The Man I Love

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Summary

[Sequel to "The Boy I Knew"] After seven years apart, Aiden and Kellen had found their way back together. Now they just needed to figure out how to live the rest of their lives. Sometimes it'll be tough--like handling long-distance while Aiden pitched for the Major Leagues. Sometimes it'll be easy--like knowing that after a long day, Kellen would always be there to give him a kiss and a smile. But no matter what they face, from long-distance to marriage to kids, they'll figure it out together. In the sequel to "The Boy I Knew", Aiden and Kellen live out the rest of their lives in a series of scenes that show just how far they've come since they first met in high school so many years ago.

Genre:
Romance / Drama
Author:
Ann Royal
Status:
Complete
Chapters:
33
Rating:
4.5 4 reviews
Age Rating:
18+

Wherever We Are

Aiden smiled widely. He couldn’t contain his excitement as he waited outside Kick Up Your Heels dance studio for his boyfriend to leave for the evening. His feet were bouncing, his fingers were tapping, and his heart was beating quickly. He felt like he could start dancing from excitement, but he figured it was better if he left the dancing to his beautiful boyfriend, Kellen.

That man could shake his hips on the dancefloor or in the bedroom like it was nobody’s business, and as much as Aiden wanted to watch those hips no matter where they shook, he held himself back. Kellen was working and Aiden respected that.

Aiden was also sure that there was no way he’d be able to stop himself from jumping on his boyfriend the moment they saw one another, and he didn’t necessarily want the group of people Kellen was teaching to see him kiss Kellen like a man coming up for air. Not that he cared if people saw them kissing. It was just that if they kissed, he knew that there was no way he’d be able to stop at just kissing after almost four months apart.

He could just imagine Kellen’s firm chest, his toned stomach, the way those muscles flexed as he moved as if his body was just born to dance. Aiden gulped at the memories of the many times he licked right up those muscles, his hands running up his smooth skin as he nipped at Kellen’s throat. Kellen knew exactly how to run his skillful fingers right down Aiden’s spine, then to his stomach and finally to his—

Aiden shook his head to clear it of those thoughts. He couldn’t think about that now or he would have a very awkward situation to deal with.

Tapping his foot impatiently, Aiden checked the time on his phone. It was almost time for Kellen’s class to end and Aiden just couldn’t sit still anymore. The anticipation was making his stomach hurt like it did whenever he got nervous, although it didn’t feel like usual. It was more like an excited flip than an uncomfortable twist.

It had been four months. Four. Whole. Months. To most people, that sounded like nothing, but after being broken up for seven years and finally getting back together for a total of two months, Aiden was just itching to be with Kellen again. When he’d left to return to his professional baseball career, Aiden thought he could do it. He thought that after waiting seven years, four months would just fly by. Boy, was he wrong.

Knowing that Kellen was there on the other side of every text, call, or photo drove Aiden crazy in a way he didn’t know was possible. He couldn’t count the number of times he’d yearned to kiss Kellen or how many dreams he’d had about the man since they’d been apart. Maybe it was silly that he was acting like such a lovestruck teenager, but Aiden couldn’t help it when the other man made his heart beat fast even from the other side of the country.

He jolted when he heard the door to the studio open, sure that the goofy smile he got whenever he thought of Kellen was plastered on his face. His teammates had teased him good-naturedly about it endlessly, making his ears go red in pleased embarrassment every time.

But it wasn’t Kellen who stepped out. It was only his class finishing up.

Aiden pouted to himself, the pout still on his face when a familiar face popped up.

“Well, if it isn’t Aiden Metzler, my favorite baseball player,” Olivia said with a smile, stepping up with a tiny click each time one of her kitten heels hit the ground. “I thought it was you hanging around.”

“So, you just let me stand out here without saying hi?” he teased.

Olivia smirked, the light reflecting off of the tiny diamonds on the frames of her glasses. “Well, you know I live to bother people,” she responded as she rocked back and forth on the balls of her feet. Her tiny heels clicked heavily. “And I figured you were waiting out here for Kellen. What, are you nervous you’ll maul him the moment you see him?”

When Aiden took a second too long to respond, Olivia laughed out loud. “Oh, I really have missed you, Aiden.”

Aiden rolled his eyes fondly at one of Kellen’s best friends, a woman who had become important to him too over the months that he’d known her. “I do have some self-control, you know.”

“Aw, I’m sure you think you do,” Olivia said mischievously as she patted his arm. “Joking, joking!” The shorter woman opened her arms for a hug, squeezing Aiden surprisingly tightly considering that her entire job was doing finances and typing on a computer. “You give great hugs,” she said with her usual cheerful smile.

