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    Wayne Gray
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  • 4,144 Words
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 - 18. Connections

The day was stunning with sunshine on the beach. Yet there was mist out on the water of Humboldt Bay, and up in the hills to the east. It was now mid-August, with warm temperatures, and Kent couldn't have asked for better weather.

The waves behind him crashed in a low, rhythmic roar, stirred up due to a storm far out to sea. The swells gave the whole beach an invigorating and primal feel as they thundered against the sand and rock. Thanks to the sea pounding the rocks, the smell of the ocean permeated everything around the small group gathered beside the water.

Kent wore a suit, but instead of a jacket, a handsome leather vest graced his torso. Tucked into the pocket was a precious treasure, one he would use soon.

His boy Stanley stood six paces away, and they faced one another. Kent ran his eyes over him, feeling a thrill of anticipation. He wore the very first thing that Kent had seen him in - his blue mechanic jumper from work. Kent would forever remember that moment, and when Stanley asked what his Sir wanted him to wear, that was Kent's immediate response.

Nate and Christopher looked on with smiles. The pair were the only ones that both Stanley and Kent wanted to witness the ceremony. They were the only ones who didn't judge them. They didn't exactly understand, but they realized this was good for both Kent and Stanley. Their acceptance was enough.

Kent straightened his spine, and his chin came up. He was ready. "Come here."

Stanley walked through the wet, packed sand. He stood before Kent, looked into his eyes for a moment, then he knelt, unprompted, at his feet.

Kent reached into his pocket and withdrew the chain with its lock. It was the same design as the one Stanley had bought for their dinner at Larrupin a few months back, but this chain was made of silver. It cost Kent a pretty penny, and that was a part of it for him. He wanted to scrimp and save for the chain. That was important to him - to sacrifice for Stanley in that way. They were using the same stainless steel lock that Stanley had already purchased. It was a perfect size, and something Stanley enjoyed wearing. Kent wanted his boy to be comfortable with what would be the symbol of their relationship.

"Stanley." Kent said the name and Stanley shivered as Kent looked down at him. "I swear to protect you. I swear to provide the best that I can for Us. I swear that if I step off of the path, I will return." He knelt and put the chain around Stanley's neck. Stanley's pupils were slightly dilated, and he breathed rapid shallow breaths as Kent's fingers found the open shackle of the lock. "I swear," Kent's voice became a hushed whisper, "to be your Sir."

Stanley raised his eyes to Kent's. "Kent." The name had the same effect on Kent as Stanley's had on him, and he watched as his husky lover flinched. Stanley gripped Kent's vest and helped push Kent to his feet, but Stanley remained kneeling. He looked up into Kent's face. "I swear to trust you. I swear to nurture and help Us grow. I swear that if I step off of the path, I will return." He reached one hand to Kent's fingers which still held the shackle. "I swear to be your boy."

Stanley and Kent snapped the lock together, and now the chain was closed. Stanley felt undiluted relief and joy as he stared up at his Sir.

Kent smiled. "The key, boy." That word, it flowed from Kent's mouth and tongue like honey. 'Boy.' Stanley grinned, and he started to hand the key over to Kent.

"Wait," Kent ordered. Stanley still had the key, and Kent pulled him, confused and worried, to his feet. This wasn't in the ceremony they had planned together. Kent closed Stanley's hand back over the key. He looked into Stanley's eyes for a long moment, then he turned his head to gaze at the frothy white waves of the ocean, only twenty feet away. "Throw it into the water."

Stanley heard both Christopher and Nate gasp in surprise, but he didn't hesitate. Stanley stepped back, so he had room, and wound up his arm in the most powerful throw he could manage.

Kent stopped him with one firm hand on Stanley's wrist. Kent stared at him, an expression of amazed happiness on his face. That Stanley had acted immediately, that he had trusted Kent so completely visibly moved him.

Stanley looked back at him. Kent slowly opened his hand, and Stanley gently put the key onto Kent's palm then knelt in front of him. Stanley's face was earnest, attentive, and open.

"What does Sir wish of this boy?"

Kent's face twitched. He smiled, and a pair of tears leaked from his eyes. He pulled Stanley back to his feet.

There on a wild, wave-lashed beach with their best friends looking on, Sir and boy kissed.

