Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chapter 9: A Kish Family Thanksgiving

Kyle continues to look into Oliver’s eyes. Kyle is pleading silently with Oliver to talk. Oliver tries to look away, but is entranced by Kyle’s eyes.

Kyle sits on the hospital bed next to Oliver. He keeps his eyes locked on Oliver. He then grabs Oliver’s hand with his own hand.

“What’s goin’ on? What’s goin’ through that head of yours?”

Oliver again tries to look way. Kyle grabs Oliver’s face with his other hand and pulls Oliver’s face back to his. “Look at me, Oliver.”

“I’m not sure I can be who you want or need me to be,” says Oliver struggling to get the words out.

“Where’s this comin’ from? What happened between the time I left this morning and now?”

“I just think you will be happier with someone else. Someone who is more out and more gay.”

Kyle chuckles. “More out and more gay. Did you really just say that?”

Oliver becomes irritated with Kyle’s chuckle. “You know what I mean, Kyle. Don’t you want someone who knows and accepts himself completely? Don’t you need someone who can comfortably and without any hesitation hold your hand in public?  Or even kiss you in public? I don’t know if I can do any of that. I want to, but you deserve to have someone who knows he can. You deserve someone better than me.”

Oliver’s last words hit a nerve inside Kyle. He stands, crosses his arms and heads over to the room window staring outside. “Fish. Don’t you tell me what is best for me. I am a grown man and can make my own decisions. Why do ya’ insist on bein’ so hard on yourself?”

“I’m only thinking about you. I want you to be happy.”

Kyle turns to face Oliver, but remains by the window. “This isn’t about me. This is about you. Why can’t ya’ believe in yourself? Why can’t ya’ see how great ya’ are?”

“I’m anything but great. Look at how I’ve treated you since college. You should hate me for the way I treated you.”

Kyle’s anger builds. “Stop tryin’ to put thoughts into my head.  Stop tellin’ me how I should feel. I don’t hate ya’ and ya’ know that. I have forgiven you. I understand where ya’ were at then. It doesn’t excuse the behavior or make the hurt feel any less real, but I’m ready to put the past behind us. You need to do the same.”

“Its not that easy, Kyle.”

“It is if ya’ want it bad enough. Do ya’ want this, Oliver? Just days ago you were pleadin’ with me to give ya’ another chance. I’m givin’ ya’ that chance. Are ya’ really goin’ to screw it up again? Do I mean nothin’ to ya’?”

Oliver leans his head back against the pillow and briefly closes his eyes. Oliver then opens his eyes and looks over to Kyle. “You’re my world, Kyle.”

Kyle raises his arms and shakes them at Oliver. ‘Then stop this insanity.  Quit tryin’ to derail us before we even get started agin. Lets see where things go. Don’t push me away again. Did your mother say somethin’? Did you talk with or see your father? Where’s this coming from? ”

“This is all me. No one else.”

“I don’t believe ya’, Fish. I know ya’ pretty damn well. Someone has put these thoughts in your head. They’re playin’ on your vulnerability. Who was it, Fish?”

Oliver looks away from Kyle. “There’s no one. I already said this is all me.”

Kyle knows Oliver is not telling him the truth. Oliver not being able to look at him as he says his last words give it away.

Kyle is firm in his stance. “I’ll figure out who it is, Oliver. “

Kyle’s beeper then goes off. Kyle looks at it.

“They need me in the ER.”

Kyle walks over to stand by Oliver next to the bed. “This discussion isn’t over. I‘ll find out who’s been messing with your head and when I do.”

Oliver continues to look away. “There is no one, Kyle. How many times do I have to tell you?”

“Fine, Fish. You’re so damn frustratin’ sometimes, but that’s part of the reason I am so drawn to ya’.”

Kyle bends down and brings his lips to Oliver’s lips. Oliver melts in his kiss. The previous discussion is temporarily forgotten as the kiss deepens in intensity.  The two pull away from each other and Kyle walks to the door.

Kyle grabs the door handle and looks back at Oliver. “Ya’ made me a promise, Oliver.  Ya’ said we would talk through things and ya’ would let me help ya’ with things as we move forward. You’re not goin’ to push me away again. I won’t let you. I’ll hold ya’ to your promise. I’m not goin’ to give up on us as easily as you gave up on us back in college. I want this too bad. I want you. I know ya’ want us too. I’ll be back later to check on ya’.”

Kyle exits the room.

Oliver lets Kyle’s words soak in. ‘I’m not goin’ to give up on us as easily as you gave up on us back in college. I want us too bad. I want you. I know ya’ want us too.’

“You’re right, Kyle. I do want us to work. I only hope I can be what you want me to be.”

