Written By: LJ
Special thank you to Caleb for his assistance in developing these characters; it is greatly appreciated.
“Well, my dear, what do you think of the whole thing?” Jeremiah pondered as he and his partner, Micah, stood side by side, gazing up at the two portraits.
“You already know I don’t like other people in our home, but I just can’t seem to get rid of these guys. They must be hard-headed or something, not to take the hints I’ve been giving,” Micah resentfully protested. He had a tough time accepting change and sharing like this was just too much to ask. “At least our pictures are back where they belong.”
“Rather like turning a full circle, wouldn’t you say?” The older man smiled indulgently, secretly amused by his Brat’s disgruntlement.
“Yeah, right!” Micah muttered. “The portraits should never have been moved in the first place; too many special memories associated with the time they were painted.” He glanced up at his lover and reluctantly admitted. “Okay, we’ve had worse living in the house with us, but that doesn’t mean I’ve given up.”
“There will be no more of your shenanigans where this couple is concerned, my boy, or else.” Jeremiah sternly frowned down at the object of his disapproval. “Apparently, I failed to clarify my abhorrence of such behaviour when we discussed it not more than a week ago.” He placed a proprietary hand on Micah’s backside to emphasize his point.
Micah shifted impatiently to dislodge the big hand resting on his rear end. “You got your message across quite well, thank you very much, Jeremiah, but that doesn’t mean I have to like sharing the home we built together.” He blinked back the tears threatening to fall. God, he hated being so emotional and had hoped in time to overcome what he perceived to be a weakness on his part. But such had not been the case. Even in death, his emotions continued to play havoc with him. He wrapped his arms around the older man, leaned heavily against his partner’s massive chest and sighed. “All right, even though I might try harder to follow your directive, I’m not making any promises.” He crossed his fingers behind Jeremiah’s back.
“These two men are not the first to share our home and make use of what we have always consider our bedroom, Sweetheart, and in all likelihood will not be the last.” The ex-sea captain placed strong arms about his lover’s shoulders and drew him closer to tenderly kiss Micah’s trembling lips. “There is no need to get work up over it.” He softly whispered the admonishment as he gazed into shimmering eyes; radiant, blue eyes that reminded him of the sea when the sun sparkled across its’ waves. The sea they had left behind so many years ago. It was their mutual love of the vast oceans that brought them together in the spring of 1892, when Micah had stolen aboard the ship Jeremiah was serving on. Although only twenty, Jeremiah’s size and aptitude had rapidly earned him a position of rank and this meeting had taken place on his initial voyage as First Mate.
“We built this house in 1905 and have lived here ever since.” Jeremiah paused to get control of his emotions as memories of his death so quickly followed by Micah’s, assailed him. “And while I will admit to preferring we’d had more than ten of those years in the flesh, the rest haven’t been all that bad. Besides, until now we’ve only had to share our home with two other families, covering a combined total of little more than thirty years. And, my boy, if memory serves me right, you seemed to have found a great deal of entertainment in trying to get rid of them.”
Micah returned the kiss before standing back a bit to look up at Jeremiah. “Yes; and great was the taste of sweet success each time we had finally seen the last of them.” He chuckled in amused remembrance and once again embraced his lover.
“Of course, Mr. Delaney’s need to go further afield in hopes of finding a better job, had nothing do with their move,” Jeremiah dryly commented.
“Sure, burst my bubble!” Micah pouted in contrived annoyance. “But in all honesty, I too consider those years we had here while still alive some of the best! If only there could have been more,” he murmured dreamily. “Remember when we first met? I was terrified until I discovered what a big softy you were,” he teased.
“Of course I remember well the day we met. At the time, I wonder what horrendous crime I had committed to end up with an obnoxious, twelve-year-old stowaway on my hands; one who had a fondness for not only misrepresenting the truth but also for kicking.” Jeremiah smiled at the piqued expression covering his Brat’s face. ‘At least he has the good grace to blush,’ the older man thought.
“Now in regards to the Delaney children who fair drove you around the bend, they were mere babies when their parent bought this house. A house, I might add that had seemingly stood empty for almost ten years. It was the moving of our portraits that infuriated you most. And to think, it only took you five years to see the last of them. Rather tenacious, weren’t they?”
“Yeah, I fretted about never getting rid of them,” Micah grumbled while secretly admitting that the two kids had also been getting under his skin in a good way too. His eyes glazed over as he let his thoughts wander back in time.