Months passed. Christopher and Nate both slowly grew closer and the rawness of Tad's passing soothed some through the balm of time. Though the pain would never entirely subside, Nate could now appreciate Tad's memory with less of the ache of loss.

Within a few months, they had completely sold out of the thousand copies of Tad's book that they had stocked. The work continued to sell on Lulu, and Nate estimated that there were around five thousand hard-copies of the work out there in the world now. It wasn't a bestseller, but it was successful, and reviews continued to appear for the book on the website.

Now, Nate lay in bed and groaned, half-asleep. He felt something, someone, warm and wet, and his back arched. He came fully awake, and he put his hands in Christopher's thick brown hair.

"Oh, Bear." His fingers dug in, and he groaned as Chris's throat, tongue and hands continued their patient and thorough journey over Nate's penis and testicles. Nate angled his hips so his groin pressed up and Christopher could get Nate's whole cock down his throat.

Chris made a hungry, growling noise, and the vibration traveled through Nate's dick down to his balls. Nate moaned and almost came that instant. Christopher pulled off of him with a grin. "That was a good dose of precome." He licked his lips and crawled up Nate's supine body like a languid predator, confident of the outcome.

Nate loved Chris's scent, his strength, and his hairy body. Right now, that body lay on top of him, and Chris rubbed his bearded face against the skin of Nate's neck.

Nate gasped and groaned. He writhed under his strong, brown-haired lover, and Christopher pulled on his body until Nate's pelvis was in position.

"I want to put my cock in you now." Chris smiled as he whispered in Nate's ear. Nate heard lubricant as Christopher rubbed it on himself, and then Nate felt a smear on his opening as well.

"I want that too," Nate breathed as Christopher's erection pressed against him, and their mouths once again found one another.

As they kissed, Chris pressed forward and smoothly entered Nate's body. Christopher continued to kiss his redheaded man and left his hips motionless while Nate adjusted. After a minute his long, thick member disappeared bit by bit into Nate.

"Doing all right?" Chris rubbed a hand lovingly on Nate's head as he bottomed out.

Nate grinned and pulled Chris’s pelvis against himself. The sensation made his cock jump, and he oozed on his belly. Nate's eyes half-closed, and he groaned.

Christopher laughed. "I think that's a 'yes'." He began to pump his hips, and he took Nate's hard, wet cock in hand.

Nate loved it. Chris pummeled his ass while his hand stroked Nate's penis with a tight, slippery grip.

Christopher's speed increased, and his gaze locked onto Nate's face. "Oh, fuck. Nate." He clenched his jaw. "God, I'm gonna come."

Nate responded with a choked off grunt, and he spasmed up off the bed a little as he fired onto Christopher's shoulder. Chris barked a laugh at the impressive money shot, which turned into a moan as he came inside Nate.

Christopher continued to hammer away, then slowed both his pelvis and his hand that still worked on Nate's dick.

He settled to a stop and looked lovingly down at Nate. The two men smiled at one another, and Chris ran a steady, rough hand over Nate's hair. "You know what day it is?"

Nate frowned a little, unsure as to why the question came up. "Uh, February 23rd?" Nate grimaced as the semen on Christopher's shoulder began to run down, and he swiped at it with his hand.

Chris nodded, and he kept petting Nate's head. "Yes. The anniversary of you, me, and Tad. The night his fever broke and we decided to give it a try with the three of us."

"Oh." Nate felt a flash of guilt for not remembering. He was terrible with dates and such things. Tad was a precious memory for both of them, and even though it had been nearly a year since he had died, there wasn't a day that Nate didn't think of their cherished lover.

Christopher knew all of that, and he smirked. "I knew you wouldn't remember," he sighed, "but, I thought you'd want to know."

'God, he's so good. He's just so fucking good, and pure,' Nate thought as he stared up from where he lay. "Thank you. I love knowing it." Christopher slipped out of him and Nate sat up. "You know, why don't we get ourselves cleaned up, put on our PJs, and just hang out all day. You, me, Kali, with Tad's book. We'll turn on the gas fireplace, and we'll make food with lots of garlic, too."

Christopher laughed and nodded. "God, he loved garlic! Yeah, that sounds great."

They showered, and Nate gave his Bear extra affection while they did. He could sense the lingering emotion and memory of their lost love, and he wanted Chris to know that he was adored. It was impossible to ignore the hole in their lives, and they didn't want to. So they took their time and shared many little kisses, hugs, and extended moments of skin-on-skin contact under the warm stream of water.

