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Author’s note: Oh! My! God! You guys are just so amazing. I know I keep saying that, but it’s true. Thanks to all of you, the last chapter of “Consumed” hit

7 on the top stories list under the Gay Male section of Literotica. I’m just so stoked. I got over double the number of votes and comments. Thank you so much! I’ve enjoyed all the comments, so I hope you’ll keep sending them.

When Liam opened his eyes on Sunday morning, he found the kids gone and Rick lying next to him in bed, watching him.

“Good morning.” Rick said, a smile spreading across his face.

“Morning, where are Chris and Cassie?” Liam asked.

“They’re watching cartoons.” Rick said, as he reached his hand out and gently brushed up along Liam’s face. “I want to kiss you again.”

Liam leaned into the touch, closing his eyes and relishing the warmth of Rick’s hand. “I want you to kiss me again too.” He whispered.

Rick leaned in until their lips met. This kiss was gentle and sweet. Not urgent and aggressive like last night. Liam felt Rick’s tongue brush along his lips, silently asking for entry.

“No.” He said, shaking his head slightly. “Morning breath.”

“I don’t care.” Rick mumbled against Liam’s lips. “I just want to taste you, just a little taste.”

Liam opened up and they shared a long, slow, sensuous kiss.

“Mmmm, you’ve got the sexiest pair of lips I think I’ve ever seen… Or tasted, for that matter.” Rick said, pulling back from the kiss.

“Yeah, well you sure know how to kiss, but didn’t we agree that we weren’t going to do this?” Liam said, as he leaned in again for another kiss.

“Yes, we did.” Rick replied between kisses. “But, you’re very hard to resist. Especially when you keep making passes at me.”

“Oh, ho, no, no, no, me? Making passes… At you? If you would stop teasing me so much, maybe we wouldn’t have this problem.” He said, shaking his finger at Rick and laughing slightly at their banter.

Suddenly, Rick got a serious look on his face. “Liam, what do you still need to resolve with Jack? Do you think you’ll be able to work through this and get back together?” Rick asked. He was afraid to ask, afraid of the answer he would get, but he needed to know.

“Rick, I honestly don’t know. At this point, I’d say there isn’t anything to resolve. Jack’s treatment of Chris is unforgivable. But, we’ve been together for so long. It’s just hard to fathom that it could be over so quickly and so easily. I…” Liam said, but was interrupted by Chris entering the room, Liam’s ringing cell phone in his hand.

“Your phone’s ringing, Uncle Liam.” He said, but just as he handed it to Liam, it stopped ringing.

“Thanks, Chris.” Liam said, looking at the caller ID. “It was Jack.” He said, looking up at Rick. “I guess I should call him back.”

Liam could see hurt in Rick’s eyes, but there wasn’t much he could do about it now. “You go ahead. Chris and I will go see if we can rustle up some breakfast.” Rick said, and then turned to Chris. “Come on Chris, let’s go see what damage we can cause in the kitchen.”

After Chris and Rick had left, Liam called Jack.

“Shit, Liam, where have you been? I’ve been trying to call you all night. Why haven’t you been answering your cell phone? I was worried. I tried calling your parents this morning too, but no one’s answering there either. Where are you?” Jack said, before even saying hello.

“Sorry Jack, I had left my phone in the bedroom and didn’t hear it ringing.” Liam started to explain, then stopped, wondering why he was apologizing. He didn’t really owe Jack any kind of explanation.

“Well, it doesn’t matter. Can you come home so we can talk? I’m really sorry Liam. I overreacted. I was stressed. Things have been very stressful at work lately and when Chris ruined my proofs, I just freaked. I’m sorry.” Jack pleaded.

“That’s just it Jack, I told you that Chris wasn’t the one who ruined your proofs. It was Cassie and it was an accident, but you keep blaming Chris. I don’t understand what you’ve got against him. He’s only seven years old, for christ’s sake.”

“I don’t have anything against him. I was just stressed and I overreacted.” He said again. “Just… Come home… So we can talk.”

“Shit…Fine…” He said, as he pressed his thumb and index finger to the bridge of his nose, trying to stave off the headache that was developing. “I need to pick up some more of our stuff anyway. But, you know, you’re not going to change my mind. The kids and I are moving out. I’ll be over there in a couple of hours.” Liam added, before quickly hanging up the phone.

Liam took a couple of minutes to compose himself before he joined everyone in the kitchen. Rick, Chris and Cassie, were all busily getting breakfast ready. Both Chris and Cassie were standing on chairs in front of the stove with Rick right behind them. Chris was pouring pancake batter into the pan and Cassie was waiting, rather impatiently, with the spatula to flip the pancakes.

