This story contains sexual situations between males. If material of this nature offends you then you should not read this story. If you are under 18 years of age or you are not legal to read this story, please leave now.

Please remember that this story is a story of love, not of sex. There will NOT be sex in every chapter. That's just life. Get used to it :P

This story is purely a work of fiction and I do not know any of the celebrities mentioned. I do not know of their sexualities or any of that, it is merely for my story.

The author claims all copyrights in this story and no duplication or publication of this story is allowed (except by the websites to which it has been posted) without the consent of the author.


P.S. thank you for all the nice emails. I hope you guys are still reading and enjoying!!!

P.P.S. I'm SOOOO sorry for the late posting! I've been working my ass off with uni and I've finally finished my 2nd year. This summer I hope to post a few chapters, at least 1 more. I have a lot of ideas for the next one. I'm moving at the end of this month, so please...if things are moving slowly don't hate me...




Chapter Five


Hey, handsome.

Hi love. I don't have much time, what's up?

Oh! If you're busy, just text me or call me later. It's nothing important.

You wouldn't be texted me if it wasn't important. What's up?

Do you still love me...?

It had been only a few weeks since our wedding and our wonderful honeymoon in Italy, France, Greece, and Spain. I was feeling particularly lost and lonely. The day after our return, Alex had had to fly off to go to his next movie shoot. It was times like that that made me glad that Alex wasn't a popstar and wasn't on tour for 300 days out of the year.

Ash, where is this coming from?

I don't know, I miss you and I'm sad and I'm inside my head.

Well, get outta there. You know that I love you more than anything. Don't ever doubt that sweetie. I have to go, I'm getting yelled at. I will call you before bed. I promise, I love you more than life itself. If I could be there right now, I would be, you know that.

I'll be waiting. I love you. I'm sorry.

Don't do that, don't sit around waiting. Call Beth, go over there, hang out with her for a bit. Go rub that belly all up and love it. And while you're there eat some ice cream or cookies or something. I love you.

Okay. Bye, I love you.

I clicked the screen off on my phone and shoved it back into my pocket. I stood and shook my black jeans out a bit, letting them move back into place. Today was an all-black day, black jeans, black t-shirt with a black plaid over top. I sighed and grabbed my keys, deciding it best to make my way out to my car and text Beth on the way. I made my way out to the garage and looked at all of the beautiful cars filling the spots. I dragged my hand slowly over each one before I got to the pretty black Ferrari then stopped, turned and went to the bland Ford Edge, hoping it would get less attention and maybe the Paps would stay away from me.

As soon as I got into the car, I knew I had made the right choice, it was comfortably and clean and it felt right. I didn't want anything showy, not today. As I backed out of the garage, I connected a call to Beth with my Bluetooth.

"Hey," she answered.

"Hi, are you free?"

"Uhhhhh...I can be, what's up?"

"I need some best friend time, but if you're busy, then it's fine, I'll go for a drive or something."

"Ash, seriously, what's wrong?" she was out of breath and sounded tired.

"I'm just in my head and we all know that's a bad place to be. What are you doing? Why are you so out of breath?" I was on my way to her and Channing's place and driving carefully, following the posted speed limits.

"Uh...you don't want me to answer that, so instead I'll tell you a story," she laughed and I couldn't help but to laugh with her.

"Ew. What cravings are you having right now? I can make a stop on the way over, please put some clothes on though" I was still laughing, knowing that Beth was probably completely disheveled and Channing would be no better.

"OOOO!!!!! I like you. Uh...bring me some peanut butter chocolate ice cream, that would be fucking fantastic" I heard a moan at the end of her sentence.

"GROSS! COME ON! I'm trying to be nice here. Alright, I'm going to stop and grab some, does Chan want anything?" I could hear them discussing it quietly in the background.


"Good, I'll be there in a half hour ish. Maybe."

"K love you, bye" Beth hung up quickly and I laughed at her.

I kept driving closer to her place, knowing of a small grocery store just down the block. On a good day, it took 25 minutes to get to Beth's and today it looked to be taking a lot longer. I took my time in the market, getting stopped by some girls who wanted to take pictures with Alex Pettyfer's husband. I obviously obliged and gave them the photos and autographs that they wanted and then went, grabbed the ice cream and some chips and dip and then grabbed a chocolate bar for Chan, just to get on his good graces. I finally grabbed grape soda, knowing that Beth would be craving it soon enough. Sighing to myself, I headed to the checkouts and stood in line, waiting for my turn. The couple in front of me were all smooshy with each other, fawning over the other. He couldn't keep his hand off of her ass and she basically had her hand down his pants. It made me want to vomit just looking at them, I decided instead to turn my face to the magazines in front of me. Immediately regretting my decisions as I was faced with images of myself and Alex, on our honeymoon and during our wedding ceremony. It shocked me, I knew that there had been photographers but I didn't realize that they would put them all over there like these were.

When it was my turn, I put the things on the belt and then waited as she wrung them through, hoping that she wouldn't look up at me and say anything.

"Fifteen seventy-five please," she said in broken English.

"Alright," I handed the lady a twenty dollar bill and waited for her to give me my money back and my small load of groceries so that I could leave the building, I needed to get out of there and get to Beth's, I needed the safety of my best friend.

