Chapter Three

"Shh....enjoy this babe..." What could I say? No?" I laid my head back down and he continued. Boy did he continue without actually taking my cock in his mouth his tongue just barely grazed the tip of it. Every nerve in the tip of my dick; felt every tiny little inch of his tongue where it made contact. From the tip all the way down the shaft to my balls he sucked them into his mouth ever so gently. He sucked me in and I wanted them both in his mouth at that very instant oh yes I did. Den had other plans and I wasn't going to stop him. He he began to slowly work his way back up my dick until he was looking down at it.

Without any more warning he totally engulfed my dick in his mouth. This was so stimulating as he held perfectly still just holding my dick in the warmth of his mouth and throat. FUCK! With my dick in his mouth like this I didn't want to move, I was afraid I would cum if I did. In the meantime his hands were roaming all over me everywhere, gently stroking my body and turning me into his puppet. I would have given heaven and earth at the moment if he had asked me for it.

Slowly he began to move his head, but didn't increase the suction he held on my dick. No one had ever done anything like this to me, his natural body movements alone were providing stimulation to my dick. But not enough to push me over the edge any time soon. His hands were playing me like a violin and his hands the bow, the touch of his hand made me wither and moan with pleasure. I wanted so much to lift my legs for him and couldn't. That thought was fleeting as began to use suction with his mouth. I didn't even notice at first, but gradually he increased his strength and soon I could feel his tongue. He was twirling inside his mouth, against the side of my shaft and then he was just using the tip of his tongue on my dick, toying with it. His tongue felt like it was going to snake itself down into the inside of my dick. I could feel the warm saliva coming from his mouth running down my dick. He kept toying with my cock and balls, teasing me. Bringing me close to sexual madness but only to pull me further along in sexual delights. I was loving every agonizing sexual second of it.

One minute he would he would be attacking me sucking wildly on my cock, going up and down on it. The next he would be going slowly, gently with light touches to my balls. I couldn't predict one action from minute to minute it was driving me crazy, with desire. Now the each interlude was getting longer for me as he switched from mad man to lover. I pulled the sheets out from under the mattress I couldn't help it. It was that or scream. I didn't want to wake up the boys. Now was not the time.

"OH Den oh my god man don't... sto....!" I said it through clenched teeth and I don't know if I could have said anything more. It was beginning to happen. That rush of adrenaline that surges throughout your body as the inevitability of orgasm approaches. It had begun and the adrenaline was beginning to surge, pulsating in my veins. My balls were drawn tight against me, I couldn't think straight if my life had depended on it. I wanted to warn him, to tell him I was going to cum but it was to late for that. I couldn't open my mouth. I let go of the sheets for what they were worth now. My hands went directly to his head to try and lift it off of my dick, in an attempt to warn him. He grabbed both of my hands and pushed them away, placing them by his hips and holding them there.

I felt like I was being devoured now and there was no use in trying to stop it. Not that I even wanted him to, I couldn't. The rush threw my dick was an explosion of feelings and my entire body went completely numb. My brain felt like it had been shut off and I was floating in nirvana for a short period of time. Before my body began to experience any feelings of normalcy again. Den crawled up the bed over me, lightly kissing my body on the way up where he stopped directly at my face, kissing me passionately, slowly. I could still taste myself in his mouth, he shared it with me by slipping his tongue into my mouth. I accepted it from him willingly, after all hadn't he just accepted me? I held his face to mine using both hands, finally he lifted himself up and looked down at me.

"That was beyond amazing what you just did to me Den. I've never experienced anything like that in my life and I mean that. No one has ever turned me on like that. Ever." I almost said not even David but I just wasn't going to compare him.

He kept looking down at me not saying anything and I was beginning to wonder what he was thinking. This was after all out first time of any kind of intimacy and I wasn't sure how he was going to handle it. I could tell that something was bothering him, but I couldn't tell what by the look on his face it wasn't shame, it was as if he was almost embarrassed by the act of what we had just done. Knowing how shy he was about things I was beginning to think maybe I shouldn't have said anything about how good he was at this. Perhaps this is one time I shouldn't have said anything. it's just that I felt I really wanted him to know, and how much I appreciated his selfless act on me.

"Hey I hope you aren't shy about me complimenting you. Are you? I just wanted you to know how much you turned me on and how good it felt Den; honest that's all." He hung his head and didn't look at me at first. Oh god now I've gone and made it worse by pointing it out.

"No, no, no......nothing like that at all Rand......I just......I....ah fuck. You know how hard this is for me to talk about at times."

"Slow down babe.....look at me and just take your time. It's just you and I you know." He looked up at me and took a deep breath and I took his hands in mine. I was trying to give him some kind of comfort, at least the best I could.

"This is so hard for me......trying to express myself......sometimes I feel like an idiot for being like some schoolboy doing it his first time. You must think I'm stupid."

"I would never think of you like that babe. You are anything but that. What have I said about that before in the first place Den? You can say anything in front of me and I will never laugh at you, never, do you hear me?" He shook his head. "Good now tell me what it is you wanted to say in the first place."

"When you had your......orgasm.......I just came without even..............touching......myself and......" He instantly dropped his eyes as if he were embarrassed and his face grew red. It was the thought that another man, made him cum without touching himself; obviously was upsetting him. This must have been a new experience for him and it made him, that much more adorable to me. I looked at him and smiled when he finally looked up and saw that I wasn't laughing at him, I think he relaxed a little.

"Let me guess? This has never happened to you before" Without looking at me directly, he half looked to the side, and almost silently replied.


"Well you're certainly not the first guy that it has happened to, and it's happened to me just so you know. And I'm honored to be the guy that made you do it, truly I am." I reached for him and he crawled along side of me. Now I could curl up next to him and I laid my head on his chest. It just felt so good to have a man in my bed, it certainly had been a long time. Three years and a few days but who's counting? Maybe it was time to start counting a little less. Especially with Den around, just maybe. Just maybe. Chip.

"I don't want to ruin this but you know I can't stay here tonight. I..." I was the one that quieted him this time. I just held my hand up and put it over his mouth.

"I knew that already Den." With that we both laid there holding one another, knowing this first magical moment would end all too soon. I had a long way to go but I heard the hammer hitting harder this time. This was happening way to fast; faster than I wanted it to. What in the hell was I thinking? I had to stop thinking is what I had to do for now, and enjoy what I was doing. And that was giving my time to Den, because right now I wasn't. I'm not sure how long we laid there, but I began to feel myself drifting in and out of sleep. Den slowly got up, kissed my forehead and went to the bathroom. When he returned a few minutes later, he had a warm facecloth in his hands. He used it to gently clean up any remnants that were left on me, or that were on the bed from our fun.

"I'll strip the bed in the morning, if you stay lying on your side of the bed you shouldn't feel where I made my mess." His face grew red in the cheeks saying it. God why did he have to be so damned cute when his face turned red like that? It wasn't like when you blush, it was a little more than that, but still he looked so damned cute. He was watching me the whole time although I wasn't aware he was watching me either.

"Why are you watching me like that buster brown?"

"Well since you're asking.....mister....since it's just you...a guy can look can't he? I mean after what we just did? I was thinking how good you look when you''re naked." I wasn't sure that the human body could turn completely red but I assure you, I think it's possible. Or at least it seemed to happen right in front of me, and watching him it certainly seemed possible.

"You're hopeless you know that, you are absolutely incorrigible." He just smiled for a few seconds looking at me.

"I know but you gotta love me anyway." There I go sticking my foot in my mouth again throwing that 'L' word out. With the one person I shouldn't be. Not at this point in our whatever it was we had at this point. We were living together but we weren't in any real kind of relationship. Not really. I mean we were living together but that was only because I needed a caretaker and he offered. The relationship part had just begun and we hadn't even gone out on a real date yet. I was going to have to talk to him about that. I don't usually have sex until at least after the first date, maybe even the second one and we had just gone past that. I was at least due a date at this point, that little motherfucker owed me now. I'd collect. Later. He pulled up the covers and ran his fingers through my hair. Standing there, he looked at me and smiled. Just this small tilt of his head and this look in his eyes when he stood there. I don't know I can't explain how it made me feel inside when he looked at me. Just standing there and I couldn't help but look back and hold his gaze with him. It was magically intense for these few moments. Something I....I just...don't know...I just felt differently. For whatever reason.

"Call me if you need anything, I still have the monitor on you know." Not like he couldn't hear me if I just yelled a little, but I knew it was pointless to argue with him he'd keep it on regardless. He was just worried about everything with me and was making sure he could hear me and get to me if I needed him during the night.

"Yes Nurse Den I know." I was trying to lighten the mood at the point in time, don't ask me why. I don't know why it was feeling so serious all of a sudden. He certainly wasn't making it feel that way. It was only me that was making it feel that way I thought.

"Good then go to sleep and that's an order Patient McKnight." He smiled and quietly slipped out the door closing it behind him. I'm sure it was to give me privacy in the morning when the boys woke up. Or at least hoping they wouldn't disturb me no doubt. He was still thinking of my comfort and I couldn't help but be touched by it. I know it didn't take but a few seconds to fall asleep, the sex had taken it out of me. Three years to go without sex with someone else is a long time. And after that long when that first time comes and you get to have that release, oh holy shit does that feel great or what? If anyone tells you it's not that big of a deal is so full of shit they need to see a shrink, and badly. I remember having great dreams about what I don't know; I just know I had a great nights sleep, for the first in a very long time. Whatever I owed it to....I wasn't going to question it, I just know I felt really good in the morning nothing else mattered. And I wasn't going to question it. Never disturb the flow in the universe is my philosophy. In plain English....don't fix what ain't broke! And that morning I wasn't feeling very broken! I was feeling so so much better.

