AU Ch. 08

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Cassie had been the one to suggest that they take separate cars back to Maddox’s place. Being an intuitive person, she had seen the longing looks and explorational touches Mark and Maddox had been giving one another. And she thought she had felt Todd’s eyes on her…. She had an inkling about why Todd might be gazing at her, and smiled a little to herself. The logical thing to do, then, had been to suggest the obvious plan. “Why don’t you two boys go back and pack what needs to be packed, and I’ll get to know Todd a little better so I won’t be a third wheel?.” She’d turned to Todd and grinned. “I’ll let you drive my Charger a bit, if ya want?”

Todd hadn’t needed further encouragement. Eager to drive the pretty girl’s very hot car, he turned to Maddox with an unmistakable puppy-dog- eyes expression..

“Sounds good to me. I could use the help.” Maddox ticked off a list of things out loud, half to Mark and half to himself, that needed to happen before he could make the trip home. There were a lot of items on the list, and he hoped he could get them all done in time to be with Mark, before they’d all have to pile into the SUV and begin the trip to his parents’ house.

~*~*~*~

Mark’s feet tapped nervously as Maddox drove. He gazed unseeing out the window; questions about what would happen when they got back to the apartment ran repeatedly through his brain. He knew what he wanted … needed, even. He fervently hoped Maddox would welcome him into his arms, and even better, his bed. But he didn’t have high expectations for either outcome. His heart struggled to beat in his chest as if he was hanging over the edge of a rollercoaster speeding along a steep downward slope.

After what seemed like an eternity, the two former lovers pulled up at the familiar apartment.

Mark glanced over at Maddox … and all of his worry faded. He let out a whoosh of breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding,. grinning at Maddox. “You look about as worried as I feel,” and reached over to lace his fingers reassuringly with Maddox’s. He massaged the cold digits, bringing life back into them. “Your hands are freezing,.” he purred. Something just felt right about taking care of the larger male. His man. He leaned over and grazed his warm lips across the tips of Maddox’s fingers, then kissed each digit. “I was afraid you wouldn’t take me back.” Mark confessed quietly, leaning back a little as he spoke. He hadn’t dared to look into the eyes of his lover while confessing his darkest fear. He knew he needed to tell Maddox about Noah, but right now was a time for healing wounds, not ripping the stitching out of healing ones.

Maddox had been instantly stilled by Mark’s warm lips. He hadn’t noticed how cold his fingers had become until Mark’s warm mouth had enveloped them. He sighed a little, relieved that this was just as difficult for Mark as it was for him. “I was afraid you wouldn’t come back,” he reciprocated in confession, wiggling his fingers and feeling the new warmth. His thoughts shifted to his glove box. Tucked deep within it was something he had been wanting to give Mark for a long time. Looks like

I’ll have to wait a little longer to give him the papers….Maddox’s hand was being tugged rather insistently by his lover.

“Come on babe. It’s cold out here. Let’s go get you packed; and if we are lucky, Cassie will keep your friend busy long enough for me to show you just how much I missed you.” He looked suggestively between Maddox’s legs, knowing his words were sending heat all over his lover’s body just as his lips and breath had warmed Maddox’s fingers.

Leaping out of the car as if it suddenly contained a rabid dog, Maddox grinned. “We should have enough time.”

Mark couldn’t help but laugh at his lover’s sudden hurried enthusiasm. “Missed me that much, baby?” He teased giving Maddox’s nose a light tap.

“Of course, and for reasons other than sex,.” Maddox retorted a little defensively.

“I know, but you could have used your hand to ease some of the … tension.” His gaze and his hand moved down along the front of Maddox’s tented jeans.

“I couldn’t. I missed you too much and it just didn’t feel right.”

Mark’s smiling lips were pressed against Maddox’s, a bubble of laughter forming “I’m sorry baby. Let me get you inside and make it all better.”

The door knob twisted in his hand;, his predictable lover had left it unlocked, and the pair stumbled through.

They stood in the foyer with the door closed; Mark locked it behind them, and then moved close.

Maddox felt Mark’s hands slide up his chest. “I got tested,” he whispered, wanting those hands to never move, and to move everywhere, at the same time.

His hands wandering down over his lover’s sculpted body, Mark lowered himself to his knees, then looked up with bright eyes, and smiled. “I’m guessing you are clean.” He unbuckled Maddox’s pants and slid them down his thighs. His breathing picked up, the body in view that he had so desperately missed.

