This story 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 2013.

 

I love to hear any feedback you have, 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. I would also like to thank my editor, David. All errors that remain are mine, and mine alone.

 

The sequence at the end of the chapter was an instance where I was too close to the source material, and it portrayed characters differently than I intended based on readers' knowledge. After countless emails back and forth between David and myself, as well as the invaluable input from Jesus, Oliver (yes, THAT Oliver), Samantha (yes, THAT Samantha), and Bobby (yes, THAT Bobby), I'm much more pleased with this incarnation. Thank you all!

 

~Fitz

 

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CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

A HOUSE BECOMES A HOME

 

Once the four of us got back to the house, Tom and I unloaded the boxes of new furniture from the car while Noah took care of Zach and the paint supplies. I organized Zach's old room and dragged the boxes in there while Noah and Tom pushed the furniture in Zach's new room to the middle. Once the preliminary setup was done, we each found a task to do and soon each room was bustling with activity. Sarah showed up, so Tom and she took on painting duties while Zach did his best to cover his body in paint under the guise of 'helping'. Noah was busy moving bedrooms, but had it under control, so I left him to it. Instead I focused on my new office.

I'm not sure why I never bothered with an office space before, but I was really excited about the idea. I hauled the dresser and nightstand out into the hall, but left the bed. I figured I could cover it with pillows and use it to lounge on when I didn't feel like sitting at the desk. I busied myself attempting to perfect the art of constructing Swedish prefabricated furniture using only cartooney pictograms to assist me. As usual, it took me a few tries to understand the wordless instructions, but I soon figured it out. I'm not brave enough to attempt to forego the directions; I did one time with disastrous results. When I was nearly finished, Noah came in.

"I need to run to the store real quick. We need some paint thinner," he told me.

"Check the basement; there should be some there, but I thought we bought cheap brushes and rollers so we could just chuck them when we were done," I responded.

"Umm, do you have kid's swimming goggles and a nose plug?" Noah said with a completely straight face.

I looked at him incredulously before responding, "Noooo, why? What's going on?"

A hint of a smile appeared on my boyfriend's face. "Grab the camera. You're definitely gonna want to see this!"

I burst out laughing when I walked in the now-purple room. Tom and Sarah stood in the corner, hands clamped over their mouths as they tried not to break into hysterics at the sight. Zach stood next to the only unpainted wall left, on the plastic Tom put down on the floor. Well, it was unpainted except for two small purple hand prints. After he put his contribution on the wall, at Sarah's suggestion, apparently he had run his hands over his face and through his hair before anyone had noticed. Purple streaks and splotches also covered his shirt and shorts. I hoped that outfit wasn't his 'favorite', as they all seemed to be, because I had no clue if I'd be successful at undoing the damage.

Zach looked at me proudly and pointed to the wall. "Look what I did, Scott," he said, beaming.

"Looks good little buddy, but I think you got a little on you," I pointed out to him.

Zach's face grew serious. "I did? Where?" He grabbed his shirt and pulled, adding more purple smudges from his grubby hands.

"Scott," Noah whispered in my ear, "I'm gonna grab a nose plug and some goggles from the store real quick. We may be able to scrub Zach's face clean without paint thinner, but we'll need it for his hair. I want to protect him from the fumes as much as possible. Can you start with his clothes and see what you can just scrub off?"

"Can do, boss," I said before turning my head to give him a quick kiss.

Noah walked over to Sarah and Tom and whispered something to them, after which he left.

I sized up the situation, and decided I liked my shirt too much to risk getting paint on it. After pulling it over my head, I tossed it into the hallway and out of harm's way.

"Alright, little buddy, let's get you cleaned up," I told the tyke, who was staring at his feet.

Slowly, Zach lifted his head. His shoulders were slumped, and tears streaked down his purple cheeks.

"Awe you mad at me? I didn't mean to make a mess, I'm sowwy, Scott."

I knelt down in front of him and looked him in the eyes.

"I know you didn't mean to make a mess. It was an accident, little guy, but now we need to make you look like normal again. Your daddy would hate me if I let you be purple forever!"

"Nooo! Daddy wouldn't hate you, he looooooves you!" Zach exclaimed with a giggle, his tears temporarily forgotten.

