Generation 5, Chapter 1

Hello all! Happy Birthday to TIDL (it was 3 years old yesterday), and today is the anniversary of me joining WordPress 6 years ago! :O

Enjoy the chapter! It feels awesome to be back for a new generation <3



There isn’t all that much to me like everyone thinks there is. Everyone has it in their heads that I’m someone to be with, look up to, or someone to be jealous of, but in all actuality, it’s not true in the slightest. I’m really nothing special. Guys have this depiction of me like I’m some sort of God when it comes to women and they always ask me for advice or tips or whatever, but it’s so much simpler than that. All I do is treat women with the respect they deserve and men think that there’s some magic spell or something that I have up my sleeve. It’s a lot easier to not put on an act like I’ve see so many other men do, which ultimately gets them shot down.


As far as women, it seems that I’m quite popular with them, but that doesn’t mean I’ll go home with any tail that comes up to me and bats their eyelashes. I have respect for women, but that also means I expect the same in return and even if they make it blindingly obvious that they’ll sleep with me if I so much as breath hard enough, it doesn’t mean I will. As far as looks, I’m not picky, but as far as everything else, I have my fair share of do’s and don’ts. The woman lying next to me, for example, had a lot more reasons behind the do’s.


Although it didn’t matter all that much since we didn’t really plan on seeing one another again, her name was Jean and she was pretty fun. After I had met her at a beach party I had been invited to last night, we spent pretty much the entire time there joking around together and drinking, and then, well.. Now here we are.

I broke my view from staring at the ceiling and looked over to her, my eyes trailing from the back of her head all the way down to her pantie-less bottom and I enjoyed how her tan skin gleamed from the sunlight coming in through the windows of my bedroom. It made her look angelic. Hmm.. Maybe the guys were right, maybe I am some sort of God since all I ever have around me are angels.


I glanced at the clock in my room and it was a little after one in the afternoon, realizing we had slept in a lot longer than I wanted to and I just remembered I had an appointment with Blair at two.

I scooted closer to Jean and put my hand on her hip, sliding it slowly down her leg and her skin was just as soft as I remembered from last night. I leaned into her a little more, her hair smelling like cherry pie and the lotion I could smell on her skin was that of warm vanilla, a calming combination that I very much enjoyed. 

“Hey.. Sweetheart.. You gotta be anywhere? Work or something?” I whispered softly and she let out a soft moan before replying ‘no’.

“Okay, well.. Normally, I’d let you sleep in as long as you wanted, but I got work in about forty minutes and I still have to shower and all that, so it’s time to get up, okay?” I added, trying my best not to be an asshole and rush her or make it seem like I was kicking her to the curb, although to anyone else, it would seem that that’s exactly what I was doing.


I sat up when she did, a yawn forcing my jaw open for a few seconds and I cracked my neck as I watched her dangle her legs off the side of the bed. She took a moment to wake up a little more by stretching her arms over her head, my eyes finding so many little details about her skin and the way her muscles moved beneath it that I almost wanted to say screw it to my appointment with Blair and have one last go at this girl, but I quickly talked myself out of it within seconds.. I really didn’t have the time and doing things like sex more than once on separate days told them more than I ever intended to say. I wasn’t and haven’t been in the right mind for a long time to handle something as dedicated and difficult as dating, so one-time things have become a lot more frequent and normal for me.. More comfortable and a lot easier to deal with.


Jean stood to her feet and walked around my room naked, watching her and trying to get one last good look before she covered herself. She picked up her panties first, slipping those up her legs and as she made her way over to her pants and shirt lying on the floor, she looked at me curiously.

“Can I ask you something?” She wondered as she pulled her pants up her legs and fastened them.

“Of course,” I welcomed with a smirk.

“Might be a stupid question, but last night is still a bit fuzzy, so.. Did we wear something?” She asked as she threw on her shirt, hinting at protection and I nodded confidently.

“Yeah, we did, and that’s definitely not a stupid question by any means,” I replied and she seemed relieved even though I was fairly sure she knew, but just needed a reminder to put her slight worry at ease. I’m big on any and all types of protection. There’s only been one time that I haven’t used anything and it was with the girl that took my virginity and I took hers, too. We mostly did it like that for the first half of it just to see what it felt like, but even then, we still didn’t finish without anything.


“Well, uh.. I guess I’ll get going now and let you get ready for work,” she said with a brief and awkward giggle as she slipped her shoes on.

“All right. Maybe I’ll see you around sometime?” I threw out there casually, not really knowing what else to say and she shrugged.

“Yeah, maybe,” she replied with a sweet smile, walking over to me and kissing my cheek, “See ya,” she added.

“Bye,” I answered before watching her make her way to my bedroom door and seeing herself out.


I let my body go limp and I fell back onto my bed, a large sigh escaping my lips and looking back up at the ceiling for a moment longer before getting up to get ready. My dad was a physical therapist and it was his idea that I go into personal training for a job since I had no desire to go to college. I still had to get some kind of certification, but it didn’t take me long at all. It was easy to get started, too, because whenever my dad was done with a patient of his, he’d recommend them to me to help keep up with their physical training and to keep their limbs and joints and everything else strong after their recovery with him. Blair was one of my dad’s patients for a long time, her knees being her weakness, and she’s tried many different personal trainers, but once I got my certification a few years ago, she started coming to me and it’s been working out pretty well. My dad told me she had a hard time finding a physical therapist when she was younger and he’s the only one she ended up liking. It’s been the same way with me, too, because she tried a lot of different people before finally coming to me. Maybe she liked the vibe our family gave off, maybe we made her feel the most comfortable, maybe she wanted to stay close to us so she could stay close to August, but whatever the reason was, it didn’t really matter in the end.. As long as she was getting the treatment she needed, which she was and has been since she met my dad and then starting coming to me, her knees would only get better and better.


After lying in my bed for ten minutes doing nothing, I got up and finally jumped in the shower so I could meet Blair on time. I wondered if August would be there with her today? He’s a pretty jealous person and he’s protective of Blair, he didn’t even trust her being alone with me even though he had nothing to worry about. I’d never do anything with her in a millions years because of the fact that her and August had a past and she’d never do anything with me, either, for the reason that he’s my brother, but August was still kind of a freak about us together for whatever reason. I’ve told him a million times that he has absolutely nothing to worry about, but.. August never believed it. There have even been times where he’d come along and watch our routine together, but the second I’d put my hands on her to show her how to stretch or work out correctly so she didn’t hurt herself, he’d go ape-shit. She’s usually able to put him into his place whenever that happened and he’d stop being an asshole, but it still made us both uncomfortable when he’d just sit there and watch us, or rather, watch me, like a hawk. He’s been coming around a lot less when she has her appointments with me because she isn’t able to focus with him there.. Sometimes he’s good about it and stays where he’s told to stay like some kind of disciplined, trained dog, but he still sometimes doesn’t listen and shows up randomly because, well.. I don’t even know why.. Maybe he’s less of a good dog and more-so a puppy in constant training that no one wants to deal with.


When I got out of the shower, put my contacts in and got dressed, I went downstairs through the house until I came to the kitchen where I saw my two best friends and roommates, Pia Salves and Tavish Woods, talking about something.

Pia was incredible. She was the life of every party wherever she went, she was funny and flirty and smart and beautiful and sassy and I could go on and on about her. She and I had a lot in common and although there was never a spark of romance between us, there was definitely a spark of something that drew us to one another and we’ve been together since high school. Tavish, on the other hand, was a lot different than Pia and I, but that’s what I loved the most about him. He’s funny and brash, sarcastic and incredibly smart, and we had a lot in common when it came to athleticism and especially women. It made it really easy to be able to open up to him since he’s been through a ton of the same stuff I have. Pia and Tavish were friends before they met me, so they went back a little further than all three of us combined, but they welcomed me into their duo with open arms and I’ve never regretted knowing either of them for a single second. I’ve never said anything like this to them and neither have they to each other or to myself, but we don’t need everything to be laid out on the table in order to completely understand one another. I know they care about me and they both know I’ll never stop caring about them.


“Hey, what’s up, guys?” I announced as I came into the kitchen and the first thing I did was take Pia’s freshly poured coffee that sat in front of her.

“Pia fucked up last night,” Tavish announced as I took a sip of the hot coffee and I grew concerned.

“What, why? What happened?” I asked.

“Tell him,” Tavish encouraged with a smirk and Pia was already annoyed.

“Wipe that stupid smile off your face and I will,” she warned and Tavish chuckled.

“I’m sorry, it’s just funny,” he said with a shrug.

“It’s not funny-”

“Ehhhh, it’s a little funny,” he gave a rebuttal.

“Okay, okay, what happened?” I broke up their little battle and Tavish kept his mouth shut so Pia could explain.


“So, you know the girl I’ve been seeing? Tessa?” Pia asked and I nodded, “Well, last night when we were at the party we all went to, somehow the subject of ex’s came up and-”

Somehow?” Tavish accentuated with surprise, “You always bring it up. It’s like some kind of bait you use on a hook to eventually real them in, then when they’re almost there, you catch them by telling them how great it is with them now to tug at their heartstrings and hopefully get lucky,” he pointed out and I smirked.

“You do do that a lot, Pi..” I confirmed and Tavish laughed softly.

“Because it fucking works, all right?” Pia defended.

“Not this time..” Tavish said under his breath.

“I will seriously burn you with my coffee,” Pia added, going to grab her cup, but missed because I had taken it. She shot me a look as if she was going to grab a knife off the wall and stab me with it, so I gave it back to her quickly before the thought could cross her mind.


“So, anyways.. Continue,” I said politely to stay on her good side.. I’d hate to get stabbed after only waking up a little less than an hour ago.

Anyways.. I brought up the subject and it was all going fine, we were laughing and drinking, whatever, so I continue to talk about my ex and also how stupid her girlfriend was at the time because she was dumb and completely oblivious that her girlfriend was cheating on her with me while they were still together. I must’ve called her ten different synonyms of the word ‘stupid’ and by the time I was almost done explaining everything, I let her name slip out..”

“And?” Tavish asked with a smirk still on his lips and Pia sighed.

“Well, apparently she was the stupid bitch I was talking about the whole time..”

“..No fucking way,” I said with a smile, looking to Tavish and he nodded to confirm.

“Yes fucking way,” he replied.

Pia continued, “So, on top of me calling her all different kinds of names to her face, I was the one her girlfriend was seeing behind her back.. I’m the reason they broke up.. She eventually found out after I don’t even know how many months of us fooling around, but she never new my name then or who I was exactly.. Until now,” Pia explained and I let out a soft whistle when I sighed.


“Well, shit.. I’m sorry, Pi,” I gave her comfort, putting my arm around her and she rested her head against my shoulder.

“It’s all right..”

“So, you guys are totally done now?” I asked her and he scoffed.


“Maybe it was for the best?” I suggested.

“Yeah, maybe.. It was fun while it lasted, at least. Plus, it seemed like she was wanting to get more serious and I didn’t really want that.. I just mostly wanted to fool around and have fun because she was super hot,” she replied, shrugging softly after her words.

“Want me to pick up something on the way home? Some nice vodka? We can get drunk and watch movies all night like we do sometimes, how’s that sound?” I tried to make her feel better and she eventually nodded.

“Yeah, that does sound nice,” she said with a soft smile, looking up to me appreciatively and I pulled her closer into me for a brief half-hug before letting her go.

“When do you close the gym tonight?” I asked Tavish and he shrugged.

“Depends on how many people are there later.. If there’s only a couple, then I’ll probably close at nine. If it’s full up or close to it, then it’ll be more around eleven or midnight,” he replied, “But, I’ll try to get out around nine. If you’re going to watch movies, save Mad Max for when I get home,” Tavish added.


Pia let out a soft groan, “We’ve watched that movie, like, ten times already-”

“And it’s still a good one to watch ten more times,” he said with a grin and Pia smirked, “Besides, each of us always pick out our own, and for me, I choose Mad Max for the eleventh time. We can even make a damn drinking game out of it somehow if you want,” he teased more and Pia rolled her eyes.

“Fine, we’ll save it for when you get off work, but Luca and I are starting one of our movies with or without you,” she replied and Tavish looked to me.

“Text me and let me know if she puts some romantic comedy on.. Then I’ll definitely be home a lot later,” Tavish said to me and I laughed as Pia reached over the counter and smacked his shoulder.

“You’re such a dick!” She exclaimed and he laughed as he held the spot she hit.


“I’m just fucking with you! And don’t do that shit near my coffee, you could’ve spilled it on my laptop,” Tavish warned and all I could do was stay out of the way of flying hands and get to work.