My eyes opened slowly and I began to hear laughter and talking in the kitchen. The thought that I had to break up whatever fun they were having, kind of tugged at my heart. He was only going to have so much time with them, and I knew it. I also knew that he was well aware of what he had gotten himself into. But at the moment mother nature was calling my name very loudly. She was being clear about wanting me in the front of the line at that very moment. I did feel bad having to break up the fun they were having but he knew. He had asked for this when he had suggested this plan. Yes...mother nature I'm coming don't worry.

"Den....Um...'m awake and need your help getting up if you would please." What else could I say with the boys right within ear shot? He must have known how mother nature was treating me because it seemed like the second I finished speaking he was in the room and helping me to my feet.

"Morning sleep good last night. I never heard you so I figured that was a good sign."

"Yeah once you closed the door I was pretty much out for the night I don't remember anything after that."

"Well here's the bathroom so I'll be back in five, you okay or you want me to stay?"

I was getting around in the bathroom a little more confidently now that I had done it a once or twice. Den had put a stool from the kitchen into the bathroom. So that I could sit in front of the sink and shave and wash myself up, at least from the sink anyway. I knew it was going to be a while before I actually got to take a real shower, the way they had the cast on my leg. It was a little up over my knee so I couldn't bend it. So I just had to settle for a sink bath for now. Or until such time that this motherfucking cast was taken off of my body. Maybe they'll shorten it so I could bend my leg and could cover it with a trash bag. Better yet they'll give me a removable cast that would be the best yet. But I knew that wasn't going to happen any time soon.

I hated it but I had to live with it, what choice did I have? I knew Den was trying to make it easier for me he really was. Without forcing himself on me by over helping me, he tried hard to give me as much independence as he could. But even I knew I had to have limits with this cast and my arm the way they were. Shit on a shingle maybe his patience was wearing off on me, perhaps this would be a good thing. Chip. I have to get rid of that fucking hammer some how. If I didn't by the time it came time for him to leave I might not want him to. WHAT THE FUCK am I thinking? Get a hold of yourself McKnight that is SO NOT going to happen. He's only here to help you through this fucking accident mess and then he's leaving. Just keep telling yourself that.

Once I was done and as if right on cue, Den came back into the bathroom. We returned to the bedroom to pick out an outfit for the day. Yeah my fancy shorts and oversized t-shirt for the day is what it boiled down to. And....oh yeah least we forget the almighty white sock to complete the ensemble. One does have to look snappy and complete in case company comes over. Oh god. When was his family coming over to see the boys? wasn't today..... I remembered him saying that the first two days that the boys would be here it would be just the four of us.

"How about you put on sweatpants and a t-shirt and sweater today babe?" I looked at him like he had three heads.

"What on earth for? You want me to sit here and roast like a chicken in the oven that's rather heartless don't you think?" He chuckled a little bit before he said anything.

"Well to be honest I have an ulterior motive in mind or more like the boys and I do."

"This sounds like a scheme if I ever I've heard one. Just what are the three of you up to exactly and no bullshit either babe." Oh shit that wasn't supposed to come out of my mouth today. Not after last nights little escapade in bed. Why don't I just lead him on and tell him to keep the house key on his key ring and we'll make it permanent. Great. Just honkey fucking donkey. Smooth Randy open your mouth a little bigger maybe next time you can get both of those big fucking feet in there. Try, no really try harder next time but make up your fucking mind. In or out?

"Guess you'll just have to trust me and the boys won't you?"

"Hey that falls under the no bullshit clause I mentioned ."

"No that falls under trust I believe, not bullshit." Well wasn't he being the little weasel with grease on him.

"You think you're all that playing with those words don't you?"

"Works don't it?" He had me there what could I say?

"I guess it's sweatpants and a t-shirt but can we wait for the sweater until we're ready to go? I just don't want to sweat to death before then and I will be sitting in the living room or are we leaving right after breakfast?" He looked at me and thought for a few seconds before answering me. I was beginning to wonder what was taking him so long.

"I guess we can leave it off in case things take a little longer, getting the young one ready I'm not good at estimating how long it takes any more. It's been a while you forget the little things like that I guess." I could tell it bothered him to say that although I didn't understand it. I suppose never having children that I couldn't understand it. I just could tell that it bothered him.

"Look don't worry about it Den however long it takes is fine. Wherever it is that you want to go is fine with me. I'm just wondering if you're sure you guys want to take along some cripple? You do realize that wherever it is we're going, I'm to slow you down. It's no fun dragging along a cripple you know. We're quite a bundle to drag around from one place to another."

"Actually I have to admit it was my idea to bring you along, for that very reason. In hopes of slowing them down when we get to where we're going, and that's all I'm going to tell you. So lets get out your sweatpants and t-shirt and go from there. Then we'll go have breakfast with the boys, they are absolutely dying for you to wake up so we can all eat. They insisted on waiting for you this morning. I swear I didn't put them up to it Rand, it was their idea when I first started making them something to eat. It was Michaels idea I think but Nathan seemed just as adamant about it. So I wasn't going to tell them no because, I thought if was very nice of them."

I was touched by what Den had told me about the boys and them wanting to wait for me. Their little gesture of waiting really did touch my heart. I thought to myself that their visit had just begun and already they were crawling into my heart this was not a good sign. CHIP, CHIP! The hammer has got to fucking go. The question is how? How do I get rid of it with Den around and now Michael and Nathan? Oh yeah this was going to be so easy to do, sure so was getting rid of cockroaches in an abandoned building in the Bronx. So simple.

"I'll let them know I appreciate that they waited for me, that was nice of them." I meant it, for a pair of twelve year old's to think of waiting when I knew they must be ravenous by now. Den helped me into my sweats it was a little bit of a struggle getting them up and over my cast, but we finally succeeded in getting them on. We headed for the kitchen and I could hear the pair of them laughing away, it sounded so refreshing to hear in my house again. I couldn't help but smile at the thought of the pair of them. Upon entering the kitchen they caught sight of the pair of us. The laughter then had been in went from simple laughter into hysterical overdrive. Whatever it was, evidently our arrival was the cause of it. Den and I just looked at each other and just shrugged our shoulder's, wondering what they thought was so amusing.

"All right boys settle down now, Mr. Randy is here lets behave and act properly." It took a minute or two and another stern look from Den to get them to stop but finally they did.

I was left wondering what had set them off and to my dismay, I could only wonder if they had heard us last night. I was only second guessing that they had truly been asleep and heard nothing. I mean I only said one thing and the door was closed. But what if they had been awake, and gone looking for their father? Not finding him they were afraid to knock on the door but were they there at just the right time, or close by? I was being crazy now. So why the fits of laughter when we walked in together from twelve year old's? No I can't even begin to think we were caught last night. And god forbid I should bring that up to Den. He'd die ten times over. He'd absolutely have a fucking stroke if he thought they knew. I just know he would. It would be a thought best kept to myself. Besides I was only guessing and I could be so far off base it wasn't even funny.

"Hey you! Wake up earth to Randy! I hadn't realized I was totally out of town thinking again. Obviously I was.

"How do want your eggs cooked this morning? You can have scrambled or you can have scrambled which will it be?" The boys told him over easy. I decided to go along.

"Me to I'll have over easy." He looked at the three of us.

"You're all monsters that's what you are. You just want to see me mess up don't ya? The boys shook their heads up and down quickly and again I went along, hey in for penny in for a pound. Isn't that what they say? Besides I figured it was a game they played so why not join in with them.

"Hey you get what you get, you all ordered off of what was on the menu so you all taking your chances I'll do the best I can."

"I suppose you'll be wanting toast to go with those eggs." The three of us looked at each other and shook our heads and together said yes. Den just looked at us not saying anything for a few seconds.

"Great the three of us talking at the same time just what I need to deal with, three talking parrots. Wonderful. Bad enough I have two now you have to join in with them."

"Well you three parrots the deal is since I cook, you two walking parrots have to set the table. Also, make sure everyone has something to drink and get Mr. Randy his coffee. I know he wants that right now more than anything." They bolted out of their seats like they were on a mission. Nathan got my coffee first thing while Michael began setting the table, and putting jelly and butter out. It didn't take much after that and Den was putting our plates in front of us. He lied again. On each plate sat two perfectly looking over easy eggs with buttered toast on the side. Needless to say every bite was delicious to eat. I was mentally thinking how I knew this breakfast was the first and last of its kind. If I continued eating like this, I'd weigh five hundred pounds in no time. It was a good thing that the boys weren't going to be here the whole time I was in a cast. The bad part of that was they'd be leaving before I would knew it. I looked at the both of them and a small lump grew in my throat.

"Okay boys if you will help me by clearing the table, I'll put the stuff in the dishwasher and I'll clean up the rest. While I'm doing that you get yourselves dressed and ready to go." They grumbled or at least made an effort at it until Den made a motion with balling up his hand into a fist and pointing his thumb out in the direction of the sink. They decided that was good enough motivation I suppose because the grumbling stopped immediately, and they made quick work of the table and putting things away for him. Once that was done they proceeded to go right towards the bedroom to get ready to go.

"Clean your faces and hands please and don't forget to brush your teeth you just ate." He was in Dad mode and it was something to watch him. I admired the way he handled them. He seemed to really love his boys it was evident by the way he looked at them. But not just that, you could hear the gentleness in his voice when he spoke to them. Den it was like he didn't talk at them he really did talk to them. But hey what do I know I never had kids I just know what I see. I see parents and kids that I know around me and I see the differences myself in how they are raised as an outsider. So I can only say and talk about what I observe really.

"You've got that look on your face again." Damn! He caught me again.

"No well fuck yes I was." I chuckled a little, he knew, he so bagged me. "I was just thinking that's all, about kids.......parent's..... nothing major or anything, just thinking."

"Anything you want to share you got some more of your insight that might help me?"

