This story may occasionally include explicit depictions of sexual acts between consenting adult males. If you are underage or it is illegal to view this for any reason, consider yourself warned. If you find this material offensive, I have to wonder why you came here in the first place.
This story is a work of fiction, and any resemblance to people, living or dead, is entirely a coincidence. As author, I retain all rights to this story, and it cannot be reproduced or published without explicit consent from me. This work is copyright © Fitz, 2013.
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My wonderful husband gets a shout out for being so supportive and allowing me to bounce ideas off of him. I would also like to thank my editor, David. All errors that remain are mine, and mine alone.
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* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Without thinking, I barged into Tom's office.
"Why did you want to see me right away?"
Tom was startled by my sudden appearance. He jerked in his chair as he turned to face me.
"Good morning, Noah. I... um... I wanted to go over last month's numbers with you. Have you had a chance to look at them?" he asked, regaining his composure.
"Not yet. I just got in, and Heather said you wanted to talk to me right away. What's up?"
Tom immediately switched to 'business mode', as I called it. It had nothing to do with the job, exactly, but anytime numbers came up, you could almost watch his brain turn into a calculator as numbers flashed before his eyes.
"Ok, well, have a seat, and let's go over everything. First off, let's talk bottom line: the company is doing great, and we turned a bigger profit than expected last month."
"That's great. Couldn't you have just emailed that to me? I'm not sure it justifies the theatrics of having Heather tell me how urgently you had to meet with me."
"I'm not done, Noah. The only reason we're profitable is because of the advertising division. You're people are turning out phenomenal work, and attracting the attention of major companies around the globe. Heck, with how readily companies are agreeing to our rates, I'm thinking we could double our future rates."
"Won't that cause clients to find cheaper options?"
"Sure, some, but we could afford to lose half our clients and still be making record profits. As we make a name for ourselves as an elite advertising firm, we'll attract the attention of even more companies looking for that personal touch."
"Hmmm... let me think about it, Tom. Like you said, advertising is bringing in money hand over fist. Why fix it if it's not broken."
"Fair enough, just think about possibly raising rates. That brings me to the other division, though," Tom said, his eyes hardening. I knew this was really why he wanted to talk to me. "The web division is stagnant. It barely turned a profit last month."
"But the keyword is profit. It's not like we're losing money over there."
"But we are. Almost all of their earnings are still coming from webpage design, and all the art required for that is coming from your department at a fraction of the rate we charge for advertising. If your designers didn't need to do work for Web, they could take on more paying clients. We don't have enough wiggle room in their budget for me to justify suggesting changing what we charge for web design. There are too many options out there for customers, and it's just not profitable for a corporation. It was great when it was just Scott, but it's not going anywhere."
"I'm trying, Tom."
"I know you are, but you're out of your league, buddy. Scott had some great ideas to open new doors; the social gaming is a great idea, but until it actually comes to fruition, it's sucking money out of our pockets."
"Yeah, well, you have to spend money to make money."
"And how is that going?"
"I don't know," I confessed. "I'm going to meet with Bernice later, and see what she has in the way of updates. Off hand, I know there are two games for Facebook that should be wrapping up soon, and I have no clue how far the game for iOS and Android is in development."
"Like I said, you're out of your league. You know advertising. Heck, without you, Hudgins Design would still be Scott working on his laptop from the front porch. I really think it's time for a drastic change."
"I've told you before, and I'll tell you again, no. I'm not shutting down the web division. This has nothing to do with profits. You're just pissed that Scott walked out."
"You're damn right I'm pissed. He left you and Zach when you needed him the most, and he walked away from the company he struggled to get off the ground in order to help put my brother through law school."
I slumped back in my seat when he cussed. Tom hated profanity, and avoided using it.
"Noah, the fact of the matter is the web division is barely turning a profit, yet the advertising division is swimming in it. There's money in social gaming, but look at our big competitor. They went public because they were so profitable, and nearly lost everything as stockholders realized how fleeting the market is. It seems almost Boolean; a game will either make a ton of money, or it'll flop and be a total loss. We have to actually release games in order to make money off of them, and we keep dumping money into their development, hoping something will come out of it. I just don't think it's going to work the way you're hoping."
"And if you're wrong?"
"If I'm wrong, I'll admit it."
"Not good enough. If you're wrong, you'll tell Tina you once went on a date with Scott, pretending to be Steve."
"Scott told you about that?"
"Did he really know it wasn't Steve from the beginning?"
"No. He tried to kiss me after dinner; I bet he never told you that."
