Generation 4, Chapter 20, Finale Pt 1 of 2

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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..”

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“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?”

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“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..

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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..

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“..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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“..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?”

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“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.

“Good..”

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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.

“Already?”

“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.

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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. 

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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..

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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..?

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“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.

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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..

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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..

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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.

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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..

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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..

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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.

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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.

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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..

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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.

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“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.

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“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?

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“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.

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“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.

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“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. 

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“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..

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“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.

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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.

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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. 

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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?

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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..

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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.

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“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.. 

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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. 

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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“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.

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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. 

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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..

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“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.

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“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.

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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.

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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?

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“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..

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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..

Generation 4, Chapter 17

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I decided not to go with the plan my uncle had told me to go with in telling Isaiah that Jody had died during the birth of my son.. There had been fliers up around town with her picture on them stating she was missing, so I told Isaiah that after she gave birth to my son, she left him for me to take care of and skipped town. Before I had brought my son home, Detective Winchester paid Isaiah and I a visit to ask a few more questions, but we didn’t, and couldn’t, give her anything she needed as far as leads.. Isaiah had never even met Jody before, or even knew that she looked like, so he was no help to the detective, though since I had been involved with Jody, she asked me a few things that she didn’t bother asking Isaiah. But, I stuck with what I had originally told her, that Jody and I hadn’t seen one another in a while, and even after her brother had attacked Isaiah, I still hadn’t heard from her, nor did I take any measures as far as to contact her. I told the detective that perhaps the death of her brother hit her harder than any of us could imagine and she skipped town.. Thankfully, the detective had already thought that, too, before I had even mentioned it, and she never did find Jody, nor did she come back to ask Isaiah and I any more questions after that.. I still wonder to this day what Ezra and my Uncle Gareth did with her body..

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It’s been two years since then.. Isaiah never questioned what I had told him, he just felt a little sorry for my son since he’d grow up without his mother. But, I told him we were all the parents he needed, and I think he was too distracted to care anymore about Jody since he knew I hated her, I knew he hated her, too, for knowing what she had done to me, but most importantly, I think he just really loved that we had a baby in our place now, since he was always a huge fan on having kids. Isaiah and I picked out a name for him together, August Bryce Dubois, and it was great seeing how quickly Isaiah warmed up to him when I brought him home.. It was rather instant, actually.. He even sometimes spent more time with August than I did, but it wasn’t because I didn’t want to spend time with him, I just had less time to than Isaiah did with my new job.

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Instead of going into my Residency like I had planned to my whole college career, I decided to go into something more personal and less invasive since I still couldn’t handle blood too well.. Just the thought of it after what I had done to Jody made it worse, if anything.. In the end, I had helped Isaiah to the best of my ability in him healing from his broken ribs and he seems to be even better than he was before he broke them.. Spiritual-wise more so than physically, I guess, with how supportive and patient I was through his recovery. I enjoyed helping him so much that when he suggested I go into Physical Therapy instead of becoming a doctor, I thought it was a really great idea. I loved helping people, and although I never became the doctor I had wanted to be, being a physical therapist was a much better outlet for me, and I enjoyed doing it immensely. 

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“Oliver, you awake up there?” Isaiah called out from downstairs as I got dressed in our bedroom.

“Yeah.”

“Come down here, I wanna show you something!”

“All right, I’ll be right down!” I called back, “Are you ready to go already?” I questioned.

“Yeah, we’re just waiting on you!” He answered and I rolled my eyes with a smirk.

I spoke under my breath so he couldn’t hear me, “Well, if you had woken me up sooner, I wouldn’t be making us late,” I said with an accompanied soft chuckle. I had no idea where he was taking August and I today, I guess it was a surprise, but I was pretty excited for whatever it was. Isaiah said it was an all day event that he had planned and I really loved that he always tried to put so much effort in us spending time together despite our busy schedules. 

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Just a few months ago, Isaiah and I finally got married. With all of the stress of my new job, especially with Isaiah thinking about expanding and trying to buy another bar somewhere else to open, as well as raising August on our tight schedules, we never really found time to plan a big wedding. It wouldn’t have been a big wedding anyways, even if we did find the time to plan one, but we didn’t bother finding a church, since neither one of us are very religious, and we chose to just do something small and simple in the end. We got married at the courthouse in town on a random Saturday afternoon and Isaiah closed down his bar so we could have a private reception. Camilla came home from France, my uncle and aunt came, as well as James and Kat, and a handful of James and I’s friends from school. No one from Isaiah’s family came, but then again, he was never close to his parents, especially after he had come out.. He only invited his waitresses, his manager Gavin, and a few regular bar-buddies that he had grown a decent friendship with over the few years he had been living here. For our honeymoon, we went to Japan for a week, something I had always wanted to do ever since I met Isaiah and we had a rather unforgettable time there together.. I always knew Isaiah could speak Japanese, but he never spoke it around me, and hearing it for myself in Tokyo and seeing how well he knew everywhere we went was still surprising and impressive.. Also, quite the turn on.. I hoped to go back with him some day again soon.

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After I got ready and came downstairs, I saw Isaiah sitting at the computer with August and I took him from sitting on Isaiah’s lap, “There’s my big guy,” I said with a joyful smile and he seemed happy the moment I picked him up. I then looked over towards Isaiah, “You shouldn’t let him sit so close to the computer like that, he’ll need glasses by the time he’s three,” I worried.

“And what’s so bad about wearing glasses?” He asked with a smug grin on his lips and I smirked.

“Nothing, but you know what I meant,” I pointed out and he chuckled, leaning down to kiss him briefly.

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“So, what did you want to show me before we go?” I asked after pulling away from our kiss and he sat up more excitedly.

“Oh, yeah! Here, look at her,” he pointed out, bringing up a profile on the computer and I looked at a rather attractive woman with dark blue eyes and black hair.

“What about her?” I asked and he sighed.

“Don’t play dumb, you know what this is for.”

“I don’t want to talk about it in front of Augie, he’ll think we’re replacing him or something,” I replied as I went to the couch and set down August, then walked around the living room, picking up his toys.

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“Oliver, he has absolutely no clue what we’re talking about, not for at least another year or two. You said you were ready for us to have a child together but you turn down every surrogate that I show you.. This one seems perfect, though. She’s already had two kids so she knows what pregnancy is like, she’s open to any type of couple looking for a baby, she’s Spanish, so that even gives the kids a chance to learn a new language and that’s never a bad thing. She’s been a nanny since she was thirteen so she could probably even help us out if we’re ever in a tight situation and need someone to watch them.. She has a lot of experience with kids and this type of thing, not to mention she’s completely gorgeous, and how is that not a plus?” He argued a good point.

“I know I agreed to it, but I can’t just look at someone’s profile and say yes or no.. It’s not that easy,” I argued back.

