3:23 Games

09-29-18_4-12-19 PM

Patrick and Zaiden were taking care of Andy while Owen tried to get some work done on his book. He frowned when a text came through on his phone. He read it then looked over at Patrick and his dad.

“Teague just sent a text. He knows that we talked to a lawyer about what happened.”

09-29-18_5-00-17 PM

Patrick looked at Owen. “What? How would he know?”

Owen handed his phone to Patrick so he could see the text. “I do not know, but apparently he has video of that night.”

Patrick looked at the text. “And he’s threatening to release it if we don’t back off.”

Owen nodded. “If that video gets out, I might as well find a new career.”

Patrick shook his head. “Sex videos have actually made people famous.”

“Let’s not go there, Patrick.”

09-29-18_5-02-01 PM

Zaiden put Andy back in the bassinet then walked over to the boys. “Call the lawyer, Owen. Tell him about the text. He may be able to file harassment charges against the guy.”

Owen wasn’t sure he wanted to do that. “Dad, he is Andy’s uncle. We still have a relationship with the guys sister who is still on board with carrying our next child. What if we do this and Dakota changes her mind?”

Patrick looked at Owen. “Then we will be happy with only having Andy. If we don’t do something, Teague could do to someone else the exact same thing he did to you.”

Owen knew he was right. He would never forgive himself if he didn’t do something. “Are you going to be okay if Dakota changes her mind about helping us?”

Patrick nodded. “We have Andy. As long as I have the two of you, I am happy.”

Owen looked into Patrick’s eyes then nodded. “Okay. I’ll call.”

 


3:22 All I Need To Know

09-27-18_10-19-24 PM

He knew something was wrong with Owen. He had no clue what it was, but it really worried him. 

Every time he tried to get close, Owen pulled away. He was lucky if he could even get a kiss from his husband lately. 

He hoped that Owen wasn’t regretting the two of them getting married. That would break his heart. He really loved Owen. Maybe they moved too fast though. He had other relationships before, one that he thought was serious, but he knew that this was the first for Owen. Maybe the book tour made Owen realize what he was missing out on with other men.

09-27-18_10-22-30 PM

He heard Owen come in. He could see that the walk only made whatever he was feeling even worse. He was hoping that was not a bad sign, but knew not to get his hopes up too much.

He watched as Owen walked over to the bed and sat down.

“Did you have a nice walk?”

Owen ignored the question and looked down at his hands. “We need to talk.”

09-27-18_10-23-47 PM

Patrick watched him twist his wedding ring around on his finger and sighed. Even though he agreed, he was afraid of what this talk was going to be about and what it was going to do to them in the end. He was really hoping that it was not as bad as he was making it out to be in his mind.

He nodded and looked over at Owen.

“I know something isn’t right between us. I’ve felt it since you got home from the tour. I just don’t know what that something is or how to fix it unless you tell me what is wrong.”

Owen wasn’t even sure where to start to tell him. He didn’t want to hurt Patrick, but he could see that he was anyway by not telling him. He wasn’t being fair to Patrick. 

09-27-18_10-26-34 PM

“Something happened on the book tour. Something I regret.”

Patrick knew it. He had met someone else. “Another man?”

Owen nodded his head and looked at his hands again.

“Did you sleep with him?”

Owen nodded again. “I’m sorry.”

09-27-18_10-26-41 PM

“Why did you do it?”

“I don’t know.”

Patrick looked at him not sure if he believed that. “You slept with another man and you don’t know why?”

Owen nodded. “I was met him at one of the parties. He was making the drinks. I was talking to him and he was flirty big time. I told him I was married and not interested. I thought that was the end of it because he backed off with the flirty. I had another drink, and the next thing I know he said he wanted to go back to the room and I followed without a fight. I have no clue why. It wasn’t what I wanted, but at that moment, what I wanted didn’t seem to matter.”

Patrick listened to Owen. It sounded a lot like the things that his mother had done to both of their fathers.

