They’d barely talked, after their initial confession, they had quickly figured out something better to use their mouths for and Nick was obsessed with the feel of Kevin’s lips against his. It was different, kissing another man. The feel of it, Kevin’s facial hair tickled his face and felt so different from kissing Lauren. But just knowing it was the older man, this man he’d wanted for so long for, was almost too much. He never wanted to stop kissing him, touching him.
But he also knew they didn’t have long until they needed to face reality, responsibility. At least for Nick, his kids would be waking up from their nap soon and there was the added frustration of Brian who was camped out in the living room at what had to be the absolute worst time to have house guests in Nick’s opinion. He pulled away from Kevin’s kiss and smiled at the other man.
“I want to do this forever.” he said softly, his hand resting gently on Kevin’s hip.
“I know exactly how you feel. It doesn’t seem real. I’m afraid if I stop I’ll never have the chance again.” Kevin admitted looking down into Nick’s eyes.
“I honestly don’t think I can ever go back to a time I couldn’t reach up and kiss you.” Nick whispered, his eyes misting.
Kevin leaned down and kissed his forehead, his cheeks and then his nose. “Good thing you’ll never have to then, huh baby.” Kevin whispered, his Kentucky drawl heavy. Nick felt his eyes roll back in his head as Kevin took his mouth in another bruising kiss.
"We really need to talk, there's so much I want to ask you, to understand. But I don't want to stop this." Nick said breathlessly as Kevin brushed his lips across his throat.
"Mmhm." Kevin mumbled against his skin.
Nick giggled, Kevin's facial hair was tickling his neck but he didn't dare ask him to stop. The tickles were something he was very much looking forward to getting used to. Kevin shifted his hips and pressed closer into Nick's own, the friction making him moan out before he could help himself. He blushed furiously. He hadn't meant to, but Kevin being this close to him was making him feel all kinds of things he'd never felt before.
Kevin chuckled softly. "Don't blush baby, that was the sexiest thing I've ever heard. Knowing it was for me." Kevin ground his hips against Nick a second time, this one deliberate and smiled devilishly when Nick's eyes slammed shut as he moaned out again.
They were interrupted by the chime of Nick's cell phone."Who the fuck is that." he groaned stretching his arm out to retrieve it from the bedside table. "Shit." he said, pulling away from Kevin and sitting up. "It's Brian, the kids are awake and he doesn't know what to do."
Kevin pulled away from him and took several deep breaths to calm his racing heart. "It's okay baby. The kids come first."
Nick shoved his phone in his pocket and stood up. "Is it really bad to say I wish they didn't right now. There's so many things I want to say to you, so many things I want to do." he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively as he made Kevin laugh.
"Don't worry baby. This is just the beginning, we've got forever to figure everything out." Kevin said softly.
Nick turned and gazed at the other man. "You really believe that?" he asked softly.
"Believe what? That we have time to talk later?" Kevin was confused.
"Not just that. Forever?" Nick said softly, tilting his head to the side to peer at the other man, anxious to hear the older man's response. So much was riding on this. What if it didn't mean as much to Kevin as it did to him?
"Of course forever baby. Now that I've got you I don't ever plan on letting you go." Kevin answered honestly.
Nick shot him a small sexy smile before turning and leaving the room. Kevin felt his heart leap in his chest as Nick left the room. In barely an hour, his world had been turned on its axis. He couldn't believe the younger man had said he loved him too. He couldn't get over the feeling of their bodies moving together, the feel of his touch on his skin. He needed to be careful though, he couldn't risk scaring Nick by coming on too strong or advancing on him too quickly.
After all he was just in the beginning stages of his divorce, there was still so much to talk about and work through. They hadn’t even had the most basic of conversations. Sure they had both said their feelings, but what did that mean? Were they together? And while Kevin hoped to God that was the case, they’d never said and if they were, there was a lot more that needed to be discussed. Starting a new relationship was always hard, but then factor in that they were two guys, that they were famous, had four kids between the two of them, and one was in the very beginning stages of divorce, this whole thing had messy written all over it. Kevin knew all of this, he also didn’t give two shits about how hard it could be. As long as he had Nick, nothing else mattered. But Nick would have to completely understand what he was getting himself into if he wanted to be with him. This wasn’t a passing thing. If Nick allowed Kevin to have him, he was never going to let him go. As creepy as that sounded in Kevin's head.
