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Dahawk

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Dahawk last won the day on April 8

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About Dahawk

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    Manic Poster

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    Male
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    Gay
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    Everything
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    Pennsylvania, USA
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    Enjoy reading, writing, and occasional video games.

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  1. Hi everybody, 

     

    I know it has been a while, i am sorry for the lack of communication. This week my brother in law is to have an artificial heart placed, so I have continued to help my sister with my nephew and niece. At the moment, I don't have time for writing. However, as soon as my schedule becomes less chaotic I will get back to writing.

     

    Love to all,

    Rob

    1. BHopper2

      BHopper2

      Prayers and Well Wishes for you and your family. We'll be here when you get back.

    2. empresslovesreading

      empresslovesreading

      Take it easy! We'll be here. Real life family is more important.🤗

    3. chris191070

      chris191070

      Prayers and Wishes for you and your family.

  2. Dahawk

    Losing It

    After the funeral services, the family found themselves at Steven and Nan’s home for a light lunch. Doug waded through the sea of somberly dressed mourners. He wandered around trying to avoid most of them, if he had to have one more conversation about politics he was going to lose his shit. Passing by an open door, he looked in to see Steven’s office and decided to take a peek inside. Closing the door behind him, he stood looking around the room. It was painted in a deep burgundy with dark wood furniture,. iIt suited Steven, he decided. He moved around looking at the shelves and bookcase to see what kind of books the man would have read. It was mainly casebooks, on the third shelf, Doug found some of the classics. There was a copy of ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ by John Steinbeck. He pulled it out of the bookcase and sat in the wingback chair to have a quick read. The perfect way to avoid the sad clusterfuck of pretentious assholes in the other room. Doug looked on the table next to the chair, finding a decanter of scotch and a clean glass. He poured himself a two fingers of the fine liquid into the glass, bringing it up to his nose and giving it a quick sniff before taking a sip. “Mmm, Glenfiddich. I knew I liked that man for a reason.” Doug said out loud with new respect for the dearly departed. He settled back into the chair comfortably, scotch in one hand and Steinbeck in the other. He opened the book and small piece of napkin floated into his lap. Reaching down he pulled it closer so he could read it. It had ‘A. Hernandez’ and the phone number 804-555-9843 written beneath it along with one other name, ‘Kyle Waters.’ Kyle’s name on the napkin sent a cold shiver through his body, along with an onset of panic. He watched the door for a moment as if someone would come barging in, but of course, that was his overactive imagination getting the better of him. He cautiously locked the office door quietly and went to the mahogany desk. He picked up the landline and dialed the number on the napkin, hoping to hell whoever picked up the call on the other end would know something. He sat down in the office chair while the line rang. “FBI Special Agent Hernandez,” the voice announced. Doug’s gut turned upside down, this was all very surreal. “Uh… um, my name is Doug Waters. I found your number in my stepfather’s office on a napkin along with my son’s name. Can you tell me why Steven was in contact with you?” “Can I speak with Judge Powell?” Agent Hernandez asked with an edge to his voice. “Unfortunately no. He was killed last week by a hit and run driver.” Doug’s voice was a little croaky from all of the emotions he felt. “Mr. Waters, the only other person I can speak with regarding that note is Kyle Waters himself. I’m sorry but this involves an active federal investigation,” Agent Hernandez stated with no other information. “I’ll get Kyle, he’s here,” Doug said in a panic while texting Kyle to discretetly remove himself and come to the office. ***** Blu nudged Kyle when his phone dinged with a message. “Who is it, Blondie?” he asked annoyed. Kyle slid his phone out of his inner suit pocket, glancing at the message. “Damn telemarketers. I’m just going to check on the kids, I’ll be right back.” Kyle gave Blu a quick peck and walked off as if on a hunt for the younger kids. He found the office door locked, gently tapping with his knuckle and said in a hushed tone, “Dad, it’s me.” The door opened a few inches. When Doug saw Kyle was alone he let him in, closing and locking the door behind him. “The FBI is on the phone. there is a Special Agent Hernandez that wants to speak with you. He won’t tell me anything.” Doug led Kyle over to the desk, his eyes wild with his hair sticking up in different directions, like he’d been grasping at it. Kyle looked at the phone receiver laying on the desk, after taking a seat, he picked it up bringing it to his ear. “Hello, this is Kyle Waters.” “Mr. Waters, I first need to ask, do you feel safe at the moment?” Agent Hernandez asked. “Hell I think this is the safest house in the city at the moment, there are more Police and Judges present than the federal building itself.” Kyle chuckled dryly. “Mr. Waters, would it be possible to meet with you later this evening? I can fly out in an hour from Quantico,” Hernandez insisted without waiting for an answer. “I should be on the ground there in a few hours. I have your address.” “I have kids, I don’t want them in any danger.” Kyle said with hesitation. “Listen Mr. Waters, with Stevens death and the information he was in possession of, anybody you are close to could be in danger. I will be there as soon as my plane touches down,” Hernandez cut the call. “What’d he say? What’s this all about Kyle? And are you, or we all, in danger?” Doug fired rapidly. Kyle stared at the phone as he placed the receiver in the cradle. “Um… Dad, I gotta check on the kids. Can you call Teddy and get the full security detail back in place?” “Sure, will we be okay with just Derek and Brent here or should I ask for more?” Doug asked worriedly. “Full detail! Dad!” Kyle shouted as his hands shook. “Okay son, are we staying here? What’s happening?” Doug asked, knowing that Kyle was concerned about the entire family, including Brody and Maria. “I’m sorry for yelling Dad. I want everybody at our house but I doubt Nan will accept that,” Kyle said as he started walking to the door. “Agent Hernandez said anybody I’m close to is in danger,” He unlocked the door, opening it to go in search of his family. ***** Blu and the rest of the family sat around watching the kids in the pool. They’d tried to make sure everything felt normal for them. Kyle insisted to the other adults that the kids didn’t know what was going on. The last thing they needed was more drama and more importantly, that no matter what was happening in their life, that they felt safe. The FBI agent would be there soon enough and the kids would be suspicious anyway. Nan was inside with Lily, Maria, and Elsie. Kaleb was at the edge of the pool tormenting the ever-loving shit out of the twins for his own entertainment while Davis looked on in amusement at his husband. Kyle and Blu sat at the table and chairs near the grill. Doug had been quiet since they left his mom’s place, his forehead creased with worry lines. Jared and Mason were sitting a few feet away cuddled up on a lounge chair. The atmosphere among the adults was somber, almost depressing. Not surprising after the past week they’d shared. Kaleb had taken the week off work to help Nan, but so far she’d been resisting Kaleb’s comfort. Blu could tell it hurt him a little considering how close he was to Nan. Even he didn’t have the type of closeness the two of them had. It made Blu a little sad for Kaleb, almost. He insisted he was fine but by his behavior, they all knew he wasn’t. Lincoln cursed at Kaleb, frustrated with his tormentor. Kyle turned his head to the side, trying not to laugh, leaving it to Blu to be the bad guy – because he was good at it. “Lincoln Abraham Waters, you get out immediately.” Blu stomped over to the pool by Kaleb. “You don’t use those words in this house and you certainly don’t get to yell at your Uncle Kaleb and curse. Even if he is being an ass.” Kaleb reached out and gently pushed Blu into the pool fully clothed. Link crawled out of the pool placing his hands on his hips, “See what I mean? Pop!” Blu came up for air spluttering, “What the fuck, dude?” he smacked the water with his hand splashing Kaleb. “Bite me, asshole,” Kaleb said as he turned stomping toward Davis. Kasey rushed out of the pool, all smiles as he rubbed his hands together. “Uncle Blu and Uncle Kaleb, you used bad words. Money, please?” Blu lifted himself out of the pool to find Kyle losing his shit. He was laughing so hard he almost fell out of the chair. Once he was out of the pool he put his hand on Lincoln’s shoulder. “You go and sit with Dad. Don’t move an inch, you’re still in trouble.” Blu huffed as he went into the house to dry off and change. Luckily he wasn’t still in his suit from the morning. Tommy Hilfiger would be horrified. Kaleb shook his head, pointing at Davis, “Get it from him,” as Kasey walked in his direction. “Pay up Uncle Davis,” Kasey said as he flexed his fingers. Brent came out to the pool area with a party tray of subs for anyone who was hungry. He laid the tray on the table then threw his thumb over his shoulder. “What happened to Blu?” “He slipped and took a flying leap,” Kaleb said sarcastically. “You sent his as… you sent him flying,” Link crossed his arms, staring defiantly at Kaleb. “Oookay, then. I’ll be inside where it’s safe.” Brent took his leave. Teddy came in, stating the Agent had just called and would be here any moment. Brent was giddy with excitement, he was going to get his chance to mess with an FBI agent. Hopefully, his boss wouldn’t stop him before he had his fun. He quickly went out to Kyle to let him know it was time for him to prepare. Kyle came into the house as the door opened and the Agent waltzed in like he owned the place. Brent grabbed the man shoving him up against the wall while frisking him. A tingle of delight ran through his body, it was hard for him to keep the smile off his face. “Gun.” Brent brought the weapon into the air passing it to Derek who casually took it rolling his eyes. He held the guy to the wall. “Big mistake bringing a firearm into this house. Blu is going to tear you a new one.” Agent Hernandez was about fifty shades of red from anger, “I’m an FBI Agent, did you notice the badge you ran your hand over while you frisked me?” “I don’t give a shit. I’m their personal security, there are kids in this house. Why would I let anyone they don’t know in carrying a weapon? I’d lose my job.” Brent tried to keep a straight face. Teddy came in rolling his eyes at Brent, “Derek, give the Agent his weapon. Brent, I hope you enjoyed yourself. Now, go check on Link. I think he might be plotting against Kaleb.” “Yes, sir,” Brent grinned winking at the Agent before leaving the room. Kyle shrugged his shoulders before introducing himself to the agent. “Can we meet somewhere without everybody listening?” Agent Hernandez asked. “Sure. Teddy will be joining us since he provides security for our family.” Kyle led the pair to the office. After everybody was seated Agent Hernandez shifted in his seat, “First, I want to offer my condolences in regards to Judge Powell. I have worked with him on many cases.” Kyle looked at Hernandez, “Why are you here?” “Steven contacted me a while ago about Carson Grecco,” Hernandez said as he opened his briefcase, pulling out a manila folder and laying it on the desk in front of Kyle. Kyle reached out, sliding the folder closer without opening it. “What did you find out?” “How much do you know about your mother’s past?” Agent Hernandez asked. Kyle’s shoulders tensed, “More than I care to. To be honest I don’t consider her my mother.” “Do you know anything about Senator Grecco?” The agent asked remaining stoic. “Nothing more than Maria and Brody have told me,” Kyle hunched forward resting his elbows on his desk. “Are you familiar with Penelope’s marital indiscretions?” Agent Hernandez asked. “Oh, for cChrist sake, how would I know what that woman did? She committed murder, she dumped my twin on my grandparents…” Kyle said with agitation. Agent Hernandez pointed to the file folder, “Your mother and Senator Grecco are parents to Carson Grecco. Carson has been in contact with your mother since she became incarcerated.” “You have to be fucking with me.” Kyle flipped the folder open staring at a picture of Carson and Penelope in a prison visit. “Fucking bitch!” Teddy put his hand on Kyle’s shoulder. “Calm down Kyle, the others will hear you. We will deal with whatever this is. For now I’m restoring full detail. The kids are to do nothing alone outside of this house. If they go into the backyard, it will be with security, if they so much as get the mail or Blu’s morning paper it will be with a detail. Nothing will happen to them. Meanwhile, we’ll figure this crap out.” Teddy thought about the situation before turning to the agent. “There has to be more to this? It’s a lot of cloak and dagger to hide maternity of his mother,” he asked. Agent Hernandez cringed, “We’ve opened an investigation into this whole situation. When we pulled records of conversations that Carson and Penelope had during her visitation, we found some troubling discussions. Your