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    Valkyrie
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The Hollow Hills - 14. Chapter 14

“I wish I could be with you this weekend. Sometimes I really hate my family,” Ethan said. He burrowed into my side and squeezed me tightly. We were cuddled on my couch along with Tigger. One of my favorite Hallmark movies had just finished.

I kissed the top of his head. “I wish I could be there for you. I know what it’s like to have your family let you down.”

Ethan sighed. “They’ve never accepted my ‘choice of lifestyle’. They don’t get that it’s not a choice and they have no interest in meeting any of the men in my life. I brought Rick to meet them once, and it was a disaster. I thought if they could see how happy we were, they’d change their mind. I was wrong.”

“That really sucks, sweetheart.”

“Yeah. Galen, I really do want them to meet you. I’m not ashamed of us or our relationship.”

“I understand, E. I know you’re not ashamed of us.” I tilted his chin up with my finger and kissed him. “It’s ok.”

“No, it’s not ok. It’s not ok that I have to hide this part of my life from them. It eats me up inside that my own family doesn’t accept such a big part of me.”

“Have you thought about not seeing them?”

He shook his head. “I can’t do that. I do love them, even if they are assholes.”

“My family made it a lot clearer to me. They kicked me out when they found out I was gay.”

“How old were you?”

“Thirteen.”

“Wow. That’s so young.”

“Yeah. I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle and Liam. I had a good childhood otherwise. They always accepted me for who I am.”

“You’re very lucky to have them.”

“My aunt and uncle passed away shortly after I left for college. I miss them terribly.”

Ethan hugged me tighter. “I’m so sorry, Galen. That must have been hard.”

“Yeah, it was. They were killed in a car accident. Liam took it really hard. Jody and Jamie helped us get through the rough patches.”

“Do you miss Jamie at all?”

I looked at him funny. “Sometimes. We were together for so long it’s been a big adjustment learning how to live on my own. That doesn’t mean I’d change anything, though. I realize now that we’re very different people. Even though I’m not that happy with how it happened, I’m glad our relationship ended.” I kissed him. “Especially now that I have you.”

Ethan smiled. “You’re so sweet.” He ran his hand along my cheek. “I love you, Galen.” He burrowed into my side and held me tight. “It’s ok…you don’t have to say it back,” he whispered.

I sighed and leaned my cheek on the top of his head. The truth was that I did love Ethan. I think even then, I knew in my heart that I didn’t love him the way he loved me, though. I wasn’t sure what was worse; telling him I loved him or staying silent. I chose to stay silent and express my feelings for him in a different way.

Ethan shifted in my arms. I could feel the tension in him. I rubbed circles slowly on his back, and he gradually relaxed.

“Are you ready for bed?” I asked.

He nodded into my chest. We headed into my bedroom, locking an indignant Tigger out. Making love to my boyfriend while my cat watched was just creepy.

*****

I walked Buck into the ring just as Josh was finishing his previous lesson. He walked over to me and checked Buck’s girth.

“It needs to be tightened a couple of holes.”

“Ok.” I swung my leg to the front of the saddle and tightened the girth. “So what’s on the agenda for today?”

“I thought we’d do some work with cavaletti. I’d like to do some exercises to work on your balance, too.”

My lesson went really well until the end. I was starting to understand the concepts that Josh was teaching me, and my bond with Buck continued to grow. We jumped a crossrail a couple of times as a warm-up, then Josh rearranged the poles to create a small vertical jump about two feet high. It was higher than I was used to jumping.

“Don’t do anything different than you have been, Galen. Buck is capable of jumping much higher than this, although because of his age I don’t think we should jump him any higher than two feet.”

“Ok. Sounds good to me.”

I cantered Buck towards the vertical in my jumping position, and held onto his mane as he gathered himself and hopped over the small obstacle. He stumbled as he landed, and I fell over his shoulder onto the ground – hard.

“Galen!” Josh yelled, and ran over to me. Buck stood a few feet away with his right front leg held up. I stood up shakily.

“What happened?” I asked.

Josh was staring at Buck; his face devoid of color. He shook his head. “No… no…” he whispered. “Not again…”

I went to Buck, who immediately rubbed his head against me. I petted his neck, and looked at Josh, who was standing with a stricken look on his face. My heart froze as I realized that something was seriously wrong with my horse.

“Josh? What’s wrong with Buck? Why won’t he put his foot down?”

Josh remained staring into space.

