By: Skylar Heart
Five lovers, one life together.
After everything Mia, Dylan, Mal, Tom and Jake have struggled through these past weeks, one final challenge remains, they need a place to live, a place that is theirs and theirs alone.
Mia’s parents are on their way to meet them, but Mia and her guys aren’t sure that they’ll let them buy Mia’s grandma’s house, the place they’ve been staying at, without a struggle.
On top of that, some people are still carrying secrets that could change things in surprising ways, and they won’t be able to really be together until those secrets are out in the open. But Mia and her guys are stubborn, if nothing else, and it’s hard to talk about secrets they’ve been carrying around for such a long time. Can they open up and really share their hearts so that they can become a true family?
11 March 2020
Pages: 108 pages
Available in the Netherlands/Belgium:
As part of a collection
I’m so nervous, so, so nervous. The call from my dad yesterday didn’t sound very good, and his hesitation when he heard about Elly and her being Tom’s child made things even stranger. It all makes me even more nervous now. I’ve been on edge all day, not sure what to do, how I’m supposed to show the house to them or what my parents expect and it’s just… I don’t like it. I really don’t like feeling like this.
It’s only been just over a week since the guys took me home, since the guys picked me up from their house, but as I watch my parents walk up the path to the door, I feel like a totally different person. I don’t feel like the girl I was when I was at their place, I don’t even feel like the girl I was when I left again, I feel…
Lots of things have changed since that happened, we’ve become more of a family, we’ve really started to become a unit. But watching them, it scares me, because I feel like they may rip us apart, they may burst this bubble we’ve been living in.
Jake’s arm slides around my waist and he pulls me against him lightly. “What do you need from me?” His voice is warm, soft, strong, his body steady against mine. He’s here, he’ll always be here for me, I can finally believe that, I can finally let myself believe that without feeling guilty for relying on him.
I open my mouth, about to tell him that I have no idea, but something else comes out. “Keep us together. Keep us all together.” Because I know that he can do that, I know that he’s strong enough to do that, his heart big enough to fight for us all, and I need that from him right now. If things go bad, I need him to make sure it doesn’t spin out of control.
“Will do.” His voice rumbles in his chest and he tightens his arm around me before letting me go. “Now, I’ll go make sure that Mal doesn’t drop anything.” There’s a slight tease in his voice as we can both hear Mal’s shaking hands as he’s putting cups on the table and things like that, trying his best to keep busy as we’re waiting, his mask of having things under control slipping.
The guys are as nervous as I am, maybe even more nervous, which doesn’t really help me, just makes it worse.
I open the front door as my parents are just a couple of feet from the door, putting on my best smile. “Welcome.”
“Mia!” Mum smiles brightly as she comes closer. “I’d totally forgotten how beautiful this place could be when it’s not raining.”
“I know, right?” I give her a quick hug, and then Dad is also closeby, his eyes serious and I take a deep breath. “Hi, Dad.”
“Hey.” He also gives me a quick hug. “You look good. Healthier.” He tries to give me a smile, but it’s tight, like mine. Yeah, not a way to make me feel any more comfortable…
“Thank you.” I step back into the house, ready to close the door now, since it makes the house so much colder. “Coffee? Tea?”
“Coffee, please.” He smiles a little more to me now. “That drive is long, much longer than you initially expect.”
I nod. “Yeah. Everything is a lot further here. If it’s not in actual distance, then it feels that way because of the rolling hills that never seem to end. I’ve underestimated it a couple of times when we went shopping or had to go to the city.”
Jake pops up from the kitchen and he greets Mum and Dad warmly. At least they know him well and they’ve always liked him, and he offers them a place to sit and some coffee, as Mal darts out of the kitchen, looking almost freaked out.
“Forgot the cookies.” He’s about to rush past me when I stop him, wrapping my arm around him, and his eyes are wide when he meets mine.
“The only one here who really wants the cookies is Elly.” I smile and he flashes me a smile back.
“True.” He seems to breathe a little easier. “I should still get them for her, though.”