“All right, I gotta get to my appointment with Blair.. Don’t kill each other while I’m gone.”

“Bye, Luca,” Pia replied.

“See ya, man,” Tavish added and I left the kitchen.


Before leaving, I ran upstairs to grab my athletic bag, which was really just my old high school book bag that held some towels, a stopwatch, a few bottles of water and some energy bars, and I tossed it into the backseat of my car before getting in and pulling out of the driveway. With my windows rolled down and the temperature at a perfect eighty degrees, I felt calm and relaxed as the wind weaved through my hair and the sound of my GTO’s engine rumbling filled my ears. I’ve been living in Sunlit Tides, California since I was born and I couldn’t even dream of living anywhere else. I’ve been on a few road trips with my brothers, but we’ve never made it further than Colorado, and even then, it was mostly just passing through, camping, then coming home. I haven’t known much of anything else besides Cali, but, it didn’t bother me in the slightest. Maybe one day I’ll have the random urge to travel and see the world, but I’ll always come back home.


I arrived at Blair’s place three minutes before two and I grabbed my bag before getting out of the car and heading up to Blair’s front door. I knocked three times, tapping my foot on the wooden deck and making clicking sounds with my tongue against my teeth as I waited patiently for her to come to the door. A few seconds later, I heard Blair’s voice behind the door getting closer and I could tell she was talking to someone, probably on the phone.. Her front door opened and she gave me a quick smile before her face fell flat again, leaving her door open for me to come in and I was right, she was on the phone.. Let me see if I can guess who with..


I came in and set my bag down, then shut the door behind me as I listened..

“No, I told you already, do not come by..”

As I suspected, she was definitely talking to August..

“If you come here, I’ll lose my mind.. I left the other night because you were being an asshole, like always, and you wouldn’t listen to me..”

Blair was silent for a moment and I assumed August was arguing back. I tried to stay out of it, trying my hardest not to listen, but I couldn’t help it when it involved my family. Even though it was none of my business, I cared about how August treated Blair because she’s been with him and my dad for so long that I’ve come to know her well and I care for her. Our whole family knows her well and cares for her.


“Brreoww~” I heard at my feet, looking down and seeing Blair’s cat, Diamond, rubbing against my leg and wanting to be pet. I smiled and bent down, petting her from the top of her head all the way down to the tip of her tail.

“Hey, pretty girl,” I said to her as I continued to give her attention while eavesdropping on Blair and August arguing.

“Yes, you were! And you still are now!”

They continued to argue, my view glancing up to Blair every few seconds or so as I pet her cat.


“August, I don’t have time for this, I gotta go,” her voice got quieter, “No, it’s not because of that, it’s because Luca just got here and I gotta keep up with my routine. Just leave me alone, all right? I’ll call you later tonight..”

I could hear his loud voice opposing somehow, though I still couldn’t hear his exact words.

“August, if you come here and ruin another routine for me, I swear to God-” she stopped and looked at her phone, “Wow.. He hung up on me,” she said to me and I chuckled.

“So, that means he’s on his way here, huh?” I asked.


“Probably,” she said with a sigh, putting her phone back into her pocket and I stopped petting Diamond so I could stand up straight and talk to Blair.

“Wanna go somewhere else?”

“No, let’s just..” She sighed heavily, trying to collect her thoughts after being infected by Augie, “Let’s just go outside and stretch..”

“You sure? I don’t mind going somewhere else.”

“No, it’s fine. By the time we’re done with that and start our run, we’ll be gone before he gets here,” she replied and I nodded in agreement, following Blair out the back door and outside to her yard.


Blair had set up a mat for herself outside and she began her warm up stretching as I did the same.

“Have you been running on the treadmill?” I asked as we stretched.

“Yup, three times a week, just like you told me,” she replied.

“How many miles have you gotten up to so far?”

“Only about three or four every time.”

“Good, that’s good. Did you run today?”

“Only about ten minutes, just to warm up,” she replied and I nodded with a grin. Blair always did really well with following instructions and I only ever needed to tell her things once for her to understand completely. It was obvious that she wanted her knees and legs to be in the best shape that they could be in and so far, she’s never missed an appointment with me.. Although some of our appointments together have been cut short due to August showing up and throwing a stupid fit for no reason, she still focused on what was important and that was keeping her legs in good shape, and damn, did she have a nice pair of legs.


“You’ll probably be able to run that half marathon by the end of the year.. Still got about nine months to go, but you’ll get there by the time it starts,” I replied confidently and she smiled.

“I know I will, too. How long are half marathons?”

“Just a tiny bit over thirteen miles,” I answered and her expression seemed determined, but also the slightest bit nervous.

“You’re going to run it with me, right?” She asked and I nodded.

“Of course I am. I wanna be there when you cross that finish line first,” I replied and she smiled warmly, knowing she appreciated my confidence in her and she knew that I wasn’t just saying it to say it, but because I knew it was true.


After about ten minutes of stretching, Blair and I made our way down to the beach behind her little house. We stopped just before the water met our feet and I explained to her what it’s like to run in the sand, knowing she had never done it before. We’ve been working up to this moment for a long time and I thought she was finally ready to put her knees through a little more rough training to make them even stronger.

“Running on the beach is a little difficult. It’s a lot harder than running on grass or pavement because it shifts under your feet the more pressure you put into it. Your feet kind of sink into it and it’s hard to get the traction you need because it shifts. Still, it’s pretty hard to get used to and you might get tired really quickly, but when you do, let me know and we’ll take a break. This might be a little rough on your knees, too, at first, but it’ll make them stronger the more you do it and you’ll get used to it. Once you do, I’ll have you start running on the beach more often instead of the treadmill,” I encouraged and she nodded softly.

“Okay.. So, how long are we running for?”

“We’re gunna run around to the edge of the water over there, then turn back,” I nodded towards the large body of water behind her and I watched Blair take it all in.

“And.. How many miles is that..?”

“Hmm.. Maybe about three, three and a half..? You can do four on the treadmill, so you can do three on the beach, I know you can.. It’s just going to be a little more tiring,” I gave an estimate and her brows furrowed in the slightest, knowing she was a little nervous again.


“Don’t be nervous, you’ll do great. Again, let me know if you want a break and we’ll stop immediately. How about we jog at first, then once you get the hang of it and the feel for it, we up the pace?”

“Yeah, that sounds good,” Blair agreed and I smiled at her as I then stepped in front of her and dragged the tip of my foot through the sand.

“This is the start and finish line. We’re all done for the day once we pass this, okay?”

“Okay. Let’s start this before August gets here,” she suggested and I chuckled.

“Agreed.. All right, ready? Let’s go,” I began our run.


It didn’t take long for Blair to get the hang of running in the sand, keeping up a pretty good pace with me for now. Every time I glanced over at Blair, I noticed her expression was determined and confident, but it was also a little angry and I decided to ask about her and August, hoping to ease a little of her tension.

“So,” I began as we jogged, “What’s up with you and Augie this time?”

“I don’t even know,” she replied hopelessly, “I was making dinner for us the other night and I was telling him a funny story from when I went out with my friends. He asked what day I had hung out with them and I told him when, but he was under the impression, for whatever reason, that I told him I wasn’t going out that night and that I was staying in, which wasn’t the case at all since it was a Friday and my friends and I always go out for drinks on Friday’s.. He accused me of lying to him, then he jumped to the conclusion that I told him that because I didn’t want to see him, and because I was sneaking around with someone else behind his back and.. I don’t know.. He just gets so angry about stupid little things, twisting it all into this jumbled mess of assumptions and when I try to talk to him about it, he’s already too angry to discuss it and he storms out because he gets himself so worked up for nothing. That’s what he did the other night and he was trying to apologize as well as continue to argue about it on the phone with me.. That’s when you came over,” she explained and I shook my head in disappointment. 


“Gah.. I’m sorry about him. I don’t know where the bug crawled up his ass came from when you two started dating, but I think puberty is what made him so short tempered.. Sometimes it’s even hard for me to believe he came from our dad’s like the rest of us did,” I said with a soft laugh.

“You know, it really does make sense.. He was never like this until we got into high school and we started dating.. Is it my fault that he’s like this?”

“God, no, of course not! He’s just Augie and Augie just so happens to be a big asshole. His behavior isn’t your fault,” I assured her.

“Why doesn’t he trust me, though? We’ve been on and off and on and off since we were fifteen and I’ve barely even looked at other men, let alone have gone behind his back with someone else.. I’d never do something like that to him but he’s convinced that I will and I don’t know why..”

“He’s probably just constantly scared of losing you because you’re the only one that puts up with his shit, so if he loses you, he has no one,” I guessed.

“He has his family,” she pointed out and I smirked.

“True, he does, but he doesn’t realize that. He talks to you and spends time with you a whole lot more than he wants to with us, anyways.. Besides, him and I aren’t really on the best of terms, Niko isn’t around like he used to be, he’s not gunna talk to our sisters, and Jiro is too inexperienced. Our parents have tried to help him, but he shuts them out quicker than his siblings, so all that leaves is you,” I explained and when I noticed Blair not running next to me anymore, I stopped and looked back.


Blair was standing in the sand with a disheveled expression on her face, hands on her hips and taking a moment to catch her breath. I was a little winded as well, but I recovered from the mile and a half we’ve already run quicker because of the shape I was in. 

“You okay?” I asked and she nodded.

“Yeah, just.. Catching my breath-”

“-And thinking about what I said?” I asked and she hesitated a moment before eventually nodding.

“Look, don’t worry about it. Sure, it’s kind of a lot of pressure to be there for Augie, let alone put up with his stupid bullshit and I don’t know how you do it, but.. He loves you, I know he does. I worry about him sometimes, we all do, but we know he’s in good hands because, as rare as it is, you make him smile,” I continued and the slightest smirk lifted the corner of her lips.


“He loves me?” She asked and I nodded.

“Yeah, definitely.”

“He’s never told me that before..”

“Which doesn’t surprise me given who he is, but, trust me.. He does.. Don’t you?” I asked and I noticed her expression went a little bashful.

“Yeah.. I do,” she admitted.

“Then maybe it’s time to try a new approach. Maybe he’ll stop being an asshole, or at least a little less of one, if you two talk about that together,” I suggested and I could tell she was seriously thinking about everything that I had told her.


“Thanks, Luca. I feel like you always know what to say, or at least, understand more situations than the rest of us,” she said with a smile.

“Glad to be of help, but I think I just know my stupid brother well enough to know a few things that might make him a little easier to handle.. Had to do it my whole life and I’m still doing it to this day,” I replied with a soft laugh and she giggled, “Had enough rest? Ready to continue?” I asked and she nodded.

“Yeah, I think I am.”

“Cool.. Let’s try to get a good time still and run instead of jog so we can make up for this little break,” I suggested and Blair nodded, picking up her feet again a little faster this time and I joined her. Blair was really an amazing woman.. Beautiful, determined, smart, caring, everything that August wasn’t, but I guess opposites do sometimes attract.. I don’t know what she sees in August, but every time he loses his temper over something trivial, he risks losing her and every time that he does, it only makes it that much harder for her to come back to him because who the hell would want to? If he wants to keep Blair, which I know he does, he needs to finally kill that bug up his ass and stop getting so worked up over nothing or else the next time they fight and it gets too out of hand, he might lose her completely.. I have to admit, it makes me really nervous to think about how he’d react to losing Blair, I just hoped I’d never have to see it. I hoped none of us would have to see it.


By the end of our run, crossing the finish line I had drawn in the sand, I threw my hands up victoriously as Blair leaned over to catch her breath. 

“Woooo! Awesome job, Blair, seriously. You did really good,” I said with enthusiasm.

“I’m so fucking tired,” she said with a smile as she panted heavily, “Running in the sand really is a huge difference than the treadmill.. My God,” she said with a soft laugh and I nodded as I snickered to her remarks.

“Hell yeah, it is. How are your knees doing?” I asked and she examined them for a moment.

“A little swollen, a little sore, but I feel amazing,” she replied and I was happy with the result.

“Awesome. Let’s go back to the mat you laid out so you can stretch and be done for the day. I’ll get you an ice pack for your knees, all right?”

“Yeah, all right,” she agreed, still trying to catch her breath and I helped her walk back to her backyard so her knees could take a long rest.

“I’ll be right back,” I told Blair and she nodded as she stretched out on her mat in the yard.

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I walked up to her deck and came inside her place through the sliding door, walking over to the kitchen and my heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I saw August standing there leaning against the counter.