Once I was handed my bag, I headed out to my car. Why was I feeling like this? Why all of a sudden did my brain decide that I needed to feel like complete shit about myself? Why was it so easy for my mind to just slip and all of a sudden, my world came tumbling down around me? Of course, Alex wasn't even in the country while this was happening. My car couldn't seem further away as I made my way out to, hoping that I would get there as quickly as possible. I needed to be at Beth's and be around her and be rubbing that big ole baby belly of hers. I needed my best friend and I also needed her baby daddy. I needed them to help fill the void created by my mind until my husband could come home to do that for me. I unlocked the car from a few feet away and then slid in and flicked my wrist, turning the ignition. The streets were busier all of a sudden, and it took me a lot longer than it should have to get out of the parking lot and back onto the street.

"Hello?" I answered, my phone ringing.

"Hey babe, are you on your way?" Beth answered me.

"Yeah, why?"

"I'm craving grape soda..."

I laughed to myself and just shook my head, "I figured you would, I bought some."

"Oh! Good!"

"Yeah, I'll be there soon, traffic is a bitch though."

"Okay, drive safe," she told me quietly, warning me to stay out of my head while I was driving, without actually saying it.

"Mmh," I answered her and hung up my phone. I took the second last turn to get to Beth's and continued almost all the way down the beautiful tree lined street. I loved this street, it was the most beautiful street that I had seen in a long time. The trees were old and tall and always so beautifully green. The community obviously had great pride in themselves as they took care in the upkeep of the street. The lawns were all a fresh green, manicured nicely, the blades of the grass short, but not too short. It was all so pretty, and that was the only way to describe it. Pretty. One last turn kept me from my best friend and as I took it, I turned up the radio a little bit. "Little Things" by One Direction was playing and I couldn't help but smile at the memory of our wonderful wedding. I pulled up in front of the gate at Beth and Chan's door, I reached over and typed in the code that I knew off by heart. Driving up to the front of the house, I noticed some new things in their yard, some new shrubs and a new fountain. Hm, I wonder why those are there?

"BABY BOY!" Beth called out to me as she opened the front door. I just shook my head and laughed, parking the car and getting out, I grabbed the groceries and came up to the front door.

"Hi," I breathed and wrapped my arms around Beth, I couldn't help it. I dropped the groceries on the floor and just clung to her, my body wracked with sobs. Her arms wrapped around me and held me almost as tight as I held her. Everything hurt. My heart hurt, my head hurt, my brain hurt, my entire body had this ache.

"Baby, sh," she tried to calm me, but I couldn't. I couldn't stop crying, I hurt too much. "What's wrong...? Why do you feel like this?"

"I...I d-d-don't know," I shook and cried out. Channing had come around and wrapped his arms around both of us, most of his embrace wrapped around me.

"Hey," he turned my face to him and wiped my tears away. "He loves you, Ash. That's all you need to know. He loves you more than anyone or anything. He is your husband, there is no point during his day that he doesn't think about or wish you were with him. I've been where he is, I've felt that longing to be with the one you love. It's hard and he's wishing you were there; he wants you to be there or to be here. He loves you, Asher. Trust me. I talked to him yesterday and all he wanted to know about was how you were doing, what you were doing, if you missed him. There is no need for you to feel like this right now, he isn't those demons in your head."

I sighed and nodded my head, hugging Chan tightly. "Thank you," I whispered to him as I felt Beth rubbing my back.

"Now! Where's my ice cream and soda?" Beth asked and I laughed at her.

"In the bag, be careful with the soda, it might be shaken up."

"Yeah, yeah," she took the bag and waddled to the kitchen and I looked at Chan who just shook his head and shrugged.

"I don't know, man. She's been in weird moods lately. I kindda like it," he whispered in my ear. His arm never left from around my shoulders as we walked into the kitchen.

We turned the corner and I heard, "What are you trying to steal my husband now?" from the other side of the island.

I looked up to see my very handsome husband sitting there, I took a deep breath and all but ran to him, wrapping my arms around him tightly.

"It's okay, I'm here. We're here, everything it's okay, we're good, shh," he whispered into my ear and rubbed my back. I was crying quietly into his neck and holding onto him tightly. "I love you, calm down baby."

"I love you too," I continued to hold onto him, struggling to stabilize my breathing and my stance.

Alex looked up at Chan and nodded towards the sitting room. He gently led the way through the kitchen to the room and sat me down on the couch. He sat down beside me and I was instantly straddling his lap, wanting to be as close to him as I could get.

"Asher, baby, look at me," he was starting to sound frustrated, I looked up at him and he didn't look happy. "You need to calm down, you're going to have an attack."

He was right, I knew it. I took deep breaths while he wiped my face of my tears gently. I looked down at my lap.

"I'm sorry," I whispered.

"Don't be, handsome, it's okay. It happens. Now, tell me what's going on, why are you feeling so down?" He ran his fingers through my hair, which really needed a haircut, I might add.

"I hadn't seen you in too long. I needed you here, I couldn't function anymore. I need you, baby, I always need you. I just...started doubting myself and I shouldn't have and I'm sorry. I just...I'm sorry," I didn't want to be upset anymore, so I just shook my head and finished wiping my face.

"God, baby," I could hear him feeling sorry for me in his voice and I sighed.



"Don't feel sorry for me, that's not what I want. I want you to tell me that it's okay for me to feel this way sometimes. I want you to tell me that you love me and that I just need to breathe. I don't want your pity, Alex. I never want you to pity me."

"Babe, I don't pity you. And you're right, you are okay, you're perfectly fine and you will be okay no matter what happens. You just need to breathe and think about everything."

I looked closely into his eyes and could see his eyes darting away, not wanting to maintain eye contact, "What are you not telling me?"

"Uh...nothing," he said, a little too quickly, he moved me off of his lap and moved to get up and off the couch.

