Spring Equinox

Epilogue

XXXXX

Vinca rolled, a frown marring his smooth forehead. He could hear something, reaching out he reached out only to find the other side of the bed was empty. Opening his eyes, Vinca looked around the room to find Cole standing naked looking out the window.

"Cole?" Vinca yawned as he sat up.

"Moving truck is here," Cole moved to pull on his clothing; he could hear the dog starting to bark downstairs. "They made better timing then I thought they would."

"Good," Vinca laughed as he got up and started to pull his clothing on too. "But it wasn't much and it was flown here not shipped across country."

"Yeah," Cole moved out of the room, he shushed the dog when he walked by still not sure how the animal would react to the wide open space. Rio had gone out with him when he went to do the horses, but the dog had stayed close to him not sure what to make of the horses.

"Rio come," Vinca followed behind Cole, a grin on his face. He bounced in place as he watched the man step out of the truck.

"Vinca Silivasi?" the man said, looking between the two of them.

"Me," Vinca came forward taking the clipboard that was being held out. Signing it, he gave it back and watched as the two men started to unload the boy's stuff.

"Come on, baby," Cole steered the boy back into the house where he started coffee. He glanced back and had to smile, Vinca was pointing out where he wanted boxes placed. It didn't take the men very long, although Cole couldn't remember the furniture. He glanced over to see Vinca was running his fingers over what looked to be a vanity. "Vinca?"

"My father made this for me before he died, I was hoping that Rainie could use it," Vinca turned to look at Cole, a smile on the boy's face. Cole smiled, moving towards the vanity to see the thing was pale wood with small vinca vines on it.

"I think she'd love to," Cole grinned, he moved to help one of the moving men take the thing up to Rainie's room. He could hear Vinca instructing the other man with the boxes of clothing. He saw the moving man look at him sympathetically and he had to smile. "How's it going, Vinca?"

"Good," the boy grinned as he turned back to the big walk in closet that Cole had. Cole shook his head, knowing that he was losing space in his closet but he couldn't bring himself to care. His mother had a lot of clothing and it would be nice to see Vinca fill the space up.

Heading back downstairs he was surprised to find Rio laying on the porch, the dog watching the moving men carry things into the house. He figured the dog would have run off and they'd be searching for it. He had never had a dog growing up. Squatting down he ran a hand over the animal's soft golden fur.

"I was hoping you'd like Rio," Vinca grinned as he moved to sit down on the porch swing. He looked over when Cole joined him, leaning against the man he waved to the movers as the men climbed back into the truck.

"I've never had a dog," Cole grinned as he watched the animal.

"Dom thought I needed it when I moved to my apartment," Vinca shrugged slightly. "It was an early Christmas present."

"Ah," Cole held the boy a little closer, he knew that as Vinca sorted out his returned memories things about Dom that he hadn't thought about in a while would resurface. "Want to help me check the horses?"

"Yes," Vinca grinned as he followed after the rancher. He smiled as he looked around his new home, feeling at peace for the first time in years. Walking into the barn, he moved through it to look out the door into the pasture with a smile. He saw Dragon's Fire, the horse moving towards them. "Hello boy."

Vinca reached out to pet the horse, smiling as the animal leaned over the barn door to nuzzle him. He looked back as Cole laughed, the man was watching him. "He likes you."

"He's a good horse," Vinca turned back to the Irish Draught, letting his arms wrap around him. "He protected me; I really think I ended up there that night because he was safe."

"I'm glad you did," Cole moved close, wrapping his arms around the boy's slender waist. He turned to look behind him when he heard a door; pulling away he headed back out to see who was there. "What do you want?"

"Thought I'd pop in to see how you were," Kelly grinned at him.

"I'm fine," Cole turned away, hoping the man would leave.

"Cole come on," Kelly got the man to stop, he moved close to look at him. "I'm sorry about the other day, I told you that."

Cole stared at the man, not sure why Kelly was back or why the man stayed around. He couldn't seem to wrap his mind around it. "What is it you want Kelly?"

"I already told you, Cole; I want you," Kelly grinned as he stepped closer, his hand reaching out to touch the man.

"But only if I give up my kid," Cole took a step back, he glared at the man.

"People have other people raise their kids all the time Cole," Kelly pouted that Cole had stepped back, but that didn't stop him from invading the man's space again.

"I'm going to raise Rainieā€¦" Cole gritted his teeth when Kelly cut him off.

"By yourself," Kelly glared, "Why would you want to live your life alone?"

"He's not alone," Vinca stepped out of the barn; he moved to stand beside Cole. "I'm here and I'll help him raise his daughter."

"Until you flake out again and run away," Kelly's mouth turned down as he watched Cole wrap an arm around the boy's shoulder.