Rick looked over at Liam. “So, how did it go?” Ankara bayan escort He asked.

“Fine, I’m going to head over there and get a few more of our things.” Liam said.

“Oh, okay.” Rick said, obviously uncomfortable about the idea.

“Uncle Liam, we’re making pancakes for breakfast. See?” Chris said, thrusting the pitcher of pancake batter towards Liam so he could see, and almost spilling the batter in the process.

“I’m fipping.” Cassie said, showing Liam her spatula.

“Yep, I see. Be careful, you don’t want to spill the batter. It looks like you both are doing a really good job. I hope you’re making a lot, because I’m really hungry.” Liam said, as he planted a kiss on both Chris and Cassie’s cheek.

“The coffee just finished. Cups and the sugar are in the cupboard above the coffee maker and milk is in the fridge. Help yourself.” Rick said.

“Thanks. You want a cup?”

“Nah, I’ll wait until breakfast.” Rick said, as he turned his attention back to the kids.

“So, other than getting your things, do you guys have any plans today?” Rick asked.

“No, no other plans. I wasn’t even really planning this. I’ve got to call my parents to see if they can watch Chris and Cassie. I definitely don’t want to take the kids with me.”

“Hello… I’m here, you know.” Rick said, somewhat annoyed. “Is something wrong with me, that I can’t watch them?”

“I’m sorry Rick, I figured you would have plans already. It’s not like you expected to have us here this weekend. I’m sure we’ve already disrupted your plans as it is.” Liam said.

Liam, I wish you’d stop talking like you and the kids are a bother. I don’t have any plans today. It was just going to be me and the dog, so I would be happy to have the kids stay and keep me company, as would the dog too, I’m sure. Oh wait, I almost forgot, Stacey, Mitch, Bren and Jacob are coming over this afternoon. They would be thoroughly disappointed if Chris and Cassie weren’t here. So, you see, you have to leave the kids with me.” He said, grinning now.

“Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have met you?” Liam asked.

“No, but it doesn’t hurt to hear it. Besides, I figured the quickest way to Chris and Cassie’s heart would be through their Uncle.” He said, his grin getting wider.

“Well, it’s definitely working.” Liam said.

“What do you say, Chris, Cassie, do you want to stay with Rick today?” Liam asked.

He got a resounding “YES” from both of them.

“Oh, and don’t forget to let the officers stationed out front know that you are leaving.” Rick said.

“Oh, yeah, I forgot they were even there. I can’t believe they are out there twenty-four-seven. I think I would go mad spending my whole work day sitting out there.” Liam said.

“Yeah, I imagine it would get pretty boring, but they don’t spend their whole shift out there. They switch patrols every four hours.” Rick said.

After breakfast, Liam helped Rick clean up and then got ready to head over to see Jack. Just as he finished getting ready, a worried Chris came up to him.

“Uncle Liam, do you have to go back to that house? Me and Cassie don’t need anything from there. You can just stay here with us.” Chris said, as his eyes dropped from Liam’s face to look down at his feet.

“Hey, Chris…” Liam said, placing his hand under Chris’s chin and bringing his head up to look at him. “Where’s this coming from? I’m just going to get a few of our things. You don’t have to worry. I won’t be gone long. Okay?” He said, trying to reassure Chris.

Chris just nodded his head, so Liam picked him up, gave him a kiss and hug and walked him back to Rick and Cassie.

“I promise, I won’t be gone very long.” He said, one last time before he headed out.

When Liam stepped outside, he found the police cruiser still sitting out front. He told the officers that he was leaving. They wanted to know where he was going, how long he expected to be gone, and then also confirmed that the kids would be staying here with Rick.

Arriving at the loft, Liam didn’t know whether he should just use his key and go in, or if he should knock. For some reason, the place didn’t feel like home anymore. In the end, he shrugged off the feeling and walked in the door.

“Jack?” He called out.

“I’m in the living room.” Jack responded.

When Liam entered the living room, he found Jack just getting up from the couch.

“I’m just trying to get some work done.” Jack said, gesturing over to all the paperwork spread out on the coffee table. “Thanks for coming over.”

“No problem.” Liam said, for lack of anything better to say.

“I don’t want you to move out, Liam. I want you to stay here, with me.” Jack said.

“Jack, that’s not possible. I just came to pick up some more of our things. The kids and I are a packaged deal now. I’m sorry that this had to come between us, but I don’t have a choice. I have to do what’s best for them. What’s best for me. And staying with you isn’t what’s best for us.” Liam said, as he started Escort bayan Ankara heading upstairs to gather their things, Jack following close behind.

