Nothing Ever Happens - Completing the Family
In the kitchen Andrew found Colin talking to Nate and Tessa.
Colin looked up as Andrew walked in. “Hey, Dad.”
Andrew grinned at the kids who tentatively smiled at him. “Morning, you guys. Have you had breakfast?”
Tessa nodded shyly. “Colin made us pancakes. He said you used to beat him if he didn’t make breakfast. He was joking, wasn’t he?”
Andrew raised an eyebrow at his son who shrugged. “I was about to say he’s awesome at pancakes but now I shall ignore him. Yes, he was joking. I only beat him once a day and twice on Sundays.” If Colin was the only person in the room who knew that was actually his childhood, all the better. “Would you like some hot chocolate?”
Nate nodded. “Yes please. Do you know where our mom is?”
“She’s talking to Nathan… uh… your uncle… by the lake. I’m making this for them. Would you like to come with me? Do you want one, Col?”
“No thanks, Dad, I’ve got coffee.” His son had as big a coffee addiction as Andrew, if not worse.
“Where’s your shadow?”
“Dan? He’s showing Aaron around the house.”
Despite the disparity in their ages, Andrew and Nathan’s sons were still joined at the hip. It was more difficult now Colin was at college so they made the most of the time they had together.
Andrew warmed the milk and got the kids to stir in the cocoa powder.
“Come on then. Tessa, can you manage two cups?” He saw the uncertainty on Nate’s face. “Don’t worry. I’ll manage the other two, you just carry your own.”
He led the way back to the dock, giving them information about the gardens and lake as they went. He kept it light, describing how his guests fell in the lake in the dark to make them laugh.
Nathan and Nancy looked up when they arrived, Nancy’s face softening at the sight of her kids. Tessa handed one of the cups to her mom with an audible sigh of relief.
“Thank you, love,” Nancy said.
“And I didn’t spill a drop.”
“She’s a real klutz,” her brother informed them. “She’s always dropping things.”
“I don’t!” Tessa glared at her brother.
“You do.” Nancy chimed in with her son.
“And you’re scared of heights,” Nate said scornfully.
Tessa pouted, her bottom lip stuck out as if she was about to cry.
“I don’t like heights,” Nathan said.
“He doesn’t,” Andrew agreed. “Despite the fact he’s built like gigantor. He made me climb a tree to rescue one of his pupils once.”
“He was Colin’s friend,” Nathan protested.
“What was he doing up a tree?”
“He’d climbed it and then got stuck.”
“Nathan used to go green and fall out of trees,” Nancy confided to her kids, with a wink at Andrew.
“I did not fall out of trees,” Nathan said indignantly, refusing to meet Andrew’s amused gaze.
“Uncle Toby’s house. You dislocated your collar bone and had to wear a sling for the summer vacation.”
“You never told me about that,” Andrew said.
“He was probably too embarrassed. He was a total klutz too.”
“I still am,” Nathan admitted. Andrew couldn’t help the twitch of his lips and of course Nathan saw it. “What?”
“Nothing,” Andrew said. “Nothing at all.” The man was a klutz, true, but not where it mattered. Not now.
“You look good together,” Nancy said, so quietly Andrew had to strain to hear it.
“We are.” He made sure she looked at him when he said, “Nothing’s gonna change that, you understand?”
Certainly not a runaway sister. They had waiting too long to be together to let anything or anyone upset that. Nancy nodded. She’d gotten the message.
Oblivious to the conversation, Nathan had pushed off the blanket and was showing the kids a scar on his arm from when he was five. It showed up bright against the light winter tan of his forearm. “I ran into a barbed wire fence.”
Andrew knew every scar on Nathan’s body. He’d mapped them and asked questions about each and every one.
“I’ve got one just like that,” Nate said. “It’s on my butt.”
Nancy turned on her son. “Nate Rollins! How dare you say things like in public!”
“But it is on my butt. I can show you.”
“You keep your… behind firmly covered, thank you very much. Goodness me, what would Sister Mary say.”
“She’s seen it,” Nate muttered.
Andrew tried not to laugh as Nancy’s jaw dropped open.
“Your teacher has seen your scar?”
He nodded. “It was bleeding. She checked it was okay. She didn’t make a fuss.”
Nancy dropped her head between her knees. “I’m never going to be able to look Sister Mary in the eyes again.”
Her brother patted her shoulder. “There there. You remember what it’s like. You showed everyone your butt scar.”
Andrew rolled his eyes. “You had to do that, didn’t you?”
Nathan winked at his nephew. “Yes, I think I did.”
