Life truly came at you in twists and turns.
Had someone told Daven that he would be living on a ten-acre organic plant farm in Hana, Hawaii, he would have called him or her crazy. In the span of six months, he and Kian had purchased the property, and revived the flower business that came with the land. They had renovated the two-story home, making more than enough room for Naomi and the kids.
Kian had taken to the flower business like a fish to water. The greenhouses were his favorite spot in the property, then the stream running through the property and the year round pond where Kian liked to swim.
Naomi’s choice to relocate her spa business to Maui humbled Daven. She had insisted she wanted to live with him and Kian, and wanted the kids to grow up in a family.
Daven thought her choice selfless.
As for him, he had started a small private practice in the little city close to their farm. He kept odd hours, and a staff of two nurses, who kept him busy enough with house calls around their neighborhood.
Love, Daven decided, was a series of sweet compromises.
Spreading honey mustard on oat bread, Daven added slices of ham, tomatoes and covered the sandwiches with another slice. Taking a knife, he cut the sandwiches into neat halves and smiled when Aram and Zena came running into the kitchen from the garden.
“Look what we got,” Zena said, making Daven sneak a glance at them.
Zena was holding up a frog by the back legs. Aram jumped around in delight and Daven hoped Naomi was nowhere close. It was too early in the morning for a lecture.
“We found it in the flower garden, hiding under a stone,” Aram explained, jumping up and down when the frog continued to wiggle.
Daven hoped Zena’s fingers held the frog securely because it would be the worst if it got loose in the kitchen. Reaching for napkins, Daven covered the sandwiches, and moved around the table, making space between him and the kids.
“Zena, why don’t we liberate the frog outside,” Daven said, hoping to God Kian was close. “Don’t you think it’s going to get very hungry inside?”
“We can feed it,” Zena said, holding the frog tighter. She peered into its eyes and he wondered how she was doing it. “What do you think, Uncle Daven? Uncle Kian says they swallow up bugs. Do we have any?”
“I certainly hope not,” Daven said, starting the coffee maker. The scent would bring in Kian, one of his little secrets whenever he wanted to see Kian. “Zena—”
She screamed, and Aram followed suit, Daven leaned back into the counter behind him, hoping to God the frog was still in Zena’s hands.
“Hold it tight,” Daven said, when he realized it was a false start.
Zena grinned and held it up for him to see.
“Isn’t it pretty, Uncle Daven?”
“Pretty?” Daven’s gaze widened. “Honey, I think you’re the prettiest. Definitely the prettiest, why don’t you take the frog outside so that it can hop in the grass?”
“Does it jump in the grass?” Aram asked, peering at his sister, his fingers clenching his shorts tight. His curiosity beat his squeamishness.
Daven closed his eyes in relief when he saw Kian appear at the doorway. His boyfriend looked delicious in faded jeans, and a faded black t-shirt, his hair windswept.
Kian’s smile was ready as he took in the scene.
“Baby,” Daven said, glad the scent of coffee filled the kitchen. “Why don’t you help Zena liberate that green creature?”
“What green creature?” Kian asked, crouching down to Zena’s height so that he could look at the frog she held. “You don’t mean this handsome frog do you?”
“Yes, honey,” Daven nodded, pointing at it. “We don’t want it jumping around in the kitchen.”
Kian stole a glance at him, then grinned and kissed Zena’s cheek.
“Can I hold your friend, Zena-chan?” Kian asked.
“Sure,” Zena said, handing over the frog to Kian. “Mommy read us the story of the frog that turned into prince charming last night. I thought if we kissed it, it would definitely turn.”
“Did you now?” Kian studied the frog. “Hmm…I think this frog is just that, Zena. What do you think, Aram?”
“I told her it wouldn’t turn into Prince Charming, because he doesn’t exist,” Aram answered, holding on to Kian’s arm, finding courage to stroke the frog’s head now that Kian was involved.
“How do you know?” Kian asked, looking at Aram.
“Mommy said,” Aram said, his tone matter of fact.
“I think Mommy is wrong,” Daven said, moving back to the table, confident that Kian would take the frog out. “Prince Charming does exist.”
“Where?” Zena and Aram both asked.
“You’re looking at mine,” Daven said, picking up his knife and going back to halving sandwiches. “Isn’t he handsome?”