"Wait. Alexander Richard Lennox-Pettyfer, what the fuck are you hiding?" I was starting to get angry.


"Just fucking tell me."

"I don't want you to be mad," he looked down at his lap and I raised my eyebrow.

"Are you fucking kidding me? That's a sure fire way to ensure that I'll be mad. Spill, now."

"I did something..." he started and I felt the dread hit hard in my stomach.

"What kind of something...?" my mouth was dry, and I wanted to cough to relieve the feeling in my throat but I couldn't let him know that this was getting to me as much as it was.

"I...fuck!" he jammed his fists down into his thighs. At this point, there was nothing I could imagine but the worst.

"Alex...just tell me," I took a shaky breath and tried to look at him but he wouldn't look back at me.

"I...uhm...I...I went out for drinks with some of the cast..." he started and I nodded, urging him to continue. "I ended up going home with someone." That was all I needed to hear. I shook my head, stood up and walked away, leaving him sitting on the couch. "Wait! Asher! Let me finish!" he was chasing after me and I stopped, turned and looked at him. "I didn't sleep with him, I...he...ugh! He gave me a handjob and then I left. I couldn't stay. I knew that it would hurt you and I didn't even think."

"You didn't even think..." I turned back around and started to leave again.

"Asher..." he tried to grab my hand.

"Fuck you!" I spat and left, I got into my car and drove as quickly as I could back to the place that I was meant to share with my "husband". When I pulled up to the gate and made my way up the drive, it felt unfamiliar. Making my way up the stairs and into our bedroom, I kept thinking why? How could he do this? Again? Who was he? How long ago? I couldn't help it and I started tearing myself down. You're useless, Asher. He doesn't love you, he never did. He was using you and you stopped giving him what he needed. He had to go somewhere else to feel good. He doesn't need you or want you anymore, you're just a waste of space. Get out of his house, Asher. You're not wanted.

I grabbed my luggage and started filling it with clothes out of our closet. I couldn't go to my parents, I couldn't tell them that my marriage was falling part again. I made my way down to the main floor and then out the back door. I walked across the perfectly cared for lawn to the guest house and entered. I already felt out of place and I shuddered. I hadn't cried about it yet, he didn't love me anymore. He didn't want me anymore. Oh my god. I set my things in the bedroom and laid down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. My brain froze and my vision started turning dark. I wasn't falling asleep, I just couldn't see. I couldn't feel.

I laid there as the sky turned black. Tomorrow was Monday and I would have to go back to work. I didn't have the days to take a personal day and I would need to go. I didn't sleep that night, I continued to stare at the ceiling until the sky turned light and the alarm on my phone went off, alerting me to the need to wake up and get ready. I stood from the bed, went to the ensuite and stripped. I had no feeling, I was numb. I couldn't feel the water as it hit my body, even though it left my body bright red. I went through the motions, washing my hair and my body. I decided to leave my stubble the way that it was and got dressed in a pair of slacks and a deep red dress shirt. No tie was needed today. I quickly styled my hair and looked in the mirror. My eyes were red and had bags under them, but they were open and I looked mostly normal. I made my way to the school and stepped into my classroom, preparing for the first class.

One of my favorite students walked in, I know...I know you aren't supposed to have favorites. Jake walked over, dark curly hair a mess, it looked like he rolled out of bed and threw on his tight jeans and looser polo. "Hey Mr. LP," he called out as he walked by me to get to his preferred desk.

"Hey, Jake, how was your weekend?" I asked, my voice sounded off even to me.

"Not bad...hey, are you okay?" he inquired and looked genuinely concerned.

"I'm fine, just some...personal things happening that I can't talk about as school. Thanks," I nodded once towards him and he nodded back. Usually Jake was one of the last to get to the classroom, often there right before the bell rang, sometimes right after. Looking at him closer, I could see a dark spot under the collar of his shirt and it looked like he was wincing every time he took a breath. "Jake..." I walked closer to him and squatted down beside his desk, eye level with him and looking right at him.

"What's up?" he asked, not daring to look at me.

"Wanna talk about why you're wincing so bad every time you take a breath and that mark under your collar...?" I had a feeling there was more marks on his body and it made me want to throw up.

"Not really..." he shook his head slowly and I sighed.

"Alright, well...would you rather talk to me about it, or would you rather talk to a councillor? Either way I have to report it," I felt bad, and I could tell he really didn't want to talk about it.

"Can we talk about it after class?" he asked as more students started filing in.

"Yes, as long as you promise you'll talk to me about it," I put my hand on his shoulder gently and I could see him wince from it so I immediately removed my hand.

"I promise," he nodded and I went back to my desk, going over my plan for the class and watching as the rest of the students walked in.

"Good morning, everyone!" I called out, as happily as I possibly could with the numbness that had taking over my heart.

"Good morning," I heard them chorus back.

"Alright, what do we want to learn today?" I didn't feel like taking attendance, looking around and only seeing two desks empty, I could guess who they were.

"Let's learn about..." Blake started.

"No." I cut him off and the whole class laughed, knowing that what he would have suggested would have been profane and inappropriate. "How about we learn about The Great Gatsby?" I asked and held up the book, I loved teaching this English class, letting them choose what they wanted to learn for the most part. I heard a few yeses and a few noes so I nodded and grabbed a vocabulary package. "Alright, either Gatsby or vocab?"

I laughed as almost the entire class called out Gatsby.

"That's what I thought!" we all had a laugh at that and everyone pulled out their novels and got sorted. "Where did he leave off?"

"I think we were on chapter 5," Jenna, the obvious teacher's pet, called out.

