TMP 1 – Chapter Two.

Chapter Two. The Story of Balthazar

 

My head was pounding as I came to myself again, enormous pressure was all over my forehead. Voices were speaking from a distance. I lifted my head from the bed, from a crack in the door I could see Kevin standing in the waiting room area, in front of Ryan who was looking down in the ground, Nicolas who was standing next to Ryan and my father who was standing on the right of Kevin.

“……You have simply no idea!” I heard my father saying frustrated to Kevin; I could recognize his English accent. Nicolas was looking suspiciously at Hugh, who looked back at Nicolas with a furious look.

“Hugh, we cannot discuss this here!” Nicolas pointed out to him, simply. My father was clearly worried and furious.

“It is your niece in there, both of you need to come up with something better than that!” Hugh scolded them, pacing into the room I was lying in. I quickly laid my head back down and closed my eyes, before he noticed that I was awake.

His soft hand gracefully stroke my cheek as Nicolas and Kevin came into the room, standing over the bed too. Hugh squinted at them; his hand was now touching my hand, my heart was pounding in fear of them noticing that I was awake, my palm was sweaty.

“You need to fix this!” Hugh scolded furiously at them. His hand squeezed mine, and then I heard him stepping out of the room. Fix it! What the hell were they going to fix, what had they done to me? What were they hiding?

Tangled thoughts were rushing through my mind; the pounding was not decreasing. I slowly started opening my eyes, Nicolas and Kevin were whispering something to each other, Kevin noticed my eyes opening, he immediately began examining me.

I somehow convinced him that I was fine, even though my head was about to explode. I needed some air. A rush went through my body, and then I found myself at the water edge by the Swan Lake. My legs caved underneath me, and I fell to my knees, supporting myself with my hands on the damp and soft grass. I took a few heavy breaths. Finally, the pounding stopped, the pressured was relieved. I stumbled on my feet again, looking over the lake. A breeze went through my hair as a thought crossed my mind. Should I confront Kevin, Nic, and Dad with what I had heard? Was I extremely paranoid? I couldn’t place exactly what I felt.

Then I made a decision, I needed to speak to somebody, but not just anybody. Hayden. I could always count on him, and since he was leaving in a few days, I had to spend some time with him. Hayden, I need to see you!

I closed my eyes, breathing in the fresh air. The light wind was carefully touching my skin. I opened my eyes again and gazed over the lake. I loved being down here; it was always so quiet and calming. I admired the nature around the lake; the rippling waterfall was relaxing. The wind was gently shaking the multicolored hydrangeas at the right side of the waterfall; they were moving in a life-moving painting,

“At your service, my sweet princess.” I heard Hayden from a distant; I looked over my shoulder. He was pacing toward me. I hated when he used that word. Princess. It was so awfully old fashion. Yes, my father was the king, but our house wasn’t swarming with servants. We were raised to be independent, not to be waited on. My father found pride in being equal with everybody else. He was a humble king, not just sitting on a throne all day as all the old stories go. He was the commanding leader of Serendia Protection Force. The entire family just wanted to blend in; I guess our family was different like that.

Hayden was now on my side, smiling at me. I glanced at him and couldn’t help but smile at his charm. He reached his hand to me, I accepted it and held it tightly. A rush went through us, and we appeared at Brokeback Mountain. Our eyes met, and we smiled at each other. He was still holding my hand as he was strolling toward the Brokeback Lake, it wasn’t as big as our lake, but it was wonderful. Dean had built a bench by the great old oak tree, overlooking the lake. Hayden sat down on the bench, I admired it, and the sign Dean had put up. Maria’s Point. That’s what he decided to name it. It was my favorite spot; I sat down.

“What the hell happened to you in the bar earlier?” Hayden wondered I could tell that he was concerned about me, well I was concerned about me too, I pulled my shoulders.

“I have no idea! That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about….” I admitted, he threw a worried look at me, listening. “I have no control over myself lately, Hayd. I have no idea what is going on and this morning, um… I kissed Ryan, or he kissed me…”

“You what!” He exclaimed shocked as his eyes widened. “What the hell were you guys thinking….” He blurted, which surprised me.

“I’m losing control of everything, Hayd!” I answered with a brittle voice. “I have no control of my feelings or my abilities! I don’t know what the hell to do!” I insisted. My heart was raising, and I started breathing heavily. He instantly regretted his outburst. He put his arms around me and pulled me to him, embracing me. It was comforting, but I was still very concerned.

