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Finding Mason turned out to be a bit of a challenge. He wasn’t in the living room or in his and Maxwell’s rooms. Quickly running out of ideas of where he could be Nick went to check on Odin and Saoirse. There, curled up in Saoirse’s room with her and a story book, he found Mason. He stood and watched him quietly as the young boy acted out the parts of the story with his voice, pretending to be a duck and a cow. Hope sparked deep within Nick for the first time. Maybe this wasn’t a lost cause. Sensing his presence, Saoirse looked up and smiled at him from her place in Mason’s lap. She quickly hopped up and waddled her way over to her father. Nick bent down and scooped her into his arms, kissing her cheeks. Just holding her close gave him the courage and push to move further into the room and take a seat on the floor beside Kevin’s oldest son. He placed Saoirse back down on the floor to play and leaned back against her dresser.

He could remember the day Mason was born. Could remember how Kevin’s voice broke as he called to tell him his son was finally here, finally a reality. Nick had been so happy for him, so very happy, but also so heartbroken for himself. The day Mason was born was the day he’d finally nailed the coffin shut on any notion of the other man every feeling anything but brotherly love for him. Until now.

They sat in silence for several moments. Nick tucked his legs underneath him, sitting Indian style and picked up the book that had fallen to the floor. Finding a random page, he began reading. At the end of the page he offered the book to Mason. Surprisingly he took it and continued the story. When he had read his page he handed the book back to Nick. They went on this way, taking turns, page after page until they finished the book. Nick stayed silent, hoping the story was enough to break the ice. Mason remained quiet, staring at his shoes. Nick leaned over, bumping Mason’s shoulder with his own. The motion knocked Mason off balance and he giggled as he fell over.

“Wanna talk about this?” Nick asked quietly.

Mason shook his head and continued to stare at his shoes. Nick stayed silent. Hoping the silence would get to the younger boy first. A few moments later Mason turned to him. “I always thought they would get back together.” he said quietly.

Nick nodded. “I can understand that. My parents divorced when I was a little bit older than you. I used to think about that every night. When my dad remarried and I suddenly had an older sister that I didn’t know at all, it was really hard. My parents were nowhere near as great as yours. They were pretty shitty to each other, and to us.” Nick said quietly.

“How long has this been happening?” Mason asked.

Nick turned on his butt so he could look at the boy. Facing him, he asked “How long has what been happening?”

“You and my dad?” he asked quietly.

“Hmmm. That’s a big question, with many different answers because there are even more questions nestled inside it. If you're asking how long your dad and I have been together, since last Sunday.” Nick answered honestly. “Now, if you’re asking how long I’ve loved your dad, and wanted to be with him, be his boyfriend, that answer is more like 20 years.”

Mason’s eyes grew large. “20 years? That’s insane.”

Nick chuckled. “It is. If you ask your dad, he will tell you he’s loved me for 25 years. That’s even crazier. I was only 14 when your dad and I met. We’ve been in each other’s lives a very long time. I knew I loved your dad by the time I was 18, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. It wasn’t something we ever talked about. I never believed he could love me. By the time I fully understood what I was feeling for him, he’d already asked your mom to marry him. And then you came along, and then I met Lauren, then Maxwell came and then Odin and Saoirse were born. There were always things standing in the way for us.” Nick explained softly.

Mason stared at him for a few moments. “So do you kiss each other?”

Nick laughed and nodded. “Hug too. We’re just like anyone else in love. The difference is who we are, what our jobs are. You know what it’s like being the son of a backstreet boy. I’m not going to lie to you, the next few months could be hard for you and your brother because of us and the decision we’ve made to spend our life together. My soon-to-be ex-wife isn’t a nice person and she’s going to try a lot of crazy things because she wants to take Odin and Saoirse away from me. We don’t have the kind of relationship your parents have where they work together to take care of you. I’m trying to get custody of them so she has to see them on my terms. I’m trying to keep them safe because she’s not a nice person and she’s making bad choices that put them in danger. So I am telling you all of these things that I probably shouldn’t be telling you so you can understand what’s going on and what’s going to happen. Your father and I are going to release a statement in the next couple of days to the press, telling them we’re in a relationship. Your friends and teachers are going to find out, and I’m sure there’s the possibility for people to say or do things that are not appropriate because of that. And I can’t tell you how sorry I am that this could happen ahead of time. I wish we lived in a world where none of these things mattered and everyone could just be happy, but I think you’re old enough to know that’s not always the case.”

Mason nodded. “But you love him?”

Nick smiled. “More than anything. I love you and your brother too. I can’t predict the future, but I can promise you right here and now, that I love your daddy more than anything in this world and I will never stop fighting anyone or anything that gets in the way of us being happy. All of us. Your father and I are trying to build a life together, one that includes you and your brother and Odin and Saoirse. That’s all we want."

