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.

 

My wonderful husband gets a shout out for being so supportive and allowing me to bounce ideas off of him. He has retired from editing (this time for good, he swears!) I would also like to thank my new editor, David, and my new proofer, Brett. Their help has been invaluable for me preparing this chapter, and all errors that remain are mine, and mine alone.

 

Sorry this is a few days late. I've been swamped with work the past several days and haven't a chance to format it for Nifty.

 

~Fitz

 

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CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

REARRANGING

 

Sarah's entrance into the living room was nothing short of dramatic. She almost danced around the room in excitement. I watched Sarah's manic behavior for a moment with amusement. Even Zach was enthralled by her display.

 

"I take it your shopping spree went well?" I asked, surprised by the level of excitement she was giving off.

 

"What? Oh yeah, we went shopping. It was fine enough, I guess, but that's not why I'm so excited."

 

"So why are you so excited?"

 

"Because I have the greatest news, ever, to share with you guys!" she exclaimed, beaming as she spoke.

 

"Well, what is it?"

 

"Oh, it's the best! You'd never guess in a million years. Go ahead, take a guess!"

 

"You managed to fix the messed up thing above your neck?" I quipped. I was definitely getting a little frustrated at being strung along by this point. "Why don't you just tell us?"

 

"I'm a single woman now!" Sarah squealed.

 

Tom cleared his throat, and Sarah quickly amended, "Well, not really, I guess, but I'm no longer married!"

 

"Really? Already? That's great!" Noah said enthusiastically.

 

"I thought you were expecting a long and drawn-out settlement," I said, acting as the voice of reason for once.

 

"I was, but my lawyer called while we were out. Chris gave up and signed the papers. He even gave me the house! Oh I can't believe it, I'm just so happy!"

 

"Wasn't the house his when you guys got married?" I asked. "Why did he agree to that?"

 

"It was, but I got the impression from the lawyer that he was just done dealing with me. Apparently he transferred to a different city and wanted to get everything over with as quickly as possible. He apparently moved out over the weekend," Sarah explained.

 

"Ok, it just seems a little sudden, but I guess it's good news for you!"

 

"I know, right!" she squealed excitedly again. "I haven't been over there yet, but I figured since I have a house now, Tom and I could get out of your hair and move over there. It's just down the street, so it's not like we're going to move far away."

 

"Wait. Don't I get a say in whether I move in with you? This just seems to be moving quickly," Tom interjected.

 

Noah and I chuckled a little at that, since we'd been doing our own share of moving fast.

 

"Oh, sorry! Of course you get a say. I didn't think you would have a problem with it. What do you say, sexy man? Wanna move in with me?" Sarah asked, wrapping her arms around Tom and giving him her best pouty face.

 

"Oh, what the heck, this is all new to me, so what's another twist in my life?" Tom said with a laugh.

 

"Great! Let's pack. Noah and Scott can help too!" She said as she began to drag Tom back to the bedroom.

 

"Don't we get a say in whether we help you?" Noah called after them with a laugh.

 

Tom and Sarah responded simultaneously, "No!"

 

Since neither of them had anything other than clothes, it didn't take long to get everything packed up. With Zach in tow, we carried everything down the street to Sarah's house.

 

Outside the door, Sarah cautioned, "Supposedly, Chris left the house 'partially furnished'. I'm not exactly sure what that means, so I don't know what we're walking into. My lawyer explained that this was something of a take-it-or-leave-it deal, and since I wasn't really expecting the house, I jumped on it. For all I know, Chris just left a table and trashed the place or something."

 

When we entered, Sarah was proven wrong. The house was still in good shape, although most of the furniture and decorations were gone. There was still a couch in the living room, as well as a few pieces of art hung on the walls, but otherwise the room was relatively bare. A quick walkthrough of the house revealed that most rooms were similarly furnished. There didn't really seem to be a rhyme or reason for what was taken from each room, but enough was left behind to definitely make the place livable.

 

"Well, that's good on two fronts. It looks like he left most of the things that were clearly mine, and I now have the chance to go shopping and redecorate! Isn't that fabulous, Tom?!"