"Thank you, Jenna. Do we want to read today, or has everyone caught up?"

"Can you read to us please?" I looked over at Jake, who looked so broken.

"Everyone okay with that?" I saw most nod so I agreed. I grabbed my chair from behind my desk and brought it to the middle of the front of the class. "When I came home to West Egg that night I was afraid for a moment that my house was on fire. Two o'clock and the whole corner of the peninsula was blazing with light, which fell unreal on the shrubbery and made thin elongating glints upon the roadside wires. Turning a corner, I saw that it was Gatsby's house, lit from tower to cellar..."

I read for the entire period, until the bell rang and I closed the book, looking around at all the happy faces.

"What?" I asked.

"You just have a really nice voice for reading," Katie called out and I blushed a little bit.

"Well thank you. Have a nice day everyone! I'll see your bright faces tomorrow, please go ahead and read further in the book. Tomorrow we're going to do some discussion on what we read today and we'll do some work sheets and group work. Come prepared and if I find out you're skipping, you're doing vocab for a week straight," it was my common threat and it seemed that it worked, my students rarely skipped and they almost always were eager to participate. I watched Jake packing his things up slowly, taking his time and waiting while everyone else filed out. I nodded and smiled and said my goodbyes to the students as they walked by my desk.

When they left I went over and shut the door. I walked over and sat in the desk beside Jake, knowing that I had a free period and knowing that I would give him a pass no matter what.

"Alright, mister, what's going on?" I asked, looking at him, genuinely concerned. He smiled at me and shook his head.

"My mom...she's got this new boyfriend and he doesn't like me much," I felt my heart breaking and I just watched as he fiddled with a thread on his shirt. "When I got home yesterday, they were both pretty angry at me, I had left my dirty clothes on the floor in the bathroom...and when I went to go put them away, Ben grabbed me and he pulled me back and hit me..." he lifted his shirt and showed me the marks all across his abdomen, purple and angry bruises covered his alabaster skin.

"Oh my god, Jake..." I reached out and pulled my hand back. "Come with me, we have to go see Mrs. Wheeler."

"No! Please! I don't want to! They'll take me from my mom and then what do I do? Where would I go?" he was so desperate.

"Sh, it's okay. We'll figure it out, but it needs to be reported. We'll see what we can do."

This wasn't the first time that Jake and I had had a serious conversation or a heart to heart. He often would stay after class to talk and I would have to write him a pass to his next class. I knew that if he needed me, I would be there, no matter what. I would help him.

"Jake, seriously, we need to go and report it. We can't let this happen again. Did she hurt you at all?" He ducked his head and looked away from me. "Jake...seriously, please. Let's go." I stood from the desk and looked at him. "I won't let anyone hurt you, come on."

He stood with me and we made our way down the stairs and down the hallway to the councillor's office. He was walking close to me, trying to pull off of my strength, but not walking too close. I put my hand on the back of his neck for a few seconds, letting him know that I was there for him. I moved my hand again and knocked on the door of Mrs. Wheeler.

"Come in," she called through her door. I opened the door and I let Jake walk in first and then followed him in. "Hello gentlemen, how can I help you?" She was stiff and formal, but she was the best at her job.

"Hey, Holly, there's something we need to talk to you about," I started. Jake was shaking beside me and I put my hand on his shoulder. "It's okay, seriously. Can you show her? Please."

Jake nodded and lifted his shirt, showing the bruises across his abdomen and took a shaky breath.

"Holy smokes," Holly gasped and stared at the bruises. "Who did that to you, son?"

"Please don't call me that. But, uhm, it was my mom, and her boyfriend...her boyfriend more than her..." he looked up at me and I gave him a sad smile. And put my hand on his shoulder and squeezed gently.

"You're okay, I promise," Jake nodded at me and put his head down.

"Alright, well..." Holly took a deep breath and picked up her phone, she started dialing all of the authorities that she needed to and we waited in her office. Jake and I were having a quiet conversation; I was just trying to make him smile.

"So, Heather seems to have quite the crush on you. As soon as I said group work, she looked right at you," I laughed quietly at his hopeful face. Fifteen year old boys were so funny.

"You think so?" he smiled and I nodded. "Oh good! I think she's so hot," he mumbled the last part to himself and I laughed quietly.

"Gosh, I miss being so young," my phone was ringing in my pocket and I pulled it out to see who was calling, seeing Alex's name, I shook my head, hit ignore and then put my phone back in my pocket.

"Troubles with the other Mr. LP?" Jake asked, my face must have come across exceptionally sad.

"Don't worry about it, nosy."

We laughed quietly until the authorities got there and they asked me to leave, I looked at Jake and he looked terrified and lost and his eyes clung to mine...it was like he wouldn't be able to handle it if I left.

"I'd prefer to stay...if I could," I said softly and Jake seemed to breathe a sigh of relief.

"As long as Jake's okay with it, then sure," the main caseworker said, directed more at Jake who nodded and so I sat beside him with my hand on his chair, helping to keep him calm the best that I could.

It took multiple hours to get pictures of the wounds, get everyone's statements and to discover that Jake would have to be removed from the house immediately. The caseworker didn't know of any homes off the top of her head with any openings and I looked at Jake again, he was shaking and looked close to tears.

"He can stay with me. I have more than enough room. It'll do him some good to be around someone he knows and he'll be in a stable environment and you know that he'll get to school every day," I winked at the social worker and she thought about it for a few minutes.

"Let me just make a call quickly to find out if that would be okay, you'd have to sign some paperwork and things like that, but I assume you know that," she said, looking right at me.