What the hell were they supposed to do with Brian in the house or what would they tell the kids. Worrying about anyone else at the moment seemed premature until they'd had more than a half hour to talk to each other. The next time they had an opportunity to talk he needed to keep his hormones in check so they could actually get somewhere before he just pawed the man to death, but oh how delicious it was to touch him. He smiled at the memory, allowing it to do all kinds of things to him. It would take several minutes until he was able to safely join the others downstairs.
When Kevin finally was able to stand and walk downstairs, he found the rest of the house in the backyard playing with the NERF guns. He took a seat in his rocking chair and watched the two large children chasing Odin around the yard. Saoirse had been placed on the patio with books and bubbles, but upon seeing Kevin come out on the patio she had quickly left them and wobbled over to where he sat in the rocking chair. When she reached him she raised her hands in an up motion. He smiled but didn’t hesitate to scoop the girl up into his arms. She settled back against him as they rocked and watched the battleground in the yard. His breath caught in his throat as Nick turned around to shoot Brian and locked eyes with him. Nick shot him a wink and another sexy smile before pelting Brian with a series of bullets. Odin erupted into laughter and ran after his uncle to tackle him to the ground. It was comical to see them all acting like such big kids, but it was just the kind of release Nick needed. Brian too, Kevin suspected.
Kevin rocked the baby for quite a while, she was perfectly content sitting in his lap and playing with his hair. A few times she had gotten her tiny fingers stuck and pulled it a little too hard, but it was easy enough to detangle. After a while Nick and Brian called it quits and helped Odin pick up all the bullets littered all over the yard. They joined Kevin on the patio, Nick dropping into the rocker beside him and Brian and Odin taking seats at the patio table.
“I can take her.” Nick said gesturing towards the baby.
“Nope. She’s just fine.” Kevin said as he continued to rock her softly. If she was not making any move to get off his lap, then he wasn’t going to give her up any earlier. He loved babies, missed desperately how little his kids were. He wondered briefly how Nick felt about babies, was Saoirse the last one he wanted? As quickly as the thought entered his mind he pushed it right back out. They had way too many things to worry about right now before he started thinking about that.
Nick settled back into the rocker and listened to Odin ramble on about what happened in the Paw Patrol episode he and Brian had watched when he woke up from his nap. Kevin smiled and hugged Saoirse closer. The anticipation, the hope that this could be his new normal, that these three people could be part of his life forever was the best feeling in the world. Nick caught his eye and gave Kevin a small smile. It was magic, all of this was. He couldn’t wait for Brian to leave, he couldn’t wait until they could have time, just the two of them to figure out whatever this was happening between them.
“You guys want to order pizza?” Brian asked as he looked at his watch.
Kevin laughed, “You got somewhere to be?”
Brian nodded. “Yeah, Leigh called while I was napping. She’s upset about the election and she wants me back home. I changed my flight and I’m flying out in a few hours. I know I said I’d stay the weekend but.”
Nick cut him off. “It’s fine Brian. We understand. But yes, let’s order pizza. I am starving and in no mood to cook.’
Brian howled with laughter. “You? Cook? How do you get Kevin to eat pizza rolls?” he said smiling at his younger friend.
“Hey!” Nick said pouting. “All have you know that Kevin has taught me quite a bit about how to cook. I made those chicken nuggets you ate yesterday!”
Brian laughed. “I’m just messing with you man. I know there’s no way you can stay here and not learn a thing or two from the old man.”
It was Kevin’s turn to be offended. “Hey! Who are you calling an old man?” This old man gave you a tent to sleep in you ungrateful creep.” he said laughing.
They all broke out into laughter. Nick dug his phone out of his pocket and ordered enough food for a small army. “Hey, at least we won’t have to make lunch tomorrow.” he said smiling sheepishly.
Kevin smiled at him, trying to convey his excitement to have Brian leaving ahead of schedule. He detected a twinkle in those beautiful blue eyes and could only imagine that the younger man was thinking the same thing.
