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 email@example.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.
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. NCRaider is also proofing my chapters for me, although he has been otherwise occupied for the past month or so. They have been amazing, and any errors that remain are mine and mine alone. Thank you!
Hubby has informed me that he would REALLY like to retire from editing. He gets no joy out of it, and finds that he can't enjoy the story as much as he'd like, since he feels pressured to make sure everything is perfect. If you are interested, please email me (I know someone offered at point, but I honestly can't remember who). I'd like someone who is willing to rip the story apart and be as big of a grammar, continuity, flow, etc. Nazi as they can be!
One last note, I'm aware that working as a web designer is probably nothing like how I described. Those who know better, please forgive me! What's a little Deus ex Machina between friends, anyway?!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For the second morning in a row, I woke up Monday morning feeling incomplete. Like Saturday night, it seemed like I had slept well throughout the night, but I just didn't feel rested. The only reason that I could think of was that the bed that had once given me so much comfort just felt too empty.
That's not to say that I was quite ready to sleep with Noah, but I recalled how he said he wouldn't feel comfortable sharing the same bed with me that I once shared with Steve. It was the place where we partook in our most intimate moments, both sexual and not, and I could see how Noah would not really want to do that. As I thought about, I realized that I didn't want to either.
I put that on the list of things to do, but knew I wouldn't get around to it today. I had big plans today: I was going to fight to win back my clients, and hopefully make a few more, and I was ready to strike. Everything in my life seemed to be falling into place again except for work, and it was time to change that. Besides, I had more pressing needs at the moment, specifically getting cleaned up and ready for the day.
As I relaxed under the luxurious hot water of the shower, I thought back over the crazy weekend and how much my life had changed in just a few short days. I was filled with contentment and wouldn't change it for the anything in the world.
My mind drifted to last night's moment of passion with Noah, and I felt that familiar sensation rising in my loins. I had been so close to shooting my load the night before that my balls were full and boiling for release as I quickly rose to attention. In my fantasy, I didn't freeze and Noah's hand continued its venture south. For the entire night, we made love, slow and loving, frenzied and aggressive, and everything in between, in every position imaginable.
I felt my aching balls begin to tighten, and realized that I was about to orgasm without touching myself, simply thinking about what might have been. I quickly turned the water to 'cold' to keep that from happening. I didn't know when Noah and I would cross that line in our relationship, but I wanted to save everything I had for him.
I finished showering, thinking of anything but our make-out session, and got out and quickly dried off. I wrapped the towel around my waist and returned to my bedroom, grabbing clothes from the closet on my way.
I dropped the clothes on the bed and grabbed underwear and socks from the dresser to add to the pile. I was just about to drop the towel and get dressed, when I heard a voice that snapped me from my routine.
"Hot damn," Noah said, slightly huskily, from the doorway.
The towel slipped from my hips, but I barely managed to grab just enough of a handful to keep my privates, well, private. I'm sure he saw my pubes, but the jewels were going to stay in the family vault for another day.
Noah just laughed at my predicament, as I struggled to rewrap the towel around my waist without revealing myself to him.
"Sorry, I probably should have announced myself when you walked out of the bathroom."
"Wait...you were there the entire time! Why didn't you?" I wasn't angry, but I was certainly flustered and felt a little exposed.
I managed to slip my boxer-briefs on underneath the towel, allowing me to begin dressing without further embarrassment.
"Yeah, I was. I was just about to say something, but the sight of you was enough to take my breath away. Also, I couldn't help but kinda hope for a free show," Noah said, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, which caused me to blush more than I already had been.
"I have no idea how you can say that with a straight face," I said honestly, then confessing, "I used to have such a great body, but the overeating and lack of exercise destroyed that, along with any concept of my body image. Even though I'm shedding pounds bit by bit, I still feel like a bloated whale that ate another whale whole before beaching itself and rotting in the surf."
"Well, that's a mental image that I won't forget for a while! You, babe, are anything other than bloated," He said, walking over and wrapping his arms around my still naked torso.
