Knights of Hope – Chapter 5 – Confrontation

Author’s Note: Due to the mature content I am giving a trigger warning. This chapter mentions and describes an episode of sexual harassment that some may find upsetting. Where the description is not detailed and does not go very far it may still be triggering. Please proceed with caution.

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“Lia says you ran out of the apartment like the hounds of hell were after you” Eli chuckled joining Trebor at the nurses station before beginning their rounds.

“It wasn’t like that” he laughed rolling his eyes.

“Uh huh…she also said you left with a really cute pink haired guy too” his eyes twinkled.

“Don’t say it” he mumbled turning his back to him hoping he would get the hint.

“Was it the hockey player” Lana asked joining the conversation.

“Who else would make our boy here turn that particular shade of red” Eli asked leaning over the nurses station to give his girlfriend a kiss.

“Did you tell him the news” she asked eyes shining bright waving her left hand around.

“Tell me what” he asked turning around.

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“We’re engaged” Lana beamed holding her hand up displaying the newly acquired diamond on her finger.

“Congratulations” he said grinning at her as her as he stepped back to get out-of-the-way of the horde of nurses clamoring to make their best wishes known. Walking away with Eli trailing beside him he said “it’s about time. You’ve been carrying that ring around for what? Six months?”

“I was waiting for the right time” he cried sounding defensive.

“The right time” he mused “how is having your visiting cousin lying in a hospital bed connected to half a dozen machines fighting for her life the right time?

“Well…yeah” he shrugged “if felt right. She needed something happy to offset all the bad.” they walked in silence for several seconds before Eli continued “Lia said you refused to talk to her…”

“You know what she’s like” he protested “always nagging you until you want to scream. How many times do I have to say I’ve got things under control? I can handle it.”

“Sure you can” he nodded “that’s why you’ve been avoiding Doctor Creepy all day.”

“I wouldn’t say all day. I’ve only been here a couple of hours….”

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“You know what I mean” Eli said “is that why you’ve changed direction whenever you’ve seen him coming in your direction? I saw you duck into radiology when he came out of emergency coming towards you.

“I was going in there anyway” he mumbled “it had nothing to do with him.” Looking up meeting his friends disbelieving gaze “I don’t care what you think. It’s not like you care.” He knew he was being unfair the moment the words were out of his mouth and the wounded expression crossed Eli’s face. “I’m sorry” he apologized even though he knew he’d never be able to make amends for the unkind words. “I’m just tired.”

“I bet” he grinned letting him know he was off the hook and all was forgiven. “You spent the night with the hockey player, didn’t you?”

A dreamy smile spread across Trebor’s face. “Yeah … it was nice.”

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“More than nice from the looks of you” Eli chuckled ducking when Trebor swung at him. “I haven’t seen you this happy in…I don’t know when. I’m happy for you.”

Ducking his head down Trebor nodded. He knew that Lana had told Eli about his relationship with Oli and the depression he’d spiraled into when it all came to a crashing end. “Thanks” he mumbled “maybe once Elaine is released from the hospital we can go out to dinner as couples.” The word slipped from his lips without him noticing. It was strange how good he felt and at the same time be scared out of his mind this whole thing made him.

“Knowing Lana she’ll want to have you both over for a home cooked meal.” Pausing for effect he added “she’ll want to play Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.

“The teams wouldn’t be balanced” Trebor pointed out.

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“That’s okay. You can answer all the questions for women when it’s your turn” Eli offered.

“Why me” he demanded.

“Because the only other choice would be your hockey player and somehow I don’t see that happening.” Eli breathed deeply trying not the laugh “besides Lana always said it’s not the gender that matters but the answers you give.”

“Yeah but….” he couldn’t think of anything he could use to dissuade his friend “I’ll play if Braylin wants too.”

“He will” he said confidently.

“How do you know” he challenged.

“I just do” he giggled “he’ll want to do anything to get you flustered so you turn red. You’re way to pickable.”

“Whatever” he rolled his eyes stopping beside a water fountain. Taking a drink he turned to join Eli when a displeased deep voice spoke behind him.

***

“You were supposed to come to my office at the end of your shift the other night” Doctor Brackett stated.

Drying his mouth Trebor turned to face the older man. Doctor Creepy himself was staring at him his eyes smoldering. “I was told you were in surgery” he explained “Your receptionist said I could go home.”

The man’s eyes narrowed “you should have waited.”

Trebor felt his insides begin to quake making him feel nauseous. On the best of days he had a hard enough time dealing with loud raised voices, today wasn’t the best of days. Squeezing his eyes tight he forced the images of the past back into the place he assigned them in his mind. It didn’t do a lot of good under the barrage of bombastic ridicule he was being subjected to. An overwhelming feeling of helplessness swept through him leaving him feeling like the scared little toddler he was when he’d been kidnapped.

“Well” the man demanded cutting into his thoughts “what do you have to say for yourself?”

Blinking he drew in a shaky shallow breath “I um…I did as I was told. It’s not my fault your receptionist didn’t relay to me the correct information. If you had wanted me to say she should have told me so.”

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The man fumed silently in front of him “Very well. Come with me now” he ordered.

“I’m in the middle of rounds” he informed him.

“Doctor Everett can finish yours and his both. He could use the practice” he snapped.
With a sinking all was lost feeling he handed Eli his charts of his remaining patients.

“Good luck” Eli whispered to him.

Nodding Trebor turned to follow the older man who was holding the elevator for him. He gave Eli a desperate look sure this would be the last time he’d see him alive. Once he was on the elevator he moved as far away as he could manage on the elevator trying to ignore how small and enclosed it was as the walls seemed to close in around him. Doctors and nurses came and went as the elevator descended. His heart thumped painfully in his chest as his breathing increased making him feel light-headed. When they reached the ground level he moved to get off. He gave the older doctor a startled look when he pressed the button to continue down to the basement.

“We’ll have more privacy” he explained his eyes taking on a strange glossy look like he was high. When the doors opened again he grabbed Trebor’s arm dragging him from the elevator.

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“I think if we need to talk about my job performance it should be in your office. We should have plenty of privacy there” he cried pitching his voice loud hoping someone would hear him. Struggling in the man’s grip shocked at how strong the older man was.

“Your job performance is just fine. You’re one of the best young doctor’s we have” Doctor Brackett informed him.

“But you said….then why…” his voice trailed away a he caught sight of a brand new sports car sitting in the loading dock.

“I needed an excuse to get you down here” the man grinned pleased with himself. “It’s a perk. A well deserved perk.”

“It’s …. I mean I appreciate the thought” shaking his head he looked up at his superior. “What’s the catch” he asked suspiciously.

“Well now that you ask” the man’s voice was close speaking in his ear “there are certain services you’d be expected to perform.”

“Services” he asked his heart pounding sending his blood pressure to the roof. Tensing as he felt the man’s lips on his neck nibbling and sucking.

“I’ve wanted to do this ever since you started here” he said wrapping his arms around his body and pulling him closer.

Trebor froze feeling the man’s lustful intentions through the layers of material. No doubt remained. “What about your family? Your wife” he groped for something that would break through the man’s desire.

“She knows what I want. What I need” he worked his hand down to the front of Trebor’s pants.

The sound of his zipper being released broke through Trebor’s reserves giving him the strength to break free from the man’s hold. “I’m not….we can’t…” he stammered incoherently.

“Of course you can” he demurred “just relax and enjoy the moment. This could be pleasurable for both us if you let it.”

“No” he shouted running towards the open doors of the dock.

Before he could get very far Doctor Brackett caught him and forced him backwards against the hard concrete wall. “What’s the harm? You’ll get plenty of benefits not to mention a stellar recommendation from me when your residency is over. You’ll be able to go anywhere.” He ground himself into Trebor “just relax. Isn’t becoming a heart surgeon worth it? You need this residency and without me you won’t get…”

“Don’t touch me” he screamed bringing his hands between them and pushing him hard.
Staggering backwards Doctor Brackett glared at him. “Why is this so difficult for you? A little harmless fun is all I’m asking. No one needs to know. We both get what we want.”

“I won’t” Trebor tensed when the man came towards “don’t come near me.”

“If you want to keep your position as resident here at the hospital you’ll comply with my request.” His voice was deep, foreboding like thunder warning of an incoming storm. “I always get what I want. There’s always one eager beaver among the residents willing to put out to get ahead of the rest.” He looked Trebor up and down “or they can be persuaded with the right leverage. You’ll be no different.”

***

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“I’m afraid for you this time is different” a familiar voice said from the dimly lit interior of the loading dock of the hospital.

“Braylin” Trebor whispered noticing the familiar pink hair. Relief flooded through him as he fell to his knees too weak to support himself.

Another familiar voice was speaking now. The voice was tinged with anger as it confronted the visibly shaken Doctor Brackett. “I had my suspicions and let my doubts cloud my judgement. You’re dismissed.”