 

"Yeah, I guess," he said without much emotion.

 

As the three of us went to leave the lovebirds, Zach started to cry.

 

"What's wrong, Zachy?" Noah asked his son.

 

"Are Tom and Sarah leaving me?" he asked dejectedly.

 

"No, of course they're not! They're just down the street, and we can visit them whenever you want. I'm sure they'll come over to see you and will be happy for you to come over and see them."

 

"Really?" the boy asked. Any hint of sadness was gone, and he seemed really excited about the idea.

 

"Of course, buddy," Tom said, kneeling down to Zach's level. "Just have your daddy or Scott give us a call, and you're more than welcome to come see us. Does that sound good?"

 

"Yeah!" he responded excitedly and gave Tom a big hug. He ran over and gave Sarah a hug as well.

 

"Bye! I'll be over all the time! We're going to have so much fun!"

 

"Maybe not all the time," Tom said with a chuckle, "but you won't get rid of us that easily."

 

When we got back home, I excused myself and shut myself in the bedroom for a marathon work session. My short break had taken a lot longer than I had expected, and needed to buckle down. I felt like I'd only been working a few minutes when Noah knocked on the door.

 

"Hun, it's nearly seven, he said as he walked in. I didn't want to disturb you, but Zach and I are getting really hungry. I'm going to order some Chinese food. Zach's never had any, but I'm sure he'll like it. Do you want any?"

 

"Seven? Already? Yeah, I can eat. Just order me whatever. Would you mind bringing it in here for me, though?"

 

"Actually, I was sort of hoping we could sit down as a family to eat. Zach's missing you something fierce. He doesn't understand that you're in here doing work. I have to keep stopping him from coming in to play," he said cautiously, not wanting to upset me.

 

I sighed. "Yeah, I guess I can do that, but it'd have to be quick. Just come get me when the food comes."

 

"I can do that," Noah said, walking over to me and giving me a quick kiss. "Thanks, Scott. I'm not trying to keep you from your work or anything."

 

"Mmm, that was nice. Now get out of here before I really get distracted!" I said with a laugh.

 

Not too much time had passed before an excited boy burst through the door.

 

"Scott! The food's here! C'mon! Let's eat!"

 

I laughed and quickly saved my work. I scooped up the little tyke and carried him back to the kitchen.

 

Dinner was rather uneventful. Zach watched Noah and I as if we'd grown an extra appendage as we ate with chopsticks, but he was content enough with his fork. He didn't do too badly, and really liked the 'strange' food. It was clear Zach had really missed me while I worked, as nearly all of his chattering was directed towards me.

 

As soon as I had finished, I told Zach I had more work to do. His face fell.

 

"Don't you want to spend time with me?" His eyes grew wide and I could tell tears were threatening.

 

"I do, little buddy, but I have a lot of work to do this week. I'd much rather play with you than do work, but sometimes grownups have to do things they don't want to do."

 

"Oh," was his entire response.

 

"Hey, I got an idea... how about if I work out here for a little bit. You can sit next to me with your game and help me. How does that sound?"

 

"Ok!"

 

"But you have to be quiet. Can you do that?"

 

"Of course I can. I'll be as quiet as a mouse, I promise!"

 

He wasn't, but I worked as best I could with the little ball of energy next to me for an hour or so. Eventually, he yawned, and Noah quickly scooped him up for bed. I used the opportunity to relocate to the bedroom and got back to work.

 

A while later Noah knocked on the door again.

 

"Hey, babe ... It's almost two. I was trying to wait up and give you a goodnight kiss. How's it going?"

"Actually, it's going really well. I think I've more than made up for my extended break today. I guess the creativity is flowing better than usual or something. I'm going to keep working a little longer though. Damn, I didn't realize it was this late."

 

I put the laptop aside and stood up. I walked over to Noah and wrapped my arms around him.

 

"I love you. I'm sorry I have to spend most of this week sequestered away working, but I swear it'll get better after I get back into the swing of things."

 

"I love you, too. I completely understand; it's just frustrating. I'm glad things are going well, though."