“Josh!” I shouted. “Get the fuck over here, and help my horse!” Tears were forming in my eyes, and I blinked them away.

Josh looked at me, and walked over to Buck shakily. He ran his hand down his leg, and sighed in relief. “There are no obvious fractures, and nothing’s in his hoof. Try walking him forward a step. Sometimes they ding themselves and just need a minute to walk out of it.”

I tugged on Buck’s bridle and he took a tentative step forward. He limped, but bore weight on his leg.

“Walk him slowly into the barn and put him on the crossties. Don’t turn him around. Just walk him in a straight line, and stop him in the aisle. I’ll go call the vet.”

I nodded. It took us a while to reach the barn. When we did, Josh was waiting for us. He undid Buck’s bridle and put his halter on. I unsaddled him and put the tack away. When I returned, Josh was kneeling beside Buck, feeling his leg with both hands.

“The vet’s on his way. There’s a little bit of heat and swelling, so I’m guessing he just strained something.” He stood up. “I think he’ll be just fine, Galen.”

I nodded. I didn’t trust myself to speak. I started to groom Buck, and Josh walked over to me. He brushed some dirt off the back of my shirt.

“I didn’t even ask about you. Are you ok?”

I was too worried about Buck to even think about myself. “Yeah, I think so.”

“Well, you’ll probably be a bit sore over the next few days.” He smiled. “You’ve had your first fall. You’re a real rider, now.”

I laughed. “Good to know, although I never want to go through this ever again.”

“Falls and injuries are a part of riding. I’m afraid it won’t be your last.”

“I don’t mind if I get hurt. I don’t want Buck to get hurt. I hate seeing him like this.”

Josh nodded. “I know,” he whispered.

The vet arrived just as we finished grooming Buck. He ran his hands over his leg, pinching and prodding. He had me walk him down the barn aisle, then jog him outside. He pinched in several different spots and contorted Buck’s joints in ways that looked painful even without an injury. After one such poking/twisting, Buck trotted away limping very badly.

“Ok, that’s enough. It’s a mild strain of his suspensory. I don’t think there’s a fracture, but I can take x-rays to be sure. He’s very sound for his age. I think a short regimen of stall rest, bute, and cold hosing will have him back to normal in no time.”

I let out the breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. I threw my arms around Buck’s neck. “Thank God.”

The vet put his hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently. “Josh can show you everything you need to do.”

I nodded. “Thank you.”

We brought Buck back into the barn where the vet took a series of x-rays. “I’ll call you later tonight with the results.”

“Ok.”

“Send the bill to me, Jack. Galen and I will settle it from there.”

“Sounds good. Take care,” the vet said, then headed to his truck.

“You’re not paying his vet bill,” I said.

“No, I’ll just add it to your board bill.”

“Make sure you do.”

We took Buck outside, and Josh showed me where to let the cold water from the hose run on the injured leg. We stood in silence, watching the water run from Buck’s leg down to the ground.

“Do that for twenty more minutes. I’m going to head up to the house and start dinner. I’ll be back down when you’re done to wrap both his front legs. It’ll help keep the swelling down.”

“Ok.”

When Josh turned from me, I thought I saw tears in his eyes. He practically ran to the house. He returned about a half hour later. I had Buck in the barn on crossties and was drying off his leg gently. Josh wrapped both his front legs in thick cotton bandages and led him into his stall.

We walked to the house in silence, and I helped Josh finish dinner after I changed out of my barn clothes. It was obvious that something was bothering him.

We ate dinner mostly in silence. I filled Alannah in on what happened. Liam was on duty, so it was just the three of us. After dinner, I helped clear the table and dried the dishes as Josh washed them.

“I’m going to the barn to check on Buck and do night check,” said Josh, heading for the door.

“I’ll go with you.”

“No! I need to be alone right now, if you don’t mind.”

I started to protest, but Alannah shook her head.

“Ok. Let me know how he’s doing,” I said, but Josh was already out the door. Alannah took my arm and guided me into the living room.

“Have a seat, lad. I have something to show you.” Alannah headed up the stairs and returned a moment later carrying a large book. She hesitated, then handed it to me wordlessly.

I opened the book and gasped. It was a scrapbook that contained pictures and articles from newspapers and magazines outlining Josh’s show jumping career. He was a bit of a prodigy in his heyday. There were numerous pictures of him jumping very high fences and accepting ribbons and trophies. He looked so young. His hair was black instead of gray and he looked hot in his breeches and boots. He also looked happy. There were pictures of him on many different horses, but as I turned the pages one horse was predominantly featured in the articles. Blackjack. He was all black with a white blaze down the middle of his face. They were a very striking pair. There was page after page of pictures and articles about numerous competitions that they won. They were even picked to be on the US Olympic Team.

