A/N: You have reached the last chapter. I hope I've tied up all loose ends. After you've read it I would really appreciate if you took a couple of minutes to leave a comment. What did you like? what did you dislike? Hate? Love?

Chapter 22

MARCEL'S PHONE CHIRPED with an incoming text. He threw a quick glance to where it lay on the far end of the desk, too occupied to answer, winning this game for Real Madrid and his favorite player Christiano Ronaldo. The text could wait. It was probably from Robin anyway, wanting to know what Marcel was doing. Nothing. He had spent two hours already this morning playing games on his PC. Games he was tired sick off since way before school was out for the summer. The rain poured down the window panes making the outside blur if he cared to look. Almost three weeks since he and the rest of his class mates sang summer hymns and celebrated each other to their first completed year in high school, and it had rained every day since.

Argh, damn! He lost again. Stupid game. He tossed the remote on the floor and reached for his phone. Ever since the "almost move" with his mom, he and Robin were back to best friends again. Sometimes he thought he saw the other guys smirk when they thought he wasn't looking or they told a joke on his behalf, or maybe it was more on his dad's behalf, but he could just as well be making stuff up. No one said anything up front and it wasn't as if the guys, or he,had never pulled a queer joke before it all started. He couldn't really tell if the snide remarks had increased or decreased. The guys on the team had slapped his shoulder when he returned, the coach pinned him with a critical stare before he scanned the rest of the team in the same manner and yelled, "No playing like a bunch of old ladies tonight! You hear me, sissies?" Marcel pretended he didn't hear and played his best, as he always had. He was in it to win.

'Guess what!' Robin's text said. Marcel replied, 'What?'

Within less than a minute Robin texted back, 'André's mom and dad's splitting up'.

Marcel slumped on the bed, feet on the wall, head over the edge on the bed and groaned. That was how good this summer got this far? They had nothing better to text about than some mate's parents getting a divorce, besides it was old news. Not even last week's. It had been all over school before the holidays started. Come to think about it now, André had looked kind of beat those last weeks, had even cut a couple of classes. Not that Marcel cared. He still hadn't forgiven André for the fight in the locker room, and André hadn't said a word to him since. So the feeling was probably mutual.

'So?' He texted back and had barely hit send when the reply came.

'His mom is moving in with another - chick!'

Oh, fuck! Marcel chuckled, then he laughed right out. Yes, there was such a thing as justice after all. Looking out the window it seemed to pour less heavy, maybe it even looked somewhat brighter at the horizon. André's mother – a dyke! Served the smug ass right. Marcel snickered again before he returned his focus on the phone. He couldn't stand another hour in his room.

'wanna hang?'

'ur place or mine?' Robin asked.

Marcel thought of his dad downstairs in the study, catching up on paperwork. Carmen was at a friend's place. 'yours', he replied. Even if his dad wouldn't complain about him and Robin goofing around and being loud, Robin's place was better. His house was already full with younger siblings, and further down Robin's street lived two girls from one class above theirs. If the rain stopped they could play some ball on the street. Maybe the girls wanted to watch, or they could play together all four of them. Marcel would make sure Robin helped him impress the girls. They were cute, with long legs, nice boobs and blonde hair. Maybe they could ask the girls to come along to the beach? He bounced down the stairs. Well, another day, when the sun shone, it couldn't possibly rain all summer!

"Dad?" he shouted from the hall, putting his feet in his trainers. "Dad! I'm going out." He made his way to the study, stopping by the door.

His dad looked up at him, rubbing his forehead. "Where're you going?"

He told him he would take the bike to Robin's and was about to run for the yard when he stopped himself. "Dad? Do you miss mom?"

Marcel had gotten a mail yesterday from her, telling him she was moving again, a new position at a new opera house. He had forgotten what part she would play, but she had sounded excited about it. But that wasn't until August, before then she was coming to see them. She was going to take him and Carmen to see Grandma and Grandpa. When they were away, two full weeks, his dad would be all alone. Carmen already worried about it, a lot. He noticed his dad hadn't answered the question so he repeated it.