"Yeah, do what you need to do, just don't make him go anywhere that he doesn't know the people, he's hurting enough as it is." Jake nodded and moved slightly closer to me. "Think you can go back to class? Or you just wanna hang here?" I had already missed all of the classes that I was scheduled to teach, but I had been covered as I was taking care of this situation. The caseworker left the room quietly and it was just Jake and I.

"I'd like to stay here, if that's cool?"

"Yeah, that's fine, who are you supposed to have this period?"

"Mr. Smith."

"Alright, let me just call and let him know that you won't be in class, I'll get them to send a message to all your teachers and then you won't have anything to worry about, deal?"

"Thanks..." he looked genuinely thankful and it warmed my heart. He was such a good kid and there was no reason for anyone to ever hurt this boy like they had. He was so kind and polite, but willing to poke fun, but never menacingly. I just nodded to him and went to pick up the phone and dialed his Mr. Smith, letting him know that Jake wouldn't be in his class for the rest of the period.

"There, all done," I smiled and Jake smiled back at me.

"Thank you...I really appreciate all this," he looked up at me and I sat back down in the chair beside him.

"Jake...this isn't the first time is it?"

"No. Will you tell me a story?"

"What kind of a story do you want?"

"Tell me about your wedding, or honeymoon. You never really talk about Mr. LP."

I smiled sadly at him, "I'd rather not...to be honest..."

"What happened?" he asked softly.

"Uhm...a lot of things that I shouldn't talk about. I can see that you're worried, but you have to remember that I'm your teacher, it would be wildly inappropriate."

"Then tell me a story of something happy."

"Now THAT I can do," I laughed softly.


**** FLASHBACK ****

I had never seen the set before, my dad had brought me there for the first time. In fact, it was the first time any of the staff had had children at the set. There was one specific reason for us to be there: I was to meet Alex Pettyfer. When I walked up to him, his eyes were this mixture of grey and green and as I looked closer I could see that his smile reached all the way to his eyes. I would learn exactly what that mischievous smile meant, that was his `I'm turned on and find you attractive but don't tell anyone' look. We were sitting on the couch talking and every inch of my skin was on edge and vibrating with the closeness of this amazing man in front of me. I caught myself staring at his handsome face, the square jawline and the stubble. I could see freckles poking out from the collar of his shirt and I couldn't help but stare at him.




"I was in love with him from the moment I met him, he became everything to me; consumed every thought I had. I would give anything for him to feel the same way about me..." I muttered the last part to myself, hoping that Jake wouldn't hear it but I couldn't be sure.

"What do you mean? Aren't you guys married?" Jake was asking, looking genuinely concerned.

"I can't talk about it here, I can't bring personal into work and I really shouldn't bother you with any of that. It's nothing to worry your head about when you have other stuff to worry about. You hear me? I do not want you to worry about what's going on between Alex and I," I looked into Jake's eyes, making sure that he understood.

"Alright, alright, I get it," he looked down and nodded.

I set my hand on his head and ruffled his hair playfully. The scowl that I received made me laugh, I just couldn't help it. While we were talking and joking around, the social worker had been watching us through the office window while talking on the phone to her superiors. Apparently everything had gone according to plan because she came back into the room smiling.

"Alright! So, it seems that everything is good to go. You and Alex had put through a pre-application for adoption and they just looked at that to base their decision off. So, you're welcome to do one of two things: one, go and pick up clothing and things from Jake's home then secure him back at your home; and two, continue through school today, purchase new clothing and school items. It is entirely up to you. Asher, I just need your signature on this line," she pointed to a spot on a page. "And there you go! Jake Fischer, you are officially in the care of Asher Lenox-Pettyfer."

"Thank you," we both said at the same time.

"Okay, so...what do you wanna do? Go get stuff now, or wait till the end of the school day?" I was sitting beside Jake and watching his face, he was starting to look very sad as the extreme nature of this whole situation was setting in.

"Mom is more likely to be gone after school so...I guess I can finish the school day and then we can go and get my stuff. I don't really know what I'll need to take."

"Well, I'll be there with you so we can decide while we're there," I said, trying to console him and putting my hand on his shoulder. Jake wasn't a boy who was in a poor living condition, his mother fed him well and dressed him well, he had many of the latest gadgets, but she had no right to ever lay her hands on him, nor did her boyfriends. I would do anything to protect Jake, he was part of my family now, come hell or high water I would save him before saving myself.

"Thanks, Mr. LP. I owe you," he said quietly, looking down at his feet.

"You owe me nothing. All that matters to me is that you're safe. You should get back to class, unless you need more time to collect yourself. After your last class grab your backpack and head on over to my classroom, alright? We'll head to pick up your stuff and then head to my place and get you settled."

"I think I can head back to class now, I think I'm okay to do that..." Jake finally looked up at me and I nodded.

"Alright, you go to class, I'll go start teaching again," I laughed quietly and Jake shook his head at me.

"You, teach?! Yeah, you're funny," Jake was laughing at me and I shook him gently.

"How dare you!" I gasped in fake shock and laughed. "Get your butt to class."

Jake stood and gave me a quick hug before leaving the room, leaving me stunned, standing there watching him leave. I had never expected it, I had decided that I would let Jake decided what was okay for affection. The smile never left my face when I left the office and made my way back to my classroom, I had a free block this period and spent it marking papers and exams. When the bell rang again, I stood and welcomed the students into my class, as they took their seats, I set up what I would need for the class and then when the second bell rang, I started teaching. Teaching the way that I had always taught, I listened to the students, I helped them to discover the right answers instead of just giving them away. In the last ten minutes of the class, I stood at the front of the room and started handing back papers, calling out each student's name and handing their paper back to them when they came up to me. They had all done well, some better than others, but that was to be expected.