"You're doing just fine Den you certainly don't need help in the fatherhood department. Not that I can give you anyway. I'm certainly not in a position to give you advice that's for shit sure."

"That's up for debate."

"Yeah parenthood is all about being up for debate. You could list a thousand things on the pro's and con's list on that list alone. And still you talk to anyone who has had a kid and they all tell you the same thing. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would in a heart beat, if I was that age again, starting over. So with all it's trials and tribulations the bottom line is, you are never going to be worse than anyone else. Your parents did a pretty good job raising you I think. I'm going to assume that a lot of what they taught you, is what you will also teach your boys. Because Den, that's how society works in the real world. We tend to teach the next generation the way we were raised. And they will do the same for the generation that they create and raise. So don't worry about what or how you're going to be Den; I think you're going to be just fine as a Dad I really do." He looked at me and smiled a little, not much, just a little.

"I have to get busy before they get back here but thanks for saying that and I mean thanks."

"You need to hear it sometimes I know you don't have them much. Never mind having them around with someone they especially don't know. On top of that, you and I are just getting to know each other."

"Just the same thanks for saying it."

"Go on and clean up before they do get back you big lazy ass." He smiled and got out to the kitchen and was just finishing up when Michael and Nathan returned.

"So you two where are we going today your Dad didn't tell me this morning about anything?" They looked at each other and then back at me.

"Can't tell you Dad said not to." Why that shit.

"He did did he?" They both vigorously shook their heads up and down. I was being laughed at and it was quite comical to watch them. Here these two were standing about five-one or five-two, both skinny as rails. I had no idea how much they weighed it wasn't as though they looked sick because they didn't. They certainly had lost all traces of any baby fat. Both had blond hair Michael had blue eyes and Nathan had green. Their bodies carried that beginning of adolescence stage look. And of course they looked so much like Den and that made them look that much cuter to me. I wondered what they'd look like in the next ten years and how much they would turn out looking like their father.

"Well I'll have to think of something to make him pay for that one."

"What am I paying for now?"

"You have to pay him something cause we wouldn't tell him where we're going today he was asking Dad."

"I figured he would be. He's like that you have to watch him. Every minute of the day I'm telling you guys, he's a handful." The two of them were laughing at him talking about me like I wasn't even there.

"Hey come on now this isn't fair three against one, what did I do anyway I just asked a simple question. I didn't know I wasn't really supposed to not know." Okay that was a little lie. Den said it was a surprise earlier I was curious and really wanted to know where they were taking me.

"Don't believe a word he's saying he's a notorious liar when it comes to things like this. He can write in newspaper's so he knows how to use words reeeaally well so be careful what he says."

Great now I'm some silver tongued villain to the kids. What was he trying to do to me here?

"Come on now lets be fair I'm not like that and you know it Den."

"Well all right he's not really that bad, he's actually a nice guy I might have been going over board just a little."

"Yeah we know Dad it's okay." Nathan spoke alone this time but Michael followed him.

"But we still can't tell him." Both Den and Nathan spoke up.


"You're all being mean to me this morning. It's a good thing I like all of you. But at the moment Den my leg is cramping up and I really need to move. I don't know why it's doing this to me all of a sudden."

"It's because you aren't moving much these days remember that, I'm surprised it hasn't happened before this. You should ask the doc about some kind of exercise for your leg, even if it is in a cast. So that it will at least be getting some kind of movement. It might help you some and it certainly can't hurt any I wouldn't think, but check."

"Good idea, maybe call and ask instead of waiting to see him. Because I don't think I'll be seeing him for two weeks yet."

"Well check later today when we get back here."

"I'm going to finish getting ready and make sure their ready. You want anything else before I go? A trip to the bathroom? You want your sweater now?" I held my hand up to stop him. It sounded so funny him going down this list I began to laugh at him before I went into hysterics.

"What's so funny now?"

"You at the moment and the list you're going down before we leave, I just know you would go on some more if I let you. But I know it's for the care and concern you have for everyone involved." He looked at me like I had become a three headed wonder all of a sudden.

"Slow down and we'll out get out of here alive. I promise."

"Babe you know what you are? A fucking smart ass that's what your being right now."

"Hey it's a living but some poor bastard has to do it. I thought what the hell, I'd give it a spin for six months to a year and see how I liked the job."

"Oh my my, aren't you just full of yourself right now?"

"I'd rather be full of something else but.....that ain't happening for a while so don't even think it pal." I thought Den was going to shit himself or have a heart attack. The look on his face was absolutely priceless. It became apparent that I had to say something so that he would breath again. It felt like he had sucked the air from the room on his last breath.

"Come on now don't tell me you haven't thought about doing that?"

"I don't know how you just say it like that Rand, I just don't." He was slowly shaking his head back and forth. I almost felt bad for being as open as I was sometimes. The drawbacks can be a bad thing and can really bite you in the ass when you don't mean it to. And I was just being me, but at the same time, Den meant something to me and perhaps I went a little to far this time. Even though unintentional and unintended in the beginning. The end result was all wrong and I felt like I had hurt him somehow. What was worse I wasn't even sure how to make it right.

"Den I didn't mean to.....I don't even know what to say....shit this is hard. I don't want you to get the wrong idea.....I" He stopped me and I was glad he did I wasn't sure what I saying or why I was floundering more than anything. Probably because I thought that I had hurt his feelings more that anything.

"Randy forget it. I didn't take it for more than it was. We were joking around, that's all it was. I didn't take it for anything more than that. Relax okay?"

"I just didn't want you to think.." He put up his hand again.

"Stop right there...what did I say in the first place? We were just joking around back and forth Rand. And you talk about me sometimes being hard on myself. Ease up boy." He had me there what could I say now? Silence is a virtue my mother always told me. Guess it was time to practice virtue.

The ritual began to get me out of the house and into the car. No matter how you cut the mustard one of the boys was going to have to sit all the way in the back of the car. I took the entire back seat having to stretch out across it, and one had to seat in the front they both couldn't sit there. I figured neither would want to sit in the back seat, boy was I wrong.

"What is it the cologne I'm wearing that no one wants to sit in front with me?" The boys were twisting their feet around and not really saying anything. I knew why, it was more fun sitting in the back then having to sit still in the front seat. And God knows for how long since I didn't know where we were going exactly. I did know that the back did have two seats so I was probably going to make the boys happy.

"Well Den if you pull the seats out in back they can both sit there and still be safe seating in seats with seat belts on. The seat belts certainly didn't seem to be an issue for the boys . And before I knew it we were on the road. It felt good to be outside and looking at something different, than the inside of a building I had to admit it.

"Wherever it is we're going I don't care. It does feel good to get out of the house Den."

"I thought it might be a good idea for you to get a little fresh air and just get out. Don't worry we're not going anywhere that outrageous, no skiing I promise you." I had to laugh at his joke.

"Damn, I was so hoping that's where we were going to. There goes another broken dream." It was his turn to laugh.

"You are such a ham Randy you really are. But, no sorry no such luck today buddy. I'm afraid to tell we're just taking you to the warmth and safety of a shopping mall. Doesn't that sound exciting?" Looking in the rear view mirror I could see he had a smile on his face.

"I don't mind going to the mall, I really don't. I like to go people watching while I'm there. It's a great place to get my ideas for characters in stories I write. I get a visual of someone and I'll remember them until I get home. Once I get there, I'll write down the physical description of the person I picked out. And over the next couple of weeks I'll begin to write down and create their entire biography. And I sometimes create a whole family for them and background, depending on the story. So by the time I'm done doing all of this I know the person inside and out. How they would think and what they would do in a given situation. So it's a good place for me to get ideas. Plus I love eavesdropping on others conversations because again, that's another area to get ideas in. Listening to other people's problems and how they deal with them. It's interesting when you just listen to others talk, when they think when no one is listening. Just amazing. You'd be surprised what you hear when you're having coffee by yourself in a coffee shop and you just listen."

I could tell that he had listened to every word that I had said to him. I was impressed. You have a tendency to lose people when you start talking literacy to them and how you craft your work. But Den seemed to be truly interested in what I was saying, if he wasn't he was faking it really well. I certainly wasn't going to question him though, I was getting my ego stroked big time at that particular moment. Chip chip chip. Where in the hell is that freaking hammer?

To say the mall was an adventure, would be an understatement. It was so much more with a set of twelve year old's, I kid you not. It seems the most important stop was at the, as promised electronics store for the boys. So we headed their first to get it out of their system, I'm still not sure what he bought them but I know it was expensive. Of course I know whatever it was, he was buying two of each item. So I cut the bill in half mentally and either way you cut it, it still came out as a lot of money either way. Den didn't complain or say no to them either. He merely kissed the both of them and said 'Ho Ho Ho' they both smiled and laughed at him. Telling him that Santa rocked. At those prices I thought Santa did more than rock. I thought Santa blew up the fucking quarry as we were leaving that one store alone. Den told me there were two other places we needed to stop, that were still on Santa's list. I couldn't help but laugh at him.

We had fun as Den pushed me around in one of the wheelchair's the mall provided. So it wasn't that bad and we did some window shopping, along the way. I was able to pick up a few things for myself. I needed a few supplies for working mostly. I restocked a few pads and pencils which I knew I was getting low on. I also bought some unneeded candy for the house. I like to have it now and then what's wrong with that? Besides I had guests, what better excuse was there for buying junk food I didn't need. We did take the time to have lunch and thank god that Den was smart enough to bring my pills with him. I had almost thought I was going to have to cut the day short when the pain started. When I looked at him he just looked back at me and told me he had them with him. I wanted to hug him at that point, for remembering to be thoughtful enough to bring them when I had forgotten to. I was going to have to remember to thank him later on. Crisis adverted and we could move along on our way.