 

After we exchanged a few kisses, I sent him off to get his beauty sleep. I worked for a few more hours before calling it a night myself.

 

* * *

 

The next morning, I was awakened by Noah softly shaking me.

 

"I know you're tired, but it's time to get up."

 

"Ugh. What time is it?" I mumbled, half coherently.

 

"It's almost eight. I wanted to let you sleep in, but I know you have a lot of work to do today. I made you coffee."

 

"You're the best. When's the last time I told you I loved you?"

 

"Just a few hours ago, but I never get sick of hearing it."

 

"You know, it's kinda nice to have the house to ourselves. It's much more peaceful, and it's nice to actually have some privacy without all the houseguests."

 

Suddenly Zach burst into the room.

 

"Well, more privacy," I added with a chuckle before burying my face in the pillow and letting out a groan.

 

"Zach, let's get you some breakfast while Scott takes a shower," Noah said, placing the aforementioned coffee mug on my dresser and ushering Zach out of the room.

 

I nursed my coffee as I got ready. I even contemplated taking it with me into the shower, but decided that wasn't a good idea.

 

Feeling refreshed and a little more awake, I joined the others in the kitchen for a bowl of cereal.

 

After eating, I got back to work. I stopped around noon, amazed how efficient I'd been. I was actually ahead of schedule. I guess my 'mojo' was back in full force.

 

I wandered out to the living room, where I was immediately accosted by Zach.

 

"Hi, Scott, I missed you!" he said excitedly once he was in my arms.

 

"I missed you too, little buddy. You want a sandwich?"

 

"Yeah!"

 

I kissed his head, and set him down. As I started pulling things out of the fridge, Noah tried to step in and take over for me, but I waved him off.

 

"I'm at a good place to take a break for a while. I figured I'd make lunch, and then we could hit the town and look at cars. I don't know what you did to me, mister. I used to hate going out and spending money, but I seem to be doing it an awful lot these days!"

 

While I was entirely joking, Noah didn't take it that way.

 

"Scott, I don't want you to feel like you have to keep buying things for me or for yourself for that matter. Something bigger would be nice, but it's not a necessity. Even when we went a little overboard yesterday, we made it work."

 

I stopped my lunch preparations and turned to my boyfriend, wrapping my arms around him.

 

"Dear, I was joking. Well, mostly. I always hated going to stores, and even though I have the money, I've always been a bit of a tightwad. I enjoyed our shopping trips the past few days, but trust me; I'm not going to continue spending money willy-nilly.

 

"Yes, we made it work yesterday, but it was a hassle, and it's bound to happen in the future. I'd much rather get an SUV or something and not have to 'just deal with it'. Besides, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what you said the first night you stayed here."

 

Noah's look of confusion caused me to chuckle a little. I took the opportunity to steal a kiss before explaining.

 

"You said you wouldn't feel right moving into my bedroom and sharing the same bed I shared with Steve."

 

I could see the light bulb come on above his head. His eyes sparkled, and I forced myself to focus on his nose so as not to get sucked into his hypnotic gaze.

 

"I want to get a new mattress," I said. He may have already made the connection, but I just wanted to be clear.

 

"Scott, I, um...I'm still not sure I'm ready for that," Noah stammered out, realizing the implications of a new mattress meant another shift in the dynamics of our relationship and living situation.

 

"Relax. I'm not saying I want us to get physical tonight. As we both learned, I'm not quite ready for that yet," I said, blushing a little in embarrassment. "I'm not even trying to get you to move into my room yet. I'm just ready to begin to open the door to the possibility of it happening in the future."

 

Noah chuckled. "It sounds like you've created a timeline and are trying to make things happen accordingly."

 

"No, that's not it at all. It may be next week, or next month; for all I know, it'll be in a few days, or we might take years to get to that point," I finished, poking him in the ribs.

 

"I'm a patient man, but years may be pushing it," he said with a laugh.

 

Noah smacked my ass gently, "Now get back to work fixing our sandwiches. The men-folk are hungry. Right, Zach?"

