Warning: This story does not contain any sex. None of the characters are based on real people nor are they meant to resemble any living or dead people.

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Blake's Saga You and Me

Chapter 4 The Note

The events in this chapter take place one week after Ian returns home from his conference in Indianapolis.

Trace has a day off and decides to do some house cleaning before anyone has a chance to distract him. The house is quiet since everyone else is either at work or at school. The laundry and the bathroom are going to be main chores today and he's only doing the laundry because the hamper is full. The bathroom has always been his chore since Ian and he moved in together. Grabbing the hamper out of the master bedroom, he starts sorting the dirty clothes into their appropriate loads. Once the chores are done, Trace plans on kicking back and relaxing by listening to some music.

As he is preparing a load of dress pants, he carefully checks each pocket as he puts them into the laundry basket. Ian usually does a great job of checking his own pockets, but Trace checks them anyway. He pulls out a pair of Ian's navy blue dress pants from the hamper and checks the pockets. Surprisingly, he pulls out a carefully folded piece of notebook paper from one of the front pockets. Usually, he would simply throw the paper away, but his curiosity was nudging him to read it. As he unfolds the paper a feelings of guilt and dread comes over him. He isn't sure where the dread is coming from since he isn't sure what is written on the paper, if anything. Now he can see the writing on the paper, he begins to read the note:

"Hey Good-Looking,

Thanks for the great meal; I really enjoyed the dinner but I wish you would have let me pay for my meal. I feel bad that I had to turn down your offer to spend the night at your hotel room. I bet you are great in the sack... if that kiss after dinner is any indication. Well, there is always next year.

Love,

Alan"

Trace's hands are shaking a bit as he lays the note down on the laundry basket. He's trying to remind himself that Ian has always been honest with him, but this note is making him wonder how honest Ian has been.

Trace already has a headache and this note isn't helping him at all. Usually, he is somewhat relaxed when he's doing laundry; now all he wants to do is cry but he manages to hold off. Ian and he need to talk, if Trace can contain himself long enough to hold a conversation. Somehow, he needs to release some of this anger and simply relax. Maybe, there is a logical explanation as to why this note was in his pocket and why Ian invited this Alan up to the room after dinner. The more Trace thinks about the situation the angrier he gets.

= = =

It's reached a point where he just needs to get away from the house because the bottled up emotions are getting to the best of him.

`A walk just might give me a chance to clear my head.'

He leaves the house and sets off on a walk around his neighborhood. Everything about the walk is perfect, but it's not relaxing enough for him. During the walk, he keeps repeating `Ian isn't a cheater.' In his mind, he knows the man he loves isn't a cheater, but that stupid piece of paper says otherwise. Trace returns home after getting some exercise and failing at clearing his head.

= = =

He thinks back to when Ian told him about the guy hitting on him.

`Why didn't he mention the note to me?'

Surely, he knew about the note after being hit on by the interloper. There is only one reason, or maybe two, for keeping something back: guilt or fear. Fear shouldn't be part of the equation unless again Ian is keeping something from him.

= = =

Ian and Blake walk into the house and can hear Trace in the kitchen. Trace is washing a few dishes but he flat out ignores the fact that he heard them walk into the house. Blake walks into the kitchen to grab a snack, while Ian goes upstairs to unpack and put stuff away.

"Hey, Dad, how are you?"

Trace does not want to drag their son into it so he decides not to complain.

"I'm doing great, and you?"

Blake smiles, as he looks at his dad "It was a great day. I don't have homework and we watched movies in two of my classes."

"Well, I guess that means that the evening is yours to enjoy."

His son smiles and then heads upstairs to his room to work on a project for his art class. It's a drawing that features a dead tree in a graveyard that he is working on, with the intent to add detail and color to it later. There is also a video game calling his name. Trace thinks it's great that Ian did not come into the kitchen because he doesn't want to deal with him just yet.

