I yawn as I pulled our rental car in to the driveway of my childhood home. I couldn't wait to see Ash. Three weeks is a really long time. I smile. I am so lucky. I've got the best kid in the world. And Shawn is the greatest, most sexy boyfriend ever. He actually gave me another chance. And he loves me, he actually loves me. "Well this is it the casa de Irvine." I look over at Shawn and he looked very pale against the light of the street lamps. "Shawn what's the matter."
"I, maybe I shouldn't have come with you or maybe I should be staying at a hotel or something. I don't really do parents that well, not even my own."
I reach out and lay my hand on top of his. "Hon why are you so nervous you've met them before. They already like you."
"Yeah but that was before I was dating you. Things are different now." He pointed out.
"It's not going to make a difference, trust me. Everything will be fine."
"I wish I could believe you, I really do but my own experience tells me something different."
"Are you talking about your own family Kevin said that…"
"Yeah and Brett's, if it's all the same to you I don't really want to talk about it right now I'm nervous enough as it is."
"Ok, that's ok but I'm telling you it will be fine." I reach over and squeeze Shawn's hand trying to give him some strength. "I have to tell you that I find this nervous and vulnerable side very attractive."
He chuckles, well, nervously "Yeah." I can't help but notice the deep breath he takes before getting out of the car. Jesus Christ it must have went really badly with his parents. I guess no parent really wants to hear that their child is interested in people of the same sex but it's not the end of the world. I remember my father catching Jay and I making out when we were like 17. I guess we felt comfortable enough with each other since we knew each other for so long. I had been a complete mess after seeing Shawn on wrestling. I knew I was attracted to him but I didn't know what that meant. Yes, Shawn was my first guy crush, you can all awww now. Anyway Jay had been questioning himself for years so one night after drinking at a party we experimented I don't even remember who or how it started I do remember that it was a week before my parents let him come over again. But they did let him come over again. And Jay and I realized we had been friends way too long to have any real romantic feelings for each other and we didn't want to go there, not with each other anyway and there's been nothing but a few kisses on Christmas and birthdays and of course New Years since then. I get out of the car and walk around and take Shawn's hand in mine. I nod toward the door.
"Come on it's ok, really. Come on." We walk up to the door and I open it and walk in. "Hello?" I call out into the house.
"Chris?" I hear my mother yell from the kitchen.
"Yes mom I'm here."
"Hey son." My father came walking down the stairs. "Shawn, it's good to see you again."
"Hi dad." I walk over and give him a hug.
"You can call me Ted, Shawn."
"How was the flight?" My mom asks
"Oh it was fine. Back's kind of stiff.
"Well I guess that's to be expected I suppose after a flight from Australia yesterday then here today."
"Yeah you're probably right." I look over at Shawn and can't help but smile. "It was worth it though."
"So are you guys hungry or anything." My mom asks "Oh geese what am I saying you probably want to see your daughter." Shawn and I both nod "Alright, I have her set up in your old room Chris."
"Thanks Ma." I walked up stairs. Shawn was close behind. We walk into my old room and my heart swells at the sight of my daughter. I walk over and pick her up. "Hey baby. Oh daddy's missed you."
Shawn walks over and sits next to me. "My god she's huge." He reaches out and let's her grab his finger "What have grandma and grandpa been feeding you huh?" I babble on to Ash for a few minutes then I notice Shawn isn't sitting next to me anymore. I turn to see what he's up to.
"What are you looking at babe?" I ask
"I'm just admiring your decorating."
"My what?" I now see what he's looking at. He's looking at my poster of the rockers next to a poster of himself. I get up and walk over to him. "Oh god. Well I did tell you that I had a thing for you as a kid. And my parents really haven't changed my room since I left…" He turns around to me and pulls me into his arms.
"I think it's flattering." He whispers in my ear. I turn my head and put my lips to his. God I love kissing this man. My heart feels like it just want to jump right out of my chest. I almost didn't hear the door open.
"I um, was just going to tell you that there is lasagna in the kitchen you can cut yourself some if you want. I'm going to bed. Don't get me wrong son I love this little girl but there's a reason 60 year old women don't have children."
"Thanks mom, for everything." I say and walk over and give her a hug.
"Goodnight Mrs. Irvine." Shawn says. She shuts the door. I walked over and wrapped my arms around Shawn and kiss his neck. I feel him tense. "God that was embarrassing."
"It's ok Shawn."
"I know you keep saying that."
"And I mean it." I continue kissing his neck down to his collar bone. "You just need to relax." I let my hands slide down his arms and find his hands linking them with my own. Visions of my youth ran through my head. After all these years my dreams of having Shawn alone in my room finally coming to life made my pants uncomfortably tight.
"Ok I'll try."
"Anything I can do to help?" I'm sure he could hear the smirk in my voice because he elbowed me playfully. "Hey what was that for?"