By the time we did get home I had to admit I was still a little tired, but not as much as I thought I might be. After I visited the bathroom, Den got me set me up with a cup of coffee, and in my chair with my leg up. I kept my sweater on from still feeling like I was cold. Once I'm feeling cold it takes me forever to feel warm again. I don't know why, it just does. Den came into the room and looked at me for a second or two.

"You want a small blanket for your legs? You look like your still feeling cold?" How the fuck does he do that shit? This has got to stop.

"On my shelf in my closet there's a small blanket that would be nice if you don't mind Den."

"I'll be right back Randy." Sure as shit two seconds later he returned with the blanket I wanted. He spread it over my legs and gave my right leg a light rub.

"Hope that helps warm you up a little."

"Thanks for the blanket it will help a lot I don't know why I'm feeling so cold today, it doesn't usually bother me this much."

"Maybe just sitting around like you have and then being out in the cold all of a sudden has gotten to you. You'll be fine in a little bit I'm sure."

"Yeah maybe shit who knows."

We both started laughing with each other.

"Are you going to sit here and have some coffee with me or what?

"More like or what Randy I need to get dinner started so we don't go hungry."

"Can't you wait five minutes and just sit and relax, we've been running all day. Come on and sit for five supper can wait five minutes I'm sure Den, relax for two."

"You're not helping in the least you know that right?"

"Does it really matter for five minutes one way or the other?"

"I suppose not, not really."

"There, see how easy that was, it wasn't so difficult was it?"

"Just as long as you don't get carried away with taking advantages of those five minute things ya hear me?"

"Oh yeah sure no problem I hear ya." I did hear him, I did that's all I did.

"And don't be a smart ass about it either."

"Who said anything about being a smart ass I said I heard you I understand what you're saying that's all."

"Okay I won't say anything else then."

"Good okay then I won't say anything more either." I knew I was being smug with him.

"Now look your..." Den was looking at me and all I could do was laugh at him. He knew exactly what I was doing to him.

"You are such a little shit you know that? You really are."

"But as I've said before you gotta love me." I loved being sarcastic, it was just me and the way I was.

"Well that's debatable." I wanted to smack him up side his head right at that moment for being so fresh. That's when he looked over at me and just smirked. At once I realized he had said it just to see what my reaction would be. There was no other reason than that, he just wanted to get a rise out of me. And he got what he wanted. Now I really wanted to smack him, even harder than before. But hadn't I just done the same thing to him? Wasn't I just done being a smart ass to him? Okay so the answer was yes. What could I say beyond that? Absolutely nothing I guess. What is it they? All's fair in love and war? Yeah yeah, something like that.....whatever.

We both looked at each other and started laughing. Den put his hand out to mine and I took it. It was comfortable to just sit there with him like this. I could have sat there for a while just holding hands but I knew we couldn't. I thought how easy it would be to get used to having Den in the house all the time. And the next thought was what was I thinking? Chip, chip, chip. I really needed to put that hammer somewhere.

"Why don't you go ahead and make that supper mister. The boys will be hungry soon and so will I. I'm sure after pushing me around like you did you've got to be getting there to."

"Yeah I guess you could say that." He kissed my hand and walked started walking towards the kitchen.

"Any special requests?"

"Yeah but I'm sure it's not on the menu."

"You're bad you know that? Right to the very core." He laughed as he kept on going. I decided to eat in the living room, I was tired and didn't want to move. Den and the boys were nice enough to join me. As usual they prepared a good meal for us. The four of us talked and laughed our way through the meal. It was so easy to just sit and talk with the boys, for twelve year old's they were pretty smart. I was impressed several times with their knowledge of some of today's current event's. They said that they have a class that requires them to read the front page of the newspaper on Sunday. Then during the week they take apart different articles from the paper and discuss them. I thought that was pretty interesting. The boys picked up after dinner and let Den and I sit and talk to each other. Even going so far as to make coffee for us and serve it.

"Okay boys you've been great, go and get ready for bed. I trust you can take your showers and handle it by yourselves tonight. I'll be in before too long to turn out the lights okay?"

"Sure Dad, we'll be all set within about twenty minutes so any time after that will be fine."

"Can we play any games before bed?" Mike was the one who wanted to play on the new whatever it was they got. I was surprised it wasn't Nate who was asking. I loved the look he had on his face though. That pitiful look of hope when he asked, or I should say that look he put on for his Dad.

"Yes you can, since you two cleaned up dinner without being asked. I'll let you stay up a little extra tonight." They both jumped in the air, and pumped their fists at the same time. As they walked away I heard Nate lower his voice and tell his brother.

"See I told you it would work." I couldn't help but smile and look over at Den, wondering if he had heard Nate. He was smiling at me to so I figured he heard it. The two of us sat there and talked for a little while. I'm not sure how much time had passed before Den got up and went to tell the boys it was time for bed. They came out and told me good night and that they would wait to have breakfast with me. I was touched that they would wait in the morning for me to wake up and have breakfast with them. I was going to have to start setting my alarm, so they wouldn't have to wait so long. We talked some more after the boys went to bed, but soon enough I to was getting tired. After all it had been a long day.

"How about we do the nightly routine and get me into bed babe?" Oh God! I had returned the pet name without even a second thought. He looked at me and smiled, and I knew that he was loving the fact that I had called him that. I wasn't regretting it or hating myself for calling him that either, don't get me wrong I wasn't. I just hadn't wanted to start using that name at this point in time, not just yet. I thought if was still to soon for me, maybe I was wrong I don't know. I had used it, perhaps it wasn't too soon after all. Den got up and lifted me from the chair and we made our way to the bathroom, where he left me with my privacy. Before long I was positioning myself in the bed and was drifting off to sleep. I know he kissed me good night on the forehead it wasn't like I was out of it. We didn't talk much and before too long he left my bedroom, closing the door on his way out.

No sooner had my eyes closed to the darkness, and was instantly replaced with sunlight filling the room. The first thing I heard was laughter in the kitchen. It was nice to hear the three of them. I couldn't hear it very well but I could still hear it.

"Good morning Den."

"I'll be right in Randy." Ten seconds later he walked in the door.

"You sleep good last night Rand?"

"I did actually I was asleep two seconds after you left and didn't wake up all night."

"How about you? How was you night?"

"I had a good night to."

"What's up for today with you and the boys?"

"The folks have asked to come and get them I hope you don't mind." How could I possibly mind. I was sure they probably wouldn't be staying that long once they got here.

"Of course they can come now why on earth would I mind you idiot. Come on now don't be a dunce on me."

"Gee thanks for the names I really like them makes me feel special. Really it does."

"Oh don't give me that crap or I'll have to beat you seriously I will."

"Oh so now you're going to beat the guy that's taking care of you? Wow that's really nice of you really nice."

"Don't give me that you know what I mean shithead."

"Oh so now it's shithead." This went back and forth for the next few moments as Den left me in the bathroom so that I could begin my morning ritual. Soon enough he returned and he helped me get dressed in the bathroom and from there we headed for the kitchen.

"Instead of sitting at the table how about if I just sit in the living room this morning?" Den looked at me wondering if something was wrong, I could tell by the look in his eyes.

"Nothing is wrong but I think I just want to sit in the bigger chair this morning, and not in the hard chair. That's the only reason I don't want to sit in the dining room this morning."

"As long as that's all it is Rand."

"It is Den, it is."

"What do you want for breakfast and second question do you want any pain pills? I know you didn't take any last night before bed."

"How about oatmeal this morning and yes I'll take those pills this morning, thanks." Den got me set up, got my pills and went to make breakfast. The twins brought my breakfast out to me and made sure my coffee cup was full. I had to cut them off from pouring any more coffee for me. But they were being nice trying to help me and made sure I had everything I needed. They still ate at the table which I had no problem with. I turned on the television and watched it, to catch up on the latest news. And of course the local weather would cut in so I'd have that. What else did I need? I wasn't going anywhere today I knew that much at that hour. Den came out into the living room not long after I was done my breakfast and the boys had taken everything to the kitchen to get cleaned up. They weren't very talkative this morning not like they had been the previous morning. On their last trip out to the living room I tried to talk to them, to see if I could find out what was bothering them.

"Okay spill guys what's up this morning something's wrong?" The both immediately looked at each other. Something was definitely going on but the question was were they willing to share it with me.

"You don't have to say anything if you don't want to. I'm just letting you know that I'm here to listen if you want to share it with me, maybe I can help in some way." The pair just looked at each other as if communicating in some way. They proceeded to walk a little closer to me but both still hadn't talked yet. I didn't know what to say for sure due to the fact I wasn't sure what was on their minds. Nathan was the one that finally spoke up.

"Mr. Randy we don't want to go with our grandparents today we want to stay with here with you and Dad. Can't you get him to make us stay here? Pretty PLEASE!" GOOD LORD! The look on their faces would have melted the meanest soul's heart I swear. There was nothing I could do but say. "YES! Of course." That came out of mouth before I could think of anything else in my mind I swear to you. Then of course I had to back peddle.

"I mean I'll talk to your Dad boys, but you know your Grandparents really want to see you. Don't forget they haven't seen you for a year just like your Dad." Now I was trying to put a nice spin on it, knowing full well they really wanted nothing to do with it.

"Why don't you go get him and tell him I need him and then you two go to your room so I have time to talk to him, okay?" The both agreed at once and left to get Den.

"Sit down big guy I need to talk to you for a minute." Den sat down with a frown on his face. Can't say that I blame him with the tone of voice I had used. I was in serious mode at the moment.

"What's so important all of a sudden?"

"Nothing important just something I want you to consider maybe."

"And that being?"

"The boys have expressed their concern about going to visit with your parents Den. They aren't exactly happy about going off with your parents today. They just told me that they'd rather be spending the day here with you and I." Den hung his head and let out a heavy sigh.