He had been born the second son of a wealthy landowner and had known from a very young age that his older brother would inherit everything. He could still summon forth memories of his father badgering him about his future and that as the second son of landed gentry this meant preparing for a Royal commission in the military. Only twelve at the time, Micah believed he had a year or two left before having to make his own way in life, so he was unprepared for the sudden pressure to make plans.
He hadn’t wanted to go into either the army or the navy. After thinking things through as best he could, Micah decided to run away and steal aboard a ship. Living on the outskirts of a major city in England, this would not be such a hard thing to accomplish. Many times in the past, his uncle had taken him to the docks in London. Though the hustle and bustle was overwhelming, the sights never failed to hold him spellbound. Even the noise and smells had not dampened his enthusiasm.
Micah had always felt close to his Uncle Robert, who was also a second son and as such had resigned himself to a life as a naval officer. Robert had never married, but it was only years later that the significance behind his single status finally dawned on his nephew. Micah would forever be grateful for the man who had introduced him to this wonderful new world.
Plans made and his bag packed, Micah said goodbye to the life he’d known. He headed into the city and to the docks where he knew the vessel he sought would be berthed. The Seawinds was a clipper with a sharply raked stern, a counter stern and a square rig. He had seen the ship just a couple of weeks past when on another visit to the docks with his uncle, and fallen in love with her. The ship had sailed into London over a month ago but would soon be returning to Boston. Micah wanted to see the world and most especially to see what America was like.
He strolled along the massive wharf, mesmerised by the size of the ships, the activity, and the people, and easily got caught up in the excitement of the adventure. He eventually found the Seawinds and stood gazing at one of the few remaining clipper ships still sailing the trade routes; her four masts reaching towards the heavens. ‘What a beauty she is,’ he thought, willing to bet she could do eighteen to twenty knots on a good day. Soon he was to learn how fortunate he had been as this was the Seawinds’ final voyage to England’s shores; the majority of clippers having been steadily replaced by steamships.
Under cover of darkness, he crept aboard and hid in one of the covered lifeboats. The next day, just as his homeland dipped beyond the horizon, his hiding place was discovered; and by none other than the First Mate. Unceremoniously hauled onto the deck of the ship, he found himself facing a rather formidable large man who looked far from happy. Clutching his meagre collection of personal belongings to his chest, he boldly glared back as he fought desperately to hide his fear.
Not a word was exchanged and in short order he found himself being dragged, struggling and kicking, to what would prove to be the Captain’s quarters. A hard hand walloping against the seat of his trousers put paid to his attempts to break free.
The Captain turned out to be a mild-manner sort, who didn’t appear the slightest bit perturb at having his dinner interrupted. Or so it seemed. Micah was to learn differently. Captain Davis was an experienced man of the sea and although a very fair man, he could also be extremely stern when the occasion called for it.
“How old are you, son?” Captain Davis had calmly demanded.
“Thirteen, Sir!” Micah lied without hesitation.
“Is this your first time at sea?”
“Yes, Sir; I’d like to become a seaman and I’m willing to do anything necessary to learn the trade.”
Captain Davis nodded to himself as he wiped his hands and mouth on a napkin before saying, “Go along with Jeremiah here. He will show you where to bunk and get you kitted.”
And just like that Micah became a cabin boy, and one of thirty crewmen and officers. Although his job consisted mostly of serving the Captain, it was the First Mate he would answer to. It was hard work but he was happy and soon the sea became his life.
Micah slowly drifted back to the present, his mind beginning to conger up ideas for once again ridding their home of the uninvited. He looked up to see Jeremiah gently smiling down at him.
“Your mind seems to be going full steam ahead, Micah. I trust it is overflowing with gentle memories of our past and not running amuck with plans to cause mayhem for these new homeowners, as that would amount to deliberate disobedience, would it not?” It was a rhetorical question and Jeremiah didn’t expect an answer. If there was one person he knew well, it was his Brat. Their years together had forged a bond others seldom experienced.
He smiled as he tightened his arms around the slender body of his lover and thought back to that fateful day a hundred and fifteen years ago. He hadn’t realized at the time what a blessing it would turn out to be when their cabin boy, due to an overwhelming bout of homesickness, had failed to return to the ship. Micah’s devious advent quickly solved the problem and put an end to the cook’s exaggerated grumbling about already having enough to do without having to wait hand and foot on the captain.