At the end of the day, I looked up and smiled as Jake entered my classroom with his backpack slung over his left shoulder.

"Ready to go?" I asked as I grabbed my messenger bag, already filled with the things I would need for the night's work.

"Yessir!" Jake called out and I laughed.

"Alright, let's go!" I stood from my chair and we left the room, making our way down the hallway. This hallway had always been nicknamed the color hallway, being that it was the only hallway in the entire school with rainbow colored lockers. It was preferred by many of the students, it had been preferred by me during my high school years too. The hallway was also coined as the stoner and the "other"-ed students hallway. The hallways were basically cleared as very few students wanted to stick around at the end of the day. We walked down the hallway to the northeast corner and then down three flights of stairs, out the door and to the Ford Edge that I had been driving to be inconspicuous. After unlocking the doors with the keyfob, Jake and I got in. "So, you're gonna have to either give me an address or show me where to go."

It obviously wasn't Jake's first time in a newer vehicle, as he reached over and typed his address into the GPS and smiled, "There."

I left the parking lot and drove to Jake's house, pulling up alongside the curb. We both got out and quickly grabbed as many clothes as we could, any keepsakes he wanted, all of his school things and backed up all of his files off of his computer, as I would be buying him a new one.

As we were finishing up, I looked around his room and then let my eyes rest on his, "Are you sure that's all you want to take?"

All I got from Jake was a nod.

"Then I think we should go," I grabbed as much of Jake's stuff in my hands as I could and started making my way to the car. Jake stopped for a few minutes and wrote a quick letter to his mom, leaving it stuck to the fridge with a Coors Light magnet. I waited for Jake and then we made our way out to my car and packed it full of his stuff. We got into the car and then I quickly headed to Alex's and my house. "So...I just moved into the guest house last night, but I'm thinking, for your benefit, I'll move back into the main house. We'll set you up in whatever room you want, there's plenty to choose from and tomorrow we'll go get you a new computer and cellphone and anything else you think you might need, does that sound okay?"

"You don't have to do that," Jake looked down at his lap, looking ashamed.

"I want to," I pulled into the driveway and used the clicker to open the garage bay. Guiding the car into the spot and looking around, I noticed that all of the cars were there, either Alex was in the house, or he was away shooting again. We unpacked the car and took it all upstairs and left it in the hallway. "Choose which room you want."

Jake walked up and down the hallway looking into each room, he chose the one second farthest from the master, I sighed at that as I was hoping to take the one furthest from the room that I wanted nothing to do with. We moved all of Jake's stuff into the room and I looked at him.

"Do you want help putting it all away? Or are you okay?"

"I think I can handle it," Jake looked at me and then walked over and wrapped his arms around my middle for the second time that day. I just kept my mouth shut and hugged him back, rubbing his back slowly and gently. "Thank you for saving me." I felt my shirt getting wet and hugged him tighter.

"I will do everything in my power to keep you safe from now on. I promise." I rubbed his back some more. "I'll let you get settled, you want pizza for supper?" I felt him nod against my chest. "What kind?" He shrugged and I just held him for a few more minutes, letting him decide when he wanted to let go. Slowly, he let go and I ran my fingers through his hair. "Just relax, I'll order pizza, unpack at your own speed. We'll deal with everything as it comes."

I heard Alex in the master bedroom and I really didn't want to deal with him but I knew I had to. I left Jake's room and closed the door behind me, wanting him to hear as little of this as possible. I made my way to the master bedroom and opened the door, I was exhausted, the lack of sleep from last night catching up on me.

"Alex, we need to talk," I said as I walked in but I was not greeted by the face of my husband but rather the face of a very blonde, shapely woman in nothing but a towel and wet hair. "Oh! Hello!" I said, shocked.

"Uh...hi," she had the decency to look ashamed, I turned to the bathroom door as it opened and Alex walked through, completely naked and dripping wet. He had his head down.

"Hey! Candace! Gimme my towel back!" slowly he looked up slowly and our eyes locked. I was angry, but I refused to let him see that.

"I just wanted to let you know that I'm fostering one of my students, we had an issue to deal with and I'm helping in the only way that I know how. He's staying here, and I have to stay in the same house. I'll take my stuff and move into the bedroom at the hall. Just...please don't let him see this. He doesn't need to know what's going on," I kept my gaze steady on his, I knew he could see the hurt in my eyes but I refused to let any emotion show on my face.

"Ash-" he started.

"Don't. Just...don't," I held up my hand and went into the closet, I grabbed the things that I knew I would need for the next couple of days and then headed into the bathroom where I saw her clothes all over the bathroom and swallowed hard around the lump that had formed. I grabbed my toiletries then went back into the main room, I grabbed the picture of Alex and I on our wedding day that we kept on our dresser and threw it in the small waste bin as I made my way out. It took everything in my power to walk to the end of the hallway and walk into the room that I had never spent any time in. I hung up my clothes in the much smaller closet and set my toiletries in the smaller ensuite. When I looked at the time, I realized that I had to get food for Jake, and I had to do it now. I quickly pulled out my phone and ordered a pepperoni pizza and told them I'd pay extra if they could have it here within 20 minutes. They promised it would be there and so I sat on the bed and stared at the ceiling.