“I can’t believe you’re just going to give up on five years. What we have, Liam, is good. You and me, we’re good together.” Jack said.

“Yes, Jack, you and me are good together, but you, me and the kids aren’t. I can’t change that Jack, only you can change that and you’re not willing to.” Liam said, as he grabbed a suit case and started packing his clothes.

“Come on, Liam, you’re not even trying. You’re not even giving me a chance.” Jack said.

“What?” Liam said, as he wheeled around to face Jack. Anger seething in his eyes. “I’m not trying? I’m not giving you a chance? Fuck, Jack, I can’t believe you just said that. This is exactly why I’m leaving. You’re putting this all on me, when you’re the one that’s not trying. You haven’t even given the kids a chance.” Liam said, as he zipped up his suitcase, carried it into Chris’s room, and started adding some of Chris’s clothes, Jack still following close behind.

“Fine, okay, if you think you need to move out, that’s fine, but what about us. Are we over?” Jack asked.

“Shit, Jack, what am I supposed to say to that? I really don’t see how we are going to work this out. We want different things now.” Liam said, as he moved on to Cassie’s room and started packing her things, Jack in tow.

“So, where will you go? I tried calling your parents house last night after I couldn’t reach you on your cell phone, but no one answered the phone. I tried again this morning and still didn’t get an answer. So, I’m assuming you’re not staying there? If you want me to, I can leave and you guys can come back here and stay until you find someplace else.” Jack offered.

Liam turned to look at Jack, his anger somewhat allayed by Jack’s considerate offer.

“Thanks Jack, that’s really nice, but we’re fine. We’re staying with Rick. You remember…” Liam started, but didn’t get a chance to finish, as Jack back handed him in the face. The force of the blow causing Liam to lose his balance and fall backwards. He landed hard against the bedside table, his head flying back and cracking against the corner, stunning him momentarily.

“Fuck, I knew it. That’s why you’re leaving me. You’re fucking that firefighter. I should have known. You’re nothing but a fucking slut.” Jack said, his anger increasing as the hateful words spewed from his mouth.

Liam scrambled to get up, his head spinning from the fall, his hand automatically going to the back of his head and coming back with blood on it. “Fuck, Jack, what the hell’s the matter with you?” Liam screamed back at Jack.

The sight of the blood brought Jack quickly back to reality. “Oh fuck, Liam, I’m sorry. Shit, I didn’t mean it. It… I just… It’s just the thought of you and Rick. Liam, please.” Jack pleaded.

“Fuck you, Jack. Just get the hell out of my sight. Get out of here before I call the police and file assault charges. Get out of the house and let me get my stuff out of here. I’m done with you. I’m done with us.” Liam said, as he advanced on Jack this time. “Get out.” He said one final time as he pushed Jack out the door and then slammed it in his face.

Liam grabbed one of his t-shirts from his suit case and held it to the back of his head. “Fuck that hurts.” He said, as he sat down on the bed.

It wasn’t long before Liam heard the front door downstairs slam shut and he breathed a sigh of relief. He stood up and went to the bathroom so he could assess the damage. The t-shirt had a fair amount of blood on it, but the wound seemed to have stopped bleeding. The side of his face and part of his eye was black and blue and his eye was bloodshot. He was going to look really good in a couple of hours.

Trying not to dwell on how he was going to explain his face to the kids, he decided to get their stuff loaded into the car. He wanted to get out of there before Jack came back. He did, however, decide to grab his computer and work files, hoping that he could set it up somewhere at Rick’s. He hadn’t focused on his work much in the last week and he was starting to get behind.

Once the car was loaded up, he decided to stop off and see how his mom and dad were doing. Honestly though, he just wanted to postpone Rick and the kids seeing his black eye and bruised face. Turned out he should have avoided his parents too. His mom freaked out when she saw his face and after he told her what happened, he thought he was going to have to tie her to her chair to keep her from going after Jack.

“Mom, I’m fine. It looks worse than it is. It doesn’t hurt much, really.” He said, trying to reassure her.

“Well, you don’t look fine to me. I’m surprised you don’t have a concussion. You make sure that Rick keeps and eye on you tonight. You could have one and not know it. God, that bastard should be in jail right now. I can’t believe you didn’t call the police on him. Here, let me get you some ice packs to put on your eye Bayan escort Ankara and head. It will help keep the swelling down.” She said, as her and Laura left for the kitchen.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” His dad asked.

“Yeah, I’m okay dad.” Liam replied.