mother, Penelope, wants Carson to kill you for all of the ‘trouble’ you caused her.” “The trouble I caused her?” Kyle sat back down, shaking his head in disbelief. “What do we do now?” He asked. “I have a family to worry about.” Special Agent Hernandez stood up, “You have security in place. I can offer a few agents until we capture Mr. Grecco. To be honest it is up to you how intrusive you want the FBI to be.” “Teddy, what do you think we should do?” Kyle rubbed his temple. “To be honest, I know my guys can handle it… but I think an agent or two is a good idea.” Teddy held his hand up to stop Kyle from responding. “It will help that the FBI and you know what is happening with both. Especially since, I’m guessing here, but Maria and Brody are staying here for the time being.” Kyle nodded his head, “Agent Hernandez, I don’t want your agents talking around the kids. The weapons have to remain out of sight, or Blu will make them wish they chose a different profession. Lastly, I don’t want any of the kids knowing I’m in danger. I’ll talk to my brothers, on my own.” Hernandez nodded, pulling out his phone as he stepped out of the office. “Teddy, can you get Blu and send him in here? I’ll talk to the rest of the adults after,” Kyle slouched into the couch and heaved a big sigh. “Sure Kyle, did you want James? He worries about you, you know. He loves you and your brothers as if you were his own.” Teddy’s demeanor was firm with a nurturing that didn’t really suit the giant man. “Have him stop over. I need to break the news to everybody. I don’t want anybody hurt if it can be prevented.” Kyle raked his hand over his face. ***** “Nan, wait!” Blu called out as she stormed out of the house with two agents following. The security’s job was to follow along and not interfere with their free will. Elsie followed along behind with one of the men. “We’ll take care of her, Blu,” said one of the new security guys Blu was unfamiliar with. He nodded his head, standing on the porch, watching her storm down the road. She’d said nothing after Kyle updated the family. Nan picked up her purse and left. He felt the warmth of Kyle’s body come up behind him. He leaned back into his husband, hoping his Nan would be okay, eventually, but the last two weeks had been pure hell on her. “I feel bad for her. Steven would still be here if he wasn’t trying to help me,” Kyle said as he kissed the back of Blu’s neck. “Why? You didn’t run him down, did you? You’re not the one conspiring with that woman. None of this is your doing, Blondie. It’s the work of pure evil, and that you are not.” He turned his head to kiss Kyle chastely. “Let’s go check on the kids and your brothers before they form their own battalion.” Kyle took Blu’s hand, lacing their fingers together, “Kaleb’s really upset over Nan’s behavior,” he said as they walked toward the door. “Kids,” Blu called out. They appeared, one-by-one, in front of Kyle and Blu. “Why don’t you guys go up to our room and watch a movie. Someone will bring you popcorn and I’ll let you know when dinner arrives. Kaleb is having somebody bring over a nice roast beef dinner. While someone picks the movie, Lincoln can bring down his dirty laundry.” Lincoln’s face went red from embarrassment, “You’re so anal reactive Pop.” Kyle laughed as he leaned in whispering in Blu’s ear, “Your ass does have quite the reaction.” Blu’s face grew red, “What?” he said to Lincoln, clearing his throat. “He means anal retentive, Pop!” Bella snickered. Blu smacked his husband on the back of the head, then walked away from the love of his life who was barely holding his shit together. The kids ran upstairs, already arguing over what they were going to watch. Kyle heard Arabella admonish the boys. “It’s Levi’s turn to pick, so suck it up.” “Brody can pick for us,” Levi called out. ***** Blu banged on the laundry door, “Breakfast is ready assholes. You’ll find the disinfectant under the sink. I suggest you use it.” Levi poked his head out motioning Blu over, “Why do we need disinfectant? We only kissed a little,” he whispered with rosy colored cheeks. “What?” Blu asked incredulously hoping he wouldn’t find Brent or someone in the laundry room with his kid. Brody was trying to curl into himself with a sheepish look on his face. He pointed, “Out, don’t let me catch you boys in here again unless you’re doing laundry.” The boys squeezed past Blu. He followed behind them as they took off upstairs. “What the hell is going on around here?” It took a few minutes before everyone was seated at the breakfast table, the usual conversations happening. Levi and Brody kept glancing at Blu, worried he might say something to the others. But they should have known that he would never do that to anyone. But Blu planned on using their fear to his advantage to keep the two in line for as long as he could. Mean – maybe, helpful – abso-fucking-lutely. Kyle watched the looks that were being made between Blu, Levi, and Brody. “So who did what? You three look like each of you could faint at any moment.” A smile grew over Blu’s face as he shrugged his shoulder. “I caught these two,” he paused, pointing to Levi and Brody, who both looked like they’d seen a bear, “sneaking into Link’s candy.” The two boys now looked horrified and confused as to which would have been worse; the truth, or the wrath of Lincoln. And by the look on Lincoln’s face, they were about to find out. “You’re both gonna replace whatever you took without asking permission for,” Link stood up and crossed the kitchen to check his stash, before returning scratching his head, “nothing’s missing. Are you sure your Allsheimers isn’t kicking in?” “Aren’t you lucky I caught them when I did then,” Blu plastered a fake grin on his face while glaring at Levi and his kissing companion. Brody shifted in his chair uncomfortably, “We won’t try and sneak again,” he pretended to make a cross over his heart, “I promise.” “Just ask next time. Pop was always mad when Uncle Kaleb and Uncle Davis came over and used the washer without asking,” Link said before taking a sip of his orange juice. “Oh my God,” Davis mumbled into his coffee. All eyes were now on Kaleb and Davis, because everyone knew they weren’t doing laundry, but the kids... Brody slouched down in his chair, trying to hide his face, “May I be excused? I don’t feel so good.” “Nope, you need to eat,” Blu said cheerily piling scrambled eggs onto the kid's plate. Levi relaxed his knee against Brody’s, offering him a smile. Kyle looked at Blu again then two guilty looking boys. As his eyes went big, “Oh my GOD, Blu, they didn’t. Did they?” Kyle shook his head, “Levi I… we are gonna have the talk again.” “No, no, they were in the candy.” Blu tried to silently send a message to Kyle telling him they’d talk about it later – without the audience. Kaleb smiled at his nephew knowingly, then focused on Blu. “I like the all-day suckers myself. The snakes aren’t too bad, fireballs get a bit hot around the collar.” Mason jumped in trying to save his nephew and friend, even though he didn’t know what he was saving them from. “I was thinking if we had a group message we’d be able to keep everyone updated with where we are at all times. Like if we go from, say home to school, we could just use the one word of where we were heading, that way we know the others are safe and where they are.” Jared smirked quickly, “I like it. That way we know if somebody isn’t where they are supposed to be, we should find them.” Levi glared at Blu, “I’m not texting where I’m at in the house, that’s just mean.” “Of course not,” Jared choked out, “that would be a little overkill.” Levi pushed his plate away, “I’m not hungry.” “Sure you are,” Blu returned, “you were going to eat the candy. This is much healthier. Here,” Blu said handing his son the platter with the bacon. Levi’s face was red with anger as he took a few pieces of bacon, “I’ll get even Pop.” “Looking forward to it, son. Eat up, you want your energy for all your extracurriculars.” Blu deadpanned. Brody’s eyes went wide then focused on his plate as he shoveled his food in his mouth. “Can I have some more bacon?” Cody asked. Brody grabbed a handful of bacon, throwing it at Cody’s plate. “Thanks,” Cody said as he picked a piece up. “Pop, about that puppy we were discussing getting a while back. What do you think about a small Saint Bernard?” Blu looked up from his plate like a deer in the headlights, “Uh, there’s no such thing as a small St. Bernard, buddy.” “Sure there is… when they are puppies they are small,” Cody said as he snuck Khan a bite. “Dear God, rescue me from this hell on earth. I’d really appreciate your help. Amen.” Blu said looking up at the ceiling. Kyle chuckled, “He did have a valid point. Puppies are small, Babe.” “We already have that friggin’ demon ninja cat. We don’t need a damn grizzly bear too,” Blu argued. “Okay, so anything but a grizzly bear. When can we pick up a puppy?” Cody asked giving Blu his pathetic ‘I win by default’ look. “How ‘bout a chihuahua, or what about an ant farm?” Blu suggested. Link smirked at Blu, “A nice big python. We could feed it mice and stuff.” His pop’s face screwed up as he pushed his plate away. “Now I’m not hungry, and no bloody reptiles.” Levi took the opportunity to return Pop’s favor, as he piled more scrambled eggs on his plate, pushing it back to him. “Eat up, you need the energy old man.” Blu picked up a fork full of eggs while glaring at Levi, turned the utensil around and flicked the eggs at his son. “For being old, you cheat,” Levi said, as he wiped the eggs from his face. “Boys, enough!” Doug said firmly and loudly. “Eat.” Then he went back to moving food around his plate. Lily put her hand on top of Doug’s, giving him a sad smile. He leaned over, kissing his wife. “Sorry love.” Link took a bite of breakfast and started talking, “I anna see An tooay.” The table went silent, everyone watching for Doug’s reaction. “I’m sure she’d like that Lincoln. Would you like me to come with you?” Doug asked, somewhat calmer than he’d been a minute or two before. Cody gulped his juice, “I’m goin’ too. She needs a hug.” “Brent said he would take us over to visit, but if you want to go you can.” Link said as he wiped his mouth. “No that’s okay, you boys see if you can cheer her up a little.” Doug smiled genuinely at his two grandsons. ***** Kyle was watching his crazy ass husband take the laundry door off permanently. He’d tried to reason with him, but after finding Levi and Brody in there, he was adamant that nobody was going to use the room other than to do laundry. “Babe, it was innocent,” Kyle said as Blu unscrewed another hinge. Blu twisted his head so he could see Kyle, “For now, Blondie. Innocent for now. In a little while, we aren’t going to be able to stop the boys from humping anything that’s not nailed down. Nope, damn your flippin’ brother. I’ll kill him.” Blu mumbled while he struggled with the door. “A little help here.” Kyle rolled his eyes, “You realize that you’re acting like a lunatic, Babe. The boys are growing up, we can’t make them stay little.” “The hell we can’t,” Blu argued. Kyle laughed as the front door opened and then immediately slammed shut. The boys stormed up the stairs, not even stopping to say how their visit went. Blu bit his lip, watching Kyle as he placed the newly freed door against the wall. “Should we go and see what that’s about?” Blu asked to Kyle’s worried face. Kyle frowned, “This can’t be good. Let's go try and make the boys feel better about whatever happened.” Blu wrapped his arm around Kyle’s waist as they walked up the stairs. As the pair approached the boy's bedroom door, they could hear both of them sobbing inside. Kyle knocked on the door before opening it, “Mind if we come in?” The boys didn’t even acknowledge their dads. The two men went and sat on either side of the boys, sandwiching the two youngsters between them. Kyle pulled Lincoln into his lap while Blu did the same with Cody, then moving closer to each other. They cuddled the boys, while they sobbed, waiting for them to calm down. Blu looked over at Kyle, resting his head on top of Cody’s. “Love you,” Blu mouthed to Kyle. Kyle smiled weakly at Blu, then kissed the top of Link’s head. Lincoln sniffled and wiped his eyes, “She told us to go away and never come back.” Cody took a tissue that Blu offered and blew his nose, “She wouldn’t take the flowers we picked her even.” “Aww, sweet boy.” Blu hugged Cody tighter, his heart shattering into a million pieces. Kyle himself sniffled, “Nan loves you guys a lot, she just can’t handle all of the stress that has been happening.” “I promise you boys when she’s feeling better, she’ll be here to apologize when she realizes how much she’s hurt you. You have to remember though, like Daddy said, she’s under a lot of stress and is hurting a thousand times more than you are.” Blu said sadly. “Give her some time, she didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.” He kissed Cody. “Why don’t we lay here and you boys can take a nap?” Kyle asked the pair. “You’d stay with us?” Link asked in a childlike voice. “Of course buddy, just like when you first moved in. We aren’t going anywhere.” Blu slid down a little, laying Cody between him and Kyle. Kyle laid his arm over the group, protecting their fragile state. “We love each of you kids, plus we cherish all the time we get to spend with you. Pop and I aren’t ready for you to grow up quite yet. Especially Pop,” He snickered at his own comment. Blu laid there for a minute, cuddled up with his family, while looking around the room. “God this room is a pigsty,” Blu mumbled before finally closing his eyes. “There you go, being anal again. I took my laundry down to the wash the other day,” Link looked around at a few piles of things around the room. “I know where everything is, anyway.” “Close your eyes and rest,” Blu said, opening one eye to see Lincoln. Lincoln sighed as he laid his head down, closing his eyes. “I love our family.”
  3. Dahawk

