“Morning sunshine,”Rory greeted Eddie from the other side of the bed. Leaning over he kissed his husband “are you ready for one more adventure before we go home?”
“Where to this time?” Eddie asked shoving aside his regret that this was the last day of his honeymoon. Tomorrow it was back to the same old grind.
“I thought we’d do some zip lining in the mountains to a remote waterfall where we could do some skinny dipping. He brought his hands up to caress Eddie’s chest and toned abs moving lower.
“Keep that thought,” Eddie said scooting from the bed “if we’re doing any or all of that than I need all the energy I can get.”
“Eddie don’t be cruel, come back and help me out,” Rory pleaded his eyes twinkling with mischief.
“Take a cold shower,” Eddie laughed over his shoulder “trust me I’m in as much pain as you.” He left their room grinning to check on Hannah.
“Morning princess,” he was greeted with a good-natured giggle.
“See Ity today?” she asked him.
“You mean Charity?” Eddie asked forgetting Hannah’s name for Graham’s daughter.
“Ity,” she giggled happily.
“Yes” Eddie laughed with her giving her a quick peck on the cheek “do you like her?”
“Yes,” she beamed “my friend.”
He envied his daughter her ability to make friends so quickly. Even when he was her age he found it difficult to make friends. He hoped she’d always have that ability as she got older. “Let’s get you dressed so you can see your friend,” he told her.
Exiting the elevator he walked past Zane at the front desk. He tried to ignore the sour expression that the man seemed to reserve just for him. He doubted things would ever change between them. Zane refused to see him any other way than the flirt crazed idiot he last saw in France several years before.
Shaking his head Eddie entered the daycare. Letting Hannah’s hand go to the excited squeals of another toddler, Graham’s daughter. “Nana,” the girl called happily giving Hannah a hug.
“Looks like our girls are going to be good friends,” Graham spoke behind Eddie startling him.
“Seems like. Too bad it’ll come to an end when we go home tomorrow,” Eddie murmured moving towards the door.
“Who says it has to end?” Graham asked earning himself a severe glare from Zane who had followed Eddie into the room.
“Eddie’s right,” Zane told him putting his arms around Graham “it’s not like we’re all friends and hang out regularly.”
“We could be,” Graham muttered looking from one man to the other than back to Zane “there’s nothing for you to be jealous of. I love you. I married you. You bought me this resort. We have this beautiful little girl.”
“And Eddie has me,” Rory said coming up behind Eddie nuzzling his neck “there’s no way I’m letting him get away.”
“As if it were that easy,” Eddie smiled up him “there’s only one person for me.” He ran his fingers through Rory’s hair “there’s no one I’d rather be with than you.”
Kissing Eddie’s full lips despite his reticence for PDA Rory looked up giving Zane a smirk “you have nothing to worry about. Eddie’s with me and I trust him completely. He’d never go after someone; especially if they’re married.”
“I’d like us to be friends” Graham repeated.
“I’d like that but” Eddie looked up at Rory “what do you think?”
“For you and our little princess I can put up with just about anything even this jer…” he grunted as Eddie’s elbow jabbed him hard in the side. “Ok ok I’ll try but it won’t be easy if that clown keeps giving you a hard time.”
“He has his reasons,” Eddie murmured grateful that Rory was so willing to come to his defense.
“No he doesn’t” Rory grumbled unwilling to let it go “he’s judging you on things you did in the past. He doesn’t even know you or the things you’ve been through.”
Taking his husband’s hand and leading him a little ways away so they could talk in some sort of privacy. “Isn’t this a little like the pot calling the kettle black? You did the same thing to Gayle.” He put his hand up to cover Rory’s mouth to forestall any comments Rory might make “once you let go of the past you were able to let your sister inside and now you argue like siblings.”
“You’re right but that guy gets on my nerves,” Rory mumbled still not happy. He looked up and frowned “he’s still looking at you wrong. I don’t like it.”
“I can take it and so can you,” Eddie chided him “for Hannah’s sake won’t you at least try?”
Rory’s frown melted as his face broke into a smile “when you look at me all doe eyed I can’t think straight.” He sighed “yes I’ll try for Hannah’s sake. I don’t want to be the one to break up a budding lifelong friendship.”
Taking Rory’s hand Eddie led him back towards Graham and Zane. Zane’s face was less combative if not friendly. Graham nudged him “we’ve agreed to let bygones be bygones.” Zane paused for effect than added “but if you ever flirt with Graham you’ll have to …”
“Deal with me,” Rory finished for him nostrils flaring “Eddie would never flirt with anyone but me. You don’t have anything to worry about.”
“His track records says otherwise,” Zane grumbled.
“What happened to putting the past behind us?” Rory mocked bristling.
While their husbands bickered back and forth Eddie looked to Graham shrugging “if we come back next year will you be able to put up with those two idiots fighting all the time?”
“Can you?” Graham asked watching Zane warily “he’s been under a lot of stress lately.”