“I heard Nic and Dad talking about me, something about me being more powerful then I knew I was, why wouldn’t they tell me about that… I can’t help but feel that they are hiding something.” I muttered, trying not to break down. “I have all these thoughts running wild in my mind, what is going on and how do I tell Daniel that I kissed Ryan….” I was freaking out, losing my grip again. He held me tighter, holding a hand on my hair.

“Everything is going to be okay, Sugar. Calm down. Calm down.” He whispered, trying to calm me down. I put one hand on his chest, taking a few deep breaths, trying to lower my breathing. My chest was heavy as I was breathing. His lips softly touched my forehead. Tears of sadness and frustration were filling up my eyes. A single tear rushed down my cheek and landed on Hayden’s leg. I was staring blankly into the air.

“I don’t know what to do,” I whispered, so low that I wasn’t even sure if he heard it.

The tingling sensation appeared, spreading like wildfire inside me. I just wanted it to go away, I grabbed Hayden’s shirt, squeezing my eyes tighter, willing the feeling to go away, but with no luck, it was remaining, grabbing on to me. I was on fire, every inch of me was instantly burning. I wanted to crawl out of my body, just ripping off my skin to relieve the burning.

“Su-sugar.” He stuttered. “How are you doing this?” He said with disbelief in his voice. I opened my eyes. I inhaled loudly. I was shocked by the sight that met me. Drops of water were falling in the lake, but it wasn’t raining. An enormous cloud of water from the lake was floating a few feet over the massive hole, where the water was supposed to be. The water from the waterfall was floating up toward the water cloud that was hanging in mid-air. A chill went through my body. Was I doing this!? How was it even possible? How could I lift so much water without even knowing it? We were both frozen by the occurrence that was happening in front of us. It seemed as the water was paused, my right hand was burning even more now.

Suddenly the water fell, in one loud roar it flushed down in the hole, creating vibrations in the ground. The burning stopped in my hand but left me with a pinching instead. I had no idea how I had gotten the water up in the air, nor how I had gotten it back down again. Maybe it was about time to see Kevin and tell him about everything. I sighed, hoping that he would have some explanation for this. I turned my head toward Hayden, who was still staring in disbelief. He slowly turned his head to me, looking at me with a shocked expression on his face.

He carefully took my hand, and with a rush, we were standing in the Medic Room. I was glancing into Kevin’s office through the glass window in the door; he was sitting at his desk working. Still holding Hayden’s hand, I gazed at him with a wondering look. He nodded to me as a reply, then I opened the door and glanced at Kevin, who was now lifting his head from his work. He smiled when he saw me in the doorway, but when he saw my worry, the smile vanished leaving a questioning look on his face.

“Something is wrong with me!” I exclaimed with a brittle voice, squeezing Hayden’s hand. He quickly stood up from his chair and paced to me, gazing into my eyes.

“I think it’s time we talked, go down to the dining room, I will meet you in a few minutes.” He insisted and nodded to me. He pushed his black-framed Rayban glasses into place, observing me for a while. I had a feeling that this required all my guys with me, so Hayden and I gathered Ryan and Dean in the dining room waiting for Kevin to come. I was sitting between Hayden and Ryan. I stared at the chair across from me; my palms were becoming sweatier. Kevin and Nicolas entered the room, paced to the table, Nicolas had an ancient book under his arm, they sat down at the table across from us.

Everything was tense; I knew that there was something they were hiding from me. I knew that it had something to do with my abilities.

Ryan’s hand suddenly touched mine, Nicolas and Kevin were observing the four of us for a while before any of them spoke. I glanced at both of them, awaiting what they would tell me. I couldn’t wait to find out what degree my abilities possessed. Nicolas put the book down on the table in front of him.

The tension consumed me; I was so anxious, why weren’t they saying anything. What were they waiting for? I was about to burst, but then….

“Sweetie, Kevin tells me that you have been feeling strange lately, I think I can answer why” Nicolas explained with a calm voice. I sighed in relief and squeezed Ryan’s hand. It was liberating having him, and the others at my side. Nicolas held out his right arm and pulled up his sleeve, revealing a symbol at his underarm. My heart started beating a bit faster. I had the exact same symbol on my shoulder blade. I looked up at Nic with wide eyes.

“Sweetie, you are a Balthazar,” Nicolas told me in the calmest voice he could. It didn’t really make more sense to me, I inhaled and sighed, looking at Nicolas, observing him, his half long hair was in a ponytail, and his electric-blue eyes were shining. The guys and I were eager to find out what it was.