The next afternoon Cris and Layla sit at the kitchen bar making a grocery list for the upcoming Thanksgiving meal.

“Can you think of anything else we need?” asks Layla.

Cris surveys the list. “I think this should do it.”

Layla stands and grabs her purse off the counter. “Great. Your Mom and I are going to the store to pick this stuff up. It might take a while. Going the day before Thanksgiving is probably not the best idea. The store will be super crazy.”

Cris stands and smiles. “Well you guys have fun.”

“You don’t want to join us?”

Cris smiles. “Well I love spending as much time with you as possible, but Kyle is supposed to bring Fish home sometime this afternoon. Kyle’s shift does not end until 10PM so he asked if we could keep an eye on Fish while he goes back to work.”

Layla smiles. “Ok. You’re a good guy Cristian Vega.”

 “Don’t let that get out. I have an image to protect,” says Cris.

Layla smiles and approaches Cris.

The two kiss.

Layla breaks off the kiss and heads toward the door. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Layla opens the door and sees Oliver and Kyle.

“Hey guys.”

Cristian comes up behind Layla. “Hey. You should have called we could have met you downstairs.”

“Thanks Cris, but Oliver doesn’t want any special treatment. He’s not exactly the best patient,” says Kyle.

Oliver slowly makes his way into the apartment. He is still in a lot of discomfort from the two surgeries.  He carefully sits down on the sofa.

“Very funny, Kyle. It’s good to be home. Are you heading out, Layla?” Oliver notices the purse over her arm.

“I’m meeting Carlotta to get the groceries for our Thanksgiving feast tomorrow.  Do you need anything before I go, Fish?”

“I’m good. Enjoy the shopping trip,” says Oliver.

Layla kisses Cris goodbye.

Kyle and Oliver smile at each other as they watch the kiss between their friends.

“I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Layla exits the apartment.

Kyle walks over to Oliver and stands in front of him. “I need to get back to the hospital. Are ya’ goin’ to be okay?”

“Layla has me watching some laundry. I’m going to check on it. I’ll be back in a few.” Cris heads to the laundry room.

Oliver looks up at Kyle. “I wish you could stay.  I already miss you.”

“I’ll come back after my shift if you want me to.”

Oliver continues to look up at Kyle. He grabs Kyle’s hand. “I would love that.”

“Great. I’ll see ya’ later tonight then. Ya’ need to take it easy today. You’ll probably be more tired than ya’ realize.” Kyle bends down and gives Oliver a kiss.

Kyle turns and tries to walk toward the door, but Oliver will not relinquish hold of his hand.

Kyle turns backs and notes a look of concern on Oliver’s face.

Kyle sits down on his knees in front of Oliver. “Oliver?” Kyle places his hands on Oliver’s knees.

“Are we okay? I feel like such an idiot for yesterday. I wish I could more confident in myself and in us.”

“Hey. In time ya’ will be. Ya’ just came out. Give yourself a break. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

“I don’t want to let you down, Kyle.”

Kyle places both of his hands on Oliver’s face. “Listen to me. I’m still here. Ya’ through a curve ball at us yesterday, but I’m still here. I’m not goin’ away. You’re in my heart, Oliver Fish. Ya’ always have been. Ya’ have some flaws. Who doesn’t? You’re still adjustin’ to the new you. Some roads bumps along the way are to be expected.”

Oliver sheepishly smiles. “You’re so great, Kyle. Why did I push you away for so long?”

“Stop worryin’ about the past. I told ya’ before every thing happens for a reason. The past is the past. We’ll ultimately be stronger because of the past.”

Oliver’s smile grows. “You’re so confident in yourself, in us. I wish I could tap into that and stop being such a drama queen.”

Kyle pulls Oliver’s face to his and places a kiss on his mouth. He then lets out a big smile.

“What are you smiling at?”

“You silly.”

Oliver with one of his famous scrunch faces. “What?”

“The Oliver I knew a few months ago would never call himself a drama queen. That’s progress.”

Oliver lets out a laugh. “I guess your right. That’s kind of funny. Are you sure you can handle a drama queen named Oliver?”

Kyle continues to smile. “I can handle it. Ya’ know why?”


“Because I’m with the most beautiful man I’ve ever known.”

Oliver’s face goes red with embarrassment. “Stop it.”

“Ya’ okay now? I hate to run off. I would love to stay, but I need to get back to the hospital.”

“I’ll be fine. Thank you.”

“For what?” asks Kyle.

“For being you.”

Kyle smiles and brings Oliver back into a kiss. They get lost in each other for a few minutes.

Cris then enters the room. “Hey guys.”

Kyle and Oliver break away from the kissing, Kyle stands and they look over at Cris.

“Sorry guys. I’ll come back.”

