Matt walked into the living room to find Aidan naked from the waist down, something he hadn’t been just five minutes ago. His diaper was on the other side of the room with a giant turd in it. Matt rushed to Aidan, barely slowing down as he hooked the kid under the armpits and whisked him off to the bathroom. The mess wasn’t too bad. It had mostly stayed in the diaper, but he got a bath anyway.
This was the third time he’d ripped his diaper off and Matt was already tired of it.
Matt: Help. Aidan keeps taking off his diaper! What do I do??????
Seamus: Make sure he’s wearing pants
Matt: OMG! Pants! Doh. It’s like a chastity belt for poop
Seamus: I do believe that’s Huggies official slogan but I could be wrong
* * * * *
Matt: Gah, Aidan screamed the whole way home from daycare. I bet everyone thinks I abuse him
Seamus: Or they think he’s going through the terrible twos.
Matt: There’s a name for this bullshit?
Seamus: lol, yes. Terrible twos, google it
Twenty minutes later.
Matt: IT CAN LAST FOR YEARS. Did you know this??!!
Seamus: It ends and teen years begin
Matt: Ay caramba
* * * * *
Matt: I miss you : (
Seamus: I miss you too
Matt: I love you
Seamus: lol I love you too Matt. Tell Aidan to get his act together so you guys can come home
Matt: How about I tell him to keep acting out? He does the opposite of what I ask anyway. Seems like our best bet
Seamus: He will be an angel in no time
Seamus: BTW, I know that usually the annual trip is just us board members, but the guys were wondering if you and Aidan wanted to come. You down? I know it’s last minute but it will be fun. I’d love for you two to come. Let me know. I need to purchase tickets soon…
Matt: When is it?
Seamus: Spring break
Matt: Shit, I made plans with the guys back home. I would cancel but I probably won’t see them this summer
Matt: I think it’s obvious that I’d rather go with you…
Matt: I’m serious.
* * * * *
Matt: Things went smooth this morning. No fighting. Maybe there is a method to your madness
Seamus: You doubted me?
Matt: I love you!
Matt: Answer your damn phone
Seamus: Sorry, Seamus isn’t home right now. Please try again later
Matt: Really? Grrr
Seamus: Leave a message after the beep. BEEP.
Matt smiled as he pocketed his phone. He knew Seamus would answer if he called again but letting him sweat it out was more fun.
* * * * *
Matt: JK. He’s still a terror. He won’t eat dinner.
Matt: What if he starves?
Seamus: What did you make? And don’t worry, he won’t starve
Seamus: What kind?
Matt: The Italian kind?
Seamus: He only likes it when it’s made with tomato soup and cream of mushroom soup. He doesn’t like regular marinara sauce
Matt: How am I supposed to know that? And since when is spaghetti made with cream of mushroom soup?
Seamus: Since forever? That’s the only spaghetti we’ve eaten since we’ve been together…
Matt: Uh. This is so hard and now I have to make special meals?
Matt: I’m out of fucks. He gets a peanut butter sandwich for dinner
Matt: Now he doesn’t like peanut butter sandwiches???????
Seamus: I’ve never had that problem…
Matt: He threw it on the floor now there’s raspberry jam everywhere
Seamus: Oh, he doesn’t like jam. I use honey and a light sprinkle of cinnamon. You can add smashed banana also
Matt: *middle finger emoji***laughing emoji*
Seamus: *kiss emoji*
* * * * *
Matt: No class or work today. I spent the entire day with Aidan. I’m soooooooo tired. It’s hard to get anything done
* * * * *
It had been a decent day. There were definite improvements in Aidan’s behavior. Not perfect, but better. Matt figured a trip to the supermarket was in order. Turns out, Aidan had very particular taste buds. It surprised Matt how little he knew.
When they arrived, Matt tried to get Aidan into the cart but Aidan kept kicking his legs and bending his body in weird angles. It took some serious WWF moves before Matt had his brother strapped into the damn cart. Aidan grumbled for a minute, but calmed down. They roamed the aisles as Matt shopped. It was all fine until they got to the cereals. Aidan said something that Matt didn’t understand, Matt tried pointing at boxes but that only frustrated Aidan more.
Matt: At the store. What cereal does Aidan want? He’s freaking out and I don’t know what to grab.
