This story occasionally includes 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, 2011 and 2012.

This is my first attempt at writing a story, so I would love to hear any feedback, be it positive or negative.  Send me an email with any comments or questions at movingonstory@gmail.com

I would like to thank Jay Gordon at jaygordonstories.com, for much of the inspiration to write this, in addition to the many amazing stories that I've read by a wide number of authors.  Jay's stories may have given me the inspiration, but all the excellent writers have created a desire in me to write.  Thank you all.

Finally, my wonderful husband gets a shout out for being so supportive, allowing me to bounce ideas off of him and for taking the time to edit for me.  He is apparently a glutton for punishment, as he keeps volunteering to look at the newest chapter for me.  NCRaider is also proofing my chaptesr for me. They have been amazing, and any errors that remain are mine and mine alone. Thank you!

~Fitz

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CHAPTER TWENTY

TRUST

 

 

In the morning, I awoke feeling rested, yet slightly stiff, and I realized that I must have tossed and turned throughout the night. That was something that was new, but I didn't really allow myself to dwell on it. There was so much that needed to happen today that I wondered if we'd get through it all.

 

I got dressed, stepped outside the bedroom and suddenly remembered Zach's clothes were still in the dryer. As if on cue, a nearly naked four-year-old ran out of the bedroom next to mine. He still had on his underwear, which was at this point he'd worn for the past two days straight except for a quick bath.

 

"Yay! You're awake, Scott!" Zach cried happily, running toward me and embracing my legs before I had a chance to crouch down. "I waited in the room forever for someone to be up. I didn't want to wake anyone. Did I do good?" He looked up at me hopefully.

 

I grinned and scooped the boy into my arms. He squealed with excitement.

 

"You did very good, little buddy. Why don't you go wake your daddy up? He's in the living room," I said mischievously, putting Zach back on the ground.

 

"No need, I'm awake now," came an irritable grumble from the living room.

 

The look of joy vanished from Zach's face and he quickly clutched onto my leg.

 

"Scott, is Daddy going to be mean?"

 

I picked him back up, holding him tightly in my arms.

 

"No, Zachy, he's just waking up. C'mon let's go see him."

 

"Are you sure?" he asked, nearly whining. I couldn't see his face, as he had pushed it into my neck, clutching me as tightly as he could. It broke my heart that he was so scared that Noah of all people would hurt him, but he'd been living with Willow, so he hadn't exactly experienced much in the way of unconditional love in his short life.

 

"I'm positive. He's tired and a little cranky, but I bet if we go give him a hug and kiss he'll be ALL better. Does that sound good?"

 

He simply nodded into the crook of my neck.

 

I carried the underwear-clad boy into the living rom. Noah was sitting on the couch rubbing his eyes, his hair askew in every direction. His face was all stubbly, which I thought looked sexy. He clearly hadn't quite woken up yet.

 

"Good morning, sunshine," I said, purposefully a little too chipper. "I have a special delivery for you!"

 

I tried to deposit Zach on his lap, but the poor boy just wouldn't let go of me.

 

"Well apparently you don't," he responded with a concerned smile, trying to make light of the situation. "What's wrong Zachy?"

 

The tone of concern coming from Noah caused Zach to finally calm down. He turned his head and looked at his father.

 

"You're not mad?"

 

"Of course not! Why would I be mad?"

 

"You sounded mean. I was afraid you were mad," Zach said, a little unsure of himself.

 

Noah stood up and took Zach from my arms, who quickly accepted the loving father he was used to.

 

"Baby boy, I heard something about waking me up, and I just was trying to say I was already awake. I'm sorry you thought I was upset, but I'm tired and still waking up."

 

"You promise?" Zach asked, hope returning to his voice and his eyes.

 

"I do. If you want, I'll even lay back down and go back to sleep so you can come wake me up. And you can see for yourself that I'm not upset. How does that sound?"

 

After a moment of thought, Zach responded, "No. You're already awake. Besides, I'm hungry!"

 

Noah told Zach to run into his room and that he'd be there in a minute to help him get dressed. With an 'ok!' the nearly-naked blur left the room.

 

"Damn. I was hoping he'd let me get a few more minutes of sleep!" Noah said with a smile before giving me a hug and a kiss. "Sorry my response scared him, but it seems like you handled it well."