He canlı bahis watched as Maddox nodded and then inhaled sharply as Mark’s mouth suddenly engulfed his cock.

Licking the sensitive head, Mark pulled off just long enough to say, “Good, I can’t wait to be inside of you,.” then swallowed the big cock again.

Gripping Mark’s shoulders, Maddox lurched forward. It had been a long time, and he wasn’t sure he would last long. “I want you Mark,” he whispered, then groaned with the effort of holding himself back.

Mark licked the sensitive underside before tonguing the slit. “Not right now baby, I want that to be special.” He bobbed on Maddox’s thick length, his only goal to make his lover feel good. He wanted to feel that closeness again. He swallowed against Maddox’s shaft and bobbed, slurping unapologetically as he deep-throated his man.

The sensations Mark was causing, left Maddox without words. His body quivered, feeling that powerful tongue press and lick and swirl all around him.

It had been too long since Mark had been with his lover, and he missed every inch of him,. his scent, his taste, the texture and feel of his skin … everything about Maddox was perfect. As much as he wanted this to take hours, he knew their time alone right now was limited, and so he made it his singular goal to make Maddox feel good. They’d have time to make up for the loss, later.

Pulling out every trick he knew, Mark soon had Maddox almost screaming in pleasure. He looked up mischievously into his lover’s unfocused blue eyes. It was so to see the look of pure lust- soaked intoxication overtake his face and force his jaw to slacken, his eye brows knit together in deep concentration while blood colored his cheeks as he erupted in Mark’s mouth.

Mark had never enjoyed the taste of cum but this time he swallowed full mouthfuls, realizing Maddox really had held out for him.

After a series of small after shocks Maddox finally came back down to earth. He hadn’t realized how hard he’d been biting his lip or how his hands had all but embedded themselves while gripping, vice-like, Mark’s shoulder blades. He flushed again at the sudden realization of the completely vulnerable position in which he had allowed himself to be placed; yet he trusted Mark not to hurt him.

“You really needed that,” Marked teased, giving Maddox’s softening member a final kiss before tucking it away again. He stood up and leaned in close, helping Maddox with his belt. Maddox’s hands eagerly sought out Mark’s aching member. “Not yet, I want to wait. I wanted this to be just about you.” He closed his eyes and adjusted himself, suspecting that later on he would likely regret denying himself a release. He felt movement and opened his eyes to see his big man kneeling down in front of him.

“That’s not fair, I want to. I missed this just as much.” Maddox rubbed his nose and chin up along Mark’s zipper line, then gazed up imploringly.

“Later love, I promise you we will have time later.” Mark stifled a deep groan, as he stepped back. As Maddox reluctantly stood back up, Mark gave his lover’s rump a love pat, “Come on, let’s get you packed so I can meet the family,” and then tried to hide a reflexive shudder at the thought. For one thing, meeting the family was a big step in their relationship. And for another, he didn’t have a good track record with regard to family dynamics.

~*~*~*~

Mark watched the trees, and fences go by his window. Every one they passed meant they were that much closer to their destination, and caused his fists to tighten just a bit more, his breathing to quicken and heart to pump louder, threatening to plummet into his stomach and be consumed by its energetic churning.

He had never been the family type, certainly not after experiencing the tragedy of his own family and how it had turned against him. He was therefore dreading this meeting now. Maddox seemed so sure that his family would be fine with meeting Mark, and furthermore that being near Maddox’s pregnant, and probably disgruntled, ex-wife, would be fine. Visions of horrible scenarios popped easily into his head.

Take the scenario in which Maddox’s parents slammed the door in their faces, disowned their son, and tried to rip them apart….

But when any of the horrible visions began feeling so real to him that he thought he might as well jump out of the car now and save Maddox the trouble, Maddox seemed to sense Mark’s turmoil. At that moment, he would reach over and give Mark’s hand a comforting squeeze. That reassuring tie to reality: it was as if Maddox knew when he needed it most.

The comforting squeeze made Mark smile. Maddox had grown so much since their first night together. He had gotten stronger, more comfortable with himself. Mark kissed his fingertips, silently praising him for his progress, strength, and conviction to persevere. He had to get back to that himself. Even if the worst happened, Mark would still have his lover, of that he felt sure. They would bahis siteleri get through it together.

“Almost there.”