“Its okay, Cris. I need to be goin’ anyway.”

“I always seem to walk in at the wrong moments. It all started back in the alley a few months back. Maybe I am secretly jealous of you, Kyle.”

Kyle and Oliver laugh.

“That’s it, Cris. You’re jealous of me being with Kyle. You want me for yourself,” says Oliver.

Cris, continuing to go along with the banter, walks over and sits next to Oliver on the couch. “Oh my, I see the truth now. I want you for myself, Fish. You need to let Kyle go and give us a shot.”

Kyle joins in on the fun. “Do we need to take this outside, Vega? I’ll fight for my man. Of course you have some extra muscle on me, but I think I could take you.”

Cris stands. “Lets go. The truth is liberating. I need Oliver for myself.”

Oliver shakes his head and laughs. “You’re hilarious, Cristian Vega.”

“I know, right. You guys are so lucky to have me on your side.”

Kyle and Oliver look at each other and agree. “We’re indeed very lucky to have a good friend like you. We appreciate ya’ bein’ a part of our lives,” says Kyle.

“Lets not get all mushy. I do have an image to protect,” says an embarrassed Cris.

Kyle walks to the door. “I really do need to get going.”

Cris looks over to Oliver. “Did you give it to him?”

Oliver looks over at Cris. “Not yet.”

Kyle with his hand on the doorknob turns and looks back at Cris and Oliver. “Give me what?”

Oliver slowly stands and makes his way over to the bookcase. He picks up a key off the shelf net to the door. “This is for you.” Oliver hands the key to Kyle.

“What’s this?” asks Kyle.

“Its a key to the apartment.”

Kyle is not sure what to make of the gesture, “Are ya’ sure?”

“I’m not asking you to move in or anything, Kyle. I just thought it made sense as I hope you’ll be spending more time here in the future.”

Kyle looks over to Cris. “Are you and Layla cool with this?”

Cris shakes his head yes. “We support the idea.”

Kyle smiles at Oliver. “Okay. I accept the offer.”

Oliver smiles and goes over to Kyle. He kisses Kyle again and brings him into a hug. “I’m so happy you’re here with me. Thank you.”

“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” says Kyle

Cris continues to joke around. “Hands off my guy, Lewis. We can still take this outside. Oh and by the way we plan on eating about 2PM tomorrow.”

Kyle and Oliver pull apart from the hug.

Kyle opens the door. “2PM sounds great. I’ll see ya’ tomorrow Cris.” Kyle looks back to Oliver. “I’ll see you later tonight.”

“I can’t wait,” says Oliver.

Kyle exits the apartment and closes the door behind him.

Cris walks to the kitchen. “So are you okay? You seemed a little tense when you guys came home.”

Oliver walks slowly over to the breakfast bar and has a seat in one of the bar stools.

“Oh, Mr. Unsure Oliver almost blew it yesterday.”

Cris looks at Oliver from across the bar. “What happened?”

“I had a another self-doubt episode. I’m so unsure of being an out and gay Oliver. I let those fears get the better of me and tried to tell Kyle he deserved better.’

“Fish man. He loves you. He’ll help you through all that.”

“I know. Kyle’s great. He’s awesome in fact. He said he wasn’t going anywhere, but my doubts seem to take control sometimes.”

“What brought all this on?”


“Kyle’s ex?”

“Yeah. He stopped by the hospital and just asked me if I was ready to be the man Kyle wanted or needed me to be.”

“He had no right to do that.”

“I don’t think he meant anything by it. He still cares about Kyle.”

“Bull, Fish. He knew exactly what he was doing. He knew where to hit you at and he used it.”

“Its only because he cares for Kyle. It’s natural that he is hurting. I’m not upset with him.”

“Why the hell not? He played on your insecurities. Fine, he is hurting. I still don’t get that as I do not think him and Kyle were together all that long, but that doesn’t give him the right to disrespect you like that. Did you tell Kyle about the visit?”

“No. No way. I’m not telling Kyle. He kept trying to say yesterday that someone put these thoughts in my head, but I told him it was all me.”

“Why did you do that? He has the right to know what his ex is up to. Trying to undermine your relationship with Kyle is not cool.”

“I don’t want to cause anymore trouble between Kyle and Nick. Nick was great with Kyle when I was first shot and taken to the hospital. It’s important to Kyle that they remain friends. I don’t want to come between them.”

Cris leans on the breakfast bar with his hands. “You should tell Kyle. I think him and Nick still need to have some closure. This may help with that.”

“I can’t. I don’t want to come off as the jealous type.”

“I think Nick will come off as the jealous type.”

“I’m not telling Kyle about the visit Cris. I just want to forget it happened.”