    Down In Flames

    Everybody has to remember Nan has aged a good bit since the beginning of the story, nothing is easy for her anymore.
  4. Dahawk

    Down In Flames

    I'm sure the new additions will bring a new dynamic to Kaleb and Davis' life.
  5. Dahawk

    Down In Flames

    Down In Flames: Blu grabbed his coffee and one for Kyle going upstairs to wake him up for the day. As he reached the top of the stairs he found his husband leaning against the door frame to Cody’s room silently watching Brody and Levi cuddled up together asleep. He stood behind Kyle reaching around giving him his coffee then resting his chin on Kyle’s shoulder. “You okay, blondie?” He asked his husband quietly. Kyle nodded his head, “We are lucky to have kids that aren’t afraid to show their feelings towards people, after all they have been through.” “Hmm, it’s nice.” Blu kissed Kyle’s neck. “What do you want to do about the twins birthday?” “I think we let the boys decide if they want a big party with Brody spending so much time here, I’m not sure he could handle a big amount of people,” Kyle sighed as he tilted his head kissing Blu’s temple. “Good idea. We can talk to them in the office after breakfast.” Blu rest his head on Kyle’s shoulder. “You ready for the big orientation? You sure you don’t want me to come with you? We can get Nan to watch the kids, they can go for a swim or something.” Kyle turned facing Blu giving him a quick peck on the lips, “You can come too, Babe. The construction guys are finishing the new paint scheme and the new gymnasium and pool are complete.” “Actually, I’ll ask mom and dad. Nan will probably try and drown them.” Blu snickered. “Love you, Blondie.” He kissed Kyle quickly and went back downstairs. ***** Doug and Lily hugged Blu once they entered the kitchen. “Thanks for doing this, I want to go and support Kyle today,” Blu told his parents, “he’s acting confident but I can tell he’s nervous, this is a big deal for him.” Although concerned, he couldn’t contain his pride in Kyle. “It is a big deal, son. We’re all proud of him and his brothers accomplishing this. We’re happy to help.” Doug looked over his shoulder watching Kyle hurried into the kitchen while he fiddled with his suit jacket. Kyle held two different colored ties in the air, “Which one? I don’t want to look like this is my first day on the job. And you don’t look ready to go.” “Alright, alright. I’m going. It’ll only take a minute.” Blu took the burgundy tie and wrapped it around Kyle’s neck kissed him and raced out of the kitchen, his footsteps thundering up the stairs. Kyle hugged Doug and Lily fixed his tie then grabbed two travel mugs and made coffee for him and Blu. “Thanks for doing this, the alternative was Nan. We all know how that went last time.” Kyle rolled his eyes. “Happy to spend time with kids,” Lily answered. “We can spoil them without you interfering.” Kyle spun around narrowing his eyes at his mom. “Mom, don’t go overboard, and not too much sugar. Keep an eye on Brody, Maria will be here to help but she’s still not a hundred percent herself yet.” Kyle screwed the lids on the mugs. “Oh, Link and Cody can’t go in the pool until they clean their bedroom.” He snapped his fingers remembering. “Blu will have a shit-fit if that room stays the way it is one more day. Oh and if Kasey comes over don’t let him feed Khan any candy, I don’t wanna clean up a mess.” “Kyle, relax. Everything will be fine. Blu’s still alive, isn’t he? We’ve done this before. Concentrate on what you have to do today.” Doug chuckled at his anxious son. Kyle smiled stupidly, “I guess I’m overreacting a bit.” Turning toward the stairs, “Babe, hurry up.” He grumbled as he tapped his fingers on the banister. Blu appeared at the railing looking down at Kyle, “I’m coming, simmer down.” He turned around calling back to the bedrooms. “No Link, clean your room. I won’t tell you again.” “But Pop!” Kyle heard Link whine. “Dad, Pop is a tyrant!” Link said as he appeared disheveled wearing his swim trunks. Kyle shook his head, “Pop is right, you’ve been asked to clean your half of your messy bedroom for days. Cody has had to crawl over that pile of clothes which has almost swallowed him whole numerous times.” “Fine, but I don’t see what the big deal is.” Link turned to stomp off but paused, “How will I know where anything is if I move stuff?” “That room better be clean by the time we get back Lincoln Abraham Waters, I kid you not. If we can’t see carpet your grounded, no more pool, cell phone, computer, and I’ll eat all your candy. Move your ass.” Blu growled as he thundered down the stairs. “That kid, I swear.” He grumbled to Kyle. “Me? You’re evil threatening my candy,” Link shook his head and returned to his room. “It’s amusing watching you two take jabs at one another,” Kyle gave Blu a quick peck as he grabbed his hand dragging him toward the door screaming their goodbyes as they exited. ***** The applause rang out as Kyle finished his speech. Kaleb and Jared had kept theirs to a minimum before introducing Kyle to the staff. Blu looked around the room from where he leaned up against the wall. Everyone seemed excited to face the new challenges that the brothers had outlined. Kaleb and Jared split up mingling with the new staff as Kyle made his way to Blu. The two men then introduced themselves to the new staff, introducing them to tenured staff that had been employed previously before they converted to a private school. The brothers had made everyone apply for their jobs again so they could only keep the cream of the crop. They’d decided to employ only people who shared their vision for what they wanted to achieve but also cared more about the kids and their learning experience rather than a paycheck. After giving a tour of the upgraded facilities, Kyle ended the staff orientation. “Are you ready to head home and see if Mom and Dad are stringing the kids up yet?” Kyle smiled as he loosened his tie. “Yup, you did great today, Blondie. I’m so proud of you. The new intake of teachers is great. I especially like the two new coaches. They aren’t there to win trophies but teach the kids skills.” Blu beamed at his husband. “All of the new staff are special, each seems as dedicated to kids as we could only hope,” Kyle held the door for Blu as they reached the exit. ***** Kyle drove slowly toward home as music meandered through the car. His phone rang, indicating Steven was calling on the dash display. He reached up tapping the button on the steering wheel to answer the call. “Hello Judge,” Kyle offered a little wave stupidly and smirked at Blu. “Kyle, where’s Maria and Brody?” “At our house with Mom and Dad and the kids. Why?” Kyle turned serious. “Good, no reason just want to make sure they are in a safe place. Look I’m on my way to your place. I’ve got some info on Carson. We need to keep Maria and Brody away from him. Where are you now, you sound like you’re driving?” “We are on our way home from the school. It should only take us like thirty minutes or so, we are going to grab some pizzas for dinner on the way,” Kyle mentioned as he turned onto the main highway, to bypass the stoplights. The two men made their way to the local pizza place, put in their order and sat down with a drink while they waited. Unfortunately, the place was packed to rafters and their pies were going to be at least twenty minutes. Blu smacked his lips together after taking a sip of his beer. “Mmm, that’s the shit.” Kyle smirked at Blu, “I thought you said I was the shit last night in bed?” “That was then, this is now. Right now I want this beer.” Blu laughed. “Maybe later tonight you can be the shit again,” he said suggestively. “I’ll have to check my calendar,” Kyle chuckled as his phone rang. “What’s up Teddy?” “We’re at Pizza Shack.” “We told Brent to stay at home to make sure Mom and Dad had back up with the rug rats.” “Why are you interrogating me?” “Teddy, what the hell is going on?” Kyle’s voice became heated. Kyle stood up grabbing Blu’s beer taking a chug, “Babe, cancel the pizzas. Teddy has anybody spoke to Nan or Mom and Dad?” “Fuck, we will handle it.” Kyle ended the call shoving his phone into his pocket without making eye contact with Blu. “What’s going on Blondie? I canceled the pizza’s.” Kyle was white as a ghost as he stumbled in a daze towards the door, “It’s Steven…” Blu pulled Kyle to a stop. “What’s going on baby, you’re scaring me?” Kyle turned facing his husband placing his trembling hands on Blu’s shoulders, “He’s… he is…” Kyle shook his head. Taking a deep breath he slowly muttered, “Steven is dead, he died a few blocks from our house. A car hit-and-run killing him.” “You sure, we just spoke with him?” Blu said confused. “Teddy confirmed it with his police contacts,” Kyle said as he scrubbed his hand over his face. “Fuck, Nan,” Blu yelled as he ran to the car at lightning speed. Kyle followed behind getting in the car quietly, reaching for Blu’s hand after starting the car. “Nobody has been notified yet. Should we go speak to Mom and Dad, or go break the news to Nan? Either way, I really don’t see a good outcome.” “Dunno, you decide.” He glanced at Kyle. “She’s going to be devastated.” “I feel responsible for this… If he wasn’t looking into stuff regarding Carson for me, he wouldn’t have been coming to see us. Fuck,” Kyle slammed his hands against the steering wheel. Blu didn’t say anything, leaning across the console hugging Kyle. “No, baby.” He whispered in Kyle’s ear. Kyle shook his heading hoping to wake from a bad dream, but reality continued to slap him in the face. Placing the car in gear, he started the drive to Steven and Nan’s house. “I don’t want Nan hearing the news