Daniel shifted in the chair and shrugged. "No. Not … like that. Why do you ask?"

"Do you miss –" Jacob's name stuck in his mouth. "Do you ever feel lonely?"

A smile spread across his dad's face. "I've got you and Carmen, right? Is this about mom? You know you're going to see her in a couple of weeks."

Yeah, but what about you? Marcel wanted to ask. Neither of them had seen Jacob since that night in April. Marcel had no idea what had happened with him. His dad never mentioned him, and at first Marcel had been grateful. He hoped it all had been a stupid mistake from his dad's side – even though he knew it wasn't. Marcel had known long before Jacob appeared in their lives. And he had checked his dad's web history again. This time he just read the names of the sites, careful not to accidentally click on one. His dad wouldn't change. Only Carmen had asked about Jacob. When their dad refused to give a straight answer she stopped asking him, but she still wondered about Jacob when she sneaked into Marcel's room some nights.

Outside the rain had stopped. He bunched up his raincoat and pinned it to the rear rack. He typed a last message to Robin, 'Kick some ball? w/ Alice and Emma' After hitting send he kept at the phone in his hand. He still knew the number by heart, but if he would ever forget it, it was right there in his contacts.

With clammy hands he typed in the numbers. Two, three, four signals went through.

"Yeah?" The dark rumbling voice was the same, calm as ever.

"Err … this is … this is Marcel Vickman. Maybe you don't remember me but I used to …"

DANIEL SHIFTED IN the desk chair, put his feet on the desk surface and closed his eyes for a moment. The house was eerily silent after Marcel had slammed the front door shut. It was the first time he was alone in the house since that dreadful weekend after he had asked Jacob to go. The silence was ominous feeling now, but nothing like it had been then. His whole body, every cell in it had urged him to pick up the phone and call Jacob, asking him to come back, and his mind had been wrecked by images of Jenny finding a way to escape with the children and leave the country despite what they had agreed on.

He hadn't called Jacob, and Jenny had brought the children back home safely Monday afternoon.

A paper fell from his lap to the floor. When he rose to receive it, he contemplated how strange it was; before Jenny left them he had loved times like this when he had been all on his own, he had not been able to get enough of it. Now he missed the noises, the gibbering, the closeness of his children. He put the paper back on the desk in front of him. He could just as well get some work done when there was nothing else for him to do.

He filed away the last of the papers when the buzz from the doorbell broke the silence. Before he made it to his feet it went off again. Could it be Marcel coming back? Who else could it be on a Saturday afternoon? A peek at the clock told him it was less than an hour and a half since his son had ran out the door, more than eager to escape his old man. Carmen was at Ella's. It was the first time since "the outing" he had driven back there. Ella had called Carmen after breakfast, asking if she could come and play. Ella's dad had met them at the door, a slightly apologetic smile on his face. The mother was nowhere to be seen. Daniel asked himself whether Ella's mother would stop going to parent-teacher conferences too, just so she wouldn't have to face him again. The bell buzzed a third time.

"Hold your horses, I'm on my way!" Marcel had his own set of keys, and he knew where the spare one was. Maybe Carmen and Ella had changed their plans and decided they wanted to play here, sometimes they did, but they usually called first.

When he opened the door and took in Jacob's tall and strong form standing on the porch less than a meter from the door he went speechless. Jacob was wearing his biker jacket, a tight t-shirt underneath and black, well-fitting jeans, his hair was flattened, from the helmet no doubt. He ran his fingers through it and looked sheepishly at Daniel.

"Hi!" he said, shifting on his feet.

"What –" Daniel began, but was interrupted when Jacob continued,

"I got a call."

They both quieted again, staring at each other.

"Well, are you going to … it's raining again." Jacob held his palm up. A soft drizzle fell from the light gray sky.

