The Man I Love

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How to Feel

“T-thanks for grabbing me today, h-hun,” Kellen shivered as he slid into the car, soaking wet.

Aiden gave him a sympathetic glance. “As if I’d let you walk home in the rain,” he said. “But how did you get soaked again?”

Kellen put his hands in front of the vents, trying to warm up. Aiden turned the heat up, watching the water drip off Kellen’s hair. “Nikki forgot her umbrella, so I gave her mine. It stopped raining when I left. I honestly thought I’d be fine grabbing a few things from the store on the way home.” He made a face. “I was clearly wrong.”

When Aiden patted his knee, his hand came away wet. “Well, I’m always glad to help,” he said, frowning at how intense the rain was getting outside. The storm really had come out of almost nowhere.

“My night in sh-shining armor,” Kellen murmured, his teeth chattering.

“We’ll be home soon, Kell, and you can get warm,” Aiden said to him. The drive was pretty slow though. It wasn’t like they lived far, but with the rain, everyone was moving pretty slowly.

“At least the girls got home okay,” Kellen said once he was as comfortable as he could be in his wet clothing. “Skylar’s at home, Thea’s at Parker’s with Felix, and Violet’s at home?”

Aiden nodded. “We’ll have to grab Thea too. Need me to turn the heat up again until then?”

“Much appreciated, but I’m doing better now,” Kellen chuckled. He pushed his hair back and Aiden couldn’t help but to stare for a second when they stopped for a red light. Kellen clearly noticed if the teasing smile was any indication. “Help me out of these clothes later? Preferably into a warm shower?”

“It would be my pleasure,” Aiden said with a sly smile. He huffed when he got through one red light just to hit another, frustrated.

Kellen shifted next to him. Aiden thought he might be feeling restless, but Kellen was leaning forward with a curious look on his face. Aiden was about to ask him what was wrong when Kellen said quickly, “Wait here! Hold on!”

Aiden jumped in surprise. “Kell—”

But Kellen was already out of the car and into the rain again, racing around the car. Aiden had a moment of panic as Kellen ran in front of another—thankfully stopped—car with his hand out, leaned down, picked something up, and ran back as cars started honking.

“Kellen, what the actual f—” Aiden started when Kellen slid back in, shivering again and even wetter than before, if that was possible.

“Aiden, I couldn’t just leave it!” Kellen pleaded, and that was when Aiden noticed what he was holding.

A cat. A small grey cat that probably blended into the road far too well. It was curled up in the crook of Kellen’s elbow, looking absolutely tiny with wet fur and whiskers.

Aiden sighed, determined not to melt at the sight of the cute, wet animal. “Kellen, you could have gotten hurt,” he said sternly, trying not to look at the cat.

“Yeah… I had a bit of a flash of what my dad probably saw before he got hit,” Kellen said dryly, looking slightly green at the thought. He shook himself out of it quickly. “But Aiden, the cat was under a wheel. It would have gotten crushed.”

He held up the cat so Aiden could see it. It was cute, but even if it was the ugliest thing in the world, it made Aiden sick to think about it meeting its end under a car in the rain.

“I’m still mad at you for running out in traffic,” Aiden mumbled, all the heat gone from his tone.

“I’m sorry, Aiden,” Kellen apologized sincerely. “I only had until the light went green again. I didn’t really think about it, but I’m sorry for worrying you.”

Aiden really couldn’t stay mad at him for wanting to save a small cat, especially when he noticed Kellen shivering again and the cat basking in the heat from the vents. He gave Kellen a pat on his knee to let him know that all was forgiven, pulling back out into traffic again.

As much as he didn’t want to make Kellen uncomfortable, Aiden had to ask gently, “You thought of your dad?”

Kellen made a face, his hands on the cat perched on his thigh. “Only when I saw the headlights, but yeah. That wasn’t ever a mental image that I needed,” he mumbled.

As if it realized Kellen’s dilemma, the cat meowed a tiny meow. “I think it understands,” Aiden joked.

“I think if we bring this, uh…” Kellen picked it up to check, “this guy home, the girls will never let him go.”

“I’m not sure what else we could do with him this late in the day,” Aiden said quietly, flicking his eyes over to watch the cat sit calmly with Kellen. “We talked about getting a pet a long time ago.”

Kellen hummed, nodding. “I remember. But then when you retired, we got married not long after and adopted the girls. We could have gotten a pet then, I guess, but honestly we were still figuring out the whole parenting thing.”

“It’s not like we can bring him home for a trial run either. Not when the girls have been dropping pet hints for years,” Aiden said, keeping his focus on the road for Kellen’s sake.

“Yes, ‘hints,’” Kellen chuckled. “They’re not subtle at all. ‘Dad, the shelter is only ten minutes away, can we get a pet?’ ‘Papa, you like cats, don’t you?’”

Aiden laughed under his breath. “Well, Kellen, you like cats, don’t you? This one likes you.”

Kellen gave him an amused smile. “You sure that you want to do this? Granted, a cat is nothing compared to a kid.”

Turning to stop by the supermarket, Aiden said, “We’ll make it sound like we got this cat out of the goodness of our hearts and that if they want us to keep it, then they have to take care of it.”

Kellen shook his head, clearly impressed. “It’s that kind of cleverness that makes me fall in love with you more every day,” he said, only half-jokingly. “Okay, we’ll have to be stern parents. You’re going to have to give me a second to sound serious. I’m kind of excited about the cat.”

He smiled widely as he held up the little grey ball of fur. Aiden found it endearing. He didn’t know how Kellen did it, but somehow, he’d managed to put on a serious face for Thea when they picked her up, and kept that serious face when they brought the cat home to Violet and Skylar.

Needless to say, the girls were thrilled about the cat. They promised to take care of him, calling him Ashes. Aiden didn’t know how well they’d actually scoop litter and brush the little cat, but he could at least say that he and Kellen kept up the stern act until they got up to their bedroom.

The second the door was closed, Kellen smiled widely to himself for a second. “Your plan worked wonderfully, hun,” he said. He frowned a moment later, grumbling at the way his wet clothing was still sticking to his skin.

Aiden interrupted Kellen’s frustrated hands with his own, helping him to get his belt off as Kellen pulled off his wet shirt and shivered as the cool air of the house hit his skin. Aiden leaned forward to lick a stripe up his neck. “I believe I promised you a warm shower tonight,” he said playfully.

“O-oh,” Kellen moaned lowly, his hands stilling. “But the girls… and dinner.” He let out a shaky breath, shivering from more than just the chill on his skin.

Aiden reached down to unbutton Kellen’s pants, still mouthing at his neck. The water dripping down the man’s neck had been distracting him all night. “I put some chicken in while you were instructing the girls on the litter box and food bowl situation. That’ll take at least an hour to cook through.”

“You really think the girls will leave us alone for an hour?” Kellen asked.

“I think they won’t check the shower at least,” Aiden murmured, backing his husband into the wall. “And you need to be warmed up.”

Kellen grabbed Aiden by the shirt and met his eyes. “Don’t make my pants even more difficult to get out of, hun,” he joked, his eyes darkened with lust.

Aiden smiled, walking backwards to pull him into the bathroom. He left Kellen to take off his soaked pants while he turned on the shower. Aiden jumped when he felt Kellen’s cold hands on his stomach, the taller man wrapping his arms around Aiden’s waist.

“You’re cold!” Aiden yelped.

“Just withstand it for a minute,” Kellen said much too seriously considering what they were talking about.

“I have a better idea,” Aiden suggested, turning around as he pulled his shirt off and kicked his pants down, Kellen abandoning him to jump in the warm water.

Aiden heard Kellen sigh in relief. “Oh, this is nice,” he purred under the spray.

Seeing Kellen standing there, relaxed, with his hair slicked back from the water, was just as nice in Aiden’s opinion. He stepped in, Kellen not even flinching at his entrance. It was nice to be so comfortable around another person, to be able to slip into bed or into the shower or go in for a kiss and to know that Kellen would smile against his lips and melt into his touch.

Kellen did the same thing as Aiden ran his hands up the man’s chest, leaning against Aiden heavily like he’d like nothing more than to fall asleep. When he opened his eyes, however, they were still dark with desire.

“The water’s doing wonders for me, but how about you warm me up too?” Kellen said in a sultry voice.

Aiden didn’t need to be told twice. They didn’t have long with dinner in the oven and the girls downstairs, but they had long enough for Aiden to continue his path down Kellen’s neck from before, and for Kellen to let his hands wander down Aiden’s back, tracing the nodules of his spine.

“Warm enough?” Aiden asked after a while, smiling when Kellen took in another breath, his chest moving in and out quickly.

Kellen swallowed. “Honestly, hun, I can’t think of a good comeback here.”

Aiden laughed at Kellen’s rare lack of a clever response. “You think, and I’ll do this,” he said, getting on his knees slowly, letting his hands trace down Kellen’s chest and stomach until they landed on his hips.

“You expect me to think under these conditions?” Kellen asked in amusement, moaning when Aiden pushed him back against the cold shower tiles.

Aiden could only smile at Kellen’s reaction, enjoying all the muffled moans and breaths that escaped the man. Kellen leaned down to give him a passionate kiss when he finished, pulling Aiden to stand to get him right where he wanted him. Aiden shuddered at the feeling of those hands on him, making him feel even hotter than the water in the shower.

It was nice to step out into the cooler air again and see how Ashes was doing with three excitable girls watching him. As it turned out, the cat fit right in. He took to sitting on Skylar’s homework, so she shrugged and said she obviously couldn’t do it.

Kellen clearly felt bad for bothering the cat, but put Ashes on the couch and instructed Skylar to get back to work until dinner. She sighed, making Aiden laugh when Kellen rejoined him.

“Look at you being the stern parent,” Aiden joked lowly as he checked the food.

“Which is amazing considering what we just did in the shower,” he murmured under his breath, just loudly enough for Aiden to hear.

Aiden might have not flushed as often as he used to, but when Kellen spoke like that, it never failed to bring a blush to Aiden’s ears. Kellen smiled though, kissing him on the cheek and stepping away to relax for a minute before dinner.

It rained all night that night, and kept raining the next few days. Aiden offered to grab Kellen each day, stepping in to Kick Up Your Heels with a smile for Olivia. She perked up from her place at the front desk.

“Aiden! No kids today?” Olivia asked. The streaks in her hair were a deep orange now, and she’d finally gotten new glasses that had little sparkles running through them instead of just on the side.

“Not today,” Aiden said. “Thea volunteered to make a dinner of spaghetti, Violet fell asleep, and Skylar’s watching some show she likes.”

Olivia shook her head as if to say, “too bad.” “Well, let them know I said hello. By the way, I heard you guys got a cat. If you think B and I aren’t going over to see it at some point, you’re wrong.”

Aiden looked at her fondly. “I’d expect nothing less. Bring Maxie.” Maxie was their corgi: a small, excitable little dog that loved visiting to see their girls.

“Will do,” Olivia reassured him. “Anyway, Kellen should be done soon. Sorry to say that it’s just me, B, and Kellen here today though. Nikki’s with Zander,” she said teasingly.

“Oh really?” Aiden mused. “On a date with Zander? Beyond that, I don’t need more details.”

Olivia laughed to herself. “Yes, on a date. I think they’re just eating somewhere. By the way, Zander’s a lucky kid, because I think your brother would be all weird that Zander’s five years older than Nikki if Kellen didn’t have Zander’s back.”

Aiden shook his head. That sounded like his brother. “He knows not to mess with Kellen by now. Zander’s a good kid anyway.”

“You don’t need worry. He’s so shy that Nikki will have to jump him if she wants anything,” Olivia tried to say comfortingly, but Aiden groaned at the mental image of his niece. Now he understood why Kellen’s tactics had been so effective on Isaac all these years.

“Not comforting, Olivia,” he murmured, making her laugh.

“Stop scaring Aiden, Olivia,” Kellen reprimanded her good-naturedly as he walked in. A couple was behind him; probably another one of the wedding couples that he was teaching to dance. They said their goodbye and thanks to Kellen, promising to see him next week.

As Kellen was waving goodbye, Aiden raised his eyebrow at a man who walked in. The guy was older than most of Kellen’s students, at least in his late thirties. He looked incredibly nervous, fidgeting and looking around like someone might jump out at him.

If Kellen thought the man’s nervous habits were strange, he didn’t comment on it. He only gave the man a smile and said kindly, “We’re closing up for the night in a few, sir, but can I help you with any questions or with signing up for lessons?”

The man’s head snapped up when Kellen addressed him. He cleared his throat. “Um, no. I, uh, I actually was looking for… Kellen Konrad?”

Kellen narrowed his eyes curiously. Aiden shifted, tamping down the desire to stand in between this guy and Kellen on the off-chance that something was wrong. He knew Kellen could handle himself.

“That’s me actually,” Kellen said, standing up fully. “May I help you with something?”

The guy took a deep breath. His eyes cut to Aiden and then Olivia, who was no longer smiling, but watching very seriously. Aiden had a brief moment where he wondered how quickly Olivia could jump over a counter in a skirt and the little wedges she liked to wear. Then the man refocused his attention back on Kellen. “I… wanted to apologize to you.”

Kellen frowned in confusion. “I’m… sorry. Have we met?”

“Kind of? I guess it’s kind of stupid, but my wife almost got into a crash this past weekend and it made me think of a crash I was involved in about twenty years ago. I should have apologized all those years ago… or just never shown up at all. I’m sure you hate me, but I just wanted to say I’m sorry… to the person I hit,” he said with a wince.

The whole room was dead silent. Kellen had this flabbergasted look on his face that Aiden had maybe only seen once or twice in his life. Olivia was staring at this guy with wide eyes, her hands stilling completely.

Aiden didn’t even know what to do. A part of him wanted to be angry. Kellen had suffered through vicious migraines for more than half his life because of this man’s reckless actions when he was a kid. It honestly would have felt good to punch this guy.

On the other hand, it had been twenty years, and Kellen had chosen not to press charges so long ago for a reason. Like back then, what happened now was also Kellen’s decision.

If Aiden was feeling this mixed up, he had no idea what Kellen was feeling. His husband was just staring at this man, before he swallowed heavily.

“You’re… the guy who hit me,” Kellen murmured. “I’m, uh, I’m sorry—it’s been a long time; I don’t remember what the police said your name was.”

The guy waved his hands in a panic, as if to say that Kellen had nothing to apologize for. “No, it’s fine! I’m Marcus Leland.”

“Right…” Kellen mumbled to himself. “And you… came here after twenty years… to say you’re sorry?” Aiden couldn’t place Kellen’s tone. He sounded confused, although not accusatory or angry.

“Yes,” Marcus said more surely. “I know it’s been a while. But I guess I just tried to forget about what I’d done. You never pressed charges for the accident, even though it was my fault. It was easy to almost think it never happened.”

“For you,” Olivia said, her annoyance clear as she stood up straight. Aiden shifted himself, frowning at the way that sounded.

“R-right! I didn’t mean it like that! I just meant that—”

“Did you know that Kellen’s suffered from migraines every few weeks ever since you crashed into him?” Olivia said, her voice dangerously low. Even the sparkles in her glasses and orange streaks in her hair couldn’t make her less intimidating. “I’ve known him ever since that accident. Do you know what you did to him? And now you have the gall…!”

She’d stepped around her desk, intending to step up to him, but Kellen grabbed her around her waist to stop her path. “Olivia,” he said calmly.

“No, Kellen, you’re too nice! Let me say this!” Olivia argued. She tried to struggle out of his hold, but Kellen held on tightly.

“Olivia, please,” Kellen pleaded without raising his voice.

She bristled, but the fight seemed to leave her. Olivia only crossed her arms and went to stand next to Aiden, unwilling to leave. Aiden had to take a few deep breaths himself, reminding himself that what to do with this man was Kellen’s decision.

Kellen didn’t seem bothered by Olivia’s outburst. “I know you didn’t mean it that way,” he said cautiously to Marcus.

“I’m so sorry,” Marcus rushed out quickly. “I just meant that it’s been a long time and I was young and stupid and I wasn’t paying attention when I hit your car. It’s no excuse, and I know it’s no excuse, but I could never understand… I could never understand why you didn’t press charges.” He shifted his feet. “I… didn’t even know what happened to you after the police told me I was free to go. I never knew about the migraines.” His voice petered out in the end, guilt choking him.

Kellen tapped his foot, a clear indication that he wanted to pace but was holding himself back. Pacing was something Kellen only did when he was agitated.

“Kellen,” Aiden called lowly to get his attention. “Do you want me to…?” He wasn’t sure how that sentence was going to end. To punch this guy? To escort him out? To hold you?

Kellen took a breath, exhaling. He offered Aiden a sad smile. “It’s okay, Aiden.” He turned back to Marcus, who was watching the exchange nervously. “My husband,” Kellen explained, indicating Aiden. “We have three girls together.”

Aiden didn’t know why Kellen was telling this man about them, and could tell Olivia was hoping Kellen would just leave it to her, but then Kellen closed his eyes and opened them again. “My life turned out pretty well, Marcus. I hate the migraines. You can’t even understand how much and how debilitating what you’ve done to me has been for the past twenty years,” he said sternly, in that I’m-so-disappointed-in-you-tone that he used on the girls.

Kellen nodded his head towards Aiden and Olivia. “But I have a wonderful husband, amazing daughters, and some loyal friends. I’m not dissatisfied with my life, and as for how I feel about you, that hasn’t changed since the accident.”

He paused, maybe for dramatic effect, maybe to make sure that Marcus was giving him his full attention. Aiden was waiting with bated breath as Kellen finally said, “I didn’t press charges back then because I knew it was a mistake. You got distracted by your friends and didn’t see my car. It happens,” he said with a shrug. “I won’t say I was never angry at you. I’m not that kind-hearted. But I don’t spend my days stewing in anger or regret. Not like you seem to.”

It was silent again. Aiden swallowed, feeling a swirl of emotions in his chest. The strongest one was pride. He was so proud of Kellen for the depth of his kindness.

The next most potent emotion was worry. Kellen might have been an amazing man, but Aiden knew him well enough to understand that Kellen was struggling with this.

Marcus stood there unsurely, as if he couldn’t believe what he had just heard.

Kellen looked away, his foot tapping incessantly. Aiden might have not have jumped in like Olivia, but he did know what to do to help Kellen. He stepped over and took Kellen’s hand, standing right by his side to provide him with some comfort.

If the squeeze of his hand was any indication, Aiden was sure that he’d made the right decision. Kellen kept a hold on his hand as he addressed Marcus again, “I think you need to accept what you did and come to terms with that. That’s the best apology you could give me.”

Marcus took a deep breath. He shifted his feet. “I… yeah. I thought about it a lot right away, but then I tried not to even remember it. I didn’t want to think about what I’d done.”

“Maybe it was better that way,” Kellen said with a shrug. “You have a wife now. It sounds like you’re doing at least slightly okay. I let you go without charges because I didn’t want your whole life to be defined by what happened. I’m glad it wasn’t.”

This time, Marcus met his eyes. “Thank you.”

Kellen shook his head. “There’s no need for that. Talk to your wife. Go home. And… don’t come back here looking for me to forgive whatever guilt you’re still carrying.” He didn’t say it unkindly, but firmly. Aiden squeezed his hand as Marcus looked around Kick Up Your Heels without another word, evidently unsure of what else could be said.

“If you know anyone that wants a dance lesson…” Olivia eventually said with a heavy sigh. It obviously took a lot for her to say this. “…send them here.”

Marcus gave her a cautious smile. “I will. Thank you.” He nodded and walked out, his footsteps resounding on the wooden floors before the door chimed and he was gone.

Aiden watched Kellen let out a heavy breath, running a hand over his eyes. He kept his hold on Kellen’s hand while Kellen looked to Olivia tiredly. “Olivia? Can you…?”

She only nodded. “We’ll lock down here. Drive safe, guys.” She stepped forward to give Kellen a calming hug, squeezing him comfortingly.

It was a gesture that he returned, taking a deep breath, but not making any move to leave when Olivia pulled away. Aiden took that as his cue. Giving Olivia a little nod, he pulled Kellen out the door and to the car. The man didn’t say anything for a long while, lost in his own thoughts on the drive home.

They were almost home when Kellen said quietly, “Aiden?”

“Yes, Kellen?” Aiden responded softly. He could hear the strangled quality of Kellen’s voice.

“I... did I make the right choice?”

“Morally or…?”

“I don’t know,” Kellen murmured. He sounded lost. “I just meant like… shouldn’t I have been angry? I should have cursed him out. Or gotten angry. Or told him how these stupid migraines make me cry when I miss something big. But I-I couldn’t…”

“Kellen,” Aiden interrupted softly. “You shouldn’t have been anything but what you feel. Do you feel angry?”

It took him a second, but he finally said, “No. I used to be angry, but I don’t feel like that much anymore. I didn’t feel angry when I saw him either. I felt sorry for him.”

“You felt sorry for him?” Aiden questioned, giving Kellen his attention while driving slowly under the continued drizzle.

Kellen nodded. “This guy still felt so guilty about what he’d done that he found me twenty years after the fact. That took a lot of bravery and I appreciate the effort, but I let go of all that a long time ago.” He paused, looking away for a second. “Or I thought I did anyway. Seeing this guy brought up all those emotions I thought I’d let go.”

Aiden frowned at the conflict in Kellen’s voice. “Kellen, baby, it’s okay if you feel angry or confused, or even nothing at all. You were in a traumatic accident that left you with debilitating migraines. It’s okay to take your time to sort out how you feel about getting a hello from the guy who hit you.”

Kellen swallowed with difficulty, not meeting his eyes. “It’s been twenty years. It shouldn’t bother me.”

“You’ve been through a lot because of that accident, Kellen,” Aiden argued gently, “It’s perfectly understandable if it does still bother you.”

They were both quiet for a moment. Aiden noticed Kellen shivering and turned up the heat, feeling a little better when Kellen took a breath. “You looked angry,” Kellen commented.

“I guess I was obvious,” Aiden said with a sympathetic smile. “And here I thought that I hid it pretty well.”

Kellen gave him a waning smile. “I know you pretty well,” he mirrored.

“Then I guess you know that I would have loved to tell that guy how angry I was at the pain he caused you. But I know that you can handle yourself,” Aiden said, taking a breath.

Kellen raised an eyebrow. “Wow, you really must have been mad.” He hummed to himself. “That feels kind of good.”

Aiden gave him a searching look. “You’re going to have to clarify what feels kind of good.”

“Having someone care about me enough to be angry on my behalf,” Kellen said loudly enough for Aiden to hear. “I guess… if I don’t know how I feel, it’s nice that you know how you feel,” he tried to joke, although his voice still sounded empty and lost.

Aiden pulled into their driveway, turning off the headlights and towards Kellen. “I know how I feel because you’re important to me. I also know that you made the right choice for you. I can’t tell you how to feel though.”

Kellen huffed out a breath, looking tired. “Why not? I don’t want to feel confused anymore. Just tell me how to react.”

Aiden gave him a tiny smile at his pouting. “Baby, you’re doing just fine on your own.” He watched Kellen swallow with difficulty, emotion clogging up his throat.

Kellen might have not known how to feel, but Aiden knew exactly what to do for him. He reached forward to grab Kellen in a tight hug. He ran his fingers through Kellen’s hair and over his back lovingly, continuing to hold him tightly when he felt Kellen tense and his shoulders shake slightly.

“It’s okay, Kellen,” Aiden whispered. If his strength was good for anything, it was holding Kellen tightly like this to give him the comfort he so desperately needed.

Kellen didn’t make any noise. He never did when he cried, not that he cried much this time. He pulled away a second later with a pleased smile on his face. “You’ve gotten so good at this whole comfort thing,” he said wryly.

Aiden chuckled to himself and wiped Kellen’s eyes with a soft touch. “I learned from the best. For the first at least five years of our relationship, you were the one always comforting me. Remember? Telling me over and over again how you understood about baseball and made me feel better about all those stupid slur articles that were printed after I came out.”

“I remember. I remember that you also said that you’d spend the rest of your life showing me how much all that meant to you,” Kellen said lowly, kissing Aiden gently on the cheek. “You’re doing a wonderful job so far, hun.”

“Good,” Aiden said, feeling himself flush at Kellen’s gentle gesture.

“Aw, I got you to blush again,” Kellen teased, giving Aiden a peck on the lips this time. It turned into a deeper kiss as Aiden leaned in, trying to put all the words he couldn’t say into that kiss.

As always, Kellen seemed to understand, returning the kiss with just as much force.

Aiden almost felt like they were teenagers again, kissing in the secluded car just like they used to do in Aiden’s old room or out near the park. It made him smile, putting a hand on the back of Kellen’s neck to pull him closer.

Aiden could tell how much better Kellen was feeling when they stepped inside, but the girls and cat did wonders for his mood. He was quiet enough that they knew something was wrong though, and put extra effort into making him feel better.

Still, at night, when everything was silent and Aiden laid down to sleep next to Kellen, he knew Kellen couldn’t get the day off his mind. When Kellen couldn’t fall asleep, Aiden wrapped his arms around his husband, pulling him closer and squeezing him tighter.

He must have fallen asleep before Kellen that night, a rarity, but when he woke, Kellen was still relaxed in his arms, now breathing softly into his pillow. Aiden just nosed into the space between his shoulder blades, letting his eyes close and his consciousness drift off peacefully with the knowledge that Kellen was in his arms.

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