Hi everyone. I'm back. Sorry it's been so long. I've just had some shit I had to deal with regarding my health. I promised I'd give you all an explanation as to why I was gone and here it is: I thought I was infected with HIV. Yes, I thought I had been infected with HIV from my anonymous encounters with men at school in my freshman year and it nearly tore me apart. Rest assured, I'm in perfect health, but that scare really did a number on me.

I have chronic anxiety and before my scare, I had it under control. But with this scare, it came back in full force. I couldn't sleep at night without worrying about the 'what if...?' and I lost ten pounds in the course of two weeks because I could barely eat. I sunk into a depression and it really sucked for a little while.

But I got help. I've started seeing a psychiatrist and he's helped me tremendously with my anxiety. He's a great guy and I really do owe him for helping me so much. He helped me realize who I really was as a person. I'm gay. Yes, I know I identified myself as bisexual a long time ago, but I was very confused then and was afraid of admitting to myself I really was gay. But now that I have accepted the fact, I've never been more relieved in my life.

I'm out to my family. Nothing has changed at home and I'm lucky to still have their love and support. I'm semi out now. I'm not open about my sexuality. But if someone were to ask, I would be honest and tell them (maybe). I'm back at school for my sophomore year, so that's going to start taking up my time again.

I'm going to try and continue writing, but it might take some time before I post a new chapter. I know I've tried to post chapters with a smaller amount of time in between, but it's impossible for me. I hope you all understand. I think that's just about everything from me. I apologize again for the long time away.

Thank you all for your supportive emails and comments. I really do appreciate each and every one. Thank you all again. I hope you enjoy Chapter 15 of 'Is It Possible...?'


Chapter 15

I don't think I've ever cried this much in my life. And for what? Because I saw the guy who I thought was my boyfriend in bed with two other guys, one of whom was his ex boyfriend that I trusted to make sure he was okay when he was going through a rough time and the other being a guy I was growing to like a lot? Sounds pretty pathetic, doesn't it?

When I got back down to Dad's car after I left Greg's, I managed to tell him that Greg wasn't feeling well and I'd talk to him later (a lie that will never be true). He tried to poke and prod, but I told him I was tired and he dropped the subject. I managed to make it home and to my bedroom before I broke down.

The next time I leave the apartment is two days later. I've done nothing but eat, sleep, cry, sleep some more, and cry again since I came home. My family called me a few times, but I always assured them I was doing okay (another lie). Doctor Warner told me I could work out and go to the gym, but I had to make my workouts easy ones.

With my gym clothes on and some spare clothes in a bag, I walk out of my bedroom and into the living room. Adam is standing in the kitchen, making a protein shake before he heads out to his training gym. He hears me walk in and sets down his travelling cup. "Hey, you doing okay?" he asks, walking around the counter.

"In what sense?" I deadpan.

"Well first off your head, and second your mood. I could hear you crying from my room for the past two days." Great. My roommate heard me crying like a preteen girl. "What's going on, Tanner? You've never acted like this before."

Fuck. I have to have a great roommate that actually cares about my well-being. "It's nothing," I say, unable to look him in the eye.

"Tanner, I've lived with you for four years. I know you're lying when your right thumb twitches."

Shit. He needs to be observant too? "Adam, I appreciate you looking out for me, but this is something that I..."

"Is it Gregory?" I wince at the name and Adam notices. "Is something going on between you two? He knows that you were hurt a few days ago, and he hasn't come by the apartment once to check up on you despite you being his boyfriend."

"That fucker isn't my boyfriend!" I explode, causing Adam to step back. "He doesn't get to call me that anymore and no one else does either! He an call either of the two assholes he was in bed with when I walked in his boyfriend now!"

Fucking shit. I couldn't hold it in anymore and I just blurted that out. Adam stares blankly at me for a second before I see him start to turn into The Machine. His fists tighten and I can actually hear his teeth grinding together. "I'm going to kill that motherfucker..." he snarls before starting for the door.

He stomps through the apartment, a man on a mission, a mission to kill Greg. "Adam, if you step outside that door, I'll take a pair of scissors and cut holes where your dick and asshole are in all of your grappling shorts," I threaten.

Adam immediately stops and looks back at me. "Are you fucking shitting me right now, Tanner?" he says, walking back to me. "This guy cheated on you with two other guys, and you're telling me not to go and confront him about this?"

"This doesn't involve you, Adam. It's something between me and Greg and I can't have you fighting my battles for me. Not that I'm trying to fight any battle here..."

He walks back to me and stares down at me, but I just look at my feet. "Tanner, I've never seen you like this as long as I've known you. I can tell that this is tearing you up because you have the same look Nate did when he and Ryan had a huge fight a while ago and didn't speak to each other for a week and a half.

"So if you try to tell me that you're not hurt about all this, I'll call you out on your bullshit no matter how much you try to deny it. Now these two guys that Gregory was in bed with..."

"They were his ex boyfriend and his ex boyfriend's husband..."

And seven veins pop out of Adam's skin at hearing that. "Brody Mates? Oh yeah, I'm going to go kill someone."

He cracks his knuckles and turns for the door again. "I'll cut your spandex into thongs if you even touch that doorknob."

He freezes again and turns back to me, his forehead sweating a bit. "Why must you threaten my clothing every time I try to do something like this?"

"Because it's the only thing that seems to work with you."

I walk over to the kitchen counter and take a seat, Adam taking a seat next to me. "So what're you going to do about this?" he asks.

"Nothing." He raises an eyebrow. "Why should I do anything about this when I haven't even done anything? Greg and I are done. And that's that."

"Even though you love him?"

My heart clenches itself at the question. "I was going to tell him I loved him when I found him in bed. I don't know if I'll ever get over something like that. It was like I was drowning and I couldn't breathe or find my voice until I was out of there."

"Do you still love him?"

I feel tears behind my eyes and I will myself not to let them spill out. "I...I think I might. But after...that, I'm not sure if I can even love him as much as I used to seeing how I saw how much I really meant to him..."

Adam looks at me for a minute before giving me a pat on the shoulder. "Well whatever decision you're working with, know I'll support you no matter what it is." I smile to myself, not knowing how I managed to get such a great friend. "I need to get to my gym. Can't have my trainers waiting."

He hops off his chair and grabs his protein shake and keys. "Did Doctor Warner clear you for physical activity?"

"Only light stuff and he told me I couldn't get back on the ice quite yet. But I have another appointment in a few days so he can check up on me."

"Good to hear. I'll see you later tonight. I think I'll make pasta or something like that. Trying to get in some carbs before my next fight. Catch you later."