Knowing he needed some affection, I scooped him up by the rear and hugged him tightly, doing my best to keep my pants clean. "And both your daddy and I love you very, very much," I said, kissing the most paint-free part of his face I could find.

I carried the boy to the bathroom and set him down in the tub. I stripped him down to his undies, which had somehow survived paintocolypse. I realized a bath wasn't going to cut it. Zach was going to need a shower, and I was going to have to help him.

"Zachy, how would you like to take a shower with me? We'll make you all squeaky clean again."

"Ok! I never had one of those before!" he said excitedly.

"First let me try to fix your clothes. I'm going to do my best to get out the paint, but we'll figure something out if I can't. Sit right on the edge of the tub and I'll be right back."

I grabbed the clothes, and quickly treated them as best I could before dashing into my bedroom and pulling on a bathing suit. I hadn't expected the possibility of being naked around Zach, and didn't want anyone jumping to wrong conclusions.

When I walked back into the bathroom, Zach was standing in front of the mirror, giggling at his appearance. I couldn't help but crack a smile as well, but I sternly, not angrily, told him, "Didn't I tell you to wait for me in the tub?"

Immediately, his bottom lip began to quiver, and tears began to fill his eyes.

"I sowwy, I just wanted to see what I looked like! Please don't hate me," he wailed.

Surprised by his reaction, I picked him up and wrapped my arms tightly around him. This was the third time in only a few hours where he had reacted so strongly, and by now, I was certain something was going on inside his head. However, in order to figure out what it was, I first had to get him to calm down. I held him, rubbing his back and kissing his hair, probably getting purple paint all over myself in the process, until he finally quieted down enough to be able to talk.

"Zach, I could never hate you not in a million years. I just didn't want you to accidently make a bigger mess, that's all."

"That's all? You promise?"

For the first time when he'd been upset all day, he hadn't resorted to the soft 'r' sound of a timid child, which made me feel a little better. I still had to try to get at the root of the problem, though.

"I promise my very best promise. Now what's going on today? You keep getting worried we don't love you or you're not good enough. Can you tell me what's going on?"

"I don't know," he responded simply and shrugged.

"Well, I want you to tell either your daddy or me if you figure it out. Neither of us like seeing you this upset. Now let's get you cleaned up!"

It took a good bit of trial and error to find a water temperature he was comfortable with. It was a tad cool for me, but I could deal. Zach squealed happily when I pulled the knob and it began to 'rain' on us. His batman undies were instantly soaked, but I expected that to happen. He wanted to wear a pair of shorts in the shower after seeing me in my swim trunks, but I insisted his underwear was close enough.

Zach giggled and splashed about, not even caring I was aggressively trying to scrub away the paint. It didn't get everything, but it did a better job than I thought it would.

As I was working on Zach's hair, Noah poked his head in the shower curtain.

"Well, what do we have here?" He asked.

Hi, Daddy! Scott's giving me a shower," his son replied before I had a chance to respond.

"I see that!" Noah said, before asking me, "Is it doing any good?"

"A little, but we'll need paint thinner on his hands, hair, and a couple spots on his face. Can you grab me a handful of junky towels? They're in the linen closet in the hallway. We'll dry off and see what we can do to finish cleaning him up."

Noah grabbed the towels as I rinsed off Zach's hair, but he held them hostage until Zach and I posed for a few pictures with the water running. I dried us both off while Noah got a dry pair of underwear for Zach to wear. I expected Zach to struggle while we applied paint thinner, but I think he loved the attention he was getting from his two dads too much to complain. He did say the nose plugs felt funny, though.

I was about to clean his hands when Noah stopped me.

"Actually, I had an idea while I was out. Zach, come with me!"

With that, he led Zach out of the bathroom. Curious, I followed them back into Zach's new room. Noah reached into a shopping bag and withdrew a tube of white paint.

"Now this is going to be messy, so you have to do exactly what I say, but it's going to be a lot of fun. We're going to decorate your walls a little. I'm going to put paint on your hands. When I do that, I want you to hold your hands palm up and keep them like that. Like this," Noah explained, showing Zach how to hold his hands.

"When I tell you to, put your hands on the wall, like this, but only for a second. Then put your hands out like they were before. Don't touch anything except the walls and please be careful."

