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.


I love to hear any feedback you have, be it positive or negative.  Send me an email with any comments or questions at


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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Chapter 4


I knew I wasn't ready to introduce Mike to Zach. I was sure I could explain Mike away , and it'd be fine, but I felt like it was a step towards a relationship I knew I didn't want. Yeah, Mike was a great guy, but I had already had my heart broken by a great guy, and not long before Mike came on the scene. Maybe this is how Scott felt with Will, but I'm not really sure. All I know, is I viewed Mike as just a friend, despite the fact I had shared a bed with him the night before.

With a sigh, I picked up the phone, and dialed Mike's number.

"Hey, bud," Mike said when he picked up.

"Hey, Mike. I was just calling about dinner tonight."

"I'm so excited to meet Zach. What time do you want me to come over? Can I bring anything?"

"Actually, I was thinking we should push it back to Friday. I haven't exactly told Zach about you yet, and want to test the waters a bit before you show up."

I immediately cursed myself under my breath. I had planned on coming clean with him, and telling him a relationship wasn't in the cards. Instead, I took the chicken-shit route, and yet again found myself leading him on. Maybe it's just the fact it felt so damn good to be wanted by someone after feeling abandoned. I had no idea how everything would rapidly fall into place, and the juggling of 'what-ifs' I had been doing would end up being nothing more than a mental exercise.

"Oh... ok, I guess I understand," Mike responded, but the disappointment was evident in his voice.

"Great, so I'll see you tomorrow at karaoke, then Friday you'll come by for dinner," I told him.

"Yeah, sounds great," he said, still not quite his normal self. "I'll see you tomorrow."

As soon as I hung up the phone, my mind wandered back to the dinner at Tom's where we met his future wife, and were given an offer we couldn't refuse.

*** *** *** ***

As soon as we arrived at Tom's house in Midtown on that Friday night, we were introduced to Tina, a petite Asian woman Tom must have a thing for small women, now that I think about it. Neither she nor his ex, Sarah, probably weighed ninety pounds when soaking wet. She was cute, bubbly, and charming. It was immediately clear how into each other they were, and I was so happy to see my friend find someone after Sarah stomped on his heart. We were just about to sit down for dinner when there was a knock on the door.

"Ah, that'd be my surprise visitor!" Tom exclaimed, dashing to answer the door.

"Guys, I'd like you to meet my neighbor, Charles. Charles, this is Noah and Scott Hudgins, and their son, Zach."

Charles was an older gentleman, probably in his late sixties. He was dressed flamboyantly and had a certain sashay to his walk as he entered the room. Any question about his sexuality was immediately answered when he opened his mouth.

"Howdy-do! It's so great to meet y'all!" Charles announced.

"Mister, you talk funny," our politically-correct child said with a giggle.

Charles knelt down in front of Zach before Scott or I could chastise him.

"Well I think you talk funny, too, mister. I mean, your voice is just so small and little."

"Daddy says when I get older, my voice will get deeper."

"Well until then, we both talk funny," Charles responded, ruffling Zach's hair and causing him to giggle.

"You certainly have a way with kids," I said as Charles stood back up.

"Honey, you don't get to be as fabulous as I am at my age without learning how to put people in their place, regardless of their age."

"Anyway, dinner's ready, so let's eat. I figured you could talk. I think Charles may have a proposition you'd be interested in."

During dinner, Charles, Scott, and I dominated the discussion. We told the table our story, as well as some of Scott's back story, since neither Charles nor Tina had heard it. Charles also told us his. By this point, Zach had finished eating, and had gone in the other room to play.

"I came down to Atlanta for Pride... that would've been '87, so twenty-five years ago. I'd been a few times before, and it was such a glorious pit of debauchery. I was just looking for a good time, and found myself in bed with this guy, Chris. A week after Pride, I moved in with him, and we were together until the day he died, about six months ago."

Scott opened his mouth to say something, but Charles immediately shushed him.

"Stop it; I don't want to hear any condolences. We were happy. Honey, let me tell you, it was true love, but his heart just up and gave out on him. The doctor told him it would happen, but he just wouldn't listen and slow down, even a little. Anywho, Tom told me y'all were in the market for a new house, and it just so happens I'm getting ready to put mine on the market. I'd love to help family out, especially since you're working on building a new life."