= = =

The dishes are done and Trace retires to the living room to watch television. Ian decides to join him on the couch. Unaware of his hubby's attitude at the moment, he interrupts Trace's peace. He's tempted to move to the bedroom in order to get away from Ian, but that just seems immature. Ian is sitting there waiting on his hubby to say something or to give him the usual welcome home kiss, but Trace isn't saying anything nor is he doing anything.

"I guess I'll grade papers and read through next week's test."

Ian thought that maybe by talking it might force his hubby to respond. Feeling rejected by Trace, Ian moves to the office.

`Finally, I can breathe. It's a good thing that he went upstairs because I'm not sure that I could hold my tongue much longer.'

Trace sits back and enjoys the television show that he was watching prior to Ian's brief interruption.

= = =

Around 5 o'clock that afternoon, Trace decides that he needs to start dinner. He gets out the Italian sausage, bell peppers, and an onion, a knife, cutting board, and a frying pan. Smelling the food cooking, Ian comes downstairs to help with dinner.

"Need any help with dinner?"

Trace does not say a thing to Ian and keeps right on cooking dinner.

"Okay, I take it that you are mad at me about something, so I am going upstairs."

Again, Trace does not say a word to Ian and just keeps on working. Twenty minutes later Trace yells up the stairs at Blake, and therefore he tells Ian that dinner is ready. It's going to be a very long dinner because dinnertime is usually family talk time.

= = =

Throughout dinner, Blake can feel the tension between his dads. He has always hated the whole argument thing, and even though his parents never fought in front of them, they did have a few silent fights. His parents tried to hide their arguments, but the kids always knew when they were having their disputes, because they went quiet. Trace and Ian have never really had a huge argument before, so this silence is a new thing for Blake. After his dinner is done, Blake retires to his room so he can escape whatever is going on downstairs.

= = =

Blake pulls out his phone and calls the one person who isn't a part of this stupid fight.

"Hi Blake, what's going on with you?"

"My dads are having a fight. Trace is giving Ian the silent treatment, and it's giving the whole house a weird feeling. I can almost cut the tension with a knife."

"Trace and Ian have had arguments before, right?"

Blake thinks back over the time spent under their roof, and he cannot recall any arguments.

"Well, they've had arguments before but never anything like this up till now. For two guys who love each other Trace isn't being very caring right now."

Blake is hoping that Ian can get Trace turned around because the silence is not good for his dads or for him.

"Maybe, you should try talking to Trace."

Blake isn't sure what it will prove, but he might talk to him, all he wants is for his dad to end the silence.

"I just want him to talk to Ian."

"Babe, do you have homework?"

Ben was hoping to pull his boyfriend away from the commotion going on at his house, and at the same time, he knows that it will not last.

"Yeah I have that art project to work on so I can't hang today, sorry."

"I was hoping that you would able to come over, but we'll hang out later."

"Bye, Babe, I love you."

"I love you too."

Blake ends the call and then sits back while Ben's words sink into his heart for safekeeping.

= = =

Trace is sitting in his room as he considers talking with Ian, but he's concerned that he'll say the wrong thing or use the wrong tone of voice. All Ian needs is for Trace sound hostile and a huge argument could start. Ian might be cool and calm, but given a chance, he has a temper on him. Trace wants to avoid any argument because he doesn't want a physical fight to break out. Ian is equal in size and a fight really wouldn't prove anything other than they can both bruise each other. He's treading on eggshells despite giving his partner the silent treatment. This huge talk is not going to be fun for him.

= = =

Ian and Blake are standing around the dining room table looking at his drawing for art class when Trace comes down the stairs. Trace has every intention of talking with Ian, but seeing Ian with Blake causes him to put off the discussion. Walking into the kitchen, he hopes that if he gets a drink it will give them enough time that Blake might be done with Ian. Even with the need to talk with his husband, Trace puts his son first.

`What will Blake think when he finds out about Ian's trespass?'

Trace can see how with his son's background that he might be upset with Ian, and he doesn't want this issue to affect his son.