“Jesus fuck, August.. You scared the shit out of me,” I told him, but he didn’t seem to care at all as he glared at me from behind his blonde hair.

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“The fuck are you doing here, anyways?” I asked, walking over to the freezer and I went to open it to grab an ice pack, but before I could even open it five inches, August put his hand to it and shut it hard. 


I looked over to him after rolling my eyes, “What are you pissed off about this time?” I asked, already planning on messing with him.. I knew he was going to ask questions, but I’d only answer him with questions of my own and I knew he hated when I did that.

“Did you and Blair talk about me on your run together?” He asked and I smirked.

“So what if we did?”

“Good, or bad things?”

“Is that any of your business?”

“Uh, yeah, it is.. Especially if it involves my girlfriend.”

“Are you guys even together right now, or are you on another break because she dumped your ass again?” I asked in return and I could tell he was getting annoyed very quickly.

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“Are you going to tell me what you two talked about, or not?” He asked with a hint of anger.

“Who says we talked?”

“You did!”

“No, I didn’t, actually.. Where’d you get that idea?”

“Luca, this is starting to fucking piss me off-”

“What else is new?” I asked sarcastically with a laugh, although I finally decided I had done enough when it dawned on me that making August even angrier than he already was was fun for me, but not for Blair.. If August was going to stay after I left, which I knew he was going to, then pissing him off probably wasn’t the best thing to do..

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“Dude, this is why she breaks it off with you constantly. You can’t last one entire minute without getting angry about something and she’s fucking sick of it. Why don’t you take your anger out on something else besides her since she doesn’t deserve any of it?” I asked, expecting him to get angry about something I had said, but I watched as he looked me up and down instead and I noticed his lips twitch into a grin for a millisecond.

“Then I think I’ll take it out on you,” he replied and I raised my brow.

“Wait, what-”


August had me against the doorway in a split second, his forearm pressing hard against my Adam’s apple and it was hard to breathe. I was pretty strong, but I always underestimated the strength that August possessed when he was angry that far surpassed any strength that I had.

“The fuck is wrong with you?” I struggled to ask, my voice slightly raspy and I saw his eyes glance at my wrist.

“Nice watch.. Where’d you get it?” He asked and I smirked, knowing just from the look he gave me that he knew I stole it from him. It was a gift from our parents for his twenty first birthday some years back and I had always taken a liking to it.

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“I got it from this douchebag I know down the stree-” I replied, but my sentence was cut short when he punched me in the stomach so hard that I was brought down to one knee, coughing and gasping for air. August took that opportunity in my weakened state to grab my wrist again and take his watch back, placing it where it belonged back on his own wrist and I caught my breath as he continued to stand over me.

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When I could breath somewhat normally again, I addressed the situation, “You almost made me puke from that one,” I said with a grin, acting as if it barely phased me even though it was still a little difficult to talk or breath.

“Stop taking my fucking stuff, Luca. The next time you come over and I notice something missing, I’ll give you a shot to the kidney that’ll make you shit your fucking pants. Hell, I’ll hit it so hard that you’ll need to be put on the donor’s list,” he warned as I slowly stood back up and leaned against the wall.

“Okay, okay.. Fuck.. I’m sorry,” I said softly, letting out a gentle groan as my stomach tried it’s best to go back to normal.

“..So?” He asked as if I owed him something besides the apology I had just given him.

“Yeah, we talked about you,” I brought up Blair and I as a way of apologizing more for taking August’s watch.

“What about?”

“How fucking psycho you are and how you got mad at her for nothing the other day. She’s still pretty pissed. What the hell is up with you accusing her of cheating all the time?” I asked and he let out an aggravated sigh.

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“I don’t like talking about this with you,” he said as if he was snarling like a wild dog.

“You’re the one that wanted to know, stupid! If you don’t wanna deal with the truth, then don’t ask for it,” I replied as I slowly stood up straight again.

“Just tell me everything you guys talked about and I’ll deal with that. I don’t need you telling me what you think about it because it’s none of your fucking business,” he demanded and I chuckled.

“How? You always do it your way and your way never works. All you do is think about yourself, I feel sorry for Blair,” I pointed out.

“Fuck you. Just tell me what she said and I’ll know what to do from there,” he repeated with a little more annoyance in his tone.

“No, no way. Figure it out yourself. I’ll give you advice if you want it, but that’s all I’m givin’ you,” I put my foot down and I knew he was angry with me, when wasn’t he? But, I could tell he knew that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with Blair unless he either knew the story, or got advice, and since only one of those options was on the table, he took whatever he could get.

“Jesus.. Fine, but this is the last time you discuss our relationship with her. It really is none of your fucking business. You’re her personal trainer to keep her knees in good shape, not one of her fucking girlfriends, got it?” He made clear and I put my hands up briefly in defense, signalling that I agreed to stay out of it.

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“So?” August asked, waiting for my advice and I smirked, stepping up to the freezer and opening it to take out the ice pack I came in for earlier. I handed it to August and he took it from me, through his brow raised in question as to what I was doing.

“Her knees are a little swollen because we ran on the beach and it was a little rough on her. Go out there and take care of her, show her that you’re not always a fucking wolverine with rabies, then apologize.. Just try to be gentle for once in your life.. And while you’re at it, it might be time to finally tell her that you love her if you want her to take your sorry ass back,” I advised and his permanent scowl wasn’t so permanent anymore.

“..What?” He seemed nervous and I chuckled.

“The sooner the better, too.. See ya, bro,” I answered, leaving the kitchen and heading for the door.


“Wait, that’s it?” I heard August ask after following me into the living room and I turned around, continuing to walk backwards towards the front door.

“Trust me.. That’s it,” I answered, shrugging as if to say I had nothing else to give and I left August at Blair’s house to fend for himself.. I hoped he was smart enough and calm enough to handle this situation like a man and not fuck it up. Blair was the best thing that happened to him and if he doesn’t see that clearly, he truly is lost and it’s no one’s fault but his own.

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I made my way back to my car and tossed my bag in the back seat before getting in and starting her up. I had the rest of the day to myself and all that I wanted to do was go home, sit on the beach and pre-game a little with a few drinks before the movie night with Tavish and Pia, so that’s exactly what I did. I made a quick stop at the liquor store and picked up a six-pack along with a bottle of vodka for Pia, and went home straight after. It was about half after four when I got home and I figured both Pia and Tavish were still at work since neither of their cars were here. 

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I walked to the kitchen to put the vodka in the freezer and my beers in the fridge, then grabbing one of the six beers and I kicked the fridge door shut as I twisted the bottle cap. A quick and quiet ‘tssst’ sound being let out from the carbonation and I put the bottle up to my lips for a long chug. I finished about half of it before finally putting it down on the counter top, standing there for a moment to catch my breath and watching the bubbles inside the bottle weave back and forth as they ascended towards the top only to pop and disappear when they reached it. ..Oddly enough, it reminded me of all the women I’d ever been with. They’re here for what seems like only a quick moment, we have a little fun, I make them come, and then poof, they’re gone from my life.


Although I’ll never admit it out loud, I don’t particularly like being alone. I was raised in a really big family, I have two close friends, and I have other friends scattered all throughout town, but standing here alone, even if it’s only for a moment, makes me lonely. I can’t help but feel it. All that I’ve known and grown up with is being surrounded by friends and family, so being alone is still something I’m working on getting used to. My mind tends to race a little too much when I’m by myself and have nothing to occupy myself with, sometimes I even go far back in the past to a point where I was unbelievably happy, but that also means being forced to think back on a time where I was abandoned by the one thing that did make me happy.


I grabbed the beer I had opened as well as another from the fridge before walking through the house to the back door and walking to the beach to relax. I still thought about my family and friends and how I wished at least one of them were with me right now so my mind wouldn’t go to depressing places, but again, it couldn’t be helped when all I had at the moment was myself. There’s three things in the world that I assume everyone loves having, family, friends and a significant other, but I was missing one of the three and to be honest, it didn’t bother me all that much. I had it once, but that’s long over.

What is it about love that I find so unappetizing? I can see it for everyone else but myself. My parents have it, August has it with Blair, Niko has it with AnneMarie, Petra, Umiko and Jiro have it, or at least some sort of puppy love with the ones they’re with, but not me. Honestly, it’s okay, I can live with it just fine, I guess it kind of just makes me think that there’s no one out there that’s good enough for me.. Or maybe it’s that I’m just not good enough for anyone..?

Yeah, that sounds more accurate.

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There was one time where I thought I had a sure thing, someone who’d never leave my side no matter what happened and someone who I thought wouldn’t hurt me or stop loving me, but I was wrong.. I was sixteen, young and naive and completely intoxicated with this girl and I let myself get hurt.. Badly.. I let it all in without even a rational thought that I might get hurt in the end, and surprise, surprise, it ended up happening.. Falling in love for the first time made things so, so much worse the day she moved away and never told me. She never even said goodbye to me and I haven’t seen her since.. Despite that being over seven years ago, I haven’t been able to let myself feel what I felt back then, I don’t let anyone in more than they need to be and I like it like that. I feel safer that way. I avoid love at all costs and prefer the simple company of others, like my family or Pia and Tavish, rather than the company of a someone who’s only going to let me down.. Even though I was young and stupid and emotional to the point where her leaving pretty much ruined me, it still bothers me to this day to think about and I don’t ever want to feel that kind of heartbreak again. Commitment isn’t one of my strengths anymore by any means and I hope to keep it that way so I can avoid anything in the future that could cause me nothing but pain in the end. I can’t do that again.. I can’t feel what I did years ago ever again.. I won’t let myself.


I must’ve sat out on the beach for about two hours or more because the sun was disappearing behind the horizon and the warmth it gave off was cooling down. The breeze came in over the water and I shut my eyes, taking in a deep inhale through my nose as it went passed me and the smell of the salty sea always brought back some good memories. Good memories involving my family and how often we’d have beach days to look for seashells, play in the sand, or just to simply relax in the sun.. Good memories of my friends and I growing up running along the shoreline to see who could keep going without tripping over rocks or stepping on a sea urchin, drinking and partying, skinny dipping, anything that we could think of to have fun. I even remember a time when Pia got stung on one of her big toes by the smallest jellyfish Tavish and I had ever seen and she milked her recovery for days.. I smiled just at the thought of it because Tavish and I couldn’t stop laughing while she hopped around on one foot saying how bad it stung, swearing up a storm, but it was no worse than a bee sting. 

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But, it was too good to be true for me to think that I could sit here and not think about the bad memories, as well.. I couldn’t help it, I’m a dweller.. The less I went to the beach with my family, the more I went with my friends, which then led me to meeting the one that got away.. Or really, the one that left. We met on the beach at a party Tavish, Pia and I were invited to. Pia was fourteen, I was fifteen, Tavish was sixteen, and the girl I met there was fifteen, like me. We hit it off immediately, even had our first kiss that night just off the shore in the water under a completely clear sky that was only lit by stars. Pretty romantic, I guess. I couldn’t see her for a week because I got grounded for coming home late and drunk, but I wasn’t grounded from my phone, so we constantly texted one another day and night until we hung out when I was finally off the hook. We moved fast, really fast, losing our virginity to one another that same night and we were inseparable for an entire year until she completely disappeared from my life.. She was the best and the worst thing to ever happen to me.

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“Luca! What are you doing?” I heard Pia calling to me from the house and I looked over my shoulder.

“Hey, you’re back from work already?” I asked, thankful that she was home and I didn’t have to be alone with my thoughts anymore.

“Yeah, I only worked a few hours filling in for someone. Now come on, let’s start drinking and watch cheesy movies!” She encouraged with a bright smile and I laughed softly.

“Okay, I’ll be right in,” I replied and I watched her go back inside. 

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I stood to my feet and grabbed my two empty beer bottles before heading back inside and coming into the kitchen where I saw Pia fixing herself a drink. 

“Hey, you doing okay?” Was the first thing she asked when I entered the kitchen and I tossed out my beer bottles into the recycling.

“Yeah, I’m fine.. Why?” I replied and she looked at me as if I were lying.. Well, I suppose I was..

“Because, it’s never really a good sign when you’re out at the beach alone like that. I know you, Luca, and I don’t like seeing you like that. I know where your thoughts can take you sometimes,” she said with a raised brow as if she fully believed she was speaking complete truth, but she was right. She did know me, and it was exactly what I was doing.. Letting my thoughts get to me.

“I’m okay.. Really,” I answered with a smile that I thought was convincing enough.

“You sure?”

“Yup. Okay as I can be.”

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“Well, when you say that, it makes me not believe you,” she said and I chuckled softly.