Cris notices the increased stress in Oliver’s face and tries to lighten the mood. “I see what I need to do now.”

Oliver scrunches his face again. “What?”

“I need to pay this Nick character a visit. No one messes with my boys.”

“Your boys?”

“Sure. You guys are part of the Cristian Vega team now. No one messes with a Vega.”

Oliver laughs. “I appreciate the sentiment Cris, but I think we’ll leave the Nick issue alone. Kyle is really special. Nick sees that too and only wants to make sure Kyle is going to be okay.”

“What about you? You deserve to be okay, what he did yesterday is so not cool.”

“It came from a good place.”

Cris shakes his head. “You’re not going to change your mind on this, are you? You‘re too nice, Oliver Fish. I would go and set that guy straight and I would tell Kyle exactly what happened.”

Oliver delicately stands. “Its all good. Listen I’m going to get some rest. I’m a bit tired. Do you need anything from me before I crash a bit.”

Cris laughs. “No. You’re the one who just got home from the hospital. Go. Gets some sleep. Layla and I will check on you later.”

Oliver walks towards the bedroom. ‘Thanks for being such a good pal. I appreciate it.”

“Anytime, Fish. Anytime.”

Oliver exits to the bedroom.

Cris walks over to the sofa, has a seat and flips on the TV.

Oliver wakes up from his sleep. He initially forgets that he is back home. At first he thinks he is still in the hospital. When his eyes come into focus he looks around and realizes he is at home. He looks over at the clock, which displays 3;07AM. Oliver thinks to himself. ‘Wow! Have I really been a sleep that long?’

He looks next to him in bed hoping to see Kyle, but the bed is empty.

Oliver’s self doubt takes over again. ‘Kyle didn’t come back. Kyle’s more upset with him than he let on.’

Oliver misses him. He had become so accustomed to Kyle being with him every night at the hospital that it now seems strange to even be home, yet alone . Oliver knows he needs to adjust again in terms of being apart from Kyle on some occasions. After all, they could not spend every waking hour together, even though Oliver wishes they could be.

An exhausted Kyle then enters the bedroom trying to be quiet and not make a lot of noise.

Oliver switches on the light. “Hey you.”

Kyle smiles. “Hey I didn’t mean to wake ya’. Sorry I’m late. Did ya’ get my text? I had to work over. I got out of work around 2 and then went by my place to grab some clothes and bathroom stuff for tomorrow. I figured I’d just get ready here so we could spend the day together.”

Oliver looks over at his phone on the nightstand and sees the message light flashing on his phone. The self-doubt is instantly erased.

Kyle heads toward the bathroom. “I’ll be right back.”

Oliver feels at peace knowing Kyle is now here with him.

Kyle exits the bathroom. He only wears his boxers now having taken off the scrubs he was previously wearing.

Oliver looks over at Kyle and admires the skinny, muscular man in front of him. “You’re so hot, Kyle Lewis.”

Kyle gets into bed and faces Oliver (laying on his side). “Thanks. How ya’ feelin’?”

“A little sore, but doing okay. You have to be exhausted. Lets get some sleep.”

Kyle drifts into sleep pretty quickly. Oliver smiles and is content knowing that a sleeping Kyle is right next to him. He switches off the light, but continues to watch Kyle sleep once his eyes adjust to the darkness. Kyle begins to slightly snore. Oliver smiles. All is right with the world.

The next day Kyle wakes up from his sleep. He looks over at the clock, which now reads 12:20PM. He looks over to the other side of the bed where he sees a piece of paper with a note on it.

Happy Thanksgiving! I can’t wait to spend this day with you. I am thankful to have you here with me. Love. Oliver.

Kyle smiles at the note and heads toward the bathroom to get ready.


About 40 minutes later Kyle enters the living room area of the apartment, He  feels rested and refreshed after his shower.

Cris and Oliver are both wearing aprons as they work together in the kitchen preparing the Thanksgiving meal. Layla is sits at the breakfast bar in one of the stools supervising the kitchen activities.

Kyle approaches and has a seat next to Layla. “Good mornin’, everyone. Happy Thanksgiving.”

“Well good morning,” says Oliver. “We almost thought you were going to sleep through the entire day.”

“I was really tired I guess, but I’m good now. Is there anything I can do to help?”

Layla looks over to Kyle. “Trust me. They have it all under control. You and I should just stay out of the kitchen. I tried to be helpful a little earlier and was just in the way.”

Cris looks at Layla and Kyle from across the bar. “That’s because I cannot concentrate on the cooking when you’re standing next to me.”

Everyone smiles at Cris’s comment.

“I hope its okay, but I invited one more person to join us today,” says Kyle.

Oliver curious. “Who?”