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“I’m glad you think that, because I set up a meet with her later today,” he replied and I stopped myself, turning around to look at him.

“You did what?” I asked in a slightly demanding manner and he stood from the computer chair to come over towards me.

“Oliver, I know you’re picky and I am, too, but you’re being a little too picky when it comes to this. I set up the meeting because it’s exactly like you said, we can’t say yes or no just by looking at a profile, but you’ve still been saying no a lot.. We have to meet them in person, right? So, what’s so bad about meeting this one? If you don’t like her, we can keep looking, but please, just meet at least one of them.. If you don’t, how are we ever going to make a decision?” He asked and I dropped my gaze for a moment. I knew he was right, but what I didn’t know was that after I had said yes to looking for a surrogate, I started to hate the idea of dealing with another woman pregnant with my baby.. But, it wasn’t only just mine now, it was both Isaiah’s and mine, which made me that much more nervous and hesitant, even a little protective in an odd way.

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“Hey, look at me,” he instructed and my eyes met his, “I know what you went through, but this isn’t going to be like that. This woman wants to give a baby to a couple that wants it, she wants to help people just like you do with your job, it’s just in a different way and for different reasons. The moment she signs the paperwork and the moment she’s pregnant, that baby is ours and she can’t do anything about it. I’m not saying she will, but I’m saying you have nothing to worry about. Look at August, look at where he is now and look how happy he is. Don’t you want more of that? Don’t you want him to have siblings? Not everyone is going to be like Her, Oliver.. You’re not going to go the rest of your life not having another child because you don’t think you can trust another woman who’s carrying your baby, right? Our baby?” He asked and I shook my head.

“No, I won’t.. I’m sorry, it’s just.. It’s taking me longer than I expected to get used to the idea, that’s all.. I’m just really nervous about it,” I explained and he smiled softly.

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“I know, but you’re never going to get over that fear if you don’t meet the woman that could be perfect for this.. For us.. Just meet this one and if you don’t like her, we’ll find someone else. It’s as simple as that,” he reassured me and I nodded in agreement.

“Okay..”

“Thank you,” he continued, watching him lean in and he kissed me for a long moment before pulling away.

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“Besides, she lives around the area I’m taking you two, today,” he continued after our kiss and I grew more suspicious, even though he had just calmed my mind a little.

“..What is that supposed to mean?” I asked and he smiled.

“Nothing, just-” He stopped for a moment, putting his hands to my arms and rubbing them comfortingly, “Just be open-minded today, okay? Promise me?” He asked and now I knew this wasn’t just a family outing, but he had something planned to show me and to convince me on.

“I hate surprises.. I thought today was going to be a family day or something, but now I know you probably want to talk me into something that you know I’ll say no to,” I replied and I could tell from his expression that he didn’t mean for me to figure it out right away.

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“Did I mention how much I love you? And how much I love your new haircut and how sexy you look? And how perfect you are?” He tried to butter me up and although I felt my cheeks getting a little warm from his flattery, I still held my reluctant expression, “Please, Oliver?” He questioned and I sighed heavily, now not excited at all about today like I had been so much before, but I still tried to be open-minded, like he had asked.

“Fine..” I reluctantly agreed and he only smiled more, kissing me briefly with excitement, then going to August sitting on the couch and picking him up, ready to leave and I followed Isaiah out of the condo.

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We no longer took cabs everywhere and we finally bought a car together, mostly out of convenience. Ever since I took up my physical therapy, I’ve been needing to do a lot of driving, seeing as I sometimes had many appointments within one day, one appointment having the potential of being across town from the next, and a car for me just made more sense rather than spending all of our money on cab fair. I usually would have an appointment in the early morning, get back to the condo to spend some time with August and Isaiah before Isaiah went to work at three, where I would then drop him off, then drop off August at a small day-care, go to another appointment until around six at night, pick up August afterwards, take him to the old townhouse for Kat and James to spend time with him, go to another appointment around seven until nine or ten, then pick up August, then Isaiah, and come home.. I was so busy those days, which were almost every weekend and sometimes weekends, if need be, and we really just needed a car for me to get around.

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Isaiah drove the entire way to wherever the hell we were going, which I had noticed from our trip from home, southern Oregon, led into the northern part of California and we followed the coast the entire way, palm trees lining the roads as well as the glorious, blue, clear Pacific ocean to our right.

“Isaiah.. Where are we going?” I eventually asked, still suspicious of him.

“Just wait, we’re almost there,” he replied, looking over to me with a smile that I knew told me he was excited for whatever he had planned, and although I wanted to ask more questions, I knew they’d be as vague as the answer he had just given me.

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After another half an hour of driving, Isaiah eventually pulled into a driveway of a rather stunning home. I assumed, as well as hoped, we were going to a nice park for August to play at, or some sort of beach or somewhere for a nice, relaxing lunch, but I was wrong.. I got out of the car and I took August out from the backseat, holding him as I looked at a rather refined neighborhood and when Isaiah had gotten out of the car, as well, I looked to him with a rather confused expression..

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“What are we doing? Who lives here?” I asked.

“No one, but we could,” he implied, pointing towards the ‘for sale’ sign in the front lawn that I hadn’t noticed and I then looked at him as if to ask, ‘are you serious’? But Isaiah didn’t like my expression, Don’t give me that look, you promised to be open-minded, remember?” He teased with a grin and I was still reluctant.. What the hell was this? A new house? Why? I liked where we lived, I liked where things were in our relationship and our little family we had, so why did we need a new place to live?

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I walked to the front of the car and looked at the house with scrutiny, which Isaiah seemed to notice, “Don’t look at it like that.. You know I’ve been wanting to expand a little and my kind of bar in this area is a really perfect location,” he expressed and I held August close to my shoulder as he grew tired and comfortable in my arms.

“Isaiah.. I don’t want two homes, I thought we were done with traveling without one another and being apart for long periods of time.. It’s not good for us or for August,” I replied.

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“We won’t be apart. Even though my first bar is back in Oregon, the new one here can become my main concern. Gavin has really proved himself, especially after he took over handling the bar while I recovered from my injury and I want to promote him to taking care of that bar while I take care of the one I want here.. It only took us a little over an hour to get here, so even if I had to go to the one up north, even for a little bit, I can be back in an hour if you ever need me for anything. You know I want to expand, so why not in Cali? Right on the coast, at that?” He tried to convince, “This place is big, it has four bedrooms, three baths.. And, it has a pool,” he said with a rather sensual, coaxing tone, knowing that I loved swimming and I started to like the idea a little more, but I still wasn’t convinced.. Why so many rooms?

“How many kids do you want, Isaiah?” I asked with a rather baffled tone, but before he could answer me, a car pulled into the driveway behind us and soon a woman approached us.