Aiden chuckled to himself, smiling at the compliment as Olivia clapped her hands together happily. “Oh, but how exciting! Are you here for Kellen’s birthday?” Her excitement faded for a second as she blinked. “Wait, isn’t baseball season still a thing? It’s only June. I could have sworn I saw you on the TV the other day.”

“Kellen had it on?” Aiden asked, even though he already knew the answer.

Olivia shook her head fondly. “If he’s at work, he’ll check the scores. He listens to the games when he can, and turns them on when he goes home. He still doesn’t care much for baseball, but we’ve agreed that your butt looks great when you’re running.”

Aiden could feel his ears go red. He was starting to wish that it was winter again so he didn’t feel so hot underneath the sun.

“I think the only one who should be talking about his ass is Kellen,” another familiar voice said from the doorway. “Olivia, you’re going to ruin the surprise for Kellen if you stay out here.”

“Come on, B, even you nodded when Kellen and I were talking,” Olivia teased.

Aiden watched as the blonde ballet dancer—with the tattoo running up her neck—rolled her eyes at Olivia. “You do know that he never explained why he’s here when baseball season’s still on, right?” The straightforward woman was just as blunt as ever, shooting Aiden a curious look.

“I know,” Olivia pouted, making Aiden laugh when she turned to him with a questioning stare.

“I managed to squeeze together a few days after the set we played an hour away,” Aiden explained. “I can’t stay for long, but I wanted to be here since I was so close. Kellen doesn’t know.” He felt excitement bubble up in his chest again. It had been so hard not to say anything to Kellen, but Aiden hadn’t even known if he’d be able to come at all. He hadn’t wanted to get the man’s hopes up just in case.

But now he was here and he was so close to having his boyfriend in his arms again. Aiden couldn’t keep the smile off his face. Both girls noticed as they each gave him matching smirks.

B turned to look back inside before she returned her attention to Aiden. “As long as you don’t have sex in here, I’m glad to have you back. Or as long as I never hear about it.”

Have you ever had sex in here?” Olivia asked idly.

“Olivia!” B admonished. She jumped uncharacteristically when a hand landed on her shoulder and a deeper voice said, “You know he’d never answer that. But the answer actually is no. Wooden floors are kind of uncomfortable, you know?”

“Oops,” Olivia said with a little half smile as Kellen appeared from behind the blonde. “We… ruined the surprise, huh?” She gave Aiden an apologetic look, but he only had eyes for Kellen.

The tall brunette stood there casually, an easy smile on his face. Aiden traced every line of his body, practically drinking him in where he stood. Kellen had always been striking in Aiden’s eyes with his lithe, lanky body, those mirthful eyes, and the graceful way he moved. Even with no music playing, it was like every step Kellen took was harmonious. But he didn’t even have to move for Aiden to be rendered speechless by him.

Kellen gave him an indulgent smile, wider than his usual playful ones. It made his face light up as he turned to the two girls. “My own friends abandoning me for my boyfriend,” he said dramatically, a hand to his chest.

Olivia and B shared a conspiring look. They nodded to one another before Olivia grabbed Kellen’s hand and B pushed him from behind until he was standing right in front of Aiden and blinking in confusion. Kellen turned to stare at the two of them with a mock insulted look.

“You finished class for the day, so we’ll see you later!” Olivia said, dismissing him with a preemptive wave of her hand. “Trust in us to clean up.”

B suddenly appeared with Kellen’s bag and phone, shoving them into the man’s hands. “Bye, Kellen,” she added definitively. Aiden hadn’t even seen her duck back into the studio to grab Kellen’s things.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” Olivia encouraged as she led B back inside, the blonde mumbling, “You’re definitely not that adventurous” to the woman with the purple streaks in her hair.

Aiden blinked at Kellen, who was suddenly right within arm’s reach. The brunette smirked at him. “Hey, hun,” he said casually, his voice teasingly low.

“Hi, baby,” Aiden responded automatically. He felt like he couldn’t breathe with this sexy man right in front of him, the sweat still on his skin from his class, a slight blush adorning his features.

Kellen leaned on him automatically, smoothly. There wasn’t even a hint of awkwardness in his movement as he lined himself up with Aiden’s body perfectly, slotting himself into place. Aiden placed one hand on Kellen’s hip and the other on the man’s chest, the desire to touch him simply overwhelming. He felt like he still needed to convince himself that his boyfriend was really right in front of him now.

“Your heart is beating really quickly,” Aiden commented, just to see that little blush spread on Kellen’s face. It was so rare to see Kellen flush that it was such a treat every time.