 

"Yeah, it was just so sudden, though. I hope we don't have to constantly walk on eggshells around him for fear of saying things in the wrong tone of voice or something."

 

"I think once he adjusts to living here, and gets used to the idea of having not one, but two, parents who love him unconditionally and won't hurt him, he'll be fine. He's young and resilient, so it probably won't take long. Remember, all he really knows is how Willow acted and reacted to things."

 

"Yeah, you're probably right. Oh, that reminds me," I said in an awkward segue, "Zach's clothes are still in the dryer. I was about to fluff it to get out wrinkles when he bounded out to greet me. Apparently he's been awake for a while but waited for one of us to be awake before he left his room."

 

"Ok. Do you want to help him get dressed then? I'll start breakfast if you do."

 

I hesitated, before asking, "Are you sure? It just seems a little awkward to be helping someone else's child get dressed."

 

Noah laughed. "When are you going to get it through your thick skull that he's your kid, too? As long as you and I are together, regardless of what the courts say, remember that. Every time you interact with him, you react like a father, not a friend. Unless you think there's a reason you shouldn't be left alone with a four-year-old boy?" He added, jokingly wagging his eyebrows suggestively.

 

"Ew, don't be gross," I said, unable to even play along with the joke that Noah was setting up. I may be a good sport at tasteless humor, but even I have my limits. I got back into the intended spirit when I added, "When I say he's a 'cute kid', that is DEFINITELY not what I mean!

 

"Anyway, I knew when I paused that I was being a little paranoid, or something. When he needs something done, I don't even think twice about it; I just react. But when I'm asked to do something parental, my immediate thought is, 'but I'm not a parent' "

 

Noah tried to jump in and reiterate his previous point, but I didn't let him.

 

"I know, I know. But this is new to me. Allow me to ask the stupid questions from time to time, and just reassure me that I'm not overstepping bounds, ok?"

 

"That sounds fine with me. Now go get him dressed, and then we'll dive into breakfast. Assuming I can find everything, pancakes sound good?"

 

My stomach grumbled hungrily.

 

"I guess that answers my question. Oh, and if you're feeling brave, try to give him a bath. I know he needs it!"

 

I laughed. "You're a big baby! It can't be that difficult to give him a bath!"

 

He simply smiled at me. "If you say so. Go show me how a real man gives a kid a bath while I get breakfast started," he said and wandered into the kitchen.

 

I went into Zach's room, and he was surprised to see me. However, once I told him that I'd help him get dressed, he got really excited. When I added that I'd also be giving him a bath, everything changed.

 

First he tried to talk me out of it, begging and pleading as much with his eyes as he was with his mouth. I'd like to be able to say that I managed to talk him into it and that it was very successful. I really wish I could say that.

 

Zach started screaming the second I picked him up. He switched to crying when I put him down to fill the tub with water, clutching at my leg. Ultimately, though, he got clean, as did most of the bathroom when I used an extra towel to sop up all the water he splashed out of the tub after drying myself off as best as I could. He also demonstrated how effective he was at picking words, showing just how much of Willow's vocabulary he'd absorbed. I knew that had to be dealt with, and there had to be a way to get him to take baths. I was determined to talk with Noah and devise a strategy for both.

 

With him still wrapped in a towel, I carried the little boy to the dryer and began pulling out clothes for him to choose. He clearly had never been giving a choice in his wardrobe before, and it took him a while to even decide which superhero would adorn his posterior.

 

Once he was dressed, I sent him off to the kitchen to see his father, while I folded the remaining clothes. I left them on the dryer, since I knew we were going to be moving furniture around throughout the day. I quickly changed into some dry clothes and joined Noah and Zach in the kitchen.

 

"I heard you prove me wrong in there," Noah said with a laugh as I walked in.

 

I laughed in response. "Yeah, you were right. He really doesn't like baths. Do you, buddy?" I asked, turning to Zach.

 

"Nope," he said happily, spearing a gooey mess of syrup and pancake with his fork and shoving it into his mouth.

 

I sat down and surveyed the meal that was spread on the table. In addition to the promised pancakes, Noah had also made scrambled eggs, bacon, and home fries. I didn't even know I HAD potatoes. Noah joined us, and we all dug in to the feast.