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“Gentleman! So glad to meet you!” She exclaimed, “You must be Isaiah,” she went to him first and I knew then that he had spoken to her before, at least more than once, to get this kind of showing for a house of this magnitude, “And you must be Oliver, so nice to meet you,” she said next and I finally brought my worried eyes away from Isaiah to look at her and shake her hand, “Well, now that we’re here, let me convince you to buy this house,” she said with humor, an uppity attitude that I didn’t much care for given the mood I was already in, but when I looked back to Isaiah, he seemed extremely happy and I followed a few feet behind them as we all walked towards the house.

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Isaiah took August from me when we had entered the house, assuming he wanted me to connect with it all on my own with no distractions and we first saw the kitchen straight ahead of us when we walked in. I didn’t much care for it at all, but I guess it was something we could change if we were to move in.. The dining room was to the right of us as well as a small hallway, then we went down the hallway to the large master bedroom on the first floor with an incredible bathroom. 

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After seeing the first floor and me constantly trailing behind Isaiah, August and the Realtor a good few feet, I saw the other three rooms upstairs that were very spacious, something that I liked.. I really loved large, separate rooms, seeing as Camilla and I shared a room ever since she was born.. When my Aunt Nina had taken Kat into her custody and I only saw her on the weekends growing up, I had taken my Dad’s old room upstairs at the dock house where there was no door, just a staircase and an open room, and I hated being woken up late at night by hearing my uncle bring home random girls, usually completely drunk.. I could even sometimes hear what they were doing in his room and with me being a light sleeper, it was always difficult to get a good nights sleep.. I liked my privacy, but never got the chance at having any, so I thought it might be okay for August, as well, and if Isaiah and I ever decided on a surrogate we liked enough to have more kids, they’d really love their own space.. The feel of the entire house, too, was so welcoming and warm, so ‘beach’ like.. It really made me like it, even though I never gave it away in my demeanor in every room we visited when Isaiah would look at me and try to decipher for himself if I was liking what I was seeing.

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However, when the Realtor finally took us to the backyard, I fell in love with the pool, as well as the ability to get to the beach easily with an open fence.. There was also a guest house to the right of the lot that would work perfectly for August when he would get older, obviously needing space as he grew from his other siblings, if Isaiah and I were to have any more kids.. But, then again, I don’t know why I questioned so much that Isaiah and I would have more children.. I knew he wanted his own child with me, I knew he wanted a big family, so this big of a house seemed rather perfect, but again, how many kids did he really want to the point where we needed a four bedroom house, plus a guest house? It just seemed like so much room.. Too much room.

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The Realtor finished her showing and she left Isaiah and I alone for a while, letting us decide on the house and talk about it together, “So, what do you think?” Isaiah asked with a large smile on his lips as I held a rather blank look on my face.

“I.. I don’t know.. It seems really big, doesn’t it?” I asked, looking over at Isaiah, “How much is it?” I wondered, watching him set down August in the soft grass to play with one of his toys and he then walked back over towards me.

“Don’t focus on the price, just focus on the space and the convenience.. Only a few blocks further down the coast is a perfect location for my new bar, there’s more of a populous in California for you as far as your physical therapy, it’s only a little over an hour away from my original bar and our condo, which we could either keep or sell.. If we keep it and if worse comes to worse and I need to stay for a few days, I can stay at the condo. I know you’re worried about money and distance and everything in between, but it just seems like a perfect fit to me.. Plus, the surrogate I told you about earlier lives no more than fifteen minutes from here,” he replied.

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“And what makes you so sold on the surrogate?” I challenged.

“I don’t know, she just sells me, I can’t describe it. Oliver, you’ve said ‘no’ to so many that I’ve showed you, but I think that during that time, too, you’ve showed me what you like and don’t like, and I’ve found a woman that seems the most acceptable to you, plus with her background and everything, it just seems like a good fit. I just think you’ll like her out of everyone that I’ve showed you, since she’s the first one I’ve showed you that you haven’t said no to immediately.. You seem to like very gorgeous, dark haired women with green or blue eyes, and with a little color to their skin.. I don’t know.. It’s just based on everything you’ve said no to, she seems like the one you’d say yes to,” he answered and I hadn’t realized I had been giving him clues to what I had liked the most in a woman when it came to looks.. I didn’t want him to get the wrong idea about any of this..

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“I’m sorry..”

“For what..?”

“I mean.. I don’t want you to think I need to be attracted to them in order to decide on a surrogate,” I replied and I could tell from his face that he never even thought that, which made me feel pretty stupid.

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“Oliver, that’s not it.. I’m just thinking it’s what you want when it comes to our children. I’m not jealous, if that’s what you’re thinking, and I’m not worried that you’ll like her more than me. I know you love me,” he answered as he wrapped his arms around me.

“..Are you sure?”

“Yeah, I’m sure.. Know how? Because I’m the only one that can work you the way you like it,” he implied and my face flushed red.

“Shut up..” I said with a smirk and I heard him chuckle.

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“Don’t worry about that right now, because I’m sure as hell not.. Just worry about the family we want to start. I look at it more as you wanting our children to be fucking gorgeous, because this surrogate is, not to mention so are you,” he implied again and I smirked as he held me, “Just think about what we’re going to do here.. When we’re home, we can play in the pool or take them to the beach, the neighborhood is really nice and safe and there’s parks everywhere, the school is amazing and we can go to the city as much as we want since it’s not too far from here.. Just thinking about it makes me so, so happy. I want so many kids with you that we’re up to our necks in them,” he continued and I laughed softly again, “Come on.. We can’t live in that tiny condo forever, especially if we want more than one child.. A four bedroom house is perfect, plus a guest house, huh? Not to mention a pool?” He implied slightly, holding me tighter and I could feel his breath on the back of my neck, “We can make so many memories in the pool,” he expressed flirtatiously and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end from his words.

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I turned around in his arms, facing him and he still held a smile that I loved, “I’ll try to get used to it, to a big family, but I’m still not sold on the surrogate until we meet her.. Which, actually, brings me back to the question I asked before.. How many kids do you want, exactly?” I asked and I watched as he thought for a moment, still a big smile on his face.

“I don’t know.. Five?” He answered and my expression went blank.

Including August, or not..?”

“..Not..?” He more so asked, testing the water with me, but I knew that’s exactly what he wanted.

“Jesus, Isaiah..”

“Don’t do that! Don’t hate the idea now that I told you a number!” He asked desperately with a laugh and I smirked.

“That’s just.. A lot. I don’t know any other way to say it..”

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“How about.. Comfortingly plentiful? Or-”

“Restlessly abundant?” I added and he sighed softly.

