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    Wayne Gray
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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.

Fleeting Eternity - 17. Last Wishes

It was early Saturday morning, just after five a.m. Kent sat on the edge of the bed. The vibration of his phone had just awakened him, and he picked it up. He read the message from Nate.

'Hey. We wanted to let you guys know we lost him last night. It was peaceful. Thanks for making the signing go so well for him, Kent. Please tell Stanley how much we appreciate his help with the formatting. I'd have never finished it by myself in time. We'll never forget what you guys did.'

Kent sighed heavily. They had barely gotten to know Tad. Yet, though their time with Tad had been short, people like him were rare and his impact had been tremendous. Kent typed out a reply.

'I'm so sorry, Nate. He was an awesome guy. I'm honored to have met him. I'll let Stanley know.' Kent sent the message.

Stanley moved in the blankets on the bed. "Sir?" He sat up, and Kent looked over his shoulder at his small man. Stanley was still trying to wake up, but it seemed that he could sense there was something amiss in Kent's manner. "What's wrong?"

Kent turned and folded his legs under himself on the bed. He gently took his boy's hands in his own. Kent tried to find the right thing to say, the best way to be as direct but as gentle as possible. Ultimately, he decided that there was no gentle way to say it. "Tad's gone." Kent said the words in a low whisper. Stanley's face fell and he began to frown with emotion. Kent smiled sadly at him, and he pulled on Stanley. "Come here, boy."

Stanley leaned into Kent, who held him while Stanley quietly cried. Kent drew strength from Stanley's need for him and right now, the need was great. Those were the moments Kent felt the duty of his role, the requirement for calm and security that Stanley needed.

"It's all right, boy." Kent squeezed him, and he thought about something positive that they could do. "I'm here until you're ready. Once you are, we need to get busy."

Stanley raised his head and wiped his face. "What? What are we doing?"

A strange sensation flickered in Kent's belly when Stanley spoke, but he didn't quite know the cause. Kent frowned unconsciously. "We're going to go get stuff to make meals for them. Casseroles, lasagna, maybe a stew. Stuff they can freeze and thaw out later. They're going to be really busy, tired, and drained. They need to not worry about food, and that's how we can help - at least a little."

Stanley smiled. "That's so sweet, Sir." He nodded and sniffed. "Let's do it."

A cool flood of understanding flowed through Kent. 'He didn't call me 'Sir' earlier. It felt weird. It felt wrong.' Kent wet his lips. He didn't realize that he needed to hear that word so much from Stanley. Kent wasn't sure if he liked requiring that acknowledgment. That need gave Stanley a form of power over him - it was subtle, but Kent felt it.

They hadn't taken the big step of collaring, so they were still testing the water and feeling things out with one another. Kent had done a little research and some poking around on various forums and online. At first, he didn't know if that was what he wanted. Because it would mean that so long as he never violated Stanley's trust, Kent would be in charge. It was power coupled with responsibility. Stanley would entrust Kent to lead their relationship, both in and outside the bedroom. He would trust Kent with much of their lives. Yet Kent realized that it also meant Stanley had his own power.

Kent didn't know if that was what Stanley truly desired, but as the two got ready for their day, he tried to figure himself out and decide on what it was that he needed.

They finished with their shower, dressed, and Stanley picked up his keys. They were by the door and his boy looked at him. "Ready, Sir?"

Kent smiled slightly and nodded. Stanley paused. He could sense Kent's turmoil and Kent knew that made Stanley nervous. Kent straightened and forced a confident tone into his voice. "Well, let's go, boy." Stanley jerked into action and they left the little house.

'I have to decide.' Kent got into Stanley's vehicle, continuing to brood. 'I can't leave things this way. I need to decide.' Both his own looming choice and the loss of their friend weighed on him, but Kent felt that he needed to keep his emotions controlled, for Stanley's sake.

Stanley drove them to the store. Once there, Kent focused on something other than the choice that would not only affect the rest of his life, but Stanley's too.

"Markus! Markus, open the fucking door!" Shane's voice outside and his pounding woke Markus. He had fallen asleep on his couch, the book on his chest. He had no idea what time it was, but he saw sunlight streaming through the windows.

He got up, still dressed in his wrinkled clothes from yesterday, and stepped over to the door.

"Fuck! Fuck! Where's our key? Where's our key!?" Shane's voice rang with panic from the other side of the door, and now Markus heard Heather say something back to him.