The embrace only lasted for a few minutes before Noah stepped back to drink the sight before him.
"See, you're arms and legs have good muscles and some nice definition," he said, gently rubbing his hands lightly down my biceps. "And you have a nice chest," he added, moving his hands accordingly. He brushed my nipples, which elicited a gasp from me.
"Now you're stomach, on the other hand is a work in progress," He said, changing tactics and smacking my gut with the palm of his hand just hard enough to cause me to grunt.
"I'm just kidding! So you don't have a flat stomach. Who cares? I think you look damn sexy and you did take my breath away."
"You're just saying that because you're obligated to now that you love me," I said, half in jest.
Noah wrapped his arms around my shoulders and kissed me gently.
"Scott, I'd love you if you weighed 300 pounds. Your compassion and caring, your gentle nature, and your loving heart mean so much more to me than appearances. Think of your amazing looks as perks."
"Should we test that claim?" I asked with a genuine laugh, my concerns over my appearance diminished, at least for the time being.
"Let's not, but if it happens, I'll still love you. I may have to start sleeping with rent-boys on the side, but I'll still love you."
"Ass," I said as I gently pushed him out of our embrace.
"Besides, if you want to push yourself to get your body back to where you want it, I'll be more than happy to help in any way I can. Maybe some extended cardio sessions," Noah added suggestively.
"Perv," I said, wrapping my arms around him and pulling him back into a hug.
"I don't know what you were thinking about, but I meant running," Noah said with a giggle before leaning in and kissing me again.
"Now finish getting dressed. I haven't heard from the little munchkin yet, but I'm sure he'll be up any minute. Tom and Sarah are already in the kitchen eating."
With one final kiss, Noah walked towards the door, where he was ambushed by a very tiny Spider-Man. I slipped my shirt on as quickly as I could, hoping to avoid any thoughts that Zach might have that Noah and I were engaged in anything that might bring up the subject of prostitution again.
"Hi, Daddy!" Zach said, launching himself into his father's arms. He looked at me and quickly added, "Hi, Scott," before returning his attention to Noah.
"I waited for you for EVER, but you weren't in your room. So I got bored and came here."
"Sorry about that, little guy. I was just talking to Scott for a minute. I bet you're hungry. Let's go get you some food."
As if on cue, my stomach gurgled loudly, garnering an excited giggle from Zach and a laugh from Noah and me.
"My stomach's spoken, I guess. Zach, lead the way!"
Zach carelessly leapt from his father's arm. I was shocked when he landed on his feet, managing to look a bit like the superhero he was dressed as. He took off in a run towards the kitchen, with Noah and I both admonishing him gently to slow down.
Breakfast was nothing special, just cold cereal, juice, and coffee. Zach tried to show how grown-up he was and pour his own milk, which he proceeded to spill over the entire table. Noah looked angry for a moment, but I couldn't stop laughing at the sight as I quickly grabbed some towels to sop up the mess. Noah finally saw the humor when Zach began to cry, and we all laughed and consoled him, quickly cheering the boy up. There really is no use in crying over spilt milk. Zach happily ate his cereal, but only after complaining that there was too much milk in the bowl.
Once breakfast was over, I retreated to my bedroom with my laptop and proceeded to make phone calls galore: groveling, pleading, and offering more services than I usually provided to my clients for lower prices than I normally would. I told them to pass on to their contacts that Hudgins Designs was slashing prices and looking to expand aggressively. Since I'd had minimal contact with most of my clients for months, most were shocked to even hear from me. Any animosity towards my work was short-lived when I reassured them that I was not only back, but I was willing to push myself harder than ever, even willing to prove myself by offering a single page overhaul for free. I quickly found myself with more work than I cared to think about.
After making calls for about two hours, I needed a break. I had quickly gotten more accomplished by pushing my brand in that brief period than I had for the past year. I easily had about two weeks of work to do and had made guarantees to all my clients to have my work submitted by Friday. The new me could do it, though. I figured I would start early in the morning and work late into the evening, but I should still have time to spend a few hours with Noah and Zach throughout the day.
