“Penny for your thoughts,” Braylin whispered into Trebor’s ear as they stood watching the waves break against the shore.
“What?” Trebor murmured as if he’d been a million miles away. “Sorry,” he gave Braylin a lopsided smile “I was thinking about Blake and hoping my parents are able to handle him for the night.”
“I can’t believe he’ll be five years old tomorrow,” Bray shook his head as if he could slow time down. Taking Trebor’s hand in his, he gave it a squeeze before turning to stroll along the beach. “Does he know I’m home?”
Trebor shook his head, chuckling a little “not unless my parents can’t keep a secret.” He couldn’t imagine his parents telling Blake and ruining the surprise. “I imagine if they told him we wouldn’t have a moment’s peace until he got to see you. You’re part of his surprise tomorrow.”
“I can’t wait to see him,” Bray stopped to gaze out over the water, he wrapped an arm around Trebor, pulling him close. “He must be getting so big now.”
Leaning his head on Bray’s shoulder Trebor could hear the wistful almost yearning note in Bray’s voice. “We don’t have to wait until tomorrow. We could give him an early birthday present.”
“And ruin his surprise,” Bray shook his head. “It’s alright. I can wait.”
“It isn’t fair to you though,” Trebor pulled away enough to lift a hand up to caress Bray’s cheek. “I didn’t realize how difficult it would be for you to wait. You’ve been away so long. I shouldn’t have asked you to wait to see your son just because I thought it’d be a great birthday present.”
“Hey,” Bray tilted his forehead down making contact with Trebor’s, his arms slid around his husband’s waist. “I can wait,” he soothed, not wanting Trebor to worry or feel like he was being unfair to him. “It’s a wonderful idea. I for one can’t wait to see his surprise. It’d be even better if you’d let me jump out of the cake.”
“You sure?” he asked searching Bray’s face and eyes for any sign that he was just saying this to protect his feelings.
“Positive,” he kissed across Trebor’s face as if rediscovering long forgotten territory. His mouth hovered a fraction over Trebor’s lips “tonight is our time. There are things I want to do to you that I’ve been dreaming of doing to you for months.”
Bray’s words sent something like an electrical shock through Trebor’s body. “In that case I can hardly wait to get home.”
“Why wait?” Bray asked, closing the miniscule gap between their lips.
Pulse racing, breathing hard Trebor could feel the synergy between them awakening the lust he’d always had for this man, his husband. No one else had ever awakened these desires in him. Breaking the kiss even though he craved to feel Bray’s hands all over his body, “Bray no, we can’t.”
“Why not?” he asked in a sultry voice, “it’s not like we haven’t done it before.”
“Yes I know but…” even as the words slipped from his lips Trebor found himself scanning the beach.
“You know you want to,” Bray nuzzled his nose behind Trebor’s ear inhaling the spicy ocean fresh scent he’d missed so much. The scent he missed in the sheets he slept on in that lonely little apartment so many miles from the man he missed more than hockey. Taking a tiny step back, taking Trebor’s hands in his, lifting them to his lips, kissing the fingertips as he gazed intently into Trebor’s eyes. “We can wait until we get home. It’s alright.”
Seeing the desire, the lust making Bray’s eyes sparkle Trebor almost found himself nodding but there was something else there too. Something deeper than instant gratification it was like two halves that belonged together, it was an almost irresistible pull drawing them together. A tiny smile tugged at his lips “what if I don’t want to wait?”
Squeezing Trebor’s hands Braylin smirked “I knew the moment you suggested a walk along the beach this is what you wanted.”
Shaking his head Trebor wanted to deny the thought had ever crossed his mind but it would have been a pointless lie. He knew the thought had been in the back of his mind. He knew exactly where they were. Taking Bray’s hand in his he led him to the spot he secretly considered their special spot along the beach not far from his grandparents house. It was a spot they’d been before, stopping he turned towards Bray “what can I say? You know me all too well.”
“I do,” Braylin agreed. He brought his hands up, holding Trebor’s face gently between his palms savoring the look of adoration shining back at him. The love he knew he couldn’t live without “I’ve missed you so much.” He brought his mouth to Trebor’s in a kiss that seemed to be saying thank you for loving me and it held a promise that they’d go on loving each other.
Panting as they broke the kiss long enough for Bray to pull Trebor’s shirt off. “I’m so glad you’re home to stay,” Trebor murmured, melting into Bray’s touch and giving himself fully into the moment.
“Daddy! Daddy!” Blake cried running to greet Bray with his arms open wide.
Hugging his son close, “you’ve gotten so big,” Bray blinked a few times in quick succession
“I’m a big boy now,” Blake asserted squirming from his dad’s arms. “I’m in school now.”
“Not so fast,” Trebor shook his head “you’re not in school for another few months.”
“But I’m five,” Blake raised his hand up, fingers spread wide.
“Yes you are,” Garrett winked down at his grandson. “But you need to be patient for the next school year to start.”
“But I…” he crossed his arms in front of his chest. Stomping his foot “I want to go now.”
Garret shook his head staring down at the little boy. “Don’t you want to spend time with your daddy? You won’t be able to if you went to school now.”
A deep frown burrowed between Blakes eyes as he thought over his grandpa’s words. “I guess school can wait,” he grudgingly agreed, “but,” he held up a finger before anyone interrupted him, “only for a few months.” He beamed around at the gathered adults before nodding as if congratulating himself for getting the upper hand he ran over to join his cousin Marcy and her little brother Ben.
“What was that all about?” Bray demanded watching his son walk away.
Trebor wrapped his arms around his husband from behind, “that’s our little boy growing up and no longer needing us.”
Bray wasn’t sure he liked the sound of that. Pressing his lips to Trebor’s cheek “if it makes you feel any better, I still need you.”