We had barely been married for a month and already it was going to shit. I just didn't understand. What had I done wrong? I did everything I could, he seemed happy. But, looking back, I could see where I was losing him. I saw all the hushed conversations and conversations he couldn't have in front of me, I saw all of the texts with a smile afterwards. I saw it all, all of the signs and I chose to ignore them and believe that he wouldn't ever do that to me again. I wanted everything that I had seen today, to be a nightmare, I just wanted to wake up and have none of this happen.

The doorbell rang when the pizza came and I went downstairs to the door, paid for it and then went back up to Jake's room. I knocked and was admitted entrance.

"Thanks for knocking," Jake smiled at me and I smiled half-heartedly back.

"You're entitled to your privacy," I set the pizza down on the desk that was against one of the large windows and opened it up. "Eat up. Whatever you don't eat, we'll put in the fridge, okay?"

"You're not eating."

"I don't have much of an appetite."

"Mr. LP, what's wrong...? What's going on? If it's because of me, I mean...I can find somewhere else to go."

"Hell no! It's not because of you. God. No, it has everything to do with my husband being an asshat. And, by the way you can call me Asher or Ash, or whatever you want when we aren't at school. I honestly, don't mind. Mr. LP even though the most informal version of my name, still feels too formal."

"Can you tell me what happened?"

"I-" I was cut off my Alex knocking on the door.

"Hi," he said as he poked his head in, without being permitted entrance.

"Jake, this is Alex, Alex, Jake." I introduced them and then took a step back. Jake took a step towards Alex and they shook hands.

"Nice to meet you," Jake said quietly.

"Yeah, you too," Alex said just as quietly. "I just wanted to make sure that you're settling in okay, I have to go out and deal with some stuff and then I'll be back later. I probably won't be back before you guys go to bed so...have a good night."

I couldn't even look at him. The man that I loved more than anything and I couldn't look at him. My heart was broken and it took everything in my power not to cry at that moment. Alex left and I could hear him talking to Candace as they made their way out of the house, to do God only knows what.

"Did he..." Jake's eyes got big as he gestured towards the voices downstairs.

I could only nod, and even that was too much. "I'm sorry," I said quietly and rushed out of the room and to my new room. I took a deep breath and sat against the wall. I wasn't paying much attention until Jake sat beside me.

"You don't deserve that," he said quietly. Maybe he was wrong, maybe I did deserve it, maybe there was something I did that had told Alex to treat me like crap and that I deserved him being a complete asshole.

"Maybe I do, Jake," I said very quietly to him, my voice almost couldn't be heard. "You should be eating."

"I'll only eat if you come and join me."

"Alright, deal, go grab the pizza and we'll chill in here for a bit, yeah?" I looked at him with my eyebrow raised. Jake stood quickly and moved to the other room, grabbing the pizza and returning. I took the smallest piece and Jake, obviously, took the largest. I laughed quietly, typical teenage boy.

"Why...why on earth do you think that you deserve him cheating on you?" Jake sounded genuinely concerned. I shrugged at him and continued eating. "I don't understand, when you got back from your honeymoon, you were all smiles and shittin' butterflies." He grimaced at me and then looked down. "Sorry."

"That's okay, just don't let it happen too often, you're still too young to be using those words on a regular basis," I smiled and shook Jake's head slightly. I looked at my watch and seeing that it was well past ten, I look at Jake. "You need to take a shower and get your butt to bed. Or do you shower in the morning? No matter, just, you should be getting to bed."

"Alright, thanks again Ash, I appreciate all this."

"Don't mention it," I smiled at him and packaged up the pizza before heading downstairs to put the pizza in the fridge.

Once Jake was out of my room, I closed the door most of the way, leaving it open just slightly and then went into the ensuite where I closed the door completely, I ran a bath and stripped off quickly. I added some Epsom salts and some good smelling oils, anything that would relax me. When the tears started coming, I couldn't stop them and slid into the tub, letting the hot water wash over every inch of my body, I turned the taps off and slowly slid under completely, keeping my eyes closed completely. I held my breath, checking just how long I could stay under before I raised back up and wiped my eyes. I shook my head. Do not do this, Asher. It was his decision. You did nothing to deserve it. Breathe. Stop. Breathe. Get out of the tub, dry off, get to bed. You have to teach tomorrow and have students waiting for you. You also have a boy in the next room who is relying on you. DO NOT LET HIM DOWN. Man...my conscience was an asshole sometimes, being that hard on me when I'm this upset. But, I listened, I soaked for a few more minutes, letting my body relax, then got out, dried off, brushed my teeth and headed out to "my" room. I slid on a clean pair of boxers and a pair of gym shorts. I didn't want to be running to Jake's room naked if he needed anything. I lifted the blanket on the bed after shutting out the lights and crawled into the bed. It was soft, I'll give it that. But it wasn't my bed. It wasn't the bed that I had grown accustomed to. I didn't like it.

I eventually fell asleep, only to be awoken a few hours later by some very loud sobs. I stood from my bed and stepped into Jake's room quietly, I came up alongside his bed and stroked his hair gently.

"Hey, slide over," he looked at me like I was an alien at first but then complied and slid over. I crawled under the blankets and then opened my arms, "Come here."

I held him the rest of the night with his head on my chest and my arms around him, I didn't sleep much, instead I stayed awake and listened to him breathe and felt his heartbeat. It had taken him a few minutes to calm down, but once he had, he was out like a light. We didn't talk about it, I just held him and let him get it out.

When he woke the next morning, we went through our routines, getting ready. And that was what happened for two weeks straight. We'd get up, get ready, go to school, do what we needed, come home, eat (sometimes something I cooked, sometimes something I ordered), shower and halfway through the night I'd end up cuddling Jake in his bed, until it started happening later and later and finally he wasn't waking up crying anymore.