“You can’t do that” Doctor Brackett protested. “I’m the Director of Emergency Medicine.”

“You were now you’re not. I’m the Director of the Hospital. I’m responsible for hiring you. I can damn well fire you.”

“I’ll sue” he blustered.

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“You’ll lose. I heard it all. Saw it all. It’s no longer a matter of his word against yours. Thanks to Doctor Everett I was able to witness what was happening inside my hospital. Now I can stop this travesty. This is a teaching hospital not your personal hunting ground for your perversions. I suggest you contact your lawyer for the impending criminal charges you’ll be faced with.” Turning towards Trebor “I assume you will be filing charges. I’ll make the hospital lawyer available to you and I will personally testify on your behalf.”

“Thank you” Braylin said for him.

“No” Trebor whispered trembling from the release of tension “I just….I don’t…I….”

Holding his face still forcing him to look at him. “Do you trust me” he asked cutting into Trebor’s disjointed dribble.

“Yes” he said eyes pleading with him.

“Then you’ll file charges to put this scum in jail. You won’t have to go through this alone. I promise.” Braylin pulled him close planting a soft tender kiss on Trebor’s lips. “I’ll be with you every step of the way.”

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“Okay” he said his voice barely audible. The good-hearted Director of the hospital knelt beside them as the police arrived to arrest Doctor Brackett. His face was grim “I’m sorry this happened to you. I should have taken the accusations more seriously but it was always dropped in the past.”

“It’s not your fault” Trebor heard himself saying even though they lacked conviction.

“You don’t have to protect me from my own stupidity young man” he said reaching out to pat Trebor’s shoulder. Noticing the way he flinched at his touch he nodded saying “I’ll give you something to relax you before you leave today.”

“Can I take him home” Braylin asked “I doubt he’s in any condition to go back to work.”

“Once the police are finished with their questions he can go home. He can have the next week off as well. I’m sure he’ll need the time to process what just happened.”

“Great” Braylin said thanking the older man.

Chapter 4 – Opening Up /

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Knights of Hope – Chapter 4 – Opening Up

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Silence descended upon them like a heavy blanket as Braylin drove across town to his apartment. Bray ran his thumb across the back of Trebor’s hand resting comfortingly in his as he drove. There were so many questions vying for attention in his mind. Not one could he ask without risk of alienating the silent man sitting beside him. Strange how Trebor had managed to worm his way into his heart without as much effort as others in the past. From the moment he’d seen Trebor across the room from him he knew he had to get to know him.

“Look familiar” he asked giving him a cheeky grin.

“You ass” Trebor snapped “you know damn well it does.”

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Walking around the car Braylin lifted Trebor’s chin up “don’t be like that. That night brought us together. You did come here willingly that night.”

“I know” his eyes shifted downward before lifting to meet Bray’s “I don’t regret it either.”

“Good” he said pulling Trebor close before releasing him long enough to take his hand to walk to the entrance.

“I’m just not very good company right now” he admitted as they entered the lobby.

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“Want to talk about it” he offered making sure to keep his tone neutral without pressure even though he was dying to know what was going. What had Lia been talking about? Why was Trebor so anxious for him not to know?

“Not really” came the not so surprising answer.

“Alright” Braylin nodded pressing the button for the elevator. “I promised I wouldn’t ask. Tonight is going to be a stress free night.” He put a hand out lifting Trebor’s down turned face. A small smile crossed his lips as he leaned in close covering Trebor’s mouth with his own. He deepened the kiss when Trebor leaned into him moaning into his mouth.

The elevator slowed coming to a stop. Conscious of the doors opening and an elderly couple shuffling in Trebor pushed the hockey player away from him. He tried not to look at the couple afraid they’d be upset at what they’d witnessed.

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“It’s alright dear” the elderly woman said touching Trebor’s hand. “We were young once too.” She gave her husband an affection look that he returned with a touch of his hand.

Trebor felt a rush of longing and loss watching the couple. They reminded him so much of his great grandparents. Heat rose to his cheeks wishing the elevator would open again so he could get off. He could feel the walls closing in around him. His breathing was coming out in quick shallow gasps. As soon as the doors opened he bolted through them leaning against the wall panting.

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“Hey where do you think you’re going” Braylin asked following him from the elevator. “My apartment is three more flights up.

“I uh” he ran a trembling hand through his messy hair “I’ll take the stairs.”

“If it’s about the kiss” Braylin said “they were totally okay with it.”

“It’s not that” he gasped trying to get his breathing under control.

“Then what is it” he asked.

Shaking his head Trebor took a deep breath. “I’d rather take the stairs.”

“Don’t be ridiculous the elevator is quicker” he said “if you get in I promise I’ll be good.”

Glaring at him Trebor moved towards the open doors. He didn’t know what came over him. The sudden panic of being enclosed. Trapped. All he knew was he had to escape. The sight of the elderly couple holding the elevator for them nearly made him want to run again. He concentrated on his toes crossing his arms he signaled for all around him he wanted to be left alone.

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Braylin pressed a hand over his mouth to keep from laughing out loud as the elevator started it’s climb again. It stopped again to allow the elderly couple out. The woman smiled at Trebor eyes shining. “Cherish these moments while you can. One day you’ll be old like us and a stolen kiss in an elevator won’t seem so terrible. It may even be the highlight of your day.”

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When the doors closed Braylin moved over to where Trebor stood. “Alone at last” he grinned “thought they’d never leave.” He took Trebor’s hand squeezing it. “Can a I get a smile. Just a little one” he asked “it wasn’t that bad was it? They were alright….”

“That’s not the point” he cried “there’s a proper place and an elevator isn’t it.”

Lips twitching Braylin said “it could have been worse. I mean people have sex inside elevators all the time.

“Have you” Trebor asked curiosity getting the better of him as they walked down the hall. He knew the answer by the shimmer in Braylin’s eyes as they regarded him.

“Why” he challenged “want to give it a try?”

“No” he shook his emphatically looking back towards the elevator. For some reason it was more of a temptation than he thought it would be. If he were alone and knew no one would get on then …. Well if Braylin started something he doubted he’d have the willpower to )resist. “You promised me food” he said changing the subject.

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“That I did” he agreed letting Trebor into his home and pulling his phone out to call his favorite Chinese place.

“Don’t I get a choice?” Trebor demanded after realizing Braylin was ordering for both of them. “What if I don’t like it?”

“You will” Braylin assured him “besides you’re starving. Food is food.” He closed the gap between them kissing Trebor hard enough to back him into the door. “You can have dessert while we wait.”

Desire that lay dormant awakened inside Trebor as he reached for the hockey player’s belt buckle. His fingers shook having trouble working the buttons and zippers.

***

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Thirty minutes later they were happily scarfing down chow mien and beef broccoli. There were other items less recognizable and ignored by Trebor as he shoveled food into his mouth.

“Haven’t you been eating” Braylin asked after watching him inhale his food.

“Here and there” he shrugged as if it were normal. “Sometimes if it’s busy I don’t eat at all. Then when I get home I’m too tired to eat.”

“Have you always wanted to be a doctor” Braylin asked curious to know what drives someone to push himself so much. He’d met the dedicated all or nothing hockey player but this was different.

Swallowing the mouthful of food he nodded. “I can’t remember not wanting to be a doctor.” His face turned sober as his eyes took on a far away look. “My great grandpa died from a heart attack. I was five or six at the time. I’ve often wondered if he might have lived longer if the island had a heart specialist.”

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“I’m sorry” Braylin murmured “was he very old?”

“He was in his mid seventies I believe” Trebor said “people always say he lived a long life, had a loving wife but he could have had more time if he had the proper medical treatment available to him.” Pushing his empty containers away he rested his head in his hands. “That’s why this situation is so damn frustrating. The only thing I’ve ever wanted to be is a heart surgeon. To save families from the heartache my family went through. Now I don’t know….”

Braylin watched as Trebor blinked several times in succession in an obvious attempt to ward off tears. “This situation, is it the one Lia wanted to tell me about?”

Wiping a hand across his eyes he nodded. “She wants me to bring my boss up on charges of harassment.” He pulled his knees up into his chest curling into himself. “The man literally holds my future as a doctor in his hands. I need this residency. He could destroy everything I’ve worked so hard to accomplish. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted.”

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Braylin moved closer wrapping an arm around Trebor’s trembling shoulders. To his surprise Trebor snuggled into him, clutching his shirt between his fingers. For a moment Braylin just held him admiring the man’s drive to his dream. “Has your boss been harassing you” he asked once he sensed the man in his arms was calming down. “Is your boss Doctor Bracket? I met him at the charity event. He’s the guy I teased you about. He stood too close to you. Always touching you. I could tell it made you uncomfortable.”