He waves before heading out and I'm not far behind him. Seeing as Doctor Warner told me not to drive for at least a little while, Rock is nice enough to pick me up and take me to the gym. He's waiting for me outside the building in his car and I climb in. "Thanks for the lift, Rock," I say.

"Ah, it's nothing. I was hoping to finally have a morning where I didn't stay in my gym all day. Jillian is watching over everything right now until I get there."

Jillian is Rock's girlfriend and is just as dedicated to the gym as he is. He pulls out of the building parking lot and we get to his gym about twenty minutes later. "How's the head, by the way?" he asks as we climb out of his car.

I touch the right side of my head, which isn't covered by bandages anymore and is displaying the scar for the world to see. "It's pretty good. Just need to stay careful with the working out and stuff like that. And no driving until the doctor gives the okay."

"So do you need a lift to your practice or something?"

"I'm good, thanks. My brother's giving me a ride before he heads to a doctor's appointment."

Rock nods and we head inside the gym. It's about half full at 8:00 in the morning, and it takes one guy on a treadmill to notice me walking in for everyone to stop what they're doing. "Tanner White!"

Every head snaps to the front door, where I'm standing with Rock. Rock reaches for a microphone on the front desk that controls the gym intercom and holds it to his mouth. "Anyone who approaches Tanner will get their gym membership revoked."

The gym freezes as everyone begins to move. I take the intercom from Rock. "Thank you all for your concern. I'm really fine, just like the news statement said, and I'm just here to work out a little. While I do love all the fans of the Kings, I'm going to have to ask that I try to workout in peace. Doctor said I need to keep major activity to a minimum."

I hand the intercom back to Rock and wait as everyone in the gym returns to what they were doing. "Glad that's settled," Rock says, putting the intercom down. "If anyone starts harassing you, let me know and I'll take care of it."

I thank Rock and head over to an available treadmill to get a brisk walk in. A few people glance over my way, and I don't mind them looking as long as I have a bit of peace and quiet while I'm here. Just like Warner said, I take everything slow and take my time. By the end of my workout, I'm feeling good, but have minimal sweat on me.

With everything done, I head to the locker room for a quick shower and quickly dress into a t-shirt and jeans with a sweatshirt and slip a beanie over my head to not potentially scare children with my scar. With my bag, I head out of the locker room and start for the door. "Hey, Tanner," Rock says as I'm about to walk out.


"Uh...is Gregory not with you?"

Anger starts to boil up in my chest, but I keep it down. "Why would he be?"

"Um...because you two are...a thing?"

I don't want anyone else to know about what happened between me and Greg. "He must be busy or something," I say.

"Really? Because Jillian told me when I got here that Greg had been swimming in the pool until about twenty minutes ago."

Well at least I managed to avoid him. "How long had he been here?" I ask.

"Since opening. Jillian let him in and he went straight for the pool. He didn't stop once in over two hours."

I honestly don't know how I should feel about that. "Like I said," I continue, "he must be busy with something and came in before I did." I pull my phone out of my pocket and look at the blank screen. "Sorry, Rock. My brother is almost here. I should get going."

He gives me a suspicious look. "Okay. But if there's anything you need to talk about, you know where to find me."

I nod and quickly head outside before Rock can ask any more questions. Keith isn't supposed to be here for another ten minutes, but Rock doesn't need to know that. I just couldn't deal with the questions. What's worse is that I have to go to practice today and Greg will definitely be there.

So how the hell am I going to deal with being around him all day when all I'll be able to see is him in bed with Brody and Clint? Keith shows up after a bit and takes me to the sports center. "You going to be okay today?" he asks as I get out and grab my bag. "I can skip my appointment to make sure."

"I'll be fine, Keith. And you can't skip your appointment. Dad will be here later to pick me up."

"Okay. But text me if something happens."

I close the door and Keith drives off. Taking a breath, I walk into the sports center and head down to the locker room. I'm later than I'd normally be, so most of the team is probably already here. As I turn the hall for the locker room, I hear their voices echoing toward me. I take a breath and walk to where they all are.

I step into the room and find all of my teammates dressing into their practice uniforms. After a moment, they all eventually notice me and stop what they're doing. "Your captain's back," I say to my team.

Within a second, I'm swarmed by half-dressed men, who give me careful hugs and welcome back slaps on the back. "We heard you were awake on the news," Gunnar says. "But how're you feeling?"

"I feel good, guys. I'm going to be on the injury reserve list for a little while before I can make it back to the ice. But I'll be damned if I can't step foot back on there soon. I'm going to be on the bench today while you guys work. If I see any of you guys slacking off because I'm not out there, I'll throw a hockey puck at you."

The team laughs and gets back to dressing for practice while I head out to the rink. The place is empty as I take a seat on the team bench and watch as the guys take to the ice for their warm-ups. Assistant Coaches Warren and Jacobs and the trainers welcome me back to the rink, but there's one person missing: Greg.

There's no sign of him here. Not that I'm worried or anything, but it's weird that he's not here. If there's one thing about Greg, it's that being on time is something he really cares about. It reminds me of the time he first...kissed me...and showed up late to practice. My hand balls into a fist at the thought. That part of me and Greg is done.

The team eases into practice and they look good going through their drills. I just wish I could join them. "W-Welcome back, Tanner..."

I glance over and find Greg standing behind the bench, his eyes on me but looking like they want to be anywhere else. My mind flashes to his bedroom, where I found him with Brody and Clint, and I feel the anger boiling up. As much as I want to slug him in the gut, I force myself to look back at the ice. "Thanks, Coach Natick..."


My heart is pounding in my chest and I feel nauseous. The anger in Tanner's voice, the way he said my name like he was spitting out poison. I've never felt so horrible in my entire life. I haven't slept in two days. I can't close my eyes without seeing the hurt look on Tanner's face when he walked into my bedroom.

It hurts so much to lie in my bed without him by my side. I just want to touch him, tell him how sorry I am for my own stupid mistake, get on my hands and knees and beg him to take me back. But there's no way he'll ever let me get as close to him as I am now. Right now I'm his coach and he's my player. And I'm scared that's all we'll ever be from now on.

I'm on autopilot for a while, yelling out drills and orders to the team. Hell, I'm not even watching any of them. One of them could break their ankle and I wouldn't notice it. After a while, I pull my phone out of my pocket and check the time. "Okay, guys!" I yell. "Half hour break for lunch!"

The team skates over and I glance over at Tanner one more time. He isn't even looking in my direction and it hurts to have him not even acknowledge me. I turn and head down the hall and to my office, where I walk in and close the door, locking it behind me. Finally having a bit of privacy, I allow myself to cry.