Markus unlocked the door and opened it, sleepy and confused at the ruckus. Shane stood there, his copy of Markus's key in hand, frozen in place. "What?" Markus blinked in the sunlight of the morning.

"You're alive," Shane whispered, and he stepped into Markus. He hugged the still-foggy man in a tight embrace. "Fuck, you're alive. Thank God."

Heather held a sleeping Iver in her arms, and she sighed with relief. Shane still squeezed him. "You fucking scared me." Shane shook his head against Markus. "We got your email when we woke up this morning. We thought you were gone. I thought," Shane swallowed the lump in his throat, "I thought I'd killed you. I thought I'd killed my best friend."

Markus suddenly remembered the email. "Oh no." He put his arms around Shane. "I'm sorry. I forgot to delete it last night. Shit."

Shane squeezed him hard. After a moment, he finally let go and wiped his face. Then he pointed at Markus. "None of this suicide horseshit." Markus could see the worry and guilt on his face.

"Yes, curse and demand things of him, that's the way." Heather scowled at her husband then stepped inside the apartment next to Markus. She smiled gently at him. "We're thrilled you're okay, Markus." She reached out and put a hand gently on his shoulder. "Are you okay? Really?"

Markus shrugged. "I've got an appointment on Monday. I'm going to go see someone, a counselor. They wanted me to go to the hospital, the people on the phone, but I know I can wait. I can now." He looked gratefully at Heather. "That last book, it helped." He smiled. "Thank you."

Heather bit her lip and hugged him awkwardly, the baby asleep in one arm.

Shane eyed them as the hug drew on. "I'd be worried," he snorted, pleased with himself before he could even finish, "but I guess I don't have to be."

Markus chuckled while Heather pulled back and made an indignant sound. "Really? Gay jokes? Already?"

Markus smirked as Shane threw up his hands in defense. As Heather lit into her husband, Markus took a calming breath.

'Yeah. I'll be okay.'

Nate and Christopher lay curled up on their bed. Tad's pillow was between them, and they both had their arms around it.

A few people had come through the apartment. The coroner had come and taken Tad's body away. Miranda and David had stayed for a time with them, and they had drawn on one another for strength.

Now they were alone, and in a way Nate was relieved. All he wanted to do was smell Tad's fading scent on the pillow, gently love on his Bear, and cry for the loss of the man that they adored.

Kali jumped onto the bed and walked up between them. The little black cat got to the pillow, circled in the gap where their arms lay, and lay down.

Nate stroked her soft, dark fur. As he did, he looked past her at Christopher. His handsome, bearded lover's eyes were open and unfocused. They had cried so much, though Nate knew there was plenty more of that in store for them.

A quiet knock on the door roused Nate. He robotically got up and shuffled over to it while Christopher stood and followed him. Chris put a hand on his shoulder as Nate opened the door.

"Hi, guys," Kent said over the three disposable aluminum baking trays in his arms. Stanley was behind him, and he carried a box of something too. Both men were somber and Stanley's eyes were red.

Nate attempted to smile. "Hey." He stood aside. "Come in."

They did and as the pair walked past them into the living room Nate caught the smell of food. "Ah, guys, what'd you do?"

Kent moved confidently into the kitchen and Stanley followed in his wake. The stocky man put his trays on the counter and turned. "We're just making sure you don't have worry about feeding yourselves." He nodded at the trays. "There's lasagna, enchiladas, and a shepherd's pie." Stanley put his load on the counter beside the trays. "Then there's some one-gallon freezer bags of beef stew in the box."

Nate tried to thank them. Instead, his words caught in his throat. He closed his eyes and sagged forward. The pain of their loss felt like a physical blow and he couldn't do anything but stand there and suffer.

Chris drew him in and hugged him close, silent tears in his eyes. They clung to one another.

A few moments passed, and then Stanley joined them, his arms around both men. "I'm so sorry, guys." The skinny man's voice was thick with his own sadness and empathy.

Kent had walked with Stanley, and his warm hands rubbed both Chris's and Nate's backs. Kent's face showed his concern for his friends and he was quietly supportive. Any other time, Nate would have focused on it because it was a display of stolidness and calm Nate never knew Kent possessed.

All Nate could do was hang on. His insides felt hollow, like the only thing keeping him from crumpling in on himself were the men around him.