Seamus: He wants any of the boxes with bright colors but he only gets regular cheerio. Nothing with added sugar or anything he can choke on
Matt grabbed the cheerios and casino şirketleri set them in the cart. “He who should not be named said you only get cheerios, sorry buddy.”
Aidan was fine with that as long as he got to hold the box. They continued on and Matt slowly filled the cart. The cracker aisle was another story.
Matt: Has Aidan ever had Chicken in a Biscuit? He’s acting like he has, but I don’t remember ever buying them?
Seamus: Yeah, that’s my fault. I bought them once and he’s been obsessed sense. Sorry : (
Aidan threw the Cheerio box on the floor and screamed. Fed up with all the tantrum throwing, Matt grabbed a box from the shelf and threw it on the floor, too. Then he stomped his feet and started crying dramatically, waving his hands in the air and making ugly faces. He’d gotten the idea from his mom. She told him a story once of a time Matt was being crazy so she decided to be crazy back. She said Matt instantly stopped.
And it worked. He might’ve looked like a fool to anyone passing by but shocked Aidan into silence. The toddler sat there, a giant tear hanging from his lash as he watched his big brother with wide, confused eyes.
“Ohmygod, it worked…” Matt whispered, then tossed the cheerios back in the cart and put the box he’d thrown on the floor back on the shelf. Aidan didn’t act out for the rest of the trip. He sat in the cart and chatted away like things were A-OK between them.
Yeah, Matt had done that. He’d put Aidan in his place. And to celebrate, he walked the rest of the aisles with a little pep in his step.
Matt 1. Aidan 0. Okay, that wasn’t completely accurate. Aidan held the leaderboard, but Matt had a feeling he’d be catching up in no time.
* * * * *
The shopping trip had given Matt the courage to keep going. He spent the next day making sure Aidan followed the rules, made him share his food, had him help clean, and encouraged his positive behaviors.
Matt: Guess what?!
Matt: We had a great day. Aidan’s been so good. Things are starting to feel normal. Do you think we can come back now?
Seamus: I think we should wait a few more days and make sure this is the new normal. I don’t want to ruin the progress.
Matt: I know you’re right but I’m soooo tired. I just want to come back to the loft and take a long nap.
Seamus: I see how it is. You just want me to watch Aidan so you can sleep
Matt: I also want to suck your 8======D
Matt: You didn’t tell me I’d barely see you for two weeks
Seamus: WTF is that? It looks like the excited face we used when text was a new thing back in the early 2000’s
Seamus: Is your dad going to watch Aidan when the two weeks is up?
Seamus: I thought the distance was kind of implied?
Matt: I will force Dad to watch him and that’s code for your dick *eye roll*
Matt: I knew there would be some distance but you haven’t even come to work
Seamus: I never really go to the office, but I will stop by this week just for you.
Matt: Ahh, you’re so sweet
* * * * *
Matt: I can’t understand anything this kid says. He talks so much but it’s all gibberish!!
Seamus: You’ll learn
Matt: I hate that you know what he says
Seamus: It’s mostly educated guesses
Matt: Anyway, when are you coming to work?
Seamus: When I decide to come
Matt: Bring me coffee? Pleeeeeease?
Seamus: Maybe, how are my profits?
Matt: Considering no one is skimming anymore, pretty good!
Matt: Now will you bring me a coffee?
Seamus: Loelife’s drink of the week?
* * * * *
Aidan came running when he saw Matt in the pickup line. It almost felt normal at this point. The affection sent a rush of warmth through his body. This is what he’d been yearning for. He swung his brother up on his hip and then let Aidan gibber all the way to the café.
The duo was back baby!
* * * * *
Kase and Hilary stopped what they were doing when Matt walked through the door. It wasn’t the first time they’d seen him since he stopped working. Matt had stopped by every day they worked and their reaction never failed.
Kase grabbed Aidan from Matt and smiled. “Someone looks happy.”
Matt beamed proudly that things were going so well. “Not to brag but Aidan ran to me when I picked him up today.”
“That’s awesome,” Hilary clapped. “How many days left before the big reunion?”
“Four days and counting. Can’t wait. This is seriously hard work.”
“Have you been on IG lately?” Kase changed the subject then moved his head left to right, trying to dodge Aidan’s grabby hands. No way was Aidan getting his hands on his favorite hat. Not today.