Looking up with a soft but sad smile Trebor said “that’s good but it’s not the same.”
“Well you can always have another,” Toby suggested, joining the group.
“Dad,” Bray cried, surprised that his parents had made the trip to the island. “I didn’t know you were coming.”
“Surprise,” Trebor chuckled, glad he had thought to invite Bray’s parents.
“Our grandson said he couldn’t turn five without us,” Bray’s other dad said.
“Since going to school is so important to him we couldn’t be the ones to keep him from turning five,” Toby added with a grin.
“So here we are,” his husband added, waving his arms as if to say ta da at the end of a magic act.
“I knew it,” Bray chuckled, giving his parents a hug each, savoring the feel of the arms around him knowing there had been a time when he hadn’t been this close to his parents and he had missed them. “You love the little rascal more than me.”
“Every parent thinks their grandchildren are perfect,” Verity announced as she joined them carrying the birthday boy’s cake out and setting it on a table.
“Is that how it works,” Trebor asked, moving over to help her.
“Of course,” she gave him a quick peck on the cheek murmuring thank you. “We know all too well our own children aren’t perfect. Perfection skips a generation.”
Raising an eyebrow “that implies you were perfect.”
“Of course,” she pinched his cheek, making him squirm away from her. “Let’s get this birthday party started.”
Trebor looked when he heard Braylin come home. “How did it go?” he asked worry flickering across his face when Bray silently slipped into a chair like he weighed more than his legs could carry. “You did get the job, didn’t you?” he asked moving from the couch where he had been aimlessly flipping through channels waiting for Bray to come home.
Kneeling in front of Bray he reached up gently caressing Bray’s cheek. “It’s just one interview. You’ll get the next one.” His chest felt heavy as his heart ached for Bray. He knew how much Bray had wanted this assistant coaching position.
Unable to meet Trebor’s gaze, Bray lowered his head into his hands. “Someone else beat me to it.”
“Who,” Trebor wanted to know. “Whoever it was can’t be as qualified as you are. Who else could they have found who is a pro athlete?”
Bray’s lips twitched at the resentful tone in Trebor’s words. “Maybe you should let them know what a big mistake they made.”
“I should,” he agreed with half a mind to do exactly that. Setting a hand on Bray’s knee he asked “what are you going to do now?”
“There’s only one thing I can do,” Bray lifted his chin up, his eyes full of mischief.
Raising an eyebrow Trebor asked “what did you do? Tell me you didn’t TP the principal’s house or something equally juvenile.”
Bray chuckled a little “would I do that?”
“Yes,” Trebor cried, squelching the urge to headslap the bowed head. “What did you do?” he demanded, wondering what the gossip mongers would be saying the next time he went shopping. “You know I’m going to find out eventually.”
“I didn’t do anything dreadful,” Bray chuckled, joining Trebor on the floor. “Unless you call accepting a job as dreadful.”
Trebor’s mouth flopped open a moment before being snapped shut. “But you said…” frowning heavily at his husband “you said you didn’t get the coaching job.”
“I didn’t,” he agreed, grinning at Trebor, eyes sparkling, enjoying his little joke.
Trebor let out an irritated growl “you’re not making sense. Did you or did you not get the job?”
Shaking his head, Bray couldn’t answer the question for laughing so hard. Once he caught his breath he explained “I was offered a different position. A better one.”
Trebor gave Bray a puzzled look “I don’t understand.”
“The assistant coaching position was already filled,” Bray explained, “so they offered me the position of head coach instead.”
“Really?” Trebor asked suspicion heavy in his tone, half suspecting he was the brunt of another joke.
“Yep,” Bray confirmed, nodding “guess who the assistant coach is?”
Shaking his head still trying to absorb the news “I haven’t a clue.”
“John,” Bray said as if he were about to burst if he didn’t get it out. “He and Wally moved to the island and the school saw their chance to have not one pro athlete but two. So we’ll be working together again.”
“That’s great,” Trebor was happy that Bray would have his friend so close. “We’ll have them to supper once they’re settled in their new home.”
“And guess what else?”
“I don’t think I can take too many more surprises,” Trebor said leaning into Bray knowing that he had one surprise to add to all the ones Bray had given him.
“John’s pregnant. He had the male pregnancy procedure and it worked.” Bray couldn’t be happier for his friend.
“How far along is he?” Trebor asked.
Bray gave him a look that showed he suspected there was something more than curiosity behind the question. “I don’t know. Eight weeks or so. You’ll have to ask him to know for sure.”
A smile spread across Trebor’s face. “Then we’ll be due about the same time.”
“Due?” Bray asked, his face scrunched in confusion.
“I’m about eight weeks along,” Trebor said “I told you I had a surprise for you when you got home.”
Bray stared at him “but we’ve been so careful except…” his mind went back in time to when he first came home. The walk along the beach that ended in their spot, “oh,” he said softly looking over at Trebor.
Nodding Trebor chuckled “I guess we weren’t so careful that time.”
Placing a hand on Trebor’s stomach “are you okay with this?” They had discussed having more kids but they had both agreed they were content with Blake. “I know you wanted to focus more on your career now that I was home.”
Placing his hand over Bray’s, he nodded “I’m more than ok with it. This is a good thing.”
“We need to celebrate,” Bray declared with a mischievous glint in his eyes. He knew that Trebor knew what he meant when he wrapped his arms around his neck allowing Bray to lift him in the air. “It’s a good thing Blake is with his cousins for the weekend.”
“Aren’t you glad I suggested it?” Trebor asked as he was carried up the stairs to their bedroom.
“Mmmhmm,” Bray purred. “I married myself a very smart man.