Nodding against Braylin’s chest he mumbled “I didn’t want to believe he was coming on to me. I mean the guys married. Has kids not much younger than me.”

“Is that why you said he wanted to discuss a patient and didn’t want to be overheard” When Trebor nodded he could feel anger building inside him like a smoldering fire ready to ignite into an inferno at a moments notice. “Has he tried anything? Or threatened you?”

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Trebor froze sucking in an anxious breath. Squirming from Braylin’s arms he got up “I should go” he announced making a beeline towards the door.

Jumping over the back of the couch Braylin cut off his escape. “Hey you can tell me. I won’t think any less of you. Just let me help.”

“I can handle it” he insisted hands curled into fists.

Regarding him for a moment Braylin said “everyone needs help sometimes. If you won’t talk to me. Talk to Lia. Get advise. Find out what you can do to protect yourself.”

“I…” he swallowed “what if they don’t believe me? What if I’m wrong? I could destroy him with unfounded accusations. What if” licking his lips he continued “he knows people who will back him. I’m just a resident. If I lose my position my whole future is over. Everything I’ve worked for. Gone.”

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“That won’t happen” Braylin asserted slowly pulling Trebor into his arms. “I promise that won’t happen.” He didn’t know how he could prevent it but it sounded good. He felt Trebor relax in his arms resting his head on his shoulder. He placed a soft tender kiss on the top of his tousled head. Trebor moved enough to look up at him, his mouth opened to say something and Braylin cut him off with a kiss. “Let me take care of you tonight” he requested reaching for the hem of Trebor’s shirt tugging it free. Trebor lifted his arms allowing him to pull it over his head. “You don’t have to worry about anything” he whispered brushing his lips lightly over Trebor’s.

Whimpering a little Trebor pressed as much of himself as he could into Braylin. Wanting. Needing to feel more of him. To immerse himself in the man’s presence. “I need you to work your magic on me. I don’t want to think anymore. I just want to feel you.”

***

Sometime later Braylin shifted his weight in the bed to look down at the sleeping man lying beside him, his head resting on his shoulder. He trailed a finger along his jawline tempted to kiss the full lips puckered into a pout that gave the man the appearance of innocence.

It took him a moment to realize Trebor was looking up at him with confusion in his eyes. “Sorry” he whispered placing a kiss on his nose “I didn’t mean to wake you.”

Recognition replaced the confusion. “What time is it” he asked in a tired half asleep voice.

Reaching for his phone he said “almost 6:00.”

Turning on his side he snuggled his face into the pillow. “Wake me at 9:00 please.”

“Okay” he smile watching him. There was something about the guy that made him go weak on the inside. He’d been in relationships before but none of them had ever touched him the way Trebor had. He had felt it from the very beginning. It was what kept him coming back.

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Rolling to his feet he walked towards the large windows. The city lights bright and cars moving along the streets in a city that never truly slept. Rain pelted the glass beading then running in streaks. Gooseflesh rose on his skin from the cool air. He debated crawling back into bed with Trebor. Waking him up to warm himself with his body. A smile tugged at his lips remembering the nights activities and knew he was falling head over heels in love with the guy.

Which meant he couldn’t stand idly by and watch him get hurt. No one should ever be made to feel they had to endure an intolerable situation to keep what they’ve struggled to achieve. He wanted to give Trebor a chance to figure this out on this own yet he was afraid a solution would forever be out of his grasp. Fear would ultimately be a stumbling block. He had to make sure the guy stopped without endangering what Trebor had accomplished. A thrill shot through him as he anticipated what he’d have to do and knowing he was going to enjoy teaching the good doctor a lesson he was sure not to forget.

Chapter 3 – Uncomfortable Situation / Chapter 5 – Confrontation

Glitter – Chapter 19 – The Plan

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“Your dad saw us kissing” Aaron asked sitting next to Raven on the floor in his bedroom.

“Don’t laugh” Raven said hiding his face between his hands and knees. “It was embarrassing. I had to endure the sex talk all over again.”

“Worried about becoming grandparents I bet” he chuckled despite Raven’s protests.

“Don’t you start” he cried “once was enough.”

“Well” he caused considering his words “it is something to be concerned with. You know … if we were …. To um.” He licked his lips looking at his hands.

“If we were to what” Raven asked watching the older boy.

“You know” he glanced up meeting Raven’s eyes then looked down just as quickly “made out, had sex.”

“Have you ever done it” Rave asked in a way that sounded like he was holding his breath.

“Have you” Aaron asked instead of answering the question.

Shaking his head from side to side Raven sighed. “I’ve never had a boyfriend before.”

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“There’s a first time for everything” Aaron said leaving forward brushing his lips across Raven’s. Using his weight he pressed Raven down onto the floor pinning him beneath him. “We’ll go slow” he murmured running his hands down Raven’s chest and back up again. “Do you want to continue” he asked in a husky voice.

Nodding Raven couldn’t hide his excitement from the older boy even if he wanted to. “I want you to be my first” he whispered watching as Aaron’s eyes smoldered with desire.

“Let’s get on the bed” he suggested “it’ll be more comfortable.” Shifting his weight he allowed Raven to slide out from beneath him and sat on the edge of the bed. Taking Raven’s hands he guided him to sit on his lap. Kissing the boy again he ran his hands down his torso stopping when he reached the bottom of his shirt. With a swift tug he pulled it loose from his pants and up and over his head. His breath caught in his throat as he gazed upon the boy. “Perfect” he whispered pressing his lips to his neck where is pulse beat rapidly. His fingers sliding lightly down the boys back following his spine causing Raven to make small whimper like noises.

Raven arched his back as Aaron’s mouth traveled down his neck and chest leaving a trail of super-heated sensitive skin in its wake. His brain was overloading after one sensation after another invaded his body. He was sure his heart was going to beat right out of his chest. Rocking back and forth on Aaron’s lap only their jeans separating them as the passions grew.

***

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“Aaron can I borrow…” Riley opened the door leading into his brother’s room. His eyes round with shock when he took in what was happening. “Oh shit” he gasped.

“Get out” Aaron shouted at him throwing a pillow at his disappearing figure.

Raven snatched up his shirt with trembling hands. Shoving his head and arms into it he ran from the room as if a horde of angry bees were after him.

“Raven don’t go” even as the words came out he knew it was no use. Groaning he go up and charged across the hall to his brother’s room. “What the hell” he growled “have you ever heard of knocking?”

Riley gulped facing his brother. He’d never seen him that intimate with anyone before. “I’m sorry. I don’t know” he gulped “mom said Raven wasn’t allowed up here.”

Blowing air through his nose Aaron rolled his eyes. “What mom doesn’t know won’t kill her.”

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“How much is it worth” Riley asked with a smirk.

“How much is what worth” Aaron asked slightly confused.

“How much are you willing to pay for me to keep my mouth shut” Riley asked “mom would love to know what you and Raven were doing in your room.”

“You wouldn’t” Aaron took a menacing step forward. The reminder of what his brother had interrupted more than he could bear.

“I would” Riley confirmed keeping his place despite the desire to take a step backwards. He’d always found his older brother to be somewhat intimidating. Crossing his arms he continued “there’s only one thing that’ll keep my mouth shut.”

Aaron regarded him with interest “I’m listening.”

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“I need to use your car” he said keeping his eyes focused on his brother’s face.

“No way in hell” he growled.

Shrugging nonchalantly he said “you won’t be needing it for at least a month once mom finds out about Raven….”

“Fine” he agreed holding his keys out “take it.”

Snatching them from his brothers fingers Riley moved towards the door. “Thanks bro. I appreciate it.”

“Yeah yeah” Aaron grumbled “just be sure to get it back without any scratches and a full tank of gas.”

“Sure sure” Riley assured him as he ran down the stairs. He needed to be gone before his mom got home. Glancing at the time he had twenty minutes to spare.

***

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Driving up to Wills house Riley came to a stop. Letting the engine idle while he waited for Will to join him. Ten minutes later Will opened the passenger side door and got in. “I didn’t think your brother would let you take his car to the main island.”

Putting the car into gear Riley said “he doesn’t exactly know.”

“Then how….”

“I caught him and Riley….in his room.” At Wills confused look he elaborated. “Raven’s shirt was off and they were kissing….”

“Oh” Will’s eyes were round “I didn’t know they were that serious.”

“Neither did I” Riley chuckled “it did come in handy though. He probably would have said no otherwise.”

They fell silent as Riley made his way to the pier to wait his turn to drive onto the ferry.

“Ever been to the main island” he asked.

“Nope” he shook his head “but um I know someone who has. She’ll be here at 10:00.”

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Giving his friend a sideways glance Riley asked “who?”

“Temperance” Will said turning to look at his friend. “Don’t say anything.”

“You promised you wouldn’t tell anyone” Riley complained.