“You said he was making the drinks?”

Owen nodded. “I only had two drinks. Not enough to be drunk enough to not have control of myself.”

09-27-18_10-26-55 PM

“I think he may have drugged one of your drinks, or both of them.”

Owen hadn’t thought of that being the reason he had slept with Teague. “Do you think so?”

Patrick nodded. “My mother used to do it to my dad to get him to do things he didn’t want to do. I was talking to your dad about it that day he helped me move our things to the new apartment.”

Owen thought about that and it made sense. “I really did not want to sleep with Teague. You are the only man I have ever wanted to be with.”

09-27-18_10-27-01 PM

“Did you say his name was Teague?” Patrick hadn’t expected to hear that name come from Owen’s mouth.

Owen nodded. “Teague Ainsworth.”

“Dakota’s brother…” Patrick closed his eyes and ran has hand through his hair. “Of all the men…”

Owen frowned as he listened. “Dakota’s brother? You know Teague?”

Patrick nodded. “He used to be my best friend.”

“Used to be?”

“Yeah. He was also my first lover. We were still teenagers then. He wasn’t ready to come out yet though and decided that the two of us being together was too much of a risk for his reputation. He really broke my heart.”

“How long ago did you two break up?”

“About a year before I met you. After meeting you, I realized that what I had with Teague was nothing compared to what I have with you.”

09-27-18_10-30-59 PM

Patrick kissed Owen softly. “We will get through this. I am glad you finally told me so we can handle this together now.”

Owen was glad also. He felt much better now that Patrick knew. “I wanted to tell you. Started to several times but something always happened.”

Patrick remembered several times when Owen said he needed to talk to him and then something came up that delayed the talk. “No more tours without me.”

Owen smiled and nodded. “I have a better idea. No more tours period. I will find another way to promote the books.”

Patrick kissed his husband again. “I love you, Owen. This has not changed that.”

 


3:21 All In My Head

09-27-18_5-35-19 PM

It felt like the world was crashing down around him. Like every time he tried to do something good for himself, it backfired on him. He didn’t know why his life had to be so damn complicated all the damn time.

His childhood was going great. He had a new sister that he loved. He finds out his dad is a drug addict and his mom moves them out.

He meets a man that finally makes him see who he truly is inside and he falls deeply in love with that man. He finds out that the man is his cousin. So what? They get married anyway. He even found a way to fuck that up. He managed to do that by doing something else that should have been good for him. He went on a damn book tour where he met another man and fucked him. He still had no clue why he did that. He wasn’t the least bit interested in the guy. He loved his husband and never had thoughts of being with anybody else. So why was that night so different?

09-27-18_5-36-15 PM

He had his newborn son, but now couldn’t even provide a proper home for him. The dump of an apartment they did live in is now a pile of ashes. They were living in his parents’ basement. Not the proper environment for raising a child.

His career was pretty much over before it truly got started. He wasn’t going to do any more book tours to promote his books. Not after what happened the last time. He couldn’t take any chances of a repeat performance.

He walked down to the coastline where he used to always go to think and could not believe what he was seeing.

“What are you doing here?”

“I’m visiting my sister and her boyfriend for a few days. They live not far from here. What are you doing here? I thought you said you live in San Myshuno.”

“My parents live here.”

“Pretty funny that the two of us just happen to end up meeting again here. Like it’s fate or something.”

09-27-18_6-06-05 PM

Owen looked at Teague then shook his head. “This isn’t fate. This is…I don’t know what this is, but it isn’t fate.”

“If you think about it, it kinda is though. We spent that absolutely amazing night together a few weeks ago and now we meet again here while both visiting family members. Maybe fate is trying to send us a message.”

“Stop. This is not fate. There is no message. I am here with my husband and child visiting my family. That is all.”

Teague looked over at Owen. “Are you certain that is all? If you truly loved your husband like you say you do, why did you go to bed with me?”