I went out to the living room and flopped down on the couch. Zach didn't look up from his toys, but Noah gave me a concerned look.
"Don't worry. I just may have bit off a little much to chew, but we'll figure it out. I just may have a few sleepless nights."
I nodded, confidently. "Yes. This is what I should have done a long time ago. I just have to deliver my best work in the shortest amount of time for the least amount of money ever. Once I convince clients that I'm back and on top of my game, I can start ratcheting up fees and return to normal delivery schedules."
"Are you taking a break right now? I was thinking of running out to the store. I never thought about it, but I guess I won't be able to use your laptop to research schools. Besides, whenever I actually start classes, I'll definitely need my own laptop."
"How did you ever get by without a computer?" I asked, realizing that he hadn't had even a tablet when we moved him out of his place.
"It's actually very easy. I had one in college, but it eventually broke or something. I never bothered to replace it, and just used my phone. Whenever I need to actually use a computer, I'd just go to an internet café, but that was just to pay bills or whatever."
"If you say so," I said, still not quite believing it. "Then again, I do web design, so I couldn't imagine trying to be without a computer," I added with a laugh.
"Tell you what: I need to get out of the house. Why don't we go together? I can help you pick out a laptop, since I'm sure you have no idea what you even want."
"Are you sure? I don't want to impose or anything, but I'd be grateful for any assistance. I'd be worried the entire time I was shopping that the salesperson was just trying to take me for a ride for a nice commission. I'm not a Luddite or anything, but I'm not exactly tech-savvy," Noah confessed.
I wrapped an arm around my boyfriend. "You, my incredibly sexy boyfriend, could never be an imposition. Just as a word of warning, though I'm pretty sure you'll be spending a very pretty penny, regardless. You're going to want something very high performance and you'll need some high-end graphic-design programs, and those don't come cheap. I mean, the version of Adobe Creative Suite I use, with all the bells and whistles, was like twenty-five hundred dollars, if I remember right."
Suddenly, Zach perked up as he giggled, "Scott, Daddy just said a no-no word!"
"Yes he did. Good catch!" I told him happily, before returning my attention to Noah, "I see that he's already taken to the idea that there are some words he shouldn't say."
"Yeah, Sarah and Tom worked on that for a while earlier. We batted around the idea of having a cuss bucket, but for now I hope we can avoid bribing my son. Back to the software, is it REALLY that expensive?"
"Yeah, but there are always student discounts on software. You'd probably even be able to get a discount on the computer, but you first need to get accepted. I'd recommend getting the laptop, but not bothering with software yet. I have disks lying around here somewhere that'll give you the basics, I'm sure. I have to check the licensing restrictions, though. For all I know, I have free reign, but technically the 'company' purchased it, so I'm not sure on any restrictions," I explained.
"I'm already getting a headache just thinking about everything."
"No worries, it can get complicated, but I'm sure we'll be able to figure it out. If we can't, once you get into a school, I'm sure there's someone there who knows better than me. It didn't help that my lawyer always handled any of these issues," I added with a sad laugh.
"Maybe we can just ask Richard this weekend," Noah said.
"Wait, what do you mean?"
"Shi-shoot," He said, glancing down at Zach, "I must've completely forgotten to mention that part. He wants the three of us to visit this weekend. He said it was mostly because it'll be easier to go over stuff for the custody hearing in person, but personally I think he and Lydia are lonely, still struggling with Steve's death, and could use a little company."
"Oh I can see that. Anything else you've volunteered us for that I should know about it?"
"Just that and the O-R-G-Y," he said with a laugh, while I just looked at him in confusion. "Damn, the joke didn't work as well when trying to avoid the word in front of the rugrat."
"Daddy, that's another no-no word!" Zach scolded with a giggle.
"Yeah, I guess you caught me! I'm going to have to be more careful around you, aren't I?" Noah asked his son.