“A Balthazar is a powerful Expressur. Expression is a powerful energy that manifests your will and makes you able to do anything you set your mind to. You have the Balthazar Gene.” Nicolas explained to us, looking me in the eyes. My heart was still pounding; I was biting my top lip. I still wasn’t making any sense of it.

“What does that have to do with me?” I sighed as I gazed at Kevin, who was sitting silently, I moved my eyes to Nicolas again waiting for his reply, he sighed too.

“I know it doesn’t make any sense to you, but this will help you.” He declared, pushing the book to me. I squinted down at the book and then up at Nicolas, who nodded to me.

I couldn’t shake the feeling of Nicolas not being completely honest with me, as I was sitting on my bed a few hours later. The book was lying in my lap. The Book of Shadows. I was hesitant to be opening it. Did I really want to know what it contained? I took a deep breath and opened the book. The first page was filled with handwritten scribbles.

A Balthazar is a powerful Expressur. Balthazar Blake was the most powerful expressur; his powers were descended from Merlin. Unfortunate circumstances caused him to change his name, so the family would remain safe. In ancient times, a Balthazar needed an object to use the Expression, but in time the most powerful could use the power without any help. A Balthazar can control any kind of spell without reading or learn about it.

Our story begins with a single star. Zeus allowed a single star to fall on Earth, it landed on a field and instantly created a golden flower. A young man discovered this flower and cared for it. The flower quickly grew into an Apple Tree. One single Golden Delicious Apple had grown. The young man picked the apple and took one single bite. A rush of energy and power flooded through him. The man who we later came to know as Merlin Blake shared his powers with his only brother, Balthazar.

I quickly glanced up from the book, staring into the air. A brother. A flash crossed my mind; Nicolas was standing with a man, who cut his hand with a knife and poured the blood into a goblet, Nicolas drank the blood. Then I knew…

Within a few minutes, I was standing in front of Nicolas’ room. I was holding the book to my chest. I took a deep breath and knocked. The floor seemed to sway underneath me. The door was ripped open; my hand was trembling. Nic seemed surprised to see me there, he gazed down at the book and then into my eyes. I returned his stare; he knew that there was something I needed to speak to him about, so he moved aside and waved his arm in a gesture for me to come in. I strolled to his window and gazed outside.

“I know who you are!” I raged at him, looking over my shoulder at him. He had a resigned look on his face. I held out my hand, forcing his chair over the floor to me. I sat down.

“You need to tell me the truth Nic, or should I say, Balthazar,” I demanded as he sat down on the bed. “How powerful am I?” I leaned forward in my seat gazing at him.

“Very!” He admitted. “You are powerful now, but you can access so much more of your powers then you realize.” He explained followed by a sigh.

“How do you fit into this?” I wondered and stared him down. “I am Merlin’s brother, but I needed to disappear, I reappeared as your father and Kevin’s brother, they cannot know, that it isn’t true. Your great-grandfather was a Blake, but the name ended with his daughter, your grandmother Nanzi, who married Charles Jackman.” He explained to me softly. I tilted my head at him, wondering about a whole lot of things. He had told me some truths now, but what was he still hiding.

“There’s something extraordinary about you, sweetie…. I know that you don’t understand much right now, but I promise I will help you learn and control your abilities.” He promised with a silvery voice.

As I left Nicolas’ room, I still had that strange feeling. He wasn’t completely honest. I headed back to my room, closed the door behind me and threw the book on the bed. I paced to the window and gazed out; the wind was shaking the trees.

Oh God Daniel would be home in a few days, how would I tell him about Ryan.

KNOCK-KNOCK.

I sighed and looked at the door over my shoulder.

“Maria, it’s me!” Dean’s voice was muffled through the door, I turned around, paced with heavy steps to the door and opened it. Revealing a smiling Dean outside, he strolled past me and turned toward me.

“She packed her things and left!” He announced with a wide smile on his face.

“That’s great Dean,” I answered with a small and tired voice as I closed the door. He reached his hand out to me, grabbed my hand and pulled me to the bed, where we both sat down.

“What is going on with you, sweetie?” Dean asked me worried, sending me a concerned look. My hands were tingling again; he took both my hands, his hands were soft and rough at the same time, then his hand carefully touched my cheek, his ocean-blue eyes gazed deeply into mine.

“Are you sure you are up for tonight?” Dean asked me gently, stroking my cheek with his thumb, I gazed into his eyes and nodded. Oh god, I hadn’t even been thinking about tonight before now and the fact that Hayden was leaving in the morning.