Kyle stands and walks over to Oliver. He gently grabs the apron with his hands. “That’s a surprise. You’ll have to wait and see. Are ya’ feelin’ okay? You’re not doin’ too much are ya’?”

“I’m good. I feel a lot better today. So who is it? This surprise guest.”

Kyle smiles and walks back over to the bar stool next to Layla. “You’ll just have to wait and see.”

“That brings our total guest count up to 7 today,” says Layla. “You guys better not let us down on the food.”

Cris and Oliver laugh.

“No chance of that happening. Right Fish?” Cris looks at Fish.

“The food will be great! Promise,” says Oliver.

Kyle continues to look at Cris and Oliver. “I must say you two are very hot in those aprons.”

“I know right. I was just thinking the same thing,” says Layla.

Kyle and Layla smile at each other. Cris and Oliver are embarrassed.

“Can you guys set up the tables and chairs from the other room? We can temporarily move the sofa and coffee table out and set up the tables in the living room.” Cris grabs some tablecloths from above the refrigerator and hands them to Kyle. “These will go on the tables once they are set up.”

Layla stands. “Lets go, Kyle. We can do this.”

Layla and Kyle go to get the tables and chairs from the other room and begin the set up process.

Cris and Oliver continue to work in the kitchen.

“Are you ready for some football?” asks Oliver.

“Am I ever,” says Cristian.

There is a knock at the front door.

“I’ll get it,” says Layla.

Layla opens the door and there stands John McBain.

“Hey, John,” says Layla.

“Hey. Happy Thanksgiving. I hope I’m not interrupting. I was hoping I could chat with Fish for a second.”

Layla motions John in. “Come on in. Oliver, you have a visitor.”

Oliver looks up and sees John. “Hey, John. Just a second.” Oliver washes his hands, dries them off with a towel and heads over to John.

“Happy Thanksgiving, John. This is a surprise. Is it a case you need my help on?”

“No work today, Fish. I brought you guys this bottle of wine and wanted to make sure your doing okay.” John hands Fish the wine.

“Thanks, John. This is very nice of you. I’m doing okay.”

“Sorry I couldn’t make it to the hospital, but I’ve been out of town with work. You did a great thing Oliver, saving Zach’s life.”

“I was just doing my job, John. I can’t wait to get back to work.”

“When do you think that’ll be?”

“Probably a few weeks per Dr. Evans.”

“Good deal. I need you back at the station. You’re a critical part of the team.”

Oliver is not great at accepting compliments and digs deep inside to get the next few words out. “Thanks, John. I appreciate that. Do you want to stay for dinner?”

“No thanks. Marty and I have our own plans, but I appreciate the offer.”

“Sure. Listen there’s someone I want you to meet.”

Kyle looks up from setting the tables up.

“Kyle, can you come over here?” asks Oliver.

Kyle walks over to John and Oliver.

“John, this is Kyle Lewis. Kyle, this is my boss, John McBain.”

John extends his hand to Kyle for a shake. Kyle takes John’s hand and they shake.

“Its nice to meet you, Kyle.”

“Likewise, John.”

“Kyle is my boyfriend, John.”

Kyle looks at Oliver in amazement. He never gets tired of hearing Oliver call him his boyfriend.

“I’ve seen you around before Kyle. Right?”

“Probably in the police station a while back. Things were a bit crazy then, but are back on track now. I have Oliver to keep me in check now.”

“I thought so. Well its nice to meet you. I really should be going now. Marty will be wondering what happened to me.”

“Thanks for stopping by John. I appreciate it. And thanks for the wine.”

“Sure. No problem. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.”

Everyone replies. “Happy Thanksgiving.”

John exits the apartment.

Kyle looks at Oliver. “That was really nice of him to stop by.”

“John’s great. I look up to him a lot. He has always treated me very fair.”

“Kyle, are you going to help me finish the tables?” asks Layla.

“Oliver, back to the kitchen. We have more work to do,” says Cris.

Kyle and Oliver smile at each other and head back to their respective tasks.

Kyle and Layla finish setting up the table and chairs.

Oliver and Cris continue the food preparation.

Within minutes there is another knock on the door.

Layla once again opens the door.

“Hi, Carlotta.”

“Hey, Layla.” The two hug. The hug disbands.

“Wow, it smells great in here. I’m starving. When do we eat?”

Cris walks from the kitchen to the living room. “Hey, Mommy. Happy Thanksgiving.”

Carlotta hugs her son. “Hey, handsome. Need any help in the kitchen?”

Cris knows better than to say no. “Sure. I can always use help. Let me introduce you around. That’s Oliver, as you know, helping me out in the kitchen.”

Oliver looks up. “Hey, Mrs. Vega!”