Nate took a shaky breath. "Thank you." He hadn't known that he needed his friends so much until they had arrived. Stanley and Kent both quietly nodded in response.

"Nate, come on. You need to eat," Christopher murmured softly in the space of their cluster of heads and bodies. "You've not had anything all day. Come on. Let's sit with the guys and eat something."

The redhead let Christopher lead him into the kitchen while Stanley and Kent got plates ready and put them on the table.

Stanley portioned out some of the lasagna, and they all sat. Christopher pulled right up next to Nate and the redhead leaned over against him.

Chris cut bites and fed both himself and Nate. Stanley and Kent talked to Chris about the scheduled viewing for Tad and then his funeral too.

They finished their meal and Stanley stood, gathered dishes, and began to clean up. Kent got up and smiled at Stanley's back, then his eyes came back to Christopher and Nate. "We'll get out of your guys' hair. If you need anything, let us know."

Christopher rose and embraced Kent. "Thanks, both of you. This really helps - the food. The company was nice too."

Stanley finished at the sink and Nate made himself stand up. He stepped over and gave each of the men a hug. "We'll see you guys later next week at the viewing." They nodded and patted Nate's back, then Chris and Nate bid them goodbye.

What they were going through was awful, but Nate felt a little better knowing that he and Bear had their friends. As they were leaving, Nate cleared his throat. "Hey." They turned to look at him. "I'm happy we know you guys." Fresh tears somehow appeared, though Nate thought there was no way he could cry anymore. "Thanks."

They embraced Nate once again and Chris rubbed his back. As Nate stood and let them support and buoy him, he knew things would be hard.

It would be hard, but they'd make it.

'We'll make it together.'

The viewing and the funeral were so tough. Christopher didn't know if he could do it, but Nate was torn up. So Chris stood beside him, held his man in his arms, and tried to be strong enough for them both.

Their friends helped immensely. Christopher had been saddened that more people weren't there for Tad's viewing. It was only himself, Nate, David, and Miranda, but then something amazing happened.

Kent and Stanley walked through the doors and everyone who had bought a book at Tad's signing filed in behind them. Thirty young gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans students came into the room, each holding Tad's book. As they watched, Kent looked like a general leading his troop of young people to pay their respects. They all knew it was his doing. They were there because of Kent.

Christopher tried so hard to be the stoic man he felt Nate needed, but that moment wrecked him. He released so much emotion, pain, and guilt at leaving Tad in those hours. In the end, Nate had to be the strong one for him.

It was terrible, healing, and something he would never forget. He vowed that he'd never forget.

It had been two weeks since the funeral. It was now the first days of April, and Chris and Nate had been busy.

They had both been shocked to find out Tad had kept up his life insurance policy from his college days. He had kept the plan since it was such a small monthly payment because he was young, healthy, and a tiny risk to the insurance company. Once diagnosed with the tumor, there was no way to add to the insurance, but the company couldn't take away his coverage, or raise his rates. Miranda was stunned to receive $50,000 from the payout, and the remaining $100,000 went to Christopher. Additionally, Tad left everything he owned to Chris, including the rights to his art, and their kitty, Kali.

Now, they worked on a plan.

"How much per book, if we buy," Christopher bit his lip, "uh, a thousand?"

Nate sat at Tad's desk, entered the number into the computer, and he watched as the print-on-demand publisher recalculated the cost per book. He grinned at the new amount. "It dropped from twenty-two fifty to seventeen sixty-five." Nate looked at Chris, and he slowly nodded. "Let's do it. Let's just pull this trigger and do it. We can price the books at twenty-five, even, and make a decent profit. It'd be self-sustaining if we reinvested in printing more."

Christopher looked thoughtfully at Nate. "How about twenty-six?" He smiled at Nate's frown. "Tad's age."

Nate made a noise of understanding, and he nodded. "Okay. That sounds good. It's still a great price for the work." He stood up, then the men embraced. Chris was warm and Nate felt secure in those arms. "I love you, Bear."

"I love you, Nate."

They breathed quietly in the living room of their apartment. Nate smiled against Chris's chest. "We're doing it. We're making sure he lives on."

"We are." Christopher pushed back to look at him. "Do you think I'm crazy, spending all this money on the books?"

Nate shook his head. "No. No, we promised, and this is something we need to do." Nate reached up and put a hand on the back of Chris's neck. "I'm with you on this, every step of the way. Okay?"