Hearing this, Mark’s heart sank. All the peptalking he had done moments ago seemed for naught. His skin grew clammy and his stomach churned all over again, as the gravel of Maddox’s parents’ driveway crunched under the tires.

The driveway took a curve under an archway of trees, and a picturesque brick house came into view. Two fat chestnut ponies munched grass in the front yard, and picked their heads up as if to determine whether or not the noise makers were a threat, or were only mildly interesting. Did the newcomers have any sweet juicy apples…? Mark distracted himself for the briefest of moments, as he looked at them and smiled to himself, deciphering their alert, doe-eyed expressions. Turning to gaze back at the house and then at Maddox, though, the churning sensation returned full-force.

“Are you sure you want to do this? I mean, we could just say we are friends or something. You don’t have to come out; not now, not on a holiday, anyway….”

They’d parked the car off to the side of the driveway. Less than a minute later, they heard rather than saw Cassie and Todd drive up and park nearby.

Maddox turned to Mark and shook his head, then tilted Mark’s face toward his own. He wanted Mark to see the sincerity in his eyes, to know how calm and sure he felt. “It will be fine. I promise.” He pressed his lips to Mark’s, effectively silencing any further objections. “Promise,” he repeated.

Mark sighed, and nodded. Maybe Maddox knew better. Maybe he had been one of those lucky enough to grow up in an accepting family, that would be okay with what his own had not been. His family had claimed, in disgust and outrage, that his sexual orientation was an everlasting sin, and a stain on the family name. But then again, if Mark thought back far enough, he could remember a time long ago when he too had thought one’s parents would always love their children. Mark had learned, through terrible experience, the unlikelihood of one’s parents’ unconditional love. He hadn’t ever known parents to be okay with their own children being gay. It was different, when it was your own child.

Mark wanted to just stay in the car, or run. But then if I don’t stand beside my man at this terrible time, no one will.

Maddox deserves a hand to hold, and a boulder to lean on. He swallowed his fears and opened the car door. The sound of gravel under his feet felt disconnected amid the ringing in his ears. He felt a heavy hand clap him on his shoulder, and his body jolted as if the hand had carried a high voltage electrical charge.

“Trust me, Ma will love you.” Todd smiled reassuringly at Mark. “The only one who didn’t know Madd was in the closet, was him. That’s why we all knew Trissta was a bad idea.”

Mark nodded, feeling like a puppet on a string. “It’ll be fine.” He repeated this over and over again under his breath, so much so that his walking rhythm mimicked the rhythm of the words in his head. Both rhythms stopped suddenly, and for one awful moment all was silent.

With one hand, Maddox opened the door and with the other he gripped Mark’s hand and pulled him inside.

Cassie and Todd followed behind. Once they had all stepped inside Todd closed the door, at which time they all were instantly assaulted by the heavy scent of cinnamon and cloves.

“Ma?” Maddox called. “We’re home!” He felt Mark grip his hand a bit more tightly.

A small women came around the corner, her long raven hair swept up off of her neck with a butterfly clip. She wore a Starbucks apron that was covered in flour, and her high cheek bones seemed to wear even more flour. If she wore makeup, it was hard to tell. She wrapped her arm around Maddox’s waist. “My baby! And this must be Mark.”

She hugged him, and Mark felt himself begin to relax. “Too skinny, Maddox you need to be feeding this boy,” she chided. Still sparkling with energy and welcome, she moved her hugging to Todd. “And who is this lovely lady?” She asked, hugging Cassie and kissing her cheek.

“Hi ma’am, I’m Cassie.”

“Please, call me Rachel.” She waved them all toward the room from which she had flown. “Come, sit in the kitchen and fill me in on everything.”

Cassie and Todd followed Rachel into the kitchen.

Mark looked at his lover. “You told her already?” He asked, somewhat baffled.

Maddox nodded. “I was hoping we would work something out. Besides, if I hadn’t Trissta would have.” He shrugged. “They’re getting along better now that we aren’t together. Triss is a different person actually. She is talking about staying in town.” He knew he was babbling. All he wanted was never to lose Mark again; but he needed to talk to Mark about the baby.. If Trissta wanted to share custody, it was in the baby’s best interest to do so, and it also meant he needed Mark’s approval. He knew he was asking a lot of Mark. They needed to have a long talk, about bahis şirketleri a lot of things. But … right now was a time for healing wounds, not ripping the stitching out of healing ones. The words suddenly formed in Maddox’s head, and he nodded inwardly, as he stood watching his love, waiting for some kind of sign from Mark that he was bearing up well with everything, so far.