“I need too, we are doing it for Hayden, God knows how long he’s gonna be away,” I answered back, he leaned his head against mine and gently kissed my forehead, then he put his arm around me and pulled me closer to him.

“Dean,” I whispered to him, he glanced down at me. “Mm.” He answered back. “Tell me something….” I asked him, becoming warm and comfortable, the tingling had stopped, and my body was back to normal. “Anything!” Dean replied and kissed my hair. “What the hell did you see in Cady?!” I exclaimed jokingly to him, which made him laugh. “You know what, my girl. At this moment I have absolutely no idea.” I laughed at him and felt ready for dinner and drinks. My mood was lifted completely, thanks to Dean.

The door was ripped open, Hayden and Ryan bolted in, laughing. Dean and I looked at them wondering. They jumped on the bed and sat down on each side of Dean and I. I observed the two of them, smiling.

“You are needed in the kitchen, Elijah would like some help,” Ryan told me with a smile on his face, I tilted my head at him.

“Then, why didn’t you help him?” I hinted back at him as I sat up straight, his eyebrows lifted. “Because…” He started looking directly into my eyes. “…he wanted you to help him.” He replied with a clucking laugh, which brought a smile to my face again. Our eyes met in a joined smile.  It was an incredible gift the three of them possessed, always bringing my mood up.

Within a few minutes, we were pushing the double doors to the kitchen open, revealing a hard-working Elijah, sweating over the stove. The guys; Dean, Hayden, and Ryan sat down at the kitchen table in their usual seats, talking about the night’s event. I strolled to Elijah, he squinted at me from the pot he was stirring something in, his ocean-blue eyes lit, and I placed my hand on his shoulder, kissing his cheek as he kissed mine.

“Hi, when are the others getting here?” I asked him with a smile on my face, excited to be seeing him. He held the whisk toward me, I took over the stirring, and he moved past me to the kitchen counter, cutting bread. “Elisha and Chad should be here any minute, setting the table.” He replied as he filled the bread into a basket. “Mom and Dad are picking someone up before they get here.” I quickly gazed at him, being curious about who they were picking up. “Who?” I asked him more curious then I wanted to seem. He pulled his shoulders and brushed the crumbs off the cutting board. Then he glanced at the guys over his shoulder.

“It’s nice that somebody is helping with their own going away party.” Elijah raised his voice ironically, so the guys could hear him.

The doors were pushed open, I gazed back over my shoulder, seeing Chad and Elisha entering, smiling at us. Which made me smile a bit too, Elijah observed them.

“Great you are here!” Elijah exclaimed at them both. “Maybe you could get these three lazy boys to help you set the table.” The guys made funny faces at Elijah as they got up from their seat and picked out plates. Chad strolled to the kitchen table, took a piece of bread and winked at me; then he took a bite. Elijah rolled his eyes at him; he was always the first to dig into the food. Elisha took some glasses and followed the guys to the dining room. I stirred in the pot and squinted at Chad, who was leaning against the cabinet.

“Do you know who Mom and Dad are picking up to join us?” I asked Chad in a curious tone, as he chewed on the bread and pulled his shoulders. “I didn’t even know they left the house.” He babbled through the food in his mouth; I shook my head at him. It was amazing that he and Elisha were twins they were so enormously different.

I caught him staring at me; I gazed back at him. He wasn’t saying anything at first, but he had an asking look.

“Is he working again?” His voice now more lowered and caring. A rush of loneliness went through me, I glanced into his sky-blue eyes, observing him. His light blond hair was perfectly framing his face. I nodded to him and was eased to be having all my family and friends with me tonight. Maybe I was missing Daniel, but there was so much more than he was missing out on. Chad overlooked the room; it was only the two of us in the kitchen. He moved his eyes back to me.

“Honestly, if you ask my opinion, which I know you don’t… but, he doesn’t deserve you!” He sighed, he was clearly feeling sorry for me. I couldn’t help but think that somehow, he was right, but I loved him, didn’t I? He faked a smile at me, trying to push away the tension that had appeared. I knew he was only looking out for me.

The guys, Elijah and Elisha, came back to the kitchen, she smiled at me, picked up forks and knives and handed them to the guys. I turned off the stove and glanced at Chad who was chewing on another piece of bread, I tilted my head at him and handed him some napkins, he grabbed them and headed for the dining room. Elijah took out the meat from the oven, getting ready to carve it.