Nate looked at his mother, who had just groaned and not raised her face for air, with a mischievous expression. “Who did you show, Mommy?”
“Who didn’t she show more like.” Nathan gestured to Nate to move in closer. “Ask Gramma about the Ladies Meeting, and the Bible Study, and the….”
“If you carry on, Nathan Peterson, I will tear your arm off and beat you to death with the wet end,” Nancy said clearly.
Nathan winked at his nephew. “Just remember,” he whispered loudly.
Andrew chuckled as Nancy groaned, thrilled to see a playful side of Nathan that he hadn’t since they were neighbors and Nathan was a newly married man.
Tessa shivered. “It’s freezing.”
“Scoot over here.” Nancy held out her arms and Tessa sat between her legs while her mother tucked one corner of the blanket around her.
“I’m not cold. Only girls get cold.” Nate looked scornfully at his sister and then at his uncle still wrapped in one end of the blanket.
Andrew nodded solemnly. “You’re right, Nathan. Only girls get cold.” He turned bright, innocent eyes on his lover.
Nathan narrowed his eyes. “Are you calling me a girl?”
“If the cap fits.”
“I’m going to get you.”
A split second before Nathan lunged, Andrew managed to put his mug down and leap to his feet. He ran down the path towards the trees, laughing hysterically as Nathan lumbered after him.
Nathan caught him—he let himself be caught—when they were out of sight of the group. Andrew shivered as Nathan backed him against a tree.
“Cold?” Nathan’s voice dropped to a low, husky growl.
“Excited,” Andrew admitted, pressing his half-hard dick against Nathan’s leg.
“We’ve probably got ten seconds before the kids come and find us.”
Andrew wrapped his arms around Nathan’s neck. “Don’t waste it.” He groaned softly, the sound captured in their kiss. He couldn’t fully lose himself, knowing they’d be discovered any second, but he needed that moment of connection with Nathan after a whirlwind twenty-four hours.
Nathan stepped away as noise sounded behind them. “I love you,” he said and kissed Andrew again, a chaste brush of his lips.
Andrew turned to see Nate, Tessa, Dan and Aaron staring at them. He saw the frown on Aaron’s face and sighed. They were going to have to deal with this soon. He wasn’t letting another relative destroy their lives, not when they'd fought so hard to keep it together.
He wrapped an arm around Nathan’s waist, feeling the tension in his body. Nathan had seen the frown too. “I need breakfast,” he said lightly.
“It’s almost lunchtime,” Dan said.
“Brunch, then. Whatever. My stomach is growling.”
“You should have let Colin make you pancakes,” Nate said.
Andrew nodded. “You’re right. We’ll go back to the house and see if we can get him to make some more.”
The group made their way back to the house, picking up Nancy and Jessie along the way. Nathan’s daughter was sitting next to her aunt, each of them with one of Steph’s twins, showing Nancy something on her iPad. Nancy looked happy and overwhelmed as she talked to her niece for the first time.
Back at the house, Nathan’s mom and Stephanie vetoed pancakes. They were making lunch, and they promptly co-opted Nancy to help. When Andrew protested he was hungry he got handed a banana and told to shut up by the women.
Colin dragged all the kids out to play baseball, giving the adults time to relax. Nathan, Andrew and Aaron stood in the hallway, Aaron looking anywhere except at them.
Andrew made a decision. “Coffee and then we can talk.”
Nathan groaned. “Isn’t it time for beer?”
“You can. I’m still tired. I’ll wait for the game this afternoon.”
Aaron perked up. “Game?”
“Football. The men get to watch football and the women and kids go away.”
Nathan laughed at Andrew’s description. “That’s the theory. Kids normally come and watch while the women gossip in the kitchen.
“It’s like that in my house,” Aaron said. “Tessa likes football more than Nathan. He prefers soccer.” He pulled a face in disgust.
Andrew laughed. “We used to go for soccer matches after the meals. Perhaps we ought to do that again. I need coffee. Aaron?”
“I’ll have a beer if it’s on offer?” He raised an eyebrow at Nathan.
“Come with me. I’ve got a fridge in the garage.”
“We’ll meet in the den,” Andrew said as he headed to the kitchen.
Stephanie looked up as he walked in. “Don’t tell me, coffee.”
Andrew winked at her and filled up a large mug with the steaming black liquid from the coffee machine.
“One day you’ll have to replace the blood in your caffeine level,” she said as she looked at his mug.
“Today is not that day.” He clutched onto the mug a little tighter. No one was wrestling the coffee from him. No one. Even Nathan had more sense than to come between Andrew and his coffee.
Andrew’s amusement faded as he turned away. He wasn’t looking forward to the next half hour.