Finally, they got out and dressed in flannel PJs and fuzzy sweaters. The weather outside was wet, misty, and cold. It was very similar to what it had been like a year back when Tad was still a part of their world.

Nate and Christopher were in the kitchen and Nate considered their options. "How about eggs benedict with garlic hollandaise? How's that sound?" Chris nodded with an eager lick of his lips. "All right. Coming up. Why don't you build us a little nest in front of the fireplace and find our copy of Tad's book? It's gonna be all about our man today." Christopher happily went about his task while Nate started their food.

As Nate was just about to start boiling the water for the eggs, there was a knock on the door. "I've got it, Bear." Nate walked away from the stove and opened the door.

Miranda smiled from the doorway, dressed in a damp raincoat, holding a small, thin package in her arms. "Hey, Nate."

"Hey!" Nate was happily surprised to see her. He stepped close and gave her a hug. "How are you, Miranda?" Even after Tad died, they had kept in contact, and they still made it a point to hang out with Miranda and David. They had become good friends over the last year.

"I'm good." She stepped inside and smiled as Christopher enveloped her in his embrace. "Great to see you, Chris." Nate noticed how she moved the package so that it wouldn't be bent or crushed by his tall lover's body.

He grinned at her. "Yeah, same to you, lady." Chris cocked his head at her package. "What's going on?"

Miranda held the slightly-worn, cardboard flat-pack box out in both of her hands for them to see. "I can't believe I did it, but I managed to avoid tearing this thing open for months." She looked from the package up to their faces. "This is to us, from Tad. He told me to save it until today - your guys' anniversary."

Nate felt a wave of chills travel down his spine as something clicked in his mind. "Oh, fuck." He turned to Chris. "Remember? Remember Tad's last words?"

Christopher's face went slack. His stare never left the little box. "'Happy Anniversary.'"

Miranda bit her lip and nodded. The guys had revealed to her what Tad had said. Christopher and Nate had assumed that the glioblastoma had made Tad delirious and that it had meant nothing. They had been unaware that Miranda knew this moment was planned by her brother.

She offered the package, and Christopher took it with unsteady hands. Nate had to remember to breathe as Christopher opened the dangling tab that sealed it. The stripe of cardboard fell away and he reached inside.

Two comic books now rested in Chris's hands. They all stared at them. On the cover of one, a depiction of Nate and Christopher hugged one another on a background field of black, with golden streaks of light emanating from them. It was titled "A Future of Love."

It all came crashing back for Nate, and his eyes stung with tears. "God. God, he," Nate reached with reverent fingers and touched the cover, "what did he do?"

Christopher handed the other comic to Miranda. Silent tears appeared in both Christopher's and Miranda's eyes. She put a hand over her mouth as she looked at her copy. Miranda's cover showed her with David and a little light brown baby over one of her shoulders. Her voice wavered as she read the title. "Dreams for My Sister." Tad knew that she had always wanted to be a mother, and to see it in print was almost more than she could bear.

Christopher wiped his face. "Miranda," he croaked, then cleared his throat and tried again, "Miranda, why don't you stay for a while? We're making breakfast, and I'll get the coffee started. Today is going to be all about Tad. We'd love for you to stay."

Miranda nodded, unable to speak.

It took every bit of willpower that they had, but they postponed looking through the precious books. Miranda helped in the kitchen, and they soon had the food done. Coffee and plates in hand, they went back into the living room, and they sat in a half-circle amidst a pile of blankets and pillows in front of the gas fireplace.

Christopher and Nate leaned together as they opened to the first page.

There was a close-up of two men's hands. They were clasped, and a rose was held between their palms. Tad had loved to play with perspective, and the background was fuzzy, as if out of focus, though it was still plain that the men stood graveside.

There was only a single sentence on the page with the image, the only writing inside the book. Christopher cleared his throat. "Sometimes, the most wonderful things begin with something painful."

Nate looked up at the ceiling and breathed as his tears fell.

"Oh, our sweet Tad." Christopher's voice was thick with emotion. "Thinking about us, all the way to the end."