over a special broadcast or something,” Kyle said solemnly. “Jesus Blondie, this can’t be happening.” Blu watched out the windscreen dazedly as the world passed by. The ride was eerily quiet, as they pulled into Nan’s driveway Kyle took a deep breath exhaling slowly, “How do we tell Nan, the love of her life is gone?” Kyle asked as he shut the car off. Blu turned to Kyle with tears in his eyes, “I have absolutely no idea.” Just as Kyle opened his car door a police cruiser pulled in beside their car. An officer stepped out of the car and walked to Kyle and Blu, “Is this the Powell residence?” “Yes, are you here to speak with our Nan?” The officer glanced at his clipboard, “Do you mean Phyllis Powell?” “Yes sir, she’s not going to take this well. She’s a little unpredictable.” Blu swallowed audibly completely unprepared to tell his nan about the sudden death of her husband. “This is a part of my job I dislike. Could you lead the way?” The officer asked Blu. “Sure, would you mind telling her. Neither one of us could stand to break her heart?” Blu asked the officer. “We’ll be there for support but if you could do that we’d really be grateful.” The police officer nodded as he took his hat off placing it between his left arm and side. “This is one of the duties that is the most difficult,” he stated as he followed behind Blu and Kyle. Blu opened the door to his nan’s place, calling out to her. “Nan, it’s Blu. Where are you?” “Kitchen, grandbaby,” she called back walking into the living room wearing an apron and wiping her hands on a tea towel. “What brings you to my place, boys?” she stopped dead in her tracks. “Jimminy crickets what have you boys done now?” she screeched looking at the policeman. The officer stepped forward, “Mrs. Powell? I am Officer Samuels, of the Boston Police Department.” “What’d they do?” she asked narrowing her eyes at the boys. “Nan, we didn’t do anything. Maybe we should sit down?” Blu suggested steering nan toward a couch. She pulled away, “No, Blu. You tell me how much trouble you’re in right this minute.” Officer Samuels motioned for Nan to take a seat, “I really think it’s best for you to sit down Mrs. Powell.” She went to the couch giving the officer the stink eye the entire time. After sitting she smoothed out her apron with the skirt underneath, putting her hands clasped in her lap. “Fine, I’m sitting. Go ahead. How much trouble are the boys in?” “Mrs. Powell the boys aren’t in any trouble, there has been an accident. I’m sorry to inform you Steven, was killed,” Officer Samuels said humbly. “They killed Steven?” she asked shocked looking at the boys as if they were strangers. “No Mrs. Powell a driver struck Steven, killing him without reporting the incident,” Officer Samuels said as he knelt in front of Nan. Nan sat stoically in front of the officer, staring straight ahead as if she could see through him. The three men waited for a reaction from nan. Hell. Blu expected her to start throwing things or scream profanities. Much to their surprise she stood and walked to the front door, turning to the three of them holding it open. “Thank you for coming by. You can all leave now,” she said without looking at them. “Nan, you can’t stay here by yourself,” Kyle said as he walked over to her. “I’m fine Kyle, you can go. Take Blu with you. Thank you for coming over.” Blu looked at Kyle, fear gripping hold of him. Frightened by Nan’s reaction. “Maybe it would be best if we go Kyle. Nan, we are going for now. We’ll be back, okay?” Nan didn’t say anything just motioned for them all to leave. Blu had to practically drag Kyle from the house. He was determined to stick with Nan. Kyle turned to look back at Nan as the door slammed closed. “What the hell was that? You can leave now?” Officer Samuels stopped and handed his card to Blu, “Your family has my sympathies if there is anything I can do to help contact me.” Turning to face Kyle, “Peoples reactions at this type of thing can be quite shocking, just give her time.” He said before making his way back to his cruiser and leaving. “We better go talk to dad.” Blu ran his hand through his hair frustratingly. “I’ve never seen her shut down like that before. The woman is combative and loudly reactive – always. This isn’t good. I’m scared, blondie.” Kyle pulled Blu into a hug, “She dismissed us like we were school kids sent to my office.” He shook his head as the embrace loosened and then opened Blu’s door before going to his side of the car and getting inside. Once the boys reached home, Blu discretely asked his dad to meet him and Kyle in the office. Kyle was waiting, not really waiting so much as pacing, once they got there. “Kyle, are you okay? Did something happen at school?” Doug asked stopping his son from wearing a hole in the carpet. “No, I’m not okay. She dismissed us and told us to go home. Since when has she sent us home? I mean we’re not little kids,” Kyle scrunched his face and continued his path of pacing. Doug frowned at Blu, seeing the tears that had appeared since he entered the room made him fill with dread. “Maybe you boys should start from the beginning. Who kicked you out of the school?” “Nan,” Blu answered. “Why was mom at the school?” Doug asked his head sweeping back and forth between Blu and Kyle trying to make sense of everything. Blu was crying and Kyle seemed somewhere between concerned and angry. “Not school,” Kyle paused shrugging his shoulders, “their house, well Nan’s house now.” Doug sighed in confusion. “Boys, what are you talking about. You’re making no sense what so ever. Sit down, take a deep breath and start at the beginning.” Kyle walked by his desk kicking the garbage can over before sitting down. Blu sat down curling into his husband. Kyle lifted his arm making room for Blu, kissing his forehead as they both took a couple of deep breaths. Sighing Kyle steeled his nerves and made eye contact with Doug. “Dad, Steven called us as we were leaving the school wanting to meet us here.” Doug nodded listening intently. “So, anyway, I’m not sure if he told you but he was looking into Carson’s background for me. But he made a breakthrough, I’m not sure what.” Kyle buried his nose in Blu’s hair inhaling, “When we were at Pizza Shack waiting for our order to cook, Teddy called.” Doug nodded again, but his patience was wearing thin. “Steven was struck by a car Dad on the way here. We went to Nan’s with the police. She kicked us out,” Kyle’s voice was hoarse from emotion. “Shit! Is Steven okay?” Doug asked knowing he wasn’t going to like the answer. Blu shook his head into Kyle’s chest. “No dad, he died at the scene.” “Okay, fuck!” Doug quipped. The boys both sat up straight, it’s not very often a curse word passes the lips of their dad. Doug stood up leaving the boys in the office, calling out for Lily as he headed for the door. They heard the front door close a few seconds later. After a minute or two Lily appeared in the office doorway. “Where did your father go, Blu?” Her son looked at his husband before answering, “Um… I think he’s gone to see nan. He’ll be back soon, mom.” Lily saw the boys were upset, she came into the office and made the boys move apart so she could squeeze between them. “Don’t worry boys. Whatever she did, or however you upset her, your dad will fix it.” She tilted her head resting against Blu’s then reached up with her other hand pulling Kyle’s to her shoulder. “I don’t think anything can make this right,” Kyle mumbled to himself. “Come now boys, everything will be fine. This will all blow over.” Lily comforted the boys, neither of them have the heart to tell her what they were upset about. Best if their dad handled it. ***** After Doug had returned and informed the rest of the family what had happened the family went its separate ways to deal with things in their own way. Blu and Kyle kept a vigilant eye on the kids, the twins especially. Levi usually lashed out and Lincoln would bottle his feelings up. Steven may have only been part of the family for a few years, but he had always been part of the kid's lives. He was a quiet, stoic man but he had a sense of humor that entertained the kids. They made a game up to make him smile or laugh and when they would achieve this they got to swap one of their chores for an easier one with another. The adults, on the other hand, were very fond of Steven, he loved nan and her wacky ways and had the ability to reign her in when she got out of hand. He always did things for the family without being asked and would never accept anything beyond gratitude. The house was solemn and quiet. Blu went up to check on the kids. He found them all in their room, laying in all manner of positions sprawled across their bed watching a movie together. Blu smiled to himself taking a picture sending it down to Kyle. The kids didn’t often go in their room and never without permission. However, they liked to be with their dads when they were sad or sick. It was their safe place. ***** The following morning Kyle was up early he had made coffee and grabbed the mail, before sitting down at the kitchen table and remembering Steven. As he sorted through the mail, Kyle found a letter from the Federal Department of Corrections. He ran his fingers over the embossed logo on the envelope before he turned the letter over and placed it on the table. After sipping his coffee and reading the junk mail, Kyle reluctantly picked up the envelope and opened it. Sliding the official document out of the envelope he slowly read the letter with excerpts that stuck out. Kyle sat the letter down and drank the remainder of his coffee. Cody wandered into the kitchen, squirming his way onto Kyle’s lap and snuggling into him. After