Noah had Zach's undivided attention, and I could tell both father and son were excited about the little art project. I realized Tom and Sarah were nowhere to be found and was about to ask Noah if he knew where they were when Tom walked back into the room.

"Sorry, guys, Sarah bailed on us," he said, looking a little shaken up.

"Is everything ok?" I asked as Noah started squirting paint on Zach's hands. The little boy let out a happy squeal as messy goo came into contact with his hands.

"We'll see," Tom replied. "Once you two went into the bathroom, it was like she was trying to pick a fight with me. I don't know what the deal is, but I guess I'll find out tonight."

"Don't worry; I'm sure everything will work out. I'm here for you if you need relationship advice," I told him, squeezing his shoulder.

Tom and I watched as Zach happily put a couple dozen white hand prints on his purple walls. Since the base layer wasn't quite dry, some of the hand prints had little purple swirls in them, which created a neat effect. When he was done, Zach insisted Noah and I added some hand prints of our own to his walls. Tom agreed to help clean the three of us up, so we quickly added our own personal touches.

Once cleaned up, I gave Zach another good rinse in the shower to make sure all the paint thinner was washed out. I went back to finishing up my new office. Tom was playing with Zach in the living room, and I assumed Noah was still organizing his clothes in the bedroom. He walked in just as I slid the desk into place and placed the photo of Steve and I on the surface, carrying the same shopping bag he'd pulled the paint out of earlier.

"I got something for you when I was out," he said withdrawing two picture frames from the bag. Tears filled my eyes when I gazed upon the photographs. One was of Zach hugging his favorite mouse, and the other was Noah standing beside me, Zach in his arms. Sarah had taken that last Saturday shortly after we brought Zach home with us. It was hard to believe that was less than a week ago.

"Oh, Noah, I love them!" I said, wiping my eyes before wrapping my arms around him and pulling him in for a kiss. "Thank you so much," I added before placing the two photos of our new family to the desk beside the one of Steve.

"I still need to arrange some things, get stuff for the walls, set up the laptop, and all that stuff, but this is definitely good enough for now. Zach's room will be ready by bedtime, right?"

"Yep, the purple should be dry in an hour or so, but the white will take a few more hours."

"That was a great little art project. Zach really had fun getting messy."

"He was so damn proud of his purple hand prints. I knew we needed to do something fun with the room after he got upset."

"About that, something is definitely going on with him, but he won't tell me what. All I know is he's super-sensitive right now that we still love him. I'm guessing he wasn't quite ready for a sleep over, and he was worried we were going to leave him."

"Let's just keep an eye on him and make sure he feels special when we're around him. He'll get over his abandonment issues eventually," Noah responded, pulling me against him again and kissing me tenderly.

"C'mon, babe, let's go see what your son is up to, and maybe tackle the basement, if possible," I told him after stealing another kiss.

"Sounds like a plan," Noah responded, stealing one more kiss before we broke our embrace. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige.

We found Tom on the couch, flipping through one of the books he found on the end table.

"Where's "

My question was cut off when Tom put a finger to his lips, and at the little boy curled up on the floor beside the couch. I picked Zach up and placed him gently on the couch, trying not to wake the little guy. He'd had a busy and emotional day so far, so it was no surprise he'd worn himself out.

"So, Tom, any chance you'd be willing to help us do some basic organization in the basement? Other than a few seasonal decorations, I don't think there's much of sentimental value down there. We just want to clear a little space, but you might find something you or your parents might want."

"Why not? It beats the heck out of going back to Sarah's and dealing with the argument."

We'd gone through and organized about a quarter of the boxes when Tom spoke up. "What brought up all these changes today, Scott?"

"Now that we have a little more space, we thought we'd just get a little more organized. Noah suggested last night that we give Zach a bigger bedroom, and I asked him to move into my bedroom this morning. Since we no longer have the time to go to the gym, I put Noah in charge of converting the basement into a home gym. Speaking of that, have you come up with any ideas for that yet?"

"I was thinking we could just get by with some dumbbells, a few free weights and a weight bench.

I grimaced slightly as he said that, knowing he had given the most bare-bones, and cheapest, solution to getting us a home gym. Noah did not miss the look on my face.

"What's wrong?"