Hours later Brian was on a flight back to Atlanta. They had full bellies and two very filthy kids that both needed baths. Kevin had offered to help, secretly thinking the sooner they got the kids bathed and put to bed then the sooner they would be able to talk. He’d managed to keep his hands to himself the entire rest of the time Brian had been there. He’d even restrained himself again right after Brian left. The kids were covered in pizza sauce and garlic sauce and desperately needed to be bathed. Kissing Nick would have to wait, no matter how much it killed him.
He took Odin into the bathroom in Nick’s room while Nick bathed Saoirse in the hall bathroom. Doing baths this way got them done in less than ten minutes. The kids were clean and into pajamas and ready for stories in no time. Kevin hated to leave them for this part, but knew if he didn’t want to be interrupted with Nick later then he needed to go call his own boys now so he wouldn’t have to stop and do it later.
He left Nick with both kids in Odin’s room, telling Nick to join him in his room once he had both kids down. Entering his room, he quickly picked up and picked up his phone. He talked to Mason first, hearing all about their day baking with their mom. He listened intently, trying his best to be focused and present on his kids, instead of thinking about the blonde down the hall. Maxwell asked if they could try out some new science experiments he’d seen in a YouTube video. Kevin told him they would have to order the supplies, but he would try to have them all by the time he arrived back on Saturday. After speaking to both kids Kristin appeared on the phone.
“How’s it going hunny?” She asked gently.
Kevin wasn’t sure what to say. On one hand he felt like he owed her the truth, to know that something was happening with Nick, but at the same time what would he even tell her. Nothing really had happened yet. “I’m doing okay. A little extra tired after having Brian here too. He just left about an hour ago.”
“Yeah I was pretty surprised to see him. Mason said he and Nick were fighting most of the time he was there.” she said softly.
“Yeah. You know how Brian is. He said some pretty messed up things and hurt Nick’s feelings. So instead of respecting Nick’s request for space, he decided to show up here and try to force the issue. I think they have mostly worked it out though.” he said yawning.
“You need to get some rest. Don’t let me keep you. Anything else you want to tell me?” she asked, pressing just enough.
Kevin sighed. “I don’t know yet Kris. Give me a day or so and I’ll get back to you.”
She seemed to take that answer and they hung up a few minutes later just as Nick entered the room. He’d changed into his pajamas and looked absolutely adorable. He stood awkwardly in the doorframe, not making any move to come in or leave. “What are you doing?” Kevin asked, confused.
“I’m not sure. It all feels a little awkward at the moment.”
Kevin nodded. It felt awkward for him too. “Just come here.”
Nick turned and shut and locked the door. He dropped the baby monitor on the bedside table and sat down beside Kevin on the bed. He kept his hands in his lap, playing with his fingers again. “Why does this all feel so weird?” He asked, raising his eyes to look at Kevin.
“Because we left things in a weird place, hell we barely even had a chance to talk and then we had to stop and deal with kids and my cousin and we’re both unsure of what’s going on and what all of this means.” Kevin said as he kicked off his shoes. He scooted his butt back across the bed until his back hit the headboard. Spreading his legs apart to make room for Nick he beckoned the younger man in between them. Nick wasted no time settling in the open space, resting his head back against Kevin’s chest. Kevin brought both arms around the younger man and laced their fingers together.
They were silent for several moments. Just enjoying the feel of each other and the wonderfulness that was this moment. “I need to know how you feel Nick.” Kevin said softly. “There’s a lot to cover here, but I need to know what you want.” It was easier to get the words out without them being face to face. If Nick wasn’t ready to move forward, he wouldn’t be able to see the hurt on Kevin’s face.
“I was going to ask you the same question. I want everything Kev. I want everything and more, with you and only you.” Nick said softly, squeezing the fingers of their hands together.
“I want that too.” Kevin said softly. “You’re all I’ve ever wanted. I promise baby, if you give me this chance, I will love you like you’ve never been loved before. "
He felt Nick’s tears hit their intertwined hands before he could figure out what was happening. Nick’s shoulders shook as he cried. Kevin leaned down and turned Nick’s face gently so he could look into his eyes. “Why the tears baby,” he said softly.
Nick forced his eyes closed tighter. “Do you know what you do to me every time you call me baby?” Nick said hoarsely. “It feels like my tummy is doing flip flops, it makes me feel like I’m floating.”