kissing the top of Cody’s head Kyle gave him a hug and kept him enveloped in it. “Dad?” Cody called out. “Yeah?” Kyle said as he rested his head against Cody’s. “Why do good people die?” Cody squeaked as Kyle maintained the hug. Kyle sighed, “I honestly don’t have a good answer for that Cody. I wish I could give you a good reason, right now I just want to protect you kids from all of the bad stuff.” “What’s in the letter you were reading? You looked sad when you were reading it?” Cody looked up giving his dad puppy dog eyes. “My parents were… are bad people. That letter told me how bad of people they are,” Kyle inhaled a deep breath. “Your Pop and I love each of you more than words can ever say.” “We love you back,” Cody said matter of factly. ***** Kaleb dragged Davis from the parking lot into the clinic for their first sonogram of their baby. “Baby, slow down. They are going to wait for us. Terri promised, her mom will be with her so try and dial back the crazy for the next few hours okay?” Davis pleaded with his husband. “Me? Crazy? Please,” Kaleb flapped his hand at Davis dismissively. “Hurry up already, the baby will be here before we meet it.” “Leb,” Davis pulled Kaleb to a sudden stop, then grabbed his shoulders turning him so they were face-to-face. “Chill, honey, I’m excited too, okay? But you’re at jack russell status, and you're making me anxious. Take a deep breath and calm down.” Kaleb gave Davis his sad eyes as he took a deep breath. “There you go. I love you so much, Kaleb.” Davis kissed Kaleb making sure he knew how much. When they pulled out of the kiss Kaleb was red-faced, fanning himself grinning at his husband. “So, what are you doin’ later? I have a feeling you’re gonna get lucky,” Kaleb said as he ran his finger down Davis’ chest. “Laundry, Waters residence, 7 pm,” Davis answered with a smirk. “Hmm… my favorite room and good lord you do a good load of laundry,” Kaleb winked as he grabbed ahold of Davis’ hand. “Let's go before we have to find a laundromat.” Davis and an almost, but not quite calmer Kaleb met up with Terri and her mom outside the reception of the clinic. “Mom, this is Davis and Kaleb Hanson. Guys this is my mom, Nadine Halifax.” The boys being the gentlemen they pretend to be charmed Nadine’s mom as they went inside the clinic. Terri leaned over to Davis whispering as Kaleb and Nadine chatted a few feet away. “How did you calm him down? This is the most relaxed I’ve seen Kaleb.” Terri took one look at Davis’ face before saying, “Nevermind.” Smirking as she caught up to the other two. Kaleb turned to look at Terri, “So is the little one kicking the shit out of your bladder yet?” “No, yes.” Terri rolled her eyes rubbing her belly softly. “But I don’t mind that’s how I know she’s healthy. The morning sickness is a distant memory at least.” A clinic technician called out Terri’s name, they all followed along to the small room. The technician turned to them, “Just the mom to be and the dad. The room is kind of tiny.” “I’m sorry but, I will be going in. If you actually read the file you’d know my daughter is a surrogate and these two gentlemen are the fathers to be. We’d all like to be in with Terri. We’ll make room and won’t interfere with your job. I assure you.” Nadine was firm but polite. The technician opened the file flicking over a few pages biting his bottom lip. “Hmm, yes, I see.” He smiled at the small crowd. “I guess we’ll make do. Come on in.” The foursome breathed a sigh of relief filing through the door after the technician. Terri climbed up on the exam table lifting her shirt leaving her belly exposed. Kaleb reached out to touch it, Davis smacking his hand away. “Ow, baby. I just wanted to see if it really feels like a beach ball.” Kaleb rubbed his hand. “You’re not getting lucky tonight mister.” “Oh, yes I am,” Davis mumbled quietly hoping only Kaleb heard him. Kaleb rolled his eyes and looked at the technician, “So, how good are you at seeing a penis?” “What?” the guy looked up full belly laughing at Kaleb. “You know…” Kaleb made a hand motion, “Can you see his little thingy?” “Oh,” the man calmed a bit at least to a sporadic giggle. “Depends how the babies are situated,” he said distantly while his eyes narrowed at the screen running the wand over Terri’s stomach. “So you mean our baby has to have his junk on full display for you to know if it’s a boy?” Kaleb had positioned himself behind the technician looking over his shoulder watching his every move. “Hang on on second,” Davis’ voice panicked, “did you say, babies? Like with an s, plural, as in more than one?” Kaleb stopped looking at the display and stared blinking in disbelief between Davis and the technician. “Has no one told you that this pregnancy is multiple births?” Terri vigorously shook her head, her complexion had gone green. Kaleb got a wicked look on his face spinning the technician around on his little stool, flinging his arms around the technician. “Davis we are having twins! My super sperms done it!” Turning his attention back to the technician, “So two babies? What sex are they? How big is his wanger? Are they healthy?” Kaleb looked at Davis, “We need two of everything. What are we gonna name them? Will we need any special stuff to care for them–” THUD! “Davis wake up! You can’t lay down on the job now baby,” Kaleb said as he pushed the technician out of the way and knelt beside Davis slapping him gently on the face. “Davis you will not lay on your back while I slave taking care of the babies,” Kaleb said as he peppered kisses on his husbands face. The technician grabbed some smelling salts from the shelf, waving it under Davis’ nose. “Mr. uh...” “Hanson,” Terri informed him. “Mr. Hanson, you with us?” Davis opened his eyes slowly. “Huh, flmsu wens.” “Here sit up.” The tech slowly sat Davis up checking his pupils, doing the normal assessments. “He seems okay, maybe just sit a minute and gather your bearings.” “If you’re trying to get out of taking care of the babies at night you are sadly mistaken,” Kaleb poked Davis’ chest with his finger. “Dizzy,” Davis said wearily. “You’re fine,” Kaleb turned back to the technician, “So did you see his wanger?” Nadine went to Davis’ side. “You okay honey?” she asked helping him off the floor. “Yeah, I think so. Shit! Twins right?” Davis asked shakily. Kaleb turned and sighed at Davis, “Yeah, you were to busy taking a nap.” THUD! Kaleb looked at his husband holding his hand up, “Can you please answer the question? Did you see his junk or not?” Nadine helped Davis again making sure he was okay. He swayed over to the examination bed. “Are you okay with this, Terri?” The young woman smiled warmly at Davis. “Yes, I’ve known from the beginning that it could be multiple births. I’m good, just surprised.” “Let us know if there’s anything we can do to make things easier for you?” “Davis hit the technician he’s not answering my questions,” Kaleb whined. Davis scrunched his face up at his husband. “Can you guys please excuse us for a second. I’m just going to talk to my husband in the hallway for a minute.” He dragged Kaleb out into the hallway and read him the riot act about being disrespectful and demanded he go back in there and apologize to everyone. “Let the man talk, Kaleb. You are being ridiculous and childish. That young woman is having those babies for us and you’re only concerned about the gender. I passed out for christ sake Kaleb, and all you care about is me getting out of work that hasn’t even come our way yet. Grow the fuck up!” Davis angrily went back into the room trying to put the hurt look on Kaleb’s face out of his mind. He was being childish and downright disrespectful. Davis had no choice but to give Kaleb a wake-up call. Kaleb walked back into the room with his arms crossed over his chest staring at the floor. “I’m sorry I was an ass, I overreacted and was disrespectful.” He glanced up at Davis quickly and his eyes darted back to the floor. “Terri I appreciate everything you’re doing for us. But I really wanna know if you,” he pointed at the technician, “Can see my boys thingy?” “Apology accepted, and you’re nowhere near the first over excited expecting father I’ve had. And yes, I can confirm that at least one of your babies is a boy. The other I can’t confirm but at least seventy percent sure it’s a girl.” His smile was professional and friendly. Kaleb flung his arms around the technician kissing him on the lips before flinging him across the room and grabbing Davis. “We’re getting one of each. You gotta deal with the female talks, I’m not good at dealing with female stuff. You know I just freak out over the whole V word thing.” Kaleb stopped to catch his breath and lay one huge kiss on Davis. “Okay Leb, calm down,” Davis told him. “Kaleb?” Terri said getting his attention. “You’re going to have to get used to the girl stuff. I’m not having these babies so you can half-ass it. You find a way to deal with it, got it?” Kaleb looked at Terri, “I got it, but what if I screw up?” Nadine let out a little chuckle. “Oh, you will screw up. Many times. But you soldier on and do better the next time something comes up. There is no handbook Kaleb. It doesn’t get easier as they get older either it just changes that’s all. It happens to all parents.” Kaleb snaked his arm around Davis, “I love you so much, baby. Well, I guess you have to lose that nickname now,” he mumbled the latter comment. “You can call me what you want, as long as you still love me Leb,” Davis said sweeping Kaleb’s hair back from his eyes. “I’ll always love you, Davis,” Kaleb turned and bent down close to Terri’s stomach and whispered, “your daddies love each of you guys too.”
  6. Hi everybody, 