"Yep. You shouldn't say no-no words around me 'cause I'm impressabable. What's that mean, Daddy? Sarah said I was impressabable."
"Impressionable," Noah corrected. "She said that you're impressionable. It means that you hear the words we say and try to use them, too. No-no words are only to be used by adults, and shouldn't be used in front of boys."
"I know that, Daddy. Sheeesh. Tom already explaineded all that to me!"
"Speaking of Tom and Sarah," I said suddenly, "what are those two lovebirds up to?"
"Apparently Sarah wanted to go shopping and dragged Tom along with her."
"Ahh. I guess that explains that. Maybe we should follow suit and get this show on the road? I do have to really crack down this afternoon."
Noah agreed, so the three of us piled into my car and headed out to a nearby electronics store nothing special, just a run-of-the-mill big-box store. Noah began immediately staring at all the laptops like his head was going to explode.
"Just breathe," I soothingly told him. "You'll need something fairly high-end, so it should be easy to really narrow down the options. I can give suggestions all you want, but I want you to be the one to make the final decision. You'll be the one using it, so you have to be happy with your choice," I said, as if I didn't already know the laptop he'd end up with. I could've made it a lot less stressful for him, but this was more fun.
He walked up and down the aisle, and Zach quickly grew bored, since we wouldn't allow him to touch anything. After what seemed like an eternity of him exploring and asking me questions that were largely irrelevant, a salesman approached us.
After checking with Noah to make sure he was in good hands, I took Zach over to the videogames, leaving my boyfriend in what I assumed were competent hands.
Zach really enjoyed the videogames, although he clearly had no idea what he was doing. I think he just liked the idea that he was controlling the television. He didn't even seem to get frustrated when he died (repeatedly). He loved the handheld games, but I knew that even those were probably too advanced for his skill level. He had fun, though, and ultimately, that's all that matters.
"Scott, Can I get this? PLEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASE! I'll be the bestest boy in the whole world!" the tyke pleaded, staring at me with the most adorable look on his face, when I told him we needed to go back to check on Noah.
"Not today, little buddy," I responded, chuckling a little at his desperate attempt. "I need to talk with your daddy before we buy you anything like this, but I promise that I'll talk to him later today, and maybe we can figure something out. Is that ok?"
He thought, striking his usual pose. I never got sick of seeing him tap his chin. It was almost too cute for words.
Finally after a moment, his thoughtful look changed to a pout. "Fine," he said unhappily, crossing his arms and sulking a little.
I scooped him up in to my arms and proceeded to tickle him. He squealed and giggled, which attracted several looks from fellow customers a strange mixture of concern and amusement among them.
Still carrying Zach, I returned to Noah, who was about to be rung out. As I looked at what he was about to purchase, I felt a little guilty for being about to wipe the proud look off his face. Actually, a lot guilty.
"No. Don't get that one," I said firmly.
"But why?" Noah asked, looking very hurt by my forcefulness. He glanced at the salesman's name tag before continuing, "Sam, here, told me that this will be able to use this to do all my school work. Besides, it's a lot cheaper than I expected, and it's so cute and tiny!"
"It's a netbook, Noah, they're cheap because they are powerful enough to run a word processor and an internet browser. That's about all they'll do. I'm sorry, but this won't work for what you need."
"Excuse me if I may interject," the salesman cut in, a little too smugly for my taste, "but after talking to Noah about what all he wants it for, I think this is the perfect solution. He said he doesn't play any games, or even really check email. He said that he's going back to school which I think is great that someone would want to return to school to try to better themselves at your age, by the way. He also said that all he'd be using it for is college course work. Netbooks are small and highly portable which makes them perfect for taking to classes, and while they're not extremely powerful, they're more than capable of running any programs needed for the average college student."
I just fought back a smile of my own as I crossed my arms. "Did Noah happen to mention that he was going to be enrolling online?"
