It was Sunday night, and Sterling and Aubrey were sitting the couch, their heads laying against the back and their feet up on the coffee table. The TV was playing was a show that his boy liked to watch. Sterling didn't know what the fuck it was about, but he put it on because Aubrey had wanted it.
Aubrey had come home around 11, like he'd said he would, and they'd spent the whole day lazing around the house.
Sterling was fine.
And he hadn't checked out his son's dick again.
See? He told himself. It was just temporary insanity.
"So, how was it today?" Sterling didn't care about church, but he was always interested in what his boy did.
"I met a girl," Aubrey said.
Sterling rolled his head to the left. He looked at the side of his son’s face. "Yeah?"
"She just started at my school a couple of weeks ago. She saw me at church today and came to say hi."
"What's her name?"
He didn't know why — he really fucking didn't — but he got that goddamn pinch in his gut again.
He swallowed. "So, what? You ask her out or something?"
Jesus Christ, why did that hurt to say? Wasn't he just yesterday telling his son to go fuck a girl if he wanted to?
Aubrey rolled his head towards him. They were sitting about a foot apart on the couch, and with their heads turned towards each other, their faces were so close.
Sterling swallowed. Hard. His boy's blue eyes were so bright and clear. His lashes weren't long, but they were thick. His light brown hair was short and naturally stood on end, like he'd just styled it with gel or some shit.
"I didn't ask her out," Aubrey said quietly. "But..." he scrunched his nose.
Sterling reached up and bopped his finger on his nose.
Aubrey laughed softly.
"You've always done that," Sterling said. And goddammit, he felt his throat tighten.
"Yeah, since I was a baby, that's what you've always told me." Aubrey's pink lips curled upwards, drawing Sterling's attention. It was a split second, then he jerked his gaze back to his boy's eyes.
What the HELL was happening with him? He was losing his goddamn mind.
"I think something could happen with her," Aubrey confessed. He was completely oblivious to the shit storm whirling in Sterling's head. "She's really pretty."
Fucking pinch again.
"Yeah?" Sterling rasped.
Aubrey nodded, his cheek rubbing gently against the leather of the couch. "Yeah, she is." He chuckled. "And I can't believe I didn't notice her before at school, but today it was like I saw her for the first time."
Damn, his son seemed so happy.
"She's in my Bible class, so I've seen her, just never saw her until today." He looked at Sterling. "You know what I mean?"
He nodded, swallowing hard. "Yeah, I do."
Aubrey smiled, and Sterling nearly grabbed him around the neck to pull his face into his chest. Instead he took a deep breath and faced the TV. "That's good."
And those two words were the biggest lie he'd ever told.
Aubrey didn't bother going to his room that night. He knew he'd just wake up and crawl into bed with dad later.
"Why are you just in your underwear?" His dad asked when Aubrey entered his room. He was standing by the bed.
Aubrey glanced down at his red boxer briefs. "You're just in your underwear too." He didn't see why his dad was bringing this up.
"Because it's my bed. I can sleep however I want, but you," he waved his hand up and down Aubrey's body. "Don't you think it's weird..." his dad rubbed the back his neck. He looked nervous, which was strange. "Don't you think it's not normal for us to sleeping together in our underwear?"
Aubrey scrunched his nose. What? "Why would it be weird? You're my dad." He shrugged. "We've always slept together."
His looked even more uncomfortable now. Aubrey squinted his eyes. What was going on with him?
After several long minutes of them just standing there — Aubrey becoming more confused and his dad shifting from foot to foot— he finally spoke. "Okay, kid, get in the bed."
Aubrey smiled. That was what he'd done every night here he was, so he didn't know why it took his dad so long to say that.
His dad watched him crawl onto the bed and flop down on his stomach. He grabbed one of the extra pillows and pulled it to his chest. He sighed and closed his eyes. His dad's bed was just so much more comfortable than his own.
"Are you gonna just stand there or are you coming to bed?" Aubrey asked when he didn't hear any movement from his dad. Why was he acting weird again?
His dad cleared his throat, then said, "Yeah, I'm coming to bed."
Aubrey felt the mattress dip, then his dad's leg bumped against his. "Sorry," he muttered.
"It's fine," Aubrey said. They usually touched while sharing a bed, so what was up with the apologizing for a little bump?
His dad settled...on the edge of the bed. Aubrey peeked an eye open. He was nearly falling off the queen size mattress.
“Dad? What are you doing?"
Sterling felt like an idiot. One stupid mention of a girl and he's back to being weird around his boy. What the fuck was happening to him? Why did he feel so disconnected from his own mind? He didn't recognize the thoughts firing through his brain or the emotions churning in his stomach. Was he that fucked up? That he'd get feelings for his own kid?