I laughed at the thought. Scott always swore up and down he never had problems telling his husband apart from his identical twin, and had told me how Steve had once tried to prove him wrong. Scott claimed he knew what was going on, but it was good to have my doubts confirmed.
"Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, I'm not closing the web division while they're turning a profit, no matter how small. We'll raise the rates for graphics work ten percent for new clients. If they question it, I'll talk to them personally, and explain how they're getting some of the best graphic designers in the world to work for a fraction of what they'd pay if they requested our services separately. I can drop in enough major brands and corporations we work with to convince them they want to pay more for our services.
"However, I will make the concession that the day the web division no longer turns a profit, I will personally hand out the termination notices."
"Really? You won't make me do it for a change?" Tom asked with a laugh.
"When's the last time I asked you to fire anyone?"
"The guy who was spending most of the workday surfing for porn on his computer. It was last month, Noah. It doesn't happen much, but I wish we were large enough to justify having someone act as Human Resources full time. I love doing the accounting, and it's been great having a 'real job' the past few years, but I hate doing payroll and dealing with the hiring and firing paperwork."
"I know, and you've been great. We never could've done this without you, buddy. Now, if you'll excuse me," I said, standing up, "I need to get caught up from playing hooky yesterday."
"Alright, just come on by if you need anything."
I walked out of the office, and shut the door behind me. Tom always claimed to work better with the door shut, but I always wondered if some of the employees ran to him with every little problem they had if he left it open. He was never supposed to act as human resources manager, but somehow that role got thrust on him. It did make sense, however, since he was in charge of payroll.
Heading to my office, I forced myself not to stare longingly at the office door that separated Tom's office from my own. As hurt and angry as I was that Scott walked out, I still missed him constantly, and seeing his office door always brought back the pain no matter how hard I tried to push it away. If I was having a bad day, or just needed someone to bounce an idea off of, all I had to do was go next door and ask my best friend and husband what he thought I should do. He always got a kick out of the 'CEO' asking the 'Vice President' for advice, and I always reminded him how those titles were meaningless, since the labels really didn't apply to how we ran the company.
I 'joined' the company just after I completed my associate's degree. The intention was that I would do all the graphic work for Scott, which would allow him to free up more time, so he could take on more clients. However, while in school, I had worked on a few small advertisements. They were well received, and I really enjoyed doing them. A few months into our arrangement, my workload was light, so I put out a few feelers to some of our clients to work on advertising campaigns for them. I loved doing it, and both of us were shocked at how much more profitable it seemed. Instead of working for Scott, I quickly began to work alongside him. He designed web pages, while I did advertisements. It wasn't long before our client lists began to diverge, and we realized we could easily afford to expand the company.
Scott officially made me CEO, although we both knew it was a meaningless title. I was in charge of the advertising division, and he ran the web division. We were both in charge of staffing our respective divisions, but until Scott decided to venture into games, his division only had about five employees under him. I, on the other hand, brought in fifteen people from the beginning. I got people right out of school, when they were still fresh with new ideas. However, that meant their skills were still a little raw. By the time Scott left, I believe five of them still worked for me. As other companies started picking off my talent, I learned I could be a bit ruthless in business, and began to do the same. Scott and I argued at first about the large salaries I was giving, but Tom quickly came to my rescue by being able to show just how much they brought in financially for the company. Tom had been doing Scott's accounting from the start, and we brought him officially onto our payroll.
By this point, I had twenty-five people in the advertising division, and there were fifteen in web division. When Scott left, I took direct control over his projects. I was so out of my depth that I relied heavily on Bernice Johns, who had been with us since we started expanding, to essentially run the department in Scott's absence. Tom wanted me to promote her officially to division head, but I was reluctant to do so, largely on the hope Scott might one day return. After five months, that still hadn't happened, and I was beginning to realize it probably never would.
I sat at my desk and read through my emails. For the most part, Hudgins Design ran itself. I met twice a week with my division, and focused on the major campaigns we were working on. Until recently, I had been actively designing as well, but the realities of running a company, especially trying to get an understanding of a division I wasn't used to, meant I was spending more and more time on administrative aspects. I still enjoyed the work, and there aren't many people who can claim they made their first million within a year of finishing their associate's degree. Of course, when talking to clients, I always conveniently left out the fact I was actually the least educated person in the office; even the secretary had a bachelor's degree.