I can't hold it anymore and I quietly let the tears flow. It hurts so much to have him so close to me and knowing he would do anything to get as far away from me as possible. I stumble over to the couch and collapse onto it. God, this is the couch where Tanner told me he wanted to be with me nearly four months ago.

The realization makes me cry even harder into the cushions. I love him so much. Just a small touch of him, even the slightest, would make me so happy. But I can't get near him without hurting either one of us. My pocket starts vibrating and I wipe my eyes and nose before reaching into my pocket and pulling out my phone.

I don't even bother to look at the caller I.D. "H-Hello?" I choke out.

"Hi, Gregory."

Josh. "Hey, coach man."

Leo too. "Thought we'd give you a call to see how how're doing," Josh says. "Last time we talked it was just after Tanner got hurt. So how are you?"

I sniff my nose a bit. "I uh...I'm doing okay, guys..."

Their end of the line is silent. "Gregory, we've known you for almost ten years," Leo says. "That tone of voice tells me something different from what you say are. And I've heard that tone enough times to know that you're the exact opposite of okay."

I have to have a psychic for a friend that knows every little thing about me. Great. "I-I'm really..." I start.

"Bullshit," Leo interrupts. "Even through a phone I know when you're lying, Gregory. You better tells us what's going on or..."

I hit the call end button before they can press any further. I know it's a dick move, but I can't deal with this right now. So I choose to wallow in my own sadness. That is until five minutes later when I hear tittering on the other side of my door. The door opens and I look up from the couch, finding four people stepping in.

Josh and Leo, and Aiden and Jade walk into my office, closing the door behind them. "How did you guys get in here?" I ask, putting my face back into the cushion.

"We were in the neighborhood and Josh can pick locks, remember?" Leo says.

I look back and find Josh putting two paper clips into his pocket. Aiden and Jade slip from their fathers' arms and scurry over to where I'm lying on my couch. I turn my head over and find their eyes on me. "What's wrong, Mr. Natick?" Jade asks.

I laugh a bit. "You two take after your daddy. You tell me."

The twins look at each other for a second before looking back at me. "You're really sad," Aiden says. "You and Mr. White had a fight, didn't you?"

Fuck. They really are Leo's kids. "You could say that," I whisper.

Josh and Leo walk over and sit on the coffee table next to the couch. "So you and Tanner had a fight?" Josh asks. "It would explain why you sound so bad."

"It wasn't a fight," I say. I bite my tongue for a second. "We...we broke up..."

The room is silent as I turn and force my face back into the couch. "Wow," Leo says. "I...never would have expected that."

"It's my own damn fault too..."

"Is it?" Josh asks.

Shaky breaths come and go for a bit. "I...I slept with Brody and Clint and Tanner he...he walked in and saw us."

It's hard to even say the words. All of a sudden, four hands grab me and pull me off the couch and hoist me into the air. I don't think I've ever seen Josh and Leo this angry before. "Aiden and Jade," Leo says, not looking over at them. "Take my phone and play some games on it. Daddy's going to be a little busy."

Not picking up on the situation, Jade grabs Leo's phone from his pants and she and Aiden run off to the side of my office, their eyes and ears focused on the phone. "Why the fuck would you do something like that, Gregory?" Josh says through a clenched jaw. "You cheated on Tanner with your ex-boyfriend and his husband?!"

I can't even look them in the eye, so I shut them and force my head to face the floor. "Was this when Tanner was still in the hospital?" Leo spits out. "Of all the fucked up things I've ever heard, cheating on your boyfriend while he's in a coma is near the top of my list."

Each word is like a punch to the gut and it makes the tears I was already crying come out even harder. "Do you have anything to say for...?" Josh starts to say. "What the hell is that on your neck?

A hand touches the side of my neck, making me wince. "I-It's a bruise..." I sob out. "T-Tanner grabbed my neck and pushed me up...up against a wall after I tried to c-chase after him..."

"What so you could hurt him even more?" Leo says.

"So I could explain!" I yell, still not opening my eyes. A few sobs escape before I can talk again. "I never wanted to hurt him! I don't even remember sleeping with Brody and Clint the night before because I blacked out!"

The cries keep going like they have the last two days. I just let all the hurt and pain out, not caring who hears me. My feet find the floor and I'm carefully set down back on the couch. "You got drunk, didn't you?" Josh asks. I nod. "Gregory, you know what alcohol does to you. Not to mention how it's incredibly dangerous to get drunk with your diabetes."

I cough a few times. "I...I just didn't want to hurt anymore. Tanner was in the hospital and I couldn't sit by his side, I was dealing with all the bullshit involving Scott, and...and I..."

My voice dies as it's replaced by sobbing once again. Josh and Leo take two seats on both sides of me. "I really don't know how to feel about all this, Gregory," Leo says. "Do you...?"

"I want him back. I want nothing more than to have Tanner back..."

"Well, Gregory, it sounds like you hurt Tanner pretty badly," Josh says. "Do you think he'd be willing to take you back?"

I run my hand across my eyes and nose and shake my head slightly. "I've never seen Tanner that angry before. And I'm the one that made him that angry, which is something I hoped I would never do while we were together."

"Why did Mr. Natick make Mr. White angry?"

We find Aiden and Jade standing in front of us, their eyes wide and curious. "Guys, this is a daddy and daddy issue," Josh says. "Could you please...?"

"If Mr. Natick made Mr. White angry, shouldn't he say he's sorry?" Aiden asks.

"Well, he should..." Leo says.

"But Mr. White won't listen to Mr. Natick because he's really mad?" Jade says.

These two... "That's right," I say. "Tanner is really mad at me for something I did and now...he and I aren't talking to each other."

"Does Mr. White still like you?" Aiden asks.

My throat tightens up. "I...I don't think so. I really upset him and...and I don't know if he'll ever like me again."

Aiden and Jade look at each other for a minute before nodding. "Well...get him back," Jade says.

Huh? "Yeah," Aiden says. "If you messed up and you really like Mr. White, then you should try and get him back. That's what those stories tell us all the time."

"What stories?" Leo asks.

"The stories we read when we ask to borrow your tablet," Jade says. "I think one was called 'Hot House.' But I didn't see any houses in the story that were on fire."

"Yeah, and another was 'You, Me, and a Bed," Aiden says. "I didn't get the point of the bed, though. All I know is that the two guys in it were in it a lot and doing what I saw Daddy and Daddy doing one time."

