This scene isn't edited so read with that in mind. It was cut from the book for several reasons, the main one beginning it didn't fit the story structure well enough.
Neil smiled as Carter and Owen argued about who won the race. Carter had won and Neil could tell by the evil smile on Owen’s face that he knew Carter did but was just teasing the kid.
“I almost won.”
“It wasn’t even close.”
“It was so close.”
“Whatever, you just don’t want to admit it.”
Carter rolled his eyes. “That would be you.”
Neil walked over to where Travis stood next to the grill. They were having a cookout. Neil and Owen had worked together to make potato salad when Jaron invited them.
“Owen and I are moving away soon.”
Travis had been taking a drink of his beer but he nearly choked on it at Neil’s words. “Umm, you know we love you, right? You’re family, just like Leonard was.”
“I know. I love you guys too. But Owen has this job and I need to go with him. I’m gonna be okay, Travis. You don’t have to worry about me.”
“I’ll miss you.”
“I know. That’s why I’m telling you now, instead of the day we leave.”
Travis chuckled, not that Neil really understood what was so funny but he was used to it.
“Owen, we’re getting a farm with horses, right?” Neil yelled across the yard, just to make sure that was still their plan.
“Sure, honey. If we can find a place like that.” Owen yelled back.
“Wait. You guys are doing what now?” Jaron asked, coming over to where they stood. Travis latched onto Jaron and held him close as he whispered in Jaron’s ear. Jaron’s eyes widened as he looked at Neil.
“We’re moving to Muskogee as soon as I find a place,” Owen said, wheeling himself over to where Neil stood. Owen crooked a finger at him and Neil bent down and gave Owen the kiss that he obviously wanted. “I love you,” Owen whispered against Neil’s lips.
“I know that. I love you too.”
“Thanks for trusting me, honey.”
“Is this like the horse thing? I have to trust you now?”
Owen chuckled, but didn’t answer
“No.” Travis answered for Owen. “Owen was over the top dramatic with the horseback riding thing. You’re not.”
“Dramatic means he makes a big deal out of stuff right?” Neil asked. When Travis nodded Neil said, “He’s always dramatic then.”
“Hey. So not true.” Owen’s mouth hung open at Neil’s words.
“See.” Neil said to Travis. “You guys are coming to watch Greg and me tonight?” Neil said, deciding to change the subject. He really didn’t like the way that Owen had narrowed his eyes. He looked mad.
“Yep. We sure are.”
“I’m coming this time too, Neil,” Carter said and practically danced with happiness when Jackson came into the yard. Carter and Jackson did this weird handshake thing they always did. At least Carter stopped saying that he was going to marry Jackson. Maybe Carter had a crush on someone else. Neil could tell Carter’s friend Seth really liked Carter for more than just best friends, but he didn’t think Carter was paying attention.
“Dakota, are you coming too?” Neil said. Dakota nodded but didn’t take his eyes off of Jackson. When Jackson looked his way Dakota turned his gaze over to where Greg sat with Brian on his lap.
Owen poked Neil in the stomach right above his groin area. Neil jumped back in surprise, fully expecting Owen to poke him lower next time. He looked at Owen, who narrowed his eyes as he looked up at Neil. “I’m not dramatic.”
“You are right now,” Neil said because he bet Owen knew the way he was already. Owen was really smart.
“I am not!”
“You should know stuff like this about yourself,” Neil said. Owen turned and started wheeling himself away. Just the thought of Neil possibly hurting Owen’s feelings had Neil chasing after him. “I’m sorry, Owen,” Neil said as he came closer, bending down to give Owen a kiss. Neil was right behind Owen when Owen turned around and launched himself at Neil. Neil had no choice but to catch Owen or he would get hurt. Neil figured Owen trusted him enough to know he would catch him.
Neil fell backwards on his ass, Owen was on top of him. Owen smiled down at him wickedly and started to tickle his sides, except Neil had never been very ticklish anywhere but on his feet.
“You’re not ticklish,” Owen said with disappointment after a few minutes.
“Well, that sucks. My plan backfired. I should have known, you’re all muscle.” It was cute the way Owen’s bottom lip poked out in a pout.
Neil smiled at him and licked that lip that was stuck out. He kissed Owen then, intending for it to be a quick little peck. Neil knew everyone was watching them and he didn’t want to give poor little Carter a show, but Owen deepened the kiss. Neil felt Owen’s hard cock against his stomach, which made Neil fully hard. He wanted to fuck Owen right there in the grass and he didn’t care if anyone watched.
Owen moaned and ended the kiss by giving Neil little kisses, one right after another. “Finish this later?”
“Oh yeah. I want in you,” Neil said stealing another kiss.
“Well, now that we know which one of you guys tops,” Travis said flipping burgers at the grill. “Can you kindly stop doing it on my lawn in front of my son?”
Jackson had his hands over Carters eyes and Jaron over his ears, so he probably didn’t see or hear anything.
“I’m in middle school and I go to a public school. I know about sex dad,” Carter said. Jaron looked like he wanted to throw up at Carter’s words.
Neil sat up, taking Owen with him. He put Owen back in his chair before standing up. Neil decided right then and there that Owen needed to eat more. Owen seemed to have gotten thinner since Leonard got sick and passed away. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t noticed it before now but now that he had, Neil was determined to take care of Owen better.
April Kelley is an author of LGBT Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more.