My hands started shaking when I read the headline of the last article in the book.

World Cup Tragedy and Triumph

Number one ranked show jumping superstar Joshua Riordan suffered a tragic loss at the World Cup Finals on Sunday. Heavily favored to win, Riordan was in first place on his German warmblood gelding, Blackjack, when the horse stumbled after the final jump. It was several strides before Riordan could pull him up, during which time they passed through the timers, sealing their victory. Once past the timers, Blackjack collapsed on top of Riordan. While the rider suffered only minor injuries, the horse had broken its leg upon landing, and was later euthanized due to the severity of the injury. Riordan has not returned our calls or issued a statement as of the time of this writing.

Tears were streaming down my cheeks as I looked at the picture that accompanied the article. It showed a smiling Josh standing next to Blackjack. No wonder he was so shook up about Buck.

“Where did you get that?”

Alannah and I both turned when we heard Josh’s terse voice.

“I found it in an old trunk when I cleaned out Adam’s room before he moved in,” she said softly.

Adam was Alannah’s adopted son. He came to live on the farm when he was fifteen, and he was in college now, studying for his MBA. He was spending the summer in Europe with a word-famous dressage trainer, so I hadn’t met him yet. Even though it was Alannah who formally adopted him, they really raised him together. They couldn’t adopt him together since they weren’t a couple, and they felt that Alannah had a better chance of getting the adoption approved.

Josh grabbed the book out of my hands and slammed it shut. He was trembling and his face was bright red. “You had no right!” he shouted. “How long have you known?”

“I knew who you were when I met you.”

“And you still let me coach you?”

“What happened wasn’t your fault, love.”

“She’s right, Josh. It was a freak accident, like what happened with Buck. There’s nothing you could have done.”

“You don’t know anything about it!” he yelled. “It’s bad enough that you hid this from me, Alannah, but I can’t believe that you showed it to Galen. Does Adam know?”

Alannah shook her head. “No. I’ve never told him.”

He shoved the book at her. “Put it away. I don’t want to see it.”

“You need to deal with it, love. You’ve been carrying this around for too long.”

“I don’t need you to tell me what I need.” He stalked into his bedroom and slammed the door. I stared after him in shock.

“He stopped riding after the accident. He wouldn’t talk to the media or anybody. He just up and left the profession. Apparently that’s when he moved to Europe and became a chef.”

“How did he end up here? It seems strange that he would run a horse farm after running away from them for so long. He coaches you in show jumping. How did that happen?”

“It wasn’t easy when I first moved here, believe me. It’s taken a long time to develop the relationship we have now. When me grandmother died, she left the farm to me and my cousin. Colleen wanted to sell, and I didn’t have the money to buy her out. Neither Josh nor I could stand the thought of losing the place. Josh saw me jumping Charlie one day and suggested I enter some competitions. It was very hard on him going back to that world. I managed to win enough to buy out Colleen, and was successful enough to be named to the United States Equestrian Team. Having Adam here helped. I think Adam reminded Josh of himself at that age.”

I nodded silently.

I left shortly after our conversation and called Ethan to tell him what happened. He was concerned enough to want to immediately come home, but I told him to stay with his family. It meant a lot to me that he was so concerned, though.

*****

I didn’t see Josh all week. I went to the barn every day to cold hose Buck and groom him. I was allowed to take him for a short walk every day, but he couldn’t be turned out in the pasture in case he bothered his injured leg. When I showed up for my lesson on Saturday, the barn was very quiet. Caroline entered the barn as I greeted Buck.

“Hi, Galen,” she said.

“Hey. Where’s Josh? I need to know who I’m riding for my lesson. I’m guessing Charlie, but I didn’t want to just assume.”

She looked at me funny. “He’s up at the house. He asked me to teach for him this weekend, but I don’t have you down for a lesson.”

I frowned. “I have a lesson every Saturday at two.”

“I know, but he didn’t have you on my list. It’s not a problem, Galen. Charlie is available, and I’m more than happy to teach you.”

“Why are you teaching Josh’s lessons?”

She shrugged. “He didn’t say. I just assumed he had a big deadline with the magazine. He hasn’t been around all week.”