Miranda was in a similar state. The three spent a cathartic morning, slowly looking through all of the scenes Tad wished for each of them. There was a wedding for Miranda and David and then the birth of a beautiful baby, while Nate and Christopher's had scenes of them making love, playing with Miss Kali, buying a house, and living happy, loving lives with one another.

"How?" Miranda, now finished with her gift, looked down at the cover. "How did I ever deserve a brother like him? Even if I only got to have him for a while, I still feel so unworthy."

"He'd not want that." Nate sniffed, and he shook his head. "He just wanted to show us how much we meant to him." He smiled. "But I know what you mean."

After another half-hour, Miranda pulled herself together, and she hugged the men goodbye. Then she left, her treasured comic put back into the cardboard box it came in to protect it.

Christopher closed the door behind her and turned to look at Nate. Nate took a deep, calming breath, and he shook his head.

"I am so thankful I got to spend time with him," Nate stepped forward, and he reached up to put a hand on the back of Chris's warm neck, "but more, I'm thankful that he shared you with me."

Christopher closed his eyes and wrapped Nate in a hug. Nate listened to the steady, deep breathing, and it calmed and reassured him in a way nothing else could.

Nate knew, thanks to Tad, that he was right where he was supposed to be.

It was two years later, and much had changed. Miranda now headed up the Human Resources department of the hospital. She and David had married, and they had a five-month-old baby girl at home. Miranda frowned in worry as she thought about Rayne, and how much she hated to be away from her.

She refocused on her surroundings and strode forward in the broad aisle created by the rows of chairs in the conference room. Miranda found a seat near the edge of the walkway, and she considered herself lucky to see the empty spot.

'My God, this place is packed!' She turned and looked over the room. Human Resource and other executive-level professionals from all over the country filled the large room, and now people were standing against the back wall. There were probably six hundred people in the cavernous place. None of the other sessions were so well-attended.

Miranda wasn't a fan of crowds, but she couldn't skip this session. Even with airfare to send her to Texas, the conference had been a great use of the hospital's time and money. However, this session was the one Miranda had been the most excited to attend.

The fellow speaking had, over the last year, made a name for himself as a passionate and articulate presenter. The session was titled "Defusing Crisis in the Workplace." It was so popular that it was scheduled multiple times over the conference to give as many attendees as possible the chance to hear it.

There was a ripple of activity and chatter in the crowd, and a slim man dressed in a peach shirt, black belt and shoes, and gray slacks entered. He walked up the aisle toward the podium. He carried a notebook, and a leather satchel was slung over his shoulder. Miranda instantly liked him. There was something about his manner, appearance, and expression that did it.

He had some amount of Hispanic heritage, hinted at by his light brown skin. His short dark hair was slightly curly, and he smiled as he walked up to the stage.

The room quieted as he settled behind the podium. He looked out over the large space.

Miranda watched him. He continued to scan faces for nearly a minute, and she could have sworn that his eyes stopped on her. When they did, she saw the side of his lips lift in a smile, then he looked away, took a breath, and addressed the entire room. "Hello. Thank you for coming to my session, 'Defusing Crisis in the Workplace.' My name is Markus Cooper. I'm a trained crisis counselor, and I hope you never have a reason to use what I am about to teach you."

Miranda was a little unnerved at first. 'Did he smile at me?' Yet as she sat and listened to the young man, she slowly lost her unease. She wrote it off as a fluke. He didn't know her. Additionally, his message and instructions for crisis management in the fast pace of the workplace were applicable. These were real and meaningful techniques, and she furiously typed notes on the little laptop she had brought with her.

An hour went by so quickly that Miranda was surprised when the presentation ended and he asked for questions. There were many. It was apparent that he was passionate, knowledgeable, and one CEO asked what it'd take for Markus to relocate to Tampa and work for her.

Markus took it all in stride, a picture of grace and poise in the face of all that came at him. After a half-hour question & answer session, he held up a hand. "Sorry everyone, I've got to wrap this up. They're waiting on the room for the next session." He grinned over the groans from the crowd. "But I do have one more thing I need to say."

The executives settled down, and Markus took a breath. "About three years ago, I had the worst night of my life. I was as low and as lost as a man can get. See, I'm gay, and coming out for me was not an easy process."

Markus unclipped the leather satchel he had brought in. "That night, I was literally a minute away from suicide." The room rippled with whispers and muted gasps. He waited a moment, then continued. "Though a good friend managed to get something into my hands that made all the difference to me."

