Disclaimer: This is an original story that I have thought up.
Warning: This story contains boys love, swearing, and slight religious bashing. Read at your own discretion.
Note: And here's the last chapter! I know it's sad, but the story had to end sometime. Hopefully you'll all enjoy it. ^~^
Cooking was difficult. Even after devoting three years to Germain's teaching on the weekends, I still found the task rather challenging. You had to figure out the proper temperature, technique, and spices to make the dish edible, not to mention tasty. It was hard work and there were many times I wished for a simple heat and eat meal. Ah well, there was no point to griping. The benefits of being able to make your own food far outweighed the annoyances.
Quin's elated facial expression for one thing. He absolutely loved my food, and though I'd never tell Germain he actually said my cooking was better than hers. Such a complement made me flush with pleasure every time. Hopefully I'd gain his praise this time as well.
I was making beef stew for dinner, a first for me. The days had been surprisingly nippy as of late, and even though it was early December, it almost never got cold around here. Not only was stew good for colder nights, but it was also a meal that replenished ones energy, something Quin was in desperate need of.
The past two weeks were devoted to parent-teacher conferences, so every day after school Quin worked much longer than usual in order to see all the parents. Having several of the female parents hitting on him during the time they were supposed to be asking about their children irritated Quin greatly. Having it happen every single day of the parent-teacher conferences made it even worse. He was at his wits end. So hopefully the stew would be able to help him finish the week out.
I got out my tasting spoon and scooped out some from the pot. Taking the bite and swishing it around in my mouth, I racked my brain to see if there was anything missing. After a moment I realized what would make it perfect and went to snatch it from the cupboard. Laughing quietly to myself at my genius for coming up with such a secret ingredient, I added a few dashes to the pot and stirred. Tasting it again I grinned. It was perfect.
Just then a very exhausted looking Quin shuffled through the door. Slamming it shut, he immediately dropped everything he held and peeled off his coat, adding the piece of clothing to the heap on the floor once it was fully off. Sighing loudly, he almost went straight for the bedroom, completely ignoring me. However, the scent of the stew permeated his senses and caused him to stop.
He turned to me with a tired smile. "Hey kid, what's for dinner?"
"Don't call me that," I muttered with a pout. "And it's stew."
Quin's smile turned into his trademark smirk. Slowly he made his way over and wrapped his arms around me. "You know you like it," he whispered seductively in his ear.
The sound tickled and made me blush. Regardless of that fact I moved to smack him. I did not.
He quickly jumped out of the way. "Hey! There's no need for violence."
"Shut up and go change. You smell like a girl." He did too, to the point that it was nauseating.
Quin scrunched his nose. "Stupid women. Why do they douse themselves with that stuff? It doesn't smell all that great, and too much of it makes me sneeze."
"Most guys like it," I reasoned.
"Yeah, well I don't. Excuse me while I go defeminize myself." He waved and headed toward our bathroom. I chuckled as he left. The poor guy had it rough. He was going to be in there for a while.
I put a lid on the pot when I heard the shower start and fetched the tableware needed for dinner. I was mid-spoon placing when there was a firm knock on the door. Curious as to who it was at this hour, I quickly made my way to the door and opened it. I gaped at what I saw.
"Hello," a man who looked to be in his late twenties began. "I am Brother Finnley from South Branch. To my left is Brother Dodges. Is this the residence of Jason Sanders?"
"It's Tucker now," I proclaimed, trying to hide my amusement of the situation. "I'm married."
The elder man looked startled, then glanced down at my left hand. Sure enough, there was a wedding band. Finding my statement to be true, he spoke again. "I see. So you took on the last name of your wife? How interesting. Still, I'm surprised you're married at your age, and the fact that you didn't notify the church of your union is… upsetting."
I glared at the man. "Excuse me sir, but I am twenty-one and shall be twenty-two in just a few short weeks. I understand that the church does not recommend men getting married until they are at least twenty-five, but it is not the church's decision, it is mine. As for alerting the church of my marriage, I didn't feel the need to. I'm sure you are aware I haven't attended a sermon in years."
The elder man seemed put off, and was about to snap a retort, but the younger one stopped him from doing so. After exchanging looks with each other, the one known as Brother Dodges addressed me. "I apologize for my brother. He did not mean to offend you."
I smirked. "Of course."
Brother Dodges smiled hesitantly. "Yes, well as for your lack of attendance over the years… we actually were sent to speak to you regarding that matter. Would it be all right if we come in for a few minutes?"
I mentally debated whether or not such a thing would be wise. On the one hand this certainly was not a situation that happened everyday. It had the possibility of being interesting, and maybe even funny. On the other hand these were missionaries, and so there was an even greater possibility for annoyance. Then again, if I allowed them in I could request my name be permanently struck from the records so that a situation like this one never occurred again.