"We'll talk after dinner."

"No, Scott, seriously what's wrong? You asked what I thought we needed for working out, and I told you. What's the big deal?"

"Noah, it just reminded me that there's a part two to a previous discussion we need to have, which we will have after dinner. I promise I'm not mad, or anything, but this isn't the right time and place for it. Actually, can you stay, Tom? After Noah and I talk, I could use your assistance with something."

"Um, sure, I guess," Tom responded, a little unsure about the tension that suddenly appeared between Noah and me. "Let me just text Sarah quickly so she doesn't think I'm completely blowing her off."

"Sorry, babe, I wasn't going to say anything until later if you hadn't noticed my face. Let's just finish up here, then I'll whip up some grub," I said rubbing Noah's back gently.

It took a while, but the basement was finally a usable space. We really didn't get rid of much, but Tom found a few things he wanted, along with a few things for his parents, and we condensed and organized several half-full boxes.

Zach was still asleep on the couch when we got upstairs, but he quickly perked up when the smell of food began to emanate from the kitchen. It wasn't long before we were enjoying a nice meal. Conversation between Noah and I was a little tense, despite my best efforts, but I'm sure he felt a little frustrated and wasn't looking forward to our talk.

When we finished eating, Tom offered to do dishes and play with Zach. Noah and I retired to our bedroom (oh, how I loved the sound of that!) to air some things out. Pretty much as soon as we sat on the bed, Noah went on the offensive.

"If you want more gym equipment, just tell me. You don't need to start something in front of Tom."

"It's not that at all. Look at yourself, Noah, and then look at me. Only one of us really knows their way around weights. If you really, honestly think that all we need are some free weights and a bench, then that's fine, but I'm worried you're just trying to spend as little money as possible," I said calmly, a little taken aback by Noah's aggressiveness.

"And so what if I am? You're the one worth millions, Scott. I'm just trying to hold my own."

"I know how important it is for you to be able to contribute financially. I don't want this to become a relationship where I'm just your sugar daddy, or something."

"Yeah, but you've continued to spend money nonstop all week, even after we had our discussion. Hell, I let you buy us a car, for fuck's sake!"

"Ok, hold the fuck on," I said, raising my voice, "I'm a grown-ass man, Noah, and I have several million dollars, at least two of which I had before Steve died. I don't live extravagantly, nor do I flaunt my wealth, but if I want to buy a new car, I'm going to fucking buy one! You're not in a position to 'let' me do what I want with my money!"

Noah's nostril's flared and his face reddened with anger as I snapped at him. The conversation had been derailed from the beginning, and I really wanted to try to get back on track. When he tried to respond, I just held up my hand.

"Hold on, Noah. We're starting this out the wrong way. Let's just both take a deep breath and try again. As you can see, we need to talk about this, or it will eat away at our relationship. I love you far too much to let this destroy what we have."

Noah sighed, and I could see some of the anger dissipate. After a moment, he responded, "Yeah, I guess you're right. You have done a good job for the most part of not making me feel like I'm just along for the ride, but I've been spending more of my money this week than I have in a long time, and I'm worried it's going to run out and I'm going to have to rely on you for everything."

"I know, and I've thought about that a bit. Keep in mind, though, part of being in a relationship is having to rely on each other from time to time. Maybe part of the problem is that for many years, I had joint accounts with Steve. When we first graduated college, I was still struggling to get my business off the ground, and I had to work all sorts of menial jobs to keep food on the table until it started to take off, while Steve was in law school. Once he got his degree, we never had to look back, but I was no longer the primary bread-winner, and it was a little difficult to get used to the fact I was using 'his' money when I was shopping."

"I get that, I really do, Scott, but we've only been together for two weeks. I know we've moved fast, but I just want to be able to help out more. I've been thinking of going around to restaurants and stores and filling out applications to help bring some of my own money in."

"I don't want you to get a job. Starting next month, your job is going to be focusing on your degree. Honestly, I have enough money that we could both live a good life and never have to work again, but I'd be bored to tears within a year. I already promised you I'd give you a loan to pay for school. I've actually gone ahead and typed out a loan agreement that is almost ready to sign, if you want to look at it."

"Sure, why not, but it doesn't really get to the heart of the issue right now, does it?" Noah asked.

