled chapter Parker.

 

I still can't wrap my brain around the idea of Zander and Andy getting married. They are simply too young. Geez, even Monica copes with this development better than me! Oh well :) ...

 

A few weeks ago, I amused myself trying to imagine the obligatory sexy shower scene between Zander and Andy. It had me laughing at the possibilities for comic awkwardness. That the scene played out much as the formula would dictate speaks volumes as to how far Andy has come. It was almost cliché, significantly unremarkable.

 

Wow ... Ambrose Whitley ... great way to end the chapter.

 

Your getting too good at these little cliffhangers ;) .

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Phew - another cliff-hanger, though obviously things are not too bad for Andy, unless I have misread the first sentences (wishful thinking perhaps...)
Yes, A.W.'s actions seem to make sure Andy does not get away again. He may have untangled the web of Stefan-Eric-Andy, incapable of leaving unsolved mysteries behind - the question of course being how - can he as a police officer get at legal information on foundlings and new candidates for fostering? May there be links to the Mack-Chandler party? But you have never surprised us with such Deus-ex-machina easy solutions when things get complex. Who is the second person in the car? His father? That would be a nice surprise, but A.W. does not seem to be there for a social visit. There's no help for my burning curiosity and sympathy with Andy facing another hurdle but wait for Tuesday to come...
You seem to turn the screws tighter with every chapter... today it is difficult to thank you as this chapter deserves, cliffhangers start to get in my way seriously.

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On 02/13/2016 12:42 AM, Mikiesboy said:

Nice chapter. Still not sure about marriage but I understand it. I'm a bit surprised the parents are so calm but sometimes you gotta stop kicking against the traces. And well an old friend comes to call. Nice.

 

tim

I think you hit exact note I'd hoped for - Monica and Garrett have chosen not to fight this battle, because it appears to be an ultimately losing one. The boys are in love, and that's that. It may be easier to support them than argue the point; teach them about being partners as Monica and Garrett have clearly managed it. Thanks for reading this chapter, and for your reflections.

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On 02/13/2016 12:43 AM, skinnydragon said:

Whoah!

 

Parker, you should have named this chapter Surprises!

Surprising Andy had crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's -- got the judge to give permission

Surprising the venue for their wedding will be church he slept in

Surprising the priest will plea for a wedding during Lent

And the big surprise at the end, with the appearance of Ambrose Whitley

 

Now we really can't wait for the next chapter!!

Andy really was absorbed in his plan in the week leading up to his proposal, getting all his ducks in a row. Playing the 'getting Ms. Chandler out your hair' card with Judge Harrison must have been fun. Maybe Fr. Brewer feels a tiny debt to Andy for being helpful - or maybe he thinks they'll actually work out as a couple. Sorry about the cliffhanger here; it was a natural stopping point, what can I say? Perhaps 'surprises' would have been better for this chapter. May have to re-edit...thanks for your reactions and for continuing to read Andy's story.

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On 02/13/2016 01:04 AM, ninecila said:

Wow, I Never thought Ambrose would turn up again! Love it! :)

I'm glad the unexpected appearance of Ambrose was as alarming to you as it surely was to Andy. Thanks for reading, and hope you enjoy the remainder of Andy's journal.

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On 02/13/2016 01:51 AM, spikey582 said:

Ok I gotta say a couple things here... First of all, for anyone skeptical about the marriage, look at it this way, even if by some unfortunate circumstance Andy and Zander do break up eventually, the marriage serves as a strategic move by Andy to get out from under the thumb of people who have literally no business interfering in his life. However, that being said, I'm not as skeptical as some people about two teenagers falling in love and getting married. My own parents were high school sweethearts, together for over 30 years before my dad died. So that can and does happen.

 

Now, I'm on the verge of wanting to throttle Monica. She just seems to me to still have a problem with Andy and Zander's relationship. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but why else would she toss so many obstacles in their way all the time? Her resistance seemed a little too enthusiastic to me. Also what if they can't get married at the church? Will they risk interference from FPS and Andy's removal just because Monica won't get her way? I certainly hope not.

 

Ok rant over, what the holy heck is Ambrose Whitley doing there? Dressed in his suit blocking their car in I'm going to assume he's there in an official capacity. But how did he even find Andy? I mean I literally can think of nothing he's done since arriving in Blackburn that would tie him back to "Eric" Eustace's farmhand. Except perhaps legally changing his middle name. There's plenty to tie him back to Carlsburg, like telling legal authorities he's from there, or again the legal name change, birth certificate etc. But considering nobody actually knew him as Eric except like 3 people and he spent almost the entire time he was with Eustace on the farm, how in the world did Ambrose track him down? He must be some detective. More importantly why did he track him down? Surely not for the completely unsubstantiated robberies or drug running or whatever nonsense Ambrose suspected him of? If Ambrose is good enough to find Eric, he'd have to be good enough to figure out in about 8 seconds that the kid isn't tied to any of that criminal activity.

 

I'm gonna be mad at you for like 3 days for dropping that cliffhanger Parker!