“Hi, Oliver. It’s good to see you. Please call me Carlotta. How’re you feeling?”

“Carlotta it is then. I’m doing okay. Thanks for asking.”

“Glad to hear it. We were all very worried about you.”

“Thanks for that.” Oliver returns to his activities in the kitchen.

“And this is Kyle Lewis, Mommy. He’s Oliver’s boyfriend.”

Kyle walks over to Cris and Carlotta. “Its nice to meet you, Mrs. Vega.” Kyle extends his hand and the two shake

“No need to be so formal. You may call me Carlotta also.”

Kyle smiles. “Thanks, Carlotta. I appreciate that.”

“Ok off to the kitchen we go Mommy.”

Carlotta and Cris head into the kitchen with Oliver.

Kyle and Layla return to the bar stools.

The five of them laugh, talk and cut up with each other. It is a happy time.


A few minutes later there is another knock on the door.

Kyle stands ordering Layla to sit with his hand. “I’ll get it this time. You stay seated and continue supervisin’ the cookin’.”

Kyle walks to the door and opens it. Roxy is standing outside.

“Hey, handsome.”

“Roxy! What are you doing here?”

“Having a Thanksgiving meal with my guys.”

“I didn’t know you were coming.”

Oliver walks from the kitchen to the door.

“Hey, Roxy. Come on in.”

Roxy enters the apartment. Kyle closes the door behind her.

“Can I hug you, Fish?” asks Roxy.

Oliver smiles. “Sure. Just watch the shoulder. You know gun shot wound and all.” Oliver points to his left shoulder.

The two hug. Roxy is very delicate to ensure she does not hurt him. “It’s great to see ya’ out of the hospital. Thanks for invitin’ me over today. It means a lot.”

Kyle looks at Fish. “You did this?”

Oliver blushes. “I wanted to surprise you. I know how close you guys are.”

Kyle brings Oliver into a hug. “Thank you so much. This means a lot.”

‘You’re welcome. I need to get back to the kitchen. It’s close to eating time.”

Oliver heads back to the kitchen.

Roxy and Kyle hug.

“Thank you for being here, Rox. My family is all here now.”

“Anytime, pal. Any news on the Fish thanksgiving surprise?”

Kyle looks at his watch. “Only time will tell. Keep your fingers crossed. Lets go into the kitchen and say hi to everyone else.”

Roxy and Kyle head to the kitchen. There is more talking, laughing and fun.


Cris finishes carving the turkey and brings the turkey on a serving platter over to the breakfast bar with the rest of the food. “Ok I think we’re ready. Everyone can grab a plate and serve themselves and then grab a seat over at the table.”

“Everything looks wonderful and smells great,” says Carlotta.

“I agree, Carlotta. Cris and Oliver did a great job, “ says Layla.

“I mimic those comments,” says Roxy.

Roxy looks to Kyle. Kyle glances at his watch. He shrugs his shoulders.

“Someone start filling their plates already,” says Cris.

Layla and Carlotta start filling their plates.

Then there is another knock at the door.

Kyle looks to Oliver. “Why don’t you get the door, Oliver?”

“What are you up to Kyle?” asks Oliver suspiciously.

“Just get the door.”

Oliver heads toward the door. Everyone except Roxy looks at Kyle with ‘a what is going on’ look. Kyle smiles and looks back to the door.

Oliver opens the door.

“Hey, Oliver.”

“Mom! What are you doing here?”

“I was hoping I could spend Thanksgiving with my son.”

Oliver grabs his Mom and hugs her feeling a slight twinge of pain in his shoulder in the process. “I’m so glad you’re here. This means so much to me.”

Barbara welcomes her son into her arms.

The two tear up.

Kyle walks over to them and places his hand on Oliver’s other shoulder. “Hey guys, lets eat. We don’t want the food to get cold.”

Barbara and Oliver release from the embrace and enter the apartment. “Everyone, this is my Mom.”

Roxy walks over to Barbara and wraps her arms around her. “Lets get ya’ some food. My name is Roxy or Rox for short. We’re super happy that ya’ are here. I know Fish is uber exited that you could make it.”

Barbara smiles at Roxy’s comment.

Oliver stands frozen by the door watching the scene unfold. His Mom introduces herself to Carlottta and says hi to Cris and Layla. Tears form in Oliver’s eyes. Kyle stands next to Oliver. Oliver grabs Kyle’s hand. He squeezes Kyle’s hand and looks over to him.

Oliver mouths the following works, but does not say them out load. “Thank you.”

Kyle smiles and wraps his arms around Oliver’s waist.  “She loves ya’, Oliver. She needs some time to git used to us. This is a big step for her.”

Oliver brings Kyle into his arms. This guy was so good to him even after all the crap he had put him through.