Well, crap. Aiden and Jade have read Josh and Leo's erotic stories and Aiden's seen Josh and Leo having sex. I glance over at the two of them and see that they're both bright red. "Buddy," Josh says, "no more sneaking to our room when it's past your bedtime..."

"And I'm going to put a child lock on my tablet," Leo says, wiping a bit of sweat off his forehead.

Aiden and Jade are oblivious to the fact that they've made their fathers so uncomfortable. "So get Mr. White back if you still like him so much," Aiden says.

"Aiden, it's not that simple," Josh says. "Mr. Natick...really hurt Mr. White's feelings."

"Then try harder to say you're sorry," Jade says. "I remember when Uncles Ryan and Nate had a big fight and were really mad at each other. Uncle Ryan surprised Uncle Nate with some presents and said he was sorry for being mad and they were happy again."

"Jade, sweetie, this is different from when Uncle Ryan and Uncle Nate were mad at each other," Leo says. "Mr. Natick did something to Mr. White that made Mr. White really upset. Saying he's sorry and giving him a few presents won't make them happy again."

"He can always try," Aiden says. "That's what I would do if I hurt someone's feelings and wanted to be friends with them again."

These two kids are so optimistic that they could probably believe that Democrats and Republicans would finally agree on shit. I look down at my watch and see more than thirty minutes have passed. "I need to get back to the ice," I say, standing up. "Thanks for coming by."

I cross the room to the door. "Gregory." I look back at Josh and Leo, who have sit their kids on their laps. "You messed up something that was a beautiful thing," Josh continues. "Whether or not you decide to do something about it is your call. But if you go back to being the guy you hated to be, feeling constantly sorry for yourself and wondering if life is worth living anymore, I will personally kick your butt."

His voice tells me he isn't kidding, but I can hear the genuine concern in his voice for my well being while being told I screwed up. I nod once before stepping out of the room and closing the door behind me. They can leave when they want, but I have a team to coach. And a guy I want to avoid as much as possible out of guilt.


"And welcome back, hockey fans, to our live coverage of the L.A. Kings Chicago Blackhawks match. Liam Keeling here, along with my partner in crime, Lauren Becker."

"Glad to know I'm Bonnie to your Clyde, Liam. We've also got Alan Mitchell joining us in the booth here tonight instead of having him down on the ice. Great to have you here, Alan."

"Good to be here, Lauren. It sure is a different view from up here instead of on the ice. But since we're in Chicago, I guess I'll have to adjust to the new view."

"We're just about to get underway with the match, and it's a special match to watch. With a little less than two months left in the regular season, this is Tanner White's first match since his injury a few weeks ago and the country is wondering how he'll fare after weeks of rehabilitation and lack of game time. How do you think he'll do, Liam?"

"I couldn't say, Lauren. The Kings owners Mark Presley and Governor Shawn Leif have made sure that all information regarding Tanner's recovery remain a secret to the public. And they really have made sure to keep everything secret. Not a single reporter or news source has been able to get any leads on Tanner's condition."

"Based on what we've seen during the warm ups though, Lauren, Tanner White seems to be in very good condition. But I noticed he seems almost...agitated."

"What makes you say that, Alan?"

"I noticed that Tanner was using a lot more strength than he usually does with his shots and he looked a little detached from the rest of the Kings in terms of unity."

"Do you mean the Kings aren't looking like a team?"

"No, Liam. I just feel that Tanner isn't relying as much on his teammates as he did earlier in the season."

"Maybe he's just trying to readjust himself to being on the ice during a real game, Alan."

"I don't know, Lauren. But I have a feeling that this game will be an interesting one, and it may not be in a good way."

"Well here's your chance to watch, Alan, because this game is about to get underway. The starting players for both teams take their positions on the ice and Tanner White is back in his starting position as center. He's facing off against Karl West, who is two inches and ten pounds less than Tanner. What're your projections for the face off, Lauren?"

"Liam, I'd have to give this to Tanner. Even with the time spent away from the ice, that differential in terms of power between the two players is too big not to ignore. What about you, Alan?"

"I'm going to agree with you on that one, Lauren. West is a good player, but he lacks the size and power Tanner possesses."

"Referee Pallor skates to the center of the rick, puck in his hand. He glances at West and White and this match is underway. West and White scramble for...and the Blackhawks take possession! It looks like White isn't back up to par in terms of face offs, Alan."

"Sure seems that way, Liam. It's as if White didn't even try as hard as he normally does with starting face offs. Blackhawks have possession of the puck. Benak passes to Brown, who sends it up the ice to West. West stares down Yezhov and tries to...a clean check by Yezhov! The Kings have possession of the puck now.

"Yezhov passes to Abramov, who carries the puck back across the center line. Brown is pressuring Abramov and Abramov sends the puck to Lindberg, White not far behind him. Benak tries to intercept Lindberg as he passes the blue line, and Lindberg sends the puck to White. Butler and Long are guarding the net.

"Abramov breaks away from Brown and White has a chance to pass and...he doesn't send it to Abramov! He's charging straight for the net on his own! Brown and Long are ready and...White doesn't stand a chance against the two defenders. Long steals the puck away from White and sends it up the ice.

"West has the puck and...and it's a three on two. Brown, Benak, and West are heading toward Yezhov and Laurent. The Blackhawks pass between themselves as they skate into Kings territory. White, Abramov, and Lindberg rush to try and defend. West has the puck and...oh a hard check from behind by White!"

"That's going to be a penalty, Alan. And that's the first time I've seen a penalty like that from Tanner White."

"You said it, Lauren. The Blackhawk fans are not too pleased with White right now as he's taken to the penalty box."

"And it looks like Coach Natick doesn't seem too happy either, Liam. The Kings are going to be a man down for the next two minutes. White is lucky he wasn't given a major penalty for that check. Then the Kings would be a man down for five minutes."

"Well, Alan, let's see if the Kings will be able to hold off the Blackhawks until they're back to full strength. West faces off again Abramov and the Blackhawks regain possession of the puck. Brown has the puck, who sends it to Benak. The Kings are defending well against the Blackhawks offense, but I'm not sure if they can hold them off.

"The Blackhawks keep up their keep away passing, and it seems to be working against the Kings. Their defense is staring to become unhinged. West has the puck once again and he's about to send it to Long...no, it's a fake! He winds himself up and...the Blackhawks take the first goal of the game."

"This isn't boding too well for the Kings, Lauren. The Kings have won nearly all of the first points in their matches. And this is the usual starting lineup for them."

"It's still the first period, Liam. Let's see how the rest of the match is going to go."