“I won’t ask what you were thinking about, because I think I have a pretty good idea, and if I’m right, then knock it off. Things in the past are meant to be left in the past, right?” She said as if she had repeated this to me a hundred times, and although she has, I still needed to hear it every now and again to remind myself. She was right, the past should stay in the past, especially when it was so long ago.

“You’re right.. Past in the past,” I said with a smile that I actually meant this time and she seemed pleased enough when she gave me an approving smile.


When Pia had finished making her drink, I grabbed a beer and we went into the living room to start browsing Netflix and pick something to watch. I sat on the couch and Pia laid out on it with her feet in my lap, comfortable and ready to watch movies to get both of our minds off of the shitty thoughts in our heads and distract us from things that have brought us down. We ended up picking a stand-up comedian to bring our spirits up and to make us laugh, both of us believing that laughter was the best medicine  and after watching two different hour long sets, Tavish walked through the door around nine.


“Hey, guys,” he announced, Pia throwing her hand up to wave at Tav and I looked over my shoulder to address him.

“Hey! Grab a beer or make yourself a drink, we’re on a stand-up binge,” I announced and Tavish seemed pleased with what we had chosen to watch.

“All right, I’ll be right back,” he replied, going into the kitchen and grabbing a beer before coming back out into the living room and getting comfortable on the love seat since Pia and I were taking up the big couch.


“How was work?” I asked.

“Boring as shit, though I got a good workout in, so it wasn’t all that bad, I guess,” Tavish replied and Pia picked our third comedian to watch.

“How was your appointment with Blair?”

“Pretty good, ran on the beach today. August showed up, too,” I replied and he rolled his eyes.

“Ahh, fuck.. How’d that go?”

“As well as it could go, so pretty shitty,” I said with a chuckle and he joined me with a soft laugh.


The rest of the night was spent drinking heavily and laughing our asses off to both stand-up comics and the more drunk we got, we usually always switched to cheesy movies that were easy to make fun of so then we could make each other laugh and continue the good times. This was all that I needed and all that I wanted.. To be happy, to be with my friends and to have nothing but good times to fill my head with more good memories than bad. I needed to grow and learn to get over whatever insecurities, bad memories, and wasted worries that I had in order to be happy, and although it’s taken a long time to get there, even though I’m not quite there yet, I still thought I was making some great progress. Really, it was all thanks to the two I was watching cheesy movies with. I honestly didn’t know where I’d be without Tavish and Pia, but I knew that if I didn’t have them, I don’t even know if I’d be the same man I was today.. I’m grateful to them through and through and even though I’ve never told either of them that, something tells me that they knew without me needing to say a word.

Generation 4, Chapter 20, Finale Pt 1 of 2


Carefully and slowly, I swayed back and forth, rubbing Nikolai’s back as I held him in my arms and waiting for him to drift off to sleep for his afternoon nap. I stood in Cybal’s living room, taking steps at the pace of a snail as I swayed Niko and although I seemed to be calm and relaxed holding my littlest, my mind was restless. After breakfast this morning when August had just left for school and Luca and Niko played in their bedroom, Isaiah told me he wanted to talk.. He didn’t say much else, he seemed nervous and uncomfortable and so did I by the way he worded everything.. He told me that this had gone on long enough, but instead of asking what he meant exactly, I just stood there like an idiot and nodded without even questioning it.. I guess I was in a slight shock that he finally wanted to talk, so I blindly agreed, and now, as I replay his words over and over in my head, I can’t help but wonder if maybe his words had negative intentions instead of the positive ones I’ve been hoping for for over a month.. My mind always went straight to the possible worst case scenarios and I could never seem to get away from them.


It’s been about two weeks since I had talked to James about what was happening between Isaiah and I, but I’ve been doing a lot better than I was.. I couldn’t believe I had let it get that bad to the point where my depression was effecting my appearance and it took me a while to realize how terrible I looked, but ever since I had, I’ve been doing laps in the pool, as well as taking the boys to the park more like I used to and running around with them constantly has been tiring as well as rewarding. I’ve been getting more sun, so I’ve looked less pale, I’ve been getting work outs in and I wasn’t nearly as weak anymore, and I’ve been eating better, too, so I’ve had a lot more energy for the boys.. I thought I’ve been doing pretty good and I thought that maybe Isaiah’s been noticing, but I still couldn’t figure out exactly what he meant by his words this morning.. Did he want to fix things, or break up?


I had an appointment today with one of my patients and Isaiah was already at work, so on days where we needed help, Cybal was always there for us and more than happy to watch the boys while we were at our jobs. Once August got home from school, I took the boys to her place and August played outside with Cybal’s daughter, Juliana, Luca was already asleep in the playpen, and Nikolai had just drifted off to sleep in my arms.. I always loved bringing the boys to her place because they loved being here and it was also the one place I could take them where I never worried about them.. Well, I guess I don’t need to worry about them when they’re at Kat and Jimmy’s house, but Cybal has more experience when handling a lot of children at once and she keeps them calm, focused and happy, whereas James likes to play with them and amp them up to no end and Kat loves to spoil them with toys and sweets, which Isaiah and I don’t really prefer.. Plus, she lives a lot closer than they do.. Cybal isn’t their mother, but they still are her flesh and blood and I can tell she holds them at a much higher importance in her life.. She even treats August just the same as she treats Luca and Nikolai and I’m incredibly grateful for that, as well. She’s just overall the best choice for when we need to put our children in other peoples hands.


I heard soft footsteps coming down the spiral staircase and I turned to see Cybal, smiling at me as she walked towards the kitchen and I smiled back, then slowly made my way over to the playpen and as carefully as I could, I pulled the fragile, sleeping Nikolai from my shoulder and set him down next to his brother. I was relieved when I noticed I had managed to not wake either of them and I stepped quietly out of the living room, going into the kitchen where I had seen Cybal retreat to.


I noticed Cybal making something to eat and she looked over her shoulder briefly when she heard me come into the kitchen.

“Hola, guapo. The little ones finally asleep?” She wondered and I smirked.

“Yeah, finally.. Thanks for watching them today,” I replied.

“It’s never a bother, I love having them here,” she answered genuinely.

“Where’s Napoleon?” I wondered, asking about her son that was a few years older than Juliana and August.

“He’s over at a friends house, he’ll be home later.. Are you hungry? I was making something for Juliana, August and I, but you’re more than welcome to join us if you have time before your appointment,” she invited, but I had absolutely no appetite thanks to my nerves..

“No, thank you, though.. Not really in the mood to eat..”


“Oh? Why’s that? Is something bothering you?” She wondered and although I didn’t want to talk about what Isaiah had said earlier, I felt as if I needed to talk about it with someone or else worrying about it without getting a second opinion would only excel my awful ability to overthink things.

“Well, I.. I don’t know, it’s-” I sighed softly, “It’s nothing, I guess..” I chickened out in the end.

Cybal stopped preparing food for her and the kids and looked to me, “It’s obviously something. Are you and Isaiah still not talking?” She wondered, knowing a little about what Isaiah and I are going through, though she didn’t know any details like James did.

“Yeah, we’re still not talking that much, but this morning he said something to me that I don’t know how to interpret and it’s all I can think about..”

“What did he say?”


“He said that ‘this has gone on long enough’ and that he wanted to talk tonight, and at first I was happy and agreed to it, but.. It was weird the more I thought about it after, because he didn’t smile, but then again he didn’t show any sign of worry, either, he was just.. Serious.. I can’t tell if he wants to make up and go back to how things were before or if-” I trailed off, not even wanting to say the words as my gaze met the floor.

“Sweetie, I’m sure he doesn’t intend to leave you. He’d be muy estúpido if he did something like that,” she replied and I chuckled, “He probably wants to talk about what happened in hopes of fixing things with you. Whoever needs to say sorry needs to say it and then it will all be fine,” she continued with a smile and I smirked, though when she turned back around to continue what she was doing, the smirk fell from my lips.. I had already apologized to him as many times as he would let me and I didn’t think he had anything to be sorry for, so Cybal couldn’t be right..


“Listen, cariño,” she began again, finishing her preparation and facing me, “Since he wants to talk tonight, let the boys sleep over here. You two need time alone and there’s no need for you have your hands full when you’re trying to do that. Besides, after you two make up, which is I’m sure what Isaiah wants to do, you’re going to really want that alone time, now won’t you?” She hinted with a grin and I felt my cheeks warm up.

“You really think we’ll be okay?” I asked and she nodded strongly.

“Oh yes, Ollie, definitivamente. I’d like if you guys made up, too, because then that means I get to make another rugrat for this beautiful family of yours,” she said with a smile and I smiled in return at the thought of more children with Isaiah.

“I’d really like that, too.. He told me after Nikolai was born that he wanted to keep going until we had a girl,” I replied and Cybal smiled more.

“See? That sounds wonderful! You think he’d give up something like that? You really think he, after a stupid fight, wants to stop after Niko? Isaiah never struck me as a quitter before, I don’t think he’d start today,” she pointed out and I nodded, knowing full well that she wasn’t wrong about that, at least.


Thanks for everything, Cybal.. I should get to my appointment, so I’ll see you tomorrow,” I replied and she nodded.

“I’ll let the little ones know they’re sleeping over when they wake up from their nap. I’m sure they’ll be excited.”

“All right.. Tell them I love them, too.”

“Of course,” she answered, coming up to me and giving me a hug goodbye, “Good luck tonight,” she added and I smiled as I let her go.

“Thanks.. I’ll let the kids know the food is ready, too,” I answered, stepping out of the kitchen and going out the back door to find August.


After shutting the sliding door behind me, I saw August talking with Juliana as I made my way over to them.

“Your mom made a late lunch, Juliana, why don’t you go inside and eat?” I asked, wanting to have a second alone with August and she nodded with a smile.

“Okay!” She agreed, leaving August and I alone.


Once I heard the sliding door shut behind her, I addressed August, “I’m heading out now to go to my appointment.. Papa and I need to talk, too, so you and your brothers are going to sleep over here tonight, okay?” I let him know and his seemingly happy face fell blank.

“Okay..” He replied and I could tell he was worried.

I bent down closer to his height, “Hey, listen.. Everything’s going to be fine, we’re just going to talk, okay? You gotta talk things out in order to fix things, right? Nothing bad is going to happen,” I said with a smile.

“You promise?” He asked with his big, blue, doey eyes and I wished he hadn’t asked that, or looked at me the way he did, not wanting to give him an empty promise, but..


“..Yeah.. I promise, big guy,” I replied as I kept my soft smile, tousling his hair and I was happy to see a smile return to his lips, too, “We’ll see you tomorrow. I love you and take care of your brothers, okay? Keep Luca under control,” I continued and he nodded softly.

“I will. Love you, too,” he answered.

“All right.. Go inside and eat,” I instructed and he did as I said, watching him walk off towards the back door and he went inside as I then took my leave, too, and went to the car to go my appointment.


Now, instead of having Isaiah on my mind, I thought of our boys.. I thought of August and the fact that he was nothing like either Jody or I, which I was grateful for.. He was his own unique person. He wasn’t conniving or demanding or possessive, nor was he shy or weak or unreliable, he was a good, strong kid with a good head on his shoulders, and although it was a little difficult to joke around with him and get him to loosen up sometimes, he was still full of compassion and always knew exactly what he wanted and what would make him happy. I smiled to myself as I then thought of Luca, our wild and crazy child that loved doing things he knew was wrong or inappropriate just to get us to chase after him around the house. He was a lot like Isaiah, outgoing, playful and cocky at times, but a little more rambunctious and he also thrived for attention and looked to impress.. Pretty much everything that Isaiah is, just multiplied by ten. And Niko, our sweet, genuine, cuddle bug, Niko.. Probably the most caring and giving person I’ve ever met and he’s only just under two years old. He’s the easiest to get to sleep, the easiest to discipline because he never does anything wrong, and the one that can melt your heart the quickest. If he’s playing with something and he notices you crying or not having a good time, he’ll give you the thing he loves that he’s playing with just to see you happy.. He also adores being held and shown affection and if you treat him well and with plenty of love, he’ll return the same thing tenfold..

I couldn’t even imagine stopping after him and just the thought of being forced to give up the potential of making more children that I couldn’t be prouder of to call my own made me feel dejected.. I just hope by the end of the night and by the time Isaiah and I finish talking, he wants the exact same thing I do.

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I didn’t have that far to drive, only taking me about twenty minutes to get to my appointment and when I pulled into the driveway, I saw my patient’s mother outside tending to her garden. She was a pretty attractive woman, I guess, though far from being my type.. She was a little too forward and she reminded me of a Stepford Wife.. Who the hell gardens in a dress and heels?