All of our employees were paid salary, and expected to meet deadlines on any projects delegated to them, but were also encouraged to seek out their own clients for projects they could do on their own. They received a sizeable commission on those, but Hudgins Design retained the copyright to any intellectual property they produced while in our employ. So far, I had only caught two designers moonlighting; my employees were well compensated for their work, and had little incentive to do so.
As I skimmed over my emails, there was little that required direct involvement; most were simply copies of exchanges between my employees and our clients. Later in the day, I would check in on all the designers, and see how things were developing, but none of the correspondence indicated issues that required immediate involvement.
Knowing I had a little time to kill before making my rounds, I allowed myself to slip back into my memories, as I thought about those first months as a married couple. It's odd how much of it seemed to pass in the blink of an eye, yet there were so many distinct memories that I still remember so vividly.
*** *** *** ***
The first business day after we returned home from Europe, Scott and I, along with Zach, went to the city courthouse. He was in kindergarten, and it was cute how sad he was to miss school. About a month before our wedding, I had filed a notice with the court to legally change Zach's name from 'Hollins', his mother's last name, and mine from 'Abrams'. We had waited the required amount of time, and even posted my name change in the newspaper for four consecutive weeks, as required under Georgia law. Willow had received a certified letter in prison, informing her of my intention to change Zach's last name. I was pleasantly surprised she hadn't sent her slime-ball lawyer to challenge the name change.
After waiting for a couple hours, we stood before the judge. When he asked why I wanted to change our names, I told him it was due to my recent marriage to Scott Hudgins; neither of us had any connection to our surnames, or surviving relatives with the exception of Zach's mother, who would be in jail for many years to follow after what she did to him and wanted to change our last names to better reflect the family situation we were in. Without hesitation, the judge congratulated us, and we soon walked out of the courtroom alongside Scott as Noah Alexander Hudgins and Zacharias James Hudgins.
In the year we had been together, there had been no such thing as quiet routine. We only dated a week before I got custody of Zach and the two of us moved in with Scott. Two weeks later, we went up and down the east coast on our first vacation together. As soon as we returned, I started school. We added a dog to the family. I took summer classes while we planned the wedding. Fortunately the timing of the wedding worked out well, and I had a week after the honeymoon before my classes started back up.
Upon our return, we picked up the discussions of expanding our family, this time more seriously. We had talked about it a lot, but always in the sense of 'someday', but the conversation had become 'how' and no longer 'when'. I leaned slightly towards adopting a child, possibly one with special needs who deserved nothing more than a loving and caring home, although I also liked the idea of adopting a new-born. I didn't know about Zach until he was already one, and he was two by the time I was able to get partial custody and finally meet my son. Scott, on the other hand, wanted to have a biological child. The more we talked, the more it became obvious how important it was to him. Within two weeks of us returning, we made appointments with a few fertility clinics to figure out how to begin the process of in vitro fertilization.
Apparently the stars were aligned perfectly for us. We quickly found a willing surrogate, Mary, and an egg donor. We chose to use eggs that had been previously donated, even though our surrogate was willing to use her own eggs. It wasn't that we didn't trust the woman, but we were both a little concerned she might change her mind as her own offspring grew inside her womb, leaving us few legal ramifications if she did decide to keep it. Mary's monthly cycle lined up perfectly with everything, and she had already been taking hormone injections for another couple that backed out suddenly. As a result, in late September, months earlier than we expected the process to take, the technicians used Scott's sperm to fertilize the egg, and it was implanted in Mary. We were told it would be about two weeks before we knew if the transfer had been successful, but were also cautioned that the success rate of any given procedure was not much better than one in three.
I opted to be cautiously optimistic, while Scott was freaking out about how it would 'never happen'.
"You know, in nine months, we're going to need a bigger place," I told him two nights after the transfer.
"No, I don't know that, Noah. For all we know, we'll have to try again next month, and the month after that, and the " I leaned over and kissed him to shut him up.
"You're right, there's definitely that chance, but what if you're wrong and it takes the first time? Do we just convert the guest room into a nursery and hope no one comes to visit us? I know you're parents will be coming down constantly to see their new grandchild and I don't want them to have to stay in a hotel."
"Well, we can finish the basement, or make the office into a bedroom," Scott said, much calmer than before.
"Sure, but we both use the gym equipment in the basement all the time, and we almost need two offices. You've been getting pissy lately with how much time I spend in there doing my school work."
"Only because that was supposed to be my office."
"Ok, calm down, Mr. Irrational. Yes, it was supposed to be your office originally. But then I moved into your bedroom. When we painted Zach's room, the desk I was going to use ended up in there, and he's been using it for... I don't know, but he sits at it a lot. Do kindergartners have homework?"
