Spark , Stone – Ch. 31


Chapter Thirty-One – Run, Baby, Run (But Then Come Back)

Aidan was at the foot of the stairs in a heartbeat. Crazy scenarios, like his mother attempting to kill Heathcliff by strangling him with a kitchen towel, were going through his mind. His mom, however, didn’t seem quite so bent on homicidal tendencies as the day before, but in sort of a shock, the number one reason why she was asking for her husband to come already and provide the necessary support.

Without wasting a moment to wait and see how that would unfold, once his mom would shake off the initial shock, and his dad would come downstairs, too, Aidan ran to the door, most probably breaking some world record for ground speed but hopefully, not an ankle, too.

He didn’t even look at Heathcliff, rushing by his mom, and just grabbing his unexpected visitor by one hand and pulling him into the race.

“Aidan!” his mom yelled after him.

Oh, great, the shock was wearing off.

“Run,” he said to Heathcliff and broke into a sprint.

“What? Why?” Heathcliff asked, but sped off to keep up with him.

“No time to explain! Just run!”

Aidan linked his hand tightly around Heathcliff’s and ran into the street, only to stop one inch from crashing into his neighbor, Mrs. Fitz.

“Hi, Mrs. Fitz,” he shouted. “Bye, Mrs. Fitz!” he added, as he maneuvered himself and Heathcliff around the neighbor’s walking frame.

“Bye, Aidan!” the octogenarian called after him. “Is that your boyfriend?”

“Not now, Mrs. Fitz!” he yelled over one shoulder. “I’ll tell you everything!”

“I’ll just ask your mother,” Mrs. Fitz’s words faded in the morning air as they continued to run.

The neighborhood seemed to be particularly animated at that hour, so Aidan continued to yell greetings and dodge questions as he pulled Heathcliff after him until they finally left the houses behind and ended up by the edge of a large pond, crashing on a bench, his usual favorite spot as a teenager.

They were both barely breathing, mostly him, actually, since Heathcliff didn’t appear that affected.

“Why on earth are we running?” Heathcliff asked, still obviously startled over Aidan’s sudden decision to trek the town like for a marathon.

Aidan waved and coughed, trying to regain his breathing. Heathcliff’s warm hand rested against his shoulder blades. “Take it slowly. Just in and out, and don’t try to talk for a while.”

He nodded and focused on his breathing. “Ah, damn!” he finally managed. “Why are you here? My mom must be sharpening her knives right now, and dad … Well, I guess he’s the more reasonable one, but don’t count on it that much.”

“Sharpening her knives?” Heathcliff asked, now clearly alarmed. “Aidan, what exactly did you tell them about me?”

Aidan turned toward Heathcliff. “Do you really have to ask? You’re some corporate lackey, and I didn’t even know it!”

“Corporate what? Hey, hey, let’s dial back a little,” Heathcliff said, frowning a bit, but without removing his hand from Aidan’s back.

The touch was comforting, and it shouldn’t have been. Aidan wanted to grind his teeth in frustration over that, but couldn’t. “I served you the opportunity to finish them off on a silver platter, and what did you do?”

“I chose to save you,” Heathcliff said matter-of-factly.

“Sure. I’m helpless, am I not?” Aidan said through his teeth.

“They wanted to accuse you of theft. Seriously, what were you thinking when you stole that folder?”

“Do you really have to ask? I was trying to save your reputation! It was frigging sinking!”

To his surprise, Heathcliff started laughing.

“Why the hell are you laughing? I’m pissed at you! Like royally pissed!” Aidan protested.

“You’re cute when you’re angry,” Heathcliff replied. “And you were awesome, doing that for me. Thank you for saving my reputation.”

“I didn’t save anything,” Aidan bristled, trying to ignore the warm fuzzy feeling in his chest upon hearing Heathcliff’s praise. “You just went and struck a deal with them.”

“Trust me, Aidan,” Heathcliff moved closer, “I had to swallow my pride and principles to do that. But you know what? It was all worth it because there was something more important in balance. It would have been tough to foil their attempts to drag you down, no matter how right you were.”

“But,” Aidan felt the need to protest, “the truth was worth it!”

Heathcliff sighed and took Aidan by the shoulders to pull him close. “What you did was remarkable. And a bit insane if I may add.”

“Great. And now I’m in for a lecture,” Aidan said with a roll of his eyes.

“No. No lecture,” Heathcliff promised. “Just hear me out. Yes, it was a bit insane, but also pretty heroic and knowing that you did it for me just topped everything. I won’t contradict you. Truth is important. But luckily, there was no one hurt. Had that been the case, they wouldn’t have gotten away so quickly. So I went there, decided to scare them good, and also to protect you. They had footage of you from the security cameras,” görükle escort he explained.