     

    Today Joh and I are actually getting to do some writing. Hopefully, you will get a new chapter in the near future. I hope all of you are having a good weekend.

     

    Rob

    1. Dahawk

      Dahawk

      Oh, I forgot to mention I got a Siberian Husky puppy since my old dog passed about a month ago. She is spoiled and goes everywhere with me.

    2. empresslovesreading
  7. Spoiler

     

    Hi everybody,

     

    I guess I owe you guys an explation to my absence. Some of know my summer started off bad and has continued to only get worse. My Grandma passed awa this past weekend without my Uncles or Aunt telling my brother, sister, or myself. The reason being when my Dad passed away and then my Pap, my Gram vowed that when anything happened we would receive his share of inheritance from thier tobacco plantation, which pissed off money hungry people. Therefor the only way i knew Gram had passed was my Dads twin slipped up in a facebook post the day of her funeral, I'm not worried about money, I'm a modest person. I however was not given the opportunity to say goodbye since she lived ten hours away. 

     

    I am back to caring for my nephew and niece since my brother in laws health spiraled again. They are doing tests to decide if he is even viable for an artificial heart at this point. 

     

    I wish I could tell you that I see a light at the end of a darkened tunnel, so I could resume writing and find my peace. At this time I can't make any promises other than I will be back and so will my stories. I wanted to say a special thank you to Joh for being patient during my absence, we talk ocassionally and have plotted out the next book in Struggling Forward. I hope you all had a blessed summer and are ready for autumn.

     

    Love to all,

    Rob

  8. Dahawk

    Chapter 104 The End of the Rainbow

    Well I finally got caught upmon the story... I can't say that I'm surprised about the impending doom of Robbie and Nathan's relationship, but I believe Nathan already is dabbling on the side. Alex still seems like he is trying to be there for Robbie, hopefully he still will after the dickish lashing out which he deserves an ass beating for. Cheers for the great writing, it helps my mind rekax when I can lose myself in reading a bit when I can.
  9. Hi everybody,

     

    I am just giving a quick update on whats become of my life. At the moment my days consist of getting a few hours of sleep when I can, and then do the shuffle to my sisters house, clean up dishes, cook dinner, and get my nephew and niece to and from various practices for school activities and then be there for the kids while she works. I unfortunately don't have time at the moment to write, but hopefully over the next week or so can start easing my way back to writing. I'm sorry you guys are being left in limbo, but Joh can vouch for me that my family comes before all else.

     

    Love to you all,

    Rob

    1. BHopper2

      BHopper2

      Family always comes first. Prayers for you and them.

    2. Wesley8890

      Wesley8890

      Family first. 

    3. chris191070

      chris191070

      Family always comes first.

  10. Just a quick update seven days after the funeral, my brother in law went into complete heart failure. The last few days have been sleep deprive and emotionally draining. My sister and I broke the news to my nephew and niece that they will probably lose their Dad in the near future. It was one of the hardest things I have had to be part of, although at 16 and 14 yo they surprised me at how mature they are. I have had to step up at the moment to help with the kids so my sister can work and deal with the hospital. I can't say how soon I will be back to writing but I will be back. Thanks for the love and support each of you have given, there have been times throughout this chaos that I glance back over your encouraging words to draw strength. 

     

    Love, 

    Rob

    1. Show previous comments  3 more
    2. Headstall

      Headstall

      Sorry, Rob... don't forget to look after yourself as well. :hug: 

    3. Puppilull

      Puppilull

      Such sad and trying times for you and you family. I'm so sorry for you.

    4. chris191070

      chris191070

      Sorry to here that Rob. Such sad times for you and your family. Take all the time you need.

  11. Dahawk

    Chapter 102 A student for a Day

    Great chapter and writing as always. Just a few thoughts. Nathan has skeletons that have been locked away, until Tom cracked the door open. Hopefully Robbie doesn't let Nathan wreck the confidence he has built up in himself. Okay, so Tom is definitely too far away for true relationship with Robbie. My hopes as twisted as it may sound is for Robbie and Alex to date. Alex has changed immensely since the beginning of the story. Once we was injured his badass guise seemed to crumble and we have gotten to see how vulnerable he is. I think both boys could benefit from one anothers support. That's my two cents, thanks for the great work you do.
  12. Hi everybody,

     

    The new chapter of Family Struggles is published, it didn't make it back from all of the beta-readers. Unfortunately, I had a death in the family so I just published it. If there are errors, you will have to forgive me I will fix them when I get back to writing. If I can meet up with Joh we might have a chapter for next week, however, if that doesn't happen the next one will be in two weeks. I hope everybody has a safe and good week. 

     

    Thanks,

    Rob

    1. BHopper2

      BHopper2

      Sorry to hear about the death in your family. My condolences to you and yours.