"We're in your parents house….I can't….it would be way too weird." Shawn says in a small voice. "I'm sorry Chris."
I put my hands on each side of his face. "Shawn there's no need to be sorry. It's fine." I chuckle "Just having you here with me sleeping in my bed is enough to fulfill a lot of adolescent fantasies." I flop down on the bed next to my daughter. "It's been a long couple of days anyway I'm exhausted."
Shawn lies on the other side of Ash and puts an arm over both of us. "Yeah, me too." He says. Nothing could get better than my daughter and my man both laying her with me with me. My enjoyment of the moment was short lived however because everything in the past few days caught up to me and my eyelids became very heavy.
I walked down the stairs letting my hand trail along the railing. Water yeah water will help. Even with how cool his mom seemed earlier I can't seem to shake myself of the uneasy feeling. Not that I don't know why it wasn't my mom who…no I won't go there this is the last thing I need to think about right now. I walk in to the kitchen and stop. Ted is sitting at the kitchen table. Great, just great. "Hi."
"Hey Shawn what are you doing up."
"I couldn't really sleep."
"Ah, yeah Ash has been waking up about this time I guess my body has adjusted in the past few weeks. Have a seat." He says motioning toward another one of the chairs at the table. Now the last thing I wanted to do was sit down alone with this man and have a conversation but that is exactly what I found myself doing. Of course. "So Chris tells me you live on a ranch in Texas?"
"Yeah I do, we have about 50 acres. My brother and his wife live there and take care of it for me when I'm away."
"And you have horses?"
"Yes we have 5. And we're looking to take on another one."
"I've never been horse back riding. I've always wanted to though."
"Well you'll have to come down some time. I'll be glad to take you." This was going a lot better than I expected.
"Ok. I'll definitely take you up on that offer. And it would give me an excuse to see my granddaughter too." I look at him surprised. "Chris told me he was going to be moving there with you."
"Oh." I pause for a moment before asking this knowingly loaded question. "It's not going to bother you to see where Chris and I live together. Seeing us together like that." Ted sat in silence for a minute. Oh great why did I have to go and open my big mouth like that. Here we go the other shoe is about to drop just like I knew it would.
"Shawn, come with me for a minute. There's something I think you should see." He gets up and heads into the living room. "Sit down I'll just be a minute." True to his word he comes back with a video tape. He puts it in the VCR and pushes play. Chris comes on to the screen.
"What is…" My sentence dies off as I hear what Chris was saying. That night….he had made a suicide tape. Dear god. My heart begins to ache for him as he begins to relate his story. I never realized how much of a toll his injury had taken on him. Tears filled my eyes. And I thought I understood what was going on in his head. I knew he wasn't doing well at the time but I had no idea how bad he really was. Even though I walked in on him that night some how it didn't seem real until right now. He was really going to go through with it. I really almost lost him. Twice actually. I let my hand reach out toward the screen then remember I'm not alone so I let it run over my hair. "Turn it off. Please god, turn it off." We sat there in silence for a few minutes where I threatened to either stare a whole in the carpet or blow chunks, I didn't know which. "Why would you show me this?"
"Chris left his video recorder here for us to make videos of Ash for him. This was on the beginning of the tape." Ted is quiet for a few minutes obviously gathering his thoughts. Ted's voice catches my attention and I turn my head toward him. "Listen Shawn. This may not be the life I would have picked for my son. But I'm sure glad he found you. It's because of you I still have a son at all."
"How did you know that it was me that…"
"I know my son. When he called to tell us that he got back feeling in his legs I knew there was something he wasn't telling us. If he had gotten it in his head to do something…so drastic it would have taken something pretty powerful to stop him. I saw how you looked at him at the hospital Shawn and he's been in love with you most of his life. You make him happy. I would have to be blind not to see that. For that son you will always be welcome in my family."
"Thank you." I say quietly "You have no idea what that means to me, really. Brett's family didn't like me mostly on principle. I was in competition with their golden boy and I had gotten the last laugh in the most devious of ways. And I, uh, don't even talk to my own family much since my relationship with Bret. My, don't ask don't tell, cornel father wouldn't stand for his son being with another man. I haven't talked to him since then."
"I don't know how people can do that type of thing to their own children. It's not right Shawn. You're a good man; your father is missing out."
"Thanks." My heart warms and I finally start to feel a little more relaxed in this situation.
Ted smirks at me "But don't think that doesn't mean that I won't have to kill you if you hurt my son."
I smile "Understood. But I don't plan on it. If I have anything to say about it I'm going to be sticking around for a long, long time." I yawn. "I think I can finally get some sleep now."
Ted yawns too. "Yeah me too." We both get up and start heading toward the bedrooms "Goodnight son."
I nod "Goodnight, see you in the morning." I walk in Chris's room and shut the door and smile. He called me son. I turn to look at Chris lying in bed. His hair shined in the moonlight. He looked like an angel, my angel. I climb back in bed and Chris moves close putting his arms around me laying his head on my chest.