He pulled out a book, and he held it up. It was a well worn, much-loved copy of Tad's book.

Miranda's breath caught in her throat.

Markus's voice was strong and amplified by the microphone. It wavered only a bit as his emotion began to bleed into the speech. "This book saved me. There are no words. There are only pictures of loving, partnered men living their lives with one another. It depicts everyday things, wonderful days, and then sad stuff too. It's all just the stuff of life. It made me realize that I wasn't a monster. Because of this book, instead of picking up my gun, I picked up the phone. I got help. It made me realize how powerful one person can be in the life of another, and it's why I started doing crisis work."

Miranda stared. She was completely unaware that she streamed tears. Her breaths came in rapid, shallow puffs as she listened and watched him.

"Where can we get it!?" A voice yelled from the back of the room.

The room collectively chuckled, and Markus grinned. He hit his PowerPoint one last time. His final slide came up, and the link to Lulu's purchasing information appeared on the screen. Many hands began to write and type the address. "A lot of local counselors already have it. They lend them out to young men like me who are in crisis." He laughed. "I was sort of an evangelist for the work, and I told every single office I was in that they needed it."

His eyes came back to rest on Miranda once again. "I was so thankful, I wanted to find the author and let him know what his work did for me. I spent some time looking for him, and I was so sad to find out that Tad Coleman, the brilliant, talented guy behind the work, had died shortly after the book was made. But I saw a name on the attendee list tonight, and I wanted to give my thanks directly to his sister."

Markus left the podium, book in hand, and he walked down the aisle. Miranda stood on shaking legs as he neared. Markus's eyes never left Miranda's, and he stopped before her. "Miranda Coleman." Everyone close to them crowded in to watch the interaction, but he didn't seem to notice them at all, and neither did Miranda. Markus smiled, and his dark eyes glistened as he looked at her. "I want you to know that your brother made a difference."

Miranda prided herself on her publically buttoned-up manner. In front of so many people, she couldn't have imagined allowing herself to display any sort of intense emotion. Yet there was no way to stop it. She put a hand over her mouth, tears streamed down her face, and all she could do was give a nod to acknowledge him.

Markus smiled, and he quietly asked, "Can I hug you?"

Miranda stepped forward, and she embraced Markus. People around them wiped their eyes, while some attendees pulled out phones to record the interaction.

Miranda clung to him, and an overriding thought rang in her mind.

'You did it, Tad. You really did it.'

* Kent and Stanley are joined, and they do it in the most meaningful way for them
* Time goes on. The guys sold out of the books, and the one year anniversary of their three-way relationship with Tad comes. Miranda pays them a visit, and they realize what Tad had in mind for them - his last gift to the people he loved the most
* Yet more time passes for all of our characters. Miranda meets Markus, and she is reminded of how amazing her brother was

One more to go, folks - we've one more chapter to go. I hope you enjoyed this one. The last chapter will appear on Sunday.

Let me know what you think of this one if you get a minute. Thanks so much for reading.

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

A beautiful chapter, more tears. You have managed to bring all the threads together and create the perfect memory for Tad. With Miranda the first person to meet Markus.

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Markus is such a great example of the thread that connects us all, even when we are unaware of it. Tads’ gift to his friends has become so much more so that even though he is gone his goodness and positive influence lives on. As we all struggle through the climate of hate and negativity we have to hold on to the thought that good people can still quietly Influence others and make a difference in another persons life.

Love the commitment ceremony of Stanley and Kent. While I don’t necessarily understand their choices (as well as Triads), if it works for them who am I to judge. We all have to find our own path to happiness.

Now I have to go stock up on tissues...


Edited by Petey
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10 hours ago, Hawgdad said:

Thank you buddy for sharing your vision...


You're more than welcome, Tom.  Thank you for reading and commenting.

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8 hours ago, JeffreyL said:

Another chapter beautifully written! I appreciate the way you are tying up loose ends. The moment between Markus and Miranda was touching and a great acknowledgment of Tad's legacy. I am especially glad that Markus gets a HEA. I think I worried about him the most. Thanks. 

Thanks, Jeffrey.  You know, it's nice that you think those loose ends are tied up now.  Well, there's one more chapter to go.  I'd like to hear what you think about the story once that one is on the books.