"I think it'll help, at least. Just read over it, and we'll talk about it," I said, and stood up. I walked over to my dresser, and opened the bottom drawer, which doubled as my filing cabinet.

"I always wondered where you kept your papers," Noah said with a laugh.

"Yeah, you were right about me needing an office, I guess. Steve needed one more, so I just made do. I was so used to my system I never even saw it as a problem, but it will be nice to be able to use my whole dresser for clothes. Now read over this, and tell me what you think" I replied, handing him the legal document.

It was a fairly standard loan agreement, with a few exceptions. Since Noah had said that an interest-free loan felt too much like I was giving him money, I was charging him two percent interest, but instead of demanding repayment within six months of graduating, the loan didn't start accruing interest or need to be repaid for five years, or one year after graduating, whichever was later. There was also a clause that set how much he had to repay if we broke up before the loan was repaid, as well as one that declared the whole loan null and void if we were married.

After several minutes of reading the dense document, Noah looked up to me with a smile.

"This looks good, Scott. You're clearly going a little easy on me, but every aspect of it reads like an honest-to-God loan. It's even written in legalese! I do have one question, though. Why are all the references to amounts blank? We already know how much my degree will cost."

"We do, but that's why I said seeing this will help. I don't want you to have to balance school, Zach and I, and a job, but I know you want to be able to contribute freely. I have two ways to help you on this, and the loan is the first one. I can go ahead and cut you a check for ninety thousand dollars, which will cover your degree, and probably most of your supplies, but that's about all it would cover."

"You say that like there's a second option," Noah said with a knowing grin.

"You know me too well," I responded. "The alternative is that I can cut you a check for a quarter-million. Obviously, much of it would still be spent on school. This would give you plenty of spending money to use as you see fit. It would be your money, and I have no say in how you use it. If you think you need more, I'm willing to talk about it, but that gets into the second part of the discussion that I'm not quite ready for until we finish this."

Noah's eyes bugged out a little, but he didn't really protest the amount. He flipped through the loan for a minute before speaking. "I assume the amount in the break-up clause will be the same as the loan amount. I appreciate what you're offering to do here, and I'm definitely considering it, but I have to look after my best interests here. I don't plan on going anywhere, but things happen in a relationship. I'm worried that taking such a large sum of money now will put me in a pickle if we break up and I'm unable to pay you back. I wouldn't want money to drive a bigger wedge between us if we don't end on good terms."

"I'm glad you noticed the wording there. With your approval, I'm going to set the repayment to ninety-thousand if we break up, regardless of the size of the loan. I may not be a great investor, but Steve and Tom did teach me a few things. I view this loan as an investment in us. In the past week, we've had a few squabbles over money, and I'm worried it's going to keep being an issue. I see great things for us in the future, and I don't really know any way to put this to rest other than to help make you feel like you are on equal footing with me."

"So if you do that, wouldn't the extra money be nothing more than a gift?" Noah asked. I was worried he'd view it that way, but fortunately, there was no anger in his voice. I was glad he was just trying to make sure he understood what I was saying.

"I guess you could view it that way, but I don't. Hell, if all works out the way I hope it will, the entire loan is a gift. I'm sure you noticed that stipulation," I said with a smile.

Noah blushed and smiled slightly, obviously remembering the marriage clause.

"I'm not saying I expect it to happen, though. For all I know, we'll go our separate ways in six months. I'm just worried if we don't address the money situation, and put it to bed for good, it will impact any chances our relationship has on survival."

Noah thought for a minute, taking in everything he'd read and that I told him. Finally, he said, "Yeah, I guess you're right. I'm not sure this is the best solution, but it seems solid. I'm on board with it, now what's the second part of this discussion?"

"That's why I asked Tom to stick around. Let's go out to the kitchen and see if we can start making your money work for you. First, though, now that we've had this talk, what do you really think we need for a home gym?"

"Well, I guess an elliptical or treadmill would be nice. We can always go jogging around the neighborhood for cardio, but if we had something basic in the house it would mean we could do it without worrying about Zach. Otherwise, my suggestion pretty much stays the same. Free weights and dumbbells will give us most of what we need. It may be a bit intimidating at first for you, though. I'll look around later, and see if I can find a decent generic machine that doesn't break the bank. "

"What about one of those machines with the bars that I see advertised all the time on late-night TV? Remember, I don't know what I'm doing, so anything that simplifies the workout might make things easier for me."