“Shit,” Aidan said. “I should have known about that. Maybe disable those first, but there was no time.”

Heathcliff chuckled. “Easy there, Tom Cruise.”

“You’re making fun of me.” Aidan crossed his arms over his chest and pouted.

“Maybe a little. Forgive me; you’re just so easy to tease that I can’t help it. Now it’s my turn to ask. Why did you run away from me like that?”

Aidan could feel himself blushing to the tip of his ears. “Because,” he said defiantly.

“There should be a phrase or a statement of some sort after that word,” Heathcliff said with a small laugh.

“I don’t want to be the one who’s always cared for,” Aidan said quietly.

Heathcliff leaned in to hear him. “Is this about your parents? That all helicopter parenting thing?”

“You don’t know them,” Aidan said with a deep sigh. “If it were for them, right now I would play dungeon and dragons with a guy who’s definitely not gay.”

“That made little to no sense, but do go on. I realize I haven’t done much listening since the beginning of our relationship, and I do want to start now.”

“Never mind. The point is, they want me to be safe. And I don’t want to be safe. Ugh, that came out wrong. I want to be able to take risks and prove myself. Is that too much to ask?”

“Not to me,” Heathcliff said right away. “I can’t help it when you’re this cute. I want to keep you safe, but I want you to be happy, too. Do you think we could work around that and find some middle ground?”

The feeling of warmth from where Heathcliff was holding his hand on him was now spreading. Aidan wanted nothing more but to melt into that touch, turn and kiss Heathcliff. “Oh, shit,” he stopped himself in time.

Heathcliff was still half-way to kiss him, too, but stopped, surprised. “What?”

“My mom still wants to kill you. I bet,” Aidan said.

“Seriously, what did you tell them about me?” Heathcliff’s eyebrows knitted into a frown.

“Just that you handed me my promotion and that you bowed to the corporate gods,” Aidan replied promptly. “The rest, I swear, whatever you hear them saying, it’s all because of what they read on their own online.”

Heathcliff took one deep breath. “It’s all right. I think I can handle your mom. But let’s deal with that a bit later. I want to show you something.”

Aidan watched Heathcliff as the guy fiddled with his phone and after a while handed it to him. Taking it, Aidan stole a look at Heathcliff, surprised with the serious expression on his handsome face. Then, he stared into the phone, and his eyes grew wide. “What’s this?” he eventually managed to ask.

“I thought about what you told me about building a business and everything. And about how much you like cool stationery,” Heathcliff added with a small laugh. “Plus, what could be riskier than this? So, what do you say?”

“Spark & Stone?” Aidan asked, still staring at the screen and not quite believing what he was looking at.

“Yes. I want you to be my partner. I hope you don’t have other engagements. Don’t you want to give it a try? You have all these awesome ideas which I don’t.”

“But partner?” Aidan asked again. “Heath, I have no money. Hell, I’m not even broke. I have debts to pay.”

“Well, I suppose it will be easier to repay it from your share of the profit, then. Plus, it should serve as a good incentive to work hard and make us money.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Aidan murmured.

His head was spinning, and his heart …, well, his heart was doing whatever it wanted at this point.

“Are you worried that I’m going to keep you like a wilting flower in a vase?” Heathcliff joked. “Hah, tough luck. You’re the one who’ll work harder of us two; I’m sure of it. I’ll be there to look pretty and smile while holding whatever we’ll be selling. I will be the lazy one while you work your ass off.”

“You, lazy, pff,” Aidan said. “Heath, this is … I mean, we’re not even together anymore, right?”

Heathcliff’s smile faded. Then he suddenly grabbed Aidan, making him turn and pushing him into the wooden bench. Aidan just whimpered in surprise as their lips connected, and surrendered when Heathcliff’s deft tongue pushed past and began giving his a passionate and aggressive massage.

He pulled himself with some difficulty from the kiss. “Wow,” he whispered.

“Do you still need another proof that we’re together?” Heathcliff asked and kissed him deeply again.

It felt so good Aidan forgot for a moment that anyone could see them there. “Wait,” he said, and wrapped his arms quickly around Heathcliff’s neck, seeing his boyfriend frown again. “Somebody could see us and tell mom.”

“She must be really scary,” Heathcliff said. “Hey, I missed you, bunny boy.”

Their foreheads touched. “I missed you, too, Heath. I can’t believe this,” Aidan whispered. “How come no Calvin Klein underwear models are crowding your bed right now?”