 

As I ate, I was shocked by how good everything was. I wasn't expecting it to be bad, by any means, but this was better than some breakfasts I'd had in restaurants. I had always prided myself on being a damn good cook, but Noah was definitely going to give me a run for my money.

 

After eating, I offered to clean up, but Noah shooed me and Zach out of the kitchen. I grabbed the bag of toys from the night before and got everything out for Zach to play with in the bedroom. I played with him for a little bit, and Noah joined in when he finished doing the dishes, but it was clear that Zach was in his own world. Eventually, we both began to feel like we were in the way, so we went back to the living room and cuddled on the couch together.

 

I told Noah about Zach's extensive off-color vocabulary as we lay there.

 

"Fuck," he responded, amusingly enough. "I hadn't thought about that since he said 'fag' when he first met you. I shouldn't be surprised, but we definitely should try to discourage it. You seem to know how to handle things like this, what do you suggest, oh Great Swami?"

 

I giggled, and poked him in the side, which caused him to giggle as well.

 

"Actually, I'm not sure. The first thing that came to my head was washing his mouth out with soap, but that seems far too draconian, especially since both of us curse somewhat regularly.

 

"Besides, he doesn't seem to use curse words regularly, at least I haven't heard anything before the bath. To me, it's almost like he knows that they're bad. Maybe play up the fact that the words are naughty?"

 

"The great Scott Hudgins, stumped," Noah said, kissing me gently as he laughed. "Actually, that gave me an idea. Maybe we can get Sarah to swear in front of him, and then we correct her and say that it's a naughty word. She just occasionally drops a curse word, and it gets corrected every time. After a little bit, one of us swears, and we can see what his reaction is."

 

"It's far better than the traditional washing-of-the-mouth. I say we go for it, but why Sarah, and not one of us?" I questioned.

 

"If it's one of us, he may view it as us being 'wrong', and at least at first, I want him to think that what we say is always correct. After what he's been through, I don't want him to have any doubt he can trust us."

 

"Brilliant, my dear," I said, kissing him. "Oh, and the Great Swami thinks he's solved the issue of baths."

 

"Oh, do enlighten us mere mortals, Great One," Noah teased.

 

"Three words: bubbles and boats."

 

Noah looked at me confused for a moment, before realization dawned on him.

 

"Ah, bubble bath, and toy boats. Basically make it into an extension of playtime. He'll be too distracted to realize he's also getting scrubbed clean. I can't believe I never thought of it!"

 

I could tell he felt a little angry for not having thought of it himself.

 

"How often have you actually given him baths?"

 

"I don't know. Maybe once every visit at most."

 

"Well, then, you have almost as little experience as me when it comes to baths, so stop blaming yourself for not solving it earlier."

 

"Yeah, I guess," Noah grumbled and sighed.

 

I kissed him gently on the lips. "Noah, you are a great father. Even a blind man could see that. But you're not perfect, and that's ok. That's why I'm here," I added with a joking air of smugness, which earned me a sharp poke in the side.

 

"What? I meant to help fill in the gaps, of course," I said, trying to control my giggles.

 

"Of course you did," Noah said, kissing me once again.

 

I could definitely get used to doing this day after day. We continued to lie there, talking less and kissing more. We weren't passionately making out, or anything, but we were definitely being affectionate.

 

Suddenly Zach ran in. His eyes went wide when he saw us intertwined.

 

"Daddy," he asked shyly, "is Scott going to pay you?"

 

A single glance at Noah confirmed that he was as lost as me. We sat up, and Noah had Zach sit between us.

 

"What do you mean, Zachy? Why would Scott pay me?"

 

"Because you were kissing him. Sometimes men come to visit Mommy, and they kiss her. Then they go into her bedroom. When they come out, they pay her. Sometimes they even kiss without clothes on."

 

I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach. I just figured that when the other residents of the trailer park had referred to her as a whore they were being facetious. I never expected that she was prostituting herself out, never mind the fact that her four-year-old son was able to watch it happening. I couldn't even form a word, let alone question Zach. Fortunately, Noah responded quicker than I did.

 

"Did this happen often, buddy?"

 

"I dunno. I guess a man came by almost every day. Sometimes more. But it wasn't usually the same man every day." Zach went into deep thought. I was still processing everything, and Noah just allowed the boy to concentrate.