“You said you’d be open-minded today,” he reminded and I lost my smirk, feeling a little bad about how I was acting so negatively towards everything, “Just think about it, okay?” He asked and I eventually nodded in agreement, “I love you, Oliver. I love August, this house, this neighborhood, this life.. I don’t want to waste anymore time getting what we want and getting to where we want to be together. Everything that you’re worried about, we can get through it. Do you believe me?” He asked and my smirk returned to my lips.

“I believe you,” I replied and the expression he held was so calmed and adoring, I couldn’t help but lean in and kiss him.

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Isaiah was so confident and adamant about all of this.. He had such a big heart and so much love to give, just not enough outlets, and I admit that I wanted to give that to him.. He deserved it, he deserved everything that he wanted and if I trust his logic and his judgement, which I highly did, I knew everything would work out and we could get passed any obstacle in our way. I loved the house, it turned from being a rather big shock to a pleasant surprise in the end.. Now, all I had to get through was meeting the surrogate.

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After seeing the house, Isaiah, August and I got back into the car and it was off to a cafe to meet the surrogate, “Are you nervous?” Isaiah wondered as he drove.

“A little..”

“Well, don’t be. Just think of it as we’re the ones interviewing her, not the other way around. Ask as many questions as you’d like, even personal ones.. I’m sure she’d understand and want to provide us with answers,” he replied, “If there’s a single thing that you don’t like, then we can just move on to the next surrogate, it’s not a big deal.”

“I don’t even know what to ask her.. Maybe I’ll just let you do all the talking, you do this stuff all the time with new servers at your bar.. I don’t even know where to start..”

“Well, you’re self-employed, too, Oliver.. What do your patients ask you before deciding on whether or not they want you to do their physical therapy?”

“Nothing, really.. I ask them for their medical information so I can understand what they had surgery on or what they want to achieve as far as their mobility. I then try to cater to their needs to the best of my ability and if they like what I do and if it shows progress, then we stick with making more appointments. It mostly goes off first impressions and a follow-up meeting, then we start the therapy..”

“They don’t just hire you right off the bat with how sexy you are?” He joked rhetorically and I felt my cheeks blush, Isaiah then laughing softly, “It’s the exact same thing in this case, though. You can ask her about her medical history, how sexually active she is, how many partners she’s had-”

“No way, that’s too personal..”

“Not at all! We want to know that. We don’t want her to be getting plowed every weekend by a different person if she’s carrying our baby, or even before she does.. She needs to be clean, too, Oliver.”

“You don’t need to say it so grotesquely.. And I know, but.. I’ll just leave those questions to you..” I answered and I heard him chuckle.

“You’re too cute when you’re shy and embarrassed,” he replied and I rolled my eyes.

“Just drive..”

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We arrived at the cafe, about ten minutes from the house for sale, and we waited at our table outside for the surrogate to show up, bouncing August on my knee, “What’s her name?” I asked.

“Cybal Flores,” he replied, “Pretty name, huh?”

“Yeah, I guess,” I answered simply.

“Hmm.. I told her to meet us around two, she’s a little late,” he said with worry.

“She’s already losing points,” I teased and he glared at me and how my optimism was wearing out, “What? Being on time to a meeting as important as this, I think, is pretty substantial..”

“She has two kids, Oliver, there’s plenty of reasons for her to be late,” he advised and I chose to not answer him, taking that time to look away and pay attention to August again.

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After about ten more minutes of waiting, I heard the sound of heals clacking on the sidewalk quickly and it sounded like they were headed in our direction, looking up from August and I saw the woman that Isaiah had showed me a picture of earlier approaching us, “Oh, dios mío! Perdóname! I’m so late!” She exclaimed with a wildly Spanish accent, walking straight up to Isaiah who stood immediately from his chair to greet her.

“Don’t worry about it, we weren’t here long. It’s great to finally meet you. I’m Isaiah, and this is my husband, Oliver, and our son, August,” he replied, introducing the two of us, as well, but I didn’t bother to stand and greet her like Isaiah had done.

“Nice to meet you,” I added as we shook hands over the table.

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“And you, too!” She replied as she set down her bag, then looked to August and her eyes lit up, “Guau! Look at this little one! He is so beautiful,” she exclaimed towards him and stepped over towards us, bending down and shaking his tiny hand, “Encantada de conocert, August,” she spoke and I hated to admit that her accent, as well as her language, was quite the turn on.. Her picture didn’t do her beauty justice, either.. Seeing her in person, she really was quite beautiful and I started to feel my cheeks get a little warm from her being so close, especially when her sapphire eyes came up to meet mine.

“Why don’t you, uhm.. Take a seat and we can get started,” I offered and she smiled and nodded in agreement, standing from her bent down position and taking a seat across the table from Isaiah and I.

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“Finally, we meet,” Isaiah began and it led me to believe that they had talked already, perhaps even a few times before they set up the meeting.

“Sí, finally,” she agreed with a warm smile.

“Well, we can start by you telling us a bit about yourself?” Isaiah offered and she obliged.

“I was born in España, I lived there until I was about seventeen, then I came here with my mother and father and I love the States. I’m twenty five, I had my first child at twenty and my second at twenty two, so they’re still young. August is about two years old, sí?” She asked and I was a little impressed by her guess.

“Yeah, he is.. Good eye,” Isaiah answered, “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but are you married or have a boyfriend?”

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“No, neither.. After I had my children with my ex-boyfriend, he grew very physical with me, as well as with them, too. He had a bit of a drinking problem, so I left him and got full custody of my children. The whole situation left me and my children pretty exhausted, so I don’t believe I’ll go looking for love anytime soon,” she said with a weak smile.

I frowned from her story, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” I expressed in sorrow for her.

“Yeah, that’s awful,” Isaiah added.

“It’s okay.. I have my children and my life, so I am a lucky woman,” she replied and I smirked to her response, looking over to Isaiah and I knew just from his excited expression that he already loved her to death.

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“If this is too strong of a question, then perdóname, but is August from a surrogate, as well?” She asked and I lost the smirk I had just gained.

“Oh, uh.. No,” Isaiah took initiative in replying, knowing I’d be uncomfortable answering, “Oliver had August with a woman be knew, but she left him in Oliver’s care. Their relationship was, uhm..” He tried his hardest to tread lightly on the subject, “Unrequited..? And I don’t dare use the ‘a’ word in my explanation because of how much of a gift August is now, but.. That’s where he came from,” he explained, not wanting to use ‘accident’ in front of August, even if he wouldn’t understand, but I thought he had handled that better than I thought I could.