Matt grinned. “I did. When are we getting together and making your peachnadas?”
“I think we convinced casino firmalari Bar to start serving the adult versions of Loren’s drinks. Maybe we could swing by here one night to celebrate?”
Hilary and Matt were down. “What about next week? I want to spend a few days with Seamus once this whole thing is over and then we can go get drinks. I could use a good night out. I miss you guys.”
“We should make it a weekly thing,” Hilary suggested. “We could go to the Bar or we could chill at one of our places? Whatever works.”
Matt was glad they were making plans. The hardest part about leaving the café was the fear his relationship with Hilary and Kase would suffer. The friendships he had back home had definitely faltered with separation. They hardly texted anymore and, worse, Matt wasn’t sure he cared.
They had plans to meet up over spring break. It was the first time they would be seeing each other since last summer. Matt was anxious to see how it would go. He wasn’t really drinking anymore, and that was all his friends wanted to do. That alone could be a problem. One of the many signs they were drifting.
Matt wondered if it might be the last time they got together before officially going their separate ways.
What he had with Kase and Hilary was next level friendship. Not to sound cocky, but Matt thought it rivaled what Seamus had with the board members.
* * * * *
Matt was dying. Literally dying. He missed Seamus so much it hurt. When they decided to do the Potato Detox, he didn’t realize he wouldn’t see Seamus. He absolutely thought Seamus would pop into work every single day to see him. Seamus had always gone out of his way like that. That was not the case. Matt hadn’t seen him, not even once.
Matt almost broke his neck every time he worked in the office. Every shadow and every conversation outside had him staring at the door, hoping. When the door actually opened, Matt couldn’t get to his boyfriend fast enough. He cupped Seamus’s face and held it as he peppered his face with kisses until Seamus was laughing.
“Hello to you, too.” Seamus wrapped his arms around Matt and pulled him in for a proper kiss. Good thing Rebecca was off. What they were doing was not strictly professional.
“I can’t believe you’re here. I’ve missed you so much,” Matt said between kisses. He couldn’t stop touching Seamus. He wasn’t sure if it was his imagination, but Seamus looked better than normal. He was smiling and everything about him glowed. He looked extra hot in jeans and a blazer. Matt could’ve ripped them off him right there. Oh boy did he want to.
“I hope Aidan’s ready to come back because I’ve been miserable without you two.”
Matt tried to nod but was too busy kissing and nibbling Seamus’s neck. He worked his hands under Seamus’s shirt up and slipped his fingers under until he was touching bare skin. Seamus grabbed his hand.
“What are you doing? We’re at the office.” Seamus’s words glowed as much as his face. It was obvious he loved getting attacked by Matt, but Seamus was right, they were at the office.
Nope. He couldn’t stop. “I just need a little more. I’m starving for you.”
They made out for a while longer. It would’ve passed the point of no return but Seamus had more willpower than Matt. He forced Matt to sit at the desk and then he sat on the other side.
“It’s been twelve days and you’re sitting on the other side of the desk?!” Matt couldn’t even play footies with him because the solid oak desk had a full barrier.
Again, Seamus laughed. Apparently, he found desperate Matt was amusing. “If I would’ve known some mild separation that you didn’t instigate would make you like this, I would’ve done this a year ago.”
“If you didn’t come here to see me, then why’d you come?” he pouted.
“Because it’s my place of business?”
Seamus smiled so bright at Matt’s antics that Matt couldn’t even pretend to be upset. He had this crazy light about him, this radiating happiness. Matt smiled back.
Eventually, they got to work. They really did have stuff to go over. Matt reviewed a few reports and then they talked about the two additional people that would be joining the team. As much as they kind of needed people to start sooner than later, even Rebecca agreed that it would be good if Matt graduated and was working full time first. He would be their boss after all. It might make a smoother transition if Matt wasn’t still in college.
They were in the middle of a recap when the door opened. The office was private and didn’t deal with the public, so no one ever came in. There was no reason for it.
Matt didn’t notice the man at first, but it only took a glance at Seamus for the pieces to fall into place. It was Mike Forte. He was older than Matt expected. Heavier and balder, too.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Seamus asked, güvenilir casino his voice dangerously hostile. Mike was as unwelcome as they came. The nerve of him for showing up.