 

"But Scott's been around more than one day. Why?"

 

"Well, because this is his house, silly," Noah responded, trying to make light of the situation. Unfortunately it only proceeded to make Zach grow a little paler and more uncomfortable.

 

"Does that mean that you have to pay him?"

 

"No. No one is paying anyone for anything, ok? Why would you think I'd have to pay him?"

 

I'd connected the dots, and decided to try to help out the boy, who was growing frustrated. He didn't actually understand what he'd seen Willow doing, but he was trying to make sense out of what we were doing in the narrow frame of reference he had.

 

"I can answer that one, Zach. It's because it's my house, and the men who gave your mommy money came to her house, right?"

 

He nodded, seemingly a little appreciative of the help, before being stricken with another look of worry.

 

"They didn't always give her money. Sometimes they gave her bags of stuff. I don't know what was inside. But you bought me toys and clothes. Do I have to kiss you like that too? I don't think I want to do that. I like giving you kisses on the cheek though. Would that be ok?"

 

Zach's brain was clearly spiraling out of control at this point, and I could almost see the steam coming out of his ears as his eyes began to well up with tears.

 

"Sometimes friends buy things for other friends," Noah tried to explain to his son. "It's not because they want something from the other person, they're just being nice.

 

"Kissing like what you saw me and Scott do should only be done with someone that you really like. Mommy was wrong for kissing strangers like that. You should never kiss someone just to get some money."

 

"But I really like you and Scott. I don't want to kiss you like that. Do I have to?"

 

Zach had begun to calm down a little, but tears were still threatening, and he was still very confused about everything.

 

"No. That type of kissing is so special that you should only do it with a few people ever. You'll know when you want to kiss someone like that. Hugs and kisses on the cheek are perfect for people you think are special, though," Noah explained.

 

"Oh, ok," the young boy said simply, seemingly accepting his father's answer before leaning over and giving me a kiss on the check. "I think you're special, Scott."

 

I ruffled his hair, and planted a wet raspberry on his cheek, causing him to squeal and giggle with glee. "You're special, too little buddy. You want to go play with your toys for a little longer? I need to talk to your daddy for a second."

 

"Can I bring them out here?"

 

"Of course, go get them, but give us a minute before you come back, ok?"

 

"Yeah!" and the blur took off again on a mission.

 

I turned to Noah. "You need to call Richard. I figured people were referring to her as a whore out of dislike. Did you have any idea she was selling herself?"

 

"Not a clue, but I'm not surprised by this revelation. Why don't you take Zach to the store and get him some bath toys and anything else you can think of. Maybe a stroller for when we go someplace busy or he gets tired?"

 

"That's a great idea. Just make sure that you make a big deal of giving me money in front of Zach. Make it clear that you are paying for the things I'm buying. I think you convinced him that we're not exchanging goods for sex, but we should probably be careful for a while to make sure that the prostitution angle stays out of his mind."

 

Noah furled his brow before confessing, "I don't have any cash on me. I almost never do; I just use my card."

 

"Here," I said, pulling out my wallet and giving him a few bills. I had no idea how much I actually gave him, but it was probably like six dollars. I didn't have much cash, either.

 

"He won't see how much you're giving me, and I'll just put it on my card anyway."

 

Just as I'd finished, Zach came into the room, arms loaded with his new toys.

 

"Hey, Zach," I said. "How would you like to go to the store with me?"

 

The boy looked torn. He really wanted to play with his toys, but obviously he liked the idea of spending time with me. "Just you?" Zach asked.

 

"Yep, just me and you, little buddy. There are a couple things I want to get, but I need your help. What do you say?"

"Daddy, can I?" he asked, his eyes pleading at his father.

 

"You don't need to ask my permission to do something with Scott. You have fun," Noah told his son.

 

His response was greeted with cheers from Zach, and the toys were quickly forgotten about. He gave his father a kiss before we left, and I strapped him in the car. We soon arrived at a nearby store.

 

We really did have a lot of fun at the store. My heart melted a little as Zach grabbed my hand without question as we walked into the store. He rode in the cart as I went up and down every aisle. He giggled and laughed and carried on as I told him jokes, and poked fun at some of the products I found. He really liked when I picked up box after box of hair dye asking him if I'd look better with that color hair. I was being silly, but he loved it.