"I told you, his family wanted him back," Cole glared as he took a step forward, but stopped when Vinca held onto him.

"The reason I left or came back is not your business," Vinca stated. "But I can tell you that I have no intentions of leaving Cole or Rainie."

"You sound all high and mighty right now, but what happens a year from now?" Kelly looked between them until his eyes finally landed on Cole.

"I'll be here," Vinca wrapped an arm around the man's waist, watching as Cole glanced down at him with a smile. "I plan on being here forever and beyond."

"What about the barn the other day Cole?" Kelly was grasping at straws, but if he had to leave empty handed, then he was damn sure going to make sure that Cole and Vinca were fighting.

"What about it?" Cole asked letting his arm tighten around the boy's shoulders.

"You seemed almost convinced to give up the kid so I'd come back, then there was the kisses," Kelly looked at Vinca to see the boy was watching him.

"I was drunk and in pain," Cole replied.

"So that makes it okay? To make promises to me?" Kelly wanted to smile as Vinca looked up at Cole.

"I never made any promises to you, Kelly," Cole shook his head as the looked at his ex-lover; he couldn't believe that Kelly would stoop this low. "I don't know why you suddenly felt the need to come back and try to make me miserable again, but it's not going to happen, I have someone else."

"But you love me," Kelly stated, he knew Cole, knew the man enough to know that Cole just didn't give up feelings that easily.

"I love him," Cole stated simply in a quiet voice. He felt Vinca stiffen slightly but didn't let the boy go, he wasn't going to lose Vinca again, not when he had just gotten him back home.

"So that's it? No more feelings for me?" Kelly took a step forward, he was angry now. He couldn't believe this pale little bitch had taken away his man. "Come on Cole, you've been here waiting for me to come back for years."

"You've come back every year Kelly, to ride the rodeo and show off whatever you were fucking at the time," Cole shook his head, "it's time for you to see that I don't want you, I've got my family and friends here that take me as I am."

"Whatever," the man turned to walk away, they could see that he was angry and Cole looked back down at Vinca as the car pulled away.

"Vinca?" Cole said softly.

"You love me?" Vinca looked up at him, meeting Cole's hazel-green eyes.

"I do," Cole moved to pull the boy close, smiling down at him as he saw the smile that bloomed across the boy's face. "I couldn't help myself, but that day that it rained so hard and we cuddled up on the sofa, it just made me fall in love with you."

"The shower," Vinca dropped his eyes to look at Cole's shirt.

"What about the shower?" Cole reached up to place his fingers under Vinca's chin; he tilted the boy's head back up to meet the boy's periwinkle blue eyes.

"In the shower, with the candlelight and you were touching me so tenderly that it just made my heart skip a beat," Vinca whispered a small smiling finding his face. "It was just the way you touched me Cole, it showed me how much you cared."

"You made it easy to care," Cole wrapped an arm around the boy's shoulder to lead him back to the house, passing the dog that was waiting to go back into the house. He grinned as Rio headed to the kitchen, the dog finding his bowl of food and water. "Now you have a bunch of stuff to unpack."

"Cole," Vinca laughed as he looked over the boxes that were lying about.

XXXXX

Vinca wiped his brow as he put another box in the pile of empties. He looked up when Cole popped his head out a doorway. "Hey, you want to come here."

Getting up, Vinca made his way to the room Cole was in. Pausing in the doorway his eyes widened as he saw what the man had done. Cole had made him an office out of the unused den, giving Vinca a place to work on his photos. It would also give a place that they'd be able to run the ranch.

"Wow," Vinca took a step into the room, his fingers running over the desk that he brought back with him. "I love it; it will make things easy to take care of here."

"Yeah," Cole smiled as he nodded to the large picture that he had placed behind the boy's desk. It was of a lone tree, backset against a large lake, taken at sunset. "I like this picture."

"Its one of my first," Vinca smiled as he remember that picture, he had been out while Dom and Bianca had been at a family thing. "I still have all the pictures I've taken."

"Do you really?" Cole couldn't help but ask. He saw the boy nod to the tower of disks that they had brought with them.

"You're free to look through them, they're all numbered," Vinca moved around the desk, smiling as he saw Cole had placed a few other pictures on it. "I want to take pictures of Rainie and you, maybe one of us together?"

"I'd like that too," Cole grinned as he wrapped his arms around the boy's body. Leaning down, he captured the boy's lips. Pulling back he grinned at the boy, before he followed the boy out of the room. He saw Vinca pause by the sofa seeing there the embroidery he had been working on before he left.

"You kept this?" Vinca couldn't believe it, that the man would keep it. He held it to his chest as he looked up at the man.

"I hoped that someday you'd come back to finish it," Cole smiled, watching as the boy smiled too. He couldn't remember ever smiling this much in the last seven years. He watched as the boy wandered over to the fish tank, smiling as Vinca tapped gently on the side.