Before Nick could continue the smaller boy had launched himself into Nick’s lap. Wrapping his arms around the child he hugged him back tightly. Nick could feel Mason’s tears against his neck. He rubbed his back in soft, gentle motions, trying his best to ease the boy's thoughts and fears. This was progress Nick thought. He heard a noise from the doorway and glanced over his shoulder to see Kevin standing in the doorway, tears streaming down his own cheeks. Nick’s heart clenched. How long had he been standing there? He panicked momentarily, hoping he hadn’t overstepped by sharing so many details with the young boy. Kevin crossed the room and dropped to his knees beside the duo. He took them both in his arms, crushing Mason between their chests in the process. Nick watched the emotion play out over Kevin’s features from overtop Mason’s head. Through his tears, Kevin mouthed the words Thank You. Nick nodded and leaned into the embrace. Finally Mason pulled away from Nick and turned to his father.

“I’m sorry dad.” he said softly.

“Oh baby, it doesn’t matter. I just want you and your brother to know how much I love you, how much we love you.” Kevin said softly, wiping the tears from his son’s cheeks.

“I know. Nick told me.” he said smiling.

Kevin leaned in and kissed his son’s cheek. “He’s right. I love you very much.’

“Have you really loved him for 25 years? Even when you loved mom?” he asked quietly.

Kevin nodded. “I have. I’ve loved Nick most of my life. I’ll explain it to you more when you're older.” Kevin said, ruffling his hair. Mason giggled and ducked away from him. “I’m going to go find Max.” he said quickly as he bounced out of the room.

Nick looked at Kevin and smiled. “I don’t even know how to thank you.” Kevin started before Nick shut him up with a kiss. “Is it bedtime yet?” he asked, wiggling his eyebrows suggestively at the other man. Kevin laughed and checked his watch. “An hour.”


They fell against each other exactly an hour later. Mouths crashing and hands grabbing items of clothing as they went. Nick hit the bed first, with Kevin right on top of him, falling together. Nick laughed and kissed him soundly before standing again to take off his pants. Kevin stood as well kicking off his shoes and reaching for Nick’s shirt. Tonight he didn’t hesitate and allowed the older man to pull it from his chest.

Bedtime had taken twice as long with two additional kids in the house. Everyone’s emotions were high so extra stories were necessary to get everyone calm enough to settle down for bed. The moment they’d hit the bedroom door, Kevin had kicked it closed behind him before advancing on the blonde.

Nick grabbed the bottom of Kevin’s shirt and quickly had it up and off, tossing it over his shoulder. Kevin’s pants came next, joining the shirt along with his boxers. Now that the other man was completely naked, hard, gorgeous and all his, Nick made no delay in taking his lover into his mouth. Sitting on the edge of the bed he grabbed Kevin by the hips and pulled him close. As Kevin stood in front of Nick’s spread legs, Nick began nuzzling his thighs with his nose as he went. Kevin panted out, bucking his hips gently against Nick’s face as Nick continued to bite and lick Kevin’s inner thighs. He brought up a hand to cup Kevin’s balls as he rolled them gently in is hands before continuing his teasingly slow torture. Kissing, biting and sucking everywhere except where Kevin wanted him most.

Nick smiled against the warm skin as Kevin threaded his fingers through his blonde locks, silently urging him to move closer. Nick watched him with hooded eyes, watched as he continued to grow harder, his cock leaking now from Nick’s teasing menstruations. Taking pity on his lover, with the emotional night they’d lived through Nick scooted closer to him from where he sat perched on the bed. He blew gently on the tip, eliciting a moan from the other man. Nick smiled and poked his tongue out, slowly, teasingly, licked the tip. Kevin groaned, his hands flying up to rest gingerly on Nick’s shoulders. Nick sucked a little harder before opening his mouth wide and taking the whole of Kevin into his hot, wet mouth in one fluid motion.

Kevin’s knees buckled against him but Nick was prepared for it and kept both hands on Kevin’s hips to keep him steady. Nick licked and sucked, sliding his mouth all the way down until his nose tickled the patch of hair on Kevin’s stomach before pulling completely off and doing it over again. Kevin’s breathing had quickened and his moans were coming faster now. Nick increased his speed, allowing Kevin to buck against him, taking more of him in his mouth each time. A moment later he could feel Kevin’s fingers digging into his shoulders and knew his lover was close. Coming completely off he looked up at the other man before whispering, “I love you baby.” He immediately took Kevin in as far as he could. The words and the emotions were too much and Kevin came hard, buried in Nick’s mouth. Nick drank him in and then licked him clean as he pulled off. Smiling up at the other man he pulled Kevin down to the bed. Kevin came easily, his body weak from the day. Kevin pulled Nick up close to him. “Thank you. I love you baby, so much.” Nick smiled and placed a kiss against his chest.