“I know but” he looked out his window. “I had to do something. She was crying…

“And you like her” Riley hit the steering wheel.

“She’s bringing snacks” Will added as if that would make Riley like her.

“That’s an added bonus” he grumbled not unwilling yet to accept the change in plans yet.

“She’s also Unity’s best friend” Will dangled that out to his friend knowing how much Riley liked her. “She could be your in with her.”

Riley drummed his fingers on the steering wheel. “Fine. She can come.”

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At 10:00 Temperance walked up to Will who was standing outside next to the pier sign. He took her bag as he led the way to Riley’s car.

Getting into the car Riley nodded at her. “I’m glad your on time. It gives us more time to hide the two of you.”

Shaking her head she eyed the open trunk with undisguised disgust. “You don’t expect me to get in there, do you? With him?” She pointed towards Will.

“How else did you think I was going to sneak you on the ferry” Riley stomped his feet his frustration beginning to take over.

“I don’t know” she sighed deflecting as the fight drained from her. Turning to Will “keep your hands off me.”

Raising his hands Will backed up “don’t worry I wouldn’t even think of it.”

“Alright then” she peered into the depths of the trunk. Backing up she motioned towards Will. “You first.”

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He cast a dubious look inside the trunk then at his friend silently asking if it was really necessary.

“Get in” Riley urged “we don’t have all night.”

“Alright” he mumbled crawling inside glad that Aaron drove an older car that gave them a little more room.

Crawling in after him Temperance warned “remember what you said. Keep your hands to yourself.”

“Don’t worry I will” he promised “if I wanted to cop a feel it wouldn’t be while trapped inside a smelly old trunk. Dude what is that smell?”

“Probably Aaron’s gym bag” Riley said “I’m hoping the smell will keep the inspectors from looking too closely. He draped a blanket over the pair and moved things around inside the trunk to look normal. Closing the trunk he rapped his knuckles on the top “keep quiet in there the inspector is coming.”

***

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Erika looked up from the book she was reading. Frowning as she saw her oldest son coming down the stairs. “I thought you were out” she said.

Shrugging Aaron slumped into a chair. “Raven had to go home early” he mumbled avoiding her eyes as he started to flip through the channels on the TV.

Picking up her book she read a line or two before putting it down again. “Where’s your brother?”

“Don’t know” he shrugged eyes on the screen.

Glancing at the time she said asked “did he go over to Will’s?”

“Sounded like he had a date or something” he said “he borrowed my car.”

“And you let him” she sounded dubious.

Shrugging Aaron smirked “anything to help my lil bro out. He has no game so he needs all the help he can get.”

Nodding Erika let the comment slide. After a couple of minutes she asked “did he say when he’d be home?”

“Who knows” Aaron grumbled “I’m not his keeper.”

***

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“Who could be calling so late” Talia moaned reaching for her phone lying on the side table next to the bed. “Hello” she moaned into it.

The tired half asleep voice reminded Erika how late it was. “I’m sorry for calling so late but is Riley there?”

Rubbing the sleep from her eyes Talia sat up instantly alert. “Will said he was going over there. Something about a school project….”

“Riley hasn’t been here all evening” Erika said clenching the phone in her hand. “He borrowed Aaron’s car….” Images of the two boys on the side of the road, hurt shot through her mind.

Getting up Talia walked to her son’s room. Knocking softy before opening it. “Maybe they went on a double date and lost track of time.” She was grasping at straws she knew. She’d rather think that than any of the hundred other things running through her mind.

“The only girl Riley has shown any interest in is that girl with leukemia” Erika mused.

“Maybe they went to see her” Talia suggested.

“I’ll call the hospital” Erika said disconnecting the call.

***

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Staring at her phone Talia decided to call Temperance’s parents on the off chance he was over there. “Hello Mrs Bennett. I apologize for calling so late.”

Hannah listened in silence for several minutes. “No Temperance hasn’t gone out.”

Turning to her husband “go check her room. See if she knows anything about Will.”

When he returned to the room the look of dismay he was wearing wall all the answer Hannah needed. “Temperance is gone too.”

“Erika is calling the hospital to see if they’re visiting that sick girl” Talia said attempting to keep calm.

Hannah closed her eyes. She could hear the anxiety in the other woman’s voice. “Unity is in the hospital on the main island. If they went to visit her they would have needed to go by ferry.”

“I’m calling the police Donovan said “if those kids are up to something we’ll find them.” Hannah relayed that to Talia who said she’d call Riley’s mother to let her know.

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Once Donovan was done talking to the police Hannah leaned into him. “What could they be thinking?”

“They’re not” he mumbled kissing the top of her head.

Sniffling Hannah took a deep breath. “I’ll call Charity just in case they slip past the police and actually make it to the hospital.”

“Good idea” he squeezed her tight before releasing her. “That’ll be the cops” he said at the sound of someone knocking. “Don’t worry sweetheart we’ll find them.”

Chapter 18 – Waves /

Knights of Hope – Chapter 3 – Uncomfortable Situation

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Tossing his soiled scrubs into the hamper he hoped the hospital laundry service would be able to remove the blood stains. Leaning against the cool ceramic wall of the locker room Trebor took several deep breaths letting the cold seep into his tired body.

“You better get a move on” Eli said prodding him in the side as he walked past on his way to his locker. Doctor Bracket is looking for willing volunteers to work a double tonight.”

“Not tonight” Trebor moaned forcing himself to move. “I’ve already worked overtime.” He moved like a slug towards his locker where his street clothes were stored.

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The locker room door opened allowing an older man in his late thirties early forties into the room. “I need a couple of volunteers” his eyes locked onto Eli a moment before moving to Trebor.

“No can do” Eli declined shaking his head. “Trebor and I have important family matters to attend to.”

The man’s eyebrows rose skyward disappearing into his longish hair on his forehead. “Is that so” he pondered letting his gaze bore into Trebor before dipping and lingering on his bare chest and torso.

“Yyyyeah” Trebor said dismissing the fleeting thought his superior was checking him out. “One of the victims in the multi car pile up was our cousin” he explained. “We need to make phone calls home to inform the family.”

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“I’m sure Eli here can take care of all that” Doctor Bracket said stepping close resting a hand on Trebor’s shoulder “I could make it worth your while if you stay.”

Stepping back to break the unwanted contact Trebor fell over the nearby bench. His feet flew out from beneath him. He landed on his back with a loud jarring thud. He lay staring up at the concerned faces while stars floated in front of him as he fought to draw air into his lungs. Struggling to his feet still gasping for breath mumbling “I’m fine” he assured Eli before he could ask if he were okay. Composing himself he addressed the Director “I can’t work a double tonight. Sorry.”

Disappointment tinged with anger flashed in the man’s eyes before nodding and backing towards the exit. Stopping by the door he gave Trebor a lingering leer.before leaving and slamming the door behind him.

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“Wow” Eli said releasing a breath he’d been holding “that guy has it bad for you. Did you see the way he was looking at you?”

“You’re kidding right” Trebor protested shrugging into his shirt deciding to wait until he got home to shower.

“Didn’t you see the way he was undressing you with his eyes” groaning he shook his head at his friend. “You cannot be that oblivious.”

“I’m telling you you’re wrong” Trebor insisted finger combing his hair. “The man is married. He has kids a few years younger than us. Why would he be interested in me?”

“So you did notice” Eli grinned earning himself an exasperated glare. Ignoring him he said “you’re a hot young stud. Why wouldn’t he want to tap that?”

“Whatever” Trebor rolled his eyes as he fled the locker room and the jeers his best friend would taunt him with.

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Walking past the nurses’ station he was well aware of Doctor Brackett’s eyes upon him. It gave him an unsettled feeling in the pit of his stomach. It wasn’t the same thrill of fluttering butterflies he got when he caught Braylin watching him the night of the Charity event. With Braylin he felt desired almost like a cherished piece of art. With Doctor Brackett he felt somehow dirty, like a cheap trick to be tossed like yesterday’s trash.

Waiting by the door for Eli wasn’t the best idea he had that night. He should have waited in the locker room. At least there he wouldn’t have been alone or under the watchful eyes of Dr Brackett. “Finally” he jumped from the wall where he’d been leaning when Eli joined him.

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“Couldn’t help it” he said holding his phone up. “Russell called to see if Elaine had made it in alright. I had no choice but to tell him what happened.”

“How did he take it” Trebor asked thankful that Eli had gotten the call and not him.

“Terrible” he sighed “he was in tears before I finished telling him. This is one of the things I hate about being a doctor.” Squeezing his eyes shut he inhaled deeply. “He and Lia are catching the earliest flight they can from Sunlit Tides. They should be here sometime tomorrow.” Glancing over his shoulder where their Director was watching. “I hate to do this to you buddy but I need you to cover for me tomorrow night.”

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“You owe me big time” Trebor said walking towards the exit.