Owen didn’t have an answer to that. He knew that he loved Patrick. There had never been any question about that. 

“It wasn’t all one sided that night, Owen. You were just as into me as I was into you.”

Owen backed away. “Stop. That night was a big mistake. It never should have happened. It will never happen again.”

All he heard as he ran back to the house was Teague’s words repeating in his head intermixed with Patrick telling him that he loved him. He needed to wake up from this nightmare.

 


3:20 Love Shack

09-26-18_6-08-15 PM

It has been a hell of a few days. Patrick and Owen moved back to Owen’s parents’ house with Andy. The faulty wiring in their apartment building was a ticking time bomb. The building went up like a match set to gasoline soaked papers. All they were able to get out with was each other and the clothes they were wearing. Thankfully Owen’s work was saved in Google Documents and he would be able to access it from his parents’ house.

Owen had to admit that it was nice being back here. He missed his parents and his little sister. He had to admit that it would be nice to have some help with Andy while Patrick was at work and he was trying to write.

09-25-18_12-09-44 PM

The fire wasn’t the worst that happened though. The family had to say goodbye to Roo. Zaiden buried him in the family cemetery beside the angel statue. 

It was hard on Owen to lose his dog. He had Roo since a pup when he got him from his grandparents at his underwear birthday party. He felt like he was saying goodbye to his best friend.

09-25-18_3-04-21 PM

Not everybody was happy about them moving back into the house. Grace had moved into Owen’s bedroom when he moved out. She had redecorated it to suit herself. Owen definitely did not mind her choice in wall decor. 

The problem was that Grace ended up being moved back to what she called the preschool room. Their mom tried to explain to her that it was only because Owen and Patrick had the baby and needed the larger room. She acted like the typical spoiled teenager who didn’t get what she wanted. Basically, she had a temper tantrum and was not speaking to any of them except Andy at the moment. Her reason for talking to Andy was that he was too young to be a pain in the ass yet.

This was just a temporary situation. Grace could have her room back soon. Owen and Patrick were looking for another place. That had always been the plan anyway. They were hoping to find something there in Brindleton Bay near the family.

Owen laid Andy back in the bassinet and looked over at Patrick. “I need a little time to myself to let everything sink in. I’m going to take a short walk on the beach.”

Patrick nodded and watched him. He knew there was something going on with Owen. He had felt it since he got back from the tour. He really wished Owen would tell him what was wrong so they could fix whatever it was.

“Owen… I love you.”

Owen kissed Patrick’s cheek. “I love you, too.”

 


3:19 Life Is Good

09-24-18_9-37-48 PM

Owen was trying to focus on his new book, but nothing was coming to him. Maeve had given him a deadline to have the first five chapters to her by next week, yet he hadn’t written even one word. 

He knew what the problem was. He still hadn’t told Patrick about Teague. Every time he started to tell him, something interrupted them.

He was going to tell him when he got home from work. He had to tell him. It was eating away at him and the only way to stop it was to tell Patrick what had happened.

His phone rang jolting him out of his thoughts. He checked the ID before he answered.

“Hey, Derick. What’s up?”

“Dakota is in labor. Taking her to the hospital now. Meet you there.”

Owen jumped from the chair as Derick hung up. He quickly called Patrick as he ran out the door.


09-24-18_11-25-58 PM

Owen reached for Patrick and opened his eyes when he found himself alone in the bed. He pulled on his shorts and went looking for his husband.

He smiled when he saw Patrick holding Andrew.  He walked over to them.

“He wake you up?”

Patrick nodded and smiled. “He was hungry. I already fed him. Was just getting ready to lay him back down.”

Owen kissed his son’s head before Patrick put him back in the bassinet. 

“You should have woken me up. I would have fed him so you could sleep.”

Patrick shook his head. “You are home with him all day while I am at work. I like getting up with him. It gives me some time with him.”

09-24-18_11-37-46 PM

Owen hugged Patrick. He had missed being this close to him. He wanted this closeness again. 