 

"Yup!" the boy replied enthusiastically from the table. I hadn't even realized he'd been watching our entire interaction.

 

I quickly threw together lunch, and after eating we loaded into my car. I surprised Noah when I pulled into a Porsche dealer.

 

"What the heck, Scott? You're seriously going to look at Porsches?"

 

"Yes, I want to look at Porsches, but no, not seriously. I've never bought a new car, and I can afford one, so I just want to see what the big deal is."

 

"Ok, just making sure. I'm not certain I'd feel comfortable driving anything that expensive. I'd always be paranoid I'd scratch it just looking at it or something."

 

We got out of the car, and were met immediately by a snobbish-looking salesman.

 

"Decided to retire the clunker, sirs?" he asked, looking disdainfully at my car.

 

"Nah, I couldn't part with my baby. I figured Zach could use a new toy."

 

If this guy was going to be an asshole, the least I could do was give him a hard time. Zach was just staring around at all the cars, completely enraptured at everything, and hadn't heard my statement.

 

The salesman turned to Noah, "Well, then what can I interest you in?"

 

Noah laughed before the guy could launch into a sales pitch.

 

"This little guy is Zach," he said, indicating the boy holding his hand.

 

Suddenly realizing I'd been messing with him, he turned to me a little red in the face.

 

"Sorry, couldn't resist. Actually, I'm looking to trade in this guy for something bigger. It was fine when it was just me, but we keep running into space issues. I saw the SUVs and just wanted to know a little more about them."

 

He launched into a spiel about the cars, still a little too uptight for my taste. While this was going on, Noah led Zach around to look at the cars on the lot. I agreed to a test drive, and was immediately disappointed that it just didn't satisfy me in handling or acceleration. Why would I drop eighty-five thousand dollars on a low-end model if I didn't like how it drove?

 

The entire time, the salesman just continued his pitch. When we returned, Noah and Zach met us.

 

"How was it?" Noah asked me.

 

"It was ok. I want to check out a couple other places before I make up my mind though."

 

"Scott, you have to check out this one!" Zach said, grabbing my arm and half-dragging me across the lot.

 

"Look!" He exclaimed, indicating a 911 Turbo. "It's pretty."

 

"Yes it is," I told him.

 

I noticed that Noah was practically drooling over the car.

 

"You like it?" I asked him.

 

"Oh yeah, I haven't been able to bring myself to look at the price tag, though. I think I'd prefer not to know."

 

The salesman hadn't followed us over. I think he realized we weren't actually interested and didn't want to waste his time anymore. I glanced at the sticker.

 

"Yeah, you don't," I responded.

 

"Let me guess, it's over six figures?"

 

"All I'll say is that it's closer to two hundred than one."

 

It was all Noah could do to keep his eyes in his head. After looking at it for a few more minutes, we got back in the car and went to another dealership.

 

"Why would anyone spend that kind of money on a car? I mean, it was pretty and shiny, but still..." Noah asked as I drove.

 

"I think you just answered your own question. It's pretty and shiny. If you can afford it, it's a sexy little toy."

 

The second dealership was more up our alley. Unsurprisingly, we were again met as we stepped out of the car.

 

"Now that's a car that's well loved," the salesman announced.

 

"Yeah, it's been my baby for a long time. It was fine when it was just me, but I think it's time to get something new."

 

"Unfortunately, as families grow, they need bigger rides. We have several types of SUVs and crossovers. Come with me, and I'll show you around. We even have minivans, if you're willing to look past the 'soccer mom' stigma."

 

"Ugh. No minivans," I declared to the salesman's amusement.

 

The guy was all business, but he was friendly and courteous at the same time. We looked at several models and various options, and quickly found a few SUVs we both really liked. Noah wasn't sure about test driving, since it was going to be for me, but I reminded him that he'd end up driving it as well. It wasn't long before we had reached an agreement.

 

Once we figured out what we wanted, we let Zach choose the color. To no one's surprise, he excitedly chose purple. It wouldn't have been my choice, and I was slightly relieved that the closest they had was a burgundy color. Zach was satisfied that it was 'purple enough'. Fortunately, they had one on hand with the extras we wanted, so we could get the car immediately.