“I’m not talking about physically, I’m talking about here.” He said, as he put his hand to his heart.

“I don’t know dad. Part of me is okay with all this and part of me isn’t. Part of me feels like I gave up too easily and another part of me feels kind of relieved. I feel like I should be crying and heartbroken, but I’m not and that only makes me feel guilty. I just want to move on and start building a new life for me and the kids. I’m so tired of the nightmare we’ve been living.” Liam said.

“I know Liam. This is a good step. I think you made the right decision for both you and the kids.” Frank said.

“Here, I brought you some Advil too. Why don’t you lay down on the couch and we can put one pack under your head and the other on your eye. I want you to leave them on for at least twenty minutes.” Rebecca said, as Liam took the Advil and lay down on the couch.

“Thanks mom. Can you grab my cell phone for me? I need to call Rick and let him know I stopped by here. I don’t want him and the kids to worry.” Liam said.

After Liam called Rick, he settled down on the couch and closed his eyes. The coolness of the icepacks felt really good on his head and eye.

Two hours later, Liam awoke to his dad shaking him lightly. “Come on Liam, time to get up. I’m sure the kids and Rick are wondering when you’re coming home.”

“Crap, I fell asleep? What time is it.” Liam asked, as he started to rub the sleep from his eyes, forgetting that he had a black eye. “Oh… Ow… Crap that hurt.” Liam said, as he quickly pulled his hand away and then brought it back, this time slowly feeling, and pressing around the tender area. “Man, it feels really swollen.”

“Yeah, it doesn’t look pretty, that’s for sure. You’re lucky that Jack didn’t hit you straight on the eye, otherwise it would probably be swollen shut.” Frank said. “Listen, your mother and I decided we’ll drive you back to Rick’s. It probably wouldn’t be a good idea for you to drive. I’ll take your car and your mom can follow us in our car.” Frank said.

“Yeah… Yeah, you’re probably right.” Liam said, as he stood up. That turned out to be a big mistake. As soon as he stood, he was hit with a wave of dizziness. Luckily his dad was there. He grabbed Liam and helped steady him until the dizziness passed.

“You okay?” His dad asked.

“Yeah, I think so. I think I just stood up too fast.” Liam said.

“Well, let’s get you back to Rick’s so you can rest.”

When they arrived at Rick’s house, Liam groaned inwardly when he noticed that Stacey’s car was also in the driveway.

As Liam walked up to the front door, he was again struck with the awkwardness of not knowing if he should knock or just walk in. After contemplating for a second, he decided to go ahead and knock. The front door seemed to open in slow motion.

Liam, why are you knocking. I told you…” Rick started, but stopped suddenly when his eyes met Liam’s face. “Shit Liam, what happened?” He asked, as his hand came up and gently cupped his face and Liam tilted his head, slightly, into the caress. “Did Jack do this? I’m going to kill that motherfucker.” He said, as he grabbed Liam’s arm and started to pull him into the house. “I can’t believe he hit you. I swear, I’m going to ring that scrawny little neck of his. Are you okay? Come inside and sit down. I’ll get you some ice to put on it.”

“Rick, wait. My parents are here.” Liam said, gesturing towards the doorway, where his parents were standing. “They drove me back.”

“Drove you back? Are you okay? Why would they need to drive you home?” Rick asked, not even realizing that he had said ‘home’. Liam, however, did notice it, and couldn’t help the small smile that spread across his face.

“When Jack hit me, I fell back and cracked my head against the corner of a table. But, I’m fine, so you really don’t have to worry.” He said.

“He’s not fine.” His mom interrupted. “He’s probably got a light concussion.”

“Hi, Mr. and Mrs. Strickland. Thanks for driving him home.” He said, and Liam couldn’t help but notice the word ‘home’ again. “Come on, sit down on the couch and I’ll get some ice. I want to get a closer look at your eye and the back of your head.” Rick said, his EMT training kicking in.

“I’m fine, really, Rick.” Liam said.

“You let me be the judge of that. You just sit down and shut up.” Rick said, a small smirk alighting his face.

“Fine.” Liam said, as he sat down on the couch and proceeded to pout from the reprimand, but, in reality, secretly enjoying the fuss Rick was making.

“Wow, very impressive. I like your style Rick. I wish I could get him to shut up and listen to me that well. I’ll have to take a page from your book sometime.” Rebecca said, as Liam glared at her.

Just then, the kids came running in from the pool, Bren and Jacob at their side and Stacey following close behind.

“Uncle Liam, your back.” Chris said excitedly as he ran to Liam. He stopped short though when he saw his face. “What happened to your face?”

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