“Can we have that talk we’ve been trying to have for weeks now?”

“Of course. Maybe we can get through it without interruptions this time.” Patrick took Owen’s hand in his hand started to lead him to the bedroom where they could talk.

“If I remember from what you have been able to tell me, it has something to do with the book tour.”

Owen nodded. “Do you remember us talking before that first party?”

“I do. You were telling me how miserable you were and how much you wanted to come home.”

Owen nodded. “Some…”

Patrick’s phone rang and Owen sighed. Another interruption.

09-24-18_11-46-24 PM

Patrick frowned when he saw who was calling. He looked at Owen. 

“I’m sorry, my love. I need to take this.”

He hit the accept button and he headed for the bedroom.

Owen wasn’t sure who would be calling Patrick in the middle of the night or why, but he was getting tired of these interruptions. Maybe it was best to just give up trying to tell him. Maybe it was fate telling him to just forget about it and be happy with his husband and son.

 


3:18 Solo Por Ti

09-23-18_11-30-58 AM

Owen had planned to tell Patrick what happened, but it was Grace that picked him up at the airport.

“Where’s Patrick? Is everybody okay? Dakota? The baby?”

“Relax. Everybody is fine. Dakota had a doctor appointment and Derick had to work. Patrick with to the appointment. Mom and Dad were…busy.” Grace made a face when she said that. “I decided to come get you myself instead of bothering them.”

Owen gave his sister a big hug. “I am sure they appreciate that.”

“How was the tour? Did you have fun?”

Owen shook his head. “I missed everybody.”

“Even me?”

Owen smiled and nodded. “Even you.”


09-23-18_4-05-52 PM

Owen pulled out of Patrick’s hug and looked at his sister. “When did you get so good at lying?”

Grace shrugged and smiled. “I’m a teenager. It’s part of the age description.”

Owen hugged everybody and smiled when he saw Dakota. “You both okay?”

Dakota nodded and smiled. “We are both doing great. Six more weeks.”

She took Owen’s hand and laid it on her stomach. “Your baby is welcoming you home.”

Owen felt the baby kicking and smiled. “I can’t wait to meet this little one.”

Dakota smiled when she saw how happy he was about this baby. After getting to know Owen, she was glad she offered to do this for them. She would have done it for Patrick in a heartbeat. He had been friends with her brother since they were kids. She had a huge crush on him, but she was just the pain in the ass sister that was ignored. She had actually been heartbroken when she found out that he was gay. She later found out that Patrick and her brother were more than just friends. Since her brother wasn’t out of the closet, she kept his secret. He didn’t even know that she knew. He even went out of town for his hookups in order to keep his secret.

09-23-18_3-47-20 PM

After spending time with Owen and Patrick she could see how much they loved each other. She had been worried about Patrick after his heart had been broken by her brother. It was nice to see him smiling again.

Patrick walked over to the two of them and kissed his husband’s cheek.”I told you that they would be fine while you were gone.”

Dakota watched the smile leave Owen’s face and noticed how he took a small step away from Patrick. She didn’t say anything, but she was going to keep an eye on them.

 


3:17 Toxic

09-22-18_10-32-41 AM

It was finally the end of the tour. He had a flight home the next day. Patrick was going to pick him up at the airport. He couldn’t wait to see him.

The interviews went great. Word had been spreading about the book and the crowds at the book signings were getting larger. Owen loved seeing that.

Since he had managed to avoid Teague, he decided to go with the others to the party to end the tour. 

He enjoyed the dinner and conversation. He added several books to his list to read after he was back home.

09-22-18_10-55-51 AM

He saw Teague heading his way. He handed Owen a drink. “Peace offering. I just want to say that I am sorry. I should not have pressured you into something you said you didn’t want. I hope there are no hard feelings and we can be friendly on any future tours we do together.”