Kellen chuckled under his breath, knocking his forehead against Aiden’s. “Of course, it is.” That was all he said before he wrapped his arms around Aiden in a tight hug, taking a deep breath as his nose tickled Aiden’s neck.

Aiden returned the hug with just as much force. The feeling of Kellen in his arms was simply right. It made Aiden’s heart beat too fast even as his stomach flipped and his breath quickened. He let out a breathy sigh of satisfaction when Kellen pulled lightly at the hair on the nape of his neck in that sweet way that only he could do.

Kellen took a deep breath and leaned back only to slot his lips against Aiden’s with barely contained passion. They only kissed for a short second and Aiden was already feeling breathless when Kellen stepped back to put some space between them.

“We probably shouldn’t do that here,” Kellen said with a lidded smile. “But, Aiden, you didn’t tell me that you’d be back!” he laughed that loud, barking laugh that Aiden remembered from when they were in high school.

Aiden smiled widely. “I wanted to surprise you for your birthday,” he said bashfully, his ears reddening.

Kellen gave him a fond smile. “You’re just adorable,” he commented. It was so casual, with no trace of embarrassment at all. Kellen was always like that, casually saying things that made Aiden feel like the luckiest guy in the world.

Aiden couldn’t help himself from leaning forward to kiss Kellen again, but Kellen broke the kiss after only a second. With the slight blush on his face and the lustful glimmer in his eyes, he already looked like more than half of the dirty dreams Aiden had been having.

Kellen chuckled. “It’s been four months, Aiden. You can’t kiss me like that until we’re alone, doors shut, and I can put my hand in just the right spot for you to scream.” His voice got deeper as he spoke, his hand running down Aiden’s chest and stomach before he took a calm step back. From the mirth in his eyes, it was obvious that he knew what he was doing.

“You’re such a tease,” Aiden groaned in frustration, covering his increasingly red face with his hand. He listened to the way Kellen laughed as his boyfriend grabbed his hand and led them away from the studio and to the brunette’s small but cozy little apartment.

Aiden had never been so glad that Kellen lived close. Sure, the man picked this place because he wasn’t able to drive without having a panic attack, on account of the accident that left him with his chronic migraines, but as they kissed against his apartment door, all Aiden could think about was the way Kellen’s body fit in his and how close they were to having no clothes between them.

Kellen finally grabbed his key as Aiden kissed against the back of his neck, making the taller man shiver and drop his keys around three times before he turned it correctly. Aiden chuckled at the sight of his normally composed boyfriend already shivering against him. Kellen’s eternal patience appeared to run out as he quickly stepped inside and shut the door behind him, immediately pinning Aiden against the wall.

“Are we sure I’m definitely not dreaming this?” Kellen asked, his chest heaving in and out. “Because I’m going to be fucking pissed if I am.”

Aiden smirked this time, grabbing Kellen’s hips and grinding against him. Kellen groaned low in his throat, resting his forehead against Aiden’s neck. Aiden was already breathing hard. It had been months since he’d had Kellen in his arms.

Months of calling one another on the phone, texting, or falling asleep on video message. Months of remembering over and over what the man’s long fingers were like when they ghosted over his stomach, or how Kellen liked to kiss along his jaw, or the way the man could just look at Aiden to make him feel warm all over.

It was almost too good to be true, but Aiden knew this wasn’t a dream. He breathed out against Kellen’s neck, watching the man shudder. “I’m sure you’re not dreaming,” he said to Kellen, swallowing. “I’m really here, baby.”

Kellen gave him a bright, lusty smile. “Then I’ll really make you feel good,” Kellen responded, his hands going right to Aiden’s shirt. Aiden slipped out of it in only a second, far too eager to feel Kellen’s fingers moving slowly down his chest. Aiden was breathless at the feeling of Kellen’s blunt fingernails as they nipped his chest and stomach, heading south to the button of his jeans.

“Isn’t this supposed to be your birthday?” Aiden asked, feeling simultaneously cherished and frustrated at the feeling of his now too-tight jeans.

“Oh, but I just got a great present,” Kellen said with a devilish smile that made Aiden’s heart skip a beat. “I just have to unwrap it.” He popped the button and lowered the zipper on Aiden’s jeans, making Aiden flush and moan at the cool air that assaulted him. When Kellen put his hands on Aiden’s hips and got down onto his knees, Aiden sort of lost track of everything.

He remembered just how amazing Kellen was with his mouth, the firm feeling of his hands holding Aiden still. He remembered how great it felt to have Kellen underneath him, squirming as Aiden kissed up his throat, nipping at his jaw just to make him scream. He remembered what it felt like to have his boyfriend’s hands on him, running over him, driving him crazy. And what it felt like to drive Kellen crazy in the same way.