Laughing softly Eli said “that guy gives me the creeps.”

“You” Trebor asked incredulously “what about me?”

“Yeah well” he shrugged “you’re the one who says he doesn’t want in your pants.”

“Ugh” he walked towards his car knowing Eli would follow “he doesn’t.”

“Then you have nothing to worry about” Eli flashed him a grin.

“Stop” Trebor warned “or you’ll have to walk home.”

“Alright I’ll behave” he said “but it’s not gonna change the fact Doctor Creepy wants you bad.”

***

254In between rounds the next day Trebor stopped to check on his cousin. The sound of the machines in the semi dark room was reassuring. He knew that most people would find it eerie but it meant life. The patient was still fighting. Holding on. It was good. Automatically he checked the chart smiling as he perceived the small improvements in her condition.

Glancing up when the door opened behind him he grinned at the visitors. “She’s doing better” he announced. “Not out of the woods yet but definitely better. He could see the relief flood into the visitors faces at his words. “Russell how are you holding up” he asked.

“I’m functioning” he mumbled staring at the still young woman.

“We’re doing everything possible for her” Trebor assured him.

His only response was a weak nod as the young man shuffled forward his face etched with pain. Lana stood beside him silently rubbing his back a steady presence offering support. Wishing he knew the right words to offer him instead of the cold clinical terms his medical training gave him.

“How’s it going with Doctor Creepy” Eli asked irrelevantly using the nickname he adopted for their superior.

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“Haven’t seen him” he shrugged attempting a nonchalance he didn’t feel.

“You could get him on harassment charges” Lia said coming forward. “Someone in his position shouldn’t be propositioning his underlings.”

“Eli you blabbermouth” he cried glaring at his friend “you weren’t supposed to tell anyone.” Crossing his arms he felt heat rise to his cheeks “it’s embarrassing enough as it is without everyone knowing.”

“Hey I was only trying to help” he held his hands up in surrender. “It’s not my fault the guy wants you.”

“Does not” Trebor snapped.

“It’s okay” Lia said “victims always deny it’s happening. Its normal.” Patting his arm she continued “we’ll have plenty of time to discuss this later.” She turned taking her boyfriends arm and guiding him to Elaine’s bedside.

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Trebor grabbed Eli’s arm before he could join the others “what did she mean that we’d have plenty of time to discuss it later?”

Eli looked around the room before meeting Trebor’s gaze “ you know how she is.”

“So” he asked nodding towards her “she’s a law student. That doesn’t answer my question.”

“We didn’t know Geoffrey was coming” he explained “we don’t have room for all of them.”

“What does that have to do with me” Trebor asked “I don’t have any room for them either.”

“You would if you gave up your bed and slept on the couch” Eli said biting his bottom lip.

“Sleep on the couch in my own home” he demanded like he thought his friend had lost his mind. “You could have at least asked. I could have company or something.”

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“Like who” Eli challenged with a smirk “lover boy?”

Crossing his arms in front of him Trebor said “well yeah.”

“Thought you said it was just a one nightstand” Eli his grin becoming wider.

“You’re the one who said it’s not a one nightstand if it’s with the same guy” Trebor pointed out.

“So they can stay” Eli asked changing the subject.

“Yeah they can stay” he assented walking towards the door. “You know where the key is.” He walked out almost colliding with Doctor Brackett.

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“Hasn’t your shift started” he demanded his voice harsh bordering on angry.

“I still have ten minutes” he said “I wanted to check on my cousin before going down to the ER.”

“We don’t pay you to stand around visiting” his eyes narrowed “your work performance has been sub par lately. Come to my office at the end of the shift and we can discuss how you can improve before disciplinary actions need to be taken.”

Trebor could feel his insides trembling as he watched the older man walk away. The man who held his future in his hands. If he lost his residency no one else would have him. His career and dream of becoming a heart surgeon would be over.

Jumping when a hand came down on his shoulder “geez don’t do that” he cried putting a hand to his rapidly beating heart.

Looking after the man who made their daily lives miserable Eli said “you might want to talk to Lia about Doctor Creepy before this gets any worse.”

“Yeah” he swallowed hard “I’ll think about it. I’ve got to go.”

***

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“Are you going to tell us what happened between you and Doctor Creepy” Lia demanded eyes bright with more than casual interest.

Shrugging he said “I can handle it.”

“Don’t be all stoic” she said “let us help you. It’s not like we live in the stone ages and you have to put up with this shit.”

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A soft knock on the door interrupted what was about to turn into a lengthy lecture. With ill disguised relief Trebor moved to answer the door. “Give it a rest” he pleaded opening the door. A shiver of lust and desire went through him as he recognized his visitor.

“Surprise” Braylin grinned over a large bouquet of flowers.

“I could get used to this” he blushed taking the flowers from Braylin their fingers brushing against each others increasing his desire. “Thank you” he murmured stepping aside to let Braylin enter his apartment. “I have company” pointing he made introductions “this is my cousin Geoffrey and his girlfriend Lia.” Waving a hand to the pink haired male standing beside him “this is Braylin. I’m sure Eli has already told you all about him.”

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Grinning Lia had a look of a cat about to pounce on its prey “maybe you can talk some sense into your boyfriend…”

“He’s not my …” he paused shaking his head he decided it wasn’t worth getting into a debate.

Putting an arm around him Braylin pulled him to his side. “I’ve always found Trebor to be pretty sensible.”

“That may be but he’s making a huge mistake” Lia said preparing to launch into her spiel once again.

“Don’t listen to her” Trebor said nudging Braylin towards the door. “We’ll be here all night once she gets going.”

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“Could be interesting” Braylin teased a sparkle in his eyes as he regarded the young woman in front of him.

“Trust me you’ll want to hear this” Lia insinuated hands on hips.

“Geoffrey can’t you do something” Trebor asked.

“I would if I thought it would do any good” he shrugged “in this instance I agree with her.”

“What’s going on” Braylin asked looking from one face to the next all amusement draining from his eyes.

“Nothing you need to worry about” Trebor insisted. Grabbing Braylin’s arm he moved towards the door “we better be going or we’ll be late.

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Braylin let Trebor hurry him from the apartment. “Where exactly are we going? The last time I checked we didn’t have any plans.”

“I don’t care” Trebor admitted “as long as it isn’t here.”

“We could go back to my place” he offered “order in some Chinese. Watch a little Netflix. See where the night takes us.”

“Sounds perfect” Trebor sighed getting into the elevator.

Moving to stand next to Trebor sensing that something was wrong and wanting to help.

“Is someone giving you a hard time” he asked guessing.

Grunting Trebor shrugged “I don’t want to talk about it.”

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“Is it work” he pressed hoping he might stumble upon the problem and be able to help.

“I can handle it” he growled stepping out of the elevator as soon as the door slid open. “I’ll follow you” he said hoping to avoid anymore probing questions.

“If your afraid I’ll pressure you for answers I promise I won’t” Braylin said. “If you need someone to talk to I’m your guy. No pressure though.”

Stopping Trebor considered his words. “I just want a stress free evening. Free from someone telling me what I should do. I just need a chance to think.”

“Okay” he nodded closing the gap between them. Once he was within touching distance he brushed his lips over Trebor’s forehead. “I know a sure fire way of making you forget all of your problems.”

“Really” he asked perking up.

 

 

“I can work all kinds of magic with my hands” he nuzzled the side of Trebor’s neck nibbling on his ear. “Trust me. You won’t remember your name by the time I’m done with you.”

“Sounds wonderful” he sighed returning the kiss as Braylin’s lips pressed into his. His stomach took that moment to growl “food first. I’m starving.”

“Well…” he gave him a mischievous grin “maybe we can start with desert while we wait for our food to be delivered.”

“You’re insatiable” Trebor chuckled leaning into him taking comfort in the man’s warmth.

“So I’ve been told” he said letting his fingers wander beneath Trebor’s belt “but you’ll find there’s more to me then hot passionate sex.”

“Not tonight” Trebor said pulling away before Braylins searching fingers found their destination. “Tonight all I need and want is the hot passionate sex.”

“After we eat” he grinned taking Trebor’s hand and walking towards his waiting car.

Chapter 2 – Date Night / Chapter 4 – Opening Up

Knights of Hope – Chapter 2 – Date Night

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Trebor checked the time as soon as he got home. 4:05. He had enough time for a short nap before needing to get ready for his date. A thrill went through him as he anticipated the evening igniting every nerve ending in his body.

Pulling his shirt over his head he tossed it into the hamper as he entered his room before flopping on his bed. Closing his eyes images from the first night he and Braylin had been together came to mind. Would tonight end the same way? Part of him hope it would. Another part hoped there was more between them than just animal attraction.

The phone buzzing inside his pants pocket roused him from his dreams. Moaning in protest he reached around to pull the annoying device from his back pocket. “What” he mumbled voice thick with sleep.