Owen still could not remember why he had slept with Teague that night. “What happened cannot happen again. I have a husband waiting for me at home and a baby due in a few weeks. I cannot risk all of that by getting involved with someone I just met.”

“I understand. Friends. Nothing more.”

 

 


3:16 Alejate

NTSF

09-21-18_9-18-17 PM

Owen woke up and looked at the face of the man in bed with him. What in the hell happened the night before?

Owen remembered being in the bar and talking to Teague. He remembered Teague buying them the last round of drinks. The next thing he remembered was Teague suggesting they go to his room and him agreeing.

He thought about the things that happened in the room and closed his eyes. He had no clue why he did what he did.

He climbed out of bed and grabbed his phone and clothes. He went into the bathroom and quickly dressed. He went back to his own room and called Patrick.

“Hey, sorry I didn’t call last night. It was late and I went straight to bed.”

He hated lying to Patrick, but this wasn’t the kind of thing to confess over the phone. He would tell him when he got home.

“Did you enjoy yourself?”

“Not really. I spent the entire night wishing I was home with you.”

“I wish you were too. Our bed is lonely without you to share it with.”

09-21-18_9-23-43 PM

“I want to go home. I don’t like being here without you.”

“I can’t get the time off work right now.”

“I know. This just really sucks.” He was truly considering pulling out of the rest of the tour.

“it’s not much longer. I am very proud of you.”

That made Owen feel even worse. Patrick was going to hate him when he tells him, and he wouldn’t blame him. He hated himself at the moment.

“Owen? What’s wrong?”

“I just miss you. I really wish this tour was over.”

“It will be soon. As much as I hate saying this, I need to get to work. I will talk to you tonight.”

09-21-18_9-31-43 PM

After they hung up, Owen went to get a shower. He wanted to erase the previous night from his mind and body. He decided that he was going to do everything possible to avoid Teague the next eleven days.

Owen got dressed and headed out to his first of three interviews that day. The schedule was exhausting. Three interviews and two book signings that day. It was like every day with a short plane trip in the evening. Each evening everybody met in the hotel restaurant for dinner followed by the bar for drinks. After what happened with Teague, Owen skipped the bar and went straight to his room after dinner. Owen had managed to avoid Teague who seemed happy occupying his time with others.

 

 


3:15 Bad Romance

09-20-18_1-32-41 PM

Owen hated this. He was already regretting doing this tour and it was only the third day. He still had eleven more days of this hell.

He finally was able to reach Patrick on FaceTime. It helped a little. Just seeing his husband’s face made him feel better.

“I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. How are things going?”

“Terrible. Everyone keeps asking if the book is based on my family. They won’t accept me saying that I won’t talk about my family.”

“Just tell them that if you answered that question, they would have to be victims in your next book.”

For the first time since he said goodbye to Patrick at the airport, Owen had a smile on his face. “How was your day?”

Patrick shrugged. “Your dad was here. He helped get everything moved. We put the baby’s furniture together. I am going to wait until you are home to arrange the room. You are better at that than I am.”

“I picked up a few things for you and the baby.”

They talked for over an hour before Owen sighed and got sad again. “As much as I want to stay here and keep talking to you, I have to go. Everybody is meeting for a “get to know the authors” party.”

“That actually sounds boring.”

“If you met some of these other authors, you would be bored to tears.”

Patrick laughed when he said that. “Seems like I am safe from you running away with one of them then.”

“Very safe. I love you.”

“That makes me very happy to hear. Send me a message after you get back to the hotel. Have fun. I love you.”

09-20-18_2-08-38 PM

After disconnecting, Owen went down to the bar to join the others. He ordered his drink and found a seat at the bar.

Owen spent about an hour talking to the bartender named Teague. He seemed like a cool guy, but made Owen a bit uncomfortable when he kept hitting on him even after Owen told him that he was happily married.

When Owen stated that he was going to head back to his room, Teague talked him into one more drink, on the house.