All Aiden was aware of was the way Kellen made him feel until they stopped to catch their breath. Idly, he noticed that the sun was setting. Sweat lined his chest as he breathed in and out, Kellen in a similar position beside him.

“That was… amazing,” Kellen said in a blissed-out voice. Aiden couldn’t even respond for a moment, still breathless.

“Glad to know I’ve still got it,” Aiden joked.

Kellen chuckled lowly. “As if you ever lost it.”

Aiden looked over at Kellen, feeling satisfied and content. The sun was hitting the other man just right, stretching out over his bare chest and stomach. “Happy birthday, Kellen,” Aiden said fondly. It hadn’t been easy to find the time to come down here to see this man that he loved, but he’d do it again in a heartbeat to see the smile Kellen sent his way.

“Thanks, Aiden,” he responded cheerfully. “God, I wish we could do this for however long you’re here nonstop.” He rolled over to rest his chin on Aiden’s chest, those big brown eyes looking up at him as Kellen draped himself atop him.

After months of being alone in bed, Aiden found the weight comforting. “We can’t?” Aiden said only half seriously, a little smile on his face.

Kellen hummed. Aiden could feel the vibrations in his stomach. “My family is coming down tomorrow for my birthday. While my sisters would give me a good luck and tell me to have fun if I said I was spending the day with you, my mom would blow a gasket.”

The years had mellowed out Kellen’s mom, according to him anyway, but it still made Aiden sad to hear how often Kellen and his mom butted heads. Even though they loved one another, there was no one on the planet who could rile up Kellen like his mom. Half the time, Kellen put up with the tension and well-meaning but thoughtless comments just to make sure his sisters didn’t get pulled into one of their infamous screaming matches.

Aiden tightened his arm around the other man. “Hey… maybe, if you don’t mind of course, maybe I could be with you tomorrow? To keep your mom from pushing you over the edge.” He said it casually, but still felt his stomach twist slightly out of nervousness.

Aiden hadn’t yet gotten the opportunity to meet his boyfriend’s family. Kellen had met his, and they got along great, but Aiden was admittedly nervous to meet the people he’d heard so much about. Especially with the already difficult relationship Kellen had with his mom and stepdad.

A lazy smile crossed Kellen’s face. From the way he rubbed his hand softly over Aiden’s stomach, it was clear that he knew Aiden’s nerves were acting up. “Heaven knows that I need you there,” he said easily as a slight frown crossed his face. “But you’re not mad that the few days you get to come that my family happens to be here too?”

“How could I be mad about that? Meeting your mom and stepdad, and the two sisters you love more than anyone in the world?” Aiden asked like it was obvious.

Kellen smiled warmly. “More than anyone, huh?” He patted Aiden’s chest lightly. “You’re right up next to them, honey. I hope you know that.”

The simple sentence made Aiden’s heart feel too big. He swallowed and exhaled at the way Kellen could so effortlessly make him feel loved, whether they were lying together or talking over the phone. “I miss you, Kellen,” he said quietly. “I miss this.”

Kellen stared at him for a moment before he repositioned himself so he could lean up to kiss Aiden’s throat tenderly. “I know, Aiden. I miss you too.” He kissed Aiden’s jaw next, moving to his cheek. “But we’re never all too far. As much as I want us to screw each other senseless some days, or how I wish I could wrap my arms around you when you’re tired and want to collapse into bed, there’s never a time when I don’t feel close to you. You’re my guy, Aiden. No matter where you are or if you’re only able to text me or if one of us falls asleep when we’re on the phone, I love you.”

As he spoke, he kissed Aiden’s cheek, his forehead, his nose, and finally, his lips. Each kiss was just as soft and sweet as the last, conveying every emotion Kellen couldn’t speak.

Aiden kissed back passionately, but slowly. This kiss was nothing like their hurried kisses from before. It was instead gentle, filled with the physical closeness the both of them had been craving over the past few months.

Aiden felt his stomach swoop at Kellen’s eloquence. He couldn’t explain the way those beautiful words made his mind buzz. All he could think was how lucky he was that this man on top of him had forgiven him for breaking them up in high school. Of course, Kellen had made it clear that he’d never been mad in the first place. He’d always been right there, encouraging Aiden to fulfill his dreams, chasing away the loneliness with his voice or his touch or his laughter.

And now he was here, telling Aiden that he loved him in the most wonderful way. Aiden broke their kiss, murmuring against his lips, “I love you too.”

He could feel Kellen smile. Aiden didn’t know how to put everything into words, but when Kellen smiled like that, he knew his boyfriend understood.

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