Ethan stood in his kitchen, putting the finishing touches on dinner. Date night. That’s what this was. He’d had to go the extra mile to convince Beau that date night was much better spent at home. Although they’d been married for close to six months, Ethan still wasn’t all that interested in going out in public. It took time to break old habits and Ethan admittedly was still uncomfortable going out. Things had cooled significantly since their last incident at Moonshiners, but Ethan wasn’t one to push things.
With Beau at the gym, Ethan had opted to head home from work early so he could get dinner started. Tonight’s menu consisted of grilled chicken, baked asparagus and baked potatoes. Oh, and a grilled shrimp appetizer, one Ethan had learned was Beau’s favorite. As he flipped the chicken on the grill, he tossed out the plates and flipped on the backyard lights. The pool was lit up and looked incredibly inviting, especially considering the temps were still hovering in the nineties at seven o’clock. Not surprising for July in Texas.
The timer on the oven went off, and Ethan headed to the kitchen at the same time the front door opened. A grin tilted his lips – an automatic response anytime Beau walked through the door. There were still days Ethan couldn’t believe they’d made it this far or that life could be that good. But, Beau continued to ensure him that this was the way it was supposed to be.
“Hey,” Beau greeted, moving through the kitchen and coming to stand directly behind him.
When Beau’s big, warm hands gripped his shoulders, Ethan turned slightly toward him, still smiling. “Hungry?”
“Yeah,” Beau said, leaning in and kissing Ethan on the edge of his lips. “For something more than food though.”
Well, at least they were on the same page. But first things first. Dinner was finished, and Ethan was starving, so they’d just have to rein in those other hungers for the time being.
“You want me to get in the water?” Ethan asked Beau as they lounged on the sunny Hawaiian beach just outside of the small bungalow they’d been staying in for the last two days. Up to this point, the honeymoon had been phenomenal. And now, for some strange reason, Beau wanted Ethan to get in the water.
“What? You thought we’d spend all day in the sand?”
“Why the hell not? Sounds like a brilliant plan to me,” Ethan grumbled. He didn’t actually have an issue with getting in the water, but getting Beau riled up was turning out to be quite entertaining.
“Come on,” Beau growled, launching up from his spot in the sand beside Ethan.
Before Ethan could argue further, Beau grabbed his hand and practically dragged him from where he sat. In an effort to keep from face-planting, Ethan got his feet beneath him and gave in.
“You invited us over but didn’t think to have food?” Brendon grumbled as he moved into their parents’ living room.
Ethan didn’t bother to respond. At the moment, he was doing his best not to panic and run out of the house. So, worrying about whether Brendon was going to starve to death wasn’t high on his priority list.
“Chill, bro,” Sawyer added gruffly as he moved around the room and dropped into their father’s recliner. No one generally sat there except for Curtis, so Ethan had to figure his parents weren’t going to join the conversation. That was all right with him. The less the better in his opinion. And his six brothers were certainly enough at the moment. Considering he could see his mother moving around the kitchen and his father sitting at the kitchen table, he took solace in knowing they were there if he needed them.
Once everyone was seated, Ethan sucked in a deep breath, trying to form the words that he’d been rehearsing for the last twenty four hours, ever since he called his brothers to arrange this meeting.
“What’s up?” Travis asked, when he took a seat on the arm of the couch.
“I, uh,” Ethan began, still having a problem with words. His chest felt too small to contain his pounding heart and his throat felt a little too constricted.
Making this a formal event hadn’t been the brightest move on his part, now that he was facing all six of his brothers. Although Travis, Kaleb and Sawyer looked keenly interested in what he had to say, he fully expected Zane and the twins to give him shit. It’s what they did.
“Dude, you’re sweating,” Zane offered, reclining into the sofa as though he didn’t have a single care in the world.
Taking a deep breath, Ethan figured it was now or never. “I’m gay.”
Ok, so he hadn’t planned to say it quite like that. There should’ve been more words on either side of those two. A lot more.
“Well, we knew that,” Braydon added. “So, what’s the problem?”