“Hey, Mrs. Green,” I announced when I got closer to her and she looked back at me.

“Oh, Oliver! It’s good to see you,” she replied, acting a little too excited to see me.

“How are you?”

I watched her stand and she faced me as I approached her, “I’m doing just lovely, sweetheart. And how many times have I told you to call me Brooke?” She teased and I chuckled.

“More than I can count on two hands, I believe,” I answered and she giggled. She seemed to like to get a little too familiar with me on occasion and I didn’t really enjoy it, so I preferred to address her formally to help remind her that she was married.. She knew full well that I was married to Isaiah, too, but nothing really seemed to stop her from flirting.. It’s as if she somehow knew I wasn’t only into men and she convinced herself that there was a chance between us.


“How are those beautiful boys of yours doing?” She questioned and although I really loved bragging about how wonderful my children were, I didn’t like discussing them with her.. She always found a way to turn innocent chatting about my boys into obvious come-on’s towards me, and that in itself, made me so much more uncomfortable.

“They’re doing really well, Mrs. Green, thanks for asking..”

“One of these days I’m going to meet them instead of just be shown pictures. They’re just so cute and adorable and I have a pretty good guess as to who they get it from,” she hinted and I gave her a rather uneasy pity-laugh.

“Yeah, well.. They take after my husband, mostly, so I’ll agree with you on that note,” I replied and I could tell she didn’t much prefer that response, so she changed the subject.. Thank the heavens.


“I missed seeing you around here and spending time with us. During your short leave, we had to find a temporary physical therapist, but no one gets through to Blair like you do, so it was difficult. She’s actually rather upset with you and told me to cancel the appointment, but I pushed her a little to go through with it anyways,” she added, feeling a bit displeased with myself for making Blair feel that way, as well as feeling uncomfortable from Mrs. Green’s words and how she probably wanted me here more than Blair, at the moment.

“Again, I apologize for not being here for her, there were just some personal matters that I had to deal with.. Maybe I can get her back to her normal self and hopefully she’ll understand that I didn’t want to leave her, I just needed to temporarily,” I replied and she smiled.

“Well, isn’t that nice. It’s always reassuring to hear that you want to be here and don’t feel obligated like all the rest of them have,” she complimented, touching my arm briefly and I squirmed a little.

“It’s my job, as well as what I enjoy, so of course I’d come back for her,” I paused briefly before trying to get away from the situation and trying my hardest to make her see I was here for my patient and not the patient’s horny mother that I wanted nothing to do with.


I’m going to go see if I can get her out of bed,” I continued as I motioned with a hitchhikers hand behind me and Mrs. Green nodded when I began to step backwards slowly towards the house.

“Oh, of course, go, go! Listen to me rambling on and on,” she joked, “It’s good to have you back, Oliver, and if you need anything at all, anything, just holler,” she added and I almost gagged.

“Thanks, Mrs. Green,” I replied, finally able to get out of that situation and I stepped inside of the large house.


Despite the downside of Mrs. Green, coming to this patient’s house was my favorite. Blair was a quiet and shy person, much like myself, but we got along really well.. The first time I met her, the only things spoken were my instructions during her stretching.. I never pushed her or forced her to have a conversation with me, which I’ve noticed a lot of other physical therapists like to do and I think that’s why she liked me the most, the fact that I wasn’t like the rest of them. The second time I saw Blair for an appointment, Mr. Green stopped me afterward and told me how positive she had been lately, and also how I was the first therapist she’s had that’s come back for a second time, or rather, has been allowed back.. I was happy to say that today was my twelfth appointment with her.


After removing my shoes, I made my way upstairs to Blair’s room, knocking on the door softly and listening for a moment, but I didn’t hear anything.

“Blair?” I questioned, though silence still lingered, “Hey, it’s Oliver.. Can I come in, please?” I continued, but still nothing. This was the same way she acted when I had first met her.. Quiet, stubborn, trying to ignore me.. I could tell she hated being seen in her bed, I knew she hated the fact that she couldn’t go outside and play so easily as she used to be able to, and I knew she hated needing help, which is why it was sometimes difficult for her to let me into her room.. She had a very capable and strong mind and she hated being pitied.. She’s been without me for a little over a month when I normally see her twice a week, so I forced her to be with other therapists that I knew she hated and she had to deal with others that didn’t understand her like I did.. It probably felt like she was starting all over again with trying to find a good therapist and just when she was getting really used to me, I leave her.. I completely understood why she would be upset with me, and upset in general.


I knocked again, “Come on, Blair..”

“..Fine, you can come in..” She eventually replied and I smirked, opening her door slowly and seeing her sitting on her bed, deliberately not looking in my direction and I shut the door behind myself. At first, I didn’t acknowledge her, knowing she wouldn’t want to talk to me, anyways, so I went over to her dresser and opened the bottom drawer, removing the rolled up mat I had given her on our first appointment and I opened the sliding door to go outside, letting the gentle breeze into her room and I unrolled the mat in an open area for her to sit on.


I then came back inside and I stood there in the silence of her room, looking at her and waiting for her to look at me, but I knew she wouldn’t.. I stepped up to her bed, putting out my hand for her to take and I watched as her eyes looked at it for a long moment, knowing she was hesitating because she was upset with me, but when I motioned with my fingers with more implication that I wanted her hand, she sighed softly and finally put hers into mine.


I helped her sit up, Blair then facing me and I then took both of her hands, waiting for her to stand from the bed at her own pace. Her eyes held worry as she looked up to me, but once I gave her an encouraging smile, her view went back down to her legs and slowly, she scooted off of the bed and her feet met the ground. I held her hands tightly, feeling her using me as a support so she didn’t lose her balance and I stepped backward towards the open sliding door that led out onto the deck as she slowly followed, going one hundred percent at her pace as I helped her walk outside. Blair had been hit by a car while riding her bicycle and it shattered one of her knees while the other was only slightly fractured, and although getting her to walk again, let alone back onto a bike, would take a lot of time, she had a strong will and she was moving at a much quicker recovery pace than any other patient I’ve worked with that had bad knees.


When we got to the mat I had rolled out for her, I knew bending down was still a little much, so I picked her up within my arms and bent myself down to help her sit on the mat comfortably and to not strain her knees too much. I then sat down next to her, looking at her with the same smile on my lips and she still tried to act as if I wasn’t here.

“..Going to ignore me the whole time that I’m here?” I asked and she still didn’t talk to me, but I figured it would be like this for a little while.

“Have it your way..” I continued, deciding to let her be for now, “Why don’t you start by stretching first for a few minutes before we start your exercises,” I suggested, watching as Blair then still didn’t answer me, but at least I knew she was listening to me when I saw her beginning to do her stretches.


As Blair stretched, I wondered what I could say to her that would get her to talk to me again and I didn’t like the fact that today, I had to deal with Blair who was angry with me, and then later, I’d have to deal with Isaiah.. I didn’t like being surrounded by people that were upset with me and I hated that all that I’ve been saying lately, it seemed, is “I’m sorry”. I really need to work on not fucking up all the time.


“Let’s do your leg raises now,” I proposed first when I thought she had stretched long enough, watching her lie back and prop herself up on her elbows and I held out my hand above her foot to give her a lift requirement. 

“Do ten lifts up to here,” I began and she started lifting her leg until her toes touched the palm of my hand, but she was still quiet.. 

I sighed softly, “Blair, look.. I’m sorry I wasn’t here.. I know it took a long time for you to find someone you’re comfortable with and I’m sorry for forcing you to get used to other people I’m sure you didn’t like, but.. I had something I had to deal with at home and I just couldn’t do my job. It’s nothing against you, I didn’t see any of my patients, I just needed that time off to fix something I broke, okay?” I tried to console her and she finally looked at me without a scowl on her face that only aimed to make me feel guilty.


“..What happened?” She asked and I chuckled.

“You wouldn’t understand if I told you. Let’s just say I made some poor choices and my husband didn’t like them,” I replied.

“What did you do?” She asked next and I sighed with a smile on my lips.

“Let’s get back to your exercising, shall we?” I suggested.

“I guess it’s okay,” she brought up as she continued to do her leg lifts.

“What is?”


“It’s okay that you weren’t here, I understand.. It was just lame because all my mom did was complain and tell me how difficult I was being. She said you’d be back soon and everything, but she doesn’t understand how all of the rest of them make me feel. They push me too hard and they’re always yelling in my face with these stupid dumb smiles like smiling makes it easier and they make me feel like I’m not doing good enough, even if I try my hardest,” she expressed and I felt even more guilty.

“I’m sorry, Blair.. Now keep your leg elevated like this for ten seconds,” I instructed and her face was uncomfortable as the seconds passed, but if she was in pain, she would’ve told me.

When the ten seconds was up, she let her leg drop, “Good job, now the other one,” I advised and she repeated what we had just done with her other leg, “And I know how you feel, Blair, but I don’t plan on taking another leave of absence anytime soon, so you don’t have to worry about putting up with anymore lame-o’s for a long time,” I joked and she giggled softly.



I had Blair do a few more exercises, including hamstring curls, calf raises, and even hip abductions, for about thirty more minutes before moving on to something else, something that I knew she would both love and hate. Blair wasn’t a fan of walking by herself yet, even though she’s already done it a couple times with me, but with the right persuasive enticements, I knew she could do this. 

“All right, Blair, ready to walk by yourself?” I asked as I stood up, looking down at her and noticing her worried brows.


“Yup, you’re all warmed up now. I know you can and I know you can get further today than you have been.. Come on,” I invited, holding out my hand for her to take and she uneasily placed her hand within mine.


I pulled her up to her feet and while being her support again, I walked her over to where the decks ledge was, as well as a balancing bar and she placed her hands on those instead of my hands when we reached it. I stepped back slowly, letting her get her balance while remaining on high alert for her just in case her knees were to give out, but I’d be there quick enough to catch her. 


“How far do I have to walk today?” She asked and I thought for a moment.

“How about all the way ’til the end?” I suggested and she looked at me as if I were crazy.

“What!? That’s so far!” Blair complained.

“You’ve gotten more than half way the last two times we did this and you have both railings to help you, as well as myself, if you need it.. I think you can go the whole way, though, and you know I won’t let you fall,” I encouraged and although she still didn’t seem too thrilled, I had a feeling I knew what I could do to get her to do it.


“I’ll tell you what.. If you make it all the way to the end without my help, I’ll put in a good word with August for you.. It’ll be your reward for doing good, as well as an apology from me for not being here for you,” I offered and she fell silent as she looked at me with a grin on my lips. I talk to her about my kids a lot and she enjoys hearing stories about them, but she liked hearing about August the most. They were in the same grade, went to the same school, they even had a few classes together. By about our third appointment, she found out I was August’s Dad and ever since then, I could tell she had a crush on my son, though I wasn’t even sure if she knew what a crush was at her young age..

“What makes you think I care? Boys are gross,” she replied and I chuckled.

“All right, fine, if you don’t want me to, then-“

“N-No! Wait! ..I do..” She admitted, seeing a slight blush to her cheeks as she looked away from me in embarrassment and I kept my smile.

“Well, all right then. Start whenever you’re ready, Blair. I’m right here, too, so don’t worry,” I encouraged and I watched her nod with slight concern in her eyes, though the more I watched her, I could tell she was talking herself up in her head and her expression began to turn rather determined.


It took a moment for her to gather her confidence and her will to do this on her own, as well as needing to make it all the way to the end and I knew she was worried that she wouldn’t make it without my help, but her and I both knew she could do it. I simply kept silent as she began walking, watching the expression on her face intently and the moment she would make a face as if she were in pain, I’d be there to catch her.. But, until I saw her do that, I’d stand here waiting and continuing to let her do this by herself.

“Good job, Blair.. You’re half way.. Don’t rush yourself, take your time,” I advised and she nodded with determination still in her eyes. Blair continued on, her hands just above the bar and the decks ledge for support, but her walking was rather impressive, to say the least.. She had come so far and she recovered so well, I didn’t doubt that she’d be running in less that a few months if she kept up with her stretching and exercises with me.


Step by step, she kept getting closer to me and when she was about two feet away, I held out my hands to catch her just in case, but when I noticed a smile on her lips, I could tell she didn’t need my help.

“Excellent job, Blair. I knew you could do it,” I said with joy, seeing her then take her final step and she reached out for me where I then caught her and she smiled bigger than I had ever seen her smile before.

“I made it!” She said happily.

“You sure did,” I confirmed, “I think that’s enough for today, don’t you think?” I wondered and she nodded.