Jeremiah was always quick to admit how readily Micah had taken to a life at sea and how hard the boy could work to meet all the expectations put upon him, providing he felt like it of course. Concentrating on remembering only the good times, he deliberately put out of his mind the boy’s penchant to be dangerously adventurous, extremely pig-headed and not at all opposed to being insolent and defiant by times.
Truth be told, Jeremiah was proud of his partner; a man who steadily rose in the ranks to eventually become First Mate to Jeremiah when the older man acquired his own ship. By then the company had traded in the entire fleet for steamships. In total, these two men had travelled the world together for over thirteen years until an accident changed their lives forever.
Dropping a gentle kiss on Micah’s light brown hair, Jeremiah softly suggestion they sit down. He limping over to the large over-stuffed sofa and lowered himself onto the comfortable settee, relieved to have the weight off his injured leg. Then he tugged Micah down to cuddle against him.
Micah tenderly gazed into his lover’s face and spotting a line or two of pain near the older man’s eyes, reached up to gently trace them with his fingertips. This larger-than-life man who often suffered in silence the reoccurring bouts of anguish caused by wounds of old; this man who, when Micah was but a fledgling seaman, had become his mentor, his hero, his world.
The younger man thought back to the look of chagrin that had crossed Jeremiah’s handsome face when a troublesome trespasser had been given into his kind care and keeping, and chuckled. He still found humour in the long-past incident.
Nestling against Jeremiah’s right side, Micah recalled with fondness what to him at the time were life-changing events: of Jeremiah literally teaching him the ropes, of Jeremiah caring for him during several days of seasickness, of Jeremiah putting up a hammock in his personal quarters for Micah to sleep in, and of Jeremiah rescuing him on numerous occasions when his unbridled curiosity got the better of him.
It was during the second night out to sea when Jeremiah found him sleeping in the crawl space below the stairs. Micah had been afraid to sleep in the bunk assigned to him as he was wary of spending the nights with the rest of the crew. Jeremiah had taken the frightened boy to a small room which Micah soon learned was one of two belonging to the First and Second Mates. Micah had slept the night through, curled up against the bigger man’s back. The next night, he discovered the hammock hanging, thus becoming his bed for the duration of the trip.
Then there was the time just over a week after coming on-board, when the foolish lad had dared to climb the mast only to realize he was unable to get down on his own and didn’t trust any of the men to assist him. Jeremiah had scaled the ropes in a matter of seconds and within minutes had him back on deck. Micah cringed slightly at the memory of what happened next. A rather pissed-off First Mate had whaled the tar out of a very wayward cabin boy; one whom would repeatedly over the years find himself in what would become a very familiar and painful position.
Reminiscences came to mind of standing by the bow of the ship, seawater spraying over his face and the wind blowing through his shoulder-length hair. Micah loved watching Jeremiah at the wheel, his muscular legs sturdily spread to keep his balance and powerful hands competently keeping the ship on course. At six-foot-four, the man towered over everyone else on the ship and Micah was enthralled by the sight of him.
“Get below, boy!” Jeremiah had bellowed over the din of the fast approaching storm.
“But I like it here!” Micah had hollered back, staying rooted to the spot.
“You’ll not like a huge wave washing you overboard,” Jeremiah had pointed out before hauling the boy over to stand between him and the wheel, thus protecting him against the elements.
Micah recalled having leaned back contentedly against the other man, relishing the warmth provided by the much larger body enveloping his smaller one. He sighed deeply as that particular memory assailed him. Times of him and Jeremiah standing along; feelings of it being just the two of them against the world were the happiest for him. He really didn’t want it to change. He was stirred from his musings by the light snoring of his partner.
“Ah-ha,” Micah softly exclaimed, rubbing his hands together as he slowly pushed himself up off the sofa. He took care not to disturb the sleeping giant. “It’s a perfect time to see what I can do to cause a bother for these trespassers who have invaded our home.”
A short time later, Jeremiah bolted upright, startled out of his restful repose. A snarling, hissing cat flew by his feet, obviously in pursuit of something. He could hear raised voices and then a piercing screech from the kitchen. He gave out a growl of frustration and got to his feet. He strongly suspected his Brat of being behind this latest disturbance and had every intention of getting to the bottom of it.