That scene with Markus and Miranda was one of my favorites.  I could feel Markus's joy at seeing Miranda's face in the crowd, knowing he'd get to tell her what an awesome thing Tad did for him.  I experienced Miranda's dawning realization as Markus pulled out Tad's book... ah... yes.  I love that scene.

We'll revisit on Sunday.  🙂

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7 hours ago, FanLit said:

One small step for man, one flutter of a butterfly wing, can change the world.

Markus’ life was saved and he paid it forward;  His counsel and expertise on a sensitive and timely topic will save lives elsewhere.  The scene between he and Miranda was additionally life affirming.  Even if it isn’t the beginning of a beautiful friendship (which I hope it is), they are forever bonded.  

Commitment is something to be respected in whatever form it takes, whether it is witnessed by many or a select few;  Kent and Stanley's ceremony was beautiful and already showed a trust and respect that isn’t graced in every union;  Those are vital to nurture love if it hopes to survive and Kent and Stanley show they have an abundance of it that can only grow.  

I shed tears reading this chapter, too but they were happy ones....to see Tad’s loved ones (and the ones he touched through love) adjusting and healing into their new normal.


Thanks, FanLit.  I'm glad you enjoyed the chapter.

Markus's chosen path is directly due to Tad's influence on him through the book.  Of course, he's alive thanks to many tiny things multiple people did that culminated in him holding the book in his hands the night he decided to stop fighting.  You're right... he's paying it forward.

I sort of agonized over Kent and Stanley's union.  I wanted it to be "real" and spent a long time looking up vows for D/s couples.  In the end, I decided that it was real for them.  That I just needed to do what worked for them, and that's what I tried to do.  When Kent told Stanley to throw the key, that was an unplanned moment... a final test of their bond before they took the leap.  They passed.  Stanley didn't pass, THEY did.  Stanley trusted that Kent would make it all okay, no matter what.  And he did.

There's more coming.  I hope you enjoy the final chapter of this story when it comes on Sunday.

Edited by Wayne Gray
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5 hours ago, chris191070 said:

A beautiful chapter, more tears. You have managed to bring all the threads together and create the perfect memory for Tad. With Miranda the first person to meet Markus.

Thanks, Chris.

Tad is definitely remembered.  More, he's valued by many, even those who never got to meet him.  Miranda was thankful to meet Markus... and getting to hear how Tad's work impacted him made a huge difference to her.

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49 minutes ago, Petey said:

Marcus is such a great example of the thread that connects us all, even when we are unaware of it. Tads’ gift to his friends has become so much more so that even though he is gone his goodness and positive influence lives on. As we all struggle through the climate of hate and negativity we have to hold on to the thought that good people can still quietly Influence others and make a difference in another persons life.

Love the commitment ceremony of Stanley and Kent. While I don’t necessarily understand their choices (as well as Triads), if it works for them who am I to judge. We all have to find our own path to happiness.

Now I have to go stock up on tissues...


Hi Petey.  Thanks for reading and commenting.

There's a hell of a lot of negativity in the world, but you're right - good people can and do push back on that.  They make a difference one person at a time in many ways, and leave a mark on everyone they encounter.  In Tad's case his art filters slowly out into the world, and serves as an example to many people who otherwise wouldn't have one to see.  Markus was one of those, just ONE.  There are many more like him, of that we can be sure.

Kent and Stanley are on their own voyage in life, and they're taking the path that makes sense for them.  D/s isn't my path either, but that doesn't make it any less valid.  I'm glad you realize and appreciate that.

You may need those tissues for the last chapter.  Maybe.

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20 minutes ago, Jaybee0323 said:

Thankfully I have a locked office.  As I sit here crying over this chapter.  Thank you Wayne.

Hi, @Jaybee0323.  Thanks for taking the time to comment.  🙂

This whole story is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster, so I get why you're crying.  As we wind things up, I hope the reason for the tears shifts a bit to good vs sad.

Stick with me.  We've one more chapter to go.  See you then.

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You had me at Bluegrass Symphony, which, by the way I hope to see more of, and now I'm a blubbering mess with Fleeting Eternity. Your writing style is so realistic, so believable, that I am immediately brought into your world. I love your characters and am waiting for more of Markus' story.

BTW I grew up in WV, the Kanawha River Valley, so not far too far from you. Keep up the good work, my friend!


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