"I don't want to send them either but I have to give my parents some time with the boys. Their only asking for the day, and I will tell the boys that they will be coming back in time for dinner. My parents originally wanted to keep them overnight, but I put my foot down on that one right from the beginning. The only reason they will be staying with my brothers is because they have cousins that are close to their age, and they do look forward to seeing their cousins. Unless they've changed their minds this year, but usually they want to spend one night with their cousins."

"I can understand that. Well I just wanted you to know, they asked me to talk to you about not going today because they don't really want to go."

"I know they don't but it's one of those things that they have to in life. One of those that we all have to do and I'll explain it to them just the way it is."

"I know you will."

"But thanks for telling me what they said to you. I appreciate that."

"Why wouldn't I tell you what they said to me?"

"No I don't mean it that way, I just mean thanks for telling me what....oh never mind Rand."

"Whatever Den I know it's okay." Den smiled at me and leaned over and kissed me. I melted just like I did anytime he kissed me, man could he kiss. No matter what, whatever we were doing or saying whenever he kissed me I lost track of time, I swear every time. When he let go of me I smacked his rear end and told him that he was to good for his own sake. I told him to go and talk to the boys. He just looked at me with that look he could give me of his and laughed.

"Nathan and Michael! Front and Center Now!" From the time it left his lips until the time they appeared couldn't have been more than five seconds I swear. Those two had moved at the speed of sound when Den had finished his command for their presence. To say I was impressed was an understatement to say the least. The both stood at attention almost. At the same time as much as I was impressed I was a little taken aback that two twelve year old's responded in that manner. I was going to have to speak to Den about this issue. I didn't think at their age they needed to respond like they were in the military, after all they weren't.

"Mr. Randy expressed his concerned to me that you two don't really want to go with your grandparents today. Is that true?" All of a sudden I felt like a rat the way he was talking. Like I had thrown them under the bus. And then he sat on the couch and pulled them onto his lap. Relaxing the whole situation immediately. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all.

"I know it won't be a ton of fun going off with your grandparent's today, I really do. But I have told them that you two are to be back here before supper time, as we have plans tonight. So it won't be for overnight. You won't have to spend overnight anywhere unless you want to spend it with your cousins like you usually do." At least they both looked a little more relaxed then they did earlier this morning.

"Let me talk to you for a minute and try and explain something to you two. Sometimes we have to do things we don't really want to in life especially when it comes to family, and this is one of those times guys. I know it stinks I really do but you just have to pretend for a little while. You go along with you grandparents and pretend you're having a great time with them. And I'll see to it that you get to spend the night with your cousins before you have to go back to Texas, maybe even two. Do we have a deal?" They both stuck out their hands and shook hands with Den.

"Okay boys go and put on something kind of nice but you don't have to dress up too much, no blue jeans today I'm afraid. They have to be dress pants and a good shirt and dress shoes. I know its a big price to pay but the reward is sleeping over with your cousins." The two slumped their shoulder's a little less and walked towards their bedroom to get ready for their grandparents to arrival.

It must have been around ten o'clock when Den's parent's arrived. I thought for sure they would have come a little earlier, knowing they had to have the boys back by supper time. Den had taken the time to move some of my books from the coffee table but didn't bother with the rest figuring they wouldn't be there that long.

I don't know what I was really expecting when it came to meeting Den's parent's. But Mr. Daniels was exactly what I imagined him to be. Tall, like Den, not as quite as thin and his facial features were some what similar, but I think Den carried more of his mother's facial features. Mr. Daniels was a man that certainly carried himself like a someone that had been successful in life and expected automatic respect. To me that was hogwash, you got my respect when you showed me that you deserved it, not before. I considered myself successful that didn't mean you owed me your respect. Why just because I felt successful? No. His mother was warm and delightful and I liked her the instant she introduced herself. She was graceful and charming and fawned over the Mike and Nate immediately, amazed at their growth and looks, just like any good grandmother would be. In the first half hour I surmised that I liked her, but the vote was still out on his father. In my opinion he tolerated his son. He was much like my father I believed he loved his son, but wasn't sure how to show it. Just like my father I think he believed in the old school that, men shouldn't go to bed with other men. He was just a little more starchy that my father was. It showed because he seemed to have a hard time interacting with the Mike and Nate, and that bothered me a little. What purpose did it serve not to interact with them? After all they were just kids and had nothing to do with the whole issue. I thought perhaps that maybe he just didn't know how to handle children at all. Some men are like that, especially older men from that generation. They left their wives at home to raise their son's and daughter's, after all wasn't that their jobs? Men like him and my father certainly thought so.

I mean Dennis was his son and no matter what, he still loved father. Problem was his father just wasn't capable of expressing his love to Dennis, just like my father. His mother was a lovely women who wouldn't say anything to cross her husband I felt. But it didn't bother her at all that her youngest boy was gay and it showed. They had a marriage much like my parents and that generation the husbands word was law, and the wife never argued with him about it. Some people are happy and content with that arrangement if that's what they wanted, who was I to say otherwise? It certainly wasn't a marriage that I would go into with a closed mouth, not a snowball's chance in hell . I knew that, I just hoped that Den understood that as well, IF we ever got that far together. And at this point in time that was in the realm of probably, possibility nope just wasn't even in the vocabulary. At least in any conversation either in my head or his head, at least that I knew of. But I knew it wasn't in mine, of that I was certain. Bricks or no bricks.

Of course I was introduced as the guy that was the one who had been rescued from out in the middle of nowhere, considering the Daniels were from Framingham, Ashby was God's country and was indeed the middle of nowhere. It didn't matter to me how they referred to it, I still liked it probably always would, well as long as I lived in the northeast part of the country. If I ever got my wish to move to Florida as I intended to later in life, it would become a different issue. Then I might not move out in the middle of nowhere. I think then I might chose to live with others nearby as I get older. But since I have years to go with that I'll let it go for now.

Den made all the introductions and of course Granddad and Grammie came bearing gifts. Which where welcomed with open arms needless to say. It was Mr. Daniels that went right into wanting to know more about me. Why was I not surprised.

"So Dennis tells me that you're a journalist. What paper do you write for?" Great here it comes twenty-one questions to get to know me. I looked at Den and he looked back at me with an apologetic look, which I understood from his viewpoint. His father was just one of those that felt like he needed to know everything about someone, I knew the type.

"Well I use to work for the Boston Globe at one point but now I only do free-lance and write for those I chose to." I thought that would impress him and would end the conversation pretty much. Should have known better, knowing the type he was from the start.

"You must do pretty well for yourself then to have this house and only do free-lance?" There it was the bottom line question was out there, and he was putting two and two together. He knew damn well that a free-lance writer couldn't possibly let me afford all this. So here was my dilemma did I tell him I was a writer or not? It would lead to questions about what I have written, and then what name and all that shit. Of course one thing lead to another and the inevitable shoe drops, until he'd put two and two together. Being the type of man Dens father was he would just assume that there was something going on between us. I detest people that do that, but I could be wrong. Yea, sure.

"You must do something else besides that Randy I doubt free-lance provides you with all this comfort and still be able to stay at home like you do." I knew it was coming.

"You're right sir, I have been fortunate enough to publish a few books, but I must tell you that if you ask I will not tell you under what pen name. It is something I keep confidential for various reasons. I can only say that I mostly write about controversial topics so I like to keep my privacy just that, private. I hope you understand that. Even Dennis doesn't know my pen name. Even though we have become friends. Please don't ask." He looked at me for a few moments as if he wanted to, hoping perhaps I would change my mind I think.

"Fair enough Randy, although controversial is nothing new I would hope that one day I would be able to find out, I'd like to hear whatever it is you have to say. As I've grown older in life I've begun to learn that there are many things in life that we might not agree with. But it doesn't mean that we can't learn to come to some kind of understanding." I'm not sure if he realized it or not but as he spoke to me he was also looking at his son and I know that Den wasn't looking at his father at that moment, but I wish he had been. I knew I was going to have to remind him of that later after they had gone.

"Listen we hope you don't mind but since we don't have them that long we were kind of hoping we could just visit with you for the day. We could let the boys play, we're sure they probably don't want to go off with two old people, that they haven't seen in a over a year. But we don't want to impose. We can certainly take them out for the day and find things to do with them that they would find entertaining. I'm sure there's one of those video stores nearby somewhere we could find, and let them go wild for a while and they'd be happy enough. But we'd rather not do that. They would probably be just as happy to let us visit with you and pop in and out to say hi every now and then." I could see the boys in the background with hope in their eyes.

"Mom and Dad you two don't have to do anything such thing. But I can't leave Rand here by himself without help." I wondered if he realized what he had just called me in front of his parents, the fact that he hadn't used my full name. Of course that wasn't really a big deal actually anyone could call me that I suppose. Maybe I was just making something out of nothing. But then I looked and saw the look on his mother's face, and I knew I was right. She picked up on it right away. She knew at that point that there was something going on between the two of us. You know what they say, mother's always know when somethings going on. They're the first to know when you think you're hiding something from them. No one fools Momma. I had to chuckle to myself because I knew when I told Den he'd deny that she knew anything. I'm sure his father had no clue because he still didn't understand the whole concept of two men being together. Oh well.

"Den it's fine they're more than welcome to stay the afternoon with us and let the boys play here at the house. You know darn well they're right. It was just this morning Mrs. Daniels." She held up her hand to stop me.

"Please call me Maggie and my husband's name is Robert but he prefers Bob." Well that made things easier that was certain.

"Thank you very much Maggie as I was telling you two just this morning Nathan and Michael expressed to me that they were hesitant about going with you two. Not because they didn't love you two they made that part very clear to me. They told me that they just didn't know what to say to you." Okay so I lied a little. "But they were looking forward to you coming just the same."