First off, thanks for your reflections and insights. High school sweethearts sometimes marry and live happily for years; sometimes they don't. Monica and Garrett seem to be sensible and caring adult support, so maybe it will work out.

 

 

Monica's insistence on a church wedding is confusing to Andy, surely. But viewed through her lens, she wants as much family acceptance - and recognition of the boys' legitimacy as a couple - as possible. She may be right in that a traditional celebration would do that effectively. That was her point, anyhow.

 

 

I'm very, very sorry for the cliffhanger - really. This is a long narrative, and this seemed like a natural stopping spot without inflicting a 10000 word chapter on anyone. That Ambrose tracked him down is a testament to his determined investigation. And a great deal of what you have said is completely reasonable. No spoilers, so all I can say is that there is much still to be told. Please don't hate me for this, I beg you.

 

 

Again, thanks for your many excellent thoughts, and I really hope you will enjoy the remainder of Andy's journal.

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On 02/13/2016 02:11 AM, said:

Thank you for another fun filled chapter Parker.

 

I still can't wrap my brain around the idea of Zander and Andy getting married. They are simply too young. Geez, even Monica copes with this development better than me! Oh well :) ...

 

A few weeks ago, I amused myself trying to imagine the obligatory sexy shower scene between Zander and Andy. It had me laughing at the possibilities for comic awkwardness. That the scene played out much as the formula would dictate speaks volumes as to how far Andy has come. It was almost cliché, significantly unremarkable.

 

Wow ... Ambrose Whitley ... great way to end the chapter.

 

Your getting too good at these little cliffhangers ;) .

Andy and Zander are probably way outside of any statistical norm for marriage. That said, such marriages do happen, and even succeed. That Monica and Garrett are caring and supportive is a good thing – perhaps they can teach the boys to be good partners for each other. Monica's insistence on a church wedding seems to have much to do with the need to validate and recognize the boys' relationship in the wider family – something a union such as theirs would surely need in order to succeed.

 

I fear I failed somehow if the shower scene seemed so formulaic. But your comment was certainly on target. Sorry for the cliffhanger again; it was just a good place to end the chapter – honest. Thank you for your response, and I hope you enjoy the remainder of Andy's journal.

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On 02/13/2016 02:47 AM, mayday said:

Phew - another cliff-hanger, though obviously things are not too bad for Andy, unless I have misread the first sentences (wishful thinking perhaps...)

Yes, A.W.'s actions seem to make sure Andy does not get away again. He may have untangled the web of Stefan-Eric-Andy, incapable of leaving unsolved mysteries behind - the question of course being how - can he as a police officer get at legal information on foundlings and new candidates for fostering? May there be links to the Mack-Chandler party? But you have never surprised us with such Deus-ex-machina easy solutions when things get complex. Who is the second person in the car? His father? That would be a nice surprise, but A.W. does not seem to be there for a social visit. There's no help for my burning curiosity and sympathy with Andy facing another hurdle but wait for Tuesday to come...

You seem to turn the screws tighter with every chapter... today it is difficult to thank you as this chapter deserves, cliffhangers start to get in my way seriously.

Right off, let me apologize for leaving you hanging off the proverbial cliff. Sorry; it was a natural place to stop in an otherwise long entry. It didn't seem right to inflict a 10,000 word chapter on Andy's long-suffering readers. Ambrose's reappearance certainly spiked Andy's blood pressure - and he must have done quite a lot of legwork to find him. There must be at least some information floating out there...but in any case, I really thank you for your many thought provoking questions. I hope you enjoy the remaining parts of Andy's journal.

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Now what is Ambrose doing there? I hope it's good news. Andy could use a break on the drama front.

 

As for marriage, I don't believe marriage is for kids. That said, I can see it being useful in the current situation. There's no doubt they love one another.

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On 02/13/2016 04:07 AM, Puppilull said:

Now what is Ambrose doing there? I hope it's good news. Andy could use a break on the drama front.

 

As for marriage, I don't believe marriage is for kids. That said, I can see it being useful in the current situation. There's no doubt they love one another.

I'm glad you were as taken aback by Ambrose's reappearance as Andy was; his blood pressure surely rose pretty quickly. I'm sorry to have had to leave you hanging. This was a long entry, and this seemed like the right place to stop. Truly. Many thanks for your reflections, and I hope you enjoy the remaining parts of Andy's story.

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Wow!! What a time for Ambrose to show up, we all knew that his past would catch up to him sooner or later. I am surprised that everybody is taking the pending marriage so cooly, even the minister of the church understands the need for marriage even though they are so young. It will be up to a female Bishop to lend her approval of this event. Another great cliff hanger chapter Parker. Can't wait to see how everything works out for these boys.

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Great story and great chapter! Been wondering when the past was to reemerge. The approaching marriage needed support from Andy's surrogate Grandfather?? I bet Ambrose was a way of bringing him back?? Can't wait for next chapter. Again realy enjoy this story.

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On 02/13/2016 05:21 AM, slapshot said:

Wow!! What a time for Ambrose to show up, we all knew that his past would catch up to him sooner or later. I am surprised that everybody is taking the pending marriage so cooly, even the minister of the church understands the need for marriage even though they are so young. It will be up to a female Bishop to lend her approval of this event. Another great cliff hanger chapter Parker. Can't wait to see how everything works out for these boys.