"We're a little into the second period of the Kings Blackhawks match and the score is still 1-0 in the Blackhawks favor. Liam, Lauren, and Alan here. The Kings have continued to try and get on the scoreboard, but their efforts have come up short so far. And I feel that may be more of the Kings' fault than the Blackhawks' defense."

"I'm going to agree with you on that, Liam. The usual teamwork we usually see with the Kings just isn't here tonight. And all eyes are on Tanner White at the moment."

"They sure are, Lauren. White isn't himself. He's not passing to his teammates as much, he's been to the penalty box a second time in the match for a slashing call, and it seems like he's ignoring Coach Natick's plays. All in all, he's not being a the team captain he should be."

"Either way, Alan, the Kings are going to need to come together if they want to take this match. The Blackhawks take possession as the match gets back underway. Cox sends the puck to Rogers, who starts to take it up the ice. Friskin and Downy pressure Rogers, but he sends the puck to the open Flores.

"Flores passes the middle line and Jamison and Crossrick try to intercept him. Flores passes the puck to Bell and Bell takes the puck deep into Kings territory, circling the net and Crompton. He tries to shoot and...is denied by Crompton! Crompton sends the puck to Friskin, who passes it up the ice to Crossrick.

"Crossrick has the puck and...oh, a nice check and steal by Cox! Blackhawks regain possession and Cox passes to Flores. Flores has the puck and White is tailing him as he skates up the ice. Flores passes the Kings' blue line and is looking to circle the net. Flores has the puck and...oh my God! White checks Flores into the boards!"

"Liam, that was a nasty check by White and Flores looks to be in incredible pain!"

"I would be too, Lauren. There's blood on the ice and it looks like we have a broken nose on our hands. I can actually feel my chair shaking from how hard the crowd is booing at the moment."

"Pallor skates over to White and...White is being given a game misconduct penalty for checking Flores into the boards. White is out of the match."

"And White does not look happy with that call, Alan. He...my God, I don't think I've ever seen Coach Natick look so angry during a match this whole season. White takes his walk of shame and heads back to the Kings' dressing room. It's 1-0 with the Blackhawks in the lead and the Kings have just lost their captain."

"We're going to take a quick commercial break to give the medics some time to check up on Flores. Don't go anywhere."


I peel my helmet off my head and chuck it at the closest wall. It hits the wall with a crunch and falls to the floor. I pull of my sweat-soaked jersey and throw it on the floor before falling onto the bench with a thud. Fucking damn it! Why the fuck did I check Flores into the boards like that?!

Where the hell was I that entire match? There was so much that I did wrong and now it's got me a one-match suspension and a fine from the NHL. God what the hell is going on with me? "Tanner! Where the fuck are you?!"

And now I need to deal with this asshole. I glance up and find Greg storming into the dressing room, his face locked in a furious look. He finds me and stomps over. "What the fuck was that out there?!" he yells in my face. "You fucking broke Flores' nose! Never has one of my own players done something like that!"

As if I wasn't pissed enough already, I have Greg screaming in my face when the last thing I want is to be anywhere near him. "You're supposed to be a fucking captain!" he continues. "And you fuck all that up by going and doing something like this!"

I push myself off the bench and glare down at Greg. "It's your fucking fault that I'm like this!" I yell back.


"Yes you! If you had a little more self-control and maybe just a bit of dignity, you wouldn't have let yourself get fucked by your ex-boyfriend and his husband and that wouldn't be the only thing on my mind and I wouldn't be so distracted!"

"You think it's my fucking fault for you turning back into the hot-headed player you and I worked so hard to get rid of?!"

I reach forward and grab Greg by the tie, pulling him close to me. "You don't fucking get to say anything remotely close to you and me. Just being this close to you is making me feel nauseous. Hearing you tell me what to do during practice and during tonight's game made me want to shove my skate blades into my ears."

Okay, so all of that is a complete lie, but I just want to drive home how angry I am with Greg. And it looks like it working. Maybe a little too well. The anger in Greg's face slowly starts to fade away and it's quickly replaced by the blank stare I got from him when I first saw him again.

He suddenly takes a step back and grabs my elbow and snakes his arm around my lower back. Before I know it, I'm being flipped around Greg and fall to the floor with my arm being forced behind my back. "Let go, let go, let go!" I yell in pain.

"I don't fucking care what you think of me as a person," Greg says, zero emotion in his voice. "I'm your coach and you will listen to everything I have to say unconditionally. I have a team that actually wants to play that I need to coach. Until you get your fucking head back on straight, you're on the bench."

I'm about to protest but Greg bends my arm further behind my back, making me grit my teeth in pain. "I don't want to see your face for the rest of the night," he continues. "Get a shower, dress back into your suit, and sit on the bus."

He releases my arm and I glare up at his face, but he doesn't even bat an eye. He straightens out his tie and tucks it back into his suit jacket. "Welcome back, hot head."

Greg turns and heads back to the team bench, leaving me on the floor gaping up at the ceiling. I pick myself up, my ass and back hurting from Greg throwing me to the floor, and get the rest of my pads and clothes off before heading to the showers. The echo of the crowd through the walls makes me clench my fists in anger.

I should be out on the ice, playing with my teammates and leading them to a win. God, I don't even want to know what they think of me. Greg already let me know how badly I messed up. I won't even be able to look at any of them in the eye with this. I finish my shower and quickly dry off and get my suit back on.

Not wanting to get on Greg's bad side a second time, I take my stuff and head to the team bus. I find a seat in the back of the bus and throw my bag on the floor. A buzz comes from my pocket and I see it's a text from Dad.

'You doing okay?'

I stare at my screen for a second before typing out a reply.

'I'm fine.'

He sends a reply a second later.

'Well based on what I watched tonight, I'd beg to differ. Buddy, that was first time I've ever seen you ejected from a match. And I know that was the first time you injured another player like that.'

'I'm really fine, Dad. Don't worry about it.'

'Tanner, is something going on? You know you can talk to me about anything.'

'I know that, Dad. But nothing's going on.'

'Is it you and Gregory?'

Fuck. Why does my dad have to be perceptive? Why can't he just be a meathead like his body says he is?

'Based on the amount of time it's taking you to reply to that, I'd say that's a yes. Did you two get into a fight? I was wondering why I haven't seen him since you got hurt last month.'

'It's nothing, okay?! Leave me alone, Dad!"

I shove my phone back into my pocket, ignoring it as it buzzes. I can't deal with this bullshit right now, or any bullshit for that matter. All I want is to be left alone.


Jesus. Tonight was nearly a loss for us. But the guys managed to rally back and bring us to a 2-1 win, so there's that. But I'm so fucking pissed that it isn't even funny. What Tanner did tonight is inexcusable and something that should never happen in a hockey rink. And it nearly cost us the match and got him a game suspension.