"I'm glad the fish are still here," Vinca glanced back at Cole, his breath catching in his throat as he saw how Cole was looking at him. "I should figure out what we're going to have for dinner, Rainie will be getting home soon."

Vinca set the embroidery down before he moved towards the kitchen. He glanced around before he moved towards the fridge. He could hear Cole laughing; the man seemed to find amusement in Vinca's embarrassment. Shaking his head, he pulled out things so he could make something good for dinner.

"How does chicken sound?" Vinca glanced back as he found a knife.

"Wonderful," Cole moved closer, seeing that Rio had moved to sit close to where Vinca was working on cutting up the chicken.

"I've noticed that you have a lot more things here, for cooking," Vinca glanced over at the man, seeing Cole was watching him.

"Again, I was hoping you'd come home," Cole raised a shoulder in a shrug as he watched Vinca move around the kitchen. Vinca was quiet as he went about making a simple marinade that he'd put the chicken in for the next several hours before it went into the oven. Once he was done with that he looked over at Cole.

"I really do love you," Vinca whispered softly. "I wanted nothing more than to come home, to be with you and Rainie."

"Really?" Cole moved to grab the boy, pulling Vinca close to his chest. He dropped a kiss to the boy's forehead before he kissed each closed eyelid. Finally Cole pressed his lips to Vinca's, feeling a slight quivering below his, but as he deepened the kiss, the boy moaned. "Want to take you back to bed."

"Rainie will be home?" Vinca muttered letting his tongue lick along Cole's lips.

"Twenty minutes or so," Cole pulled back enough to look at the clock. He saw a grin on Vinca's face, the boy's hands going to his own pants button. "Quickie?"

"Think you can get it done in twenty minutes?" Vinca asked as he turned towards the stairs.

"Fifteen," Cole caught the boy at the top of the stairs, he moved so they were headed towards the bathroom. Entering the room, he let his hand slip into Vinca's pants; feeling for the hard cock he knew would be in there.

"Cole," Vinca leaned back against the man.

"Start the water," Cole leaned in to kiss the soft skin of Vinca's neck as the boy fumbled with the water. The spray started and Cole moved to strip his lover down. Once he had Vinca naked he stepped back long enough to strip his own clothing off. He knew that he couldn't go slow or waste time, a smile found his face as he watched Vinca step under the spray.

XXXXX

Vinca stood on the porch, Rio was sitting beside him; the dog seemed to understand they were waiting for something. Cole was sitting on the porch swing, the man watching him. He knew Cole was thinking about what they had just done and it made Vinca shiver, a smile on his face.

"You know, staring down the road isn't going to make the bus come any sooner," Cole leaned back, letting the swing sway slightly. "Come sit by me, baby."

"Did Mary or Joe tell her I was back?" Vinca asked coming to sit next to the man.

"Nope," Cole moved to bury his head in Vinca's damp curls. A grin found his face as he listened to the boy's breathing. "Thought it would be best to let it be a surprise."

"Oh," Vinca nodded, reaching over to touch his lover. He saw the dog's ears perk up and looking down the road he saw the bus. Getting up, Vinca stayed on the porch as he bounced on his feet. "Do you think she'll be happy to see me?"

"I think she'll be ecstatic," Cole grinned as he stood, letting his hand run across Vinca's ass as he passed him and headed off the porch. Vinca waited until the bus came to a stop and he saw the little girl get off before he moved off the porch, Rio running ahead of him.

"Hey pa," the little girl said, her voice somewhat happy.

"Hey sweet pea," Cole grinned as he hugged his daughter, watching as Rio decided he wanted to be included in the hug.

"Where did the dog come from?" Rainie asked, a smile on her face as she rubbed behind the retriever's ears.

"He's mine," Vinca watched as Rainie looked up, the girl's eyes widening as she spotted him.

"Vinca!" Rainie yelled as she ran to the boy, throwing herself into his arms she held tightly to him. "You came back."

"I did, and I'm here to stay," Vinca knelt down, hugging the girl again.

"Really?" Rainie asked seeing Vinca nod his head; she looked up at her father seeing Cole was nodding. "You're going to be my new mommy?"

Cole laughed at that, he saw Vinca glare up at him, the boy's eyes narrowing slightly. He tried to pull his laughter under control as Vinca stood; the boy's hands were on his hips. Cole stopped laughing, only his lips twitching gave it away that he still wanted to laugh.

"Come on Rainie, I'll make you a snack," Vinca wrapped an arm around the girl's shoulders. A smile found his face as he walked back towards the house. It was his family, he had found a place for himself and he was happy. He looked over as Cole wrapped an arm around his shoulders, the man smiling at him.

It was good to be home.

The End.