 

He helped choose the perfect bubble bath, after carefully smelling every single variety on the shelves. Zach also picked out a few plastic ships for the bath. He really wanted some powder that purportedly turned bathwater into ooze. I shot him down on that one, but distracted him with a rubber ducky before he could get too upset.

 

After carefully testing out each model, Zach picked out his new stroller. He wanted to use it immediately, but I told him we'd have to wait until we got home. I wasn't about to try to push the stroller and the shopping cart at the same time. I also picked up a second booster seat, identical to the one he currently had. I figured it would save us a little time and a few headaches every time we switched cars.

 

When we finished, it was nearly eleven, so I decided to just get lunch while we were out. After ordering at the counter, I quickly pocketed the toy from his kid's meal, as I'd seen Noah do the last time. He looked a little sad at that, but perked up when I promised he'd get it when he was finished eating.

 

Zach happily chatted away throughout the meal, although I rarely had a clue what he was saying. I think I understood about half of it, but he was excited and babbling away, and I was content to just sit there and try to listen. I responded with various 'oh, yeah?'s and 'really?'s when he seemed to be waiting for prompts from me.

 

As he was finishing eating, he got quiet and turned serious on me.

 

"Do you love Daddy?"

 

I sighed. I decided that honesty was the best policy here, and I quickly searched my brain for an answer. "I think I might," I said finally. "Why do you ask?"

 

Tears began to fill Zach's eyes, and I was immediately concerned that I had said the wrong thing to the little boy.

 

I picked him up and held him against me, Zach's face buried in my neck. After a few minutes of soothing, he calmed down a little.

 

"Do you love me?" He was still in the crook of my neck, so the words were muffled and barely clear enough to distinguish.

 

"Of course I do, Zachy! Both your daddy and I love you very much!"

 

At this point he began actually crying into my neck. I was a little embarrassed, and people were beginning to stare at the 'unfit father with the upset boy' in the restaurant. I just kept rubbing his back and cooing soothingly in an attempt to calm him down.

 

Finally after what seemed like an eternity, he calmed down a little. He tried to explain himself into my neck, but I couldn't understand. Instead, I pulled him a way a little so that I could look into his eyes.

 

"Daddy's the only one who ever says 'I love you' to me, but then he leaves me. I don't want him to leave me. I don't want you to leave either." His lip was quivering as he said this, and it took a while to get out between gasps for breath.

 

"Oh, Zach, we're not going anywhere anytime soon. Look at me," I said, as he diverted his eyes. I wanted to make sure I was as clear as possible.

 

"Your daddy and I are going to be there for you for a long time. I promise, neither of us is going to leave you."

 

"You promise?"

 

"I promise my very best promise I ever made," I told sincerely. "That's why you now live with me, and so does your daddy. That's your home now."

 

"It is? Yay!" He said, suddenly a happy and rambunctious kid again. He even clapped.

 

As we drove home, I suddenly realized that I felt like a taxi driver. It was just me in the front seat and Zach in the back. I couldn't remember the last time I had someone else in the car but was alone up front.

 

When we pulled up in front of the house, I noticed Noah's car was gone. Zach noticed, too. Immediately he began to get upset. I reached for my cell phone, only to discover I didn't have it.

 

"Scott, where's Daddy?"

 

"I don't know, little buddy. Let's go inside and see if we can find out?"

 

"Did he leave?"

 

"No. He probably just had to run out for something."

 

"You promised he wouldn't leave."

 

"Zach, he didn't leave. I'm sure he'll be back soon."

 

I parked the car, and carried our new purchases inside, all precariously balanced in one hand, while holding Zach in my other. He was fighting back new sobs, convinced that Noah was gone again.

 

Inside, I put down everything except Zach, who refused to let go of me. On the kitchen table, I found my phone on top of a note from Noah. I told Zach that there was a note from his father, but he refused to believe me.

 

He demanded that I put him down, so I did. He then began to scream.

 

"You lied, Scott! You said Daddy wouldn't leave, but he's gone! You're going to leave me too! You're a liar! I hate you!"

 

With that, he stormed back to his temporary bedroom and slammed the door, screaming and crying the whole way.