 

I managed to be better at haggling than I expected, but I guess when you offer to buy a car with cash they are more willing to negotiate. We hopped in the new car and drove it off the lot.

 

"I expected that to take a lot longer," Noah admitted.

 

"Well, if they didn't have the color and packages we wanted, it would've taken a while. It took my parents nearly six months to get the minivan they ordered back in 2000, but that was because it was on back order. Since I was paying cash, there was no financing or anything, and that'd probably be the biggest delay."

 

"Yeah, but even just getting it ready to leave the lot, I would've expected it to take longer."

 

"Again, if we had them do any of the dealer-installed upgrades that weren't already on this baby then it would've."

 

"Ok, I get it. By the way, I'm glad you insisted on the rear camera. I've never driven anything this large, and I'm a bit nervous about getting behind the wheel. It drove great when I tested it, though."

 

"It's all peace-of-mind security. Zach, what do you think of the car?"

 

"I love it! It's big, but it smells funny," the boy responded with a giggle.

 

"What do you think we should name it?" I asked him.

 

He thought for a minute, tapping his chin as usual.

 

"Grape! It's purple!"

 

Noah and I laughed at his suggestion before quickly agreeing to it.

 

"Alright, let's take Grape to find a mattress place and finish up today's shopping so we can go home."

 

"Ok!" Zach responded to the rhetorical suggestion with enthusiasm.

 

Of course the excitement of the day had already taken its toll on the young boy. By the time we arrived at the store, he was struggling to keep his eyes open.

 

"Well, we can always use Zach to test the mattress," Noah quipped, looking back at the boy.

 

"That won't do any good. I think he'll fall asleep while lying on a bed of nails right now," I said with a laugh.

 

Once we entered the store, we quickly realized we would have to test the mattresses together. We weren't planning on sharing the bed immediately, but we both knew that moving into my bedroom was the next eventuality in our relationship, and I was pretty sure Noah was looking forward to it as much as I was.

 

The store wasn't very busy, but the sales people we saw were all helping customers, so we just began to look on our own. At one point, we were lying on a mattress, Zach passed out in between us when another customer approached us.

 

"You ought to be ashamed of yourselves, flaunting yourselves in public like a couple of fairies. And corrupting a child, no less! I should call Child Services this instant before you molest him any further!"

 

Noah leapt off the mattress and was in her face before I could even react.

 

"Ma'am, we were minding our own business, when you decided that we're 'flaunting' ourselves while simply shopping. You are the one pushing your own personal agenda down our throats. If you ask me, you're flaunting yourself out in public, and you didn't have me shoving my opinions down your throat. Now get out of my face and let me get back picking out a mattress with the man I love, while out with my biological son, who CPS has no problem being in our care, seeing as they just gave us both custody," Noah said. The volume of his voice was maybe a bit louder than conversation level when he started, but he was nearly yelling by the time he'd finished his remarks.

 

The woman looked very flustered, and was trying to find her way out of the situation she had created for herself, when one of the salespeople came over and made a demand.

 

"You need to leave!" She said firmly. The woman who had started the situation quickly retreated, and for a moment, neither Noah nor I knew quite how to respond.

 

"I'm sorry for causing a scene, ma'am. We'll leave without any more issues," Noah said meekly, his anger fading as embarrassment seeped in.

 

"Oh, no, I was only referring to her. No one that works here is about to let a customer be harassed for no reason. You gentlemen are more than welcome to continue to look around. Is there anything specific I can help you with? Sorry that this is the first time I've managed to make it over to you. If your son wakes up from his nap while you're still looking, we have some toys in the corner he's more than welcome to play with."

 

It wasn't much longer before we came to an agreement. The saleswoman tried to throw in a discount, but I convinced her to expedite the delivery instead. She set it up so the new mattress would be delivered sometime the following afternoon.

 

We thanked her and left the store with Zach, still asleep, in my arms. I had a mild panic attack when I couldn't find my car. Noah just laughed at my predicament and directed me toward Grape.