“Do you mean Uncle Kian?” Aram asked, his gaze on Kian.
“Why yes, my little prince,” Daven said. “Like recognizes like.”
“Don’t believe him,” Kian said in a dramatic whisper. “He wants us to take the frog back to the garden.”
“No way, he was really hard to catch,” Zena complained, leaning on Kian, to stroke the frog’s head too.
Daven took his phone then and snapped a photo of Kian surrounded by the two kids. Such moments made his heart ache, the way Kian’s eyes lit up at the trust Aram and Zena showered on him made Daven breathless.
Daven studied the picture for a moment, and then placed his phone on the table. Kian was whispering to the kids, and he should have known they were plotting against him. The next minute, Kian came to the table, the frog in his hand. Daven abandoned the sandwiches and ran around the table. The kids burst into delighted laughs as Kian chased after him.
Naomi came in at the climax, just as the poor frog escaped Kian’s hold and jumped to the windowsill. Naomi screamed loud and they all turned to look at her. The frog made good of the distraction, and escaped out the open window into the kitchen garden. Daven sighed in relief, and grinned when Kian, Zena and Aram stood still their guilty gazes on Naomi.
“It wasn’t me,” they all said at once, making Daven laugh.
“Was that a frog in the kitchen?” Naomi asked, pointing to the open window.
“No.” Zena, Aram and Kian said, shaking their heads.
Daven grinned and returned to his sandwich making.
“Alright, all of you, if you don’t want trouble, head to the sink and wash your hands,” Daven ordered. “You’ll be late for school.”
“It was a frog, wasn’t it?” Naomi asked, meeting Daven’s amused gaze.
The moment was too perfect to ruin with a lecture, so Daven waved Naomi’s question away. Kian was at the sink helping the kids wash their hands. When they were done, the kids ran out of the kitchen headed upstairs to get their school bags. Kian sat at the kitchen table, and Daven took in Kian’s pleased expression. His heart ached with love for this man who found such pleasure in the simplest of moments.
Daven stopped slicing sandwiches and poured a mug of black coffee for Kian. He brought it to Kian.
“Morning,” Daven murmured into Kian’s ear.
Kian leaned into him, and took the mug drinking an appreciative sip.
“Where did they get a frog?” Naomi asked, closing the kitchen window.
“In the garden,” Daven said, moving back to pack sandwiches into lunch boxes. “It’s been raining constantly these last few days. There should be more than one hiding.”
Naomi shuddered and slid into a stool across Kian.
“Our new home is beautiful, but it’s going to take me a while to get used to the frogs,” Naomi said.
“The kids seem to love it,” Kian said, accepting a sandwich from Daven. “I love that they’re running around outside in nature. Kids should be allowed to play to their little hearts content.”
Daven smiled when Naomi nodded in agreement and leaned her elbows on the table.
“Well,” Naomi nodded. “I have to say, living here is way more interesting. I love the pace of life. It’s much more relaxed and quiet. The move was good for us.”
Daven met Kian’s gaze and a small smile passed between them. When Zena and Aram returned, they all worked to get them eating their breakfast, with Daven packing lunch into their school bags. Tranquility returned to the kitchen when Naomi left with the kids heading to school.
Daven sat next to Kian, watching Kian drink his coffee.
“Are you happy?” Daven asked, moving closer so that when Kian turned to him, their faces were inches apart. “You looked happy trying to get me to touch a frog.”
“Doctor, isn’t it strange for you to be squeamish?”
“I have never liked amphibians,” Daven said, wrinkling his nose.
Kian reached up to touch his nose
“I discover new things about you daily.”
“As do I,” Daven said. “Where were you, leaving me to fend for myself in the face of frogs?”
Kian sipped his coffee.
“Your dad sent me a message,” Kian answered. “He wanted my opinion on a project he is planning.”
Daven swallowed hard. His father’s projects meant the security agency was saving someone in trouble. Kian helped where he could, but never agreed to go along on the actual mission.
“How is he doing?” Daven asked.
“He’s well. He promised to visit soon,” Kian said. “He misses you.”
“I miss you more,” Daven replied. “I think, we should take advantage of the fact that we’re alone.”