“Probably.” I nod. “Can’t forget to get everyone high on sugar.”
He smiles. “Seems to make people happier… usually.”
Then I walk into the kitchen, following my parents. Time to do this, time to find out what they’re here for and if we’ll have a house a week or two from now, specifically, if it’s going to be this house…
We mostly just talked about not-important things, until Tom and Elly came downstairs. My parents immediately fell in love with the bright little girl, so that definitely lifted the mood a lot. Just watching Elly charm them with her smile and her smart words, it made us all a lot more relaxed.
After that, we waited until Dylan finally arrived too, after he was done with his work, bringing with him some things for lunch, which of course made him look very good with my parents. It’s not like he’s not done this ‘charm the parents’ dance before, and he seems to be pretty good at it, which got him some annoyed looks from the other guys, but it just made me smile.
They’re all going all-out. Mal is wearing a good shirt and he styled his hair and he’s being all smiles and kindness. Tom is using Elly as a shield, a way to charm my parents, while also being the ‘doting dad’ he always is, just dialled to eleven. Dylan is being all smart and teacher-like, if he wasn’t so sexy, it could have been boring. And Jake, he’s being himself, his best self, but he doesn’t have to do too much, they already love him…
If this doesn’t make my parents think that these guys are great guys, especially for me, then I don’t know how to convince them of that, and that thought really makes me smile, which Dylan catches and he puts his hand on my leg, leaning close.
“What’s so funny?”
I shake my head, keeping my voice low. “I’m happy. I’m happy to have you all here. That’s all.”
“Well, of course. That’s what we’re trying here, you know? Make you happy.” He gives me a soft kiss on my shoulder.
Then Dad turns more to me, looking serious as he puts his hands on the table. “We all know that we’re not here to just chat, even though, I bet any of you would be able to talk for hours, just to keep us busy. We’re here because of the thing you asked from us last week, about buying this house.”
Here it comes…
Mum takes a deep breath. “We’re not in a position to keep this house as it is for much longer. Paying the bills for it, on top of our own bills in the city, we can’t keep up with it, and we need to make a choice, soon. We were planning on selling it, as Mia has probably told you, because we’re city people, we’re not interested in living here and we could really use the money from the sale to get something better in the city, or use the money in other ways. That was our plan.”
“Was?” My stomach is in knots and I feel like my coffee is about to come back up, maybe I shouldn’t have drunk that in all my nervousness.
Dad nods. “While we’re still planning on selling, Jake’s request made us rethink our options.”
“Yes?” Because that doesn’t sound like a yes or a no. There may yet be hope for us.
Dad looks at me directly. “How serious are you about this all? Are you going to live here, in the middle of nowhere? With all these guys? Are you going to stay, or will this be something where you’ll be here for a while before you move back to the city?”
I stare at him, not expecting those words from him and they hurt.
Does he expect me to just give up or something? Does he expect me to leave again, after I’ve finally found my guys? After I’ve finally found a situation where I feel welcome, where people love me just for me and not because they can use me to their advantage, but actually just love who I am?
I open my mouth, trying to reply, but nothing comes out.
It hurts. It hurts so much. His words hurt and I don’t know how to stop them from hurting. Am I really that unreliable? Does he really think I’ll just run off again? “I’m not leaving them.” My voice is almost a squeak and my throat is all closed up, tears in my eyes.
Elly slides from her chair and comes over to me, wrapping her little arms around me. “Where do you hurt?”
I reach out to her and put my arm around her, keeping her close for a moment. This must be so confusing for a little kid. All these adults being serious and making serious faces and she probably doesn’t even really know what it’s about. If it’s this upsetting to us, then how confusing must it be for a little kid who doesn’t even really know what this is all about? “Inside,” I whisper. “But hugs make it a lot better.”
“Okay.” She tightens her little arms around me and I feel Dylan’s hand on my back.
They’re here for me. They’re all here for me. I just wish I could show my parents how much better I am when I’m with them. I wish I could make them understand…