"Ehh, … sure." Daniel stepped to the side to let Jacob inside. What was he doing here? Who had called?

The door closed behind them and Jacob handed a plastic grocery bag to Daniel. "I got orders to buy dinner, tacos."

Still speechless Daniel accepted the bag and took it inside the kitchen. On the counter he unpacked the items; vegetables, meat, tacos shells and tortilla bread, salsa sauce, a couple of beer cans – Jacob entered the room too, stopping by the kitchen island.

"Like I said, I got a call." He leaned against the edge of the island.

Daniel averted his gaze from the groceries and the plastic bag. "Yeah?" He hadn't called him, although not a day had gone by since April when he hadn't thought about it. He couldn't think of anyone who would call Jacob and ask him to pay a visit to a man who had explicitly told him he had set his priorities.

"Marcel. Marcel called –"

"What?" Daniel called out, spinning around by the counter. "When?" He returned to the groceries, putting them in the fridge. Marcel had called Jacob, and said what exactly? The mere thought of his son making such a call was … unbelievable. True, Marcel had showed some level of maturity over the last couple of months never seen before, but he was still just a child. Children didn't make pity calls – or was this a booty call? - on behalf of their gay fathers, but then maybe that wasn't why Jacob was here.

"Said you needed some company, and if I had nothing better to do I should come over and hang out with you. What do you say?" When their eyes met, Jacob winked. "Do you need some company?

"Well –" Daniel had reached the last item in the bag and when he pulled it out a common brand pack of condoms fell to the floor. So it was a booty call after all! Quickly, to hide his embarrassment, he kneeled down to retrieve it so that Jacob wouldn't see the pack. Fool, he told himself, after all it was Jacob who had bought the condoms. "Was this an order too?" He straightened and flashed the ten pack, and watched as a faint blush spread over 'Jacob's cheeks.

"No. I just … I thought maybe … Better safe than sorry, in case you wanted to, you know. The last time …" The stuttering was so not like the Jacob Daniel had got to know over the last few months. Uncertain and nervous weren't traits Daniel had ever attributed this big man, if anything Daniel always considered him confident. He fingered the pack. It's not about trust, it's about caring, about love. Upstairs in his bathroom cabinet Daniel had another brand ten pack bought on a whim a couple of days after he told Jacob he couldn't see him anymore. Next to the condoms sat a fresh still sealed bottle of his favorite lube. A tingle of anticipation spread throughout his core. Smiling he turned to Jacob, "I don't just need some company, I need yours. And I like the initiative."

With a few strides Daniel closed the space between them. He let his hands rest on Jacob's now squared shoulders and met the blue eyes sparkling with heat and something else. A big hand came up and stroked his cheek, a thumb lingering on Daniel's lower lip. It felt so good to be touching again. Daniel had to fight the urge to ground his crotch against Jacob's. Already he was breathing faster.

"And what do you think about this?" Jacob whispered. His other hand came up, caressing Daniel's neck. The hairs at his nape rose. The top buttons of Daniel's shirt were unbuttoned and Jacob's fingers dipped down below the shirt-fabric, grazing the soft skin of the collar bone there. He arched into the touch.

"I might … just … like that," he breathed, craning his head so they were forehead to forehead. Despite Jacob being the bigger man, they were practically the same height. "A lot." He extended his tongue and licked Jacob's lower lip before meeting his tongue.

"And what about this?" Jacob rolled his hips and their lips nudged before he pulled back, barely separating their mouths. "I missed you." For an instant he buried his face in the crook of Daniel's neck, holding on tight.

Daniel ran his hands across the man's back, down his ass, rolling his hips in return, nibbling Jacob's jaw. He was at loss of words. Dirty talk had never been something he had ever done, and most of the time he found it ridiculous sounding, even in porn. Even with the two of them like this it was more laughable than anything else. He preferred actions to talk, and having Jacob like this, so close the man's scents surrounded him and the display of hard muscles and strong surfaces his to touch, was more than enough to drive him crazy with want. He had never known he could feel like this before he met Jacob, and for each time they were together it felt even better.

