Confusion is another relatively short prequel to Turning His Life Around that features Kenji (YAY!  Kenji is my favorite! -Mr. Grace) and Ian primarily and helps establish more of their prior relationship after Kenji left to join the military.
Find the previous chapters below:

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7Part 8Part 9



When Kenji woke the next morning, he was in heaven. Kane was curled up against his back spoon-style, with one arm wrapped around his waist. Ian faced him, their legs tangled with an arm was around him, right along Kane’s. Kenji laid there for a long moment with his eyes still closed, savoring the feel of them against him.

When he finally looked down, it was to see Ian’s face, eyes closed in sleep, hair mussy. He reached up and brushed some back then let his fingers ghost softly over one cheek. He’d have given anything in that moment to be able to do that every morning. His heart thudded at the thought and he swallowed around the lump that formed.

Ian had been through so much over Hayden. Kenji thought back to the disastrous mistake he and Hayden had made early in their relationship with Ian and Kane. At times, he still kicked himself for that when the memory surfaced. He was extremely lucky that they were so forgiving. And not just for the chance to love them, but for the incredible friendship he had with them, too. He sent up a short prayer that he’d never screw up so badly again.

I wish you could be mine. The thought forced its way to the forefront of Kenji’s mind as he took in the dark lashes against pale skin. He sighed quietly at himself. If he didn’t get a better handle on his emotions, he was going to ruin his leave. Back before he left for basic, he’d learned to take what he could get, be friends, even fuck buddies, with them and be happy with it. He wanted to take pleasant memories of his trip home back with him and he forced himself to swallow the emotion, at least for now.

He leaned forward and brushed his lips across Ian’s forehead. Big brown eyes opened and met his and Ian’s lips spread into a beautiful smile. “Good morning, gorgeous,” Ian whispered and despite the promise Kenji had just made himself, his heart did a slow roll.

He forced his smile to match Ian’s. “Good morning, yourself, handsome.” Ian’s grin widened and he leaned up, lips meeting Kenji’s. The kiss was surprisingly long and thorough and Kenji could have sworn there was more than friendship behind it. But a moment later, Ian pulled back.

“Mom’s going to be so happy to see you. She’s missed you. She actually cheered when we told her you were coming home to visit,” Ian said.

Kenji’s eyebrows went up. “I didn’t know your mom liked me that much.”

“She loves you,” Kane’s deep voice came from behind Kenji. Kenji shifted and tried to look over his shoulder, but Kane’s arm just tightened. “Don’t move yet. Too comfy here,” he murmured and Kenji laughed.

“Sloth,” he teased and Kane snorted.

“Yeah, and?” Kane muttered, settling a little further against Kenji’s back.

Kenji just laughed and shook his head, turning back to Ian, who nodded. “She does. Kept asking when you’d be coming home, so when we said you’d be here over the holidays, she was really happy.”

“Well. Sure makes me happy to hear,” Kenji said, grinning. Then he sighed. “I think this is the latest I’ve slept in six months.”

“Yeah, don’t you usually get up at dawn or something?” Ian asked.

Kenji chuckled. “Close. Though not as much since I’m out of basic. AIT wasn’t quite as early, but still earlier than you guys are used to, I’m sure. I’m going to turn so lazy over leave, I’m sure of it.”

“Uh uh, we’ll drag you to the dojo with us and make you spar, too,” Kane murmured. “I’m just not getting out of bed at dawn. You can do that yourself.”

Ian rolled his eyes. “He can sleep in. I’ll get up with you,” Ian offered. “You still drink coffee?”

Kenji nodded. “Yeah, I got away from it in basic—didn’t have time ‘cause breakfast just went too damned fast. But I picked it back up in AIT.”

Ian grinned. “Good. He only drinks it ‘cause I do.”

Kenji grinned. “I started because of you,” he said, bopping Ian’s nose with his finger. “But now I’m addicted.”

“Haha! Yes!” Ian cheered. “I don’t mind having a fellow addict.”

“You two are nuts. A little more sleep and you don’t need coffee.”

“Hush, O Lazy One,” Kenji said with a snort which was answered in like by Kane. Ian rolled onto his back, stretching and Kenji appreciatively eyed the muscles that moved and shifted. Ian grinned up at him and Kenji bent, kissing his friend before peeling Kane’s arm from around his waist. “Let’s get some of that coffee, hmm?” Kenji suggested. “Before I’m tempted to keep you in bed for a lot longer.”

Ian chuckled. “Hate to make you do that,” he said, but rolled out of bed and made his way to the dresser. Kenji leaned up on an elbow to watch Ian walk, his eyes firmly focused on the tight ass.

“You’ve got a very nice ass,” he muttered, eyes still glued to the body part in question.

Ian grinned again and bent further than necessary as he opened a drawer. Kenji, unwilling to let that pass, slipped up behind Ian and gripped his friend’s hips. “You know, that could get you in big trouble,” he murmured into Ian’s ear, grinding his morning erection into the cleft of Ian’s ass.

“Mmm. Careful, I might not consider it trouble,” Ian said, looking over his shoulder.

Kenji grinned and dropped a kiss on Ian’s cheek. “If I didn’t know your mom was already awake, I’d be taking advantage of that,” he said, then sighed regretfully and stepped back, turning to his duffel to get his own clothes.

“You two are disgusting, you know that?” Kane said, groaning as he forced himself into an upright position.

Ian glanced over his shoulder. “What do you mean by that?”

“Just because you’re boyfriends now, doesn’t mean you have to be… gooey,” he finished, making a face.

The color drained from Kenji’s face and his head whipped around. He caught Ian’s puzzled look and glanced at Kane before looking back at Ian. He gulped —nearly out loud—and licked his lips. The thought came to him belatedly that he should have just played it off, but it was too late for that. “Uh… Kane, what do you mean by boyfriends?” Ian asked, carefully.