Major (capital “M”) angst and have tissues at the ready for this story.
Find Part 1 here * Find Part 2 here * Find Part 3 here * Find Part 4 here * Find Part 5 here * Find Part 6 here * Find Part 7 here * Find Part 8 here * Find Part 9 here * Find Part 10 here * Find Part 11 here * Find Part 12 here * Find Part 13 here * Find Part 14 here * Find Part 15 here * Find Part 16 here
Kane stood outside the kitchen. He hadn’t meant to eavesdrop; he just hadn’t realized they weren’t done yet. And then it was just too hard to walk away.
He’d called her “Mom” for as long as he could remember, but he’d always still just thought of her as “Ian’s Mom.” To find out she really thought of him as her own son, hit him in the solar plexus.
He’d never known his father. He didn’t even know if his mother knew who it was. “Haris” was her name. He’d thought about getting it changed when he turned eighteen, but he had no idea what he’d change it to. Maybe someday, if his adopted mom didn’t mind, he’d take Kelly; he just wasn’t ready to ask for that yet.
He shook his head. No, the issue at the moment was the things she’d said to Ian. Besides knowing they’d had sex—and he himself had blushed horribly at that—was the idea that she encouraged Ian to be with him.
He let his head fall back to the wall and closed his eyes. He still wondered at times if he’d end up like her. His bitch of a biological mother. If there was something in the genes that would eventually make him be like that. Intellectually, he knew better, but there were still moments when he couldn’t shake the idea.
But apparently Ian’s mom—his mom, the one he thought of as his real mom, didn’t think so. And if he understood what she was saying, she thought that he and Ian should… be together?
He didn’t know what to make of it. Didn’t know what to believe out of all of that. They were best friends. They’d had sex, anal sex—twice now, but he didn’t know if Ian could love him like that. He wasn’t sure he could love at all, much less love Ian.
Hell, he wasn’t even sure he knew what love was. But that was neither here nor there at that point. Even if Ian wanted to love him, it wasn’t happening for a long time, not with his grief over Hayden still too new. But Kane would be there, he’d give to Ian anything he needed.
“You can come in now, Kane,” his mom called and he blushed.
He stood up and went around the wall, setting the frozen roast on the island. “Um…”
She smiled and dropped a kiss on his cheek. “It’s okay, love, I mostly didn’t want to embarrass Ian.” She pulled him into her arms and wrapped them around him. “I love you as much as I love him. Don’t doubt it or forget it,” she whispered into his ear and kissed his cheek again. “And thank you. For being there for him.”
She stepped back and turned to the stove and he simply stared for a moment at her. She’d just thanked him for having sex with Ian. He knew there was more to it than that, but that was there too. He shook his head.
He turned get the silverware out and put it on the table and caught Ian’s gaze. His best friend was staring at him and their eyes met for a long moment. Neither said anything, and he couldn’t decipher what was on Ian’s face, but he realized in that moment just how important Ian was to him. And the realization slammed into his gut like a punch from their sensei at the dojo.
He’d always known it, to a point. When his mother… when Anna—he refused to think of her as his mother anymore—had decided to move away from her boyfriend again and taken him with her, he’d always done his best to see Ian when he could. The only decent thing she’d done was stay in the same school area, and he’d been able to see his friend during school. He went home with Ian as often as possible, too, sometimes with Anna not even figuring it out until much later.
So, he’d always known Ian was important, always tried to spend what time he could with his friend. But in that moment, it really hit him just how much Ian meant to him. They continued to stare at each other for another moment, then their mom turned on the water in the sink and the spell was broken. He looked down at the silverware in his hand and proceeded to set the table, but that thought, that feeling didn’t fade for a very long time.