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The sun was already setting when Hazel got to work in the garden. He didn’t mind the night, he preferred it all his life. The garden was situated in the back yard of the home he had shared with his older brother Harry. The garden was originally planted by their mother but Hazel had been the one in charge of it ever since he finished school. It was relaxing for him to be out with the plants, it helped his creative juices flowing, and helped him make new music. He didn’t even mind that tonight he wasn’t alone, his brother was out in the garden as well, working on a painting.
It was the moment that Hazel glanced at that painting that his evening was ruined. Harry seemed completely emerged in putting the finishing touches to notice his brother staring at it behind his back gaping. Hazel wanted to say something to get him out of his trance but he just couldn’t find the words while he watched his brother’s hand move swiftly over the canvas. Harry had painted a dark skinned woman with long black hair, wearing a white wedding dress holding her head in white gloved hands and obviously crying.
Even if it was a free interpretation Hazel knew what his brother was hinting at with that damned painting and he felt his hands clench into fists as he thought about it. Years ago, before his brother married his beautiful Rhaenys Hazel had planned his own wedding, it was to be a great deal, he had planned it into minute details with his godmother Dina, he wasn’t wearing white, nor did he have long hair, or been a woman, bu the evening had ended with him in tears. Why? Because Donovan Alto, the man he was to marry did not show up…
It had been so long ago, and yes Donnie had broken Hazel’s heart but they had found peace afterwards, peace and much more. They got married in the end, signing a paper in the City Hall, without much fuss, they were happy now, yet Harry just didn’t seem to accept it. Even though Donnie had been living with them for years now, and even though Hazel was obviously happy he would often catch his brother casting Donnie dirty looks or even saying nasty, plain offensive things to the man.
It bothered Hazel, it bothered him a great deal, he wanted his brother and his husband to get along. But he could not get angry at Harry, Harry was his big brother, he always had his back while they were growing up and Hazel knew it was the same now. Harry was making sure he doesn’t get hurt again, that’s all… He just didn’t know how to make him see that this time he wouldn’t… He knew deep down inside that Donnie would never hurt him again….
He confided his worries to their oldest sister Cocoa when he went with her to her doctor’s appointment.
“I just want him to see that Donnie is the light of my life, he is my everything… My soulmate, my best friend…”
Cocoa tried to speak back but she was too out of breath running at the treadmill for her cardio exam. Hazel sighed.
“He is just so supportive in everything you know…. You know my client, Latricia?” He asked. Latricia was the young girl he was managing, daughter of Nina Caliente and the late Riam Gradle, formally educated in music she was a star in the making and he was there to help her get to the top. The only problem was that the girl was too quiet and timid for a young aspiring musician, Hazel had learned, on his own skin, that the part of making it big in that cruel world was clawing your own way to the top, making sure it was your voice, your music that got heard… Latricia had none of that spirit. She was pretty content to keeping to the sidelines and letting her angelic voice, and mesmerizing guitar skill speak to herself. Hazel was afraid that would not be enough.
And so he dragged her to parties, all kinds of parties, events, wherever he could… And while he was wooing the crowd in her name Latricia still hung back and Hazel didn’t know how to bring her up to the front… That is where Donnie stepped in. He would be the one who would sit with her, talk to her, make her feel comfortable, and make her get off the damn couch. Hazel would be nowhere without his Donnie.
The reason he wanted Harry to see it now more then ever, the reason the damned painting hit him so hard was that he and Donnie had started talking about some big changes, changes that would affect not only the two of them but the whole household. He and Donnie were talking adoption.
Hazel had always wanted kids. He loved the little ones, he had played the part in raising Harry’s kids, and enjoyed every second of it, Aenar and Vaela were adorable. And Donnie had his own experiences, he had been running his daycare that had been growing more and more every year, he had three regular kids now, three toddlers he had to take care off at the same time, little Earl Hoves, Jillian Fegel and another little one whose name eluded Hazel. He knew the two of them would make great parents, and wanted Harry to know it.
“But why is it so important Harry knows it?” His sister asked stepping out of the treadmill at least. The sentence came out it short bursts as she fought for breath. He handed her a towel to wipe her sweat but he said nothing. Why was it important? “Maybe you are the one insecure in the whole deal and you are just using Harry as an excuse. I mean it is your life, it will be your kid, not Harry’s. I don’t see why your brother would be an obstacle there, maybe it is something else after all?”
Could it really be something else? Hazel wondered looking at the man he had loved for most of his life. Was something standing between the two of them? Between them and children? The only answer he could come up with was work.
He was just so busy lately, he had taken on so many side projects that he barely had time for anything… Working with Latricia Caliente had opened up his mind as too how much advice he had to offer young, aspiring musicians so while Donnie slept he would get on his computer, log into SimTube and look for promising young stars that he mentored online, there was also Latrica of course, his day job, and Nina had gotten him a spot at the Sunset Valley Symphony, he was to perform with them for the New Year Concert, it was a great deal and he had to practice for it, which took time of course… He barely had any time left to plan his nephew’s birthday party and he promised he would… What would happen when he had his own children? Would he brake promises to them as well?
Was he really ready to be a parent?
Hazel barely slept that night tossing and turning. He still blamed that stupid painting.