"Well... um... that's very generous of you, Charles," I stammered, shocked by the offer

"Oh, honey, it's not generosity. I could put the house on the market and enter a bidding war like that," he said, snapping his fingers. "I'm not going to give you my home, just give you the first option to put an offer on it before people start coming out of the woodwork for it."

"Well, you've definitely piqued my curiosity. We've looked at several houses in Midtown, but really haven't found anything we liked that didn't involve a lot of work to get ready, especially with the possibility of a new baby on the way," I said. Scott quickly agreed with me.

"You'll love the location if you want Midtown. Why don't you come over for a nightcap and take a look?" Charles offered.

Scott and I agreed, leaving Zach with an agreeable Tom. Zach hadn't been involved in any of our house hunting, and I did not want to start with this house. The last thing I wanted was for him to fall in love with a house we decided against. Of course, any attempt at keeping a poker face ended when Scott squealed after seeing the saline pool in the backyard. I wasn't much better when we entered the three-car garage, which had plenty of room to do all the tinkering I could possibly want. I'm still not sure why it was so important to me, since I'd never been particularly handy, but it was something I really wanted. The real clincher was a sun room and two offices, as well as four bedrooms and an apartment over the garage.

By the time we finished, both of us were just ready to throw our money at him. Fortunately, we already had a plan in place when that happened looking at houses. Scott excused himself and left me to talk to Charles alone. At least Scott could admit his irrationalities, and trusted me to keep a level head.

"I must say, Charles, we're both very impressed with the house. I think we'd definitely be interested in making an offer, but it's going to come down to the brass tacks. What are you looking for the house?"

"Well, my realtor wants me to start at 1.5 million, but I'm open to an honest offer."

"Ok, and just how quickly are you planning on moving out?"

"Again, that's negotiable. I don't have any place in mind, but I can probably find a place pretty quickly."

"Would it be alright if we come back with our Realtor? It's not that I don't trust you, but I honestly have no clue when looking at houses if I'm being taken for a sap. I'd also like to have her opinion before figuring out what to offer you."

"That'd be fine. I'd expect you to want to do a little due diligence," Charles said agreeably.

I went outside to collect Scott, and found him talking animatedly on the phone.

"Oh, he just came out. Can I put you on speaker?" Scott said.

Whoever he was talking to must have agreed to it, since Scott pushed a button and held the phone out. "Ok, Noah's now here too."

"Heya, dollface, I hear you might have just found your new home," Suze voice came out of the speaker.

"I think so, but I'd like you to take a look at it, if possible."

"Sure thing, hon. what's the address, and I can give it a preliminary look-over."

I did, and we waited while she pulled it up.

"Oh, that house. Honey, jump on it now. I'm friends with the man who will be listing it, and he kept telling me how great a steal that house is. I wanted to show it to you, but he wouldn't agree to anything until it was officially listed. Did the owner tell you what he wants for it?"

"Not explicitly; he said it's probably going to be listed for 1.5, but was open to a decent offer. Any suggestions? Would it help if you saw it? Charles said he was willing to let you take a look."

"I say we give him 1.5," Scott said.

"Hold your horses for a second," Suze said. "I can take a look at if you want, but I really don't know much more than you. It's a relatively recent renovation, and from what I understand, it really is move-in ready. I can't get too much more information than that, since it's not officially listed yet. Did you see anything that really needed work?"

"Maybe some paint, but that looked like the big one. Of course, we'd still have an official inspection."

"Of course. Now, if you're positive this is the house for you, it's probably better if you do the negotiating, since it's directly with the seller. I wouldn't recommend being too aggressive, since you're doing it all in good-faith, but I'll leave that to you. I shouldn't have to add that I'm still going to claim my commission since you'll need my help with the final contract."

"I wouldn't expect anything less from you, Suze," I said with a chuckle.

After getting a little more advice on how to proceed, we hung up.

"I take it you want the house," I said to Scott.

"Do bears shit in the woods? Fuck yeah I want this house!" Scott exclaimed.

We decided it was best for Scott to continue to wait outside, so I went back in to talk to Charles.

"Sorry that took so long. Apparently Scott felt the need to call our Realtor while he was out there, and I got sucked into the conversation."

Charles just chuckled. "I'm not surprised. I fell in love with it immediately, too. It's a great house, and perfect for a growing family. It's just a shame that even Atlanta was not a tolerant enough place for us to have children when we were in our prime. Not that we didn't try, mind you. I take it you want to make me an offer?"