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“Is that anyway to greet your mother” the voice in his ear demanded.

“Oh..hi mom” he sat up rubbing his eyes.

“Did I wake you” she asked her tone conveying concern. “You’re not working doubles again are you?”

“No mom” rolling his eyes. He managed to snap his mouth shut before he added not tonight. What his mother didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her.

“You work too much” she said “how do you expect to meet anyone if you’re always working?”

“I don’t work all the time” he protested “Last night I went to a hockey game…” As soon as the words came out he regretted it. It was one thing to be pestered about his lack of a love life than to be asked when he was going to settle down and have a family.

“Anything we need to know” she asked “Do you need me to run a background check on him?”

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“Mom” he cried “stop.” Closing his eyes he started counting to ten. “I don’t need a background check done. I went to the game alone.”

“Oh” her disappointment was almost palpable in the room.

Feeling like the worst son ever he said “mom it’ll happen one day. Just not today. I’m busy with my career. Aren’t you always telling me things happen when they’re supposed to?”

“I did” she agreed. “I worry that you’re not open to the possibilities around you because of what happened…”

“Mom don’t” he pleaded. He knew all he had to do was tell her he was going on a date to ease her mind but… “I’ve go to go” he said instead wanting to end the call. He wasn’t ready yet to introduce the idea of him being in a relationship. He wanted to see where things went first. For all he knew this was more about lust then love.

“Oh don’t let me hold you up” she said “I love you.”

“Love you too” he said before disconnecting the call. He didn’t miss the sadness in her voice. She meant well but sometimes he felt pressured to live up to her expectations and what was worse he was sure she didn’t even know she was doing it.

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A soft knock on his apartment door had him rushing to answer it. Throwing the door open he came face to face with Braylin. “Shit your early” he blurted almost angrily.

“Nice to see you too” Bray smirked eyes moving across Trebor’s bare chest. “As much as I like your outfit it’s a little risque for where we’re going.”

“Sorry I fell asleep. Then my mom called” he ran a hand through his dirty hair “I need a shower.”

“Is that an invitation” the pink haired male moved in close running his fingers along Trebor’s spine.

Groaning Trebor pushed him away “you wish.” Turning he said “make yourself at home. Give me ten minutes and I’ll be ready to go.”

***

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“You clean up good” Braylin winked at his date.

“Thanks …. I think” he looked over the sea of people ahead of them. “We’re never going to get in. I’m sorry I made us late.”

“Don’t worry about it” Braylin said taking his hand “it won’t be as long as you think.”

Frowning Trebor shook his head “it’s going to take all night.”

“We could have a drink in the bar” he suggested without thinking.

Recoiling at his words Trebor tugged his hand free. “I don’t drink. I didn’t think you did either.”

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“I don’t” he assured him “I don’t know why I even suggested it.”

“You used to drink” Trebor asked.

Nodding scratching his head. “I did. I won’t lie. I had a big problem with it. It’s hard not to get caught up in the all the partying in my line of work.” He gave Trebor a piercing hopeful look that he might understand where he was coming from. “Is the fact I used to drink going to be a problem? With us I mean.”

Trebor shook his head letting his fingers trail up to his companion’s cheek and gently lifting his chin. “I don’t see why it should. We all have things in our past we regret.”

There was something about the way he said it that had Braylin thinking he understood more than he wanted to admit. Something in his eyes that hinted he might be hiding something. He was about to ask when their name was called. Clearing his throat he took Trebor’s hand “looks like we get to eat after all tonight.”

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Once they were seated their waiter asked “may I interest you in our collection of fine wines?”

Trebor shook his head an almost frightened look in his eyes. Patting his hand where it lay on the table Bray said “no thank you. Please bring us your best sparkling water.”

The waiter’s eyes regarded them in wonder then settled on Braylin’s face as recognition brightened the man’s eyes. “Two sparkling waters coming up” he repeated as he turned to fill the order.

Trebor silently regarded Bray from across the table. “Does it ever bother you that complete strangers recognize you?”

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“Not really” he shrugged “it comes with the territory.”

Nodding he glanced down at the hand covering his. “I guess it’s something I’ll have to get used to” he looked up meeting Braylin’s gaze “that is if we go out again.”

“As if there’s any doubt” he scoffed.

“Well….” Trebor chuckled shaking his head “let’s get through tonight first before we talk about the next. For all I know you’ll get bored with me.”

Lifting Trebor’s hand he brought it to his lips. Pausing he smiled over the top of it “I’m rather fond of my sexy doctor.” He pressed his lips to the smooth skin of Trebor’s hand.

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“You’re just saying that” Trebor protested tugging his hand free. As soon as it was free if felt cold and empty and he longed for Braylin to hold it again. His hand tingled where Bray’s lips came into contact with it. “You just want someone to play doctor with later” his eyes sparkled in the dim lighting of the restaurant. A small smile tugged at the corners of his mouth.

“Is that an option” Bray asked attempting to keep his growing excitement at bay.

Blushing beneath the man’s intense lustful gaze Trebor lowered his eyes to observe the intricate design of the expensive dinner plate set in front of him. “We shall see” he said primly looking up in time to see the hockey player’s desire erupt in his eyes like a supernova.

Moaning Bray growled “you tease. You’ve no idea what you’re doing to me.” Pausing he considered his last few words “on second thought you know damn well what you’re doing.” Taking hold of Trebor’s hand he stood saying “dance with me.”

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He let Bray lead him to the dance floor. His body tensed as Braylin pulled him close grinding against him letting him know exactly what he had done to him. The man’s obvious excitement sent a thrill through Trebor that he hadn’t experienced before. Leaning in close Bray whispered “if we were alone I’d take you right here right now.”

His skin prickled with anticipation. No one had ever gotten that kind of reaction from him before. Trebor let his lips graze across the man’s cheek stopping to nip at Bray’s earlobe before saying “where’s the fun in that? I might have let you take me right here right now.” Stepping back he turned to walk back to their table.

Standing transfixed staring after Trebor he ached to take the man in his arms and make good on his words. Groaning softly he followed after him aching in all the right places. He couldn’t wait to leave the restaurant so that the real fun could begin.

***

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Trebor jerked awake. Something wasn’t right the first thought running through his mind. He wasn’t wearing any clothes. He always wore something to bed. Plus he wasn’t alone. The rustling of the blankets and the hand resting on his thigh made him all to aware of that fact.

The hand moved downward as soft lips kissed a trail up his arm. “Didn’t you get enough last night” he asked as his body responded to the man’s touch.

“Did you” came the soft reply before he resumed kissing along his body.

Rolling onto his back with a contented sigh he closed his eyes. “I could get used to waking up to this.” The man’s teeth nipping into him had him pushing the pink haired male away “what do you call that?”

“Love bite” he grinned leaning up on an arm to gaze down at Trebor.

Rubbing the side of his neck “felt more like a ravenous vampire than a love bite.”

“How would you know” he teased “have you been with many vampires?”

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“Only you” he tossed the blankets aside to swing his legs over the edge of the bed to sit up.

“Don’t you want me to finish what I started” he asked pushing his bottom lip out reaching for Trebor’s shoulder.

Glancing at the time Trebor shook his head despite his own growing desire. Looking over his shoulder he said “only of you can do it in the shower. I have to be at work in an hour.”

Rolling out of bed Braylin held his hand out to Trebor. “I thought you’d never ask. Come on” he waggled his fingers meant to hurry Trebor up “we don’t have all day.”

Grinning Trebor took his hand “you’re insatiable. You know that?”

“Yes well” he pulled Trebor flush with his body “there could be worse things.”

***

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Hours later Trebor was wishing he’d had a more restful night. The emergency room had been busier than usual with accident victims, smoke inhalation cases from a fire in a senior citizen home. He may have needed the sleep but he knew he’d do it all again if given a chance.

“Heads up” Eli shouted sticking his head into the breakroom. “We’ve got a multiple car pile up coming in.”

“What’s up with people today” Trebor complained tossing his coffee in the nearby trash can.

“At this rate you won’t be going home to lover boy anytime soon” Eli chuckled at the frazzled cross look Trebor gave him. “Hey it’s not my fault you’ve got bite marks on the back of your neck.”

“Shit” he mumbled a hand going to the back of his neck “I’d forgotten about that.”

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“Don’t worry about it” Eli shrugged “I doubt I would have notice if it weren’t for your cousin pointing it out to me.”

“You can tell Lana I’ll get even with her one day” Trebor warned.

“From the looks of it you got lucky last night” Eli grinned winking at him.

“That’s beside the point” Trebor grumbled as they worked to get the exam room ready for casualties. “She had no right to give my contact information out to anyone. For all she knew he could have been a stalker or something.”