He found Micah standing in the hall with an expression of pure delight animating his beautiful face. Grabbing the young man by the arm, Jeremiah firmly steered him up the stairs and into the spare bedroom.
Pointing to the bed, Jeremiah indicated Micah take a seat. “Well, what mischief have you been up to now?” he demanded as he glared down at the unrepentant man, determined to wipe the smile off his Brat’s face.
“Ah, it was just a little field mouse; it somehow found its’ way into the house. Kind of sent the cat into frenzy and managed to give TJ quite a fright.” Micah chuckled with glee. So pleased was he with himself, he failed to take precautions to keep his self-satisfaction hidden.
After all these years, the speed at which his partner could move still caught Micah off guard. His laughter quickly turned to wails of dismay when he found himself face-down over Jeremiah’s hard thighs with a heavy hand expressing the older man’s displeasure on the seat of his trousers.
“You were clearly told not to interfere with these two men. I have never, nor will I ever tolerate deliberate disobedience and you know it.” Jeremiah stopped talking to pull down Micah’s trousers and concentrate on the task at hand; delivering a spanking that would not be forgotten anytime soon.
“S-sorry,” Micah hitched sometime later. “Just couldn’t help myself, Jer.” Peace momentarily reigned throughout the household and the men took it as a sign that the mouse was no longer running wild downstairs.
“Hmmm, that’s why I’m here, boy, as a control influencing,” Jeremiah softly chuckled at his Brat’s groan of contrived vexation. “It’s taken care of. Now go to sleep for a bit.” He made to rise from the bed where they had been cuddling.
“Where are you going? Aren’t you going to nap too?” Micah pouted.
“I was doing just that during your mouse hunting expedition.” The sternness behind Jeremiah’s frown was softened by the twinkle of amusement in his eyes. “I need only to stretch my leg some.”
“Please stay,” Micah tearfully pleaded, not wanting to be alone. He sighed contentedly a few minutes later when his Top spooned around him. “Talk to me,” he murmured.
“Hmmm, you may wish you hadn’t made that request,” Jeremiah teased, nibbling at the younger man’s neck.
“I’m listening though,” Micah insisted; his unshakable curiosity heightened.
“Just a bit of advice, my love; let it go. As I’ve said before, we will be around long after Glen and TJ have moved on, so stop putting yourself in painful situations.” With that, Jeremiah tenderly caressed his Brat’s sore bottom. “Others have come and gone, but we’re still here.”
Micah squirmed uncomfortably. The older man was right, but damn how he hated backing down. He had picked up the gauntlet, intent of ridding their home of its’ latest intruders, and throwing it aside would be so bloody hard. “I wish people would just leave us alone. The house is perfectly fine without a living soul in it,” he griped. “If it had to be sold for taxes, why couldn’t it have been to someone like the second couple who bought it? At least they were only here on weekends and a few weeks during the summer; until they died and those reprobate grandsons of theirs inherited it, that is.”
“You have to give credit where credit is due, Micah. The Frazier’s did a great deal of work on the old place; modernizing it, while at the same time renovating and restoring it to its’ former glory. Really, it never looked so good; until now that is.”
“If you’re trying to make me feel better, you’re failing miserable, old man.” Micah huffed and pulled the pillow over his head to drown out his partner’s hearty laughter. “Humph, it’s only because Edna and George Frazier needed a place to retire to,” he mumbled in disgruntlement to himself, determined to have the last word.
“If memory serves me, adapting to anything new has always been an issue with you,” Jeremiah pondered out loud and smiled down at the man in his arms. “When you found out the Seawinds was going into dry dock, you threw a tantrum the likes I had never seen before; although admittedly I’ve had the dubious privilege of witnessing more than I care to count since then. She was the very last of the company’s fleet and had served us well, out-living her expected two-decade lifespan thanks to a bit of luck and a first-rate skipper. We had to go to steam in order to remain viable, but even the new ship failed to pacify you.”
“I will always like the clipper best, because it is where I met you,” Micah softly murmured, his words clearly attesting to the sentimentalist he was. “It is the memories that make it so special, same as this home we built together. Besides, I warned you right from the first; the new vessel would bring us nothing but bad luck and it did. The only good thing to ever happen with that ship was you finally making captain.” The young man adamantly repeated a declaration he had made many times before.