"Dad?" Aubrey said again.
Sterling didn't want to answer him. He didn't want to talk about it. What it was. He was just tying to ignore it, he was just trying to act normal; for things to go back to the easy way they were before.
He felt a nudge on his bare back. "Dad, are you okay?"
That was just like his boy, for him to be worried about his dad. Sterling felt sick. Did he really love his son so much that it had taken a wrong turn?
He cleared his throat. "I'm fine, kid." He didn't roll over to look at him. He couldn't.
It was quiet for a few moments, the sounds from outside drifting into the room; cars driving by, a dog barking, the creak of the neighbor's gate opening.
"Did I do something to make you upset?" Aubrey's voice was soft, fragile.
Sterling closed his eyes. He usually forgot how sensitive his son was, how easy it was to hurt him. And he couldn't hurt him, that was one thing Sterling couldn't live with doing. He'd rather cut off his own dick than hurt the person he loved more than anyone in the fucking universe.
He finally rolled over. In the silver light from the moon, and the outside security lights, he saw his boy's face. Vulnerable and so fucking young. His eyes looking more white than blue in the dimness. "You didn't do anything. You're perfect, remember?"
His response got him the tiny smile he was hoping for. "No one's perfect, especially not me."
Sterling reached out and pulled him into his arms. It didn't feel weird, like he was afraid it would. It felt normal. Natural. Like this was exactly where his son — and him — were supposed to be.
"You're pretty damn close." Sterling kissed the top of his head.
"You have to say that because I'm your kid," he said against Sterling's chest.
"Actually I probably shouldn't say that. I'm supposed to discipline you and shit."
He laughed quietly. "You do that too."
Sterling huffed out a laugh. "You don't need disciplining, you're always good." And he didn't mean that as an insult, because he was proud of his son.
"I wouldn't say that," Aubrey whispered.
Sterling tightened his arms around his back. The body warmth from Aubrey’s skin melded with his own. "It doesn't matter what you say, only what I say. And I say you're perfect in every way that counts."
Aubrey didn't say anything after that, and neither did Sterling. They stayed in each other's arms until Aubrey's breathing evened out. Once his boy was safely sleeping, Sterling let himself drift off.
Monday was the same as all the other mornings; they ate breakfast together, talked, and then lazed around the house. Sterling had to head back to work tomorrow so he didn't want to do anything, especially not something outside. It was fucking hot and he'd have to be in that fucking heat all day tomorrow.
"So, why did you have this Monday off?” It wasn’t a holiday, so Sterling’d had to request time off for today, but he didn’t mind. Any chance he got to spend more time with his son, he took it.
Aubrey was stretched out on the couch, his feet resting in Sterling’s lap. Sterling’s feet were on the coffee table.
He didn't look away from the TV as he spoke. "Something about a teacher work day or something." He shrugged. "I don't really remember what they said." He looked at Sterling and smirked. "I wasn't paying attention when they told us."
Sterling took a swig from his beer. "Do that a lot?" He looked at him. "Not pay attention?"
Aubrey held his hand out for the beer bottle. Sterling passed it over. After he took a sip, he said, "Just when it's something that's boring."
Sterling chuckled. "And what else is boring at your school?" He took back the beer bottle his son held out to him.
Sterling remembered his boy had never liked Bible class, something his mom tried to pretend didn’t mean anything. She kept saying, he’d grow out of it. He’d discover the truth, or some shit. He hadn’t really paid attention when Allyson had been going on and on about it.
"Sorry that you have to go to that religious school. You know if it was up to me I'd put your ass in public school." He grinned.
Aubrey grinned back, his smile revealing those perfectly straight teeth that he'd had to wear braces for two years to get. "I know, but Brighton isn't a terrible school. I have friends there."
"I didn't say it was terrible, I just don't agree with all that shit."
"I don't really either, but don't tell mom."
Sterling slowly smiled.
"No, Dad. I mean it. You're not gonna use that as fuel for your fucked up obsession with pissing mom off." Aubrey glared at him.
"I wouldn't call it an obsession."
He rolled his eyes. "Whatever. Just leave her alone about it."
He raised his hands. "Okay, I'll back off." He gave a lopsided smile as he looked at his boy. "But only for you."
Aubrey nudged him with his foot. "Thanks."