Chris grinned at Nate. It was the first time the redhead had seen a genuinely happy smile from him since Tad died. "Okay, Nate. Thanks."

They got back to the task, and soon a massive shipment was on the way to Miranda's house. She and David had storage available in their garage and they were willing to host the stock of books for the men's enterprise.

Nate looked over a notepad on the desk. "Okay, one of the kids from the QSU that Kent knows works at the campus bookstore, and they are going to see if the store will carry it. We've got all of the local bookstores waiting on stock." Nate frowned in confusion. "Weirdly, there have been a few Lulu orders from Amarillo, Texas. Looks like mental health and counseling practices are buying them here and there." He shook his head. "Every bit helps, I guess."

"Yeah. We don't have to supply the world. People can order from Lulu directly instead." Christopher put a warm hand on Nate's back. "These thousand are to get it out there, so people lay eyes on it. So they can hold it, and spread the word."

He looked up at Chris. Nate was proud of what they were doing, and he could tell that Christopher was too. "I'm glad we're doing this." Nate took his hands, and he rubbed his thumbs against Chris's skin as he held them. "I think Tad would have been thrilled."

Chris's smile was almost all joyful, with only a hint of sadness. "Me too." He hugged Nate close. "Me too, Nate."

Another week passed, and Stanley had big plans for the night. He'd made reservations at Larrupin for Kent and himself and they had just arrived at the restaurant.

Kent smiled at him as he held the door. Stanley nodded, and he tried to hide his nervousness. "Thank you, Sir."

"You're welcome, boy." Kent's voice was low, so as not to embarrass Stanley. Though there was no need for that. Stanley was past caring what others thought of them.

They followed a young, attractive man upstairs, and they sat on comfortable, padded chairs.

Stanley had done a lot of thinking. The loss of Tad a month ago had hit him hard, but it wasn't only the loss itself that made Stanley so emotional. His death was a reminder of mortality, and of how uncertain life could be. It was a reason to think about what Stanley really needed. Kent sat across from him, and his green eyes caught the candle-flame on the table just so. He looked handsome, rugged, and he was everything Stanley could want in a lover. He had come to realize that Kent was everything he could want in life.

The way Kent had stepped up for both Stanley and their friends over the last month amazed him. Kent was far more confident than he had been just two months ago. He had a self-assurance, a certainty, and an aura of competence now. Kent was someone Stanley knew he could depend on. More, he was someone Stanley could trust.

"This place is nice." Kent smiled, and Stanley felt his breath quicken. Kent turned his head, and he glanced over the room. "Really romantic - the lighting, paintings, and the tables." He made a face at the menu. "Expensive too. You should let me split it with you."

Stanley's hands shook and he clasped them together under the table. "I, ah, I'm glad you like it, Sir. And please, no, this one's on me. It has to be on me."

Kent frowned, though his face still showed his affection. "'Has to be?' What does that mean?"

Stanley looked down at the table, and he gathered his resolve. He took a deep breath. "Sir, it means," his hands shook anew, but they were steady enough, "that I have a question." He drew out the slim, stainless steel chain and he held it tight in his fist, while his other hand held the key to the tiny padlock that bound the ends together. "If, if this is out of line, and we're not where I think we are, then I'll return it."

Stanley raised his eyes, and he watched Kent. Kent gazed down at the chain, which dangled out of Stanley's fist. Stanley watched as Kent swallowed and reached slowly across the table. Kent's fingers gingerly gathered the links that were exposed. He rubbed them between his fingers and the shiny chain glittered in the light.

Stanley stared at Kent's eyes. They had lost focus, then he blinked. Kent looked up at Stanley, and he reached a little further. His hand closed over Stanley's. "You want to do this? With me? You trust yourself to me? You want to be my boy?"

Kent's gaze was all-consuming, and it was impossible for Stanley to look away. "Yes. Yes, Sir."

Kent bit his lip, then he looked down at Stanley's hand. Kent gently opened his fingers and took the chain with the sturdy little lock. Then he took the key as well, and he stood up. Stanley sat very still, chills riding in waves over his skin. He heard the lock open as the key was fitted and the chain fell open. Kent's hands draped the chain around Stanley's neck. "When I close this lock, then the key stays with me, and only I can open it." Kent's hands waited, the lock in his hand, and the chain ends around the open shackle. "Is that really what you want? Do you trust me with this gift? You will let me lay claim to you?"