 

I was really unsure what to do. Part of me wanted to chase after him and try to reason with him. The other part of me was fighting back tears after what he said. I never expected words from a four-year-old to cut me so deeply.

 

Rationally, I knew that Zach was just upset and that his limited vocabulary in turn limited how he responded when he got upset. I knew that once Noah returned home, Zach would quickly come around again. Until then, I decided to let him work off his emotions as he wanted. That was decidedly easier than trying to intervene as long as logic wasn't an option. I picked up the note and read it.

 

 

You forgot your phone!

The call with Richard went really well.

Will talk about that later.

Ran to the store to get a few things.

Be back soon.

N

 

P.S. Here's your phone.

P.P.S. Unlike you, I have my phone if you need anything.

 

 

He'd drawn a big heart around the N, and an arrow pointing to where my phone was, which, of course, was on top of the note.

 

Suddenly, I realized that I could cheer up Zach by simply calling Noah and having Zach speak to him. I dialed his number, but gave up when his phone began to ring from the living room. So much for that idea.

 

After waiting for the sounds of sobbing to diminish, I tried knocking on the door to Zach's room.

 

"You in there, Zach?"

 

When there wasn't an answer, I poked my head in. The poor guy had cried himself to sleep. He was on his knees with his face smashed into the floor, but his butt was still up in the air. I couldn't help myself and took a picture before placing him gently on the bed.

 

He awoke just enough to ask if Noah was back yet, but I just told him to go back to sleep and that Noah would be back when he woke up.

 

Sure enough, about five minutes later, Noah strolled back in with a bag from a department store. As happy as I was to see him, I found myself venting my frustration out on him.

 

"You need to drop that bag and go wake up your son, this instant!" I ordered crossly.

 

Noah looked at me in shock, but did drop the bag

 

"What the fu-".

 

I held up my hands and cut him off.

 

"Sorry! Let me start again." I ran over and embraced him in a hug, which he didn't return, so I let go.

 

"Zach is worried that we're about to leave him, because he's used to you leaving after a few days. When we got home from the store and you weren't here, he freaked the fuck out. I saw the note and tried to calm him down, but it was no good. I tried calling your cellphone, but wouldn't you know you forgot it after chastising me for forgetting mine," I said, as my anger and frustration slipped away.

 

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry! I never thought about the fact that he's used to me leaving! I'll go talk to him."

 

I stopped him.

 

"No. He cried himself to sleep, of course that's after he repeatedly called me a liar, told me he 'fucking' hated me. He'll be fine when he sees your back home, though."

 

"Scott, I'm really sorry. I can't imagine how much that hurt."

 

"I was surprised how much it hurt, too. But we'll sit him down together and explain how saying those things, even when you're angry, can really hurt people's feelings. He's young, and doesn't really know how to express his emotions yet. He has a lot of issues with trust, which we keep uncovering."

 

I pulled him into another hug, which he returned. Noah kissed me tenderly.

 

"Now show me what you had to run out for."

 

"Why don't we sit down, and I'll start from the beginning."

 

We made our way over to the couch and sat down.

 

"First off, I called Richard. It was actually even more uncomfortable than the first call, because I had to explain how we were laying on the couch, kissing. He seemed a little agitated at first, but admitted that he knew that Steve would want you to be happy, so he would do his best to not let it bother him. He also filled me in on a lot of the back story behind yours and his relationship."

 

"You mean the part where he was always distant and never really accepted me as a part of his son's life?"

 

"No. Apparently he had a lot of trouble grasping the fact that Steve was 'that way', in his words. He knew how much you both meant to each other, but he just struggled to accept Steve's sexuality. By the time he had, your relationship was already frigid, and he wasn't sure how to recover it.

 

"Anyway, back to the point, I described exactly how the conversation unfolded, to which he basically responded with 'fuck!'. He told me to contact Detective Martin and let him know what Zach said.

 

"He also told me that Willow is not eligible for bail, thanks to her arson charge. She's going to have to sit in jail while she awaits her arraignment, which will probably be mid-September, according to Richard.

 

"Apparently he called in a few favors, so we should have our custody hearing next week. Richard's aiming for Monday, which will be nice to get over. With Willow ineligible for bail, it's strictly a formality. He cautioned me that the judge will probably just continue the custody until after Willow's trial, but there's a chance that they may revoke your rights."