The movement pressed Aubrey’s foot against Sterling's cock. He felt a jolt shoot from his balls to his dick. He knew Aubrey didn't mean to touch his cock, but motherfuckin' hell his kid shouldn't be anywhere near there. And Sterling should not be reacting like that. Just how long had it been since he'd fucked a woman? He clearly needed to get out there and find someone. This shit had to stop.
Aubrey walked down the hallway of Brighton Christian School. He saw his friend, Banner, already at his locker. It was right next to Aubrey's.
"Hey, how was your weekend?" Banner asked.
"I was with my dad. It was good." He opened his gray metal locker.
"My dad was in the house all weekend, but he worked the whole time. I’m not sure where my mom was.” He slammed his locker closed then leaned his shoulder against it. His green eyes focused on Aubrey.
Aubrey glanced at him before tossing his backpack in his locker. "There a reason you're staring at me?"
"No." He shrugged, then brushed his brown hair out of his eyes. It was always just a little too long in the front.
Aubrey shut his locker, then mirrored Banner's stance. He always did that — just stared at everyone. "You know you're creepy with that staring thing you do."
Banner didn't appear bothered, and he didn't shift his eyes away either. "I just do it."
"Huh." Aubrey didn't get Banner. He was weird, but Aubrey wasn't the kinda guy who busted someone's balls for being different. He was friends with everyone, no matter who they were or what they did.
"Hi, Aubrey." He heard Tiffany's voice before he saw her. He turned around. Tiffany smiled at him as she walked towards him. A blonde girl, Aubrey knew was named Shannon, was with her.
"Hey Tiffany." She was wearing a navy skirt and a red polo, apart of the approved uniform for their school. Her hair was in a ponytail and Aubrey decided he liked it better that way.
"Hi," Shannon said.
Aubrey waved and Banner just stared. Shannon gave him a weird look and crossed her arms over her chest.
"Can I walk with you to Bible class?" Tiffany said softly.
As they walked down the hallway, Tiffany kept smiling at him shyly. She was cute and Aubrey thought the pink blush only made her cuter.
His dad had said to have fun right? He wasn't going to fuck every willing girl, that just wasn't him, but how could he find the right girl if he didn't date? He glanced again at Tiffany. She was pretty, sweet, quiet, and she went to church. He didn't care about the last thing, but maybe it would help his mom to ease up a bit.
He took a deep breath. "Would you like to hang out this weekend?"
They reached Bible class, and Shannon and Banner walked in. Shannon looked over her shoulder at Tiffany and giggled. Banner just stared at Aubrey until he took a seat.
Tiffany hugged her books closer to her chest, her light brown eyes big and shy as she gazed up at him. "I'd like that."
Aubrey smiled. He thought he'd like that too.
His son was bringing a girl over this Saturday. He'd never brought someone to the house. He wasn't much of a party kid, so he was usually just fine spending his weekend with his dad and occasionally seeing a friend.
Now he was bringing a girl over.
"Did you hear me?" Allyson said over the phone.
Sterling shook his head. "Yeah. Why is he bringing a girl over again?" He didn't like the fucking pinch he got in his gut again.
"Because there is no way I'm letting him take Tiffany out somewhere. I know what kids do when they go out."
Considering what they'd done when they were alone, he knew where her mind was going.
"And you think his virginity will be safe at my house?" He almost had to laugh at that.
She growled. "I don't trust you, no, but I hope you'll have some common decency when it comes to our son."
She sighed. "And besides I have to work this Saturday. I can't get out it, the hospital needs me." She was the manager of the transplant division at the local hospital.
"So I'm the lesser of two evils."
He could practically feel her frustration through the phone. "I'm hoping so, yes. He wants to hang out with Tiffany this weekend, Lord knows I tried to get him to move it. But no, he wouldn't hear of it. Tiffany has some family obligations on Sunday so she can't come over then, and then the following weekend—"
"Yeah, I get it," he interrupted.
She sighed. Christ, the woman acted like it was the end of the world.
"Can you just please watch them?"
"They're sixteen, how much watching do they need?"
"Exactly!" Allyson exclaimed. "They're sixteen. They need all kinds of watching. Sixteen year olds are not to be trusted when it comes to the opposite sex. They have hormones raging and bodily changes happening, they're confused and they don't know what to do with themselves. It's a vulnerable time."
Sterling burst out laughing, leaning against his kitchen counter. "That was the funniest shit I've ever heard." He continued to laugh as Allyson remained silent. Which meant she was pissed.
"Are you done?" She ground out. "I'm so glad I can amuse you with the topic of our child."
He wiped his eyes. Goddamn, that was funny.
"Can you please stop laughing?" She huffed as Sterling let a few more chuckles slip past his lips.