Mike’s smile was full of hate and amusement. It was clear to Matt that Mike’s only intention was to piss Seamus off. He just hoped Seamus could see it for what it was and not play into whatever was about to happen.
High road, Seamus. Take the high road. But also fucking knock that sonofabitch out!
Nervous about what was brewing, Matt carefully lifted the phone and propped it just enough to not look suspicious while allowing him to slowly dial 9-1-1. He knew if he didn’t say anything, they would either call back or dispatch someone to check it out.
“I came to see how things were going,” Mike stood with his hands in his pocket and looked around the room. “I’m surprised you haven’t ruined everything Kelly built.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t ruin everything Kelly started and I built. You fucking thief.”
“I didn’t steal shit. I took what was owed to me. I supported Kelly during his start up, I’m the reason he got off the ground. This should’ve been mine when he died.”
“Then why was my name on everything? If you were owed it, if Kelly planned on giving you anything, why didn’t he?”
“Because you’d fuck him and I wouldn’t. Don’t convince yourself that you were special, Seamus. You were one in a line of many. You couldn’t even keep him happy. The only thing that set you apart was that you turned a blind eye to what Kelly did. He liked that you let him do whatever he wanted and he was willing to dangle whatever carrot you wanted in order to keep things going. Kelly didn’t marry you because he loved you, he married you because it benefited him. His biggest mistake was lashing out at his parents and not correcting that mistake before he died. You never should’ve been on any of the paperwork.”
Seamus remained calm but Matt could see his jaw clenching. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s true, Kelly was a real asshole, but the reality is this, I’m the one who was left with everything. Not you. Kelly might’ve fucked around on me, but you were the one who got fucked. Whatever you think you and Kelly agreed on, you got nothing.”
“I got plenty. You know why? Because you don’t know shit about what you’re sitting on right now. You’re a fucking dumbass gold digger who was content collecting money while I did all the real work and collected the real money.” Mike looked at Matt and laughed. “That proves my point. You hire your college boytoy and give him a fancy job title? You think he knows shit about this? Are you begging for this place to go under? It’s a fucking shame, but I gotta be honest, I look forward to watching you fail.”
“Maybe I fail, maybe I don’t, but at least I won’t end up in jail with felony on my record.”
“Keep dreaming. Mom and Dad Jacobson are backing me. They hated your white trash ass from the moment Kelly brought you home and they’re very much looking forward to getting their hands on this place. Don’t underestimate what money can do. You won’t stand a chance.”
The police barged in a moment later. It wasn’t like you see on TV. Yes, they had their guns drawn but it wasn’t some grand entrance. Then they had to figure out what was going on. Seamus’s saving grace was that his lawyer had advised him to file a restraining order. Neither Matt or Seamus had thought it would be necessary, but that wasn’t the case. If he hadn’t filed one, then Mike technically could’ve walked away.
They cuffed him and were about ready to lead him out when he looked back at Matt. “Keep my seat warm for me.”
It was the creepiest thing Matt ever experienced. The look in Mike’s eyes set Matt’s skin on edge. It was terrible.
He heard something on the phone and quickly held it to his ear. “Hello.”
“This is Tab with dispatch, I just want to make sure the police arrived and everything is okay?”
“Oh, yeah. They got him. Thank you for sending them.”
She had a few more questions and then disconnected the call. Matt watched as Seamus spoke to two police officers. Then it was Matt’s turn. It felt like they were there forever. By the time they left, it was almost time for Matt to pick up Aidan. There could not be worse time to leave Seamus. He was visibly shaken and clearly affected by Mike’s stunt.
“I know you said we should wait a few more days, but I can’t leave you after what just happened. Why don’t I pick up Aidan and meet you at the loft? We can use it as a trial run and see how it goes.”
Seamus rested his face on Matt’s shoulder. He nodded and mumbled into Matt’s neck. “Yeah, I’d like that. I could use some Aido Potato and Mayto Potato snuggles tonight.”
Matt lifted Seamus’s face until they were eye-to-eye. “Don’t listen to anything that asshole said. He’s a liar who came here to break you down.”
He had a hard time leaving. Seamus didn’t look okay but he couldn’t just abandon Aidan and there was no one else on the emergency pick up list except his dad, and he lived way too far away for a last-minute pick up. Matt reluctantly peeled himself away.