Everyone is now seated at the table with full plates of food.

Roxy is sits at the head of the table. Layla, Cris and Carlotta sit to the left of her. On her right is Kyle, Oliver and Barbara.

“Lets join hands please and pray,” says Cris.

“Thanks for the food we are about to share and most importantly thanks for allowing us all to be together as a family. Amen.”

 “Amen” says everyone almost in unison.

“That was beautiful, Cris. Short and to the point,” says Layla.

Cris smiles at Layla. “Thanks. Can we eat now? I’m starving.”

Everyone laughs at Cris’ child like comment.

They eat, laugh, talk and simply enjoy being together.


A half-hour later and after several helpings of food by all the guests, Kyle stands.

Everyone looks over at Kyle.

“I thought we could go around the table and say what we’re thankful for before we start clearing the dishes and putting the leftovers away. Roxy, could you start us off?”

Kyle sits.

“Should I stand?” asks Roxy.

“Its up to you.”

“I’ll stand. I like the attention.” Roxy pauses to gather her words.

“I’m thankful for my family, for my kids and especially for the health of my grandson, Shane. I almost lost him this year, but thankfully he’s fine now. I’m thankful for all of you letting me be here today. You guys rock! And most importantly I want to thank you. Kyle.” Roxy looks over at Kyle. “It’s super nice to have someone I can relate to on so many levels and who can handle all my craziness. You’re the gravy, pal. I’m beyond excited that we got past our differences and are now able to be great friends. I think you’re the best. And ya’ better treat Tuna right. Or I might just have to take him away from ya’. Thanks again everyone. It means a lot to be here.” Roxy sits.

Layla stands. “I’m thankful to have all you here with me today and to be a part of such a special group of people.  Oliver, I love you to death. Kyle, you’re so great with him. Mrs. Fish, I’m so excited that you could be here today. I know it means the world to Oliver. And Cris, thank you for being at my side and for sharing this day with me. I’m not sure what is ahead for us, but I can’t wait to find out.” Layla sits.

Cris stands. “Ok, I’m not a man of many words, but I’m thankful to have my Mommy here and for her to have  a chance to get to know my girlfriend (I love hearing that) Layla better.  I’m super glad you’re in my life, Layla.  I love you. I’m also thankful for my good friends, Fish and Kyle.  I love all you guys so much, but don’t let that get out or my masculinity could be questioned and we wouldn’t want that.”

Everyone smiles as Cris sits down.

Carlotta stands. “I’m thankful that my son has found someone to love. Layla, I think you’re the best and if you can put up with a Vega boy you’re a very strong woman! Most importantly I’m thankful for all the love in this room today. It warms my heart to be here and I can’t thank you enough for letting me be included.” Carlotta sits.

Cristian grabs her hand. “I love you, Mommy.”

“I love you too, Cristian.”

Barbara then stands. “I want to thank Kyle for standing by my Oliver when he was fighting for his life. I was foolish in the past. I didn’t understand how Oliver could want to be with Kyle or another man in general. But my eyes were finally opened as I sat in the hospital waiting area with Kyle. Kyle loves Oliver and Oliver loves Kyle. I was too blinded in the past to see how deep this love is. I’m sorry for that. I truly am. I’m sorry that I am partly responsible for keeping you guys apart these last few years. I hope you can forgive me and be patient with me as we move forward. I want to be part of your life. You’re my son. I just want you to be happy. I love you, son.”

Tears form in Barbara and Oliver’s eyes as she sits back down. Oliver places his hand on his Mom’s shoulder and squeezes her shoulder.

Kyle then stands to give Oliver a few minutes to recover from the tears. “I’m thankful that all of ya’ knocked some sense into me a few weeks back. I love this man sitting next to me with all my heart. I was too blind to see it for a while. I want to thank ya’ all for welcoming me into your lives and sharin’ Oliver with me.”
Kyle looks over to Oliver. “I want to thank you for givin’ us another chance. For lettin’ me back in and for acceptin’ who you are. I want to thank you for being you. Ya’ are my soul, Oliver Fish. There’s no escapin’ ya’. But the good news is I don’t want to anymore. I love you and can’t wait to build a life with ya’.”