"I can't, that was so stupid it was funny."
"You are impossible! Do you hear me? Absolutely impossible! I cannot believe I have to leave my baby with you this weekend."
"You know he loves seeing me," Sterling said more seriously. There's no way Allyson would keep his son from him. He wouldn't allow it. And neither would Aubrey.
"I know, which is why I don't make the right judgement call and keep him with me."
"You know we used to fuck, right? So there has to be something about me you like." He smirked.
She gasped. "Sterling Anderson! That is entirely too vulgar! I was eighteen, I wasn't thinking clearly, no one is at that age."
He hummed. "I seem to remember you begging—"
"Stop!" She yelled. "I do not want to hear it. I am not the same woman I was then. I am a new creation."
"Oh motherfucker, here we go," he muttered.
"I gotta go. Everything's fine for this weekend." He hung up on her trying to say something else.
Only everything wasn't fine. He could pretend, he could act like everything was normal, but nothing was.
Because Sterling was losing his goddamn mind.
Who the fuck was this girl? Sterling stood in the kitchen, his back against the sink, his arms crossed over his chest, as he watched his boy and this girl smile shyly and make weird sappy eyes at each other. They had hardly even touched the lunch Sterling had made for them. Didn't they know he wasn't a fucking cook? Didn't they know he had gone out of his fucking way to make that shit for his kid and his kid's...what? Sterling didn't even know what this girl was to his son. He hadn't said she was his girlfriend, just a girl he thought was pretty.
Sterling cocked his head to the side. She wasn't what he would have gone for at anytime in his life. He didn't like the modest, reserved, Christian type. He shuddered just thinking about it.
The girl giggled and Sterling nearly rolled his eyes. Aubrey smiled at her.
"Aren't you kids going to eat?" Sterling barked.
Aubrey scrunched his nose as he shifted his gaze to him. "What?"
Sterling clenched his teeth as he looked at them sitting at the small table. The table that he and Aubrey had always sat at. He'd never even had a woman sit there. "Are you going to eat?" He tried to say calmer.
"Um...yeah," Aubrey said slowly.
Sterling knew his boy could tell something was wrong with him, but Sterling didn't want to acknowledge it. Because he didn't know what the hell was wrong with him either.
Goddammit, he needed to figure his shit out.
Tiffany tucked her chin against her chest and meekly took a bite of the lasagna.
Aubrey glanced at her, then at his dad. He was scowling.
Sterling glared at him. What the fuck was his problem?
"Dad, can I talk to you for a sec?" His boy did not sound happy.
Sterling shrugged, then stomped off to the other room. He heard Aubrey say something to Tiffany, then a few seconds later he was standing with him in the middle of the living room.
Sterling crossed his arms again and just stared at him.
Aubrey matched his stance. "What the hell is up with you?" he whisper yelled.
"Why are you whispering?" Sterling said too loudly.
"Dad," he hissed, and he looked over his shoulder. Like he was fucking worried the girl would hear them. Sterling had to roll his eyes. Who the fuck cared? He would shout in his own house if he goddamn wanted.
Aubrey marched over to him. Wrapping his hand around Sterling's bicep, he pulled him to the small laundry room located under the stairs. He shoved him in and then crammed himself in. Sterling leaned against the washer and waited for Aubrey to close the door.
It wasn't a big place, there was just enough room for the washer, dryer, and a hamper in the corner. There was only a couple of feet of standing room between the walls and the machines.
Aubrey turned around once the door was closed and the light on. He glared again at Sterling, his blue eyes looking like two fiery gems. And where THE FUCK had that come from? Two gems? Sterling was losing his goddamn mind.
"Why are you making Tiffany uncomfortable?"
"Are you fucking serious? That girl looks like she'd be uncomfortable at a goddamn spa."
Aubrey stepped closer, which brought him toe to toe with Sterling in the small space. "You are being a jackass."
The corner of his lip tilted up. "Dunno what to tell you kid, I've always been that way."
Aubrey shook his head. "No, you've never been that way with me. Never towards me. So what's going on? This is important to me. This girl is important to me."
The pinch in Sterling's gut morphed into a punch. Goddammit. "You hardly know her," he said quietly.
"I want to though. She's sweet." Aubrey shrugged. "And I don't know, maybe nothing will happen, but she's the first girl I want to try with."
Sterling felt like an asshole. What the hell was wrong with him that he couldn't be happy for his kid?
He wrapped his hand around the back of Aubrey's neck. "I'm sorry, kid. You're right I'm a jackass." He pulled him into his chest. His boy's arms went around his waist as he rested his face against him.