 

"I guess I still have to get used to it," I said with a laugh.

 

We returned home, and the rest of the day was largely a repeat of the day before. I locked myself in the bedroom and worked, while Noah and Zach did their thing. Around seven, Noah interrupted me.

 

"I made dinner. Can you take a break and join us?"

 

I looked up from the laptop for the first time in several hours.

 

"Yeah, I can do that. A break would be nice."

 

He had made spaghetti, and we had a blast watching Zach make a giant mess of the kitchen while he tried to eat. When we were finished, I offered to help clean up, but he insisted I should get back to work. Zach looked crestfallen that I would be unavailable again, so I quickly offered to work from the living room for a while. I did give Zach a bath, but that was mostly to protect the furniture from the spaghetti sauce he'd managed to get everywhere. Again, the addition of bubbles and toys ensured that bath time was fun, and there was no repeat of my first attempt.

 

While working in the living room, Zach was content just curling up against me, asking random questions occasionally. It made me realize just how much he had missed being able to spend time with me while I was busy working. I couldn't wait to finish this week and have a little more free time to spend with him and Noah.

 

When it was time for Zach to go to bed, I retreated to the bedroom again, and looked over all the work I'd accomplished in only two days. I'd already finished the work I needed to do for my largest clients, and was easily halfway through with all I needed to get done by Friday. I realized I could easily spend more time in the afternoon with Zach and Noah, so long as I pushed myself in the morning and late into the night. It was a sacrifice I was willing to do for my new family.

 

I got back to work for another hour or so, and then decided it was time to spend some time with my boyfriend. I found him sitting on his bed using his laptop, concentrating deeply.

 

"Hey, am I interrupting?" I said, startling Noah.

 

"You're out of your room. Is everything ok?" he asked, concern seeping into his voice.

 

"Yeah, everything's great. I'm way ahead of where I need to be, so I figured I'd ignored you enough for today," I responded, sitting next to him.

 

Noah put the laptop aside and wrapped his arm around me, pulling me backwards. I curled up against him and rested my head comfortably on his chest.

 

We lay like that for several minutes just enjoying the moment, before I asked, "So what have you been up to?"

 

"Mostly just looking at schools and trying to make sense out of what I would need to do in order to get started. It's really mind-numbing."

 

"Sounds more exciting than what I've been doing. Did you find anything you like?"

 

"Yeah, I think I found a couple programs I want to apply to. I'm a little concerned about how long it will take to get everything finalized, but these have a continually rolling admissions process, so as long as I can get everything in as fast as possible, there's a chance I could be ready to go when fall semester starts."

 

"Wow. That's great! I was hoping there would be something like that. Part of me was worried you'd find the perfect program only to have to wait until next fall."

 

"That shouldn't be an issue. The one that looks like it's the best fit overall seems to be designed for people going back for a degree, and offers all its classes on a rotating period. Even if I don't get started in September, I wouldn't really be delayed by starting in January, and I figure I can take classes in the Summer to speed everything up. It looks like if I push myself, I can probably graduate in three years without too many headaches."

 

As Noah talked, his voice was quickly becoming more and more animated. I realized just how excited he was at the idea of going back to school, something that had seemed more like a vague interest only a few days before. As I was lying on his chest, I felt like I was enduring an earthquake as he continually used hand gestures.

 

"So you're ready to apply, I take it? Do you know what all you need to do?"

 

"Yes and yes. It seems pretty easy; a few transcripts and a basic application. I figure while you're working tomorrow, I'll take Zach with me and I'll go by and talk to the admissions department."

 

"I thought you were looking at online classes," I said, a bit confused.

 

"It looks like nearly everything would be online, but there's a great program offered by a school that has a campus here in town. I may have to take a few classes in an actual classroom, but it'd be easier to just drop in and hopefully get some straight answers. Some of these websites seem to really like to give me the run around!"

 

"Well, they want you to get more information from them, so they're not going to give you everything at once!" I said with a laugh.