Plus the fight in the locker room? God I could've really hurt Tanner had I not been careful. But what he said...hearing how much he really hates me, just made me flip (well, technically he was flipped by me, but I was really pissed). I had to get away from everything, so I'm currently hiding in the team bathroom in a stall.

It's like high school all over again, when I was too upset and scared to face anyone or anything so I either hid my emotions, or hid entirely. I sigh to myself and prop myself on my knees, staring down at the tile floor. A sudden buzzing from my pocket brings me out of my daydream and I pull my phone out.

A single name is on the screen, and I'm afraid to talk to him right now. But knowing him, he won't stop calling me until he gets an answer. I tap the screen and hold my phone to my ear. "Hello?"

"Gregory?" Hank says. "What the hell is going on?"

"Could you be more specific, Hank? There's a lot of shit going on involving me."

"You know what I'm talking about, Gregory. What I saw tonight was so completely out of the ordinary for Tanner that I can't even begin to describe it. He's never intentionally tried to hurt another player before. Is something going on with him?"

I bite my tongue to keep myself from groaning. "If there is, I can't tell," I lie.

"Okay, you and I both know that's bullshit." Hank's voice has turned into a low growl. "If you know something that's going on with Tanner, I demand to know it right now."

God damn it. Why does Hank always have to be so fucking scary when he's serious? "Hank, this is something between me and..."

"Gregory, I swear to God if you hurt my boy, I'm going to..."

I hang up the phone before he can continue. If there's one thing I really don't right now it's to face Hank's wrath. But God knows he won't stop trying to get me to talk. I push it to the back of my mind and get up off the toilet, leaving the stall and walking back into the locker room, where the guys are finishing getting dressed.

They all hear me walk in and glance over at me. "You all did well tonight," I say, finding my coaching voice. "There were a few slipups here and there, as well as something I don't want to go into detail about." They all know what I'm talking about. "Finish getting dressed and head to the bus. I'll meet you all there."

Everyone nods and I turn and leave the locker room, grabbing my bag on the way out. I get to the bus and climb on, finding only one other person in here. Tanner is sitting in the back of the bus, staring out the window with his headphones on. I get the message. He doesn't want to talk to anyone.

I take a seat in the front row and wait as the team slowly files in. We're off to the airport soon after and up in the air about three hours later. I'm sitting with Julian on the fight back, Tanner in the back of the plane by himself. I'm trying to focus on my papers, but I can't get Tanner out of my mind.

This past month away from him has been excruciating. I miss him so fucking much. Sleeping alone in my bed, I constantly find myself reaching out for a body that isn't there in my sleep. And when I wake up and find the pillow next to me empty, I always cry at the sight. I've never cried so much in my life.

The plane lands in Los Angeles a few hours later and I quickly get all my luggage and take a taxi back to my apartment. Yup. Just me alone in a my apartment, where I'm probably going to do nothing but come up with new plays for the team and eat leftover Chinese food. The same routine I've gone through for the past month. How depressing is that?

I get to my building and pay the cab driver and ride up to my floor. The elevator comes to a stop and I step out, only to walk into something very hard. Getting my sense of direction back, I find myself staring at two large, hairy arms crossed over a massive chest. Looking up, I see a stony face and two bright green eyes boring down at me.

If the devil had a face, I'd be staring into it right now. "We need to have a little talk, Gregory," Hank says.

Before I can say anything, Hank snakes his hands under my arms and hoists me off the floor effortlessly. Even with the additional weight from my bag around my shoulder, my backpack, and coat bag, he looks like he's done something like this before. He carries me down the hall and we stop in front of my door.

He looks back at me. "Where's your key?"

"I uh...i-it's in my left pocket..."

Hank moves one of his hands to the front of my shirt and grips it tight. In an amazing display of strength, Hank holds me up with one arm while the other digs in my pants pocket, quickly producing my key. Hank slides my key into the door and unlocks it. He carries me into my apartment, still holding me up with one arm.

He walks over to my couch and lowers me down onto it. "Go take a shower, change, and meet me back out here," he says.

Every inch of my body tells me to listen to Hank. He heads to the kitchen and I'm left standing frozen. Never in my life have I ever met a man more intimidating and powerful man. I take my luggage and make my way to my bedroom as Hank rummages through my fridge (hell, would you stop him? The man makes a Mack truck look like a Hot Wheels car!).

I take a quick shower and change into a t-shirt and jeans before taking a breath and heading back to my living room. Hank is sitting on the couch with a bottle of water in his hand and watching my television. I think about turning and heading back to my bedroom and hiding under my bed at the sight. "Sit down," Hank says, not turning around.

Guess adults really do have eyes in the backs of their heads. I slowly walk over to the couch and take a seat as far away from Hank as I possibly can. He doesn't even glance over at me as he watches the television. I look to see what he's watching and watch as Tanner checks Flores' from behind into the boards over and over again.

The screen cuts to two ESPN anchors, who both shake their heads slightly. "In case you're just joining in," the male anchor, Liam Keeling, says, "we're covering the play of the night that is blowing up on all social media. Tanner White, captain of the L.A. Kings, checked a defenseless Jonas Flores into the board from behind.

"The play resulted in a broken nose and a few minor cuts and bruises to Flores' face. The Blackhawks have released a statement saying that Flores will miss the next two games so he can focus on healing his injuries."

"I say, Liam, that was something I never would have expected to come out of Tanner White," the other anchor, Lauren Becker, follows up. "Tanner White may have a history in the past of being sent to the penalty box for fighting, but he's never intentionally tried to hurt anyone before."

"I agree with you there, Lauren. Tanner is facing a huge amount of backlash from all forms of social media, particularly from the greater Chicago area. Not to mention the fact that Tanner will be facing a one game suspension and is likely going to get a fine from the NHL for this."

"I just hope this is a one time thing from Tanner, Liam. He's a strong player with a huge amount of talent. I hope it isn't wasted."

The TV suddenly snaps off and I see Hank with the remote in his hand. He takes a sip of his water, not looking over at me. "Care to explain, Gregory?" he says.

I fidget in my seat. "F-For what, Hank?"

"It's 'sir' or 'Mr. White' right now, Gregory. I'm in charge here."

I don't even bother trying to stand up for myself out of fear of what he could do to me. "Y-Yes, sir..." I squeak out.

Hank gets up from the couch and walks to the kitchen. I don't even bother watching him because I'm too focused on my feet at the moment. I hear him rummaging through the fridge and his footsteps walk around the couch again. He sets two six packs of Stella Artois down on the coffee table and pulls out two bottles.