“Lo siento, I didn’t mean to ask something that brought up bad memories, I was only curious,” she apologized with obvious concern and I smirked, nodding softly to her apology and forgiving her, “He does have those beautiful blue eyes of yours, though,” she complimented and I smiled as I looked to August on my lap, mostly trying to hide the flattery that was written all over my face, as well as adoring Augie’s glorious blue eyes, myself.. Jody had extremely blue eyes, almost oceanic, in a way, almost the same color as mine, but I believed mine were much more bluer, and I felt that August had gotten my eyes instead of hers.. The fact that Cybal realized that made me like her more, in a way..

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“Lo siento, again, but.. You two are.. Well.. Sorry if this is straight forward, but, you two are so, so guapo,” she expressed and I knew it had to have meant something nice, looking to Isaiah with a smile on his lips and he noticed how I didn’t know what she meant.

“Handsome,” he translated for me and I felt my cheeks warm in flattery once more with a smirk on my lips.

We all could make some very beautiful children, and you both seem like such nice, caring people, I would very much love to provide you both with what you are looking for,” she continued.

“Well, I don’t want to speak for the both of us right now, since Oliver is a little more difficult to convince, but.. I, myself, couldn’t agree more,” Isaiah said with a noble smile.

“Oh! Actually, I know you requested my medical forms and here they are.. They almost slipped my mind,” she provided, pulling a thin binder out from her purse, “I’m clean, have no STD’s, I’m healthy, my cervix and my womb are actually really healthy, too,” she expressed with a slightly embarrassed giggle, as if she was bragging, in a way, though she was still completely open enough to be honest with us.. I really enjoyed her personality, “Sorry, I’m just proud of my capability.. I’m very ready to give you both children,” she continued confidently.

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Isaiah only took a moment to look over the paperwork, but he handed them to me soon after scanning over them, knowing I’d be able to read them a little better given my background and I looked at it a little more closely than he did. I took all the time I needed, making complete sure that she really was a healthy woman and making sure not to look over anything that may stick out or be important. The table was silent as I looked over her history and Isaiah broke the ice, probably noticing that my seriousness when it came to her medical chart was making Cybal nervous..

“Oliver was studying to be a doctor in college, but he chose to go into Physical Therapy, instead.. I don’t really know how to read those charts and such, so he’s the one I trust to let me know if you’re as healthy as you say you are.. Don’t be nervous, he’s just being thorough,” he comforted and she chuckled softly.

“Gracias.. It actually was making me a little nervous,” she replied and I looked up from the chart, seeing her expression a little anxious, but I smiled.

“She’s good, very healthy,” I confirmed and they both seemed pleased by my verdict.

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“So, you really do think you can provide us with children?” I asked rather blatantly.

“Sí, I can give you and Isaiah a child, I would love nothing more,” she confirmed.

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“But, can you truly give what Isaiah and I want? We have a big family in mind and I don’t want to keep looking for a new surrogate every time we want a child, so I guess what I’m asking is, if we want more than one baby, more than three, even, would you be open into sticking with us?” I asked and I could tell by the look on Isaiah’s face that he liked my question, as well as my contribution to the conversation since I hadn’t been talking all that much.

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“Ambos son lo más importante.. ‘You both are what’s most important’,” she translated, “Isaiah has already told me that you two plan on having a large family and I know how stressful it can be to look for a surrogate, but if you like me after this and we have good chemistry, which I believe we already have, I would love to provide you two with what you want. I’m in it for the long run, so it doesn’t matter how many kids you want, as long as I can provide it for you two, I am happy,” she explained and I loved her answer. She seemed very genuine and although I’ve been fooled before by a pretty face and nice words, I felt that she was different and I felt that I could trust her.

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“Well, do you have any questions for us?” Isaiah wondered.

“Yes, uhm.. Where do you live now?”

“We live about an hour away up in southern Oregon, but we looked at a house today about ten minutes from here and are thinking about moving,” Isaiah replied, looking to me with a smile and I smirked in return, “So, we’ll be close by very soon.”

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“Maravilloso! It is very important to me that you are close by.. Should anything happen to me or the baby, it is good to know that you can be there quickly should I ever need either of you,” she answered, “I was also wondering how much you two were willing to go as far as all of the medical bills, I am able to pay some, but-”

“No, you’re not going to spend a dime. We’ll pay for everything,” Isaiah insisted, “It’s our baby and we’re going to get the best treatment possible to ensure that the baby and you do well through it all.. It’s the least we could do for you since you’re so willing to help us start a family,” he continued and she smiled.

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“Gracias, that’s very generous and thoughtful of you,” she replied, picking up her bag on her arm, “If there are no more questions, then I’m sorry to rush off like this, but I need to go pick up my children from their abuelos,” she began, standing from her seat.

“Oh, of course, don’t let us keep you,” Isaiah answered, standing from his chair and I followed his lead in standing, as well, picking up August into my arms, “It was so nice to finally meet you, we’ll definitely be in touch,” he continued and I nodded in agreement.

“Bueno, I look forward to all of this, and thank you for meeting with me,” she expressed.

“Likewise,” Isaiah answered and we watched as she walked off quickly to go pick up her kids.

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“Sooo?” He asked my opinion, “What’d you think?”

“I, uh.. I thought she was really nice and I liked her personality, she seemed very genuine.. I like that she’s willing to stick with us, too, if we want more than one kid.. That’s a pretty big deal,” I replied.

“I agree. What else did you like?” He asked, almost trying to imply something.

“Uhm.. I don’t know, her accent was kinda neat, I like the idea more now of our kids being able to possibly pick up another language, if we choose to keep her around them. She was very healthy, too, which is obviously a plus,” I continued.

“Is that it?”

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“What else do you want?”

“Well, maybe the fact that she’s drop-dead gorgeous?” He expressed.

“Well, yeah.. That too,” I admitted.

“I think we got really lucky with her. It’s okay to call her pretty, Oliver, I won’t get jealous,” he replied and I smirked.

“I kind of like when you get a little jealous,” I teased and he grinned, joining me as I walked back to the car with August.

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After leaving the cafe, Isaiah drove me around the area for a little while, showing me things around the neighborhood for us to do as a family, as well as plenty of places for Isaiah and I to go if we ever needed a date night or some time alone and I liked everything that he had showed me, but I still wasn’t a hundred percent convinced.. It would take me a couple days to decide on everything and fully commit to all of this, unless Isaiah would use his gift of persuasion and I didn’t doubt he’d be able to convince me tonight, if he wanted to. 

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We went home to eat dinner, putting August down for a nap on the couch as Isaiah and I ate together and talked more about Cybal and how much we enjoyed her. After our dinner and cleaning up, however, Isaiah seemed to be a little.. Different. It seemed like the more we talked good about Cybal, which is something I thought he’d like to hear coming from me since I’ve been difficult in choosing a surrogate, the more he seemed to give me fake smiles and empty words. What changed, all of a sudden?

“You okay?” I asked, watching him wash the dishes and he looked at me with a smile and a nod, but I didn’t believe him, “What’s wrong..?”