Kian grinned and Daven took Kian’s coffee mug, moving it away. Daven shifted in his chair until he sat facing Kian, then pulled him into a needy kiss. Kian moaned and leaned into the kiss, eager for more.
Daven smiled and bunched Kian’s t-shirt helping him take it off. He urged Kian to his feet, and amid delicious kisses, they stumbled out of the kitchen and into a small living room tucked by the kitchen. The best thing about their new house was that there was no shortage of rooms to make love.
Daven moaned when Kian got on his knees and unzipped Daven’s jeans. He lost the ability to think when Kian’s hot mouth wrapped around him and all Daven could do was sink his fingers into Kian’s hair. There was nothing sexier than the sight of Kian’s lips wrapped around him, and the feel of Kian’s tongue stroking his hard length. God, the need to come raced at him, and he had to literally pull Kian off him before he was over the moon. Pushing Kian into the nearest lounge chair, Daven kissed Kian, tasting himself, savoring Kian’s taste and his.
Drunk with need, Daven took Kian like a man possessed. Sliding into his lover with possessive obsession. He grunted with satisfaction when Kian dug his fingers into his back and bit his shoulder trying to stifle his moans. Daven stroked his length into Kian hard, deeper, taking all that Kian had to give. He sighed in satisfaction when Kian arched into him, his head thrown back in ecstasy.
Holding himself deep in Kian, Daven took Kian’s lips in a hot kiss, savoring his taste, both of them caught in the peak of ecstasy. When Daven couldn’t help but surge into Kian again, they both tripped over and came in violent jerks that had Kian clinging to Daven’s shoulders, his thighs tight around Daven’s waist.
Daven closed his eyes, as they remained locked in each other’s arms on the comfortable lounge chair in the sunny little living room in their home.
No longer counting the years, the days or time, Kian played with Daven’s dreadlocks, unwilling to let Daven off him. They had shifted to the side so that Daven’s weight was not on him, but their limbs remained tangled.
This sort of heaven, Kian would have never dreamed it a year ago.
Outside, masses of trees surrounded the quirky house they had bought. The trees offered plenty of cover to offer him the privacy he craved. The fences installed around the property secure enough to assure him that his new family was safe.
Daven, Naomi and the kids were now his family, Kian thought.
His heart skipped at the miracle of the thought. He hadn’t thought Daven would take him up on the offer to move States when he suggested it. That Daven had was more than enough proof of their love, that Naomi had opted to come along made the reality of a family bond come true for him.
“Should we stay here all day?” Daven asked, dusting kisses along Kian’s neck, setting him aflame again. A clever hand slid between them to capture Kian’s hardening length, Daven chuckled, the sound rambling. “Looks like you agree.”
Kian moaned, pushing his length into Daven’s caress.
“I don’t mind making love with you all day,” Kian said. “But, don’t you have to go in for office hours today?”
Daven lifted his head to meet Kian’s gaze.
“I thought I opened my own practice to make my own hours?”
Kian smiled, and shook his head.
“Your practice is closed half the time.”
“They know where to find me if they need me.”
Kian sighed, and cupped Daven’s face, rubbing his fingers over Daven’s stubble. Kian studied Daven for a moment.
“My turn to ask. Do you regret any of it?”
“Any of what?” Daven asked.
“Meeting me,” Kian said, his tone soft, his insecurities high. Some days, he could go crazy thinking about what Daven might have given up to live here with him.
“No,” Daven answered. “I’m happy for all of it, Kian, even the worst. Without it, I would never have met you. What about you? Do you regret spilling your milkshake on me?”
“That was the most favorite part.”
“Punk Prince,” Daven sighed. “You love teasing me too much. You’ll make me find my own milkshake.”
“I thought you said you were fond of that memory?” Kian asked.
“I am,” Daven said, kissing him. “Always, Kian. I didn’t know it then, but you were already mine.”
How swiftly Daven healed him.
So simply, Kian thought when Daven kissed him.
Turmoil set to rest, peace seeping into his very pores, Kian knew his life had started the moment he met Daven. This man who dared love a man like him.
What could a lowly Assassin like him do but learn to live for this man?
Live until there was only happiness in every corner of his heart.
“I love you,” Kian murmured, because it felt right to say it.
“I love you,” Kian repeated, his voice stronger.
“I love you too, Assassin,” Daven said.
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