The smug look wavered a little on Sam's face, but he smoothly responded, "No, but that doesn't change the fact that a netbook takes up so little room. When he's not using it, it'd be easy to store in pretty much any drawer. Plus, it's the perfect size to start teaching this little guy computer skills. It's never too early to start!"
"I'm not little, I'm FOUR!" Zach responded from my arms, unhappily. Clearly he was as unimpressed with this sales tactic as I was.
"Not to change the subject, but don't you people work on commissions? I'd have expected you would have pushed him to buy the most expensive model with all the bells and whistles."
"No," Sam responded proudly. "We pride ourselves in working without commissions. It takes away any desire to 'hard sell' products simply to pad our pockets. While Noah said that you thought he'd need a high-end machine, just a simple conversation with my man, here, made it easy to figure out all he'd really need. In fact, I'm not sure you're quite as up on current technology as much as I was led to believe."
I decided to ignore a second blatantly insulting comment, at least for now, and said, "Well, I guess that's reasonable. But one last question. If you're still convinced that this is still the right product, I'll stop intervening and admit that I'm wrong. In your 'simple conversation', did you bother to ask what Noah was going back to school for? Wouldn't a graphic design student have very different needs out of a computer than the 'typical' college student?"
The smug look vanished instantly, and the poor guy began to stammer as he responded, "Well, um, no. I guess, that, uh, it didn't come up, exactly. Is that what you'll be studying, sir?" he asked Noah.
Noah just nodded, dumbfounded, and unsure exactly what was going on around him.
"Oh, well in that case, I'm terribly sorry. You really do need a better machine for that. In fact, I'd probably recommend a desktop, which would be cheaper for the type of computer you'll need. You did say that portability was important to you, though, so let me show you a few laptops that will be able to work for you."
Sam led Noah back to through the laptops, while I trailed with Zach. I listened in, and it was clear that the salesman really did know his stuff. I did step in when he tried to helpfully suggest software, telling him that we'd get that at a later time, once we found out what discounts were available through schools. Like I expected, it was nearly identical to mine, only about two years newer, which meant that in computer terms, it was basically the great-grandson of my model.
After Noah was rung out for the laptop, as well as a few minor accessories, I was unable to hold back my anger over Sam attitude.
"I'm normally a peaceful turn-the-cheek kind of guy, but you were repeatedly rude to both of us. Give me one good reason why I shouldn't complain to your manager." I narrowed my eyes and almost hissed, "nobody fucks with my family."
"Scott! That's a..." Zach shouted, but I cut him off.
"I know, I know, that's a no-no word. I'm sorry, Zachy."
Sam just stared at his shoes as he responded, "Actually, sir, I'd understand if you did, but I beg you not to. I'm a junior in computer engineering at Tech, and just started here recently. Actually, this is only the third day I've been on the floor without someone tailing me constantly. I really do know a lot about computers, which is more than some of my coworkers. I figured that, after talking with your friend, going with something more basic might be easier for him, since he admitted he's not very tech-savvy.
"I realize now that I forgot to ask a few key questions, which would have led us down a different path. I made some assumptions, and when you questioned the choice, I let my ego take control. I'm really, very sorry to both of you for my attitude and behavior."
I thought for a moment, the anger subsiding due to his explanation, before asking him, "Can I get one of those laptops, too?"
Noah spoke up for the very first time. "Why? You already have a computer. Actually, it looks exactly the same to me," he confessed.
"On the outside they are the same, but it's the insides that matter. Yours is going to be able to run programs better than mine would. It's probably about two-years old, and I could probably use a new one. Besides, I'm not paying, the 'company' is, and after this week, I expect business to be booming," I explained.
Noah just nodded in response as Sam retrieved a second laptop for me.
"I guess I have a lot to learn about this stuff. I feel so out of my league and am beginning to question if graphic design is right for me."
"Don't think that way. Everyone has to start somewhere. Of course, you could have TOLD him you were doing graphic design, and none of this would have happened. Trust me, you'll be great."