Alex had been around as little as possible during this time and anytime that he was around, Jake was all but silent. I had been civil with Alex, for Jake's benefit, but I refused to give him any of my time. My time was spent making sure that Jake had what he needed, that he felt loved and cared for and that he felt safe.

Later on in the year, when Jake started getting more comfortable with the house and with me, he started inviting friends over and actually telling people that he lived with me and that I was his foster dad. We were affectionate with each other, I hugged him and ruffled his hair, I touched his shoulder when I walked by him. Every touch sending the message that he was loved and that he was safe. He seemed to excel with this added feeling. His marks all improved greatly, even though they were fairly high before. I was helping him in English Lit, helping him write better, teaching him where he was going wrong. And no, I never favored him, I marked him just as fairly as I marked everyone else. Eventually, he started tutoring the others in the class and I couldn't have been more proud of him.

He never spoke to his mother while he was with me. He said that she had called a handful of times but that he never felt like giving her the opportunity to talk to him and degrade him when he was feeling so good about himself.


It was halfway through the school year, right before Christmas Vacation that Alex was home for two weeks solid. It was awkward between us and we had to sort it out. One of the first days of the vacation, Jake was out with his friends and Alex had come into the living room where I was curled up with a book and a cup of tea. I had my favorite blanket draped over me and I was content.

"Asher, can we talk?" Alex started, coming closer to me.

I moved my feet out of the way so that he could sit where they were and I held up my finger until I was finished the page that I was on, I marked it and then set it down.

"Yes?" I asked, looking at him. I had started feeling indifferent, I could look at him without wanting to break down and lose my mind.

"I need to tell you about this," he said quietly and looked down at his life. At least he looked upset at himself.

"Alex, honestly...if you didn't want to be with me, if you didn't want to marry me that's fine. I would have survived. But, instead, you married me in a beautiful ceremony, you took me on a fabulous honeymoon and you made sure that you felt like you loved me. If you want a divorce, just say it. I'll sign the papers and give you everything, I have enough money to start over. If you're not happy with me then fine, it's okay. I'll survive. I'm hurt that you had to resign yourself to cheating on me...again, and I don't know how many other times," I looked at him, searching his face for an explanation, I was hurting. I was hurting bad, but if he didn't want me, he didn't have to keep me.

"No. I don't want a divorce. I'm in love with you, I have been since I met you. I just...I don't know. I needed space, I needed to clear my head. So after our honeymoon, I told you we were going on a shoot, but instead I went to England. I went and stayed with my parents for a few days. I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was losing it, I needed my parents. They were happy to have me and helped me realize that I'm in love with you. But before I could get to you to tell you all of this, Candace came up to me when I had come back to the states and she and I got talking. She understood how I was feeling and we went for a walk and then...I don't know what happened or how it happened, but she kissed me and I kissed back, I couldn't help it. And then after that, I couldn't stop. I felt like I needed her all the time. I wanted her around, but I realized that she wasn't what I wanted around, that who I wanted around was the person that I was hurting by being with her. I hurt you, and I don't expect you to accept my apology. I don't expect you to ever forgive me, I've fucked up badly and I don't know how to fix it. I don't know what to do," there were tears falling down his cheeks and my heart almost broke at that but then I realized that he was the one that had caused them.

"Did you sleep with her?" it was the only thing I could ask.

"I don't-"

"No. Did. You. Sleep. With. Her?" I asked again, pausing after each word to add emphasis.

He paused for what seemed like forever, "Yes, once."

"In our bed?"



"Uh...?" Alex just stared at me.

"Here's what you're going to do. You're going to go to the clinic, get a test. That one comes back clear, good, but you're gonna do another in three months and another in six months and then another in a year. During this time, I won't sleep with you. You have to earn that, you have to earn my trust, you have to earn it all. I can't let myself be vulnerable around you because every single time I do, you hurt me. You can stay in whatever room you like, but it won't be in mine. I won't divorce you unless, at the end of the year, you are not clean. If you don't love me at the end of the year, I will sign divorce papers. See, I never stopped loving you, I never had to doubt it. But I swear to fucking god...if you ever cheat on me again, kissing, fucking, whatever, I will leave you in a fucking heartbeat. I will not fucking hesitate and I will never speak to you again. I cannot do this anymore, I cannot handle you cheating on me, it breaks me down too much. I'm barely myself right now, I can't teach nearly as well as I used to be. I can't be myself anymore, because I'm not that person, I'm hurt and I'm broken and I've put up a shield to hide all of this," I wasn't crying, I couldn't feel. It was like I had turned my feelings off.

"Ash-" Alex started.

"No. Just. No. Those are the terms, if you can't accept it, I'll have my lawyer draw up papers," I brought my knees up to my chest and looked at Alex on the other end of the couch.

"I understand, I'll do it."

"Good. Now, if you don't mind, I'd like to finish my book," I knew I was being rude, but I couldn't look at him anymore, I didn't want him around me right now. He had caused me so much pain and I just...I couldn't. I couldn't handle the pain on his face and I knew that it hurt him even more that my face was stone. There was nothing on my face, no sign of any emotion.

"I'm sorry," Alex stood, he leaned over me and kissed the top of my head like he used to and I let one tear fall before he stood, touched my shoulder and left the room. It took me an hour before I could relax my brain enough to pick my book back up and finish reading it.



Please don't forget to email me!!! I love your emails guys!! Remember, it's: keeganjones@hotmail.ca