The doors were pushed open again; I almost couldn’t believe what I saw at that moment, I was barely able to recognize him. His brown hair had grown shoulder long since I last saw him. He had left six months earlier to go travel the world, but now he was home. I bolted to him, he took me into his arms and squeezed me tight, as I put my arms around him too. He smelled like fresh air and cleaned laundry. Still being in his embrace, I gazed into his honey-brown eyes, and then I noticed his round beard. His eyes glinted as he kissed my cheek, then he loosened his grip, and I gently moved away from him.

As one person currently left my life, another one had returned. Josh. Seeing him embracing Elijah in a hug, made me realize how much I had been missing him. Mom and Dad came to the kitchen; Dad was wearing a black suit. He smiled at me with his hazel-brown eyes. He had an arm around Mom; I admired her dark-brown curly hair, intense honey-brown eyes, sharp cheekbones and gorgeous white smile.

“Hello, my dear.” She said to me with a soft and gentle voice. I glanced at her and then back at Dad.

“Aren’t you a little too formal for a family dinner?” I giggled at him, he pulled a smile and raised his head. Josh came to my side and put a hand on my back; Mom threw a proud look toward both of us.

I rubbed my forehead as we were walking to the ballroom, the wine went straight to my head. Josh held my arm, guiding me to the bar. I glanced up at the bottles on the glass shelf behind Bobby, remembering what happened the last time I was here. Bobby put a Mojito down in front of me.

“Your favorite, Mrs. Perez.” His statement was a knife to my heart; everything was a reminder of Daniel’s absence. I took a big mouthful, trying to push my thoughts away. Elisha was sitting next to me, sending me a concerned look. I threw a smile at her, trying to seem alright.

“Four Bourbons!” Ryan commanded Bobby, who poured them, Hayden, Dean, and Ryan were standing on a line next to me, looking at me and then the glasses. Ryan pushed a glass to me, I picked it up and held it toward them.

“To Hayden and his everlasting thirst for adventure.” I cheered, the guys raised the glasses and cheered, in one mechanic move we poured it down, it was burning all the way down my throat, and we put the glasses down in one joined clink. Hayden grabbed my hand and pulled me out on the dance floor.

Quiet Jazz music was playing in the background as he moved my body closer to his. I put my hands on his shoulders, his hand carefully pressed on my back, holding me close to him and gently moving over the floor, leading me. I gazed deep into his eyes, with no idea of how long it would be before I could be doing this again.

“What are you going to do about Daniel…” He began, I shook my head at him.

“Not now, Hayd. Please let me just enjoy this moment with you.” I begged him with a brittle voice; it seemed impossible to cope with the fact that he was leaving, he was my steady rock. He moved his head to mine; his lips touched my cheek, he admired my eyes and nodded.

“Sugar, I am not gone forever, remember that.” He assured me with a wide smile on his face. “Everything will be okay.” I always believed him when he was telling me that like I could defeat anything.

“You know you are leaving me alone with these two?” I glanced over at Ryan and Dean in the bar, then back at Hayden, who started laughing. I pulled a smile and glanced at them again. Ryan was pouring drinks down, and Dean was telling him something he couldn’t care less about.

“I guess they are better than nothing.” I giggled and pulled my shoulders; our eyes met in laughter.

“You know what…” He started, looking into my eyes. “The most beautiful star I could ever find is right here in front of me.” I instantly smiled at his loving words; a warmth lit inside my heart, I rolled my eyes at his charm.

“How did I get so lucky to have such incredible friends?” I asked him with joy in my voice, his hand softly touched my cheek and he gazed into my eyes, I couldn’t help but smile.

“We are the lucky ones!” Hayden stated with gleaming eyes. He wrapped his arms around me, embracing me. He loosened his grip and pulled me back to the bar, where Ryan had lined up four new glasses of Bourbon.

We poured the drinks down, the same burning went through my throat, leaving me with a warmth in my cheek and I took a swift look around the room. Elisha was out on the dance floor with Josh. Mom and Dad had settled down on the couch near the grand piano. Elijah and Chad were talking by the columns, both standing with a drink in their hands.

My head was a roller-coaster, the drinks were kicking in. I took a sip of my drink and observed the guys, who were laughing and nudging each other. Ryan stood in front of me with his hand toward me, I accepted it, and he gently moved to the dance floor. Everything You Want started playing. Ryan started to sing along. “I am everything you want; I am everything you need, I am everything inside of you, that you wish you could be, I say all the right things at exactly the right time, but I mean nothing to you, and I don’t know why…. I don’t know why.”  My heart sunk a little, as I was becoming more and more upset, seeing him like this; if that was really what he was going through.