"Actually, that's not a bad idea. They don't do as good of a job creating definition as free weights, but they are easy to use and there's no need for a spotter. Why don't we get that in addition to the free weights?" Noah suggested.

I couldn't help but smile. "See, now this is progress for us. You just voluntarily added a few hundred dollars to your expenses!"

Noah chuckled, and leaned in for a kiss.

"For the record," I told him, "I'm sure we can get all of the things we want from people sick of having a thousand-dollar drying rack in their house."

"If it's alright with you, I'd rather buy the more expensive stuff new. That way, we know it works, and it's still under warranty if anything were to go wrong. I have no problem buying the weight bench and all that used, though."

"You're the expert. If it makes you feel better, I'm more than happy to do that. Maybe later tonight we can shop around online and figure it all out. I just felt like you were trying to take the cheapest route possible. We should still shop around for the best deals, but I don't want to sell us short."

"I hadn't really thought about it, but I guess that's exactly what I was doing," Noah said.

We both stood up and embraced. We lingered in that position for a few minutes while we shared a gentle kiss that turned passionate for a moment. I wanted nothing more than to drag him back onto the bed, and I could tell from the lust in his eyes he felt the same.

"Down, Tiger," I gasped, breaking the kiss, "As much as I want to escape to the bed, we need to go talk to Tom. Besides, Zach's still up. Let's go see what they're doing."

We both adjusted ourselves to be less obvious and walked, hand in hand, toward the living room. Tom and Zach were sitting on the couch watching a penguin documentary on television. When Tom saw us, he looked weary for a moment until he saw we were still holding hands. His concern immediately turned into a smile. Without disturbing Zach, he got off the couch and walked over to us.

"What's up with the movie? Did he get bored?" Noah asked.

"No, you guys got a little loud shortly after you went back there. Zach got upset and started to cry, so I found something to distract him. It had the added benefit of covering up any future noise you two made, because I didn't notice anything. By the way, I'd recommend some child-appropriate DVD's. The closest thing to a kid's movie was March of the Penguins."

Noah just looked at me, and I immediately blushed. "Let me guess, Steve bought that for you?"

"At least he never bought me the one with the dancing penguins."

"Hey, don't dis that movie! It has Elijah Wood in it. He's hot!" Noah said, teasing me.

"As a penguin?" I shot back, sticking my tongue out at him.

"Guys, I'm glad you're back to normal, but can we focus? I probably shouldn't stay too much longer, or else Sarah will think I'm actively avoiding her."

"Aren't you, though?" Noah pointed out.

"Only because you asked me to stick around; at least it's a convenient excuse!"

"Alright, let's do this," I said, bringing an end to our banter. "Tom, I want you to work with Noah and help him come up with an investment strategy. We both think it's time to make his money work for him a little better. Oh, Noah, let's sign the loan quickly, and I'll stay out of your way while you two strategize."

Tom glanced at the agreement before looking at me with a raised eyebrow. I simply nodded my head.

"Alright, I'll take care of it. Now show me your accounts, and I'll see what I can do to help you."

Tom and Noah sat down at the kitchen table, while I joined Zach on the couch. His trance was broken, and he looked over to me.

"Why were you and Daddy mad?" he asked, the little boy's eyes wide with concern.

"We didn't agree on a couple things and we had to talk about it. We shouldn't have yelled. I'm sorry we scared you."

"Were you two mean to each other?"

It took me a second to remember Zach equated 'being mean' with the physical abuse he suffered from Willow. "No, little buddy, neither one of us was even close to hitting, I promise."

"Oh, ok," Zach replied, matter-of-factly, before curling up against me and returning his focus to the movie. I wrapped my arm around him as we watched together.

While watching, it dawned on me that Tom was right; we needed more kid's movies, even though I didn't like the idea of using the TV as a surrogate parent. Curling up with the family and just relaxing on the couch would make for many a wonderful evening.

As the movie was finishing up, Tom and Noah joined us. Tom looked satisfied with whatever they'd worked out, but I wouldn't have been surprised if Noah's head exploded.