"For what we're paying, they better," Scott said, breaking a smile for the first time during our conversation. I didn't like when he started over-thinking things, which he did a lot. Fortunately, it was fairly rare that he began to massively over-react to things, which I truly hated. When he was thinking clearly, I loved his dry humor and fairly easy-going personality which, to be fair, was most of the time. It was enough that I could overlook when he became a diva.
"Anyway, since then, I've been using the office, since you're usually on the porch when you're working anyway."
"You sound like you have a plan," he added.
"I do. I've thought about it for a while, but never knew how to bring it up, because I know how you'll react."
Scott fidgeted beside me, clearly getting irritated as I beat around the bush.
"Look, this place holds a lot of memories for you; I get that. This was Steve and your first house, and you lived here for two years. You created a lot of memories together here. It's also the last place you held him, and where you were forced to say goodbye. I get that the happy memories outweigh the painful ones, but I don't know if I could stay in the house if something happened to you. I don't know, I think I'd feel like I was being haunted by a ghost."
"I wanted to be haunted. At the time, I wanted to cling to any last fragment of him that I could," Scott admitted quietly, having withdrawn slightly into himself.
"I get that too. Sorry, I'm getting off topic. Anyway, the house holds a lot of memories for me, too. I've been here for the last year with you and Zach, and loved every minute of it. But if we're going to expand our family, I think we need to seriously consider upgrading the house."
"Like a major renovation? But we'll never get that done before the baby comes!" Scott said in a panic, suddenly bolting upright in bed. I grabbed his shoulder and pulled him back to a prone position, and he rested his head on my shoulder as I rubbed his back.
"No, silly. Besides, five minutes ago, you were convinced it wasn't going to happen," I said with a chuckle. "I was thinking we get a new house. Something bigger."
Scott relaxed beside me. "Really? Why didn't you just come out with it? I think that's a great idea."
I sighed. Sometimes there were moments where I felt like I was too critical of my husband; this was one of those times. Usually, I had a good sense of what would set him off into one of his irrational tirades. When I was wrong, I began to question how much I actually believed in him. I was positive the idea of leaving the house he shared with Steve would set him off, but he clearly only had his eyes on our future together.
"That quick? I even had arguments about the strength of the market right now."
"Yep. Let's buy a house, Tiger. I'll call Suze in the morning, if she'll work for you. Tom was so happy with using her as his Realtor. And you're wrong about the market; as soon as it began to rebound, it became a seller's market, since there are so few homes actually available. Where were you thinking of looking? You know I've always wanted to move to midtown. How many bedrooms should we get? Do we want gas or electric for the stove?"
And so it began. I actually got out of bed to get a sheet of paper to make a list. Within an hour, we had a long list of things we wanted, things we needed, and things we both felt were deal breakers. The biggest thing we both agreed on is that it had to be mostly move-in ready. We didn't have time for massive renovations needed to make the house suitable, but we weren't opposed to requiring some work done.
True to his word, he called Suze as soon as he got back from running Zach and his carpool-mates to school the next morning. Two hours later, she was sitting in our living room. Even though I've socialized with her a fair number of times, it was usually in a setting where she could let her larger-than-life personality take control, like she did at karaoke. Whenever she kept that side of her in check, it came as a surprise, but no time shocked me as much as that one.
She was wearing a smart business suit, and a pair of reading glasses sat precariously on her nose. Her demeanor was calm, and for once, she let us do most of the talking. Without any airs of grandeur, she had each of us describe our ideal house, and I think both of us were surprised by things the other mentioned. Scott apparently really wanted a pool, which he had never mentioned to me before, and I don't think he expected my desire for a large garage or workshop.
"Now y'all know you won't be getting everything on these lists, right? I mean, I'll do my best, but I'm no miracle worker."
"Yeah, I mean a pool would be nice, but give me a large enough yard, and we can always add one later," Scott said.
"Or a giant workshop for me to tinker in," I countered teasingly.
"Alright, none of that, at least not yet. Give me a few days to see what all I can find, and I'll give you access to some tools so you can make your own lists as well. Y'all need to get on the same page. I've had more than a few couples start off teasing back and forth with good intentions early on, but by the time they need to make a decision, they've drawn battle lines. More than a few have even backed out completely.
"This can be a stressful process. It can be time-consuming and frustrating. Just be honest with each other and figure out your priorities."