“I still say Nurse Betty did you a favor” Eli ducked to avoid the roll of gauze Trebor tossed at his head.

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“What if someone did that to you” he demanded.

“Depends if it had a happy ending or not” he gave Trebor a serious appraisal from head to toe. “From where I stand you had several happy endings last night and possibly this morning too.”

“Stop” Trebor shook his head “I know you won’t side with me against Lana; especially now that you’re sleeping together.”

“Damn right” he grinned “why would I want to jeopardize my relationship for you?”
As the first victims were carried in Trebor said “remind me later to thank her.”

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“You do that and she’ll invite you and him over for supper for a game night or something” he teased flashing him a grin. “Are you ready for the mundaneness of being in a relationship?”

“No one said anything about a relationship” he objected “it was only one date.”

“Yet you’ve already sampled the goods” Eli gave him a stern look like he was mystified by his friends behavior.

“That’s why they’re called one night stands” Trebor pointed out.

“They’re not one night stands if you keep having them with the same guy. That’s called a relationship” Eli stated before they were both inundated with injured people who needed all of their attention.

Chapter 1 – Hockey with Heart / Chapter 3 – Uncomfortable Situation

Knights of Hope – Chapter 1 – Hockey With Heart

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Yanking the curtain aside, head down concentrating on the medical chart in his hands Trebor didn’t see who his next patient was. Head jerking up as a familiar voice greeted him.

“Hello handsome. We have to quit meeting like this” Braylin grinned winking at him.

Gasping Trebor felt his stomach flutter like a thousand butterflies took flight all at once. His feet felt frozen to the floor as his eyes told him his ears weren’t lying to him. Then to make matters worse, his face erupted in a myriad shades of red as heat flushed through him. Desperately he glanced around the room seeking escape as Braylin chuckled in appreciation of his predicament.

“Doctor” the voice of the nurse broke through his trance.

“Err yes” he mumbled mentally shaking himself.

“Should we send him to radiology for x-rays” she asked. Her eyes glancing from one man to the other her curiosity evident.

Glancing at the chart then over at his smiling patient he said “yes we’ll need x-rays of the shoulder just to be safe.” Carefully he ran his fingers over the injured shoulder. “I’m pretty sure it’s only dislocated though.”

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“That’s a relief” Braylin said “I’ll be able to play in the game Friday.”

“I wouldn’t recommend it” Trebor shook his head at him. “Your shoulder needs time to rest.” He gave the man in front of him a thoughtful look wondering how anyone would even want to play a dangerous sport like hockey much less do so injured.

“No can do” he protested “can’t afford to be benched. I get paid to play.”

Frowning Trebor caught the man’s face by the chin holding it still. “It looks more like you’ve been in a brawl in a bar instead of a hockey game.” He dabbed at the cuts on the man’s face.

“One of the many hazards of playing the game” he shrugged ready to go.

“Not so fast” Trebor protested “your face took a beating. Some of these cuts need stitches.” Flashing a penlight into the hockey player’s eyes “you might even have a concussion.”

“Are you trying to get me benched” he demanded jerking his face away. “My shoulder hurts that’s it.”

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“I wouldn’t be a very good doctor if I let you walk out of here without a thorough examination” Trebor said firmly. Reaching for Braylin’s t-shirt he lifted it up and over the man’s head. His eyes taking in the man’s toned chest and abs. He sucked in a breath holding it as he remembered the first time he had seen that body.

“Couldn’t wait to get my clothes off again could you Doc” Braylin quipped. “I’d prefer it if we had a little more privacy like say, my apartment.”

Blowing an annoyed breath out his nose Trebor knew his body wanted to take him up on the invite. “That’s not going to happen” he snapped stepping back.

“It happened once” Braylin grinned standing to follow the nurse to get his x-rays. “It’ll happen again.”

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“Not likely” Trebor huffed regretting the impulse he had to let the other doctor go on break to see his wife, instead of taking this new patient. But no he had to be the nice guy. “It was just a one night stand. It won’t be repeated.” He ignored the almost painful twist his stomach gave him as his body revolted against him. He could still feel the way the man’s hands made him come alive. The electricity that coursed through him from a single kiss.

Grabbing the chart he held it in front of him to hopefully hide his bodies betrayal.
Passing by him Braylin winked leaning in close “I won’t tell if you don’t.”

Jerking his chin up his stomach dropping into a bottomless pit at the knowing smirk Braylin was giving him. “In your dreams” he mumbled half to himself knowing the guy had been in several of his dreams over the past several weeks since the charity event. Despite his words otherwise, his body definitely wasn’t in agreement and lusted for a repeat encounter.

***

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Trebor dozed on the couch letting the week drain from his tired overworked body. If anyone had told him becoming a doctor would be like this he might have changed his mind. At twenty-five he shouldn’t feel so damn old.

A smile tugged at his lips. The highlight of his week had been seeing Braylin again. He hadn’t thought he’d see him again after the night they spent together. He was still in minor shock that he’d gone home with the pink haired man not to mention everything else they did.

His hands slipped unbidden to his pants where he ached for release. With a groan he sat up. Shaking his head muttering to himself. “What the hell is wrong with me” he demanded of himself rubbing his hands over his face. “I haven’t done that since I was a horny teenager.”

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Glancing at the time he remembered something the hockey player said to him. If he hurried he might make it in time. Stifling a yawn he stripped his clothes leaving a trail from the living room to the bathroom. An uncommon occurrence for his fastidious nature. He knew that if he stopped to think the mess would get the better of him and he’d never make it in time.

The hot water refreshed his tired brain working it’s magic on his stiff and sore muscles. With reluctance he stepped from the shower. The ticking clock inside his head kept counting down telling him to hurry up. He hated being late.

Closing his eyes to the mess he was making he hurried to his room to throw some clothes on. His meticulous mind screaming at him to retrace his steps. Wipe down the shower before water spots had a chance to dry. To pick up the discarded clothing. With an effort he forced himself to ignore it all and walk out the door.

***

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All the way to the stadium he had the nagging feeling he’d left something on. Mentally he retraced his footsteps reviewing everything he’d done before leaving. So distracted he didn’t hear the girl at the ticket counter. Blushing under her silent glare he mumbled “one please.” Not knowing what to expect he found himself sitting next to the boards close to the ice. Anxiously he watched for a glimpse of Braylin on the ice. His heart beating fast as he read a jersey with McGavin on the back. Squashing the desire to wave wildly at him, he sat eyes fixed on that one hockey player like he was a one man show.

During the game Trebor followed Braylin across the ice. Holding his breath whenever he fell hoping he wouldn’t reinjure his shoulder. So focused on Braylin he didn’t notice the nearby grumbles of those sitting around him. So engrossed in the game he hadn’t realized the home team, Braylin’s team, was losing. He didn’t have a clue how or why the crowd was so disgruntled and chalked it up to his complete lack of knowledge or interest in the game until now. He sat musing over all the questions he had while the zamboni machine went back and forth over the ice. That too he had no idea why that was required. His lack of knowledge was staggering.

The second half of the game he attempted to pay more attention to the game but his eyes kept seeking out his hockey player. It was like he held some kind of spell over him. The crowd erupted in loud angry boos when the opposing team forced a home team player into the boards. Blood smeared the barrier in front of Trebor’s face. Awestruck he realized the squashed bleeding player was Braylin.

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The man’s blue eyes met his. Despite the blood trickling down his nose and mouth he smiled at him. There was an expression in the man’s eyes that made Trebor feel special, singled out. Everything stilled around him. The noise of the crowd went silent. He moved as if on air to press his hands to the barrier, staring into Braylin’s battered face. Nothing mattered but maintaining that eye contact. The spell broke with the blaring of a whistle that had paramedics rushing across the ice to inspect the injuries.

The rest of the game was a haze. Losing interest in a game he didn’t understand and his eyes no longer had anything to focus on since his hockey player had been replaced on the ice. He decided to leave before he gave into the urge to go busting into the locker room to make sure Braylin was alright.

As the final buzzer sounded Trebor was exiting the stadium. He didn’t need to know the score to know the home team lost. He didn’t want to get caught up in an angry mob ready to fight. The ER was going to be hopping tonight and if he hadn’t just come off a double shift he might have been tempted to go in to help.

***

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The following day as Trebor was leaving the hospital he almost walked into someone coming in with a surplus of flowers. Stepping back Trebor gave him the right of way. “If you’re here to visit a patient you’ll need to go around to the admin desk. This is the ER.”.

“I’m definitely here to see someone but it’s not a patient.” The flowers shifted the top of a messy head of pink hair and a pair of blue eyes peered over the top.

“If you tell me who you’re here to see I might be able to tell them you’re here” Trebor offered not recognizing the man behind the flowers.

“No need. I’ve already found him.” The flowers lowered revealing Braylin’s face. “These are for you” he announced shoving them towards Trebor.