Heathcliff threw bursa escort bayan him a strange look. “What’s with this obsession with Calvin Klein underwear models? Both you and Isabel -“

“Ah, the traitor!” Aidan said with a huff. “You’re such an awesome kisser that I totally forgot to ask you how you found me!”

“Don’t blame her. Blame my irresistible charm,” Heathcliff said with self-importance and then laughed. “Seriously, did you really think I’d be with some other people? And why, for the love of all that’s holy, underwear models?”

“That was just Isabel putting stupid ideas in my head,” Aidan replied quickly.

“She’s awesome, your bestie. And please, don’t be hard on her. I really had to work to convince her to give me your parents’ address. Do you have any idea, whatsoever, how I felt after you disappeared from my life like that?”

Aidan swallowed hard, closed his eyes, and then opened them to stare at Heathcliff. His boyfriend seemed serious, no longer smiling. “Do you really mean it?” he said quietly. “I thought you would forget about me.”

“Forget about you? You’re sort of a tough act to follow, bunny boy,” Heathcliff said and regained his smile. “Plus, where would I find someone so bent on risky behavior like you? My protection instinct needs a proper challenge.”

“You’re making fun of me again,” Aidan said, but he couldn’t be upset anymore.

“Only because I love you. C’mon. I’m ready to face your parents.”

“I’m not,” Aidan said quickly. “Damn, what am I going to tell them now?”

“Just the truth.”

“Which is?” Aidan asked.

“That you love me and you want to come back with me.”

“Ah, that truth. I can handle that,” he said. “The part where they start grilling me will be tough. And that’s because I told them I was over you when I wasn’t.”

“And?” Heathcliff asked, the same gorgeous smile lighting up his face. “Do you need me to enumerate some reasons why you love me?”

“So full of yourself,” Aidan said and rolled his eyes. “No, you won’t talk. Promise me you’ll be silent.”

“Hey, I think I know how not to let my mouth run -“

“Hush, promise me. My mom is an alien. She’ll know all the things that you try to keep hidden, and that will not make a good topic of conversation with parents present.”

“Bunny boy, are you having some impure thoughts?” Heathcliff teased him.

“You’re the one with the impure thoughts! Who knows what my mom will make you say? You can’t lie to her!”

“Aidan, you worry too much. I will know what to say to her. Will you trust me a little?”

There was something guarded in how Heathcliff said those words. Aidan nodded. “I will, and I do trust you. They’re my parents, and they have a way of asking uncomfortable questions. I’m used to them, but who knows what you might think?”

“Are you now worried that I might be the one not to like them?” Heathcliff asked.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Aidan admitted with a sigh. “Now I have to start by thinking up a proper apology for how we ran away.”

“That was quite surprising, I must say. Not that I regret it,” Heathcliff said. “I thought I would have to endure at least a few long hours until I could do this,” he added and pressed his lips against Aidan’s again.

Aidan closed his eyes and opened his mouth, to allow Heathcliff to kiss him thoroughly. It was like the last days hadn’t even happened. There was something so familiar and comforting in how Heathcliff was holding him that he could forget, for a little while, about the lecture they would both be in for once they got back.

Unfortunately, that little while had to be little, indeed. With great reluctance, he pulled himself from the kiss. “We need to head back. With each minute passing, my mother is surely inching closer to the phone to call the police.”

Heathcliff laughed. “You’re joking, right?”

“Half-joking, maybe,” Aidan admitted.

Well, that was that. Just that morning, he had gotten out of bed, feeling utterly depressed and with no high hopes in life. Now, as Heathcliff pulled him up and held his hand, he felt like a totally different person. He was happy, he realized, as he stared into Heathcliff’s eyes, and as much as it was strange, it was the simple truth.


“I apologize for not introducing myself properly earlier, Mrs. Spark,” Heathcliff said smoothly, as soon as they entered the house.

Aidan felt the need to take a step back and hide behind Heathcliff, and then he realized that he wasn’t truly scared. His mom and dad had never really made him feel afraid, but maybe embarrassed and that still counted.

“It’s not like you need that much of an introduction, young man,” his mom replied promptly.

Aidan opened his mouth to say something, but his mom didn’t let him. She walked over to them and took Heathcliff’s cheeks into her hands. “You truly are handsome. No wonder my little pumpkin would fall for you.”

Aidan felt his jaw going slack on its own accord. “Wait, wait, wait,” he intervened. “Who are you, bursa escort and where is my real mom?”