“I think I know what’s going on. I’m going to head up to the house. Thanks for the offer to teach me, but I think it’s something that Josh needs to do.”

Caroline nodded. “The offer is good anytime, Galen.”

I smiled. “Thanks.”

I walked to the farmhouse and knocked on the door. No one answered, so I opened the door and walked into the kitchen.

“Josh?” There was no answer, so I walked across the kitchen into the living room. He wasn’t there, either. “Josh? Are you here?” I called out. Still no response. I walked to his bedroom and knocked on the door. “Are you in here, Josh?”

“Yeah, I’m here.”

I entered the room. He was dressed in sweats and a rumpled t-shirt. His hair was a mess, and he hadn’t shaved in days. He was seated at his desk in front of the computer.

“What’s going on? I have my lesson in a half hour. I need to know who to tack up, and you need a shower.” I wrinkled my nose.

“What are you talking about? You don’t have a lesson today; Buck’s injured.”

I looked at him incredulously. “Josh, you’re the one who told me I needed to ride other horses, remember? Just because Buck got injured doesn’t mean that I should stop riding.”

He winced and turned away from me. “Go away, Galen. I can’t teach you today.”

“Yes, you can.” I paused. “You can’t keep running away, Josh. You’re my instructor, and I paid for my lesson. Now get your ass out of this house, and do your job.”

“Have Caroline teach you. I have an article I need to finish.”

I snorted. “Bullshit. This is ridiculous, Josh. Buck isn’t Blackjack.”

Josh flinched as if I had struck him. “You need to leave, now.” His voice trembled when he spoke.

“I’m not going anywhere. Doesn’t Blackjack deserve better? He should be remembered and celebrated, not stuffed into a dusty corner and forgotten.”

“You don’t know anything about it,” he whispered.

“I know you well enough to know that you’re in pain and running away from it. I care about you too much to just let it go.”

Josh turned away from me and put his head in his hands. His body trembled from the strain of holding back his tears. I walked over to him and put my hand on his back. He turned and looked at me. The expression on his face was filled with so much pain that it brought tears to my own eyes. I hated seeing him like this. I held out my hand. “C’mon. Let’s talk.”

He took my hand and I led him into the living room where we both sat on the couch. “I don’t know if I can do this, Galen. It hurts so much.”

“I know. I’ve had my share of pain in my life, Josh. Sometimes the only way to get through it is to face it head on, no matter how much you don’t want to.”

He nodded. “I only had him for two years, but we were a great team. We won the World Cup our first year together. In fact, we were the first horse/rider pair to win consecutive World Cups.” His voice hitched. “I don’t even know who has the second trophy. Probably Patrick. He was my trainer when…” He swallowed. “When it happened. We were short-listed for the Olympic Team, too. Our partnership went beyond the show ring, though. I loved that horse. I took care of him every day. I –“ He broke down into wracking sobs, and I drew him into my arms. “The accident was my fault. I should have known that something was wrong… I should have stopped him before that jump. If I hadn’t let my ego get in the way, Blackjack would still be alive!” I held him tighter as he sobbed even harder into my chest and gathered my shirt into his fists.

“It wasn’t your fault, Josh. He took a bad step. There’s no way you could have prevented it. Let go of the guilt. It wasn’t your fault.”

I held him until he cried himself into exhaustion. He pushed away from me slowly, and I brushed his hair aside. “How do you feel?”

He exhaled slowly. “It still hurts, but I feel better. I’ve held his memory inside for so long. You’re right, though. He’s too special to just lock away in a moldy trunk.”

I nodded. “Why don’t you go get cleaned up and I’ll make dinner? Do you have anything planned?”

“Not really. There’s some ground beef in the fridge. I think Alannah was going to make shepherd’s pie.”

“Maybe I’ll try my hand at meatloaf.”

Josh smiled. “Sounds good. I won’t be too long, then I’ll be out to help you.” He hesitated at his door and turned toward me. “Thank you, Galen. I’m sorry I’ve been such a mess.”

I nodded. “Anytime.”

“You’re a good friend. I don’t deserve you.”

I frowned. “I wish you wouldn’t talk like that. You deserve nothing but the best in life, Josh. I mean that. You are a good friend to me, too.”

He nodded and closed the door.