“Rory feels the need to defend my honor,” Eddie explained “I don’t have the heart to tell he doesn’t have too.”
“Do you ever wonder about what might have been?” Graham asked him watching Eddie closely.
“I used to,” Eddie told him honestly “but we had our chance Graham. We had something undefined but we both didn’t want it bad enough to fight for it. With Rory that’s different. I almost lost him once I won’t let that happen again. I won’t look back if it means I’ll lose what I have.”
“I feel the same,” Graham said even if he felt like mourning for what might have been. “I don’t want to lose Zane anymore than you want to lose Rory.” He glanced over at Zane “who knows our husbands might become really good friends one day.”
“Stranger things have been known to happen,” Eddie laughed shaking his head.
“Daddy,” Hannah tugged on his pants leg.
“What is it sweetheart?” he asked kneeling down beside her.
“Daddy mad,” she pointed towards Rory “makes Ity scared.”
Looking towards the other little girl Eddie smiled gently at her “I’m sorry sweetie,” Eddie said as large tears filled her eyes.
“Daddy tell story,” Hannah demanded.
“What story do you want to hear?” he asked her glancing up at Rory and Zane wondering if they were planning on arguing all day.
“Mermaid” she looked at him with her pretty green eyes.
The eyes that looked so much like her dad’s that Eddie knew he couldn’t tell her no anymore than he could tell his husband no. He sat on the floor crossed legged. Hannah and Charity crawled into his lap “are you sure you want the story about the mermaid?” he asked his daughter “I thought it was our special story.”
“I’m sure” she nodded her head vigorously until he thought it might fall off “Ity wants story too.”
Smiling Eddie gave into her request “once upon a time a beautiful mermaid with long golden hair lived alone under the sea…”
“Why?” Charity asked looking at him intently.
“She was sad,” Hannah told her “tell her daddy how sad Arti was.”
“She fell in love with a handsome merman who didn’t love her…”
Charity blinked “bad man.”
“Bad man,” Hannah repeated “he made her go live all by herself. Isn’t that right daddy?” Hannah turned to look at him for confirmation.
“That’s right sweetie the bad merman didn’t want to see or hear her again,” Eddie continued. It wasn’t how the story went but he was letting Hannah direct where the story went. It reminded Eddie of his dad’s Choose Your Own Adventure books he found once. Turn left go to this page turn right go to this page. Each choice something different happened.
“Why?” Charity asked again.
Graham laughed “that’s her favorite question.” He sat on the floor joining them “I’ve never heard of this story before. Zane has gotten a lot of Little Mermaid paraphernalia since Charity has become obsessed with them.
Eddie shook his head as his cheeks started to burn “I made the mermaid story up based upon some research I did on mermaid folklore. I began to tell them to Hannah as bed time stories.”
“You should write a children’s book,” Graham told him “maybe even a whole series. They’ll fly off the bookshelves in stores everywhere.”
“Do you really think so?” Eddie asked somewhat surprised.
“Of course I do,” Graham said “little girls love mermaids.”
“I…” Eddie started to say he had a book offer when he was interrupted by Rory saying “see what I’d tell ya?”
“Now you decide to stop arguing,” Eddie mumbled looking up at his husband.
“What did you tell him” Zane asked. The first civil question in the past four weeks since they arrived at the resort.
“That he should write a book,” Rory informed him “he has an agent interested in signing him for a book series.”
“He seems to have a couple of fans already,” Zane waved a hand towards the two little girls in Eddie’s lap, “if it means anything, I say go for it.”
Eddie hugged the girls in his lap before setting them on the floor since story time was over. Zane stuck a hand out to help him up. Eddie hesitated before taking it asking “did my husband beat some sense into you or something?”
“Something like that” Zane mumbled “I’m sorry for the way I’ve been acting. If you still want to be friends I’m willing to try.”
Smiling Eddie glanced at Rory who winked and nodded at him. Graham was smiling at Zane happy with his changed attitude. “Apology accepted,” Eddie smiled in return.
“Eddie we have to go or we’ll miss our reservation,” Rory said trying to usher him out of the room.
“That’s my cue to leave,” Eddie told Graham. Bending down he said “give daddy a hug goodbye.”
“Bye daddy,” Hannah said giving him a hug.
“Be a good girl,” he told her while she walked off to join Charity.
“Come on Eddie,” Rory said impatiently “this isn’t the first time we’ve left Hannah.”
“I know,” Eddie mumbled following him to the taxi line “I’m just emotional today.”
Rolling his eyes Rory asked “when aren’t you emotional?”
Standing beside the taxi Eddie crossed his arms “I’m not going.”
“I’m sorry,” Rory apologized.
“You’re just saying that to get me to go,” Eddie muttered.
“Yes and no,” Rory conceded “babe it’s our last day here. I just want to enjoy it with you.”
Relenting Eddie let Rory pull him into the taxi. When they were seated Eddie turned to his husband “for that comment your going to have to do a lot of groveling to get me to forgive you.”