"Where'd you go babe."
"Just to get a drink. I had a little talk with your father."
"My father? What…." I silence him by pressing my lips to his with as much passion as I could muster. He doesn't resist as I swing my leg over him straddling his hips.
"I love you." I whisper in his ear.
"I love you too baby." He says sounding slightly surprised. My hands find their way under his shirt running their way over his abs finding the waist of his pajama pants and underneath. I chuckle at the groan than escapes from Chris.
"So tell me about those fantasies of yours."
"But you said…"
"Shhhhh…You told me to relax. I think I finally have managed to do that." I start kissing a line down his jaw bone. "Because right now I feel very…very relaxed."
I lay there with Shawn in my arms. "Not that I'm complaining here but what was that all about."
"I saw the tape….of that night." Shawn says quietly "You're father showed it to me…"
My heart drops "Oh." I try to swallow but it's hard "Not exactly my proudest moment."
"I know baby I know. But your father, he knew somehow that I'd stopped you. He said I was welcome in this family."
A smile traced across my lips. I love my father very much at this moment. "I told you, you had nothing to worry about."
"I know you did it's just the last time it didn't go so well. Bret and I were together for quite a while before we thought about our families. His parents didn't object to him being with another man so much as the man he chose. They had scene what we had done to each other over the years. They saw how I had hurt him in the "screw job". They thought I wasn't good for him. I could almost respect that. My parents, well it went worse much worse. I hadn't even told them I was seeing anyone let alone another man when they came for a surprise visit. They came in and we were lying on the couch together. My father was furious. He through every gay slur he could think of at us. Brett tried to stand up for me and he and my father got into it. It all happened so fast. My father shoved Brett and Brett ended up on the ground I stepped between them and my father wouldn't stop and I hit him. I'll never forget the look on his face, the shock and the hurt. Then he said, and I'll never forget his words and long as I live. He said it was either my family or Brett. I was so shocked I didn't know what to do. The room was silent for a minute or two and he told me I was no longer his son. He took my mother, who was crying, and they left. But not before telling me he hoped I was going to be happy burning in hell. And I haven't scene either of them since.
"Shawn that's awful. Jesus you've been through so much. I totally understand now why you had such a problem with us." I felt him try to cuddle closer to me. I tangled my fingers in his hair. Soon I could tell by his even breathing Shawn had fallen asleep. I followed soon after.
I don't recognize where I am at first when I wake up. I can't help the smile when I see Chris and Ash lying there. They look so peaceful. Then it all comes back. The knot that had been in my stomach for the past 24 hours reties itself. Chris's family. Everything will be fine with Chris's family. I exhale deeply. Yeah that's the last thing that I need to think about at this point. I get up as quietly as I can so I don't wake my two sleeping beauties. I walk into the living room and Chris's mom is sitting on the couch watching the news.
"There's coffee in the kitchen if you want some."
"Oh ok thanks."
"I haven't gotten to go shopping in the past few days I was going to go out and pick up something for us to eat for breakfast. Do you want to come with me?" Clare says
"Of course." I say. This is going to be interesting I'm sure. I walk with her out to her car and get in the passenger seat. We drive in to town and she pulls up to a small bakery. When we walk into the building a bell dings and the woman behind the counter waves at Clare.
"Hi Mallory." Clare says
"Hello Mrs. Irvine." Mallory says "And Shawn Michaels. Wow hi."
"Hi Mallory. I forget that the WWE is so popular up here."
"Oh yeah I've watched you for years, and Chris of course."
"Mallory's father owns the bakery and our families have known each other for years her and Chris even went to prom together."
I smirk storing this piece of information away fro later. "Oh really"
"So what are you doing up here?" She asks
"Oh well uh…." I stutter
"Chris is just visiting with Shawn, they've gotten to be pretty good friends over the years." Clair supplied
"Oh well that's cool. Anyways probably should get back to work…."
"Of course dear. We'll see you soon ok?" Clair says. We get our items and head to the car. After everything that happened with Ted last night I thought I knew it was all too good to be true. I knew it was too soon to think that everything was going to be fine. She introduced me as Chris's friend. Chris's friend. "I'm sorry about that back there."
"Well I sort of forgot about that being Mallory's shop I didn't think about how that must have been a little awkward…."
"It's ok and I understand why you did what you did."
"Well didn't know what to say exactly. Chris hasn't ever dated anyone that worked with him before. I didn't know if there were rules that you would have to be careful of."
Oh, well now I feel bad that I overreacted as usual I guess. "Oh that, well yes we do have to be careful about that. If people were to find out we were dating it could wreck anything that they have planned for us on the air. I thought….I thought maybe you didn't want to tell her why I was really here."
"Well Chris, It's been my experience that people worry a little too much about what other people think." I nod. And with that the knot in my stomach untied. I think from now on things are actually going to be….fine. Everything's going to be fine.