I realize that I should have introduced Adam earlier in the story. I may change that at some point in the future, but for now I am leaving the story as written. I hope you enjoyed this chapter and getting a glimpse into Josh's history. Please leave a 'like' or review and let me know what you think. Thanks to Lisa and Cole for their input with this chapter. I am truly blessed to have such a great team to work with. :)

Copyright © 2018 Valkyrie; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

This chapter is so positive for Josh as he starts to let go of the tragedy of Blackjacks death, but the overall tone is still terribly ominous. I feel like I should be reading with one hand over my eyes. :unsure2:
I really love that I have no clue where you're going with this story, despite all the warnings.

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On 06/30/2015 11:44 AM, impunity said:

This chapter is so positive for Josh as he starts to let go of the tragedy of Blackjacks death, but the overall tone is still terribly ominous. I feel like I should be reading with one hand over my eyes. :unsure2:

I really love that I have no clue where you're going with this story, despite all the warnings.

Talking about Blackjack's accident is a huge step for Josh. I'm glad I'm able to keep you guessing. There's still a lot of story left. Thanks for the review. :)

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As a former rider, this chaptet really made me sad. To lose a horse, a friend and believe it's your fault... I feel so bad for Josh. It got me thinking maybe this is why he accepts his slightly weird relationship? He doesn't believe he deserves more? Or he's scared the ones he really loves will suffer? Good he could talk to Galen.

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…sex is not a substitute for love…my heart again break for Ethan; I supposed Galen's attitude of show 'it' equals 'say it' can be fairly true-to-life among guys in general, but what I have a harder time believing in is Ethan's passivity. Guys are not like girls, and they do not put their own self-worth in check waiting for validation from a loved one – whether it be a sexual partner, bf, spouse, or parent – so his attitude towards Galen seems a bit unrelatable to me. But then again, if I think of Ethan as simply a person overwhelmingly in love, and frightened about ruining it, then I can frame his attitude a little better.

 

With the scrapbook, I have to agree with Josh that it was rather underhanded to snoop the way she did, and then share it with Galen. In that confrontation scene – which was handled brilliantly, btw – Josh showed a lot more restraint that I think I would have, lol! And naturally, it all turned into cathartic impetus for Josh to tell Galen (and us readers!) what happened to Blackjack.

 

This was a very thought-provoking chapter, as they all have been. Good job.

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On 07/01/2015 05:32 PM, Puppilull said:

As a former rider, this chaptet really made me sad. To lose a horse, a friend and believe it's your fault... I feel so bad for Josh. It got me thinking maybe this is why he accepts his slightly weird relationship? He doesn't believe he deserves more? Or he's scared the ones he really loves will suffer? Good he could talk to Galen.

Blackjack's death deeply affected Josh in ways he's only beginning to realize. Thanks for the review.

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On 07/02/2015 12:20 PM, AC Benus said:

…sex is not a substitute for love…my heart again break for Ethan; I supposed Galen's attitude of show 'it' equals 'say it' can be fairly true-to-life among guys in general, but what I have a harder time believing in is Ethan's passivity. Guys are not like girls, and they do not put their own self-worth in check waiting for validation from a loved one – whether it be a sexual partner, bf, spouse, or parent – so his attitude towards Galen seems a bit unrelatable to me. But then again, if I think of Ethan as simply a person overwhelmingly in love, and frightened about ruining it, then I can frame his attitude a little better.

 

With the scrapbook, I have to agree with Josh that it was rather underhanded to snoop the way she did, and then share it with Galen. In that confrontation scene – which was handled brilliantly, btw – Josh showed a lot more restraint that I think I would have, lol! And naturally, it all turned into cathartic impetus for Josh to tell Galen (and us readers!) what happened to Blackjack.

 

This was a very thought-provoking chapter, as they all have been. Good job.

Thanks for a great review, AC. I hadn't envisioned Ethan to be so passive when I first conceived of him. Your comment about him being in love and afraid of losing Galen is pretty close. Ethan's past hasn't really been revealed yet, so that may hold some clues as to his behavior.

 

Alannah found the scrapbook when she was cleaning out the room for Adam to move in. She wasn't deliberately snooping. I don't blame Josh for being pissed, either. It may have been a bit underhanded, but I don't think Josh would have ever dealt with his feelings about the accident without being pushed into doing so. Thanks for reading. I always love reading your reviews. :)

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It's a good thing to get a feel for Josh's troubled past. And I can understand how he'd dodged his grief enough to have never dealt with it.
Adam may prove to be interesting--and I think you introduced him at the right time. His and Josh's history probably bring further insights to Josh.
As for Eathan? The more I read, the more I see a man so desperate for love, he'll do anything for it--even reading into Galen's behavior the potential for long term, when Galen's done nothing to support that concept. Eathan is just a little too needy, a little too emotional, a little too ... much. Almost obsessive with Galen. Kinda scary, actually.
You've done a great job of writing interesting characters/situations. More!