Stanley turned his head and looked up at him. "Yes, Sir. If you want it."

Kent stared down at him. The rest of the restaurant was forgotten by both of them. "I want it." The lock snapped shut, and the chain tightened slightly. Stanley's hand instinctively went to his throat. He could get three fingers under the chain, but no more. He grinned, and he stood up.

Stanley and Kent stood toe to toe, and Kent looked with a dreamy expression at the perfect stainless steel lock just under Stanley’s Adam's Apple.

He knew that they'd need to do things a little more formally later. It was essential to Stanley, to stand before friends for their union. To show their commitment among those who cared for them was a sort of social contract - one that would bind them even closer. For now, Stanley contented himself with the diners around the four occupied tables upstairs, who looked at them with confused expressions.

Kent's eyes came up, and he stared into Stanley's. Stanley felt a pull to him, like a force of nature, and leaned in.

Kent clicked his tongue, and Stanley stopped, only a couple of inches away. He could feel the heat from Kent's skin on his lips. Kent slowly smiled, then he reached, slipped a single finger under the chain, and he pulled Stanley to himself.

Stanley closed his eyes as they kissed. Now, a little of what was happening sank in for their audience. Most of them smiled, though one couple got up and left. As they walked by, Kent gazed at the man of the couple until the fellow dropped his judgmental eyes to the floor.

After they had gone, Kent patted the side of Stanley's face. "Sit down, boy. Let's order."

They both took their seats, and Stanley's hand again touched the lock. Kent eyed him. It was easy to see how thrilled and happy Stanley was, but that wasn't enough for him. "You've made this boy happy, Sir." Stanley tried to hold himself together. That Kent believed enough in him to agree to collaring... it was overwhelming.

Kent swallowed. Even during their mourning for Tad, Kent hadn't allowed Stanley to see him cry. He was reasonably sure it happened, but Kent never showed it. Now, a tear silently tracked down Kent's face. He blinked and more followed. Kent cleared his throat. "I'm glad, boy."

The way he said the word, "boy", it was everything. It was a promise of their respective roles, and Stanley was ready.

'Finally.' Stanley grinned at Kent as the man wiped his face. 'I have my Sir. Finally.'

* Kent and Stanley get the news concerning Tad. It forces Kent to think about his own life, and what he wants out of it
* Shane and Heather show up and find a still-alive Markus. They're both relieved - and Shane was jarred by the realization of how close Markus came to ending his life
* Nate and Christopher deal with the pain of their loss, and they get a visit from Stanley and Kent
* Kent makes sure Tad's passing is known and that there are people there to show their respects to the talented young man. Christopher and Nate are grateful
* Nate and Chris buy a load of Tad's books, and they work to a plan to get them into the local stores
* Stanley asks Kent an important question

There it is. Everything marches on... and, for once, it's all in a positive direction. Thanks for reading. There's more to come on Wednesday.

Copyright © 2019 Wayne Gray; 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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Chapter Comments



8 minutes ago, Thorn Wilde said:

Life goes on. Slowly at first, it takes time, but it goes on. And that's a beautiful and comforting thing.

Thanks, Thorn.

Yeah... it's a slow, cyclic kind of recovery.  Two steps forward, one back.  Until, eventually we can think of the happy times again with little of the pain.  They're on the way.

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15 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

Life goes on. Out of sadness comes happiness.

Little by little and piece by piece.  They're getting there.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Chris.

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1 hour ago, Petey said:

You’ve captured the raw emotions beautifully, I remember how incredibly devastated I felt after my husband died, yet life went on and the painful recollections have become cherished memories . Nate and Chris are so lucky to have each other, each having strength  when the other needed it. 

Tad’s legacy lives on ❤️ In his book.

Are we going to find out what his last urgent project was?

 

Thanks for the comment, Petey.

Chapters 16 and 17 were pretty tough to write.  There's a lot of emotion, and just... the aching you feel from it.  You're right, Nate and Chris are very lucky to have one another in this time.  One stands when the other needs to be carried.

That book.  🙂  Yes, Tad does indeed go on.

Oh, you don't think I'd do that to you, now?  We'll find out what that project was - not to worry there.  More to come on Wednesday.