"Yes, I do," I responded.

For the next twenty minutes, we went back and forth on offers and counter-offers. None were really bad offers, but both of us wanted to make sure we got what we wanted. By the end of it, we were both happy with the agreement. I called Scott back inside, and told him the good news.

On the way back home, with Zach passed out in the back seat of the SUV, Scott called Suze, and told her the terms we had agreed to. She promised to write up an official offer for us to sign and said she'd have it for us at some point during the day on Saturday. I insisted Scott apologize profusely for making her work late on a Friday night.

It would be two months before we moved into the new house, and those two months were a flurry of activity, although it really seems like life with Scott was always a flurry of activity. It turns out we were right to buy a house right away; when Mary went back to the doctors, they discovered the fertilization had worked, and we were officially soon-to-be fathers of a newborn. I was still in school full time, but I had found my stride, and was getting quite adept at balancing school and family life.

The move itself was relatively stress-free. Movers packed and unpacked everything, except Zach's stuff, because he really wanted to do that 'himself', which really meant Scott and I redid what he packed each night, since he would insist that a stuffed animal needed a big box all by itself 'so it could breathe'. One night, I believe he packed thirty boxes, each with no more than three items in them. When it came to unpacking his stuff, you would have thought it was Christmas morning, as he rediscovered each toy, he had to stop and play with it. For the most part, I let Scott deal with that, since I found myself obsessed with the idea that this was my house, and I could do what I wanted to it.

Scott had always insisted our old house was as much mine as his, and I don't recall a single time he did not make me feel like it wasn't. However, it had been his and Steve's. They had established a life together in that house, and I never really felt like it was my place to suggest any modifications. The new house was great, but I quickly found lots of little projects I could work on anything from fixing drippy faucets, to replacing light fixtures. I didn't do anything major; just lots of minor things.

Scott finally put his foot down about halfway through my marathon repainting of the house. Apparently I had been getting snippy with Scott, and he was beginning to feel a bit neglected by me, since I would often be working on things until late in the evening. In hindsight, I can see where he was coming from, and I'm sure he was right. At the time, though, I didn't, and we had several arguments during that period. It never got to the point where I was forced to sleep on the couch, or anything, but our relationship was a bit strained for the first couple months after we moved in. Of course all that changed when the OBGYN called us in for a meeting about four months into the pregnancy.

*** *** *** *** ***

A knock on my door pulled me from my thoughts again. I looked up, and saw Tom standing in the open doorway.

"Lost in thought again? Tina's caught me doing that a few times over the past six months, too. I know what you're going to say, but I have to ask anyway how are you holding up?"

"I'm fine," I replied curtly.

"That's what I thought you'd say. Tina was complaining that she never sees you anymore, except when you drop Zach off before karaoke. Why don't you come over early tomorrow, and have dinner with us?"

"Yeah, that sounds good," I said, forcing a smile. I didn't have an excuse ready, since he'd caught me off guard. I didn't want to tell him I'd been avoiding spending time around happy couples whenever I could, for starters.

"Great! Well, I'll see you tomorrow, then. I'll tell Tina you're coming," Tom said before walking out of my office.

I managed to focus on work until it was time for me to leave to pick up Zach from school. I even managed to stay out of my head while I drove over there. As usual, Zach was waiting for me out front, his shirt barely tucked in, and his hair going every which way. It always brought a smile to my face to see he still managed to be a little boy, despite the intended efforts of the school uniform and 'rules of conduct'. Scott and I had been concerned the school would make every effort to turn him into an automaton and would not let him have a 'normal' childhood.

"Hey Zachy," I said as he climbed into the car. "Tommy couldn't play today?"

"I dunno. I didn't ask him," he replied matter-of-factly.

"And why not? I thought you were good friends. Did you two get in a fight or something?"

"We are friends, Dad; I just didn't want to is all."

"Ok, ok. That's fine," I conceded.

Zach had been getting defensive easily the past few months, and I regularly found myself torn between trying to keep the peace and trying to help mend his broken heart. Unfortunately for both of us, I usually ended up just letting everything simmer. Then again, I hadn't exactly made any progress at mending my own broken heart, so it was hard for me to figure out how to help my son. For the next mile, or so, we rode in silence.

"How was school?" I asked, broaching the silence.


"Do you have any homework?"


"Do you have any responses longer than one syllable?"