"You're my jackass," Aubrey muttered.
And goddamn if that didn't make Sterling's fucking heart beat like a goddamn drum. He tightened his arms around his boy's back. "I love you," he said into Aubrey's hair.
"I love you, too." Aubrey turned his face upwards, his chin resting between Sterling's pecs.
Sterling stared down at him. The glow from the light made his blue eyes brighter and highlighted the smooth expanse of skin across his cheeks and nose. Flawless. His boy was flawless, not just physically, but in the way he loved and lived. How had he never realized just how perfect his son was?
Sterling ran the pad of one finger down Aubrey's face, from below his right eye to his jawline. "How do you not have any pimples? You know most sixteen year olds have a face full of red, nasty ass shit."
Aubrey laughed softly. "I don't know. Good genes, I guess."
Sterling realized he still had his finger resting on his son’s face. This isn't normal.
Aubrey continued to look at him, his gaze unwavering and Sterling found himself unable to move. The air around them was thick. It was scary as fuck, this unknown thing happening between them.
Did his boy feel it too?
Aubrey didn't understand what was going on. The air in the laundry suddenly felt heavy, and he didn't know what it was heavy with. His dad was still touching his face, just a finger lightly resting on his jaw. Yet Aubrey felt the weight of that one finger like it was a pound of bricks. What the hell? He'd never felt that way when his dad touched him. He'd never experienced this unknown churning in the pit of his stomach. He suddenly became aware of how close they were standing, knee to chest touching. Not unusual, but this heaviness was. It wasn't an uncomfortable heaviness, rather one filled with anticipation.
But why anticipation?
Aubrey searched his dad's eyes. They were dark brown, always reminding him of melted chocolate, and the fleck of light blue — the exact same shade as his own eyes — in the corner always reminded Aubrey that he belonged to his dad. It was a like a sign to everyone: Aubrey belonged to Sterling Anderson. There was no doubt that Aubrey was Sterling's. He’d always thought that was silly of him to think, but now, as he stood there, gazing into his dad's eyes, he wondered if it wasn't really a sign. Maybe he really did belong to him; belong to him as no other son had ever belonged to their dad.
Aubrey watched his dad's Adam's apple bob up and down as he swallowed. "Dad?" he whispered. Because what the hell was happening?
His dad didn't say anything, just gently ran his finger back and forth across Aubrey's jaw. The skin tightened and tingled, shooting heat down his spine and straight to his groin.
Oh. My. God.
"Dad?" his voice cracked. What was going on?
"It's okay," his dad whispered.
Aubrey felt safe when his dad uttered those words. It was like nothing could harm him now.
His dad slowly lowered his face, never breaking eye contact. Aubrey's breathing increased and he felt his heart pound against his rib cage. He couldn't look away from those dark eyes — eyes he had seen nearly every day. Eyes that had comforted him, made him laugh, and told him he was a good boy. He was captivated in that gaze now, and Aubrey knew what he felt wasn't what a son should feel for his father.
His face was only an inch from Aubrey's now. Their mouths were slightly open. Their panting breaths mingled together. Aubrey felt the warmth from his dad's breath wash over his lips and it made him want.
Which was insane.
Yet he didn't pull away.
"Aubrey," his dad breathed his name.
Aubrey closed his eyes at the onslaught of emotion whirling in his stomach. His cock thickened and he felt like a warped human being for reacting that way.
He felt the air between them shift; become hotter.
Something monumental was happening; something that couldn't be undone. Aubrey could feel it, but he didn't understand it.
His eyes were still closed, but he could feel each centimeter his dad's lips moved closer to his.
He's going to kiss me.
He felt the words move from his mind down to his toes, like a caress.
His dad's hand tightened on his lower back and his other hand slid from his face to the side of his head, gripping it gently.
"I'm sorry, kid." With each spoken word, Aubrey felt a puff of air on his lips.
Then his dad's mouth was gone and he felt weirdly cold. He blinked his eyes open in time to see his dad shift his mouth to his forehead.
His warm lips pressed firmly against his skin, and lingered. Aubrey felt off balance. He felt weirdly deprived and his lips ached with the missed touch.
Which was freaking insane.
His dad pulled away, their bodies separating. Aubrey suddenly felt very empty, and confused.
"I'm sorry," his dad croaked. He stepped to the side, so their bodies were as far apart as they could get in the small space.
"Dad?" Aubrey reached out for him.
He quickly shook his head. "I'll leave you and your girl alone." Then he rushed past Aubrey.
Before Aubrey could say or do a thing, his dad was gone.
Aubrey was alone. What the hell had just happened between them?