“Yeah, for sure.. My knees are throbbing,” she said with a weak giggle and I kept my smile.

“Okay, well, let’s go back over to the mat so you can stretch one last time, then I’ll take you back to your room,” I suggested and she nodded happily before I assisted her back over to the mat and helped her sit down. Every different stretch, whether it was her left leg, her right, or both, I made her hold it there for ten seconds each time and I knew it burned for her to do that, but burning meant progress, and I knew she’d thank me later for making her stretch this much.


After she stretched for a long time, it was time for me to leave and get back home so I could be ready to talk to Isaiah, so I picked her up and took her back inside. I put her back into her bed before going back outside, rolling up her mat and returning it to the bottom drawer in her dresser, then shut the sliding door behind me.

“Will I see you Friday?” She asked and I could see the hope in her eyes.

“Yup. We’re back to every Tuesday and Friday, just like it used to be,” I confirmed and she smiled.

“Okay, good.. If I had to go through one more therapist yelling at my face ‘You can do it! Do it! Do iiittt!’, I was going to freak out,” she mocked them and I chuckled.

“Well, lucky for you, I won’t ever put you through that again, I promise,” I replied and she seemed genuinely happy that I was back.

“Thanks, Oliver,” she added.


“You don’t ever have to thank me, Blair, just keep that positive attitude and do your stretches every day. Maybe when you feel comfortable enough to go to the park with me, I’ll bring along August and you two can go on a little play date,” I added and her eyes went wide.

“Hey, shut up!” She called out with a red face and a smile on her lips, causing me to laugh.

“All right, Blair, I’ll see you Friday,” I made my leave and she waved.

“Yeah, see ya!” She replied and I stepped out of her room, shutting the door behind me and going downstairs.


When I came downstairs, I heard someone in the kitchen and I peaked around the staircase, seeing Mr. and Mrs. Green preparing for dinner.. It wasn’t often that I saw them in the same room together, and it was even rarer to see Mr. Green at home.. He usually always worked late, or was stuck in his office doing work from home.

“All done for the day, see you Friday!” I called out and they both looked towards me.

“Ah, Oliver! Glad to have you back,” Mr. Green called out, seeing him escape from his wife to come over and talk to me. I didn’t blame him one bit for wanting to get away from her..


He stuck out his hand and I accepted it, shaking his with my own and he seemed genuinely pleased to see me.

“How’s my little girl doing?” He asked and I smiled.

“She’s doing wonderful, really, but I want to apologize again for not being here for her.. I know it’s really hard for her to open up to people and I’m the only one she seems to like, but I wasn’t here for her and I made her go through, from what I hear, some pretty annoying substitutes.. It won’t happen again and today is the first of many more days to come that I’ll be here to get her up out of bed and onto her feet.. I’m sure if she sticks to her stretching and exercises, as well as our appointments, she’ll be running around in no time at all,” I answered and he smiled, though it seemed as if he was trying to hold back tears..?


“That’s great, that really makes me so happy to hear. Thank you so much for, well, just existing, because I don’t think we would’ve found anyone as good for her as you are. You really get through to her like no one else can,” he answered and I nodded in appreciation.. I’m sure she liked me because of how I was with her, but having August as my son was proving to be rather beneficial, too, since she had an innocent crush on him.. At times, she seemed to be fueled by the thought of August liking her in any way.

“Well, thank you.. I’m glad I can be here for her and help her heal, it’s what I love to do,” I replied and he stuck out his hand again for me to shake and I took it without hesitation.

“Thanks again, Oliver,” he added and I nodded once again before taking my leave, putting my shoes back on and walking out to the car.


As I drove home, I realized that all I had to do now was wait for Isaiah to get home from work so we could talk.. It was a little after six in the evening and I knew I had at least three and a half hours to prepare myself for whatever was going to happen, but if he doesn’t want to stay together, how the hell do I prepare myself for a break up? I guess there really is no preparing for that.. It’s going to hurt like nothing else I’ve ever felt before, it’s going to completely destroy me and there really is no telling how I’ll fully react if it happens, but I just hoped with every fiber of my being that I was just worrying for nothing.. Hoping that it wouldn’t happen and that everything would be okay, but.. I had to be honest, I didn’t have the slightest clue as to what might happen tonight..


When I got home and came into the house, I didn’t like how quiet it was.. Without the boys to entertain and with Isaiah still at work, I had no idea what to do with myself. As I stepped over to the kitchen, I looked around at all the stuff scattered about on the counter and I had forgotten to clean up this morning after breakfast, but I was easily distracted away from it when Isaiah proposed that we talk later tonight.. The silence of the entire house made me uneasy and uncomfortable, and as if mimicking a statue, I stood there motionless, not hungry or thirsty or really even looking to be in here at the moment, but I was at a loss of what to do in the house alone.. I didn’t like the thought of this possibly being the last night I get to stand in my own kitchen and see it so messy from breakfast with our energetic boys, but taking a mental picture was better than nothing, I guess..


As I stepped more into the kitchen, I began cleaning it up a little.. I collected all of the sippy-cups and kiddy plates, as well as Isaiah and I’s coffee mugs and bowls from cereal and I put everything into the sink. I put uneaten fruit into the fridge, put the cereal box away and wiped down the counter tops, then stepped over to the sink to wash all of the dishes I had collected. As I cleaned up, I couldn’t help but wonder if I’d get a chance to have more mornings like the one I did earlier with all of us in the same room.. What would happen exactly if we did break up? Would either of us keep the house, or would we sell it? Who would get the kids on weekdays and who’d get them on the weekends? ..Who would they choose to be with? Hell, knowing what I’ve done to people, to ones I both hate and love alike, it would be more logical, and safer, for them to be with Isaiah. Without him by my side, I think I’d make a terrible father.. I’d be lost without him.


When I was done in the kitchen, I was pacing blindly throughout the house, nothing to do, no one to talk to, nothing to clean up or even straighten out.. Everything seemed to be, coincidentally, already in its place, or maybe I just never noticed how everything usually was since I was always distracted by the boys..? Either way, there seemed to be nothing for me to do or occupy myself with while I waited for Isaiah to get home and I knew I’d get anxious and antsy if I just sat around for the remaining hours I had left before he got here.. I succumbed to taking a shower just to waste time, spending roughly forty-five minutes cleaning myself as well as just standing there and spacing out at times.. I wondered if Isaiah was as nervous as me and just wanted to get this all over with like I did..


When there was still two hours left before Isaiah would be home and I was clean, clothed, dabbed with cologne and everything about me lying just right, I ended up sitting on our bed and watching television, unable to think of anything else to do. I guess I should be thinking about what to expect with Isaiah, planning out what to say if things go good or bad, but at the same time, I kind of wanted to just play it by ear and see what happens before I go trying to figure out how I might act.. I wanted things to be natural, I wanted things to pan out how they should and either way, if he was doing what was best for himself and for our children, it didn’t matter to me what the decision was..


Pah! Who am I kidding? I cared more than anything about what his decision would be.. I said sorry so many times, he knew exactly how guilty I felt about everything and he knew that I was beating myself up for over a month for doing things to him he specifically told me not to, but after all this progress, how could he even think to leave me? To leave this family we worked so, so hard at creating and what took us so long to achieve together despite all of the speed bumps along the way? How could he do something like that? I’d do everything in my power to make this family work and if he wasn’t willing to do the same, then maybe things just really weren’t meant to be.. But, wait.. Why the hell am I getting so angry? I’m not even making any sense.. I’m acting as if he had made this decision already to leave me and I was actually getting sad as well as enraged at just the thought of it.. I took a deep breath, letting it out slowly and convincing myself to calm down and stay collected. I’d truly hate myself if I went into this conversation already angry.


After watching television for as long as I could possibly stand, looking over to the clock and seeing it was nearly nine at night, I honestly couldn’t wait until nine-thirty when Isaiah normally walked through the door.. I figured that if I got there before he closed the bar, I could as least convince him to give me a stiff drink to handle whatever he had to tell me.. With a great exuberance of random energy, I stood from the bed with a sense of rare determination and I marched through the house towards the front door and went out to the car, getting into his Mercedes and pulling out of the driveway without even checking the road and I quickly put it into drive so I could race to his work. I was sick of waiting to hear what he had to say, I was sick of letting my mind take me to places that I hated and I was sick of not being around him in general.. I was ready, and I wanted to get this the hell over with.


When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw my car and how most of the lights were still on, knowing he was still here and I quickly pulled into an empty spot and parked. I checked my phone before getting out and it was a little after nine, assuming all the customers were gone by now and I made my way towards the front door, but I stopped on the deck when I noticed Isaiah through the window, standing at the bar and wiping glasses clean, one after another.. It seemed innocent enough, as if he was doing his job without even a sliver of me on his mind, though when I noticed him lose grip of the glass he cleaned and he desperately tried his best to catch it, it fell to the ground and I heard it break from outside.. I wanted to run in and help him clean it up, though when I saw him stand there and not begin cleaning it up himself, I wondered if he was actually nervous.. I wondered if he was shaking like I was, heart trembling like mine had been, feet immobile like mine were.. God, I loved him so much..


Eventually, I remembered how to walk again and after getting passed the feeling of having cold feet, I stepped up to the door, testing the handle and I noticed he hadn’t locked the doors yet, so I slowly opened it and stepped in as he had just finished picking up the pieces of the broken glass and threw them away.

“..Sorry, we’re closed for the night. Last call was half an hour ago,” he said with a rather distant tone as he then began wiping down the counter tops and his words instantly reminded me of the first time we met.. He said something almost identical to it that very lonely night on Thanksgiving six years ago when I wanted company with anyone else but my family, and a seemingly simple bartender past closing time was what I had settled with.. The same bartender I realized later that wasn’t so simple, but completely amazing and the love of my life.


“Can you make an exception for a face like mine?” I questioned, quoting him from that first time and instantly, his head looked up from the counter top and just from the look in his eyes from my words, I could tell he knew exactly where and when I was quoting him from. 

His expression was just as soft as the smirk that formed on his lips, “Sure.. You look like you could use a drink,” he replied and I couldn’t help but take that as a good sign.


“What do you want to drink?” He asked as I approached the bar slowly with my hands in my front pant pockets, my heart racing much quicker now than when we had first met and I felt as if he could tell, “Whiskey on the rocks?” He offered and I chuckled quietly, watching him then gesture with his hand towards a stool as an invitation for me to sit down.

“You remembered,” I replied as I finally grabbed a seat.

“How could I forget?” He asked rhetorically, watching him grab a glass and throw in a few ice cubes before filling it generously with liquor, “You know, this is pretty expensive stuff.. You sure you can pay for it?” He asked next, quoting another part of our conversation from long ago, and if I dared to believed it, I’d say he was flirting with me.

I could already feel my cheeks getting warm, “I know the owner.. He won’t mind if I put it on his tab,” I said playfully in return and I watched him grin, though I noticed he tried to hide it by looking back down at the counter top and continue to clean it.. This was already going well, right?


“You look really good tonight,” he expressed under his breath softly and I felt my cheeks blush even more, liking that he had noticed the trouble I went through to look my best for him.. I had only been talking to him for thirty seconds and already I felt as if I was on fire, but it’s how I always felt around him and I missed hearing sweet words from him so, so much.

“Thanks.. Might as well try to look good for either the best or worst news of my life,” I replied under my own breath, but I wasn’t sure if he heard me, “I-I, uhm..” I started as I grabbed the glass and slid it in front of myself, feeling as if we should possibly drop the casual talk, or flirting, whatever it was, and get right down to it, “Sorry, but I couldn’t wait any more.. I got back from my appointment and had close to four hours to wait for you to get home, but I was going crazy just sitting there doing nothing, so.. I hope you don’t mind that I came here.. I needed a stiff drink, anyways,” I admitted, looking up to him with slight worry in my brow as well as my tone.


“It’s okay. Where are the boys?” He asked casually and I somewhat despised how he could hold himself together so well that I could never tell if his heart was racing as fast as mine. I was irritated as well as envious of his poker face.

“They’re at Cybal’s.. I, uhm.. I told her we were talking tonight, so she volunteered to have them sleep over.. They’re there for the whole night, sooo.. Yeah,” I replied with a nervous quake in my words, seeing one of his brows jump up curiously and I couldn’t help but think he was happy to hear it since it gave us the entire night to ourselves, but then again, at a tense moment like this when there was still so much to talk about, I had no idea what any of his expressions truly meant.


“Today’s Tuesday, so you saw Blair?” He guessed right and I nodded, “Did her mom hit on you again?” He then questioned and I chuckled softly, taking a quick sip of my drink before answering.. Was he avoiding the blindingly obvious subject that we needed to talk about?