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49 minutes ago, iMarme said:

I know there's more still, but I really hope Kent and Stanley get their own book focused on just them. I love them so much

 

While my heart still hurts for Tad, I know Nate and Chris will be okay. 

 

I really appreciate your writing.  

Thanks for reading and commenting, iMarme.

I'm happy that Kent and Stanley have fans.  So many don't understand them (even some of those who have liked this story find their relationship strange, and foreign), so I'm glad you enjoy watching them progress and grow.

Chris and Nate will be okay.  They've got each other, and that's huge.

I appreciate your readership.  There's more to come.

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yes life does on and it is good that there is a plan for tad’s book :)

great : Shane deserved to be scared to 💩 ! that was a great moment !

now what for the 2 last chapters ? tears or laughings ? 

wayne, you should extend it to 26 chapters (tad’s age :) )

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6 minutes ago, Danilo Syrtis said:

yes life does on and it is good that there is a plan for tad’s book :)

great : Shane deserved to be scared to 💩 ! that was a great moment !

now what for the 2 last chapters ? tears or laughings ? 

wayne, you should extend it to 26 chapters (tad’s age :) )

Hehehe.  Yeah, Shane got a hell of a scare.  You're right - he TOTALLY deserved that.

The last two chapters will have a lot of emotion.  I'll leave that right there.  🙂

As for more chapters... omg, no.  I have too many projects already.  Though, I'm glad you want more of it.

Thanks for reading and commenting.  More to come on Wednesday!

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5 hours ago, Wayne Gray said:

Little by little and piece by piece.  They're getting there.

Sometimes, that is the only way forward.

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5 hours ago, Fae Briona said:

Sometimes, that is the only way forward.

Yes.  A day at a time, a moment at a time.  Until we're able to see the sun again.

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Another great and significant chapter!!  Time, which had come to a virtual crawl, begins to more forward once again.

Chris and, Nate manage to support one another and with the help of their "village" navigate the process of honoring Tad and continue to assure his on-going legacy..

Kent and Stanley reach the milestone of acknowledging and locking their relationship in public.   This constitutes a huge step for a non-mainstream same gender couple.

Shane pretty much stepped up and came to the aid of Marcus.   Truth be told, I had serious doubts he would rise to the occasion.  Maybe it was motivated by a combination of Heather's good counsel and having the mortal crap scared out of him.  Regardless, I feel more positive about Marcus finding his way forward with the example of Tad's book, some support, and counselling.

Very well done buddy!!  Thanks for allowing us on all their journeys.

Tom

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1 hour ago, Hawgdad said:

Another great and significant chapter!!  Time, which had come to a virtual crawl, begins to more forward once again.

Chris and, Nate manage to support one another and with the help of their "village" navigate the process of honoring Tad and continue to assure his on-going legacy..

Kent and Stanley reach the milestone of acknowledging and locking their relationship in public.   This constitutes a huge step for a non-mainstream same gender couple.

Shane pretty much stepped up and came to the aid of Marcus.   Truth be told, I had serious doubts he would rise to the occasion.  Maybe it was motivated by a combination of Heather's good counsel and having the mortal crap scared out of him.  Regardless, I feel more positive about Marcus finding his way forward with the example of Tad's book, some support, and counselling.

Very well done buddy!!  Thanks for allowing us on all their journeys.

Tom

Thanks, Tom!

Yes... we spent chapters and chapters locked in the span of a couple of weeks.  But now things and life all move forward.

Christopher and Nate had the wagons circled around them, thanks in large part to Kent who has turned into this confident powerhouse of a friend.

Though, it was Stanley who took the leap... took the risk, buying the collar... presenting it to Kent.

Shane may not have quite redeemed himself, but he's trying.  He had a week to think about things... and then when that email came he was horrified at what his treatment of Markus may have done.  Markus is on the path - on the way to better things.

There's more on Wednesday.  It's a rather big chapter, actually.  🙂  See you then.

Edited by Wayne Gray
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I have really enjoyed experiencing Nate and Stanley's journey.  It is refreshing seeing them consider and take steps out of order from the old established protocols for Sir / boy relationships because it is what works for them.  The process still works...  sometimes it just needs a little adaptation.

Tom

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The title for this chapter is perfect. Tad’s wishes for his lovers, his friends, and for the world are realized. Stanley and Kent’s collaring was beautifully told; yet it Markus’ waking to a new world that made me smile most. Exactly as Tad wanted. 