    2. empresslovesreading

      empresslovesreading

      My condolences Rob. 💔

  13. Dahawk

    God Help Us

    God Help US: Davis held onto Kaleb as he collapsed, Cody quickly picked up his uncle’s phone giving it to Blu, while Jared and Kyle stepped over to their brother. The young boy looked up at his pop scared, Blu put his arm around Cody as he pocketed the phone for now. He gave Mason the nod to give him a hand with the kids to keep them out of the way and to stay calm until they knew Kaleb was going to be okay. Kyle placed his hand on Davis’ shoulder, “Is he gonna be okay?” Davis smoothed Kaleb’s hair with his hand as Kaleb started to stir. “Maybe we should call it a day and go back to the house?” Jared suggested to the group. ***** The family had arrived back at their accommodations after their third day in a row at Disneyworld. Kaleb still hadn’t shared anything about the phone call that had cut the first day short. He shared with Davis but they had decided to keep it themselves for the time being trying to wrap their own heads around the news. Everyone weary, the younger ones so exhausted Kasey and Cody had to be carried into the house and put into bed. Blu stopped Levi and Link from going into the room paranoid about Cody’s health if he got too exhausted, he needed his rest. Link then made it his mission to make sure that everybody left Cody to have his rest, even giving Tony an earful when he snuck quietly into the room to get his clothes so he could have a shower. After that, he went and got Derek from the security detail and made him sit on a chair at the door to guard his brother. Derek thought it was cute and humored the young boy. Kyle’s phone vibrated in his pocket distracting him, he stepped outside onto the lanai to take the call. “Hi, Mom.” “No, I stepped outside.” “The kids are inside the house, Link has Cody’s room on lockdown so he can sleep.” “Everybody’s fine Mom, honest.” “Mom, was there a reason you called other than to ask about the kids?” “Uh huh.” “That son of a bitch.” “Is Brody going to be okay?” “Mom, get Teddy to move some of the security detail down to Brody’s house. If that S.O.B even tries to go back there while Maria is at the hospital with Brody, have them shoot the asshole. Well actually have them detain him and call the cops.” “Now what are we to tell the kids?” “I know we need to be honest with them. Yes Mom, okay, I’ll let you know what we decide to do about coming home.” “Uh huh. Thanks for calling. Love you guys too. Bye.” Kyle leaned against the railing taking in a deep breath before heading inside and finding Blu rifling through the pantry. “Babe, we need to gather the guys and have a grown-up chat,” Kyle said as he stared at Blu’s ass. Blu looked over his shoulder, “See something you like, Blondie?” then kept rifling through the pantry mumbling to himself. “Where the hell is Link’s chocolate covered licorice thingy’s.” Kyle shrugged his shoulders, “He probably has them being guarded by the security detail too.” “Friggin’ kid.” Blu turned around to face Kyle who eyes were now on his crotch. “Jesus Blondie, how hard up are you right now?” “I can’t help it I’m trying to avoid our next conversation,” Kyle mumbled. Blu shrugged his shoulder, “Okay, I’m good with that, where do you wanna do this?” Kyle shook his head, “Let’s go find the guys and get our discussion over with. I can’t even begin to figure out how to break the news that we have to, especially during our vacation.” “Well… how ‘bout you think about it while you pound it out on me in the upstairs bathroom. Give yourself a clear head. Or I could just give you head.” Blu smirked, losing his jovial banter when he saw the serious look on Kyle’s face. “What the fuck has happened Kyle?” “Gather my brothers up, while I give the kids free reign on Link’s stash to distract them for a bit.” Kyle ran his hand over his face before going to find the kids. “Okay,” Blu said as he was leaving the kitchen then throwing over his shoulder, “Just make sure you confiscate the bullets and bring them with ya.” “I’ll try,” Kyle chuckled as he went to find the kids. ***** Kyle walked into the living room and closed the French doors behind him. He walked over to Blu and handed him two pieces of chocolate covered licorice and shrugged his shoulders, “It’s all Link would part with and I had to pay him five dollars to do that.” “You’re useless,” Blu said stomping out of the room. Everyone sat silently watching the door as they heard Blu run up the stairs calling out for Lincoln. There was some raised voices, then they heard him stomp back down the stairs and back into the room with three different bags of candy, wearing a smug grin as he flopped down next to Kyle. Kyle reached over to grab a chocolate candy but Blu twisted out of the way hugging them to his chest while shoving a gummy bear in his mouth with a chocolate bullet. “Get your own.” Kyle smirked, “How much did he charge you?” “He chose to give them to me, in favor of not doing extra chores when we get home.” “Blackmail… I never thought of that,” Kyle sighed and his shoulders slouched. Jared looked at his brother, “What’s so important that you are letting the kids get a sugar high and you have us in lockdown?” “Mom called,” Kyle said softly, “Maria called her.” Blu’s hand stopped halfway to his mouth holding three gummy bears as he stared at Kyle. A bad feeling warred its way through his body. He did not like or trust her husband and Blu adored Maria. “Apparently, Carson had a bad day at work and stopped at the bar on his way home,” Kyle paused long enough to glance up from the spot on the floor he had been focusing on. “Once he got home Carson decided to show Brody how useless he was by beating on him,” Kyle’s hands clenched into fists. “BRENT!” Blu shouted. The security guy for Kyle and Blu came into the room. “What’s up Blu?” Brent asked looking at the men. “Did you find out anything else about that asshole next door?” “Uh, well not exactly. The Judge is running down a few leads that are way above my abilities to get answers on, it seems Carson’s father has a lot of influence even from the grave.” Brent said as he leaned against the wall. Blu looked at Kyle his face pained, “What about Teddy, he’s masterful and a sneaky bastard. Surely he knows something? He’d know about all our neighbors if he’s protecting our family.” “It’s not that simple Blu. Carson’s father was a Senator and he’s buried stuff in confidentiality bullshit. Teddy is the one that suggested involving the Judge in the investigation. I’m sorry Blu, we are trying.” Brent grimaced. Kyle placed a hand on Blu’s knee, “Thanks Brent, we know you are. Advise the detail we may be leaving for home in the morning.” “Yes sir,” Brent said and quickly exited the room. “It gets worse,” Kyle squeezed Blu’s knee. “Brody tried committing suicide after the beating Carson gave him. He found a razor blade and cut his wrist.” Kyle winced as he recalled what a kind boy Brody is. Gasps were heard around the room, Blu and Mason both had watery eyes. The three brothers stoic and angry, and Davis was pensive and glued to his phone typing frantically. The air in the room thick, nobody knowing what to say. “I,” Blu said gravelly, clearing his throat before trying again. “I don’t want Levi to know about this yet. Understood? We’ll tell him when we get home. There’s no need for the other kids to know at all unless Brody chooses to tell them. But I do think the boy is going to need Levi.” “I think we should head home to be there for Brody and Maria,” Kyle said solemnly. “Great!” Davis said loudly to his phone, the men all turning to look at him in shock. He looked up to see everyone staring at him. He held his phone up for all to see. “My boss is friends with the Chief of Staff. He managed to find out Brody is physically fine, but hasn’t specified anything further. But at least we know that much.” Kaleb who was unusually quiet scooted forward to the edge of his seat. “We weren’t going to tell anybody, but we can use the excuse that Davis and I need to head home early since we found out we are gonna be Dad’s?” He glanced over to Davis, hoping he didn’t overstep bounds by announcing their secret. “It would give you both time to figure out how to break the news to Levi.” “Yeah, maybe,” Blu said slowly thinking about the charade while shoving more gummy bears in his mouth. “But it probably won’t be enough, there’s no reason we would all leave. We need something more, I think.” “You’re right, what about if we tell the kids. Let them be heard and they can say whether we stay or go. If they want to stay, you guys talk to Levi sooner rather than when you get home and he’ll insist he at least goes with us under that pretense of the baby. The other kids know how close Levi is with Kaleb they won’t think twice about it.” Davis smiled affectionately at his husband. “But the kids might just surprise us and all want to go home.” Kyle nodded his head, “I agree with Davis, we know Levi is always everybody’s protector so he needs to be there for Brody. Let’s leave the kids to decide if everybody should go home, if not I could go home with Levi and you could stay here with the kids if you wanted Babe.” Kyle rubbed Blu’s knee offering a slight smile. Blu nodded, but his head was elsewhere thinking about poor Maria. He may also be putting a plan in place to dispose of a certain body. “Hey Davis, how hard would it be to dispose of a body through the morgue and not get found out?” Kyle grimaced and held his hand up, “Babe, I already turned Teddy loose on the situation. If Carson steps foot near Maria or Brody it will be his last time.” Blu nodded while hugging his candy to his chest. ***** The following morning breakfast was a huge affair. It seemed like the guys had cooked every last morsel of food that was in the house. There was just enough room for each family members place settings on the table. Cody scampered into the dining area with bulging eyes, “Is it Christmas time? There is soooo much food.” Link elbowed his brother lightly, “Shhh… there is a lot of sweets on the table let’s eat before they realize what they done.” “If either of you boys touches one thing on that table before everyone is seated; you’ll be picking up Spotty’s poop at our house for the next month.” Mason pointed a sauce bottle at the boys before setting on the table. “Without gloves.” “You use a poopy scoopy,” Kasey chirped. “Not for these boys,” Mason said, “Now you boys run along and wash your hands before you sit at the table. And Link, bang on the doors to wake the others up, will ya.” In a matter of moments, Link and Cody went in opposite directions banging and screaming at the tops of the lungs, “Fire! Hurry!” Tony and Levi came out of the bathrooms swiftly hopping about trying to put their boxers on while Lincoln and Cody stood back laughing. They were completely unaware that Nan and Grandma had come out of their room with Bella behind them yawning and rubbing her eyes sleepily. “What’s happening?” Tony asked panicked. Cody giggled, “We were hungry, and told we couldn’t eat until everybody is awake.” Nan pushed her way between the two pranksters clipping them both on the back of the head, followed by Elsie and Arabella. The boys were rubbing the sore spots from their families abuse. “Not cool.” Arabella crossed her arms marching toward the kitchen letting her aggravation at her younger brothers be seen. It didn’t stop her from kissing Tony on her way past though. “I’m telling Dad you were canoodling in the hallway,” Lincoln yelled after his sister. Bella flicked her brother the bird and kept walking. “Canoodling Link, what are you sixty?” Tony shook his head going into the boys shared room. Lincoln shrugged his shoulder, “That’s what Nan called it.” Levi glared at his twin, “I swear the nurses switched you at birth.” Link laughed, “Yeah, with you idiot. You were almost the cool one.” “Dad! Can’t we trade him in?” Levi shouted as he headed into the kitchen. “God, can’t I drink my coffee before the arguing begins?” Kyle said as he poured himself a cup of black gold. Mason standing beside him chuckling. Kasey shook his head, “No, arguin’ is fun.” “Wait until you have a brother,” Levi mumbled. “Poppy when I havin’ a brother?” Kasey looked expectantly at Mason. Mason smirked at Jared, “I’m not sure buddy, maybe we’ll go shopping for one after Christmas.” Kasey found his chair and hopped up, bouncing up and down. “Evi I getting’ a brother!” “You gonna share Spotty with him?” Levi asked his cousin as he sat down. “No,” Kasey shook his head, “He get his own.” Jared glared at Mason, “So first a brother and now a second dog.” “Seems the logical order.” Mason snickered. “But we have to get married first.” “Then we go brother shopping?” Kasey called out as he snatched a piece of bacon off the