"You're a nice liar Randy and I appreciate it for trying to spare our feelings. But I know they're being typical twelve year old's. And they aren't hurting our feelings. I would have been more hurt if they had been forced into going and then moping the whole time and not enjoying themselves. At least this way they'll enjoy what we got them, at least I hope they do and we can visit with Dennis and if they pop in and out that's a bonus. Plus we'll force them to take pictures with us and that will kill only them for just a few minutes over the course of the afternoon. How's that sound?" I couldn't help but laugh a little as did Maggie right along with me. I really did like her.

"I think it sounds just fine Maggie and I'll bet the boys will go along with the idea without even batting an eye. If you'd like to go and tell them what you have in mind go right ahead just go down the hall and you won't miss them, just follow the noise." Maggie got up and went down the hallway towards the bedrooms.

"As I was saying Randy if you ever change your mind about telling me your pen name I'd be honored to read your books whatever they might be about. I really do try and stay open minded. I'd like to say something but before I do I'd have to talk to my son privately I hope you understand some things aren't meant to be said in public without permission."

"I do very much so Bob." Bob looked at Den and they both got up and went into the kitchen. I wish I had been a fly in my kitchen to know what was being discussed actually, although I had a good idea. It had to do with Den's sexuality and he didn't want to say it out lout in case I didn't know in all probability. They returned moments later and so had Maggie by this time.

"I apologize for asking to leave the room like that Randy it must have seemed rude. But before I said anything out loud I had to ask my son's permission about something before I just opened my mouth I wasn't sure about how he felt about it."

"That's all right Bob, I can respect that."

"Knowing that my son is gay was very hard for me in the beginning and sometimes still is I'll admit. I don't always know how to express my feelings about it to him and I wish I did better sometimes." I was stunned by his admission this must have been very hard for a man like Bob Daniels considering his background.

"But I do try and read things regarding the issue and when you said you write about controversial issues my mind began to wonder if that's what you wrote about. Not because I thought you were, but because you asked to be private about and not disclose your name. I figured it had to be a hot topic, even still in today's society. And about the only topic I could think of was homosexuality. It's the one thing that still ignites fires with people and their conversations, unfortunately. Having said that I'd still like to read your books and I give you my word that I would never reveal your name to anyone, just as much as Den wouldn't give it to me either. I know he wouldn't tell me, but I have a feeling he knows already." Wow, he was good.

"I won't say yes or no right now, just give me some time to think about it Bob."

"Fair enough Randy and I thank you for that. How about we talk about lunch now, I believe I'm hungry!" The four of us laughed with one another. Thinking of what we would do for lunch. Finally Den decided he would make Tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for all of us. To tell you the truth it sounded good to me, nothing wrong with a good old stand by.

"Den would you get me some pain killers before you get too far into making lunch?"

"Yeah, no problem be out in a few with your goodies." Sure as shit and as his usual Den was back out in the living room in a few seconds with two pills and a glass of water to wash them down with. While he stood there waiting for me to take my pills and swallow them down, I had made up my mind about telling his Dad about the books I had written."

"Hey what happened to that book that was lying on the coffee table earlier?" I looked at Den and he looked back with a complete look of surprise on his face. I could tell that he was in complete shock. He knew I was going to tell his father by showing him the book itself, and not just tell him my name and let him find one to read.

"I'm not quite sure Rand. I'll have to look."

"You know exactly where it is don't give me that, you're not sure buster brown crap. You're the one that cleaned up the living room this morning not the boys."

His eyes flared at me. I think he was pleading with me not to share it with his father and I think it was the best thing to do. I think his father was trying to reach out to Den in his own way. I was willing to let him see it, what harm could it do? Bob was willing to learn about something he was still uncomfortable with. At least his mind was open enough to read something written by someone, who knew what they were talking about.

"Oh yes that's right the boys didn't clean this room I did forget I did it." If looks could have killed the accident would have been a merciful way to go at the time. His looks were throwing twenty-inch blades threw my body at the moment. Very dull rusty blades were piercing my body. Slowly I might add. Regardless I pressed on I was giving more credit to his father than he was.

"Oh come on now Den don't be such a spoiled sport, just get me the book that was there." Den reached under the coffee table and opened the door, pulling out the book and handing it to his father.

"Here you go Dad this is the book that Randy was talking about. I'm going to go in the kitchen and make lunch now." It was obvious that Mr. Frost was giving me the cold shoulder, frost-bite was more like it never mind a frosty shoulder. Den yelled for the boys to come and help him set the table and get things ready for lunch. Soon enough the three adults in the living room heard nothing but laughing and giggling going on in the kitchen. At one point we sat there and just listened to them.

"Sounds good in there doesn't it?" Maggie was the one that asked the question.

"I agree with you Maggie it certainly does. I've had the pleasure of listening to the three of them for a few meals now."

"I miss hearing the boys doing that in the kitchen." Was Bob's only comment to the whole thing. I could almost understand his comment. Bob looked up at me and I knew he had at least read what I written to David and had gotten into some of the first chapter. Of course I wasn't going to say anything I mean what do you say when someone is reading your written work? Of course I was dying of curiosity and wanted him to say something, what I wasn't sure.

"I'm not sure what to say here Randy I don't know who this David is really." Great here we go.

"He was my partner for ten years and we were together for twelve, he was killed on his way to work one morning by a drunk driver. The man lost control of his car and he smashed him into the wall of the building he worked in, maybe five more steps and he would have been safe inside." I looked at the both of them without the tears in my eyes which made me feel good about myself. I didn't start falling apart in describing what had happened to him. Maybe I really had put David to rest that night with Den. Finally. That made me feel incredibility good about myself at that moment at least internally.

"I'm sorry to hear that Randy. It's tough to lose anyone you love, no matter who they are in your life. I hope you cherish him always and never forget him." Wow, was I really hearing this from Den's father?

"Believe me I won't Bob, I don't think I ever could. There aren't to many days that go by that I don't think of him, believe me."

"I believe that reading as much as I have I'll have to buy a copy of this and finish reading it when at home. It seems interesting at this point I'll certainly admit that Randy and at my age in life that isn't always easy to do. I'll have to go out and buy a copy now to finish it, so I can understand the whole book. I don't want to make negative comments even in error when I open my mouth. For my son's sake I have tried to learn more and more about relationships between men, and it hasn't been easy for me and I'll be the first to admit it. I know it's effected our relationship and I hope that it can change as time goes forward for him and I. I really do Randy. I just hope that he sees it and doesn't think it's just an act of some kind." I was surprised by his admittance of his relationship with Den and how frail it really was.

"Bob I'm sure it will come through that way as long as when you talk to him it comes from the heart just like now. Talk to him like you just did to me and I promise you, you won't have a problem with your son. I certainly don't have one with him when we talk." Oh shit! I didn't want to say that to him. Bob looked at me and didn't say anything nor did he ask anything about the two of us but I certainly saw the wheels turning in his head. I was saved by the lunch bell.

"Lunch is ready!!"

"Randy do you want to come to the kitchen table for lunch or sit in the living room?" Actually what I felt like was just sitting where I was but social graces told me to sit at the table. Being comfortable won out and I decided to eat where I was. I thought I'd let them sit as a family and eat together. They weren't going to have all the time in the world so let them have their fun and time together. I'd have time with Randy later.

"I think the way I feel today Den I'll stay put and I'll have mine in here if you don't mind. Really I don't know if I can hack the hardback chairs today, I'm feeling pretty comfortable right here for now, maybe for supper I'll switch."

"You sure?" He looked at me with a questioning look as if I was lying to him. Maybe in part I was so that they could spend that time together. I didn't think I was, at least not intentionally.

"Yeah I'm sure, just make sure I have coffee out here that's all, how's that sound?" At least he went for that. I was happy when he stopped looking at me and went back to the kitchen, another few seconds of him looking at my eyes and I would have told him yes to sitting in the dining room. Why do I let my guilt do that to me? I really didn't want to sit in the dining room chairs for lunch, I knew it would be uncomfortable. I really didn't want to sit in them.

Needless to say lunch was quiet for me which I didn't mind at all. Den made us sandwiches, what else do you make for lunch on short notice right? It was a good thing he had done a good job grocery shopping in preparation for the boys coming and was somewhat prepared to make a lunch for everyone. The five of them talked throughout their lunch but I made quick work of mine. I didn't realize I was as tired as I was and quickly dozed off to sleep once I finished. I couldn't have been that far into sleep because I heard them talking.

"Let him be Dennis he fell asleep, he must be tired I don't want to disturb him let's just sit in the dining room or the library." Not the library that would lead them to all the other books that were there. And that was just not what I needed or wanted right now.

"No really I'm fine come and join me I don't get company that often, please don't go. Come back back here all of you."

I hoped I sounded convincing when I said it and not to tired because the truth was I really did want to go right back to sleep. I was just going to ask Den for another cup of coffee instead pretending that I was a little cold, and wanted something warm to drink to warm up my bones. I knew he would see right through it, maybe not if I tried hard enough.

"Are you sure dear?" His mother didn't want to impose and I could tell she was hesitant to sit down and interfere; I was getting that motherly look of wondering if perhaps I was indeed lying to her. I tried to reassure her.

"Please Maggie come and sit and relax I mean it, besides Den hasn't had any visitors, I think they're afraid I'll break or something or be so tired I'll collapse on them." I gave her the best smile I could, she looked at me at little dubiously but she sat down and Bob and Den followed suit. Michael and Nathan made a beeline for the bedroom to resume their game playing on which ever new gizmo Bob and Maggie had brought them. Whatever it was it was, it was a hit with both of them. I had heard them talking about it over lunch when they were thanking them. They told them how jealous the kids at school would be, when they got back to Texas. Score ten points for the Grandparent's.