“What” he asked standing weakly frozen in place.

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“Aren’t you going to take them” Bray asked “I picked each of them just for you.”

“Did not” he retorted attempting to push the flowers back towards the pink haired male.

“I most certainly did” he insisted “it took me all day to pick this many. You have no idea the trouble I went through to get them or the amount of thorns I endured.”

“I’m busy” Trebor said stepping away feeling on display for every curious onlooker.

“You’re not” Bray grinned “I checked.”

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“Are you stalking me or something” Trebor demanded pretending to be mad but failing as a smile tugged at his lips. No one had ever taken so much trouble to get his attention before. Well maybe once a long time ago…

“Nurse Betty or Bethany or something like that. Whatever. She sounded real cute on the phone.” Bray explained grinning at the scowl Trebor was directing at him. “She said you were done at 3:00.” Making a show of looking at the clock he said “it’s now almost 3:30.” Holding the flowers out again “these are for you.”

Taking them this time Trebor let the scent wash over him filling his nasal passages. “Thank you” he said almost breathlessly.

Shrugging Bray said “each one was picked just for you. I named them after each memorable thing we did our first night together.”

“Liar” Trebor hissed turning towards the exit hoping to leave before Bray could elaborate further.

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“I did” he said a mischievous gleam in his eyes. “This one” he pointed towards a pink rose “is named pinky after the way you blushed standing in front of me in the nude.”

Yelping Trebor’s eyes darted around the full ER hoping in vain that no one had heard him. “Not here” he hissed.”

“Why” he challenged “afraid of what you’re co-workers might think?”

“Of course not. It’s just…” he hid his overheated face in the flowers.

“It’s just what” Braylin demanded pressing for answers.

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“It’s not appropriate” he said looking up eyes snapping. “There’s a place for that kind of talk and behavior.”

“Oh” Bray winked “like the bedroom while we’re having wild passionate sex.” His voice was loud causing two passing EMT’s to glance in their direction and snicker.

“You’re impossible” Trebor grumbled walking in the direction of his car.

“Hey don’t go away mad” Braylin called jogging up to him. “I haven’t had a chance to ask you what I came for.”

Fumbling for his key fob Trebro handed him the flowers to hold. “I’ve got things to do” he said knowing that the things he referred to was reading the latest medical journal and watching a little TV before falling asleep.

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“Like what? Watching TV” he asked. “I’ve got a better proposition for you than that.”

“No” he snapped opening the car door.

“You haven’t even heard what it is yet.” Bray protested setting the flowers on top of the car.

“I’m not going home with you” Trebor said with as much force and conviction he could muster.

“As nice as that would be” he grinned eyes skimming across Trebor’s body .“That’s not what I had in mind. Maybe later depending upon how the night goes. I’m not ruling it out.”

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Curiosity winning over his better judgement Trebor asked “what were you going to suggest?”

“Go out with me” Bray enthused “dinner, a movie. I’ll be a perfect gentleman.”

“Well” Trebor let his eyes wander as he drummed his fingers on top of the car. His eyes settled on the hockey players package that he knew was impressive if he remembered right. “Maybe not too much of a gentleman” he mumbled to himself.

Laughing Braylin leaned on the car “so that’s a yes then?”

Nodding Trebor tensed when Bray pressed his lips to his before he melted into him. Whimpering a little when he pulled away. “I’ll pick you up at 6:00” Bray said turning and walking away.

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“Wait” Trebor called from the car. “You don’t have my number or address.”

“That’s okay Nurse Betty or Bethany already gave me your address” he said. “She also gave me your number too. Is there something I should know about you and her?”

“Ugh no she’s like forty” Trebor protested gagging pretending he knew who this Nurse Betty really was.

“Just checking” Bray waved “I’ll see you at six.”

Chapter 2 – Date Night

Metamorphosis – Chapter 15 – Sous Chef

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The next morning Faye woke early. She moved carefully so not to wake Tom. She wanted to show her appreciation both to Eddie and Tom for showing her what a family should be like and that she didn’t have to be afraid of it or push it aside as something she didn’t need.

Silently she moved around the room gathering clothes to wear. “What are you doing up so early” Tom asked rubbing sleep from his eyes.

“I’m just going to start breakfast” she said with a smile “Eddie’s been getting up early every morning and I thought for a change I’d do it.”

Excitement filled his eyes “are we going to tell them we’re going to have a baby?”

She smiled at his obvious excitement. It reminded her of a puppy wagging its tail because he’s just so happy to see you. “Don’t you think we should wait” she asked even though she knew Eddie already knew and possibly Rory by now.

“But I don’t want to wait” he pouted “why can’t we tell them now?”

She tilted her head to the side pretending to consider his question. She shook her head “I think we should wait.”

 

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Tom tossed backed the blanket and walked towards Faye. Taking her hands he kissed their palms. “Are you still worried about what your dad might do” his voice and and eyes were full of concern.

Leaning into him she breathed deeply. “No Tom I’m not worried about that. I know that whatever happens we can face it together.” Smiling up at him she said “I’ve changed my mind. I want to tell them now. At breakfast.

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“You were teasing me!” Tom cried in exasperation. “Of course you were.”

She let out a small giggle. “What does that mean?”

“Nothing.” He grinned. “Can I help with breakfast?”

“No,” She replied, shaking her head. “Distract your brother and Rory. I don’t want them to know so easily. Well, Eddie already knows but Rory….” She frowned. “Do you think he’ll be accepting?”

“Why wouldn’t he be?” Tom asked. “Rory is a great guy.”

“I practically ran away from his daughter and all she wanted to do was play with me,” Faye pointed out. “That’s not what a good mother would do.”

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“Rory knows that’s not you,” Tom said.

“Does he?” Faye frowned. “I think he’s going to be hard to please.”

“He was only acting that way because he thought you were being rude to his husband. Now, it’s nothing like that at all. He knows how Eddie feels about you and that’s enough. Rory will forever be on your side now.”

“You guys are too nice,” Faye murmured under her breath.

“What? Do you want us all to hate you or something? I told you a million times, that’s not what you deserve. No matter what anyone tells you, this family loves you. I love you!” He held her hands tightly. “So please stop worrying. Rory will be happy.”

“He’ll be happy,” She said with a determined nod. “Okay, I can do this then.”

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She finished getting dressed and hurried to the kitchen. To her surprise she found Hannah in her pajamas dragging a chair across the floor. “What do you think you’re doing” she asked the little girl.

Hannah let out a little squeak before pointing towards the cabinet. “Crackers” she said moving the chair forward.

“Are you hungry” Faye asked wondering how the toddler had gotten out of her crib. Moving towards the cabinet she turned to Hannah “I’ll give you a cracker but first you need to put the chair away.”

“Cracker” Hannah insisted crawling into the chair.

“No” Faye shook her head determined to get the girl to mind her.

“Cracker” she whined her voice rising.

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Worried that the girls whining would wake her parents Faye gave in and gave her a cracker.

“Tank you” Hannah grinned up at her mouth full of crackers.

“I can see now who will be the strict disciplinarian in the family” Tom laughed as he came into the kitchen swooping Hannah up into his arms.

“I was afraid she’d wake Eddie” she explained turning to the refrigerator to get her ingredients for the the grand breakfast she wanted make for them all.

“Down” Hannah insisted kicking her legs out “me help.”

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“No, absolutely not. You can’t help,” Faye began, watching the water form in the little girl’s eyes. “Oh! Gosh, okay. Don’t cry. You can help.”

Tom let out another laugh. “This is never going to get old.”

“Oh, hush!” Faye patted her dress down. “Hannah, darling. Uncle Tom is a big meanie, isn’t he?”

The little girl stuck her tongue out and pointed at Tom. “Big meanie!”

“Faye, don’t do that!” Tom cried, shaking his head. Uncle Tom is the best Uncle.”

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Hannah toddled over to him and hugged his legs. “Yes, but big meanie too.”

“Go, shoo!” Faye shooed him out of the kitchen so she and Hannah could work. “Okay, honey. Let’s see where do we start? Oh, eggs. You can’t crack an egg right?  Oh, but!” Faye’s eyes lit up. She gathered the eggs, cracked them into the bowl and slid it over to the little girl. “Mix,” She instructed.

Hannah did as she was told, struggling with the big wooden spoon. “Like this?”

“So awesome!” Faye coaxed, noting to remix the batter when Hannah wasn’t looking. “Did you learn to cook from your dad?”

Hannah nodded enthusiastically, causing a shiver to run down Faye’s spine. Would this be her and her child? Tom sitting at the kitchen table awaiting a meal cooked from mother and daughter? She couldn’t wait to raise a child, but it also terrified her. Yet, being with Hannah confirmed something for her. She wanted to be a mom, more than anything.

Chapter 14 – Baby Talk /