“Nothing, I’m fine,” he answered simply.

“I know when you’re lying to me,” I stated with a smirk and I watched him finishing the dishes and turning the water off.

“Oh you do, do you? I didn’t know you were a physical therapist by day, polygraph machine by night,” he joked as he dried his hands.

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“You got quieter as dinner went on, not to mention you’ve had this gloomy look on your face the entire time you cleaned the dishes,” I pointed out.

“It’s really nothing, Oliver, it’s just-” He began, but stopped, “It’s nothing.. Do you want any dessert? I think there’s still some pie in the fridge,” he tried to change the subject, but I stopped him from opening it by standing in front of it.

“Please, tell me what it is..”

“I’m just being stupid, don’t worry about it..” He tried to reassure me, but it didn’t work.

“I’m not going to ask again,” I spoke sternly, knowing just from the look in his eyes that he knew there was no use trying to hide it anymore.

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“Can I ask you something?” He wondered and I nodded, “How attracted to Jody were you? What made you like her at first?” He asked and that was the last question I ever thought would come from his mouth.

“Uhm.. I-I don’t know.. She was just.. A short, blonde haired, blue-eyed girl, like how most of the girls around here look. She was just cute and I liked her, but her showing me her true colors is what made her hideous.. It might be one of the reasons, too, why I’m okay with moving.. Every girl here looks like her and I’m reminded of her a lot,” I replied and he nodded.

“What about Cybal?”

“What about her..?”

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“You think she’s attractive, right?” He asked and I grew confused.

“You said so many times earlier that you weren’t thinking things like this.. Why do you keep asking that? ..Are you really that jealous or something?”

“No.. Well, I don’t know.. You seemed to be getting really flustered around her, that’s all..”

“Sorry, I just kind of get a little nervous around pretty girls, even you still make me nervous, too, though.. Don’t look into it that hard,” I tried to ease his worry.

“See? It’s stupid, I’m being stupid.. It’s nothing, so let’s just drop it,” he answered and I could tell that he was worried about something, but I couldn’t tell exactly what it was, or why he was even jealous.

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“Isaiah, what’s really on your mind?” I asked, noticing him shut down a little and I grew worried, this wasn’t like him at all.

I watched as he stepped over towards the counter, leaning back against it, “Well, don’t you miss it?”

“Miss what..?”

“I don’t know.. I guess, being inside someone?” He continued and I felt my cheeks get warm.

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“To be honest, I don’t really think about it..”

“Really?”

“Yeah..”

“Not even with me?” He implied and my cheeks grew warmer.

“I-I mean.. It’s not like I’ve never thought about it, it’s just.. Not really that important to me-”

“I’d let you, if you wanted to,” he blurt out and I cleared my throat a little roughly.. I wasn’t expecting this kind of conversation.

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“It.. It’s not about that.. This is really what’s bothering you? Because if you’re worried about that, then that is really stupid and you should just stop,” I advised and Isaiah sighed softly.

“So, you’d tell me if you ever wanted to, right?”

“Of course.. Listen.. I look at an attractive woman like I look at a painting, I feel what I feel, but I don’t look at them and immediately think, ‘man, I want to fuck her’.. I only think that when I look at you.”

“I’m not a her..” He said with a sour face.

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“You know what I mean, so stop deliberately trying to make this a fight,” I replied with a little warning, “And what about you? Just ’cause I happen to like both doesn’t mean I want both, I want you.. Don’t you think I get a little uneasy like you do when I see attractive guys pass you by and think that you might want to do the same thing to them that you do to me? It’s human nature, it’s jealously, a self-conscious fear, but it doesn’t make it true just because we think it..” I continued and he gave me a concerned expression, reaching forward to grab my hand.

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“I never think that, I only want you.”

“And it’s the same for me, so why is this bothering you?” I asked with frustration.

“Because.. I only like men, but you like both.. It’s like having twice the competition, therefore twice the worry,” he continued and I thought he was acting ridiculous.

“Why the hell are you worried? I married you, you don’t have to compete with anyone because I’m already yours.. If I ever wanted to do, well.. That.. Then I’d want to with you, no one else, and with no one else but you in mind, understand?” I stressed and I watched him smirk.

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“Let’s do it now, then,” he implied and I felt my face grow hot immediately.

“W-What? Why? No.. August is in the other room and I’m not in the mood,” I replied bashfully.

“Since when are you not in the mood? And we can wait until later, after we put him down in his crib. Let’s just do it-”

“No, I don’t want to,” I replied, pulling away from him and going to leave the kitchen, but he stopped me by grabbing my wrist.

“Oliver, wait! Why? Why can’t you do that with me?”

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“Because!” I replied harshly, pulling my wrist from his grip and facing him, “You’re just being insecure and I feel like this is just your way of telling me that if there’s ever a girl I want to have sex with, I can just do it with you while I think of her or something, but I don’t want to think of anyone else when I’m doing that with you, so it’s just not important to me.. I’m not going to use you as my own person fuck-doll or something while I think about someone else! Just stop thinking about it and get over the fact that I could care less.. Seeing you like this is really a turn-off because you’re so worried of me thinking of women instead of you when it’s not even like that at all, and it never has been!”

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“Yeah, Cybal is gorgeous, that’s what this is all about, right? You’re jealous? You want to make me happy? But I don’t want to have sex her, and I don’t want to fuck you just because you think I’m deprived of being with a woman, but I’m not.. I don’t give a shit about that.. I obviously like what we do together in bed and I’m perfectly fine with sticking with it, you’re the only person I ever want to do that with, you’re the one that got me to like what we do so much in the first place, anyways, so why does it have to change now?” I asked, seeing Isaiah’s expression full of guilt and hearing August beginning to make a fuss for attention in the living room, most likely waking up from me raising my voice, “You’re being completely ridiculous.. Just drop it, all right?” I finished, leaving the kitchen angry and going to get August.

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I picked up August from the couch, holding him close and calming him as I brought him upstairs to his bedroom. After changing him into his pajamas, I thought playing something with him would help me relax a little, “Wanna play something? Hmm? How about we play with your blocks, would you like that?” I asked, bringing him over towards them and setting him down, then sitting across from him on the other side, “Which one goes into here?” I asked, pointing to the square hole and waiting for him to pick the right block, watching him pick up a triangle and hitting it against the wood.

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No, no, no, try this one,” I corrected, pointing to the square and he picked that one up instead, putting it to the hole and it fell in with ease, “Good job, Augie!” I expressed happily and he giggled with joy, clapping his tiny hands. August always cheered me up, even if I was still thinking about what Isaiah had said and dwelling on it, spending time with August helped me calm down a lot so whenever I’d eventually face Isaiah again, I’d be able to with a calmed demeanor. 