"You mentioned your company. May I ask what you do?" Sam asked, showing genuine interest in what I had to say for the first time. It may have had something to do with my turn-around from being ready to file a complaint earlier, but having accepted his explanation, I guessed that I had just caught him off guard, and he thought I was assuming he didn't know what he was talking about.
"I'm in web design. 'Hudgins Design' is the name of the company. Basically, I just utilize tax loopholes to subsidize new toys," I said with a laugh.
"Hey, whatever works," Sam responded with a chuckle. "These little buggers are expensive. Wait. Were you the one that designed the website for the drive-in just off campus? I seem to recall seeing 'Hudgins Design' on their website."
"Yeah, that was me. Actually, I'm going to be revamping it this week, possibly bringing the changes online this weekend."
"That's so cool," Sam said, almost gushing. "I'd love to do something like that, but I don't have nearly the creativity. I prefer hardware, though. The art to it is in the science, if that makes sense."
"It does. I enjoyed the computer engineering class I took in college, but to me it was too far removed from actually creating. That's the joy of computers, though. Without hardware, I'd be out of a job, and without the software, you're left with expensive paperweights."
"You're right about that! Do you need anything else, or will this be it for you?"
"Actually, what do you know about thunderbolt drives? I know it's relatively new, and I've been a little off the grid for a while."
Sam, the ever-efficient salesman, launched into a spiel about them with great enthusiasm and quickly convinced me to buy a one-terabyte thunderbolt hard drive for me, as well as a two-terabyte one that would also be primarily for me, but I figured Noah could use it, which bothered him more than a little.
"I thought we agreed that you'd let me buy the things I need? This drive is neat and all, but it's really expensive and I'm not even sure if I'll need it," he said.
"I'm not buying it for YOU, exactly. I can see the benefit of being able to speed up large file transfers, and I'm buying it for the business. That doesn't mean that you're not welcome to use it as you see fit, however I may borrow it from time to time. Trust me; you'll want an external drive as a backup, if nothing else. I also store back-ups of back-ups anal-retentively, so I feel better having as much space as possible. If it really matters that much, I can just get the one."
"No, sorry, I guess I'm just frustrated and at my limit for technology stuff, at least until I get the chance to start tinkering with everything and reading up on what does what. Since it's for you, technically, I say go for it."
I paid for everything then asked if I could speak to Sam's manager after all. He looked worried, but did as I requested. When the woman came out, I was quick to lavish compliments on Sam for how he had tried his best to match what he thought would best suit the needs of the customer rather than go for the big sale and how knowledgeable and passionate he was about the products that they carried. I left out the part where he forgot to ask important questions, but added that he was very good at recommending additional accessories.
She seemed impressed, and almost shocked, that Sam had performed so well, while Sam tried his best to blend into the scenery, clearly embarrassed about the praise being showered on him.
After shaking the manager's hand, we left the store. I was surprised that Sam actually helped, carrying our bags for us and loading them in the trunk. When he didn't have his head up his ass, he was amazing with customer service. I wished him luck both at his job, and with his own school work, before we continued on our shopping spree.
We went a home-goods store, where we got various stuff for the house. I picked up some cabinet locks, but I really had no clue if we needed them or not. I guessed that Zach was probably old enough we didn't have to worry about him getting into the cleaning products and drinking them, but I figured it was better to install the little nuisances than worry about the worst case scenario. Both Noah and I wished that we had had more time before Zach's arrival to research and prepare the house even though it was entirely hindsight, as Noah didn't live there before Zach did so that we weren't just taking stabs in the dark as to how to proceed.
Noah suggested we look for a handheld learning system while we there. I hadn't yet brought up how much Zach had pleaded for a gaming system while we were at the electronics store, so he was surprised that Zach didn't get very excited at first. I knew exactly what the issue was, and quickly handled it.
"The games for this are designed for boys just like you," I told him. Honestly, I had no idea what they were like, but I figured that games that would help him learn would be far better than mindlessly blowing things up. We could always readdress the issue after a little bit, anyway.