Their next kiss was anything but gentle and teasing, Jacob all but smothered him with lips and tongue and teeth and it wasn't enough. A strong hand cupped the back of his head and fingers pulled his short hair, forcing them closer. When the hold on him loosened he was panting for air, and then he was reeled in again. A needy moan escaped him as he reveled in the feel of Jacob's hard, demanding body pressing against his.

"I want you. I think I have ever since I first lay eyes on you. " Jacob sounded out of breath too. "You came prancing in all uptight and prim looking in your suit and shirt and tie." He licked a line along Daniel's chin and jaw, suckled behind his ear. "Even now, on a Saturday, in the middle of the summer, you're wearing a shirt. Drives me crazy."

"I do?" Daniel asked and eased some space between them. Jacob looked serious enough to have meant what he said.

Instead of putting onto words what he felt for Jacob, or how the man made him feel, Daniel kissed him back, softer this time, more lips, less tongue, no teeth, and rocked them together. "If you want to do … something, … we better get to it …" He repeated the motion, and reached for the condoms he had laid on the kitchen island at some point, "Or I'll have to …" He glanced at the wall clock as he bit the earlobe and breathed hotly into Jacob's ear. "We have less than two hours before I have to go fetch Carmen." Grinning, when Jacob pulled away and Daniel saw the stunned expression on his man's face, he added, "Never dated a family man before, huh? " He took Jacob's hand in his, placed a kiss on each knuckle, before he urged them out of the kitchen, up the stairs and into the bedroom.

AFTERWARDS DANIEL LAY immobile on the bed while Jacob crawled off it, tugged off the condom and vanished inside the bathroom. From the open door between the rooms he heard the dustbin lid slam and the water run. Experimentally he flexed his ass. Not as bad as he had expected it to be. Already he felt less sore. By tomorrow it would be all gone, maybe sooner. He closed his eyes, wanting to doze off.

When Jacob returned he had a damp towel with him. Smiling, he sat down on the bed and nudged Daniel's legs apart again. "Thought you'd like to get rid of the lube." He ran the towel along the crack, over Daniel's inner thighs and then up over his stomach to wipe off the come. When he was done, he threw the towel on the floor and flopped down on the bed next to Daniel.

For a few minutes they lay in silence, side by side but not quite touching. This was the moment you took a smoke, Daniel figured, if you were a smoker. Jacob seemed content to just share the silence. Daniel glanced at him. The man lay with his hands under his head, eyelids shut, chest rising and falling with each breath.

"I called you!" Daniel said. "Back in April, when Jenny returned, I called you!"

"Yeah?" Jacob lifted a lid, peeking at him. "Why?"

"To let you know I had signed the papers."

"I never got your call."

"It wasn't you –"

"And no text, or missed calls either." Jacob sounded edgy.

"Your … What's his name? Your partner, he took it."

Jacob was leaning on his elbow now, looking closely at Daniel. "John? He's not my partner. We broke up before you and I even met."

"If you say it! But he is still the one who took the call. Said you were in the shower –" It still stung to think about it, but he had to know. "What were you doing … with him?"

"Nothing. I did nothing with him. I went back to get my stuff." Jacob reached out and cradled Daniel's cheek, but Daniel shied away.

"John said he would let you know I had called. When you never called back I assumed –"

"I knew it," Jacob hissed, sitting up on the bed. "I thought I heard the phone, but John said it had been quiet the whole night."

Daniel was about to object when Jacob silenced him with a finger to his mouth. Then Jacob told him about John's calls, the letter in the mail, the testing and the trip to Stockholm.

"So you see I went back to get my belongings, I had meant to go back for months, and I made sure to see some friends while I was there. John shouldn't even have been home."