After Suze left, we went to our bank and got preapproved for a mortgage. Scott was tempted to just pay cash for a house, and depending on where we ended up buying, I would have conceded, but we were both set on ideally moving to Midtown, and I wasn't about to watch him drop over a million dollars on a house, even if he was 'good for it'. Early on, money was a big issue in the relationship for me, and I knew going in that buying a new house would bring up my insecurities about not contributing. However, I was focused on doing what was best for us. I knew in the long-term, I would be a contributing member of the household. Obviously, we were preapproved, especially since we were willing to put down well more than twenty percent, and would be selling the old house to help further pay down the new house. The way it all worked out, we ended up with a mortgage a fraction the size we expected it to be. When it came time to sell the old house, we decided to price it aggressively and hope for someone to bite. We were surprised how quickly the first offer came in, and were floored when we found ourselves in a bidding war with three potential buyers.
I'm getting a bit ahead of myself. Over the next few days, I felt like Suze showed us over a hundred houses. We went all over the city; we looked at homes in 'up-and-coming' and 'transitional' neighborhoods trust me, I learned there's a difference as well as more than a few multimillion dollar homes in Buckhead.
Buckhead just didn't feel like 'the city' to either of us, and neither of us cared for the fact that most of the homes we saw were gated off completely from the road, and there were no sidewalks. Our house wasn't in a bad neighborhood by any means, and we loved that we could easily take the dog for a walk and chat casually with our neighbors, who were all friendly, even though we were barely even on first-name bases with most of them.
I think Suze was carefully trying to demonstrate to us the idea that money does not buy happiness, and a house is not necessarily a home. As beautiful as many of the ritzy houses we saw were, they often felt a bit cold and clinical. Neither of us could see us raising a family in one.
The rougher neighborhoods were more interesting. The houses we saw were obviously much less expensive, but still gave us a lot of house. Unlike in Buckhead, it was easy to get a sense of the community. People were walking up and down the street, and the hustle and bustle of a major city was evident. The wide income disparity was evident, however, and I was more than a little concerned that moving into one of the higher-end houses in the neighborhood could make us something of a target for burglars. A few had impressive upsides with all the revitalization the city had planned, and we earmarked a few as potential new homes. They would more than suit our needs and had the potential to earn us a hefty return on our investment.
Obviously we focused mostly in Midtown, since it was the part of town both of us preferred, and we saw some good homes, but nothing really wowed us. The problem was homes fell into two categories; new construction or homes that had recently undergone massive renovation, or houses with a lot of... "character". Unfortunately, there really weren't any of the former homes on the market at the time, and most of the ones that needed work seemed to need a lot of work. Suze kept trying to downplay it, but we had a hard time seeing it. In hindsight, she was right, but I had never bought a house before, and had no idea what were easy fixes, and what would take a lot of time and money to deal with.
I have to admit that when it comes to patience, I'm just as bad as Scott. We hadn't even gotten confirmation if the in vitro had taken, and even if it had, we would've still had nine months to get everything ready. However, since we had started the process, we were both impatient, and ready to close on a house immediately and start getting it ready. We weren't naοve; we knew we had gotten crazy lucky finding a surrogate and starting the process as quickly as we had, and we knew closing on a home would take time. We wanted to find a home we wanted and get under contract as fast as possible. By the end of the week, we were torn between two houses.
At this same period of time Tom had invited the three of us over for dinner; he was anxious to introduce us to a woman he'd met while walking Beso around Piedmont Park while we had been on our honeymoon.
*** *** *** *** ***
A knock on my office door pulled me out of my thoughts. I realized it was a good thing the door was closed; my feet were up on the desk as I day dreamed, leaning back in my chair. I quickly positioned myself more presentably before inviting my intruder to enter.
"Good morning, Mr. Hudgins, do you have a minute?" Bernice Johns asked, first poking her head into the office as if she wasn't sure she'd actually been invited in.
"Morning, Bernice, I was just about to hunt you down. You said you wanted to see me?" Ok, that was a blatant lie, but I couldn't tell her I had been day dreaming. Again.
"Yes sir. I would've waited, but I know you're still trying to get up-to-speed with the web-division."
I swear I had insisted everyone call me Noah, but a few insisted on calling me by my title or by my last name. Interestingly, they were the ones that seemed to impress me the most with their work. I'm not sure if it's simply a correlation, or if there's a causal link, but interesting nonetheless.