“What about you?” Kevin asked, gesturing towards Nick’s obvious arousal. Nick blushed and looked down. Kevin caught his chin with his hand. “What is it baby.”

Nick hesitated and then said, “I’d really like to fuck you.”

Kevin smiled. He’d been thinking about this for a couple of days. So far Nick had always been on the bottom. Kevin was scared but also very curious to know what it felt like to be on the receiving end. He just hadn’t been sure how to bring it up to the other man and then there’d been so much to think about for tonight’s conversation that he just kept putting it off. Kevin grabbed Nick by the back of the head and lowered his mouth to his. Kissing him deeply he pulled away and whispered, “Fuck me” against his lips.

Nick moaned and caught his lips in another kiss, biting and sucking his bottom lip as he did. Kevin could taste himself in Nick’s mouth and felt himself grow harder at the implication. So many things and feelings were circling his mind. But the top of the list was how much he wanted this man. Wanted to give himself over completely, mind, body and soul. As they broke apart Kevin scooted back on the bed towards the headboard, giving Nick plenty of room. Nick smiled and grabbed the lube out of the nightstand drawer. “This is going to hurt at first, baby.” he warned. Kevin nodded. “Make me yours Nicky.”

Nick’s groaned and went to work opening the lube and applying it generously to his fingers. Spreading Kevin’s legs, he moved in between them and rubbed his lube coated fingers up and down the crack of Kevin’s ass. Feeling Kevin buck back against his hand he smiled and pressed one lubricated finger against his pucker, watching in fascination as Kevin’s body pulled him inside. He watched Kevin’s features to gauge his discomfort and waited until the other man smiled and nodded before moving his finger in and out. He gently pressed a second finger inside and wiggled around, trying to find Kevin’s prostate. He found it a few seconds later when he felt Kevin try to jerk on the bed. He fingered Kevin’s ass for a few more minutes, driving his lover crazy as he prepared him for what was to come. “Please baby.” Kevin begged, his southern drawl so thick it was enough to make Nick momentarily forget everything.

Gaining control, Nick applied the lube to his own cock, making sure to cover it completely before moving close to the older man. “You ready baby?” he asked softly. “Please. Do something.” Kevin begged in reply.

Nick wasted no time, pushing inside Kevin he groaned in pleasure at the incredible sensations. He’d never felt anything remotely like this before. Every experience with Kevin was so much better than anything he’d ever experienced with anyone else. Every touch felt better, every sensation more intense, every feeling deeper. It was unbelievable how much he loved this man. He watched Kevin’s face again, watching for the pain to leave his features before pulling himself out and slamming back in. He could tell the moment his cock his Kevin’s prostate, loved watching as the older man came apart on the bed before him. He sped up his actions, hitting Kevin’s sweet spot over and over, his head and body writing beneath him. Nick loved seeing him like this, wild and out of control. Focused solely on pleasure, pleasure Nick was giving to him. It was an all consuming feeling. He was getting close to the edge. Kevin’s body was milking him with every thrust. He wrapped his hand around Kevin’s aching erection, determined to make his lover come first. “I love you baby,” he groaned out as he continued his pace, fucking and stroking Kevin as he went. Kevin groaned, bucking his hips up into Nick’s hand. “I’m gonna come. I love you.” he groaned out as he came once again, all over Nick’s hand and his stomach. Nick gave one final thrust and was coming inside of him, moaning Kevin's name out loud as he went.

Nick collapsed on Kevin’s chest, unable to hold himself up any longer after the force of his orgasm. He laid there for several moments, trying desperately to catch his breath. Kevin brought his arms up around him, holding Nick against him. Nick didn’t want to move, didn’t want to pull out and lose this feeling of being so connected to the other man. He knew he had to and he moaned softly at the loss as he pulled out and laid down beside the other man. Kevin rolled onto his side and drew Nick close against him, Nick’s back resting against Kevin’s chest. Kevin leaned down and placed a kiss at the base of Nick’s neck. “I told you we’d be okay baby.” he whispered against the heated skin, causing Nick to shiver.

“MMmhm. You did. I was just scared to believe that this could work out for us. I guess I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.” Nick said quietly.

Kevin kissed his neck again and then his head. “It will baby. There’s too much working against us not to. But I just need you to believe, deep inside,” Kevin placed a hand against Nick’s chest, right over his heart. “I need you to know that I love you. And nothing, nothing is going to change that. No matter what comes our way. We’re going to deal with it together. You are stuck with me, Mr. Carter.” Kevin said, pulling him as close as possible.

Nick snuggled back and closed his eyes. “I never want to be anywhere else.”