Appearing in the story:
Hazel woke up before Donovan the first morning of their life together. He just lay there for a while watching his husband sleep. It all still seamed unreal to him, he was married, to Donnie and he will be, from now on till forever. When Donnie opened his lovely blue eyes Hazel was smiling. “Morning!” He said cheerfully but Donovan just muttered something incomprehensible and turned around to face the wall. It reminded Hazel of Harry back when they were younger, he always wanted five more minutes.
Hazel got up and went to the bathroom, when he got back in the room Donovan was up and was rummaging trough one of his suitcases, looking for his clothes Hazel presumed. Hazel smiled as he walked up to him: “My, my what a lovely sight.” This produced an unexpected reaction in Donovan who hastily pulled the covers from the bed and hid behind them. He turned to Hazel startled and blushing. “Hazel, I’m not dressed!”
He left to the bathroom dragging the covers with him leaving Hazel surprised. He didn’t think Donovan had anything to be ashamed of, and he couldn’t understand this reluctance to show himself naked in front of his life partner. He slumped to the bed feeling bad and slightly ashamed. He looked down on his own body, he had lost weight after his mother’s death, but then there was the stress of planning the wedding, the first wedding, and then after all that happened he managed to let himself go again. He sighed. He needed to get himself back in shape, and there was no time like the present.
Plus it gave him an excuse not to go upstairs, he dreaded seeing his brother. He knew Harry would be home, he was always home these days, he put his painting career on hold to take care of his son. In fact the last painting he ever made was hanging right there on Hazel’s wall, he meant to sell it but in the end decided to give it to Hazel as a house warming (or in this case basement warming) gift.
Hazel also knew this time Rhaenys won’t be there to subdue Harry’s anger, she was employed as a researcher for the military and since her next work will be on some new fascinating plane design they were teaching her to fly planes, that seamed pretty impressive to Hazel but he knew she wasn’t to thrilled, especially not now she and Harry were expecting another child.
Sadly his exercise didn’t last long, his heart was beating like crazy and he felt ready to collapse before Donovan was done with his bath so he sighed resigned and went upstairs to confront his brother, there was no use delaying it anymore.
He found Harry with Aenar, like he knew he would. His brother was really doing his best to be a good father, and a good husband. And with a little one Aenar’s age there was really no brakes, if you only turned your back for a minute he would have something in his mouth. Hazel sighed before he spoke. “Morning Harry.” He said, not being able to think of anything better to say. “Morning Haze.” Harry replied looking up to him. “Hazel!” Aenar screeched sitting on the floor. Harry smiled briefly and for a minute they just stood like that in silence, Aenar looking down from his father to his uncle in mild surprise. “I apologize.” Harry finally said. “For last night I mean…. I was out of line… It’s your life… I just…” He took a deep breath. Hazel knew how hard it was for Harry to find the right words but he didn’t want to cut him off, they need to clear this in order for all of them to be able to leave her peacefully. “I want the best for you little brother. I know he hurt you and I don’t want anyone to do… something like that again.” He spoke quickly. “I know Harry…” Hazel said moving to him but Harry was not done yet. “It’s your life, and your choices, like Rhaenys made me see. She also reminded me how important second chances are, she did give me one…” He smiled again. “I hope Donovan would appreciate his chance as much as I do mine. That’s all. And yes.. Congrats bro!” He grinned and Hazel moved closer to him to hug him but before long Harry pushed him away. “Jeez Haze… Take a shower some time…”
The rest of the day was pretty peaceful, Donovan and Hazel spent most of the time on the phone, letting everyone know the big news. They watched Aenar for a while when Harry went out to by flowers for his wife. In the evening one of Hazel’s coworkers Gwendolyn stopped by to congratulate them and to propose to Hazel to form a band. He agreed but refused all of her name proposals and they decided to leave that for now, until inspiration strikes.
The next day Hazel woke before Donovan again but this time he went straight upstairs to make breakfast. He still had no idea what happened yesterday with Donovan when he walked up to him naked but he had no desire to cause him distress again so he didn’t go downstairs until he was sure Donovan must be up and decent. He found him painting on a pretty elaborate easel.
“I didn’t know you paint.” He said softly. Donovan turned and smiled at him. “I didn’t. Not until recently. It relaxes me.” “Is that your easel?” Hazel asked walking up to him curious. “Yes, I bought it recently and decided to take it with me here.” “That’s why the suitcases were so damn heavy.” Hazel said and Donovan smiled. “What do you need the relaxing from anyway?” Hazel asked trying to sound casual and not at all concerned. They had both taken a few days off following their wedding so the only possible thing causing Donovan stress could be him, or his family. When Donovan didn’t reply he added hastily. “It was too late to plan a honeymoon on such short notice but this ain’t so bad as it… I mean you and me…” Donovan smiled. “Oh no, honey, don’t worry, it’s not you… Or our marriage, it’s… Family stuff.” “Well you can tell me!” Hazel said sounding a little more whiny than he intended. “I’m your family now too.” He added in a smaller voice.
Donovan sighed putting down the palette that was still in my hands. “My sister, Shawanda called a while ago, that’s what woke me. When my mum died she left a letter…” He took a deep breath. “To my younger sisters, Tammi and Lacey… The letter states who their real father was and the story behind that… Me and Shawanda advised them not to open it yet but they are pretty adamant and today Shawanda will give the letter to them and they will know… ” “Why didn’t you want them to know?” Hazel asked confused, he didn’t remember his own father, he died when Hazel was little, and although Hazel loved his mum really much he had always regretted not having more time with his old man. Knowing Donovan grew up without a father as well this all made little sense to him. “You know who he is don’t you?” He asked his husband.
Donovan nodded. “I wasn’t that young when Tami and Lacey were born… And I think they would be better off not knowing.” Hazel sighed. “Knowing is always better. Especially if their father is still around… They could get to know him, spend time with him…” “That would in no way be better.” Donovan said darkly. “My mother was right keeping it a secret. Lets leave it at that.”
Donnie had spent all day dealing with this family crisis and Hazel had decided to give him space, Rhaenys had a friend over and Harry wanted to paint a bit too when Hazel told him about Donnie painting so Hazel spent the day with his too cute little nephew. “Soon you’ll have a little sister too. He told Aenar, you have no idea how lucky you’ll be, just wait and see!” “I want to have a teddy bear!” was all Aenar replied.