“Warning, be damned. You had no way of knowing that turbine was going to malfunction and explode like it did. As sensitive as you are, my boy, you are not clairvoyant and could not possibly have foretold my being injured almost thirteen years before the fact.” Jeremiah gazed lovingly into his lover’s deep blue eyes. ‘I thank God daily it was I who was injured and not you, my beloved.’ The ex-captain’s silent prays of thanks never went unheard.
Micah grinned at his partner’s rebuttal before sighing contentedly and drifting off to sleep. He stirred slightly as dreams of long gone days filtered through his unconsciousness.
It was his eighteenth birthday and Micah had returned to the ship earlier than originally planned. The majority of the crew had decided to take him out on the town but Jeremiah’s decision to remain on-board had put a major damper on the festivities as far as Micah was concerned and he was definitely put out by his mentor’s absence.
He stood outside the captain’s quarters, sullenly contemplating his next move. He wanted so badly to give the door a good kick, but knew what that would earn him. Some of his comrades had attempted to sooth his ruffled feathers by reminding him that Jeremiah really did care about him; however, Micah was not in the mood to accept their consolation.
Although there was one reminder he was unable to refute and that was how protective the older man had always been of him. At eighteen, Micah normally should have had numerous sexual encounters with the likelihood of many being far from pleasant, but such was not the case; Micah was still untouched. Why, because Jeremiah had stepped in and interfered on more than one occasion.
The young man shuddered as one particular incident came to mind. He could still picture the drunken seaman cornering him in the ship’s hold; the rancid stench of an unwashed body and putrid breath turning his stomach. Fortunately, Jeremiah had heard his calls for help. Micah later learned his attacker had been taken ashore a small island, where he was left to lick the wounds inflicted by the captain and to fend for himself.
Suddenly the heavy wooden door in front of Micah opened to reveal the person he felt responsible for his disgruntlement.
“I was hoping you would weary of the festivities and return to me. I trust you enjoyed your dinner.”
The warm seductive voice washed over him as he was gently tugged into the room and over to a small table. Micah’s unhappiness instantly melted away and he contentedly surrendered to the calming influence the older man more often than not, seemed to have over him.
“Please be seated,” Jeremiah invited, smiling down at the surprised expression on the other man’s face. He poured two snifters of brandy and handed one to his guest. He raised his own in a salute. “Happy Birthday, Micah.”
Micah gulped down the drink and sputtered when the fiery liquid burned a path down his throat, causing his eyes to water. He blinked at Jeremiah’s unconcealed amusement as the older man’s rich laughter filled the room.
Setting the empty glasses on the table, Jeremiah drew Micah up and into his arms. “I’ve waited long enough for this night, my love,” he huskily whispered, slowly lowering his head until their lips met.
The kiss deepened and Micah’s mouth opened to allow Jeremiah access. He felt light-headed as he clung to the older man’s shirt. His chest tightened and his heart beat faster. He had dreamed of this moment for so long and found it impossible to contain the whimper that escaped when the kiss ended.
“I want to make love to you,” Jeremiah murmured, his warm brown eyes tenderly gazing into darkening blue ones as he waited hopefully for the younger man’s response.
“God, it has taken you long enough!” Micah reached up and grabbed a handful of black hair to pull Jeremiah’s head down until their lips met once again.
So enthralled was Micah by the feel and taste of the other man’s tongue in his mouth, he was oblivious to Jeremiah removing their clothing. Nor was he fully conscious of being slowly coaxed over to the captain’s bunk. It was only when he felt the cool sheets under him and Jeremiah’s naked body covering his that he became aware of where he was.
“Jer, I-I….” he panted.
“I know, my love. Breathe, relax, trust me….” Jeremiah soothed as he placed light kisses along Micah jaw-line and neck before returning to recapture his mouth. Large hands gently caressed a path down the younger man’s body as tongues duelled and heart rates soared.
Micah gasped when his genitals were firmly fondled and he lifted his hips in an attempt to grind his pulsating erection against Jeremiah’s stomach. He groaned his disappointment when Jeremiah released him to retrieve a jar from under the pillow. He watched spellbound as his lover unscrewed the lid and scooped out a generous amount of Vaseline before apply most to his own erection.
Jeremiah studied the wide-eyed expression of wonder on Micah’s beautiful face as he slowly slid first one well- lubricated finger, then a second and a third into the younger man’s body. He smiled with pleasure when Micah’s head rolled back and his eyes glazed over in reaction to having his prostate stimulated. When he felt Micah was ready, he removed his fingers, lifted Micah’s legs and placed them on his shoulders. He then slowly and tenderly made love, all the while quietly talking and letting Micah know what he was feeling.