 

Trying to be helpful, I added, "If you want, I can go with you, or I can watch Zach while you go. You know I won't pass up an opportunity to take a break in the afternoon."

 

"That'd be nice, but I think it'd be good for me to spend some time with Zach, just the two of us. Besides, I have no idea how long it'll take. For all I know, I'll be stuck there for hours. I figured we'd go after breakfast and give you a peaceful morning to work. Assuming you can squeeze in an afternoon break, I was thinking it might be fun to take Zach to the zoo."

 

"Oooh, that sounds fun," I responded excitedly. "I haven't been there since Steve died. We used to go all the time. Zach will love it!"

 

We chatted for a little longer. After we settled into a comfortable silence, I kissed his neck. Noah and I began to make out, our tongues dueling in each other's mouths for dominance as we pressed our bodies together.

 

Our erections strained against each other, but we were much more in control of our passion than we had been the other night. All too soon, Noah ended the kiss.

 

"Fuck, Scott," he gasped, "we have to stop."

 

"Why?" I asked with a giggle, nipping gently at his neck.

 

Noah moaned loudly in pleasure, before responding, "Because it's all I can do to keep from losing control right now. I don't want to shoot in my pants!"

 

I gently thrust my hips against his one last time. I watched with amusement as Noah scrunched his face up trying to keep from reaching orgasm. I carefully climbed off of him while his fists clenched the sheets tightly and he breathed in sharp, ragged puffs.

 

After close to a minute, Noah's breathing began to return to normal and he slowly opened his eyes. The entire time, I was struggling not to laugh at his predicament. To be honest, I had been fairly close to the edge as well, but that wasn't the point.

 

"Oh my God," Noah finally said with a sigh. "I've never been that on edge and not gotten off. You have no idea what you do to me with your sexy body."

 

"Flattery will get you everywhere," I said seductively before changing my tone. "Now, you should probably get some sleep. I didn't mean for us to get so hot and heavy; you're just so damn irresistible!"

 

After groaning, Noah responded, "Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm just going to take a cold shower to get rid of my little friend. Are you going to be up late working again?"

 

"From what I can tell, he's far from little, and yes, I'm going to work for another couple hours or so. Can you wake me up for breakfast?"

 

"I'll do you one better. Ever had the joy of being woken up by an excited four-year-old?"

 

"Can't say that I have ... wait, was that sarcasm?"

 

"You'll find out tomorrow," Noah said with a malicious-looking grin.

 

We exchanged a few relatively chaste kisses, and I returned to my bedroom. Moments later, I heard the shower running and realized Noah hadn't been kidding about needing to really cool off.

 

I worked for a while longer, before deciding to call it a night. As I climbed into bed, I rubbed Steve's side and began talking to him.

 

"Steve, I know we said our goodbyes, but I just had to tell you something. I still love you, and nothing will ever change that. Tomorrow, a new mattress is being delivered. For Noah and me. You and I shared so many incredible memories on this bed, and I just don't think I can share those with Noah. More than that, it's not fair to him to ask him to. He already has to deal with the fact that you'll always have a special place in my heart. He and I sharing this bed would be like me sharing you with him and vice versa. I can't do that to him, and I can't do that to you. I know you'll understand, but I felt like I had to tell you."

 

I gently kissed his pillow. I didn't feel any lingering presence, nor did I expect to. Steve left me to my devices, and I had begun to move on with my life. As painful as it had been over the past year, I was feeling better than I had in very long time. I had a boyfriend that I loved, and more importantly loved me back, and a son, who was already lighting up my life in ways I'd never expected. As I drifted off to sleep, I realized for the first time I could distinctly remember, I wasn't just content, I was happy.

 

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

 

Before my usual ramble at the end, I just wanted to say that I struggled with the end of this chapter for a while. I wanted to end it where I did, but wasn't sure what tone it should take. I've been struggling with a bit of writer's block as of late, and was worried about an extensive delay, so I wanted to end with as much of a 'happy ending' as possible. This is by no means the end of the story, however. Since I wrote this, I have written about half of chapter 24. My goal is to get it out on the usual schedule, but I cannot make any promises.

 

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.