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Eventually, after a while of spending time with August and Isaiah never coming upstairs to spend time with us, it reached his bedtime and I noticed his eyelids getting heavier, picking him up within my arms and I bounced and rocked him gently so he would fall asleep easier. As I stood there, staring at him for a long moment, I couldn’t stop thinking about how lucky I was to have all that I did, and especially knowing I was going to have so much more in the near future. Just the idea of having more children was beginning to sound more and more temping and I daydreamed a little about the house Isaiah had showed me today.

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After putting August down in his crib and shutting off the lights in his room, making sure to leave on a nightlight, I walked down the hallway and noticed that it was dark downstairs, knowing then that Isaiah was in our room and most likely either in bed or on the patio and I was a little nervous to face him after what we had discussed.. I knew he had felt bad from how he had acted earlier and even I felt bad for what I had said to him, but it was the truth and I really wished he wouldn’t be so worried about my preference in genders.. I never thought it was an issue until now, especially after hearing him tell me all day today that he wasn’t jealous, but in the end, that’s exactly what he was.. Worried, and jealous.

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When I entered the room, I noticed that Isaiah wasn’t in bed, nor was he in the bathroom, but when I noticed his wedding ring sitting on the dresser in the spot we always left them in so we wouldn’t lose them while we slept, I knew he was up here and he hadn’t left the condo. When I looked towards the patio, the door was open a little and although I couldn’t see out onto the dark patio, I knew he was out there. I contemplated going to bed and leaving him alone, feeling that he needed to apologize to me instead of the other way around, but I hated going to bed feeling like this, like we weren’t okay.. So, after changing out of my clothes into something to sleep in and after removing my wedding ring, too, to place next to his for safe keeping, I made my way towards the patio and stepped outside.

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Isaiah’s POV

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Man, did I feel like such an asshole as I watched Oliver leave the kitchen, wanting to stop him and talk to him more, but I knew he needed to tend to August and by his tone of voice, I knew he didn’t want to talk to me anymore. I knew I’d only make him more angry, too, so I didn’t stop him. I made a complete fool of myself.. He probably thinks I’m such an idiot, and he’s not wrong, either. I didn’t understand his logic, really, or even really knew what he liked at all. I knew he liked women, I knew he liked me, but did he like only me, or men in general, as well? I had never asked him so specifically before.

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After I had watched him leave the kitchen, the frog in my throat, as well as my shame, keeping me from stopping him, I peaked out into the living room and watched him leave to go upstairs with August. After I had then heard August’s bedroom door close, I went to the wine rack, removing a glass as well as my favorite bottle of wine and I poured myself a drink, knowing that whenever these little arguments of ours started, they’d last about an hour or two until we’d talk things out, so I took that time to enjoy, or try to enjoy, a glass of wine in hoping it would make me feel a little better while I gave Oliver the ‘alone’ time I knew he needed. I didn’t do much at all for a long while, mostly just standing by myself in the kitchen, listening to the television in the other room that was still on the kids channel as I sipped my wine and I kept repeating over and over in my head how stupid I was being.. How paranoid and diffident I was being.. He doesn’t hate me for this, does he?

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When about an hour had passed of me dwelling on what Oliver and I had argued about, I finished my small glass of wine, washing out the glass I had used and putting the bottle back into the rack, then shutting off all the lights and went upstairs. I walked down the hallway towards August’s room, putting my ear against the door and I could hear Oliver reading to our little man, knowing he was trying to get him ready for bed, or at least tire him out, and instead of coming inside to wish August goodnight, I left them alone, walking to our bedroom to get ready for bed. 

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I first took off my wedding ring, setting it safely on the dresser and I changed into comfortable sweatpants, removing my jacket and button up shirt, as well, to get ready for bed, but I still wasn’t tired yet.. How could I sleep after what happened? I stepped out onto the back porch, leaving the door open a little and I stepped up to the ledge, looking down at the empty courtyard below me and I sighed heavily, hating that this entire time Oliver and I had been in a bad position and I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep until we fixed this. I knew I needed to apologize, I knew I needed to admit defeat because I was in the wrong, I knew I was, but I still didn’t really understand why. I felt that when I had offered for him to have sex with me in a fashion that he had never partaken in before brought up something in him that made him more uncomfortable.. Maybe it was because I pushed it on him, maybe it was because he was just nervous, but maybe it was because I really was jealous and he didn’t like how desperate I was being. I had never been with a woman before and I never really wanted to be, but I hated knowing that he liked women still when I was a man. I hated knowing I didn’t have something that he liked, so I thought the least I could do was give him that chance to feel what I knew he liked with whatever I had, so I offered being the bottom for once. Sadly, he didn’t take it well at all, which only confused me more.

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I eventually made my way over towards the hanging chairs and I sat there for about another half hour before I had heard any sign of life from Oliver. From the patio door being open, I heard him come into our bedroom and I peaked over my shoulder through the window to see him looking for something, most likely for me, which made me feel only a tiny bit better, but I couldn’t help but think, too, that he was just looking for me so he could figure out how to avoid me. I watched through the window as he changed out of his clothes into more comfortable ones, but I felt a little like a pervert as I watched him without him knowing, even though he was my husband.. I guess I more so felt like I didn’t deserve to look at him, that I didn’t deserve someone so perfect, especially after how I had treated him.. I was so disappointed in myself, he didn’t deserve any of this, and I didn’t deserve him

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When he had looked over towards the windows and the patio, I quickly looked away from him so he didn’t know I had been watching him, a few seconds later hearing him open the patio door and I raised my gaze from the floor up towards him, but then straight back down to the ground immediately in shame. I wasn’t ready to face him yet, I still hated myself and how I had handled things earlier, so I was ultimately just completely embarrassed by how I had acted and I didn’t even know where to start by apologizing.

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I watched him from the corner of my eye, seeing him step up to the ledge and knowing he had his back to me, I looked up more, my eyes traveling up and down him, trying to decipher from his body language if he was still angry, as well as just admiring him in general. I had noticed he had lost quite a bit of weight, or at least some of his muscle definition, since he hadn’t kept up with his swimming during the past year or so and he looked so much smaller than I was used to.. I hadn’t really noticed all that much until now.. His frame still had some muscle to it, but he was so much skinnier than I remembered, his body curved in ways I had never seen before and I wondered briefly if this is what it might feel like to look at a woman’s delicate frame and admire it, to lust after it, but in the end, it still didn’t make a difference.. He was still a man and I still loved his broad, masculine body. I loved the curves of his shoulder blades, the small dimples on either side of his spine near his tailbone, his slender neck, his-

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“I think August would’ve liked to have had his father tell him goodnight before he went to bed,” he pointed out, blindsiding me from my thoughts.