Added to the new sensation of anal penetration for Micah was the familiar one of masturbation as a large hand closed around his throbbing arousal. They instinctively found the rhythm that worked best, reached the point of no return and then climaxed simultaneously. For a brief moment, Micah wondered if his cries of release had been heard by anyone on the dock and then decided he couldn’t care less.
In the aftermath, anything other than breathing proved impossible for Micah and he willingly gave himself up to Jeremiah’s tender ministrations. He soon found himself cleaned up and safely enclosed in his lover’s strong arms. For several minutes they softly caressed each other as brown eyes gazed lovingly into blue ones. A silent vow was exchanged; a vow that would be kept the rest of their lives. Micah fell asleep confident in his belief that he would dream of this night forever.
Micah woke to find Jeremiah standing by the bedroom window. He rolled off the bed, taking care not to let his still tender backside come in contact with the mattress. Walking up behind the older man, he leaned against the broad back and wrapped his arms around him. “What are you thinking about now, Jer? I know you are ‘cause I can smell something burning.”
Jeremiah turned and raised an eyebrow at his Brat’s choice of words but chose not to comment on them. “I have a couple of ideas on how we can deal with having new owners in our home.” He smiled when Micah cocked his head to one side and looked up inquiringly. “The first and easiest would be for us to accept this room as our own.”
“I don’t know if that will work,” Micah replied, shaking his head. “They’re expecting several guests next weekend, so where would that leave us?”
“Ah yes, the housewarming party,” Jeremiah nodded as he recalled the upcoming event.
“It’s gonna be a blast!” the younger man excited parroted what he’d overheard. “It just better not turn into one of those week-long, drunken, drugged-up fiascos the Frazier boys used to have.” He scowled at the memory and angrily muttered. “Why Edna and George ever left our home to their grandsons, I’ll never figure out. Bloody reprobates! Thank God, they ran out of money and had to put the place up for sale.” An evil grin quickly spread across his face and his eyes lit up. “But, I gotta admit it was great fun scamming them when they were pissed to the eyeballs.”
“Your manner of speech is beginning to leave a lot to be desired, my boy,” Jeremiah mildly scolded. “You are starting to watch too much television again.”
“Hey, Jeremiah, even dead guys need a little entertainment.”
“As long as you keep in mind that smoking is still forbidden. I did not allow it when you were a lad and I will not allow it now.”
“Yeah, but I don’t know why. I mean, it’s not like it can kill me.” Micah repeated an old argument even knowing he wouldn’t win. He smirked at stern expression on his Top’s face. “Just teasing you, Jer,” he laughed and reached up to plant a kiss on the older man’s lips. “What other option did you come up with?” he asked, thinking a change of subject might be the better part of valour.
“One involving our moving out of the house all together,” the ex-sea captain softly suggested and immediately held up his hand to ward off his Brat’s wail of disagreement. “It would afford each couple the privacy they need and deserve, my love.” He gently held his partner and rubbed his back in an attempt to placate him. “I learned that Glen has changed his mind about using the summer home as a showroom. He decided it was too far from the main road and has opted for renovating the loft over the garage.” Feeling Micah relaxing against him, Jeremiah continued. “I know it is a much smaller place than we have been accustomed to, baby, but with a bit of work it can be made rather cozy and may even provide the distance you require to stay out of trouble.”
“Kinda like a new beginning for just the two of us, huh?” Micah tearfully murmured. He knew Jeremiah’s plan made sense but moving on was easier said than done and he loathed adapting to new things. Coming to the conclusion he lacked the wherewithal to debate the issue further, Micah rested his head against his lover’s broad chest and listened to the other man’s ideas, letting Jeremiah’s deep voice engulf and console him.
“Come, my love,” Jeremiah invited, taking the other man’s smaller hand in his own larger one. “Let’s go check out our new abode.”
Micah momentarily dug in his heels. “I can still come visit, right? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t wanna miss that party.” He laughed contentedly and lightly punched Jeremiah on the arm when the older man teasingly chuckled before concurring.
Hand in hand they walked through the front door of the only home they had known for over a hundred years, both strongly believing they had left the house in capable hands.