Owen double checked the address then knocked on the door. He smiled when Patrick opened the door. His smile got even bigger when Patrick pulled him inside and kissed him.
“Finally someplace where we can be together.”
Patrick took Owen’s hand and pulled him further into the apartment. “I’ll give you the very short tour. It’s not much, but it’s something. It will do until I can save money to get us something bigger.”
Owen looked at Patrick. “Did you say us?”
“Yes. This apartment is for us.” He handed Owen a key. “Any time you need a place to go to get away from your parents, you can come here. I have to say, I wouldn’t mind coming home from work and finding you here waiting for me.”
Owen thought about it and smiled. “If my parents keep on me the way they have been, you may find me here a lot.”
“I am fine with that. I want this to be our place. When you are ready to move in here permanently, you already have the key.”
Owen didn’t think he could be any happier than he was at that moment. Patrick proved him wrong.
Zaiden smiled at his daughter when she came inside. He had been waiting for the kids to get home from school. He had promised to take them to see the movie Christopher Robin. “Where is your brother?”
“School. He said he had a meeting for that yearbook stuff he’s been doing.”
Zaiden frowned and looked at his watch. If they were going to make the movie on time, they didn’t have time to wait. Grace had been begging to see the movie so he really didn’t want to make her wait. He had promised her they would go.
“Go put your things away and get in the car.”
The smile on his daughter’s face and her excitement when she ran to put her backpack in her room told Zaiden that not waiting for Owen was the right choice. The boy had known about the movie plans and never said anything about a meeting. If it had been a sudden meeting, he could have called.
“Let’s go, Daddy.”
Zaiden was waiting to buy tickets when he spotted a familiar face closer to the doors.
Zaiden was waiting for Owen when he came home. He looked at his watch. At least he made curfew. Barely.
“How was the meeting?”
“Owen stopped in his tracks when he saw his father. “Um…it was fine. I’m a bit tired, so I’m going to head to bed.”
“Did you enjoy the movie? Slender Man, right?”
“How did…? Owen stopped and sighed. “Grace. I forgot you were taking her to the movies.”
Obviously. You lied, Owen. Your little sister was looking forward to seeing that movie with you, and you lied to her.”
Owen did feel bad about that. He loved his little sister. He just also loved Patrick. “I’m sorry.”
“You are grounded.” Zaiden held out his hand. “I want your car keys.”
“That’s not fair, Dad.”
“When you can show your mother and I that you can be trusted and not lie to us, you will get your car back. Until then, your mother and I will be picking you up from school and taking you to where you need to go. Your friends may come here, but you may not go anywhere with them.”
Owen couldn’t believe his dad was doing this. All because he went to a movie. “I hate you so much right now.”
Zaiden had expected that. He watched Owen stomp off toward his room.
“One more thing before you slam the door. Patrick is not allowed here.”