"Well, this has been fun, but I should probably get back to Sarah's. I hear you guys are going to my parents' tomorrow."

"Yep, we're leaving first thing in the morning," I told him.

"I hope it goes well. Dad sounded like he's looking forward to meeting Noah and Zach. I think he also wants to make amends for the way he acted at the funeral. I'll see you guys in the evening; I figure it's a good excuse to go home for dinner and spend the night. Sarah may come too, but she hadn't made up her mind as of the last time we talked about it."

"I take it she's not sure if she's ready to meet the parents yet?"

"Honestly, I'm not sure, but that wouldn't surprise me. Anyway, have a good night, and I'll see you tomorrow," Tom said before walking out the door.

Once the movie was over, we double-checked to make sure the paint was dry before pushing Zach's furniture into place. We quickly packed a bag for him before tucking him into bed and heading to our room. After throwing together a couple of overnight bags neither of us knew if the O'Neil's would allow us to share a bedroom, considering it took years before they allowed me to share one with their son we got ready for bed ourselves.

I tried to go down on Noah, but soon realized he was making too much noise. He tried the same with me but had the same result. We compromised and settled into a 69 position, playing with each other's nuts and fingering each other until we deposited our loads into the other's mouth. After we had finished, we wrapped our arms around each other and talked for a while.

"I hadn't realized it until Tom said something, but we really haven't let Zach watch any TV this week," I said.

"You're right. Part of it is we've been busy all week, but I kinda like the idea of drastically limiting how much he watches. I haven't had enough opportunities to be a dad before this week, and I'd rather spend time with him instead of just plopping him down and ignoring him. Why do you bring that up?"

"Well, Tom was right about us not having any kid's movies. I really enjoyed spending the time with my little buddy cuddled up against me. Would you have any problems with me buying a few movies for him?"

"That'd be fine, as long as they are rare treats. Please don't go overboard and buy everything in the store, though."

We chatted a little longer before falling asleep in each other's arms. I guess the revelation of the photograph in the dresser was too much for me and brought some insecurities of mine back into play. The pleasant dreams of the last few nights were replaced by a reoccurring nightmare I hadn't had in many years, but with a new twist. Steve was in our bed, having sex with some guy. I couldn't tell who it was, since he was on his back, legs in the air, as Steve passionately thrust into him, but I had a damn good idea. The entire time, he was telling the man how he was just going through the motions of being with me and waiting for the right time to end it. I sat in a chair, unable to move let alone blink. Noah stood beside me, watching.

"That looks like fun," he said casually.

I awoke with a start. Drenched with sweat and my heart racing, I climbed out of bed to get a glass of water, trying to catch my breath. The entire time, I kept reminding myself that it was just a stupid dream and didn't mean anything. Still, I realized I should probably talk to Noah about my fears. As I walked back to the bed, I could hear the sounds of Zach sobbing.

 

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Alright, so I went on a bit of a writing binge. Chapter 29 is complete, and 30 is only waiting on feedback from David on if he agrees where with me as to where to end 29 it ran long, go figure! 31 is almost complete. I'm in the process of trying to massively edit the first several chapters of the story with David's assistance. They will be eventually posted on Nifty, but there really aren't any massive changes. I know there will be a few noticeable differences in chapters 4 and 5, but they don't really affect the story. I haven't decided if I'll continue writing through the end of the custody hearing or not before taking a break to focus more heavily on the editing.

 

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!!!!

 

My story is also hosted at http://fitz.thestorycloset.org, http://www.gayauthors.org/forums/story/fitz/moving_on, and on my story website, http://movingonstory.weebly.com. Not only does it host all current chapters of Moving On, but all characters have bios except a few minor characters! I still need to find pictures of the characters. If you have any suggestions for ANY NAMED CHARACTER, please email them to me! (There are now two for Noah, since I liked both suggestions!). My personal website also has the short, Our First Christmas, which is about the first Christmas that Scott and Steve spent together.

 

I tend to update all sites at the same time, but because of the way Nifty works, new chapters tend to show up on the other three sites a day earlier (sometimes two depending on how backlogged Nifty gets with updates) than they do here.

 

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 timeline for others to see.  However, searching for the group by name 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/.

 

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

 

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