"Yep. If you got the other system, we'd have to spend a lot of time figuring out which games you can play. With this, you can choose any game that looks fun. Also, this one would be JUST for you. The other one you would have to share with me and your daddy, because I bet there were games we might want to play too."
"Well, I can share if you want me to, but I like having one that's just for me. You both got 'puters, and they were just for you. This can be my 'puter!" He said, getting excited at the end.
"Great," I said to him, before explaining to Noah, "He really liked the video games at the last store."
Zach picked out a handful of games, surprisingly not overdoing it even though neither of us had said how many he could have.
We finished loading up the cart and headed to the cash register. I was surprised how much we picked up, but it was all a bunch of little things that we needed. We filled the trunk of the car to capacity and ended up placing a few bags in the backseat.
"Damn," Noah said, whispering the curse word so Zach wouldn't hear, "We still have to get groceries, too."
"Yeah, I'm beginning to think I need to get a bigger car."
Noah didn't respond to that. He didn't look happy, but he didn't exactly look upset, either. We went to the grocery store and began shopping. While pushing Zach around in the cart, Noah broached the subject again.
"You sure about a new car? I like yours. It has character. Besides, you've already turned your entire life inside out to accommodate us. I'd feel bad about it."
"I love that old beater, too, but I've had it since college and have put over a hundred thousand miles on it. It was fine for everyday use for two people, but when we were travelling or when we needed to do lots of shopping, it was extremely frustrating. Neither of us were exactly light travelers."
I sighed before taking on the second half of Noah's statement. "Yes, my life has changed drastically in the last few days, and I'm still in recovery-mode, for lack of a better word. But you, my dear, have made just as many, if not more, sacrifices. I think a larger car would definitely make life a lot easier. I'd love to keep this car and just make it work, but it's just a car.
"Steve and I had pretty much this exact same conversation when we decided to go down to just one car. I didn't want to make him get rid of his baby, but I also wasn't comfortable driving a manual transmission. It took a lot of convincing on his part to make it clear to me that as much as he didn't really want to get rid of it, it was the right thing to do and actually a pretty easy decision at the end of the day."
"Ok, I guess I see where you're coming from. What if I got a larger car instead? That way you weren't the one making the sacrifice," Noah asked, conceding the fact that between the two of us, a larger car was necessary to deal with three people.
"If it's important to you, we can talk about that in detail later. However, if you bought a new car, you'd be saddled with car payments. I'm in the position that I can buy a new car outright, and be done with it. We can also figure something out and buy the car together, and that way it'd be our car," I suggested.
"No. At least for now, I'm not sure I'm quite ready for us to start owning things jointly. I love you, and I know you love me, but we're just getting started. That seems like a more permanent step than I'm quite ready for. I mean, we're already living together. What gay couple takes that step after only a few weeks?"
"Yeah, I guess we're secretly lesbians or something," I said, laughing.
"But you're right," Noah responded, getting back on topic, "I guess it is an easy decision to make about the car. As long as you're fine with it, I think you should get something larger. I mean, as it stands we're probably going to need to ride home with bags on our laps!"
"Then it's settled. Tomorrow, we'll go to a couple dealerships and see what we can find."
Noah tried to interrupt, thinking that I was talking about US buying a car, but I didn't let him.
"What I mean is that while I'll be the one buying anything, I want it to be a joint decision. Chances are that you'll drive it somewhat often, too, so I want you to be happy with whatever I end up getting."
"That will work," Noah said with a satisfied smile.
While, Noah had been joking about how full the car would be, he wasn't wrong. After filling the rest of the open space in the car with bags, Noah had to hold a couple bags on his lap as we drove home.
After Noah got Zach started on his new game, he helped me put the groceries away. We had just finished and were about to tackle setting up Noah's computer when Sarah burst in the house like a ball of energy that even Zach wasn't capable. Tom followed close behind, arms ladened with bags. He may have been less enthusiastic, but he still looked quite happy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.