I smiled as I decided upon my course of action. "Sure. Come on in." The two men gingerly followed.
I offered them seats on the sofa, while I in turn took a seat in my favorite chair. Crossing my legs and folding my hands over my knee, I patiently waited for one of them to speak. It took a moment but eventually the elder of the two began.
"Our records show that the last time you attended sermon was while you were living with your parents. The Main Branch called their residence in an attempt to contact you, but was informed that they had never had a son. Obviously a story like that goes against our records and so we sought out your other relatives in order to track you down. We managed to get a hold of your uncle, and he directed us to this residence."
Jeez, it seems the Quin's jokes about religious factions being similar to the mafia weren't too far off. Seriously, who goes through thatmuch trouble just to track down one person? It was ridiculous!
"We are concerned about the reason behind your disappearance, and why your parents claimed to not have a son. Would you mind enlightening us?"
I sighed, and was about to go into detail for them when Quin, in all his glory, came strolling out into the living room. "Ah, finally I don't smell like chick. Now we can-" He stopped short when he saw us. "Oh, hey. What's up?"
I snickered a little. "This is Brother Finnley," I said gesturing to the man who was regarding Quin suspiciously. "And this is Brother Dodges." I gestured to the nervous looking one.
Quin cocked his head to the side. "I've never heard of a guy named Brother, much less two."
Finnley turned red at that. "Those aren't our first names. They are our titles."
"They're from the church," I explained. Although there really wasn't any reason for me to do so. Quin knew they were from the church; he was just playing dumb.
Said man looked slightly vicious when he smirked. "Oh. You're missionaries." I struggled not to laugh at the glee in his voice. "That would explain the plastic nametags then. I assumed at first that you were traveling book salesmen." What with your cheap looking suits and leather-bound tomes. I could practically hear that particular add-on from the look he gave them.
The two men slowly rose to their feet, each giving Quin a look of apprehension in turn. They didn't know what to make of him. Dodges tried to make the best of it though. Warily he strode forward and held out his hand. "Pleasure to make your acquaintance… um?"
He took the missionary's hand and shook it. "Quin. Quin Tucker."
Dodges' eyes went wide and their handshake stopped. Finnley actually squeaked. There was a moment of tense silence. It was only when Quin started chuckling that time appeared to start once again.
"I'm pretty sure you gentlemen can guess why my parents are so keen to forget my existence," I stated cheerfully now that the cat was out of the bag. "I'm certain you also understand why I have not been attending services."
"Yes," Finnley agreed stiffly. "I suppose we can. Now that there is no point to our being here I hope you won't find us rude for taking our leave of you currently."
"Not at all," I assured him. "I'm sure you have other appointments. I'd hate to keep you waiting. Oh, but if it is not too much trouble I would greatly appreciate it if you would put in a motion to strike my name from your records."
Finnley nodded gruffly and motioned for his partner to follow him to the door. It took him a minute to realize that Dodges was still staring at Quin in shock. "Dodges," he hissed. "We're leaving."
That snapped the younger missionary out of it. "Y-yes. Of course." Then he hurried after his companion.
After the two men were safely out of our house and out of earshot, Quin and I broke down laughing. The situation had been too funny not to. I couldn't believe how well it had worked out.
Watching Quin snicker, all signs of stress and fatigue thoroughly erased I smiled. Walking over to him, I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a kiss on the lips. "Welcome home by the way. Sorry I didn't say it earlier."
"Thanks and it's no problem." He kissed me again. "Dinner smells delicious by the way. Can I eat it now?"
I chuckled softly. "Yeah. Let's eat."
I quickly dished out the stew and the two of us sat down. I paused momentarily before eating to see what he had to say about it. It took him a few but once he noticed my pause he grinned at me. "It's really good. You really are a fantastic wife."
I growled and kicked him. "Don't call me that."
Quin smirked. "Sure thing, kid."
End Note: And so it ends. What did you think? Was it a good and proper ending to this story? I think so. How did you feel about the entire story in general? I'd really like to know your thoughts. Also if anyone was offended by the bit of religion bashing do know that it was not meant to be offensive. However, I think it would be obvious that Quin wouldn't really be one for religion of ANY sort. He's just that kind of guy. Jason is a bit different in his view of religion, but he's not particularly happy regarding the religion he grew up with, thus the reason for his tone. Okay! Just had to get that out of the way so no flaming please! ^~^ Anyway, I really hope you all enjoyed reading this story. I sure enjoyed writing it. Thanks for reading!