He hands one to me and keeps one for himself, twisting the cap off and taking a swig. Those bottles don't have twist-off caps, which terrifies me. I place the end of my bottle on the edge of the coffee table and slam my hand down on top of it, popping the top off. "Nice trick," Hank says.

"Um...thank you. Tanner said the same thing when..."

My voice dies out as I remember the first night Tanner and I ever slept together, the night Tanner told me he wanted to be with me. Shaking out the memory, I put my lips to the bottle and chug the entire beer. I set the beer down on the table and quickly grab another one and pop the top off on the coffee table.

I take a few sips of the beer. "Trying to drink something away?" Hank asks me.

I lower the beer bottle from my lips. "I just want to get drunk..."

Setting the bottle down, I grab one of my insulin pens off the coffee table and inject a dose into my arm. While I should wait for the insulin to kick in, I don't bother this time. I just want to feel numb so I don't need to feel anything. I grab my second Stella and quickly down the rest of it.

Over the next hour and a half, Hank and I don't say a word to each other. Just silence and the sounds of swishing beer and bottles clanking together. I finish downing my eighth beer and slam it down on the coffee table, knocking over two of the other empty bottles that are sitting on it.

I fall back into the couch, very drunk and lightheaded. "You doing okay there, Gregory?" Hank asks.

The guy is on his third beer. He doesn't even look tipsy. Well, his weight and huge muscle mass helps him hold his alcohol better than my hundred and seventy five pounds. "I-I'm fine," I slur. "Jus' need a little more..."

I start to reach for the last Stella, but a large hand wraps itself around my wrist and holds it in place. "I think you've had enough, Gregory," Hank tells me.

"Shut up. I'm a fuckin' big boy and I can drink if I wanna..."

I try to grab the bottle with my other hand, but Hank grabs that one too and pulls me back onto the couch. He slides a little closer to me and keeps a firm grip on both of my wrist as he slides up next to me. "Let's get one thing straight here, boy," Hank growls. "You don't tell me to shut up.

"And when people who can't tell left from right tell me to shut up, I get angry. You say you're a big boy, but right now you're acting like a brat who's at his first college party and had a few too many."

Hank's grip on my wrists lets up a little, but I know I still can't get away. "Now I want to know what's going on with you and Tanner," he continues. "You're trying to drink away whatever problems you have and Tanner is furious at every little thing. I demand an explanation..."

I slowly look up at Hank and find two bright green eyes boring into me. They're exactly the same as Tanner's. Tanner. I slowly blink and find Tanner's face looking down at me. I'll probably never get an opportunity like the one I have now. I lean forward and press my lips to Tanner's, welcoming back the wonderful feeling of his lips on mine.

But I notice after a few seconds of trying to initiate something with him, I don't feel Tanner kissing me back. Slowly reopening my eyes, I find the same green eyes looking at me. Only this time, they don't belong to Tanner. They're Hank's. And he looks shocked beyond belief.

I shift back a bit and, without warning, the waterworks start pouring out of my eyes. I press my palms to my eyes and feel my tears leaking through them. "P-Please come back..." I say to the air. "Please bring h-him back to me. I love him s-so much. I need him..."

All my pain that I've been storing for the past month just pours out of me and there's no stopping it now that it's been let out. I keep crying and crying and crying until I finally pass out from the hurt.


Ah, my fucking head. Oh shit. This feeling again. I quickly reach over to the other side of my bed and am relieved to find it empty. Reveling in the sweet relief of finding I didn't fall asleep with someone in my bed, I get back to the horrible ringing in my head. I press my hands to my eyes, trying to block out the light coming in through my window.

At least it's a good thing I'm not feeling too horrible, telling me that my blood sugar is still under control. And the headache from my hangover isn't nearly as bad as... Great, now I feel terrible physically and even worse emotionally. As much as I want to cry, I feel all cried out at the moment.

God, last night was...a total embarrassment. I acted like a baby in front of Hank, got stupid drunk, and...fuck, I kissed Hank in a drunken hallucination of him being Tanner. I groan at the thought of even looking at Hank again. Wait, where is Hank? And I know I passed out light night on the couch.

Oh, Hank must've carried me to the bed (hell, he could probably carry three of me). And he was nice enough to get me undressed and tuck me in. Just fucking great. He has probably the biggest and most muscular body I've ever seen, but is actually a big teddy bear. Groaning, I push myself up and sit on the edge of my bed.

I get up to my feet and slowly make my way out of the bedroom, heading for the kitchen where I keep my Tylenol. Walking into the living room, I don't expect to find Hank laying on my couch, asleep, wearing nothing but a pair of white briefs. Jesus Christ, did he stay here all night? And what's worse, he's nearly naked and is definitely having a serious case of morning wood.

Trying to look anywhere else, I walk into the kitchen and grab two Tylenol and chase them with water. Still feeling a headache, I quickly start a pot of coffee and rest against the counter. Hopefully this Tylenol kicks in soon because the sound of the coffee dripping into the pot is as loud as a hockey game.

I go and grab a mug from the cabinet. "Do I smell coffee?"

I look behind me and find Hank's head poking over the back of the couch, looking into the kitchen with a sleepy look on his face. "Um...yeah. I'm making a pot if you want some."

"That would be great."

Hank gets up from the couch and stretches his arms above his head and I stare in awe at him. The man pretty much oozes testosterone and is a walking gay man's wet dream (not me, mind you. To me, Hank's just a good friend). And with the very large erection in his briefs, it's pretty hard not to look away.

He lowers his arms and looks around. "Can you point me to the bathroom? I need to take a leak."

Shaking my head out to collect myself, I point down the hall and Hank disappears down it. Fucking shit, that man is beyond anything I've ever seen. I grab another mug for him and set it next to mine before pouring the finished coffee into both. Hank reappears a minute later with his erection gone, but is still standing in nothing but his underwear.

He walks into the kitchen and grabs the mug I'm not using and drinks it straight black. "Ah, just what I needed," he says, going back for more.

Well, this couldn't be more awkward. There's a gargantuan man standing in my kitchen who happens to be Tanner's father and he's wearing nothing but a pair of briefs that I think are a size too small for what he's packing. "U-Um...sir?" I slowly say. "What're you still doing here?"

He takes another sip of his coffee before looking at me. "I didn't feel safe enough to drive home, so I called Hannah and told her I was spending the night here. She said it was okay and I told her about the little...thing you did last night."

My stomach drops and I look down at the floor. "Oh..."