“You will even without the groveling,” Rory said confidently leaning into Eddie to steal a kiss. He found himself face planting Eddie’s palm. “What the…”
“That’s not groveling,” Eddie turned to stare out the window. Several minutes passed before he asked “where are we going?”
“You’ll see when we get there,” Rory assured him amusement in his voice.
They drove for another fifteen minutes. Eddie soaked in the sights sighing deeply “I wish we could stay here.”
“Why?” Rory asked “to be closer to your boyfriend?”
Eddie stared at him for several long silent moments before cracking a smile “it certainly would make things more convenient.”
Laughing Rory asked “what gave me away?”
“Your eyes,” Eddie told him taking Rory’s hand “they were twinkling like they always do when your up to something. I knew than you weren’t being serious.”
The taxi came to a stop at the top of a breath taking view. Eddie breathed in deeply feeling at one with the surroundings. “It’s beautiful” he said as Rory came up behind him.
“I know something more beautiful,” he whispered in Eddie’s ear.
“I’m holding him,” he left a trail of soft kisses along the back of Eddie’s neck.
Almost purring Eddie closed his eyes wishing they were somewhere private where they could finish what he and Rory started earlier that morning in their room. “If you don’t stop your going to have to take me back to the resort,” he gasped as Rory nibbled on his ear.
“Why would I do that when there are perfectly good trees over there for cover?” Rory murmured undaunted by the stares of others as they walked past.
“Rory please not here,” Eddie’s voice pleaded even as his body flushed with desire. If he listened to his bodies wishes he’d let Rory do whatever, wherever, whenever he wanted.
Alert to Eddie’s sensitivities Rory came to his senses and released Eddie blushing when he became aware of his where abouts. “Sorry,” he mumbled his cheeks burning as he watched Eddie adjust his clothes. “Sorry,” he repeated shoving his hands in his pockets.
“At least I know my husband still finds me desirable” Eddie smiled impishly up at him before quickly walking away.
“Not that way,” Rory said grabbing his hand “we’re scheduled for the zip line.”
Panic coursed through Eddie’s body as his heartbeat fast “I thought you were joking when you mentioned that this morning.” he tried to back track towards the waiting taxis “I think I want to go back to the resort.”
“This will be fun” Rory assured him as they approached the zip line operators. “He’s going first,” Rory told them “that way he can’t chicken out.”
Once Eddie was in his harness waiting for his turn he turned back to Rory “I don’t want to do this,” panic in his voice and eyes.
“Trust me you’ll enjoy it,” Rory told him “remember how much fun you had surfing?”
“Yeah” he said hesitantly “that was only after I stopped imagining being eaten by sharks.”
“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” Rory laughed at him.
“That’s what everyone says until the rope breaks and you plummet to your death,” Eddie walked to the edge then backed away “I can’t do this. Let’s go back to the parking lot. We can have all the hot passionate public sex you ever wanted. Just don’t make me do this.”
Rory ignored the snickers from the operators as he responded to Eddie “as tempting as that is I’m going to have to say no.” Rory had no idea how scared Eddie was until this moment. Offering to have public sex was a strong indicator of how stressed Eddie was over the situation.
Eddie gave one last desperate look back at Rory before jumping off the platform screaming “if I die I’m going to kill you.”
Later that evening Rory watched Eddie limp around the room packing things for their return trip home. “You could help,” he grumbled growing tired of Rory watching him hobble around the room.
“I tried but you shooed me away,” Rory told him unruffled.
“You weren’t doing it right,” Eddie complained.
“What does it matter how it’s put in the suitcase as long is it fits?” Rory asked.
“I have to fit all these souvenirs in them,” Eddie told him “we bought way too much stuff.”
“You not me,” Rory was quick to point out “you’re worse than a bunch of teen girls on a shopping spree.”
“I am not,” Eddie said indignantly.
Getting up Rory took Eddie’s hands “we have some unfinished business to take care of…”
“But I…” he looked at the open suitcase “I’m not done packing yet.”
“Finish in the morning,” Rory said kissing his soft full lips “I’ve wanted to do this all day. I can’t wait any longer.” He unbuttoned and removed Eddie’s shirt.
“I really shshould…” Eddie’s voice grew hoarse turning into a moan as Rory ran a hand across his chest. Rory’s lips marked a trail down his neck, to his chest sending all thoughts running for the hills as Eddie gave himself over to the magic of Rory’s touch.
Rory undressed him down to his boxer’s saying “I should have done this earlier when you offered instead of making you go through with zip lining. Than you wouldn’t have gotten hurt.” He swept Eddie from his feet and carried him to the bed.
“This is better” Eddie said watching Rory undress in front of him “more private.”
“But less exciting,” Rory said crawling over Eddie on the bed.
“I like less exciting” Eddie murmured as their mouths met in a hot passionate kiss. Rory’s weight came down on top of him weaving his magical spell on him “I love you so much,” he murmured. Rory’s only response was to take him to all new levels of intimacy that left his head spinning and his lungs gasping for air.