table. “I think I’m being railroaded,” Jared said as he plopped a pancake and piece of fruit on Kasey’s plate and cut it up. “I can hear you laughing Derek!” “Oh I was watching something funny on the television,” Derek called out from another room. “Mhmm,” Jared finished cutting up Kasey’s food. “Eat so you can be a good big brother, when you and Mason go shopping.” Kasey nodded and shoveled food into his mouth like he never ate before. Once everybody was seated and had their plates filled with food Kyle cleared his throat, “Kids, Uncle Kaleb and Uncle Davis need to go back home. That phone call Uncle Kaleb got was about having a baby. Do you guys want to go home with them or stay here for a few more days?” Levi looked skeptically at Kyle and Blu before turning his attention to Kaleb. “Why do you need to go home?” Levi asked. “Well…” Kaleb started, while looking at Davis. “We are responsible for the young lady that’s having our baby, now that she’s pregnant we have to move her into our apartment. That was the deal we made with her.” “Oh, I guess that makes sense. I say we go home with them, they might need help,” Levi shrugged as he ate his breakfast. Cody looked at Kaleb, “Ya, you can’t be trusted on your own.” “Hey, I’m the fun Uncle remember,” Kaleb huffed. “More like the funny uncle,” Blu chuckled, “and don’t be rude to your uncle Cody. His behavior is unpredictable at best.” Link rubbed his chin like he was making a major life decision, “I agree with Cody, Pop, he can’t be left to deal with a baby by himself.” Davis frowned and leaned forward, “You boys realise the baby won’t be here for another seven and a half months right?” “So we have time to train Uncle Kaleb,” Cody smirked. “Cody,” Blu warned while trying not to laugh. “Bite me Cody,” Kaleb threw a piece of orange at his nephew. Cody snatched the fruit out of the air popping it into his mouth, “Thanks.” “Don’t even think about it,” Kyle said to Cody as he reached for a pancake to frisbee at his uncle. “But… I didn’t start it,” Cody smiled innocently. “I’m gonna end it before it starts, hurry up and finish eating and then get your stuff packed. That is if we are all in agreement of going home.” Kyle sat back in his seat, receiving a bunch of nods from everybody. Once the kids all left the table, Nan didn’t waste any time getting to the bottom of things. “You’re a shitty liar Kyle Waters, I demand to know what’s going on? Is Lily okay?” “Mom is fine,” Kyle stated before he filled the elder family members in on what was actually going on. “I vote we leave the old ladies behind with Derek,” Brent called out from the other room. “Fuck you very much, but I quit,” Derek called out afterward. Kaleb chuckled, “Afraid of two little old ladies? You coward.” “I’ll admit it, I ain’t ashamed of it. Them two there need there own color on the terror level chart.” “Have you ever spent a night in jail? Nan is quite entertaining, she sings a lovely ‘Swing low, sweet chariot!’” Kaleb guffawed. “I’ve already had to get out of the pokey three times since we arrived,” Derek said as he walked into the kitchen to put his coffee mug in the dishwasher. “Trust me, she sings like a cat in heat. I’m sure the cops let her go, just so their eardrums didn’t bleed.” “Well!” Nan huffed, flipping the bird at Derek. “That’s for you, and that’s for you,” she moved her action at Kaleb. Brent smirked at Derek as he walked into the room, “You couldn’t keep two old ladies clothes on at a beach. How in the world did you even get arrested?” “I was picking their clothes up as they galivanted up the beach stripping,” Derek growled. “When the cops showed up the ladies pointed at me saying, I stole their clothes.” “Geez,” Blu griped. “Nan, I swear…” he shook his head standing up from the table. “Pack your gear, we’re all going home. Don’t give the security any more grief on the way home or I promise I’ll convince your husband you need to go into care.” ***** Once the family got home, Levi unpacked his things quickly before finding Blu curled up on the couch with a book. “Pop, I’m gonna go hang out with Brody,” Levi stated as he leaned in the archway of the living room. Blu looked around for any of their other kids. “Before you go, me and dad want to have a quick chat.” He hopped off the couch guiding Levi into the music room, ducking his head into the kitchen and signaling Kyle. “Am I in trouble?” Levi asked as he sat in one of the chairs. “No Levi, you’re not in trouble,” Blu told him, his voice was passive and soft alarming Levi. Kyle pulled a chair over so he was sitting beside Levi. “We need to talk about Brody,” Kyle said as calmly as possible. “He’s my friend you can’t make me not like him,” Levi said gruffly. “I… We wouldn’t do that. Your Pop and I like Brody,” Kyle said as he sighed. “Well, then what’s the trouble?” Levi glared at Blu and Kyle. “Brody is in the hospital,” Kyle said as he placed his hand on Levi’s shoulder. “What happened to him?” Levi asked as his body tensed. “Umm… you remember all the bruises you’ve seen on Brody?” Kyle asked Levi. Levi nodded and remained quiet, crossing his arms over his chest. “Brody’s father was the one causing all of those bruises,” Kyle looked at Levi and the boy’s eyes had unshed tears in them. “Carson said some really bad things to Brody when he was hurting him.” “I’ll kill him,” Levi muttered quietly, his hands balled into fists as they dug into his armpits. “Levi, you need to calm down and listen. We won’t let anything else happen to Brody or Maria,” Kyle looked quickly to Blu for support. “Your dad has already organized security detail at the hospital for Brody and Maria. There is also a couple at the house to make sure Brody’s dad can’t go in. Okay? So calm down and listen to what your dad has to tell you. I promise we’ll do everything in our power to protect them. But you have to stay calm because Brody needs his best friend. That’s you right?” “Okay, but why is he in the hospital?” Levi asked warily. “Levi, Brody tried to hurt himself. You need to be the guy that Brody can trust right now since he doesn’t trust adults right now.” Kyle squeezed Levi’s shoulder. Their son burst into tears, not the reaction Kyle and Blu were expecting. They both looked at each other before gathering him up between them to let him get all his emotions out before Kyle tells him that he’ll take him to see his friend. Kyle reached across their son to wipe away a stray tear that had fallen on Blu’s face. He could take a lot, but one of the kids hurting wasn’t one of them. Not that Kyle himself was in any better state. Blu did the same for Kyle before wrapping his hand around his husband's neck just to feel connected to him. “I’ll take you to the hospital to see Brody, if you feel up to it.” Kyle stated as he kissed Levi’s forehead. Levi sniffled, “Is he gonna be okay?” “Eventually, but I don’t think it will be for a while. You just need to be patient and be his friend.” Blu swept his hand over Levi’s hair. “This is going to be hard for him. You be there, listen, and have his back. That’s all you can do but it will make his life a lot easier knowing you’re on his side.” “Okay, I’ll always be there for people I care about.” Levi wiped his eyes and finding his inner strength. “We know you will,” Kyle offered his son a smile. ***** Levi walked toward the room the nurse had pointed out to his dad and him. He stopped at the door and hesitated seeing Brody was sleeping. Maria sat next to her son’s bed staring at the wall, she hadn’t even realized Kyle and Levi had entered the room until Kyle put his hand gently on her shoulder. Maria looked up at Kyle, his heart broke when he saw his friend seemed to have aged ten years in one week. The worry, her broken heart, and betrayal written all over her face. “Coffee?” Kyle asked. “Please,” Maria said as tears appeared in her eyes. She stood from her seat and hugged Kyle so tightly. “Have you eaten anything?” Kyle asked her. “I’m not hungry.” “Maria, you need to eat to be strong for Brody,” Kyle said softly. “Levi, you stay here with Brody. I’m going to grab a coffee and feed Maria. You text me if Brody wakes up.” “Thanks, Dad,” Levi gave him a hug before taking the seat Maria vacated. Levi looked at his friend who was covered in bruises and had a thick bandage over his right wrist. Machines were beeping as they monitored his heart rate. Brody’s body jerked and his eyes opened in a fright at not recognizing his surroundings. Levi placed his hand on Brody’s forearm, “It’s okay Brody, I won’t let anybody hurt you.” Brody laid back on the bed, seeming a little less tense. “He hates me,” Brody mumbled with tears in his eyes. “He’s a jerk,” Levi said quietly. “Why didn’t you tell me about him hitting you?” “We don’t need pity.” Brody rolled over facing the wall. “You’re my best friend,” Levi shifted in his chair. Still not getting through to Brody, Levi climbed onto the bed laying next to his best friend. He gently tugged on Brody’s arm getting him to roll and face him. “I’m not going anywhere.” “I can’t do anything right. Why would you like me?” Brody asked as tears streamed down his face. “A million reason’s dufus.” Levi smiled. “If I wasn’t here maybe my Mom and Dad wouldn’t fight all the time,” Brody quietly stated. “You can come live with me. I need back up against Link and Cody.” Levi’s smile stayed plastered on his face at the thought of having his best friend around all the time. “I don’t think my Mom will ever let me out of her sight,” Brody wiped his eyes with the back of his hand. Levi shrugged, “I don’t care she can come too.” He put his hand on Brody’s upper arm. “Me and you against the world.” “Did they tell you what I did?” Brody asked. Levi didn’t say anything, he watched his friend closely. His dads told him to have patience so he was trying not to say anything so he could listen to his friend. He thought if he stayed silent long enough Brody would say something, but he was happy to sit in silence with his friend. On some level, Levi knew his friend was hurting emotionally and didn’t want to upset him because he was afraid he’d try and hurt himself again. “You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, I’m not going anywhere. I promise.” Levi almost whispered. He took an edge of the sheet and wiped his friends face, then laid his head patiently on the pillow next to Brody’s. “I’m so tired of trying to be perfect at everything,” Brody mumbled. “It didn’t even matter.” “Yes, it does. And Pop always tells me, nobody is perfect, especially me.” Levi chuckled lightly. “So no matter how hard we all try, we never will be. Pop’s smart, even if he is a big dork.” Brody touched the thick bandage on his wrist. “I did something really bad,” Brody said in almost a whisper. “That’s okay. What did you do?” “After he was done hitting me…” Brody seemed to drift off in thought. “It’s okay Brody, you can tell me I’ll never tell. You’re my best friend.” “Do you know how bad it hurts to never be good enough?” Brody asked as he tried to build up the courage to admit to what he had done. “It’s stupid that words can hurt worse than his fists.” “Yeah, well, you’re talking to a kid who nobody wanted until my dads came along. So I kind of get what you’re saying.” Brody trembled with fear, “After he beat me, I went in the bathroom and locked the door. Mom and him were arguing in the kitchen.” “What did he say Brody?” Levi was starting to get agitated and wished he could take his friends pain away, but at the same time wanted to hurt Carson, his dad. “He shouted at my Mom, saying he wished I was never born. I dug through the medicine cabinet and found his razor and took it apart. I… I thought if I wasn’t here no more then they could be happy,” Brody ran his fingers over the bandage. Levi didn’t know what to say, so he wrapped himself around his best friend as gently as he could trying not to hurt him. “I’m glad you were born. We’ll be friends forever.” “Promise?” Brody asked skeptically. Levi kissed his friend's cheek. “Promise,” he whispered. “Levi?” Brody whispered back. “Yeah?” “Please don’t tell anyone. Not even Lincoln or your dads.” “Never.” Brody laid his head on Levi’s shoulder, closing his eyes. The revelation of all the emotions and family chaos left Brody worn out, as he drifted off to sleep. Levi following him into slumber a few minutes later, comfortably curled up next to his best friend emotionally exhausted. He could relax now though, his friend was going to be okay. Kyle and Maria returned to the room finding both boys snuggled together sleeping soundly.
  14. Dahawk

    When It Rains It Pours

    Thanks, just like real-life there are heart-wrenching moments also.
  15. Dahawk

    Helping Hand

    Glad to have you as a reader, the story has a lot left to be said enjoy the ride!
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