Kyle bends down and kisses Oliver in front of the group. Kyle sits. Oliver slowly stands. His shoulder is throbbing in pain, but the day’s happy activities overshadow the pain. “I want to say how blessed I am to have all of you in my life. I was so lost the last few years and months. I tried to be what everyone wanted me to be, instead of being who I wanted to be. In the process I hurt a lot of people sitting at this very table. I apologize for that. I know Layla I don’t need to keep apologizing. “ Layla smiles at Oliver. “I’m thankful my Mom could find her way here today. I’m thankful that she’s willing to try and accept me for who I am. I’m thankful that she recognizes how much Kyle means to me. I only hope my Dad can come forward like this at some point. I miss him so much, but having you here Mom really helps. Thanks again.” Oliver looks down to Kyle on his left. “And you. I can’t thank you enough for not giving up on me. You knew who I am long before I did and you were okay with the true Oliver. You still are. I am not the most comfortable gay guy in the world, but here you still sit at my side. And having you at my side during my recent hospital vacation meant the world to me. Although, I just want to clarify, I don’t want any more vacations in the hospital. Hawaii would be good next time. To know that you are on my side and that you will be there when I need you is the best feeling ever. I don’t feel so alone anymore. I don’t feel like a shell of myself like I did just a few weeks back. I look forward to being this better Oliver. Thanks for sticking by me even when I hurt you so bad in the past. I still can’t believe some of the hurtful things I said to you. You’re simply the best and I can’t wait to build a life with you.”

Kyle stands and hugs Oliver. Oliver suddenly feels really tired and places the majority of his weight on Kyle.

“Do you need to rest for a bit Oliver?” asks Kyle still embracing Oliver.

Oliver. “I don’t want to be rude, but I’m really tired all of the sudden.”

“Its okay, everyone will understand. Lets say goodbye and I’ll help ya’ get settled in bed. Ok?”

The two break away from the hug.

“Everyone, Oliver needs to take a break and get some rest. The activities of the day have zapped his energy.”

Oliver continues to lean on Kyle for support. 

Roxy hugs Oliver. “Take care of yourself. I hope we get to see each other soon.”

“Take care, Oliver. Feel better soon,” says Carlotta patting him on the back.

Barbara walks over to Oliver. “Is there anything I can do for you son? Anything at all.”

“You already have, Mom. You being here is the best. Thanks,”

Barbara kisses Oliver on the forehead. “Take care of yourself, son. Let me know if you need anything at all.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

Kyle leads Oliver to the bedroom.


Later that evening Oliver wakes up from a very deep sleep.

Kyle sits next to him on the bed reading a magazine.

“Hey. What time is it?” asks Oliver.

“Its almost 10.”

“AM or PM?” asks Oliver.

“PM, Oliver.”

“I slept that long?” asks Oliver.

“Its all good. I think ya’ needed the rest. You’re still recuperatin’, remember.”

Oliver looks up at Kyle. “I’m glad your still here.”

“Where else would I be?”

“I’m just happy you’re here.”

Kyle puts the magazine down and grabs a box off of the nightstand. “I have a surprise for you.”

Oliver slowly sits up still feeling a bit tired from the long sleep. “What is it?”

Kyle hands Oliver the box. “Open it and see.”

Oliver opens the box and sees two neck chains with two rings (similar to weddings rings) on the chains.

Kyle grabs one of the chains and places it around Oliver’s neck. “That looks great on you. These are the rings that I want us to someday give each other when we’ve decided that we’re ready to take the next step in our relationship. I hope you don’t mind me picking them out.”

Oliver grabs the other chain and ring out of the box. “Not at all. They’re beautiful and what a sweet gesture.” Oliver places the other chain and ring around Kyle’s neck.

“Whenever ya’ feel any doubt about us, Oliver, I want ya’ to look at and feel that ring around your neck. Think about how much we love each other. Think about how that love will be enough as we go forward buildin’ our lives together. When ya’ look at that I want ya’ to know that I’m with ya’ and that I’m not going anywhere again. We’re connected. These rings will serve as a reminder of that. Well unless you kick me to the curb.”

“You don’t have to worry about that. I’m not letting go of you this time. I already made that mistake once. I’ll not repeat it.”

“Good to hear, Oliver. Good to hear. Hey do ya’ want some pumpkin pie now?”

“That sounds great. I’m starving already even after all that food earlier.”

Kyle smiles. “I’ll be right back then.”

Oliver climbs out of bed and walks over to the mirror. He looks closely at the necklace through the reflection in the mirror. Was this for real? Did Kyle just commit to a future with him? He smiles to himself as he looks at the chain and ring around his neck.

Kyle returns with a tray and two slices of pie. He sets the tray down on a nearby dresser.

Oliver smiles as Kyle approaches from behind. They stare at their reflections in the mirror.

“This has been the best day ever. Thank you, Kyle.”

“Thank you, Oliver. Can we eat some pie now? I’m starvin’ too.”

Oliver smiles, turns and faces Kyle. He places his hand around Kyle’s neck. “Pie can wait. Oliver needs to taste some Kyle right now.” Oliver kisses Kyle. “That’s so much better than pie.” Kyle smiles and the two start passionately kissing.

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