= = =

As Ian wraps up his art project review, Trace is slowly making his way up the stairs to get ready for bed. Ian knows that Trace will tell him what's going on before the lights go out, so he's not overly worried about whatever is going on with his husband. It was Trace who wanted them to do the "don't go to bed angry" thing, so it only makes sense that he would speak up. If he doesn't speak up, then Ian knows something is really eating at him and there needs to be some major discussion going on in the morning. As Ian is entering the master bathroom, Trace is crawling into bed and it does not look good. When Ian climbs into bed, instead of Trace talking, Ian gets another cold shoulder.

= = =

During the night, Trace has a very vivid dream of Ian and this Alan guy. It was like watching the television on mute, but he could see all the action. The content of the dream is purely for consenting adults, and Trace was anything but consenting. Trace is standing, looking over the bed, but he's unable to say or do anything to stop it. This dream just will not end; he cannot get himself to wake up; it is pure hell, and Trace is starting to cry softly as he watches. The dream ends when both Ian and Alan have finished the act.

= = =

After the dream, Trace wakes up in a cold sweat and just sits in the bed for a second. He climbs out of the bed and goes to the closet where the blankets are kept, grabs one, and then heads down to the living room. Lying down on the couch, Trace pulls the blanket around him and rests his head on one of the throw pillows that Ian keeps there. He wants to cry, but he can't get the tears to fall from his eyes, and he just lies there staring across at the picture of them, taken after Trace proposed to Ian. The couch is extremely uncomfortable, so he tosses and turns for a good part of the night. Eventually, he falls asleep and for a little while, he rests without dreams of Alan and Ian.

= = =

Around 6 o'clock in the morning, Ian gets up and immediately notices that Trace is not in bed with him.

`I wonder what he's doing up so early?'

Trace's behavior yesterday was strange, so hopefully today they can make sense of it. He uses the bathroom, strips down, showers, gets dressed and heads down for breakfast. The sound of snoring is filling the living room and it's either Blake or Trace, and Blake has only slept downstairs when he's been sick; that isn't the case today. Blake's sleeping on the couch when he's sick is a habit from back home in Idaho. As Ian approaches the couch, he secretly hopes that it is Blake, even though he knows the snores are coming from his husband. Sure enough, it's Trace.

`It's ridiculous that he's letting whatever is wrong carry over into another day.'

Ian's hungry, so he goes to the kitchen to find something to end the hunger. He grabs the oatmeal, cinnamon, some dried apples, a bowl, and water. Popping the food items into a bowl, he nukes it until it is ready. After nuking the bowl, he grabs a spoon and some milk, and then sits down to eat.

= = =

As Ian is putting his bowl into the dishwasher, he sees a folded piece of a paper on the counter. Picking the paper up, Ian sits again at the dining room table. Suddenly he realizes that this note is the one that Alan handed him at the conference, but why is it laying on the counter? As he unfolds the note, a weird feeling overcomes him; a wave of apprehension washes over him. As he undoes the last fold, a stray thought crosses his mind.

`This is the reason why Trace has been acting so strange.'

Staring at the paper, Ian decides that maybe he should not read the note and begins to fold it back up. Looking at it again, he is compelled to reopen it and read it.

`What could that dork have written that was so bad?'

When he finally reads the note, he is surprised by the Alan's words, and he cannot believe that Trace did not come to him about it yesterday.

= = =

The note is a complete fabrication and hopefully Trace will see that, once they have a chance to talk. If he could punch Adam right now, he would, because that is how angry Ian is with him right now. To make matters worse, Trace is not talking at all, so he may not even listen to a word that comes out of Ian's mouth. Still, Ian is confident that Trace will come around when he hears the truth. As he sits at the table, Ian realizes that the bottom line here is that Trace does not trust him. It hurts him to think that there is an issue like this in their marriage. Only time will tell if things get better, and right now, he needs this situation to improve. After they fix themselves, they also need to talk with Blake.

===

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