"Sorry, Gregory. But Hannah and I have an agreement that if something happens to either of us that may affect our relationship, we tell each other immediately. Just last week she told me one of her coworkers at work was coming onto her. I went to her work and set things straight with the guy."

I nod. "I understand."

I feel Hank staring down at me and I don't even have the will to look at him. "Come take a seat with me, Gregory," he tells me

Yay. Hank walks into the living room and takes a seat on the couch. As much as my common sense is telling me to get out now (and this is my apartment), I take on the cushion next to him. "Gregory, something is going on with my boy," Hank says. "I'm really worried about him and it hurts to see him acting the way that he is."

God, Hank sounds so desperate. "He's angry and I don't know why," he continues. "I want to help him, but no matter how hard I try to he just pushes me away. I just want my boy to be happy, and right now he's anything but. All I'm asking for is an explanation. Why is Tanner not the boy I know and love anymore?"

Hank quickly runs the back of his hand over his eyes. And seeing this huge man so emotional is the last straw for me. "I...I hurt him..." I say. "I hurt Tanner..."

My throat clenches shut at the memory, but I force myself to keep going. "I...c-cheated on Tanner." I feel Hank stiffen next to me. "It was a drunken hookup with my ex-boyfriend and his husband and...and I don't even remember any of it. Tanner found us and we...we had a big before I could explain anything."

The tears that didn't come earlier finally appear. "Needless to say, Tanner and I we...broke up, and we haven't spoken a word to each outside of work. And every time I see him, I want to beg him to take me back, to give me a second chance, to let me apologize and make things even the slightest bit better. But I doubt things can ever be the same between us.

"I know he's hurt and what I did devastated him. I loved him. I still love him. I want him back, but I know he'll never take me back. A-And I..."

The words can't even come out anymore and I just silently cry to myself. Not even five seconds later, a large, heavy arm wraps itself around my shoulder and I'm pulled into a tight hug. "You've both been hurt by this," Hank says. "I can tell whenever I look at either of you, no matter where or when.

"I'm angry that you did something so stupid, Gregory, and I'm furious that you hurt my boy. But I'm relieved to know that you realize it was a mistake and I see how much you still love Tanner."

Hank pulls me off his shoulder and gazes down at me. "You're a good kid, Gregory. We all do stupid things that we all regret sometimes, some worse than others, and we have to do certain things to help try and make amends."


"No buts, Gregory. I know for a fact you and my son belong together and you better work your hardest to try and get him back."

Is he being serious right now? "Hank..." I say, managing to dry my eyes a bit. "What I did...I don't think Tanner will ever forgive me for it. I fucking...cheated on him. With my ex..."

"Then show him what you did meant nothing to you. You were blackout drunk. Was your boyfriend drunk too?"

I nod. "He and his husband both were. They didn't remember anything either and they tried to explain the situation to Tanner too."

"Then it didn't mean anything to them either. I'm not saying what you did isn't wrong, but you shouldn't have given up so easily after the fact. Tanner started acting strangely a little over a month ago. Was that when this incident happened?"

I nod, my throat straining at the memory. "So it's been five weeks," he continues. "Have you tried even once to talk to Tanner?"

I shake my head. "I-I've been avoiding him. It hurts too much to be around him so I've kept my distance away as much as I can. But whenever I do talk to him when we're at work, I can feel how much he hates me and how he wants to get as far away from me as he can."

Hank sighs to himself. "You two are more in love with each other than I thought."

My heart skips a beat. "W-What?"

"I mean, you may think Tanner's being hostile towards you because he's still angry about you sleeping with your ex, but didn't he act the same way during high school?"

The question makes me freeze. Is Hank really right? I mean, Tanner is acting the way he was in high school: a short fuse, quick to get into a fight, and very, very angry. And he's directing a lot of that hostility toward me. "M-Maybe..." I quietly say.

Hank gives me a hard smack on the shoulder, a hangover cure better than any pain medication. "Don't give up so easily, Gregory," he says with his usual face-splitting grin. "I know you and Tanner are perfect for one another. There's thirty-five years of marriage talking here, so I know a perfect match when I see one."

How Hank can be so reassuring, I have no idea. I reach around his meaty neck and squeeze for the life of me. "Thank you, Hank..." I quietly say as I press my face into his shoulder.

He hugs me back as softly as he can, which is still an impressively tight hug. After a few seconds, I feel something poking me in the stomach. Pulling away, I find the source of the poking. "Uh...sorry," Hank says, turning a light shade of red. "It's still the morning and I get erections really easily..."

I fall back into the couch and roar the first laugh I've had in over a month. And Jesus, it feels good. "I'm just glad you didn't poke my eye out, Hank," I say, wiping away the happy tears.

"Yeah, well give it another two minutes and my eye will poke out of my underwear." As awkward as this is, I can't help but keep laughing. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Laugh it up, Gregory. A lot of guys my age can't even get it up anymore without a bit of Viagra. Better hope you're not one of them."

The laughing slowly dies down until it's just a small giggle. "Anyway," Hank continues, absent-mindedly rubbing his erection through his briefs. "You got any porn?"

Uh...what? I stare blankly at Hank, who's waiting for an answer. "P-Porn?"

"Yeah, porn. You know, stuff to jerk off to?"

Is he serious right now or pulling my leg? "H-Hank, all the porn I have is gay porn," I stutter.

"That'll work. I'll take it."

WHAT?! Tanner's dad is asking me for porn! And is okay with watching gay porn! "C-Channel 1," I say, pointing at the TV. "I have...some stuff saved there..."

"Sweet." Hank reaches for the remote and turns on the TV, finding channel 1 and the porn that I have on there. Amazingly, he clicks on 'Muscle Meat.' As the movie starts to play, Hank glances over at me. "Oh, sorry, I forgot to mention this a long time ago: I'm bisexual."

Well, I just lost my lower jaw. "Hannah is too," Hank says, looking back at the TV. "But what we do behind closed doors is none of anyone else's business, just like yours. Now, I'm going to watch this. You can either join in or watch."

"I uh...I think I'll just leave you to it. Please make sure you don't get any uh...stains on the couch..."

Hank laughs to himself as I get up and leave the room, still a bit shocked. I get to my bedroom and shut the door behind me, muffling the sounds of the TV. He's like a teenager in a huge ass body. Walking over to my bed, I find my cell phone on my nightstand. If I want to start making amends, I better start now.

Reaching for my phone, I look through my contacts and find the number I'm looking for. I shakily hold my phone to my ear and hear the other end pick up. "Scott? I-It's Gregory. Um...do you think we could meet for lunch or something?"



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