“Aidan,” his mom said gently and moved her attention from Heathcliff only to caress his cheek. “Your father and I had a very long talk. Now, come, let’s have some hot chocolate together.”

Aidan threw a confused look toward Heathcliff but followed his mom into the living room. His dad seemed completely relaxed, still dressed in his good clothes, and reading the newspaper, which was something he liked doing every day. He stood up and came to offer his hand to Heathcliff, with a big smile on his face. “Ah, and this is the young man for whom Aidan chose to threw all caution to the wind.”

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, sir,” Heathcliff replied and shook the other’s hand vigorously.

“We were actually expecting the police, so we are more than pleased with this visit, instead.”

“The police?” Aidan asked, alarmed.

His dad turned toward him. “We are really worried about what you did, Aidan, and just didn’t want you to worry.”

“There’s no need to worry, Mr. Spark,” Heathcliff intervened. “That issue was taken care of, already. No one will come to bother Aidan.”

“Ah, that’s good,” his dad’s face lit up. “Did you hear that, Marianne? No one’s coming after our boy.”

“You two didn’t say a word about worrying about this,” Aidan said.

“We were surprised to hear what you did since we taught you to be safe all the time. But we were also proud of you. We are always proud of you,” his dad added.

They were quickly ushered by his mom to take their seats. Aidan still felt like he had walked into a different reality. “Dad,” he leaned over the table, “is mom secretly sharpening her knives as we speak?”

“Now, now, Aidan, you’re scaring our guest for no reason. And why would your mom sharpen her knives? Her tongue is sharp enough, as I well know it,” his dad said with a small laugh.

He chose not to tempt his luck. Everything was going smoothly so far. Then his mom served them hot chocolate and cookies, and, of course, the going smoothly part ended.

“So, Heathcliff, what plans do you have regarding our Aidan?” she asked directly.

“I have just invited him to join me in a new enterprise. Success is not guaranteed, but we both plan to work hard,” Heathcliff answered promptly.

“Aidan is a very hard worker,” his mom said. “But that isn’t my main concern. You have quite a colorful experience, young man.”

And then his mom gave Heathcliff the look, the one that basically said ‘don’t dare to lie to me or else’. Aidan feared for his boyfriend, but there wasn’t much he could do to save him now. Whether he liked it or not, Heathcliff was on his own.

“That was before Aidan,” Heathcliff replied right away. “It all changed when I met the right one for me.”

Aidan felt the warm and fuzzy feeling from when they were kissing on the bench returning in full force. But was it enough to convince his mom of Heathcliff’s good intentions?

“That remains to be seen,” his mom said, as expected. “People don’t change that easily.”

“Mrs. Spark,” Heathcliff said and reached over the table to take her hands into his, “I am very much in love with your son. I know how much you value his safety, and I am here to tell you that it will be my number one priority. And I want to thank you for raising such a wonderful man.”

Aidan’s eyes grew wide. Was his mom melting under Heathcliff’s gorgeous smile, or was he imagining things? Then Heathcliff’s words caught up with him. Safety? Number one priority?

“We’ve always looked after him so that he doesn’t get hurt,” his mom explained, her glare totally gone now from her features.

“But we are ready to pass on that responsibility,” his dad intervened. “We talked about it, Marianne, so don’t give me that look. Do you really want the boy to stay here with us and be bored out of his head?”

“I’m not bored,” Aidan protested.

“Yes, you are. Also, obviously missing your boyfriend,” his dad pointed out.

“I thought you two would be upset,” Aidan said softly.

His dad smiled. “The fact that Heathcliff came for you says a lot about his character. Unlike your mom, I’m not as suspicious. I want to know you first,” he added, addressing Heathcliff now. “Will you spend this weekend with us?”

“Sure,” Heathcliff replied. “As long as Mrs. Spark has nothing against that, of course.”

“Please, call me Marianne. And yes, of course, you are welcome to stay. In the guestroom,” she added quickly. “Not in Aidan’s bedroom.”

“Mom!” Aidan exclaimed.

“What?” His mom seemed surprised. “Your bed is too small for the two of you. There not enough room for -“


“Sleeping! What did you think I was going to say?” His mom glared at him now. “And it’s clear that you need to pull your mind out of the gutter. All the more reason for Heathcliff to sleep alone while under this roof. Of course, once you two are married -“

“Mom,” Aidan began gesticulating, “don’t use the M-word!”

“The M-word?” his mom inquired. “What do you mean?”

“We barely know each other! No one’s getting married!” Aidan tried to save the situation without giving away what Heathcliff thought of marriage. He had an inkling it wouldn’t sit well with his parents.

Bir cevap yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak.