The Man I Love

All Rights Reserved ©


It had been a stressful week. Aiden wanted to go home and collapse into bed, but he had practice after school, grocery shopping just before he got home, and some parent-teacher meetings in between. Parent-teacher conferences were this week, which meant that all of the kids on his team had parents who wanted to say hello, including Felix’s.

Felix’s parents were much more exhausting than Aiden would have thought. If there wasn’t awkward silence between them, there was a snide comment, a rude look, a scoff, or some awkward effort to include Felix in their dispute. Understandably, Felix was incredibly embarrassed by the whole thing.

Honestly, Aiden wished that Kellen was with him to shut down all their foolish arguing. He already knew what his husband would do: tell them straightforwardly to stop including Felix in their arguments and to act like adults. They probably would have gotten pissed at him for it, but Aiden would have given his husband a huge kiss to show just how grateful he was.

As it was though, Aiden could only interrupt Felix’s parents every time they argued, eyeing them disapprovingly. That worked well enough, and it at least brought a smile to Felix’s face to see his parents being reprimanded.

Aiden would have felt proud of himself if he wasn’t so absolutely exhausted from the other parents he had to speak with and the groceries he had to get afterwards. He was so tired that he ended up falling asleep on the couch when he got home, only to be awoken when Kellen ran a hand through his hair and shook him gently awake.

Aiden didn’t want to move, so he was grateful that Kellen didn’t protest when he skipped dinner to just go to sleep in their bed. He’d even left out a plate for Aiden to snack on in the middle of the night, a gesture that sent warmth to Aiden’s fingertips.

Despite the loving gesture, more than anything, Aiden wanted some real alone time with his husband. With Kellen’s increase in classes during wedding season and Aiden’s coaching, he felt like they were continually missing one another day in and day out and it was driving him insane. They still had their usual closeness and casual kisses, but Aiden wanted the time to spoil Kellen with much more than stolen touches and warm hugs.

Even those stolen kisses were starting to drive him crazy. All Kellen had to do was kiss him for more than two seconds when he got home for Aiden to stare after him like a puppy. Something of his thoughts must have shown on his face from the way Kellen chuckled. “Hun, you have this look like I just did that thing that you like.”

Aiden smiled as he slid onto the barstool, watching Kellen as he pulled together a simple dinner of fish and veggies. “At this point, you could sit on my lap and I’d be almost there,” he joked, although he wasn’t entirely joking.

Kellen gave him a sympathetic look. “We’ve had a busy week or two. Or three,” he said with a tired sigh. “Believe me, if we even held each other to dance, I’d be gone.”

“Good to know I’ve finally gotten your stamina to match mine,” Aiden said with a chuckle, feeling the sexual frustration between them even just staring at his husband from across the counter. He cleared his throat to dispel some of the tension. “But I went to the eye doctor’s today.” He took a breath. “And I owe you something.”

Kellen raised a curious eyebrow, crossing his arms as Aiden pulled out his wallet and dropped fifty bucks on the counter. Aiden next reached into his jacket and grabbed the pair of glasses he’d picked out at the eye doctor’s, an embarrassed red creeping onto his ears.

“We made a bet years ago that the first one of us that gets glasses owes the other one a fifty,” Aiden said matter-of-factly.

Kellen’s eyes had gone mischievous, a dark look in them. “Oh my god, you’re so cute,” he said. “I mean distinguished, of course,” he added with a wide smile. “But I like those.”

“You do?” Aiden asked. He would admit that he’d been nervous the entire ride home, wondering what Kellen would think of him in glasses. He knew Kellen wasn’t that shallow, but after twenty years, he figured it would be quite the change. “I only really need them for reading.”

“Well, you look absolutely wonderful in them,” he said, dipping his voice. “My beautiful, sexy husband. Looking smart and distinguished—and athletic too?”

Aiden yelped when Kellen pulled him into a deep kiss from across the counter, already feeling the heat in his gut that told him they should probably stop before they got too carried away. Kellen kept kissing him though, only stopping when he needed to turn back to the food in the oven.

Kellen had this lovestruck look on his face that Aiden hadn’t even realized that he’d been yearning to see. “You look great, Aiden,” he said sincerely.

“Even though I’m getting old?” Aiden asked petulantly.

Kellen returned to give him a short kiss this time. “You’re definitely not old. But no matter how old you do get, you look great. I meant it when I said that you looked distinguished.” He ran his hand through Aiden’s hair. “As long as you love me with the grey hairs that I’m getting.”

“You are not,” Aiden said patiently. “Besides, if I look good with glasses, then you would definitely look good with a little silver on the sides.” He could imagine it pretty well actually. It would likely be a long way off though.

Kellen gave him a pleased smile, turning to handle the food. He shot a confused look behind Aiden, however, just before he looked away. “Hey, girls. Dinner’s about done.”

Aiden turned to see them, wondering if he looked as tired and frustrated as he felt. He thought he hid it pretty well though as he greeted them with a smile. “How was school today?”

Despite the fact that the girls answered completely normally, Aiden couldn’t shake the feeling that something was on their mind. They kept sharing these looks throughout dinner that Aiden honestly couldn’t figure out. He wasn’t aware of anything they did wrong, so he figured there was no harm in whatever they were planning.

“So, dad, papa,” Skylar started in a serious voice when she was finished. None of the girls had asked to be excused yet, which was another rarity.

“Oh, are we in trouble?” Kellen said, both joking and serious.

Skylar went on as if Kellen had said nothing. “It’s your anniversary next week.”

Aiden blinked, confused. He hadn’t thought the girls would remember. “Yes, it is,” he said slowly.

Thea leaned forward seriously. “Are you guys doing anything?”

Aiden looked to Kellen, who shrugged and answered, “It’s been a busy few weeks, kids. We were going to have dinner.”

They shared another look, looking disapproving. Violet was the one who said, “You should go out that night.”

Thea nodded surely. “You should go out and do something and I can babysit these two.”

“Or we can go to Uncle Ian’s or Uncle Isaac’s so that you don’t have to worry,” Violet said to her, looking at Thea and looking back.

Aiden frowned at the three of them, leaning back in his chair. “Not that we don’t appreciate the gesture here, but what is this about? You three haven’t been concerned about our wedding anniversary before.”

Thea cleared her throat like she was preparing to give a speech. “Well, see, it’s just that it’s your sixteen-year anniversary together,” she started, but was interrupted by the much louder Skylar.

“And you guys looked so tired this week and we know that we take a lot of your time and attention and—” Skylar started. She only stopped because Violet put a hand over her mouth to quiet her.

Without moving her hand, she said in her usual quiet voice, “We know that it can be busy with all of us. And you don’t get a lot of time alone. So, we thought you could have a nice night out without worrying about us.”

Kellen put his fork down, giving all three girls a serious look. “Kids, we love that you’re thinking of us, but you should know that we love taking care of you. None of you are a burden for us, and we’ll never turn you away when you need our help.”

“It’s not like we’ve ever blamed you for not having time alone either,” Aiden added on. Sure, he’d love some free time with his husband, but he understood as well as said husband that life was simply busy, and would be busy even without the kids.

Thea shook her head. “No, no, we’re not questioning that,” she said surely. “We know that you’d do anything for us, and we completely appreciate it. But that’s why you should have a night alone to celebrate your anniversary.”

Skylar and Violet nodded their heads in solidarity. Skylar crossed her arms obstinately. “We won’t take no for an answer. We even talked to Auntie Olivia and Aunt B and they said they’d be glad to take us for the night if Uncle Ian or Uncle Isaac said no.”

“I could still babysit,” Thea mumbled.

Violet looked at her calmly. “We went over this. They don’t have to worry if we’re at someone else’s house.”

“Yeah, they’d totally worry if it was just you,” Skylar tacked on.

Thea crossed her arms and pouted, but didn’t refute her sisters. They’d clearly already had the argument about how capable Thea was before they started this conversation.

Aiden was left stunned. He knew his daughters were caring and kind-hearted, but this was still completely unexpected. “So you… just want us to enjoy our anniversary?” he asked to clarify.

“That’ll be easy enough,” Kellen mused, taking another bite with a thoughtful look on his face. “It’s not like it’s tough to enjoy spending time with dad. You girls really thought about this though, huh?”

They nodded proudly. Violet smiled shyly to herself. “You guys put so much care and attention into us and what we do. We know you don’t need us to show you how much we appreciate it, but we wanted to.”

“Plus, eleven years is a long time,” Skylar said matter-of-factly. “You were getting married when Thea was like six.”

“Never thought of it that way,” Kellen mumbled to himself. He was smiling though.

Aiden wondered if Kellen was thinking the same thing as him: eleven years really was a long time. This was their seventeenth anniversary as a couple and eleventh as a married couple. It had been twenty-four years since they’d met. Sometimes Aiden couldn’t believe how much time had really passed. Sometimes he felt like he’d known Kellen his whole life. By this point, he almost had.

He looked to Kellen with a smile of his own. “Well? Are we going out on Thursday?”

“We can do anything,” Kellen said mischievously. He looked to Aiden. “We’ll iron out the details later.”

Aiden could already hear the excitement in his husband’s voice, and he could only wonder what Kellen had in mind. It wasn’t the time for that conversation though, not when Kellen turned back to the girls. “This sounds great. We must be doing something right for you girls to be so considerate.”

They beamed at the compliment, each of them smiling widely. Aiden smiled too; it was nice to have at least a little proof that they weren’t failing at this parenting thing.

Thea nodded at them, already halfway out of her chair. “We’ll go ask Uncle Isaac if we can stay with him. He and Aunt Lyla already take Orrin and Riley to school, so they can take us too.”

“To be fair, they want a break from more kids,” Violet offered.

“We’ll call Uncle Ian too,” Skylar added, dashing off as soon as they were excused and their dishes were in the sink.

Kellen sat back looking satisfied. Aiden looked to him. “Ideas?”

“Hotel? Kind of boring, but it’d be just like our wedding night,” Kellen suggested casually.

Aiden hummed at the thought. “You, a soft bed, some food, and the ability to sleep in? Sounds perfect to me.”

Kellen scoffed. “Aw, it’s so cute that you think we’ll be sleeping,” he said teasingly, his voice already deep enough to make Aiden shiver.

“And here I thought we were just a boring old couple going to a hotel instead of going out,” Aiden responded slyly. “How in the world do you expect me to make it until Thursday with this on the table?”

Kellen leaned over, his breath ghosting over the shell of Aiden’s ear. “How about a preview tonight? Or we can just shower together if you’re too tired.”

If Aiden had been exhausted before, he felt adrenaline flood him now at the thought of finally getting just a little bit of time with his husband. “I’m definitely not too tired. I can’t promise I’ll last more than ten minutes though. Meet you up there once the girls go to bed?”

“You’ve got it,” Kellen said, sealing their deal with a kiss that made it hard for Aiden to think.

It was even harder to keep his thoughts straight as Thursday approached. They’d set up everything, choosing to spend a night at a hotel and talking to Ian about the girls spending the night. He was actually thrilled, and was looking forward to spending some time with his nieces since Nikki had moved out. He said that it was nice to be the uncle now, where he could take the girls for a night and just send them back the next day.

Aiden smirked at his brother, thanking Ian and Letta when the two of them picked up the girls and took Ashes the cat for the night. He was picking up Kellen from work himself, his leg bouncing excitedly as he waited for Kellen to jump in the car.

“Hey, honey,” Kellen greeted, putting his bag in the back and giving Aiden a kiss hello.

Aiden gave him a curious look. “Wait, what’s in the bag?”

Kellen smiled to himself. “Just some extra clothes I needed to take back. And, ah, something I wanted to try tonight.”

“New things after eleven years? I’m a pretty lucky guy,” Aiden said playfully, although he wasn’t joking. “What do you have planned?”

Kellen placed his hand on Aiden’s thigh, not moving it, but Aiden could still feel the heat of his touch. “I’ll tell you when we get our room. Wouldn’t want you to be distracted.”

Aiden was already distracted just at the thought of their night together. With the girls gone, he supposed they could have stayed at home, but he couldn’t deny that it felt special to go out with Kellen for their anniversary. It wasn’t anything special, but it didn’t have to be. After all these years together, even the simplest nights spent watching TV or staring at each other in a new location could be relaxing.

They didn’t start off just staring though. The second they had their room, Kellen pressed Aiden against the door for a long kiss.

Aiden groaned and returned it, kissing his long-time husband slowly, without feeling the need to move into something more passionate and heated quite yet.

Kellen only broke them apart when they were out of breath, his eyes lidded. He had to clear his throat before speaking. “About that thing that I brought,” he started tentatively.

It took Aiden a second to realize it, but… “Are you embarrassed?” he asked the brunette.

“More like nervous,” Kellen tried to say lightheartedly. He leaned forward to speak lowly in Aiden’s ear, telling him exactly how he wanted to start off the night.

Aiden’s eyes widened as he flushed and his ears went red. They didn’t have a vanilla sex life by any means, but this was something they hadn’t had the chance to do before. Even though they’d talked about it, there was never the time or privacy for it.

“You’re… serious?” Aiden asked hopefully, wondering if he sounded too eager.

Kellen hummed, his face red, but not avoiding Aiden’s eyes any longer. He clearly wanted to make sure that there were no misunderstandings between them. “Ah, is it weird to suggest it more seriously?”

Aiden grabbed his shirt and answered him with a fiery kiss. He kissed up Kellen’s jaw as he mumbled, “Not weird at all.” Pulling away, he clarified, “So, you want me on top here, and you want me to…?”

Kellen nodded as Aiden repeated it. Aiden kissed him feverishly. “I want this too, so it’s definitely not weird at all.” He kissed Kellen’s relieved smile, pressing him against the wall and relaxing as Kellen wound his arms around his neck.

It was all so familiar yet it was also like they were kissing for the first time all over again. Every kiss with Kellen felt like that: familiar and new at the same time.

Aiden put his hands on Kellen’s hips, sighing in relief as Kellen traced his hands over Aiden’s shoulders, down his chest and stomach, and over to his belt. He kept moving his hands, making Aiden’s skin tingle with every soft touch and warm movement of his slender fingers.

Pride curled in his chest when Kellen groaned under Aiden’s lips, bucking up into his hips and curling his fingertips into Aiden’s biceps.

Aiden smiled into their kiss, reaching to pull up Kellen’s shirt. Kellen laughed as he struggled with it, separating them for only a second to get his shirt off. Those beautiful hips pressed into his again as Kellen moved to kiss over his jaw, pulling him closer with every move.

“Aiden,” Kellen mumbled in a commanding voice, his fingers working quickly to unbutton Aiden’s shirt.

Aiden knew exactly what he wanted; he allowed Kellen to push his shirt off, the button-up falling to the floor in a heap. He moaned at the feeling of their bare chests pressed together tantalizingly.

Suddenly, he felt too hot. There was heat creeping up his chest and down into his stomach, coiling slowly in his gut.

Kellen reached down between them. Without words, he undid Aiden’s belt and popped the button on his pants, pushing them down for some much-needed relief. Aiden almost lost himself right then as Kellen palmed him, wrapping around him just slowly enough to force Aiden to take a second to breathe.

“K-Kellen,” he stammered.

“I know, I know, hun,” Kellen said, his voice husky. “Can you hold out for a bit?”

“As long as you don’t keep doing that,” Aiden responded with a wry smile. He groaned in frustration. “Damn; I wanted to last longer.”

Kellen smirked. “We have all night, Aiden. And dinner after this. But for right now, if you don’t take my pants off, we’re going to have an issue.”

Aiden chuckled and got to work, helping Kellen get his pants off while he kicked his off the rest of the way. Kellen pulled him down so Aiden rested his weight atop him, both of them moaning when the angle on the bed caused them to rub every inch of their bodies together.

Kellen scooted further up the bed, pulling Aiden along with him. As always, he was smiling when Aiden kissed him, chuckling against his lips before Aiden touched him in a way that made him moan wantonly.

“Aiden, come on,” Kellen said lowly, looking up at Aiden with a gaze that made Aiden swallow.

“Okay, but I need to—”

“Ah, no you don’t,” Kellen interrupted. His face had gone red this time, the same shade of red as when Aiden showered him with compliments. “I actually did that really quickly in the shower this morning.”

Aiden raised an eyebrow. “You…” he started. He was pretty sure that his brain short-circuited for a second as he imagined it. “You got yourself ready this morning?”

Kellen shrugged awkwardly from his position, brazenly meeting Aiden’s eyes with no remorse or shame whatsoever. “I’ve had the practice being quiet,” he quipped wryly. “It didn’t take all that long. But I, ah, figured it wouldn’t last if you did it now,” he added apologetically. “And that we’d definitely be in the shower for too long if you helped me.”

Aiden felt heat run through him at the thought. As usual, he’d been dozing when Kellen was in the shower, but knowing that the man had been doing that while Aiden was just on the other side of the door…

He leaned down and kissed Kellen with furious fervor, unable to form any articulate thoughts just yet. He kissed his lips before moving down the column of his throat and to his Adam’s apple, feeling it bob as Kellen swallowed heavily.

“I’ll get to it then,” Aiden murmured. “But next time, I want a heads-up if you’re doing that in the shower.”

Kellen chuckled breathlessly. “Will do. Now fuck me before we both lose it.” He said it playfully, but there was lust swirling in his eyes that made it impossible for Aiden to look away.

Aiden did as he was asked, leaning down to finish what they started. He wished they didn’t need the recovery time when they finished, both panting heavily next to one another. Or maybe it was a good thing that they took a break, ordering takeout to eat together before they started on round two. And then round three. Or two and a half.

Aiden honestly didn’t know, nor did he care. All he knew was that they fell asleep at some point, slept next to one another, and had a nice early morning before they were running off for work like any other normal day.

He smiled the whole day, feeling young again. They didn’t have to go to a hotel and spend a night together for Kellen to make him feel young though.

No matter how old they got, being with Kellen always made Aiden feel timeless.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.