At least with the last response, he looked at me and offered a smart-ass grin. I counted that as a parenting win.

When we got home, Zach quickly changed into normal clothes before returning to the kitchen, where he sat at the table and did his homework. From the beginning, we had a policy where schoolwork was to be finished as soon as he got home unless he had friends over, or there were special plans. Once he was done with his homework, he was free to do whatever he wanted. I made sure he spent plenty of time running around and burning off his energy, but this kept him from springing homework on us in an attempt to stay up past his bedtime.

Since Scott left, the relationship between Zach and me had become tense. I tried to talk to him on several occasions, but he always shut me out. I knew he was hurting but had no idea how to help him. While he worked on his homework, I sat next to him, silently hoping he would recognize that I was always going to be there for him, no matter what shit life handed us.

Once his homework was finished, he took Beso out back to play while I started dinner. The pool had turned out to be much more of a hassle than it was worth. Don't get me wrong, we used it constantly when the weather permitted, and I'd been tempted on multiple occasions to look into having it heated so we could use it in the winter. However, Beso would jump in it whenever he got the chance. Scott and I ended up having an expensive and ungainly hard cover made that we could seal it up to keep the dog out. Of course it took two grown adults four trips to take the cover off or on. We considered a second fence around the pool, but felt it ruined the aesthetic of the yard.

When dinner was ready, I called Zach back inside. As usual, I tried to engage my son in small talk, but it just wasn't happening. I stewed while we ate in silence, and decided it was time for us to have it out when he asked to be excused to watch TV.

"No, Zach, you can't," I said firmly.

"No fair! Why not, Dad?" he wailed dramatically.

"Because I'm completely sick of this shit between us. I know you're hurting, and I just want to help. But you blow me off, you don't want to play with your friends anymore. If you're not playing with Beso, you're either watching TV or playing a game, but when I try to do anything with you, you just walk away. What is going on?"

It had been the first time in quite a while that I had raised my voice to him, and Zach looked at me in shock for a moment before responding, mumbling something incoherent.

"What was that, buddy, I didn't understand you," I said, forcing myself to be calm for his sake.

"I don't want to spend time with anyone because they'll leave me," he responded quietly, beginning to cry.

Within a moment, I was out of my chair and wrapped my arms around my son. He sobbed for several minutes while I held him tightly, and I waited until he calmed down some before carrying him to the couch and sitting down. I stroked his hair while I held him in my lap. At eight, he was definitely getting a bit big to hold like this, but it was exactly what the situation called for.

"Why do you think people will leave you if you spend time around them?"

"Because Pops did, and so did Mia."

"I know buddy; I've tried to talk to you about that a few times, but I just don't know what to say," I said, feeling myself begin to choke up a bit as well.

I had tried so hard to put on a brave face and keep Zach from seeing how much pain I was in, and hoping he'd follow suit. The few times I managed to get words out, they seemed to fall on deaf ears.

"I know, Daddy," he said quietly.

"We talked about Mia a lot; you know why she left, right? It didn't have anything to do with you."

"Yeah, she was sick. But she was my sister, and I loved her. I didn't want her to leave me."

"I know, buddy. I didn't want her to leave either. Sometimes, bad things happen even though you really don't want them to."

"But why did Papa leave me? What did I do wrong?"

It took me a few minutes to figure out how to answer my son's question.

"You didn't do anything wrong, Zachy. I have no idea why he left; I really wish I did. He was just gone when we came home that day, but I know it had nothing to do with you."

The bastard hadn't even left me a note. He just left. I had an idea why he left, but I knew there was no way I'd be able to vocalize it to my son. It was too selfish of a reason too much like Scott and even thinking about why he must have left hurt me even more, since he had to know what leaving would do to the two of us, but he clearly didn't give a damn.

Zach didn't say anything in response, so I just continued to hold him and stroke his hair. After a few minutes, I spoke up again.

"You know I'm not going anywhere, right?"

"No. Pop always promised he'd never leave and he did, so what's to stop you from doing it too?"

I sighed. Of course, I realized. All of his insecurities about being abandoned had been hidden, but not completely forgotten. Once Scott left, they all came right back to the surface. Scott had promised 'his very best promise' that he would never leave Zach, and he'd broken it having never before given him a reason to doubt his word. There was no way my son would be able to trust a promise I made if Scott hadn't kept his.