The air Mark had been holding in, finally left him with a ‘whoosh’ and he leaned against Maddox. Regardless of Trissta ‘s presence, he had the guy, and his family seemed to be accepting. This really seemed like it might be okay. He nodded, briefly giving Maddox a rare smile, and together they walked into the kitchen. They stood in the large room and watched Rachel and a slender blonde making pie crusts.

Hearing their footsteps, the blonde turned around and eyed Mark coldly. She watched him somewhat calculatingly for a moment, before, her face finally warmed with a smile as she spoke. “So you are my replacement, huh?” She extended a slender hand. “Trissta.”

Encasing the petite hand in his own, Mark felt like he had just survived being buried alive. Yet another breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding whooshed out of him, like it was the first breath of air he had taken in years. This was a family, albeit an oddly structured one. “Sorry,” he replied. “I’m Mark.”

Trissta shook her head. “Don’t be, everything is good now. I was upset at first but I’m happier now. I know it wasn’t something that was wrong with me.”

“Oh, there is something wrong with you alright.” Todd grumbled taking an apple off of the pile and biting into it.

Cassie swatted at him.

“You would know for how often you check me out,” Triss griped at him, only half-teasing, then turned back to finish her pie crust.

“Guys, get along please. We have guests,” Rachel scolded.

“And so I’m not a guest anymore?” Todd mock- pouted.

“No, I’m pretty sure the day you started calling me Ma, like you were one of my own, you stopped being a guest.”

The back door opened and a short man walked through, his hands covered in dirt. “When did you boys get here?” He kissed Rachel on the cheek and went to the sink to wash his hands. He turned his head to look their way as he washed, “I’m assuming the young man is Mark, and Todd who did you bring?”

“Cassie, sir.”

“Please call me Dean.” He smiled as he moved out of the room toward the stairway. “I will be right down, I just need to shower.”

“Maddox, why don’t you show Mark to his room? And Todd, you and Cassie can sleep in the tree room….”

Todd flushed. “I’ll sleep in the basement if it’s alright.”

Rachel turned around wide-eyed, giving Cassie an apologetic look. “Oh god, dear, I’m so sorry; I thought…”

Cassie, true to her good- hearted nature, just chuckled. “It’s fine, honest I’d have thought the same thing. I’m a friend of Mark’s. Here just in case you guys turned out to be homophobic.”

Rachel smirked.

An odd expression, considering what had been said, Mark thought.

“Love is love,” Rachel continued. “I wouldn’t dream of forcing anyone to be with someone just because of what organs they had.” She waved her hands and turned to finish the pies. “Anyway. Go clean up, and we will have dinner. Nothing fancy, since I’ll be cooking all day tomorrow.”

~*~*~*~

Maddox’s fingers laced with Mark’s, conscious of Mark’s gaze, his hips. Maddox swayed a little extra as they walked up the stairs together.

Mark felt guilty, but after the time apart he wanted to be all over his lover, to have as much skin on skin as he could possibly get, as soon as possible. He’d focused on Maddox and his maddeningly swaying hips all the way upstairs, so hadn’t noticed anything about the house or what room they had entered, until after he’d heard the door shut behind them. “Your parents don’t mind that we sleep in the same room?” He’d asked, feeling like a young kid in a bedroom where a parent would soon come in, screaming at their transgressions. It felt doubly strange, since the only other one like this that he had ever been in before, had been Noah’s room.

“I’m an adult and we care about each other. As long as I’m not treating their house like a cheap motel they don’t care.”

Mark sat on the bed, sinking into the bronze down comforter. He looked at the walls, and then his eyes came to rest on his lover, who sat in a desk chair, watching him. It was amazing how far they had come. He had been so afraid that their relationship wouldn’t survive the turmoil. He finally felt safe, and his eyes brimmed with tears.

“What’s wrong?”

Mark felt himself being tugged up into a strong embrace against Maddox’s chest, and he buried his face into the safe smell, resting his forehead in the crook of his lover’s neck. “Nothing, I’m just … happy.” Mark fought back more tears, promising himself that he wouldn’t continue to cry. “You have a real family. I didn’t think … I … it would be so easy.”

Maddox was reminded that Mark had never talked about his family. He wondered what had happened to make him think so darkly of families.

“I’m glad it was easy. I didn’t want you being with me to be difficult for you.”

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