"Well the basic webpage aspect is easy enough for me to get, but I'm still a little clueless about the gaming stuff. I mean, I get the bottom-line elements of what it'll mean for the company if it's successful. Hell, y'all may end up being more profitable than advertising once it's all said and done. It's just that Scott was so involved and knew everything that was going on, so I just let him do his thing unchecked. Now that he's... gone," I said, pausing awkwardly, "I still find myself not grasping all the little details."
"First off, trust me when I say 'we got this'. If you want to be a hands-off manager, then I can keep my reports short and simple, but I know you want to be as involved as possible. Long story short, we're still about six months from being ready to launch."
"How is this even possible? It's always six months. We were six months away when Scott left!" I asked. I knew the answer, and so did Bernice. We had done this dance many times.
She sighed. "I know, I know. I keep saying 'six months'. I mean it this time,. I think we finally pieced together some of the things Scott kept hinting at but would never give us details on."
Scott's idea of motivating his team seemed to be to give them the grand scheme idea, then provide little tidbits of details here and there. So much of the game development had been stalled as they struggled to figure out how everything was intended to fall together. Early on, I was able to help by providing a few doodles I'd found or recalling random things Scott had mentioned, but so much time had been lost trying to connect the various dots they had to work with.
"You've never sounded so firm, Bernice. Are you sure?"
"Yes, sir. So sure I think we can go ahead and set a firm launch date."
"Alright, so we're finally going ahead. Tom's going to be thrilled. You know he's ready to axe everyone, right?"
"Oh, I'm well aware. That's why we've been putting in the hours we have. He's just glad we're all salary! We all believe in this project, and we don't want to watch our work go down the drain."
"Ok, enough of the hands-off stuff. Gimme the details," I said, leaning forward.
For the next hour, Bernice explained everything from the progress made in basic development and coding, to minute logistical issues they were still working out. As always, she was patient and carefully explained everything, but was never patronizing.
As she stood to leave, I stopped her with one final question.
"So is six-months the fastest you think you can get everything ready?"
"I'm sure there's a little wiggle room in there. You know what I know as far as development. Why?"
"If you are ready to release in four, consider the open director position yours."
Her eyes went wide and her mouth opened in shock for a moment before she regained her composure. "Consider it done, boss."
After she left, I decided it was time to make my rounds. I checked in on everyone, answered a few questions, and offered some critiques or suggestions as necessary, but there was nothing that really needed my attention, as usual. Any major problems were usually found at the weekly group meetings the advertising division held, where we went over and critiqued all projects currently under development.
Returning to my office, I saw Heather had already ordered my usual sandwich for me. As I ate, I remembered the tentative plans I had made with Mike for dinner. He was a great guy, and I knew he had already grown strong feelings for me over the past three months. I kept pushing him away for one reason or another, but I was quickly running out of excuses.
When I met Mike, we immediately hit it off. He was thirty-five, and had recently gotten a divorce from his wife, who had apparently been constantly cheating on him. He listened to all the shit I was dealing with in my life, and made me feel a little better. Early on, he told me he had feelings for me. I should have told him right then that I didn't have any feelings for him other than as a friend. I guess when Scott left, I just felt so unloved, and it felt good to have another person want me. Instead, I told him I wasn't ready for anything. He promised not to push me, and was fine being my friend. Never once did he give me a reason to doubt his intentions.
As my thirtieth birthday approached, he insisted on taking me out. Tom came over to watch Zach, and Mike and I had a great time, sharing dinner and drinks before going to a club. I invited him back for a cup of coffee at the end of a fantastic night. One thing led to another, and I'm not exactly sure what happened in what order, but I do know I was the one who made the first move by kissing him. Despite how it all worked out in the end, that kiss is probably the biggest regret of my life.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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My story is also hosted at http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/story/fitz/moving_on, http://saberpeak.com/st_fitz.php and on my story website, http://movingonstory.weebly.com. The map of readers and the signup form for the mailing list are on the website for all who are interested.
The story's Facebook group, 'Moving On' is a good place to communicate with me and fellow readers. It is a 'closed group', meaning nothing posted in the group is visible to nonmembers, and the group does not show up on your timeline for others to see. The downside is that you receive a message that you joined a 'closed group', and have to wait until I approve adding you, which I do as soon as I am able. Several times, by the time I get the chance to add someone (even immediately after getting the notification), the person has removed their request. I have not, nor will I deny someone from joining the group, although I reserve the right to remove someone if necessary. All content will be kept at a PG-13 level. All are welcome to join by clicking on this link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/226097850809679/.
Don't forget to send me any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.