 

Noah blushed a little. "I got a little ahead of myself when he mentioned us going to court, and realized Zach would need a suit. I got excited and had to run out and pick one up."

 

He pulled a tiny suit out of the shopping bag.

 

"Look at how cute it is. It's so little!" he exclaimed.

 

I giggled at my boyfriend's excitement, and to be honest at the adorableness of the little suit. I kissed Noah's cheek.

 

"Well I guess that explains everything. Of course next time you're going to go all passive-aggressive about me forgetting my phone, make sure you remember yours," I chided, poking him in the ribs as I joking added, "asshole."

 

"Yeah," he said with a laugh, "that kinda undermined my position a little. Oh, but I'm not done yet.

 

"After I finished talking to Richard, I talked to Detective Martin and told him about the whole 'kissing' thing. He seemed more uncomfortable than Richard when I mentioned we were kissing, which surprised me because he definitely didn't seem homophobic or anything when we were around him. I didn't pry or anything, but there seems to be something there.

 

"Anyway, he told us to just bring Zach to the precinct when we go for the custody hearing. He's going to talk to the DA about adding prostitution to the grand jury indictment."

 

"Well, you had a productive morning, I guess. I just went shopping, dealt with an emotional outburst at lunch, and then dealt with a tantrum once we got home. Speaking of, you should go see Zach. I don't know if he's awake yet, or not, but go check on him."

 

I followed Noah into the bedroom. Zach was awake and sniffling into his pillow.

 

"Hey, Zachy, I'm home," Noah said quietly.

 

"Daddy? You're back!" Zach cried out, jumping off the bed and into his father's arms.

 

"Of course I came back! I just had to run to the store. I left a note for you and Scott. Did he tell you about it?"

 

"Yeah, but I thought he made it up to make me feel better," Zach said quietly.

 

"Why would he do that?"

 

"Because you leave me after a few days. You always leave," he added morosely.

 

"Not this time. Scott and I are going to stick around for a long time."

 

"You promise?"

 

"Of course I promise," Noah added, kissing his son's cheek. "Now do you think you should apologize to Scott? I think you may have hurt his feelings."

 

Zach nodded his head before looking at me.

 

"I sorry, Scott. I was mean like Mommy."

 

"I know you are, buddy. You were just upset. But it's ok now."

 

"It is?" he asked, unsure if he was being forgiven.

 

"It is. Now, why don't we go show your daddy what we got at the store?" I said excitedly, trying to cheer up the emotions flowing through the room.

 

"Yeah!"

 

Zach jumped out of Noah's arms, grabbed his hand, and dragged him back to the living room.

 

Just as he was beginning to go through everything, Tom and Sarah returned from their night out. I noticed that Sarah looked incredibly happy, but Tom seemed a little frustrated. I decided not to pry. They joined us as Zach regaled everyone with the trip to the store.

 

When he finished, and everyone had feigned an appropriate level of interest to Zach's liking, I knew it was time to get down to business, as we had a lot we needed to get done today.

 

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I'd like to thank my readers for all the wonderful comments I have received. A very special thanks to those of you have emailed me. Please, keep them coming!!!!

As I've posted in every chapter, and in the majority of emails I've responded to, my story is also hosted at http://fitz.thestorycloset.org.  If you register for the website, you can subscribe to "Fitz's Subscribed Readers Forum", which is located at the bottom of the forum.

The story's Facebook group, 'Moving On' is a good place to also receive updates on the story. Mostly, it seems to be used for me to provide teases or vent mild writing frustrations, but it's welcome to all for whatever purposes that come. It is a 'closed group', meaning nothing posted in the group is visible to nonmembers, and the group does not show up on your profile.  However, searching for the group will bring up the name and the members of the group, so it is not completely safe from prying eyes.  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/.

My story is also available at http://movingonstory.weebly.com. Not only does it host all current chapters of Moving On, but I just added character bios! I haven't finished writing them all, and I still need to find pictures of the characters. If you have any suggestions for ANY NAMED CHARACTER, please email them to me!

Alright...enough meaningless rambling!  Don't forget to send me feedback, sign up for the Facebook group if you want, and please visit my new site!!

Don't forget to send me any questions or comments to movingonstory@gmail.com.