Kevin smiled. “Good.” he kissed Nick’s forehead. “Float away baby. I’ll catch you.”
Nick snuggled closer to the other man before speaking again. “No one has ever said something so nice, so important to me before and actually meant it. But I believe it when you say those things to me, that you’ll love me.”
“Of course I will baby. You just have to let me and I will love you for the rest of my life. I’ve already loved you for more than 20 years, and that was before I got to taste your sweet mouth.” he said as he traced a finger over Nick’s flushed lips.
Nick closed his eyes again. This time Kevin suspected it had nothing to do with tears. He kissed Nick’s forehead again. “We need to keep talking.” He said, pulling back up to where he was leaning back against the headboard again. “Does this mean we’re together? Like boyfriends?” Kevin said chuckling at how ridiculous it all sounded. They were grown men, but he felt like a high school kid asking out his first boy.
“Mmmhm.” Nick mumbled as he pushed himself back further into Kevin’s arms. “I want to be your boyfriend.” Nick’s face tilted up and Kevin forgot to inhale momentarily at the look of pure love and desire in the younger man’s eyes. He couldn’t help himself any longer. He leaned down and gently brushed his lips across Nick’s. It wasn’t enough, but it would have to be for the moment.
“I guess we really need to figure out how all of this is going to work.” Kevin started as he pulled back away from Nick.
Nick pouted as he drew back but nodded. “Yeah, I agree. I’ve been thinking about it all day, but I didn’t know how you felt so I didn’t want to get ahead of myself and then be disappointed.” he answered honestly.
“You’re never going to be disappointed again baby.” Kevin said softly, “At least not if I can help it.”
Nick smiled. “I love you.” he blurted out and then blushed.
“I love you too. You’re going to have to get this blushing under control or you’re going to pay for it.” Kevin said, dropping his voice an octave.
“Promise?” Nick flirted back.
“Ugh, you’re going to be the death of me.” Kevin said chuckling. “For real though. We’re coming into this in a much different position than most people start relationships. There’s history here, the press, the kids, our families…divor”
Nick cut him off by pressing his lips against the older man’s. He nipped and licked at Kevin’s mount until Kevin opened his mouth. At once he was assaulted with Nick’s tongue in his mouth, licking and massaging his tongue as he claimed Kevin’s mouth as his own. When the air was gone and they needed to breathe, Nick reluctantly pulled away. His cheeks pink and his blue eyes ablaze. Kevin felt light headed from the whole exchange. “Sorry.” Nick said sheepishly. “Still trying to get used to the idea that I can do that now.” he said quietly.
Kevin smiled. “It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it. No more hiding, no more trying to pretend that you sleeping beside me every night isn’t the highlight of my whole day.”
Nick smiled. “It’s mine too. It’s the only time I have you completely to myself. Just you and me.”
“We can build that kind of life together you know,” Kevin said quietly. “A life where it’s just you and me. And the kids, they have to come too, but we can make this thing work. As long as we have each other and you’re willing to put in the work with me, we can be blissfully happy. I’m sure of it.” Kevin said brushing the blonde hair out of Nick’s eye before cupping his cheek.
Nick leaned into the caress. “I want that. I want all of it. I will take whatever I can get because as far as you are concerned, everything will still never be enough for me. I love you Kevin. I’ve loved you for so long, and so hard. I spent so many nights crying myself to sleep when I was younger trying to figure out what I could do to get you to look at me the same way I was staring at you. And then you and Kristin got married and I felt like the world had dropped out from under me because I knew there really was never any hope that you would love me. And then there were your kids and it was another indicator that the way I felt for you would never matter. So when I met Lauren I allowed myself to get caught up in what would produce me a family the quickest. I was so tired of waiting, so tired of being alone and unloved. And then Odin came and I’ve never felt love like this before. Holding him in my arms gives me purpose in life. I hadn’t felt that before. I never felt like I actually mattered to anyone just because I was their person.