As in other reviews, I apologize for the cliffhanger. I didn't think anyone wanted to plough through a very, very long chapter. This seemed to be a good place to break. Well, perhaps Monica and Garrett have seen how much the boys are good for each other, and how much they are in love - and chose not to fight this battle. Or maybe it hasn't hit the adults fully yet. Something about them convinced Fr. Brewer, anyhow. Ambrose sure chose a swell time to make his reappearance. Surely Andy's heartrate just spiked!

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Omg! I absolutely love this chapter! Surprised no one has commented on the beautiful symbolism of the rings yet :-). I met my husband 2 weeks after I turned 18, on the first night had the thought that I could definitely be his, and 12 years later, we're still here. I'm not so shocked by the wedding. Monica and Garret perhaps, but then again they know their headstrong son. I hope Ambrose is back to do some good. Was wondering when he'd catch up to And :-)

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I would have been more than fine with a 10,000 (or even a 100,000) word chapter! ;-)

 

I think Ambrose must be worried that Eric/Andy will run again. That suggests to me that he's bringing some legal trouble to the Stevenson family. I don't suppose the second person in the car is a police officer or investigator from Blackburn or Carlsberg…

 

I'm not too worried about how Monica is dealing with the wedding issues. I think one reason she wants a church ceremony is to make it clear that they are proud and joyful that the two boys are getting married. A small civil wedding in a government office could be interpreted as a low-key, sterile, legal event meant only to evade FPS control.

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Damn, damn! The best laid plans.....
You threw a great curve ball having Ambrose show up, you stinker! Although I've gotta believe Ambrose will only be a positive force, it's a helluva cliffhanger!
Fine writing here--can't wait for more!

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On 02/13/2016 05:28 AM, polo66 said:

Great story and great chapter! Been wondering when the past was to reemerge. The approaching marriage needed support from Andy's surrogate Grandfather?? I bet Ambrose was a way of bringing him back?? Can't wait for next chapter. Again realy enjoy this story.

I am very glad you are enjoying this story, and that you liked this chapter. I am very sorry for leaving you hanging. I ask your pardon. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, and I hope you will enjoy the remainder of Andy's journal as much as you have done so far.

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On 02/13/2016 05:58 AM, bundu_st said:

Omg! I absolutely love this chapter! Surprised no one has commented on the beautiful symbolism of the rings yet :-). I met my husband 2 weeks after I turned 18, on the first night had the thought that I could definitely be his, and 12 years later, we're still here. I'm not so shocked by the wedding. Monica and Garret perhaps, but then again they know their headstrong son. I hope Ambrose is back to do some good. Was wondering when he'd catch up to And :-)

The rings appear to have gotten lost in the shock of Ambrose reappearing. They are beautiful, though. Ambrose has probably sent Andy's hear rate spiking through the roof. And yes, I think Monica and Garrett know Zander when he's made a definite decision. Your own story makes me very happy, too. :) Thanks for leaving your reactions. I hope you enjoy the remainder of Andy's story.

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On 02/13/2016 06:37 AM, droughtquake said:

I would have been more than fine with a 10,000 (or even a 100,000) word chapter! ;-)

 

I think Ambrose must be worried that Eric/Andy will run again. That suggests to me that he's bringing some legal trouble to the Stevenson family. I don't suppose the second person in the car is a police officer or investigator from Blackburn or Carlsberg…

 

I'm not too worried about how Monica is dealing with the wedding issues. I think one reason she wants a church ceremony is to make it clear that they are proud and joyful that the two boys are getting married. A small civil wedding in a government office could be interpreted as a low-key, sterile, legal event meant only to evade FPS control.

Your remarks reflect how I interpreted Monica's thinking. If the family is behind Andy and Zander, then family solidarity may help prevail against any ill winds that blow. I am very sorry to have hung you off the cliff, but I am touched to hear you say you would put up with a mega chapter anyhow. Thanks for your interesting thoughts about Ambrose's reappearance. I hope you enjoy the remaining parts of Andy's journal.

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On 02/13/2016 06:47 AM, Robert Rex said:

Damn, damn! The best laid plans.....

You threw a great curve ball having Ambrose show up, you stinker! Although I've gotta believe Ambrose will only be a positive force, it's a helluva cliffhanger!

Fine writing here--can't wait for more!

Well. Thanks for calling me a 'stinker...' I think. As I said in other reviews, this seemed to be a good place to rest in what would otherwise have been a dreadfully long entry. The last thing I'd want is anyone to be bored with Andy. Andy's heart rate would probably alarm an ER right now...Ambrose picked a swell day to show up. Andy will continue this entry on Tuesday. Thank you very much for your remarks and reactions, and I hope the rest of Andy's story is enjoyable, too.

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Omg!!!! I was thinking his Uncle Ray would pop up but not Ambrose Whitley. Either way this story is the best and most detailed story I've ever read. Hands down.

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