“Ryan….” I sighed, glanced down and then moved my eyes up to his again. “You mean the world to me; you know that,” I assured him and pulled a little smile. He grabbed my hand.

A rush went through us, and we were standing at the lake. The air was fresh, and the stars were shining above us. I gazed into his eyes. He put his hands on my back, pulling me closer and closer to him. I stared deeply into his eyes, being hypnotized by him. He moved one hand to my cheek; his touch was warm and wonderful on my skin, his hand carefully moved to my jaw, holding a hand under my ear he gracefully moved his head to mine. The wet and softness of his lips, gently pressed against mine and for some reason, I let him again. Ryan was ripped violently from me. Dean was standing in front of us.

“What the hell are you doing man!?” Dean yelled at Ryan, with an instant they were pushing at each other. I tried to come between them, I got in front of Ryan, pushing at his chest.

“Stop it both of you!” I blurted, turning toward Dean. He just stared at me for a while, then he bolted to me and pressed his lips against mine. I was taken aback and pushing him demandingly away from me.

“Dean!” I exclaimed at him, Ryan paced to Dean and started pushing him again. I got between them again, pushing at Ryan. Screaming at him to stop it, but he wasn’t listening. I put my arms around his neck and pressed my lips against his, instantly calming him down. I moved my lips from his, he put his hands on my hip and pulled me closer to him again.

“Give me those sweet lips.” He commanded me, kissing me again. I pulled myself away from him.

“Ryan, you need to stop!” I yelled at him, turning around and looking at Dean, who gazed at me and then at Ryan.

“What the hell is gotten into you, man!” Dean scolded at Ryan, he squeezed his eyes together and stared Dean down.

“Have you ever been in love with someone you can’t possibly get!” Ryan exclaimed at Dean, who stared back at Ryan with his mouth half open. He shook his head a little, gazing at me and then at Ryan. “In love?” The words silently left Dean’s mouth, almost in a whisper. Ryan nodded, lowered his head and held his hands on his sides. I gazed at Ryan who was looking down at his feet. Dean shoved his hands into his pockets, lowered his head and then gazed back up at Ryan.

“Look, I didn’t know…. Ryan, I’m sorry.” Ryan squinted at Dean, nodding his head at him, accepting his apology.

“Listen, you guys, this is Hayden’s night, we cannot do this. Let’s go back and this never happened, alright!” I declared, glancing at both of them. Their eyes met, they nodded to each other and then to me.

My heart was longing already when I was standing at Hayden’s car the next day. Dean and Hayden had their arms around each other, such sensitive guys, I loved it. That was a rare thing, finding so sensitive guys. They padded each other on the back and then let go of each other. They were like brothers, and I could tell that they were gonna miss each other, even though they denied it blankly, but I knew them too well.

Ryan strolled to Hayden, fist-bumping him and they put their arms around each other. Ryan loosened his grip, squeezing his shoulders. Ordering him to be safe. What could go wrong? I asked myself; they were collecting fallen stars, not going to war.

Ryan stepped aside, and Hayden ambled to me. We were smiling at each other; his smile warmed my heart, I took a mental image of him, for safe keeping. He held his arms out, and I fell into his embrace. Fading away in this everlasting moment with him. Our daily life wouldn’t be the same with him gone; I comforted myself with the thought that he would return to us again. He gazed into my eyes, smiling. His rough hand stroke my cheek.

“Remember sugar; I am only gone for a moment of your life, then I will return. You have these two guys….” He lifted his head, glancing at the guys behind us, then he moved his eyes to me again. “You can always call me, alright?” He assured me, I just nodded at him. He embraced me again, holding me tighter than before. His lips kissed my cheek. He smelled like shaving lotion. His grip left me, and he was gently moving toward the car, getting in and rolling down the window.

“You guys, better take care of her while I’m gone!” Hayden ordered them teasingly.

“Of course, we will!” Ryan assured him, putting an arm around my back. The car engine started, and the car slowly rolled out through the gold and black metal gate. Ryan pulled me a bit closer to him, kissing my hair. I admired the sunny day and the nature that surrounded our property. The wind was rustling the willow, crabapple and cherry trees that were separating the lake from the house.

Dean smiled at me. I had a feeling that time alone with these guys would be great. Besides, there would probably be a whole lot of things to tell Hayden when he returned. Ryan squinted down at me, a smile spread on his face.

“Let’s go to Brokeback.” He suggested. Dean’s mouth curved into a smile. He and I nodded, synchronously.

 

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