"Well Randy I'm sitting here, but I'm not totally buying that you're not that tired. You're eyes are telling me differently and I don't even know you that well." I dared not look at Den. If she could tell he'd know in a heart beat that I was more than just a little tired right now. I wasn't even sure why I was feeling that tired all of a sudden. It wasn't as if I had done anything during the day. What in the hell was wrong with me? I had no fucking clue. Without thinking I glanced up and looked at him and he was already locked in on me. I could tell that he wasn't happy with me at the moment. He knew I was tired and wasn't saying anything so that no one would leave early. Not that his parents were really visiting with the boys anyway. I figured the best solution was to feign a headache and go to bed. They'd would let them have the house to themselves and I'd lock myself in my bedroom. I'd worry about the fallout with Den later.

"You know you may be more right than I thought Maggie, maybe lying down might be a good idea after all. Den would you mind helping me to the bedroom and I'll try taking a little nap for an hour and see how it goes. Please stay and visit and have the boys come out here so you can enjoy them while you're here. You're more than welcome to stay for dinner if Den is up to making it for all of us." I thought I'd better shut my mouth I wasn't sure if he really wanted them here that long or not. He got up and came over to get me up and out of the chair. Funny when you sit long enough how stiff you get just sitting there. I felt like I was ninety years old getting up this time.

"Go easy would you please Den...I'm feeling beat up today for some reason." He gave me this look I couldn't quite read this time. Guess I was going to have to wait to hear what he had to say when we got in the bedroom. It didn't take us long to get there and it was quiet the whole way there unlike our usual banter.

"I won't say anything now because as you say you're tired. But we'll certainly finish it when my folks are gone buster brown." I knew he was going to say something and what he just said, said a mouthful. I wasn't going to push the issue at the moment I really was too tired and just felt like closing my eyes and resting. Den got me laid down and just put a comforter over me. Once that was taken care of he kissed me on the forehead and thanked me for being so good with his parents. He told me he still would talk to me later about being so tired and not saying anything at first. I just rolled my eyes at him and he chuckled as he left the room. I closed my eyes and that's all I remembered. Before I knew it Michael and Nathan were both standing next to the bed trying quietly to wake me.

"Mr. Randy.....Mr. Randy...Daddy said you're supposed to wake you up.....Daddy says so." The two of them were giggling as they finished their sentenced. I couldn't help but smile at them.

"Oh he did, did he?" I think I shocked them when I spoke up because they both jumped when I spoke, which made me laugh, which of course made them laugh too. Michael was the first to come back to the bed.

"Do you want me to help you sit up?" I wondered if he could given his size or if they both needed to help me. I didn't want to hurt Michaels feelings and tell him that so I thought I'd at least give him a chance.

"Sure big guy why don't we give it a try." Nathan was the one that pulled off the comforter and Michael reached over from the side and reached for my right hand and began to pull with all his might. I have to say for a little skinny kid, he had some muscle hidden him and he was able to sit me upright at least.

"Thanks Michael I appreciate that very much. I think however at this point I do need your father to get me to the bathroom." They both looked at me with understanding and without question both left the room. I'm sure Den had been listening on the monitor, because as they were leaving he was coming through the door.

"I didn't want to let you sleep to long I was afraid you wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. So after two hours I thought you might want to get up."

"That was a good guess and I'm glad you did get me up. Two hours is plenty of time for a nap for me believe me Den, thanks for that and thanks for sending the boys in to wake me up. That was a pleasant surprise to have those two wake me up." He smiled from ear to ear when I said that. And I had meant it, I was happy that he had sent the boys in. It had been a pleasant treat to have them wake me up. I had never had two boys wake me up before. Their laughter had made it quite enjoyable for me to wake with.

"How you feeling now? You feel better after having a nap? And don't lie and tell me that you didn't really need one either."

"You know I did Den and I feel much better thanks I really do. So there shit head."

"Oh you're going to start that again are you?"

"You're the one that started it, not me."

"Don't bother pal...I'll have to slap you silly."

"Oh promises promises."

"You just wait until your parents leave and the boys go to bed mister and we'll talk then and we'll see about promises."

"Oh, I'm so going to keep you at your word buddy."

"We'll see what happens later when your parents are gone and the boys are in bed won't we?"

"Yes we will." I was now at least going to get some sexual release tonight I had something to look forward. I had to make sure to keep my thoughts above the waist, the rest of the day or I knew I'd be popping wood without thinking twice. I knew I'd have to stay seated or at least a blanket handy so I could at least pretend I was cold.

"Don't you dare play any games with me Den, I mean it. Not with your parents here." He looked and me and gave me a mischievous grin and all I could do was smile back at him.

"So help Den if you do there won't be anything happening tonight, I swear I don't care if I have to take care of things myself." I tried to give him a stern look but all he did was wrap his arms around me instead. He then blew in my ear ever so gently which instantly drove me nuts and did exactly what I didn't want....instant hard on. I smacked him hard on the side of head and said not to loudly.

"You bastard." All he did was laugh.

"What's the matter have to pee now?" He stood there laughing, holding me. It was a good thing the door had slowly begun to shut in all of this. If you don't open my door enough it will close itself shut. So Den took me into the bathroom. Letting me stand at the toilet while I struggled to get my hard on to go down, so I could honestly take a piss. I stood glaring at him the whole time. The afternoon passed quickly and I found that I really liked his parents. Den's father was struggling to find a common ground to communicate with Den on. He just hadn't found it yet, I guess for whatever reason talking to me was easier for him. For whatever reason it was harder for him to talk to Den. As soon as his parents left the boys were off to their room to change and continue playing.

"Why is it that he was talking to you about all this and not me? Never has he ever asked me anything or ever said crap about any gay issues with me. And he comes in here and it's like he just opens right up to you and doesn't stop. What the fuck is up with that?" I could tell that Den was hurt by it and I could understand his feelings being hurt.

"Because it wasn't you he was talking to, that's the whole thing Den. He could talk to someone who wasn't his son and yet you were here and it was perfect because you got the chance to see that at least he was asking and showing some interest. Think about it Den. He was trying to show you that he does care, he asked some tough questions when you stop and think about it. And he never once criticized or made fun of anyone or knocked our lifestyle. He was trying to understand it, all of his questions were based on the fact of trying to understand it at least I think they were. Didn't you?" Den sat there and looked at me for a few minutes before he said anything.

"I have to admit that you might be right Rand. He didn't bad mouth or throw bad jabs at gays during the whole conversation you two were having. He certainly had some very good and interesting questions I'll say that for him. Maybe he just wasn't comfortable asking me after all and with you it was easier for him since he didn't know you until today."

"See, I told you once you gave it some thought it made sense. I liked him Den. I can see where you're a lot like him and I mean that in a good way believe me. You'll make a good father as I've said before I believe." Den looked at me and smiled.

"Yea, I know." He hung his head and I watched his face turn a light crimson red. He was handsome as hell, as usual.

"Come here you deserve to get you shoulder's rubbed again tonight you've been very good today. Outstanding." He pulled the oversized pillow and threw it on the floor. Sitting down in front of my chair with his back to me.

"Go for it Crip I'm ready tonight for a light workout...don't overdue that left arm of yours...ya hear me?"

"Yes sir I hear you I'll save it for later use." He turned to look at me giving me a dirty sly smile. "Now there's a thought." He turned back to watch the television as I began to lightly rub his neck with both hands. I worked on his neck for a few minutes and slowly worked my way into his scalp using my fingertips to massage his head slowly and lightly.

"That feels amazing babe don't stop doing that believe me, you don't even have to work on my shoulder's at all if you don't want to."

I had to snicker at his comment. I know how good it feels when I get my haircut, sometimes if they were slow enough I swear I could fall asleep sitting in the chair. And that's just getting my hair cut. So I continued making small circular motions on his scalp, and then slowly moving my hands around in different directions. I felt his hands on both of my legs and they were resting on my feet as I kept up that slow leisurely pace. It was incredible when he began using just his fingers making almost the same kind of motion I was on my right lower leg, talk about instant hard on again. If he dropped his head backwards he would have felt how hard I was at that instant.

"Stop doing that or I'll never make it to the bedroom babe I mean it." I said it in a very low voice right next to his ear and when I was finished I blew slowly and gently into it. I watched him as he physically shuddered from the effect it had on him. I could help but smile.

"Mmmm...maybe I should let you make me do that right here....right now."

"'re so bad you know that? So so bad right now."

"I know." he had the most devilish look on his face and all I could do was laugh. I leaned towards him and quickly kissed the side of his face the best I could. I still worried the boys would happen to just walk out and catch us in the act. He reached around and held my head in place and turned his head to meet mine. He kissed me on the lips for a few seconds, making sure that that hard on I had would stay put for the next few minutes I'm sure. It did. I had to push him hard to get him to stop, not that I wanted to but I was beginning to panic with thoughts of the boys turning the corner any minute. I whispered in his ear when he let go.

"You know the boys could come out at any second and catch us and then what would you say?"

"Oh I don't know, perhaps that Dad isn't straight that Dad is into boys and not girls."

"You might want to talk to them first and not let them just find out the hard way Den. Some kids don't take it so easy they need time to process it and especially if they idolize that person. And I have a feeling those two have you high up, way up there sir. You should seriously think about that first babe and I mean it." Oh shit there went that word again. Dammit.

We sat there and I finished giving him his neck rub and then I gave him a very light massage on his shoulder's. He didn't complain once whether it was enough or that he wanted more, he said he was content with what he got. We stayed where we were for a little while until it was time for the boys to get ready for bed. Den got up and went to put them through the routine of bath and let them wash themselves and put their pajamas on. They came out after they were done for inspection. I was the lucky one tonight and got to give them the seal of approval. I felt honored, I made a big deal out of it for them. They giggled all the way through it. Of course I made sure they passed, how could I not like these two?Worse was how could I not love them? That was the big scary question in my mind. CHIP. Major chip. Oh God.

"Good night Michael and Nathan I'm glad you two came here the house hasn't been the same since you two arrived. It's been so lively. I hope tomorrow you get to go sliding on the sled."