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35 minutes ago, Hawgdad said:

I have really enjoyed experiencing Nate and Stanley's journey.  It is refreshing seeing them consider and take steps out of order from the old established protocols for Sir / boy relationships because it is what works for them.  The process still works...  sometimes it just needs a little adaptation.

Tom

You probably mean Kent and Stanley.  But Nate has come a long way too.  🙂

I've often referred to Stanley's process with Kent as "build-a-Dom".  I know that's a funny way to put it, but it's also pretty much what is happening.  Though at this point, Kent is decidedly his own man, and he truly is the Dominant force in their lives.  Stanley would have it no other way.

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13 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

The title for this chapter is perfect. Tad’s wishes for his lovers, his friends, and for the world are realized. Stanley and Kent’s collaring was beautifully told; yet it Markus’ waking to a new world that made me smile most. Exactly as Tad wanted. 

Thanks, Parker.

Tad had known for months that his time was limited.  He began setting things in motion as early as he could so that he'd have a lasting impact on the world.

That scene... with Stanley and Kent.  I could feel both sides of that coin, and writing them has brought a greater understanding of D/s.  For that alone, I'm glad that I included them in the story.

Markus, yes.  First, he woke up; that was victory number one.  Second, he had already decided that he was going to figure out a way to live with himself.  Having Shane and Heather there for him was icing on that cake, but thanks to Tad, he had already decided that he would live.

I think that Tad would have been proud of that.

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2 hours ago, Wayne Gray said:

You probably mean Kent and Stanley.  But Nate has come a long way too.  🙂

I've often referred to Stanley's process with Kent as "build-a-Dom".  I know that's a funny way to put it, but it's also pretty much what is happening.  Though at this point, Kent is decidedly his own man, and he truly is the Dominant force in their lives.  Stanley would have it no other way.

Yes, I meant Kent (DUH)...  "Build-a-Dom", I like that.  I like to think that Stanley "saw" the Dom potential in Kent, and just went to work educating him.  That may not be right from the Old Guard Playbook, but I would be willing to bet that Kent and Stanley aren't the first D / s couple to come about in that manner.    

Oh wait what am I thinking???  That's similar to "One Among Many: The seduction and training of a leatherman" from Leatherfolk, ed. Mark Thompson.  If you haven't read that, you certainly should.  Can't believe I forgot that story.

Tom

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It will take time, but Kent and Stanley, and Nate and Chris will be OK. They have each other for comfort and love. Your writing was beautiful and made this chapter heartwarming and tender. And thanks for Markus and Shane. It resolved much better than I expected. To a large extent due to Tad's book. I can't wait to see what impact is will have on a wider audience. Thanks. 

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1 minute ago, JeffreyL said:

It will take time, but Kent and Stanley, and Nate and Chris will be OK. They have each other for comfort and love. Your writing was beautiful and made this chapter heartwarming and tender. And thanks for Markus and Shane. It resolved much better than I expected. To a large extent due to Tad's book. I can't wait to see what impact is will have on a wider audience. Thanks. 

Time and love, that's what they all need.  And they will be okay.

Thank you for the great words - I appreciate that.

The next chapter is a huge one in terms of what sort of impact the book has.  That one drops on Wednesday, so stick around.  We've two chapters left to go.

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3 hours ago, Wayne Gray said:

You probably mean Kent and Stanley.  But Nate has come a long way too.  🙂

I've often referred to Stanley's process with Kent as "build-a-Dom".  I know that's a funny way to put it, but it's also pretty much what is happening.  Though at this point, Kent is decidedly his own man, and he truly is the Dominant force in their lives.  Stanley would have it no other way.

This actually happened to a friend of mine... His girlfriend wanted a Dom, now he is one, lol!

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2 minutes ago, Thorn Wilde said:

This actually happened to a friend of mine... His girlfriend wanted a Dom, now he is one, lol!

Hey, why not?  If everyone is game, make it happen!

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11 hours ago, Bft said:

I am glad that I had tissues close by

This story is, by far the most emotional thing I've ever written.

I don't write death into my stories without careful thought. I ask myself if there's a way to tell the story without it. In this case there wasn't. The story is about legacy, and how the things we do now will go on long after we're gone. It didn't make Tad's death easier, but I hope it gave his life meaning.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

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