And then I found out you were getting divorced and suddenly all those walls I put up around myself to protect myself from the loneliness of loving you started to crumble. I think that’s part of what happened with Lauren. She never knew how I felt about you, nobody did. I think Howie suspected, but he never outright came out and asked me. But things between us changed. I was trying to hold on to myself while being consumed in the fact you were finally going to be free and then she told me she was pregnant and now there was another baby in the mix and it all got to be so intense. I know I wasn’t a good husband to her during that time. It’s no excuse for her behavior or her drinking, but looking back I can see how I played into it. Allowed it to happen I guess. I guess that’s why my first thought was to come here. I needed to see you. I needed you to make me whole. I never in my wildest dreams thought it would bring us here though.” Nick said quietly as he finished his tale.
“Oh baby.” Kevin said as he hugged the other close. “I loved you for so long I can’t even tell you when it stated or how it got to be so much. You were barely 18 when I asked Kristin to marry me. I never imagined you could think of me that way. We’d been together forever and I figured if I couldn’t have you, I could at least have a nice life with her. I really do love her, as a person and a friend and mother. I was just never in love with her. She knew that. She didn’t know why, but she respected there were pieces of myself I kept closed off from her. She also knew I am an insanely loyal person and while I may have spent all of my time fantasizing and dreaming about you, I never once acted on anything and never cheated on her. When I told her I wanted a divorce and the reasons why, it clicked instantly for her. She knew it was you before I even opened my mouth. There was no use denying it to her. If nothing else, she’s always deserved honesty. It’s something we still strongly believe in today.”
Kevin pulled away from Nick and got up from the bed. Crossing to the bookcase in the corner he grabbed the frame that was hidden on the shelf and crossed back to the bed. Settling down next to Nick he handed the frame to him. Nick took it and glanced at him questionably. He gasped softly as he gazed down at the photograph that had changed everything for Kevin. Nick looked up at him unsure of what to say. “Kristin took it the night of our Halloween party. She wrapped it and gave it to me when she picked up the kids. She left me a note. Telling me she used to hate me for what I’d done. But it also said that she believed you loved me too. She encouraged me to reach out to you to see if you felt the same.”
Nick was silent. He stared at Kevin for a few moments before dropping his eyes back down to the frame. “Kevin,” he started. “This is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” he said softly. He traced their faces and then his own arm casually thrown around Kevin’s shoulders. “I can’t believe she was able to capture how I felt about you in just a photo.”
Kevin nodded. “I was afraid to believe it was love I saw in your eyes. I can clearly see it in mine. I was shocked when I saw the photo at first too. It really changed everything for me.” Kevin said softly.
Nick continued to stare at it for a few moments more before taking it and propping it up on the bedside table on the side he’d been sleeping on. Kevin smiled. He was so thankful for that photograph, and even happier to display it out in the open where they could see it every day.
“I think for this to work, we’re going to have to be completely honest with each other. Not that I don’t think you have been, but if we’re going to move forward, then this has to be a partnership. I need you to be there for me, just like I will be there for you. We both have a lot of baggage, but it needs to be baggage we unpack together. No more you taking care of your kids and I taking care of mine. If this is going to work then there’s 4 kids in this house that need both of us. Same with your divorce. You being divorced, free and available for me, that now affects me too. I want to be included, a part of it all. I want to be the one beside you when you win custody and you sign your name next to hers for the final time. I want you to stop pretending you’re living in that cold room down the hall and be here, in my bed, with me every night. We don’t have to tell the guys or Lauren about anything until we’re more comfortable. But Kristin has to know and we need to be able to tell the boys. I’m not going to hide you away like a dirty secret. I love you Nick. When I say that, I am telling you I am committed to you, I am committed to your kids, I am committed to this life I want to build with you. I just need to know you want the same.” Kevin said softly as he gazed at the younger man. He watched as Nick’s eyes filled with tears while he spoke and then silently slipped down his cheeks. He’d reached for Nick’s hand halfway through his speech and he continued to rub his thumb against the smooth skin as he spoke.
“God Kevin.” Nick choked out before the tears came faster. “I’ve dreamed of you saying something like that to me for so many years. I can’t even tell you how many nights I fantasized about you knocking on my hotel room door and telling me you couldn’t live without me. All this time wasted. I want all of it. I want your kids. I want your baggage too. I just want you, always, just you. I never want to be without you again.” Nick blubbered through his tears before throwing himself in Nick’s arms. Kevin held him close. His own tears sliding silently down his cheeks. This was really happening. This was real. They were finally rounding a corner on years of heartache and loneliness. And they were going to do it together.