"I know he did, buddy, and I know that makes you not want to trust me. Even with everything with Mia, and with Scott, did I ever do anything to make you think I would leave you?"

Zach thought a few minutes before answering. A couple times, he opened his mouth to speak but closed it again as his mind churned. Just like he had his entire life, whenever he went deep into thought, he absent-mindedly tapped his chin with his index finger. While it wasn't as adorable as when he was younger, it was still an endearing habit that always brought a little smile to my face.

"I wanna say 'yes', but I'm pretty sure I'm wrong. I was worried you would leave me, but you never actually acted like you would leave me. You didn't talk to me as much though."

"I know, Zachy, and I'm sorry about that. I needed to work on everything going on in my head. You lost your sister and your father. I lost my daughter and my husband. I know how badly you're hurting right now, because I hurt just as badly. Does that make sense?"

Zach nodded his head, and hugged me tightly, something I was quick to reciprocate.

"How about this, if you promise to always be there for me, I'll promise to always be there for you. How does that sound?"

"I like that, Dad," Zach said firmly.

"Ok, then it's settled. I promise to always be there for the best little guy anyone could ask for."

"And I promise to always be there for the best dad anyone could ask for."

"Then it's settled," I said.

"Can I watch TV now?"

"In a few minutes. I wanted to also talk to you about your friends. They're not going anywhere. Tommy's mom called me and told me how he was upset that you never want to play with him anymore. He thinks you don't like him anymore."

"Like I said, I was scared he'd leave me."

"Think about that, though. You don't want him to leave you, so you stop spending time with him. How does that make any sense?"

"Hmm... I guess you're right..." He thought for a few moments before asking, "Can I have him over tomorrow after school? I promise to get all my homework done at Uncle Tom's. Please, Dad, can I?"

Just like that, Zach was back to his old self, even if just for the moment. I kissed his forehead and ruffled his hair. He protested, but his giggle revealed his true sentiment. I got up and started taking care of the dishes as he began to watch television. When I finished, I joined him on the couch. For the first time in six months, Zach cuddled up against me voluntarily with dry eyes. I was positive in that moment we could weather anything.

Zach's bedtime came all-too soon, but surprisingly, his only complaint when I told him it was time to get changed was that he was comfy. When he got up, he voluntarily gave me a hug before going upstairs to get ready. When he was in bed, I did something I hadn't done in a very long time I sat on his bed and read him a story. I read until he fell asleep, tucked him in, and gave him one last kiss on the forehead. After everything with Mia, I had tried to shelter him, and when Scott left, I became focused more on my grief than on my son's. I realized now that Zach was my path to recovery, just as I was to him.

Having not slept the night before, I decided to call it a night as well. Despite my exhaustion, my brain would not turn off, and I couldn't stop thinking about Mia.

*** *** *** ***

"Is everything ok?" Scott asked the doctor impatiently as soon as we were ushered into his office.

"Scott," I said cautiously. Mary was now sixteen weeks into the pregnancy, and all we knew was the doctor had ordered a couple routine tests the week before.

"No, fuck that, we were called in because you wanted to talk to us about something. Is everything ok with the baby?"

"Scott!" I said firmly. "Sorry, Dr. Winslow, I tried to tell him it was probably nothing, but he wouldn't listen to me. Calm down, hun," I added, rubbing Scott's back.

"Sorry, ma'am, I'm just not really good at this."

"It's alright; I understand how anxious soon-to-be parents get. You've read all the horror stories of things that can go wrong. Please, have a seat," she said, gesturing to the chairs across from her desk.

"Now, Noah's right, it's probably nothing, but as you know, I ordered a triple-screen on your surrogate. I've already talked to her about the results and gave my recommendations, but she reminded me that you two were responsible for all medical decisions."

Scott slumped in his chair, and I could tell he was on the verge of tears. I reached over and took hold of his hand, which he proceeded to put in a death-grip.

"What did the test show?"

"Well, as I explained to you before hand, it's a very rough check for basic abnormalities during pregnancy. We like it because it's very non-invasive and has no risk of complications. There were some abnormalities, but beyond that, I can't tell you without performing additional tests."

"Do the tests," Scott said quietly.

"Hold on," I told him. "You said this test had no risk of complications, which is why it's preferred to make sure everything is going ok. What about the additional tests?"