“Yeah, she did.. She even touched my arm all sensual-like after trying to imply that our boys’ good looks came from me.. But, I said they got it from you and she actually seemed kind of pissed that I said that instead of flirting back with her,” I replied and he seemed genuinely pleased by this. 


“That old bat,” he commented and I grinned.

“She’s forty.. Only a year older than you,” I pointed out and he acted as if my words weren’t true, or rather, preposterous. 

“That’s besides the point,” he added with a soft laugh, “She just never gives up, huh?” He asked rhetorically again and I kept my grin, “I guess I wouldn’t either if it was you in front of me,” he implied and I thought I was going to burst if he kept up with this flirting.. It kept coming up out of nowhere and I was never prepared for it. I planted my eyes on my drink in an attempt to hide how turned on I was, knowing this wasn’t the time nor the setting to fulfill that type of urge and I didn’t want to look up to see whatever expression he was making. Instead, I watched the ice cubes swirl around in my drink and clink against the edges of the glass, trying my best to think of things more appropriate for the moment..


“Are you going to drink with me, or am I doing this alone? ..I gotta say, I’m insanely nervous and I kind of need it.. Ever since you said you wanted to talk, I’ve been.. Well.. I’ve been on edge all day,” I added, looking up to him finally and I could tell he was listening to me intently, “So.. Will you drink with me, like you did at the old place when we first met?” I asked, watching as a smirk slowly formed on his lips and he nodded softly.

“Yeah, sure.. Let me finish up down here and I’ll share a drink with you upstairs. It’s a little more relaxing and private up there in my office, anyhow.. I’ll be there in a few minutes,” he suggested and I nodded in agreement, taking my glass with me and standing from the stool to go upstairs to his office and to let him finish closing up.


I went upstairs and through the door to where the lounge was, being hit by a thin wall of smoke and breathing in the lingering scent of cigars and expensive colognes brought back even more memories with Isaiah.. The night he first kissed me.. I barely knew him at the time, all that I knew was that he was new in town, owned a bar, was really nice, and had a thing for me. I was so surprised with myself that night looking back on it now.. I’m not very social with people I don’t know, but he made me feel comfortable and it actually felt good talking to him, as if I had known him for years already. I was nervous when he first invited me up to the VIP area at the old bar, feeling a little trapped at first, but he made me feel comfortable with that, too.. And when he kissed me? It was the most intense feeling that had ever come over me, but I freaked out like a wimp and ran away.. I guess it’s a good and bad memory at the same time.


This bar was a little more laid back than the one up in Oregon, though still pretty high-end for a more ‘mature’ crowd, and this lounge was a lot smaller than the other, but at least he had an office at this location so he didn’t have to do his paperwork and ordering behind the bar when there were customers. I grew bored of the lounge quickly and made my way to the door to his office and stepped in, shutting it behind me and it was a little hard to see at first through the dark, though I didn’t rush to turn on the lights when I looked to the view he had.. The ocean glowing under the moon that reflected into the room was enough light for me and I could probably stand here for hours looking out these windows and never get bored of it. 


My eye caught movement to my right and I noticed the monitors mounted on the wall behind his desk, one for the front door, one for the bar, one for the dining area and one for the lounge just outside of this room. I set down my glass on his desk and stepped over to them, watching Isaiah behind the bar downstairs and I squinted just slightly in an attempt to figure out what he was doing.. Was he talking to himself? Was he nervous and practicing what to say to me? I was both a little excited as well as worried for what he might be practicing for, but when I noticed him then straightening out his clothes and his hair, I couldn’t help but crack a smile in hopes that he was trying to look good for me.. He didn’t have to do much to look good, but I loved whenever he put forth the effort, especially for a situation such as this one.. It showed that he cared, so it was a good sign, wasn’t it?


I noticed Isaiah then step out from behind the bar and he was making his way to the stairs, so I quickly crept away from the monitors to make it seem as if I hadn’t been watching him prepare himself to face me, grabbing my drink from his desk and bringing it over to the coffee table, instead. I sat down and waited for him, starring out the big windows and the beat of my heart began to pick up its pace as I waited for him to walk through the door, and when he did, I looked over to see his expression a little confused.

“Why is it so dark in here?” He questioned as he shut the door behind him and I had completely forgot to turn the lights on since I had gotten used to the darkness.

“Oh, s-sorry.. I saw the view out back and turning the lights on slipped my mind,” I replied, hearing him then flip a switch for the lights and he stepped over towards the monitors to turn each of them off one by one. I thought the lights would sting my eyes, but I had forgotten about the ambiance of his office.. He only ever turned on the ones with colored bulbs when he wanted to accomplish a certain mood, a mood he enjoyed being in whenever I used to stop by his work to have a rare drink with him when we didn’t have to watch the boys.. I think he had succeeded at creating the mood he wanted when I felt myself getting more nervous, as well as even the slightest bit excited by what this kind of setting usually meant during past occasions.. This was yet another good sign, it had to be..


I kept my view towards the coffee table, staring at my drink and watching the ice slowly melt as I listened to Isaiah at his personal bar pouring himself a drink like he had said he would downstairs, and when he was finished, he came over to the area I was in and sat across from me on the gray couch. Before either of us spoke, we both took a quick sip of our drinks and it seemed as if both of us had our tongues tied, but eventually, after a minute or two of silence, Isaiah finally spoke first.

“Oliver, I.. I actually don’t know where to start. If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been trying to think of how to start by avoiding the subject,” Isaiah began with a quick chuckle, swirling his own glass of iced whiskey and then taking another quick sip of it before continuing, “Well, before you say anything, I want to apologize to you,” he finally began, but I was already blown away by his words.


“Isaiah, you have nothing to be sorry for, believe me, it was all me, and-“

“No, no, please, Oliver.. Let me say what I want to say,” he pushed and I stopped, letting him have all the time he needed as I took another sip of my drink to help continue to calm my nerves.

Isaiah went on, “First, I’m sorry that it took me so long to talk to you. After you told me the truth about you kissing Jody, I just completely lost it and I was so angry and inconsolable that I just couldn’t focus on anything else and I thought I’d never forgive you.. After you told me that, I didn’t have an open mind anymore and everything you said after that was just another lie to me, even if it wasn’t, and I’m sorry for that, too.. It wasn’t fair to you,” he stated, hesitating a short moment before continuing, but already I felt as if tears were going to form in my eyes. He, in my mind, had nothing, absolutely nothing to apologize for, but here he was doing it.. 


“I’ve never told you about my past relationships because I was embarrassed, because I thought there was something wrong with me and I could never figure out what it was, but I.. I suppose there’s no easy way for me to say this, so I’ll just come out and say it.. I was cheated on and lied to.. Numerous times, actually.. I’ve been in a decent amount of relationships and about ninety percent of them have ended because they cheated on me or lied to me about something inexcusable.. I made poor choices in guys, I guess, or maybe they made the right choice by being with a young, stupid, gullible me, but.. After being with you for this long and being lied to about something like that, even if it was just a kiss, hearing that it had happened again and with the one person I thought would never do such a thing, it just.. It killed me. I didn’t hate you for it, though, like I had hated everyone else. I was more so completely furious with myself for being so in love with you to the point where leaving you was never even an option.. I never thought about it once, even after everything you did.. I might be crazy for not doing it, or maybe I’m crazy for not even considering it given my past experiences an’all, I don’t know, but.. I just can’t do it,” he expressed, but before I could say anything, there was still more on his mind.


“I want you to know that I forgive you, and I understand now that you doing that was out of necessity and not because you didn’t care about hurting me, but because you loved me.. I believe I should’ve been thanking you instead of punishing you for trying your best to keep her out of our lives, so.. Thank you,” he expressed and I thought that that was a little much, but I didn’t cut him off, “I’m not trying to make you feel worse by telling you about my past, either, I just wanted you to see why I had gotten so upset by you kissing her and why I had completely lost it and ignored you for so long. I just didn’t know how to handle it, but I know you’re sorry, and.. I’m sorry, too,” he explained and I knew he didn’t mean to make me feel bad, but I couldn’t help it.. I felt bad that I put him through that pain again and I felt bad that he had been treated so poorly, but at the same time, I was so beyond ecstatic to hear that he wasn’t going to leave me and never even let it cross his mind.


“Oliver..?” Isaiah questioned, most likely noticing that I’ve been trying to avoid letting him see the tears in my eyes. I tried so hard to hold them back, but I couldn’t, feeling my tears fall down my face and I reached up to quickly wipe them off my cheeks.

“Are you crying?” Isaiah asked with concern and I chuckled.

“I’m sorry, you just told me such shitty things that happened to you and I want to be sad for you, I am sad for you, I’m just.. I’m so goddamn happy to hear you’re not going to leave me.. Every day got worse for me and every day I had to convince myself that it wasn’t going to happen.. I just never knew for sure.. But, waiting to hear it all along and finally hearing it now, I.. I’m just so happy,” I replied, finally managing to wipe every tear away and keep anymore from falling.

I looked up to Isaiah, seeing a soft smile on his lips, “Well, I’m sorry it took me so long to say it. And no more crying, I hate when you cry, even if they’re happy tears,” he replied and I chuckled softly again, “I have more to say, too, so just hang in there a little longer, okay?” He added and I nodded.


“Secondly, I want to apologize for comparing you to Jody during our fight. I’ll never know the full extent of Jody’s obsession with you, but I do believe it was an incredibly unhealthy obsession and I do believe that you wanted nothing to do with her. I’m sorry you ever had to put up with her, too. I know now that everything you did was for the good of us and you never once preferred her over me, which I’m sorry it took me so long to realize that and I’m sorry that I ever questioned it.. I should’ve believed you from the very beginning,” he acknowledged next and I let out a relieved sigh.. It was such a great solace to hear that from him.

“Thank you,” I replied and he gave a soft nod.

“And she better not ever come looking for you or August, or I might just do something that I’m not even very comfortable talking about and you’d probably think I was crazy or something, so just don’t even ask. I won’t let her come between us again,” he said with a serious tone and I smiled nervously.. If only he knew that I had already taken care of that problem.. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the meaning behind his words.


Isaiah then continued, “And lastly, Oliver.. You’re not a bad person, not even in the slightest, and I’m sorry that I ever thought that and ever said that to you. You’re the most caring, sweet, wonderful man that I’ve ever been lucky enough to meet and start a family with. Without you, without our boys, I don’t even want to know what kind of life that would be.. I love you so much, Oliver, so damn much that I don’t think you’ll ever fully understand just how much that truly is,” he finished and I was so beyond happy, my tongue was caught in my throat and I thought I was going to start crying again if I managed to find any words. I hadn’t heard him tell me that he loved me in a month and a half and each day I went without hearing it was harder and harder to get through, but after hearing it now, I couldn’t describe how much joy I felt.


I heard Isaiah then chuckle nervously, “Oliver, don’t let me see tears in those eyes again.. Say something,” he requested and I smiled.

“S-Sorry, I’m just so happy.. And I can understand what you mean, ’cause it’s the exact same way I feel about you, too.. I love you more than you could ever know,” I answered and he smiled radiantly.

“Good.. So, no more avoiding eye contact, no more avoiding one another in general,” he started putting down a few ground rules, some much needed, back-to-normal ground rules.

“We have to say we love one another at least once a day,” I added and he nodded strongly.

“Agreed. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve missed that.”

“Me, too.. And you have to stop wasting my cologne.. It’s expensive,” I pointed out and he averted his eyes from mine momentarily out of embarrassment.


“I won’t have to waste it if you start sleeping with me again,” he suggested, his eyes coming back up to meet mine with a hopeful gaze and I knew my cheeks were a brilliant red at the thought of being in bed with him, but thank goodness it was still a little dim in his office.

“..I’ll start bringing my stuff back in the house first thing in the morning,” I replied and he seemed just as pleased and eager as I was to have things go back to how they used to be.


I then watched as a grin slowly crept over Isaiah’s lips, seeing him raise his hand and with a simple gesture towards me with his index finger to come over to him, my heart skipped a beat and without hesitating a single moment, I set down my drink and stood from my seat quickly, eager to go over to him. His right hand then raised with the left and they slid slowly over my hips, pulling me close and he looked up to me with a serious expression, his eyes holding a slight concern.

“Honestly, Oliver, I don’t care anymore and I don’t ever want to think about or talk about this again. It’s all in the past now and I just want things to go back to how they were,” he took the words right out of my mouth and I reached to touch the side of his face, able to feel the warmth behind his words through the soft skin of his cheek.