09-20-18_2-12-35 PM09-20-18_2-13-10 PM

 


3:14 God, Your Mama, And Me

09-19-18_3-25-34 PM

Zaiden helped Patrick move everything to the new apartment. It was just down the hall, but it was larger and had a room for the baby.

The two of them were working in the nursery getting the crib put together.

“Do you visit your parents?”

Patrick nodded. “Every weekend. Mom on Saturdays. Dad on Sundays.”

Has Owen gone with you?”

“A few times. He visits my dad more than my mom.”

Zaiden wasn’t surprised Owen had heard him and Raelyn talk about Rowana several times. He knew the things she had done to the family.”

09-19-18_3-25-49 PM

“How do they feel about you, Owen, and the baby?”

“They just want me to be happy.”

“And are you?”

Patrick looked over at Zaiden. “I am very deeply in love with an amazing person who for some reason loves me. I am putting a crib together for that person’s baby. Why wouldn’t I be happy?”

Zaiden thought he told a good story, but something about it was not quite right. “Your eyes are telling a different story. They look sad.”

09-19-18_3-26-44 PM

Patrick put down the screw driver and sighed. “My husband is gone for the next two weeks.”

Zaiden could understand him missing Owen. He would be the same if Raelyn was gone. That hadn’t put this sadness there though. He had caught glimpses of it before. “What else is making you so sad?”

“My parents not being able to experience this with us. I know what they did and they need to be punished. I can accept my mother spending the rest of her life in prison. Not my father. I agree that he should have some time, but not life. I know it was your family that he killed, but it wasn’t his fault. He had no choice. Mom was drugging him and threatening him if he didn’t do it.”

Zaiden frowned. “She was drugging him? Why didn’t he say something about that in court?”

“He didn’t know. She would mix it in his drinks. It wouldn’t put him to sleep, but he wasn’t awake either. It made him do whatever he was told to do, no questions asked. If she had told him to kill himself, he would have.”

Patrick looked at Zaiden. “She used it on you also. She said the first time was at a camp ground.”

09-19-18_3-26-50 PM

Zaiden tried to remember that day. It had been many years ago. “The picnic.” He knew there had to have been other times also. Probably when she decided she wanted a baby and every time he fought back.

“You are sure she had drugged your father to get him to kill my family?”

Patrick nodded. “I have video of her doing it.”

“If you give me the video, I will get it to someone who can help your father.”

“Why should I trust you?”

“Patrick, you are my son. Not just because you are married to my son. For the first year of your life, everyone believed that I was your father. My world revolved around you. I did not make any choice that would not benefit you.”

“You made one. You had that paternity test done. Life was hell for me and my father after that.”

Zaiden hadn’t known that. “It wasn’t easy for me to find that out. The son that I loved and adored was not my son. My heart was broken.”

“You never should have told her.”

Zaiden sometimes wished he hadn’t, but things worked out how they were meant to. “If I hadn’t told her, you would not be where you are today. You wouldn’t be married to Owen and planning to bring home a baby in a few months.”

Patrick smiled as he thought about the baby. “That s one very lucky baby. Born into a family full of love.”

“A family that you are a part of. You can trust me, Patrick. Your father is my wife’s cousin. In this family, we take care of each other.”

09-19-18_3-32-16 PM

Patrick left the room and was back a few minutes later. He handed Zaiden a small card that came from a camera. “Please do what you can to help my dad. He really does not deserve what Mom did to him.”

Zaiden slipped the card into his pocket. “I will take care of this on my way home.”

Patrick picked the screw driver back up. “Thank you for coming to help me today.”

“I actually enjoy doing this. Especially when it lets me spend time with someone I love.” He saw the smile on Patrick’s face and it made him smile. “Do you know if the baby is a boy or girl?”

“We do.”

“Do you have a name chosen?”

“We do.”

“Are you going to tell me?”

“After the baby is born.”

Zaiden shook his head and smiled. “So much like Raelyn. She wanted the surprise.”

“There’s so few of them left in the world.”