"I recommend we perform an amniocentesis. The risks are low, but they are present. First, it's not a comfortable procedure. I'll insert a needle into the surrogate's abdomen and withdraw a small amount of amniotic fluid, which I'll send out for testing. I'll use a local anesthetic, but many women claim it is quite painful and experience cramping for several hours after the procedure."

"Those aren't risks. What are the risks?" Scott asked.

Dr. Winslow looked at us and gave a thin smile. "There's a small risk of miscarriage."

"No. We won't do it," Scott said firmly.

"Now hold on," Dr. Winslow responded, equally as firmly. "When I say small, I mean less than a one percent chance the risk is somewhere between one in two hundred, and one in four hundred."

"That's my child you're talking about, and a one-in-a-million risk of a miscarriage is something I'm not willing to risk," Scott replied, beginning to raise his voice.

"Scott, hun, calm down," I said, trying to squeeze his hand to comfort him.

"No, I won't calm down, Noah!"

"It's my baby, too. If the doctor thinks the potential benefits outweigh the risks, then maybe we should consider it," I said calmly. Inside, I agreed with him, but I was doing my damnedest to let rationality prevail.

"Have you read the baby books I've suggested?" Dr. Winslow interjected.

"Yes, why?" Scott said, distracted by the abrupt change in topic.

"Then I know right now you are completely terrified, because they all talk about all the billions of little things that can go wrong during pregnancy. You're terrified because even if the baby miraculously escapes into the world unscathed, the books go on to describe all the trillions of little things lying around your house that will kill it. Then, on top of that, I call you in here, and tell you that I think something is going wrong with the pregnancy, but can't tell you what. You're about to be a father, and right now all the worst fears those books brought to your mind are coming true.

"Let me tell you exactly why I want to order this test. The triple screen revealed a chromosomal anomaly, but that's all the information it gave me. I want to perform an amniocentesis so I can determine what that anomaly means, and the best course of action to take so I can properly prepare you for what life will be like as your surrogate comes closer to term."

It felt like the air was immediately sucked from the room. Scott and I sat slack-jawed for several minutes, trying to process the bombshell that had just been dropped on our laps.

Finally, I regained my composure enough to ask the question to which neither of really wanted to know the answer. Unfortunately, we needed to.

"What will you be looking for?"

"The test will reveal if your child has any number of genetic diseases, such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, or muscular dystrophy. It can also tell us if it has spinal bifida. On a lighter note, I will also be able to definitively answer whether you're having a boy or a girl, since the ultrasounds haven't been clear enough yet."

Dr. Winslow took off her glasses. "I know I've just dropped the mother of all bombshells on you. I'll understand if you want to take some time to talk amongst yourselves before deciding. Again, I want to reiterate, the surrogate has already agreed to any and all testing you deem necessary."

"We'll do it," Scott said, to which I immediately offered my agreement.

We shook her hand, and walked out of the office. I barely remember driving home or crawling into bed with Scott. We lay there for several hours, holding each other and crying about the future of our unborn baby.

The test was performed later that week, and what followed was the one of the most anxiety-filled three weeks of my entire life while we waited for the results. Finally, Dr. Winslow called us into her office again, where we sat with Mary as the doctor told us the results of the test. There was good news and bad news. The good news was we were having a girl. The bad news was bad. Very, very bad.

*** *** *** *** ***

"Fucking A! I just want to get some God damned sleep!" I muttered to myself angrily. I got out of bed and stormed into the bathroom, where I grabbed my sleeping pills. I remember momentarily thinking that I could end this vicious cycle of thoughts by just taking all the pills, but the thought left as quickly as it came. I took two and crawled back into bed. I wasn't suicidal or anything, just frustrated with everything. I had too much to live for. I loved my job, and I loved my son. I also knew I would find a way to rebuild my life and once again be surrounded by people I loved. I had no idea that process would start the next evening. 


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Special thanks to Ricky for reminding me how self-centered kids are, and that Zach would take Scott leaving extremely personal, especially considering his well-established fears of abandonment. As in the first story, Zach seems to be relegated to 'also there' in a lot of my outline, yet he keeps finding ways to take up large chunks of the story!


Let me know where you're from! I have a map of readers from around the globe. I currently have readers in 32 states, and 11 countries on 3 continents. I'd love to fill the map in some more!! I really want some Latin America, South America, Africa and mainland Asia (but I'm not picky, I'll take anything!)


My story is also hosted at, and on my story website, 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:


Don't forget to send me any questions or comments to