“I couldn’t agree more,” I replied and I then felt as he pulled my hips gently to invite me in, a smirk glued to my lips as I gladly came in to where I was being tugged and I took a comfortable seat in his lap. 


“So, the kids are at Cybal’s all night, huh? ..That means I can give you your second present now since I never got a chance to on your birthday,” he implied with a rather hungry tone, watching his eyes travel over me and feeling his hands doing the same.. It was as if he was reminding himself of every curve that my body had with how much his hands explored.

“If the present is you, then I’m all for it,” I replied, putting my hand to the side of his face and he looked up to me, seeing his gaze bounce between my eyes and my lips and I knew he wanted to kiss me just as much as I wanted to kiss him.


I leaned in quickly, wanting to put an end to this long, long period of not being able to kiss him again and it was everything I knew it to be.. Warm, loving, inviting, addictive, everything that I adored about him and he hummed almost silent, gentle moans with each second that our kiss grew more sensual.. His lips felt simply amazing and I felt as if I could barely breathe, though that didn’t stop me from making it better by going a little rougher, more ardent, and I knew Isaiah approved of such a intense kiss when I felt him grip my hip and my bottom to show his yearning. He pried my lips open with his tongue and I felt him pull me down into his lap harder, feeling the firm excitement he had for me being rubbed against where I sat and already I could barely wait any longer until he’d do the same thing to me though without any clothes in our way.


As we kissed, I felt him hold me securely and with a gentle push, he laid me down onto the sofa, positioning himself over me and I could feel him beginning to slowly undo the buttons of my shirt. He made me feel whole again.. He made me strong and weak at the same time, he made me laugh to myself for ever doubting that he still wanted to be with me, and he was the only one who could put me back together. Both butterflies and fire danced inside of me as our kiss took no time at all to become more frenzied and fervid and it was so obvious how much the both of us wanted this.. Feeling his lips against mine after such a grueling wait made my core crumble and I completely adored the fact that we were back to normal. I felt nostalgic and even something as simple as a kiss became so powerful between us that it made it seem like we were both on Cloud Nine and with each soft brush of his tongue against mine, it made my heart tremble with delight and my entire body that much weaker.


My shirt quickly got removed and I had no idea where I had tossed it, I just knew that the fabric made me itch like crazy out of nowhere and I had to get it off of me as fast as I could. Isaiah removed his jacket and his vest, tossing them aimlessly just the same as I had done and my skin begged to be touched as anxious goosebumps covered my arms and spread over my body like a wave.. The terrible, all-too-familiar feeling of going unneeded and unwanted had grown on me over the time we were apart, but the moment I felt his warm breath and his soft lips kiss my neck down to my chest, those feelings completely disappeared and were replaced by a serious greed that I couldn’t contain.. I reached up, gripping what hair I could on the back of Isaiah’s head and I pulled a little harder, feeling the combination of his tongue-swipes and kisses getting rougher and even his teeth came into play to give one of my nipples a soft tug that made me hiss an excited inhale between my teeth. He obviously knew I wanted things to get a little bit more unruly.. He knew everything that made me melt and he didn’t waste any time going around that fact, touching every inch of my skin perfectly and the tips of his fingers raked down my side towards my pants. He followed the rim with his fingers in between the denim and the cotton, undoing the button and zipper with ease when he found them and I hastily kicked off my shoes to make the removal of them both that much easier.


Suddenly, as if I had completely missed the very short moment that it took for the rest of our clothes to come off, Isaiah was as bare as I was and positioned between my legs, both of us panting heavily already with anticipation and he looked down at me with immeasurable lust. I knew there was still an entire step to cover before we made love, but I just couldn’t wait any longer and I knew I was ready, at least ready enough.

“Just do it,” I nearly begged and I could tell that he knew exactly what I meant, his eyes holding a sense of shock as well as enthusiasm from my demand.

“You sure? It’s been a while,” he pointed out the obvious, reaching forward to caress my cheek and I reached up to hold and savor the feeling of his hand on my face, completely unable to get enough of him and I nodded.

“I can’t wait any longer,” I replied softly and the moment I gave the ‘go-head’, he got himself slick and ready for me. For a few long moments, it was uncomfortable at first, feeling as if it were our first time again, though the pleasure came quicker now than it had before and the second Isaiah knew I was used to him, he increased everything tenfold.


“Gah, dammit.. You feel s-so good.. Are you okay?” He could barely form that short sentence, needing to know that I was all right and I told him with a strong nod as I bit my bottom lip. I pushed my hips back into his whenever he reached his deepest and I could hear him talking under his heavy breath.. He was always way more vocal than I was, at least when it came to talking and not just moaning during, and he only ever cursed when he was wildly angry or wildly in pleasure.. I guess that’s how I always knew he was enjoying himself.

“F-fuck, Oliver.. You’re so fucking beautiful,” I heard him say as his thumb caressed over my bottom lip roughly and I gripped his hand more and more the harder he went. After a short while, Isaiah then lifted my right leg, getting more leverage and deeper into me that caused me to cry out more in complete ecstasy and at this rate, I didn’t know how much longer I could enjoy this without reaching my limit.


As if knowing I couldn’t hold back any longer and wanting this to last a little more, he slowed things down momentarily to grab my hips and hoist me up into his lap, a hidden strength of his he usually only showed during passionate moments like this that always surprised and excited me by how easily he could throw me around. The powerful need for one another grew stronger and the moment I wrapped my legs around him, his lips crashed into mine and we passionately stayed lip-locked until the very end. It was short and quick and I’m fairly sure we both knew it would be after going from an almost-every-day thing to nothing at all, but that didn’t make it any less meaningful or rewarding or pleasureful. I needed him to heal me, he needed me just the same, and being together again was when we were at our best.

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After we enjoyed one another until almost ten thirty, we both grew exhausted and completely spent by what little we did and we laid together on the gray sofa just holding each other for the longest time.. I believed both of us knew how much we had needed that spark and that connection again and I’d never felt closer to him until now, growing relaxed and tired the longer I lie in his arms, his fingertips caressing lightly up and down my spine that only made me that much more at ease.


Suddenly, I opened my eyes and realize I had drifted off to sleep and I felt bad for being in his way just in case he had wanted to get up.

I pulled myself from his chest and looked to him, “Sorry, I think I fell asleep.. I was just comfortable,” I said apologetically, though Isaiah looked at me as if he didn’t hear a single word I said, or he just didn’t care in the slightest that I had slept on him.

“You’re incredible, you know that?” He pointed out and I scoffed softly.

“Yeah, right..” It was hard to believe him.

“I’m serious, you really are,” he continued, feeling his grip around me get tighter and I leaned in for a brief moment to kiss him before pulling away.

“Let’s go home.. You have no idea how much I’ve missed that bed,” I said with a smirk and he chuckled softly.

“You tired?” He implied, feeling his fingertips dipping lower down my spine than they were dipping before and I knew he still wanted me.

“Not if you aren’t,” I replied and I could see the excitement come back into his eyes.

“Good, ’cause I’m not even close to being done with you yet,” he said with a grin before finally letting me get up so we could both get dressed and head home.


As we got dressed, I kept glancing over towards him sitting on the couch as he put on his clothes, thinking back on the conversation Cybal and I had and I smiled at the thought of how she had said one of us needed to apologize and it would all be okay.. At the time, I thought that she was wrong because I had already apologized plenty and nothing seemed to become of it, but it never occurred to me that perhaps Isaiah needed to be the one to say sorry, as well.. I guess she was right after all.

“Do you want more kids?” I asked, seeing him buttoning his vest and he looked up to me with a warm smile.

“Of course, Oliver, especially if you do,” he replied.

“You don’t think we already have our hands full enough as it is?”  I asked, seeing him then stand and secure his pants.

“Do you think we do?” He answered me with a question and I finished buttoning up my shirt before replying. 


“I think even if I said yes to that question, I’d still want another..” I said with a smirk, looking up from my buttons and Isaiah kept the same smile on his lips. He stepped over towards me, his hands slowly sliding over my hips and around to my back, pulling me close and kissing me for a long, sweet moment before pulling away.

“You seriously make me so happy, Oliver. We’ll talk to Cybal about it soon, all right?” He suggested and I nodded happily, Isaiah pulling me into another quick kiss, “Let’s head home,” he added and I agreed, waiting for him to shut off the lights in his office and I then accompanied him downstairs where he shut everything else off, as well as locked the doors behind us and we drove home separately.


As I drove home, I couldn’t keep the smile off my lips, nor could I keep myself from glancing continuously in the rear view mirror to see Isaiah driving along calmly a few car lengths back. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to find someone so perfect for me, so understanding and completely infatuated with me, but luckily this time, it was an infatuation that went both ways. Finally, the past was in the past and there was nothing to do now but look forward and continue to plan out this life I’ve worked so hard to preserve.. It was time to actually start living without a shred of doubt or shame or secrets, and it felt damn good to have reached the calm after the wild storm that’s been my life up until now. 


I drove through a yellow and Isaiah caught the red, forcing him to stop and he wasn’t following so close any longer, but he’d only be a little under a minute behind me. A few blocks later, I was coming up to our house and I pulled into the driveway, shutting my lights off and parking the car. I sat there for a moment, trying to think of a way I could surprise him in the little time that I had before he got here, but I couldn’t commit to anything so quickly.. Should I go in and leave a trail of my clothes leading to the bedroom? Should I grab the strawberries from the fridge so our evening could end sweeter than anticipated? I couldn’t decide, but either way, I’ll just pick something at random when I got inside, knowing Isaiah would like anything that I’d try to surprise him with, anyhow..

I got out of my car and shut the door, locking it by pressing a button on my keys and it beeped to let me know it was locked,  then stepping up to the front door as I fumbled with the keys in my hand to unlock it..


“Excuse me?” A deep voice came up from behind me and I dropped my keys from being startled, turning around quickly and it was a little difficult to make out who was talking to me through the dark.


“Uhm.. Ca-can I help you?” I asked with worry, slowly bending down to pick up my keys and standing back up.

“Are you Oliver Dubois?” The man asked, his voice sounding broken, weak, even a little angry, if I dared to say so..

“Sorry, I-I don’t know who you’re talking about,” I replied with an uneasy smirk, already hating that the stranger knew my name, but when I stepped backwards closer to my front door, our motion sensor porch light turned on and the one who was talking to me was shown in the bright light.


My eyes widened slowly when I looked at the man, feeling as if I knew him from somewhere and that I had seen him before, but I couldn’t pin point from where.. Have I even seen him before? His eyes.. Those piercing blue eyes.. He reminded me someone..

The man stepped closer, “You are Oliver Dubois,” he confirmed to himself and my heart started to race, “For the past six years, I’ve been trying to think of what I would do when I would finally meet you.. I didn’t think I’d go through with it as I waited for you to get home, but.. The moment I saw you, it all became clear to me and I knew I needed to do this for my children.. My son and my daughter, ” he added and before I could even understand what he was saying, I saw him lunge towards me and I sharp pain pierced my abdomen, gasping immediately from what I felt.


I froze where I stood as my mouth hung open, my jaw trembling as I panted in fright at first, but then I felt nothing but a coursing pain as I looked into his eyes.. I then looked down briefly, seeing a knife plunged into the center of my lower torso and red began to slowly stain my white button-up shirt.

“You’re the reason my son is dead, and I know you’re the reason my daughter is missing, I just know you are!” He said angrily through clenched teeth, “And now.. You get the same fate of being taken before your time,” he added and as I stared into his eyes, I suddenly knew them.. They were the same eyes that Thomas had.. That Jody had.. Even August’s eyes had changed from when he was little from looking like mine to looking like his mothers.. Why can’t I ever escape those eyes that haunted me?


“Y-You’re..” I couldn’t complete my sentence, let alone say another word, feeling the knife slowly withdraw from being plunged into me and I let out a pain-filled whimper as I then dropped to my knees.. So this is what being stabbed felt like..

“You took my children away from me, so I’m going to take you away from yours,” he added as he still stood before me, seeing my own blood dripping off of the knife he used and when I looked down, the entire bottom of my shirt was soaked in a deep, wet red..


I then fell to my left, unable to hold myself up and I grew light-headed as a blinding white light made it so I could barely see a thing, but black is what soon consumed my vision. I heard the shuffle of his feet, no doubt running away from what he had done and I laid there in awe as I panted heavily. My head was spinning, consciousness slowly drifting, and I felt myself quickly growing cold as my body went limp and the side of my face met the cool ground.. I guess I really just can’t get away from those damn eyes..