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On 07/08/2015 01:13 AM, Robert Rex said:

It's a good thing to get a feel for Josh's troubled past. And I can understand how he'd dodged his grief enough to have never dealt with it.

Adam may prove to be interesting--and I think you introduced him at the right time. His and Josh's history probably bring further insights to Josh.

As for Eathan? The more I read, the more I see a man so desperate for love, he'll do anything for it--even reading into Galen's behavior the potential for long term, when Galen's done nothing to support that concept. Eathan is just a little too needy, a little too emotional, a little too ... much. Almost obsessive with Galen. Kinda scary, actually.

You've done a great job of writing interesting characters/situations. More!

Thanks for the review, Robert. I'm glad you're still enjoying the story. :)

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I think if someone says they love you, and you can't say it back because you know you don't love them the way they need you to... then you should walk away. If I was Ethan, I would have. I certainly wouldn't have slept with Galen after that, as a substitute. That, to me, was very sad. You got me with the Blackjack story... but Josh should have faced this and been over this a long time ago, which just shows how stopgap a measure that Roger has been in his life. He's had no real partner for way too long. I see Galen and Josh getting closer now... bye bye Ethan. Great chapter, Val... it really made me think... cheers... Gary

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On 07/23/2015 01:13 AM, Headstall said:

I think if someone says they love you, and you can't say it back because you know you don't love them the way they need you to... then you should walk away. If I was Ethan, I would have. I certainly wouldn't have slept with Galen after that, as a substitute. That, to me, was very sad. You got me with the Blackjack story... but Josh should have faced this and been over this a long time ago, which just shows how stopgap a measure that Roger has been in his life. He's had no real partner for way too long. I see Galen and Josh getting closer now... bye bye Ethan. Great chapter, Val... it really made me think... cheers... Gary

Thanks. Josh is finally facing some of his demons. We'll see where it leads. I'm glad you liked it. :)

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Josh is chocolate, Galen vanilla and Ethan is caramel. Put in a tub and stir-just once or twice, mind! And you end up with this story, sweet but a tangled mess.

 

Nice, Val!

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On 04/29/2016 01:38 PM, Mikiesboy said:

Josh is chocolate, Galen vanilla and Ethan is caramel. Put in a tub and stir-just once or twice, mind! And you end up with this story, sweet but a tangled mess.

 

Nice, Val!

I love your description of this story! Yes, a tangled mess indeed. I'm glad you're enjoying it. Thanks so much for reading and all the reviews :)

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Galen cant say I love you to Ethan, If I were Ethan I would say after all this time bye bye. But I don't think Ethan is anything but insecure and needy. Which is very sad

since I think he has much to offer to any partner. And I can only see him getting dumped at some point.

I loved the 'Blackjack part wonder and once again shows Josh as a total nut bag. We can only hope Galen got thought to him.

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On 7/5/2017 at 2:06 PM, Albert1434 said:

Galen cant say I love you to Ethan, If I were Ethan I would say after all this time bye bye. But I don't think Ethan is anything but insecure and needy. Which is very sad

since I think he has much to offer to any partner. And I can only see him getting dumped at some point.

I loved the 'Blackjack part wonder and once again shows Josh as a total nut bag. We can only hope Galen got thought to him.

Ethan, Galen, Josh... they all have their issues, that's for sure.  This was a huge step for Josh, since he's always repressed his feelings instead of letting them out.  We'll see what the result is.  Thanks for your comments! :) 

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Alannah wasn't snooping when she found the scrapbook, but sharing it with Galen was kinda iffy.  Josh is very private about his past, but I think talking about Blackjack was very good for him.  

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50 minutes ago, CassieQ said:

Alannah wasn't snooping when she found the scrapbook, but sharing it with Galen was kinda iffy.  Josh is very private about his past, but I think talking about Blackjack was very good for him.  

Talking about Blackjack was a huge step for Josh.  Thanks for the comment. :)

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8 hours ago, aditus said:

Josh likes to repress stuff, huh? Let's see if the talk with Galen helped.

I think if you look up "repressed" in the dictionary, you'll find Josh's picture.  

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