"Oh YES! Can we Dad? Can we? Can we?" They jumped up and down asking Den. Obviously it had been forgotten about and this infusion was just too much for them. He looked at me as if he wanted to strangle me, but I knew he didn't really want to at least I didn't think he did.

"Yes tomorrow we can go sledding, besides your cousins are coming tomorrow and they'll know want to go to I'm sure." The two jumped up and gave each other a high five. They charged at Den and leaped at him almost knocking him over throwing their arms around him.

"Thanks Dad, thanks so much, what time is everyone getting here?"

"Sometime in the morning probably around ten your Uncle's said. Now settle down or you'll never get to sleep tonight." They both kept their hold on him but they did settle down. I watched them both hang on to him for the next few minutes as he talked to them. He was being soft spoken and his gentle manner was shining through. You could see them slowly settling down, it was as if he was pulling the energy plug from their system. I was truly amazed by this.

"I'm going to take these two little monkey's to bed Rand. I'll be back once I have them settled in and see their eyes shut."

"Take your time Den don't rush on my account I'll be fine until you get back. Good night boys sleep tight and I'll see you in the morning."

"Night Mr. Randy." Again in unison. It still was amazing to me to listen to them talk like that, but I had to assume to them it was second nature. What I wasn't expecting this time was Michael coming up to me and giving me a quick hug. I felt a lump form in my throat instantly, WOW! where did that come from? Nathan just stood by his father and didn't move and I didn't expect him to follow suit. I had gotten the impression since meeting him that he kept his emotions closer to him, whereas Michael wore his on his sleeve for the world to see. I had to hug him back. And he whispered in my ear.

"I hope you sleep good to." It was so heartfelt when he said it I knew he meant it.

"You to buddy." It was all I could get out of my mouth I think without losing it.

"All right come on you two lets get to bed." I was never more glad that Den got them out of the room leaving me alone. I had to close my eyes and found myself bringing my hands to them to wipe any possible tears from falling. It seems Michael had crawled into my heart in a very short time. But Nathan was standing firm for now and that was okay for me I knew they'd be leaving before long. I didn't want to have my heart ripped out the day they did leave. I had to be a little more careful with my words and emotions with these two, and how attached I got while they were here. I'd have to keep reminding myself they were leaving to go back to Texas. It wasn't too long before Den was back in the living room.

"Well didn't you get a surprise tonight babe?"

"That's for sure Michael caught me totally off guard when he hugged me Den."

"I could tell, I could see that in your eyes clearly."

"That bad huh?" I was so hoping that it hadn't shown too much.

"Yeah it showed and it's okay babe, Michael has a way of getting inside your heart real quick and he certainly got in yours."

"I'm trying to remind myself they will leaving before too long and not to get myself to attached."

"I think it's too late for that." I looked at him and sighed knowing he was right. It was already too late with Michael, he had me in his heart already.

"You're right Den what can I say it'll kill me to say good-bye to them when they leave. Well not kill me but it certainly won't be easy for a few days after they leave."

"Tell me something I don't know. Imagine what it's like for me once they're gone." Den hung his head into his hands and I couldn't even fathom what he was going to go through once they left here. I'd have to think of things to keep him busy for a few days. God knows what it was going to be like living with him for a few days after they left.

"I can't babe, I honestly can't imagine what it's like for you to have to send them back to your ex-wife knowing you won't see them for a while." He sat there with his head in his hands and took a few deep breaths before he spoke to me again. I wasn't going to push him I just gave him the time he needed to compose himself, and talk to me again.

"I just try and focus on the next time I get to see them again that's all I can do, to keep my sanity Rand. It's the only way I can survive the times in between. That bitch will never give me more time than I get now. She hates me for being gay. She's claims that anymore time spent with them the greater chances are that I'll molest them." The blood in me began to boil. Was he fucking kidding me?

"Are you fucking serious?" I just looked at him opened mouth sitting there in disbelief, was she that ignorant? Or just that stupid? Obviously since he had said it.

"Oh yeah, you should have heard her in court. I was lucky that the judge either knew someone who was gay or had a son or daughter or who gay. He told her to shut up and sit down when she starting talking about me like I was some kind of sexual predator. Like I was just waiting to get my boys alone, without her so that I could do something to them without her around."

I sat there still in disbelief. I mean I understood there was still people out there that were not kind to gays, but seriously. Looking or thinking of us as child molester's where the fuck did she ever get that idea? Or was she just throwing out things to make him look bad? I chose to think she was just being a bitch, trying to make him look bad in the eyes of the court but misfired with the judge thank goodness.

"I'm glad the judge said something Den I'm sorry she said any such thing, though there's no excuse for that, ever."

"You're telling me I was shocked as shit when it came out of her mouth in court. I was just glad the boys weren't there to hear it." My heart was breaking for him. Literally. I wanted to reach out and hold him with every fiber in my body. For the first time since I left the hospital I was glad for the cast. Not that I still didn't want to comfort him I did. If I was more mobile I would have rushed into his arms and held him for all I was worth at that moment. I was still working at keeping those bricks in place. I don't know what I was still afraid of. Well I knew but I just wasn't ready for that again not after David, I just wasn't.

"Come here Den." He looked at me at with uncertainty etched across his face this time. Perhaps my own insecurity was coming through.

"I mean it babe, please come here." This time he moved without hesitation.

"I wish I could stand up and walk to you but I can't and it's pissing me off right now." There I said it and I wasn't lying to him. I meant it every word of it. He had moved in to be a helper and I knew it was turning into more whether I liked it or not. I just had to accept it, and for me that was going to be the hard part. I guess Den was sensing it.

"I'm sorry if you're getting the wrong signals from me Den I don't mean to. This isn't easy for me. I told you in the beginning I had walls up and I wasn't kidding." He looked at me again without saying anything.

"I know you did tell me. I'm the one that's trying to hard I guess. I've got to step back and give you your space and let you breathe Randy, I'm sorry for pushing so hard. It's just I've been so lonely for so long and then you come along and you've turned my world upside down. And I don't know what to think anymore. I crawl into that bed in the next room at night and it's the last place I want to be. I'd rather be crawling in with you and yet I know I can't. The other night after we did what we did....(now he was struggling to talk) I had such a hard time leaving you......but I knew I had to."

"I know it was the right thing to do with the boys here babe I do. You have to understand how hard this is for me still. I know it's been three years and you'd think I'd be over David and ready to move on. I guess I'm not as ready as I should be." I lowered my head almost ashamed of myself. I felt his hand on my chin as he lifted my head up so that I was looking at him.

"Don't you ever be sorry or ashamed of how you feel with me Randy ever. I mean that. I mean it was just the other night that you were able to verbalize the the fact that you could finally put David to rest and be at peace with yourself; that was a big step for you. Hugh! I admire you for that step alone. I'm not expecting much at this point really I'm not even though sometimes I know you think I am but trust me I'm not. I'm a patient man Randy McKnight and as I've told you before I'll keep waiting for you, I know you're worth it. In the little time I've gotten to know you I know you're worth the wait." What do you say after that? I mean really what the fuck do you say. I was flattered, deeply. I knew I was the one turning red now.

"My, my.....someone else has the ability to turn different shades of red, guess I'm not alone anymore." That just made it worse. By this time he was down on his knees in front of me and was doing his best to get his arms around me so that he could hug me. I wanted so bad to punch him for his remark and I just couldn't. I wanted more than anything to fall into his arms and let him hold me at this point. He pulled me forward into his body and held me like he knew what I wanted. How in the hell did he do that? What was it about him? I just couldn't answer that. But there was certainly something about him that was slowly working it's way into my heart. I heard the hammer strike the bricks hard this time. I couldn't help but take in a deep breath and sigh when I let it out.

"You're going be okay Rand I promise I won't hurt you, not intentionally anyway. I'd never do that to you I couldn't bear the thought of hurting you." I barely heard him say it but I heard him nonetheless. I wanted to cry and I had no idea why at that moment all I could do was put my arms around him and hold him. Tight. And I did, just as tight as I could. Because at that moment I was scared perhaps because for the first time since David's death, I was putting myself out there again and I knew exactly what that meant. I had to say something or at least I thought I did.

"I know Den, I know just be patient that's all I ask, just be patient with me." The tears fell and I couldn't help it, fuck I couldn't help it. I felt like a fucking cry baby. He just held me tighter and ran his hand up and down my back trying to comfort me. Making me feel all that much more needful of him, dammit.

"Just let it out babe it's why I'm here. I'm the guy that's here to let you heal." Was he? Was he indeed the one to get me to heal? Was there something that he wasn't telling me? Was there something I didn't know about Den? At the moment I didn't want to ask I couldn't even talk to him.

"You know someone once told me that a crying man wasn't a big deal that it wasn't a weakness?" Fuck why did he have to go and throw my own words back in my face? I pushed him in the chest which did absolutely nothing really, all it did was produce a chuckle out of him and made me smile a little. "There's that's what I like seeing on your face babe."

"Stop it now you're just making fun of me."

"I would never make fun of you babe, ever." He picked up my face with his hand and made me look him in the eyes. They were just so intense when he looked at me. He leaned in and kissed me. Dammit this wasn't fair. I melted every time he kissed me or at least I felt like I did. And especially when his large hand found it's way behind my head and he held it in place and wouldn't let go of me. It just felt like I was being held captive in his hand, I felt like my whole head was in his hand that's how big his hand was. His other arm seemed to snake around me and just held me to him. Finally he let go of me and just looked at me.

"You certainly know how to break a guys train of thought you know." He smiled at me.

"In a good way I hope."

"Yeah you could say that babe, you could say that." The pieces of brick were just crumbling around me, falling by the side and I wasn't really listening to them. I wasn't that interested right then.



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