Daniel sat up too and embraced Jacob. From over the man's shoulder the alarm clock digits shone red. He would have to get ready to pick up Carmen. He broke loose from the hug, walked across the bedroom floor to fetch his boxerbriefs. He wondered if it was wise to let Jacob stay. The grocery bag indicated Marcel had invited Jacob to dinner. But now, after they had … made love … It had felt like love, not like any other Daniel had experienced in his life.

"I have to know," he began, pulling up the underwear, "about us. Marcel and Carmen are my responsibility now, and as long as Jenny choses to work abroad that's how it'll be." He quieted, searching for the right thing to say. He found his socks, put them on, retrieved his shirt, but discarded it in favor for a clean t-shirt from the drawer.

"This," he motioned between them and the bed. "This is all good, but I don't do casual, no one-night stands or booty calls, or whatever you prefer to call it. First of all, I don't have the time. Two hours like today it's a rarity. Secondly, the children need stability in their lives. Carmen attaches herself to people easily, too easily. They have been through enough this last year. If I'm to have someone in my life I need to know they are in it for more than just the pleasure of the moment." He inhaled quickly and looked away. "If you can't do that, it's better you leave now."

Jacob had got up from the bed and pulled on his briefs. With a few steps he crossed the floor and put his hands on Daniel's shoulders. "I know you're not a no-strings-attached kind of man. Neither am I, not any more, maybe I never was. If you want me, us, this, then I'm here and I'm in for the long haul." He stroked Daniel's hair, bringing their faces closer with the motion. "I happen to like your kids. I missed them too. Not as much as I missed you, but still enough. So … do you want me to stay?"

TEN MINUTES LATER Daniel exited the front door and Jacob leaned against the door jamb. He had to go back, slide his body close once again and steel another kiss, which one in order he had long since forgotten. His body was still sated, and the soreness only a faint reminder of what they had done, but his mind couldn't get enough. He wanted to haul his man upstairs again, but he was already late, as usual. He let his hands roam freely over the broad arms and chest, nuzzling in the crane of his neck. Jacob would still be here when he got back, he would stay the night, they had all day tomorrow and then on Monday Daniel could pick Jacob up after he had been to the interview at the university. Daniel was certain the doctorate position was Jacob's.

He kissed Jacob one last time, licking the corner of his mouth, well aware that when he returned with Carmen open displays of affection like this would be out of the question. Not because Carmen would mind seeing two men kissing, but because Daniel would feel uncomfortable acting like a horny teenager in front of his own children. When he turned towards the car he looked straight at the Olsen couple. They were walking on the road outside his house, at first slowing down and looking back. Then skidding to a halt and Greta, smilingly, raised her hand and waved. Daniel had been over at their place explaining the situation with him and Jenny and the divorce shortly after the April events. Since the summer holidays started both Marcel and Carmen had stayed at the Olsen's while Daniel worked. Now Greta smiled wider and turned to Lars. The old man said something and nodded, and then they were both looking back at Daniel and Jacob. "If you have time tomorrow, why don't you come on over for a cup of coffee? Bring the children too."

Too bewildered to make an intelligible comment, Daniel only nodded and watched the couple wave again and resume to their afternoon walk.

He was still too amazed by the invitation to fathom what had just happened when he turned the key to the ignition and pulled out onto the road. Looking through the side window he could see Jacob standing on the porch. In twenty, thirty minutes he would be back. Jacob, he and Carmen would prepare tacos for dinner and when Marcel came home they'd all eat together. Maybe they could down load a family movie. The grocery bag had held a big paper bag with all assorted kinds of candy. Yeah, they would have a nice Saturday evening together. He turned up the volume on the radio and let himself enjoy the warmth spreading throughout his every limb.

For the first time in years did life feel truly good.

Thanks for reading! If you had half as good a time reading this as I had plotting it and writing it,then I'm happy.

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