“He did,” I replied, but after I had answered, I knew that was a stupid thing to say.

“Hmph..” Is all he responded with and I was already off to a bad start.

“I’m sorry. I just didn’t want to come into his room and possibly wake him up more when you were trying to get him to sleep,” I corrected myself and Oliver didn’t respond, “Is he asleep now?”

“Yup..” He answered blandly.

“Did he give you any trouble?”

“Nope..” He answered again just as blandly, knowing he was keeping his answers short and I knew then that he was still angry with me. I knew, too, that I needed to apologize as soon as possible, or else these bland words from the love of my life would eventually kill me inside.

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Just from his tone, I knew he was pissed, but I had never seen him like this before.. So serious.. When he looked over his shoulder towards me after a long moment of silence, his brow was furrowed and just his eyes alone, even in this dim lighting, they told me that he was displeased, but more importantly, he looked disappointed.. I couldn’t stand the thought of him being disappointed in me.

“I’m.. I’m sorry, Oliver,” I spoke quietly and I knew I reeked of defeat, the air hanging thick around us, but I hoped he could tell just from my voice how desperate I was to get him back on my side, “I don’t- I-I just.. I can’t explain why this is bothering me so much..” I admitted.

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“How long has it been bothering you?” He asked and I was nervous to tell him the truth, but I did, anyways.

“Ever since we met,” I replied and I could tell he was a little shocked by my answer, “I knew you were straight, or at least I knew you’d never been with a guy before, but.. It’s stupid, I know, I just can’t stop thinking about how you might miss it or something, ’cause I know would if I had experienced it and liked it..”

“You’ve never been with a woman?” He asked and I shook my head ‘no’.

“Never wanted to be, really, or ever felt the urge to be.. There’s just always been one thing on my mind as far as relationships, and that’s men. You like what you like, you know?” asked rhetorically, “I want to give you everything, Oliver, and the fact that I can’t drives me crazy.. I guess I just don’t like feeling that you might not want this anymore eventually, like you’ll get bored of me or something because I don’t have something that you like, so what I was trying to do for you earlier was trying my best to do that for you with what I had,” I continued and I heard him chuckle, something that through me completely off, “What’s funny?” I asked a little defensively.

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“Guess how many women I’ve been with..” He encouraged and I was a little surprised, actually, that we had never talked about this before.

“Uhm, I don’t know.. Five? Ten?”

“Two,” he answered, “Now guess how many times I’ve had sex, just in general, with those women,” he continued and I shrugged.

“I, uh.. I don’t know, Oliver..”

“Two.. Two times, once with each,” he answered and I was a little shocked.

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Now, how many times have we had sex?” He asked, and even in this lighting, I knew he could tell I was a little flustered, a smirk on my lips just by the thought of us together.

“Countless times,” I answered, knowing now where he was trying to go with this.

“Yeah, countless times.. So, what does that say about me?” He asked.

“That you like having sex with me?” I replied and he rolled his eyes accompanied by a smile on his lips.

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“Well, yeah.. But, I also love you.. You’re the only one I want to do that with now, you’re the only one I want to be with, and honestly, I haven’t had enough of a woman to even get a chance to enjoy it like how I enjoy it with you. Sure, women are something different than you and I thought I wanted that, and yeah, it felt good, but the first time was awkward, and the second time, well, you know.. But, that doesn’t mean I miss it, I just found something else that I like better, and that’s you,” he tried to explain.

“So, you like women, but as far as men goes, it’s just me?” I guessed and he smirked.

“It doesn’t matter.. You’re what I like, you’re special,” he replied and I chuckled.

“Honestly, it’s still a little confusing, but I guess I get it..”

“It’s like you said before, you like what you like. I still find some women beautiful and attractive, sure, but that’s how I feel when I look at you, too.. I think it’s just more like I found the love of my life in someone I least expected to and I want nothing more than to spend every waking moment with that person, no matter where we are or what we’re doing.. Genders don’t matter, Isaiah, you matter,” he answered and I couldn’t help but smile. He was so sweet, even when I was in the wrong and I thought I should’ve been scolded more for what I did, he was still so sweet to me, which made me feel even worse for treating him how I did.

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I stood from the hanging chair, walking over towards him and I reached to touch his face, You’re beautiful,” I expressed and he turned his attention away from me.

“Don’t call me that..” He replied in embarrassment, but I pulled his gaze back towards me.

“You are, and I love you so much. I’m so sorry for earlier.. I’m actually glad we talked about it, though, because I never would’ve known any of this and I’d still be sulking if I didn’t know exactly how you felt,” I continued and he smiled softly.

“I love you, too, and I forgive you,” he replied and I was relieved to hear it, “After talking about this, too, I don’t need any more time to decide.. I’m ready for all of this, it makes me want it even more now.. Moving, a new neighborhood, kids.. Everything.. As long as it’s with you,” he continued, a wide smile stretching across my lips.

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“Really?” I asked and he nodded.

“Yeah.. We should get that house, but sell the condo, so that way you’re forced to come back home to me if you ever have to come up here to deal with anything,” he made known with his cheeks blushing a little, happy to hear how he wasn’t okay at all with me being away for longer than needed.

“Anything you want, Oliver,” I happily agreed.

“And.. We should tell Cybal that we choose her, and you should buy that location for your new bar.. I think I’m really ready for all of this.. I don’t want to wait anymore,” He added and his words made me the happiest I had ever been, unable to keep myself from him and instantly pulling him into my lips.

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Our kiss grew deeper, though it didn’t seem to go any further than that for a long while, simply enjoying each other’s lips for the longest time and I felt like this is exactly what we needed. Every single time that I thought we couldn’t get any better, each day proved that there was so much more to us than the day before and everything just seemed to click and fall into place as our lives went on. I wasn’t sure if I believed in fate or in destiny, but my love for this place when I was a kid brought me back to it when I was older and I was lucky enough to open my bar just before Thanksgiving.. I was lucky that Oliver chose my bar to come to and sulk about his unfortunate encounter with his uncle, I was lucky that he ‘lost’ my number and came back to get it again, I was lucky that he came back to me after I had scared him away by kissing him only the second time we met.. Maybe fate, maybe destiny, I don’t know, maybe things just happened for a reason, but whatever it was, I was seriously the luckiest man in the entire world.


Author’s Note:

I, by no means, am fluent in Spanish. I took German in high school, instead XD I used google translator and I don’t know how reliable it is, so forgive me if some of the Spanish is butchered or incorrect LOL Also, if anyone has seen the TV series Modern Family, I molded Cybal after the character Gloria from that show, so that should give you a good picture of how she acts and talks. And yeah, I know Gloria is from Colombia and not Spain XD but Spain is one of my favorite countries that I want to visit someday, so I chose that instead.