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Friday, November 6, 2015

TLR Chapter 40

Four days later, on Tuesday morning, Tristan had finally moved in. Mutt and Adam had been very chatty and friendly, and they and Torren, who was still stinging from a spanking that morning and hadn't been in a very sociable mood, had placed Tristan's things where he wanted them before helping to set up his bed and inviting him to the restaurant for lunch.

"I have to go see Mr. Markham and then the doctor."  Tristan had said, nervously looking at his watch.

"It's just about noon now, Tristan," Mutt had said with a smile.  "They'll all be at lunch, either at the restaurant or gone home for an hour.  Don't worry."

"If it'll make ye feel more at ease I'll call Jeff and Heath to tell them where ye are." Adam offered, taking out his cell phone and dialing Jeff's number before Tristan could object.

"Excellent," Jeff had said, "We can make it a business lunch and get things rolling.  I know that Brendon is eager to have Tristan start as soon as possible.  I'll call James and Heath and we'll meet you at the restaurant."

The two men said their goodbyes and Adam relayed the information with a smile.  "See? So no worries.  Come an' have lunch like a human bein' and relax for a little."

The other three men looked very relaxed and even happy, even the one named Torren who had seemed rather sour at first.  He'd grinned at them and accepted their offer.


Brendon was busy in the bakery kitchen, harried as always this time of the day. He was issuing orders like a military commander to his helpers. "When is the new guy gonna get here." He groused as everyone scurried to complete the tasks that needed to be done.

"Two days," Vic reminded him for the fourth time. "Jeff said he'd need at least a day to settle in. What is your problem, man?"

Brendon only gave his assistant a look before turning back to what he had been doing.


James glanced at Jeff as their new employee entered the lodge restaurant and smiled. He went over and said, "I'm James Harrington owner of Teardrop Lake Resort. Welcome Tristan."  He held out his hand and Tristan nervously shook it.

"Hello, Mr. Harrington... I mean, James. Thank you. I'm pleased to finally be here." Tristan replied a little shyly as he released James's hand.

"And I'm Jeff Markham. Pleased to meet you, finally." Jeff said, also shaking Tristan's hand in greeting.  "Paul recommended you highly and our bakery has been shorthanded for a while now.  I know your boss is eager for you to start but you need some time to settle in. Don't forget, Mutt and the others here are happy to help you with anything you need done."

"Yeah," Mutt mock whispered, "We'll help, can't risk them getting their suits dirty."  He said, grinning at Jeff.

Jeff aimed a playful swat at his husband's backside with the blue accordion folder he'd been holding, which Mutt dodged, sticking out his tongue as he danced aside.

Tristan couldn't help but to smile. He'd loved it at the bakery he'd been working at, but here he knew there would be more need for his talents, and it would pay much better. So far everyone had been very friendly and he was very much at ease.  Paul, one of the men who had married and moved away from the resort, was a good friend of his and had called him immediately to tell him of the vacancy.  

"You'll fit right in," Paul had said.  "TLR is just what you need, brat." He'd joked. So Tristan had faxed his résumé in the same day.

"Yeah, from what I hear, Brendon's been chomping at the bit and driving everyone batty, asking when you're going to arrive." Torren said with a grin, pulling Tristan out of his thoughts.

Adam saw the fleeting expression of concern that crossed Tristan's face and he smiled at the new man. "Don'tcha worry, now. Ye've got the boss man's permission to settle in first before you have ta go ta work for the Demon Baker. Ye just settle in and get comfortable. Plenty a time before then."

"Oh yeah, call him the Demon Baker. Put our new friend here at ease, why don'tcha?" Mutt said with mock asperity. "He's not that bad," He continued, turning his attention back toward Tristan, "But he runs a tight kitchen. Just do your job and you'll get along fine. Plus things'll settle down more once James and Jeff here get off their respective rumps and hire another guy."  

"The only rump you need to worry about is yours." Jeff grinned. "So Tristan," He continued, looking at the young man, "James and I were just about to have lunch. If you're willing to make it a business lunch we can get the paperwork squared away and you can go with Heath to the infirmary afterward."

Tristan couldn't help the look of surprise on his face at the invitation. He didn't need to say what he was thinking. Mutt laughed and clapped the new guy on the shoulder. "Jeff is my husband, so we get special treatment." He joked.

He turned toward James and asked, "Are Heath and Jax coming too?"

James smiled. "I called Heath and Jax and they're on their way.  I'll call them and find out when they'll be here."

The phone call didn't take long and within minutes Heath with Jaxon using his crutches came through the door and joined the other men at the large table they'd managed to obtain.

James gave both Heath and Jax a kiss and a tight hug. "I'd like you both to meet our new baker helper, Tristan Kane."

Heath smiled. "Hello Tristan and welcome. I hope you'll like it here at TLR. We'll be looking forward to the goodies you might bake for the bakery."

"How are you at making strawberry rhubarb pies?" Jaxon asked innocently, which caused the resort residents to laugh, knowing the boy's addiction to that particular treat.

"Pumpkin, and pecan pies, year round." Mutt suggested.

"Death by Chocolate every night." Torren chimed in.

"Chocolate chocolate chip cookies with walnuts." Adam said, his mouth watering just thinking about them. 

"Whoa!" James said, smiling.  "Give the man a chance to relax and feel comfortable before you all start ordering things." He laughed.

Lunch was a fun affair with so many people there, and Tristan found another friend in Jaxon.  Over all he was very happy that he'd made the move to TLR and looked forward to working there, especially for such wonderful people as James and Jeff, and to be considered one of the gang so quickly by Mutt and the others.

It seemed as though the lunch hour went by too quickly, and then Mutt, Adam and Torren said their goodbyes. "We'll see ye soon." Adam had said, smacking Tristan lightly on the arm with the back of his hand.  "And don't forget those cookies!" he said in a stage whisper.

"I'll have to be going as well," James said.  "Jax, I'll drop you off at the bungalow before I go back to work."

After all but Jeff and Heath had gone, Jeff turned a smile toward the suddenly nervous looking Tristan. "It's alright, Tristan." He said, "We're just going to go over the paperwork and the nondisclosure agreement I told you about, and then Heath here is going to take you to the infirmary for a quick check up."

Heath smiled encouragingly and sat back while Jeff did a preliminary interview.   "Paul Wilkes recommended you highly, Tristan, he said you understood what TLR is about?"

"Yes, sir."  Tristan replied shyly.

"It says here you identify as a Brat?"

Tristan nodded then shrugged.  "I know Paul, and he always called me Brat, so... I guess... I mean..."

Jeff smiled again and patted the younger man's hand briefly.  "It's alright, there's nothing wrong with being a Brat.  Some of the best people on the resort are, and you've met several of them today."

Tristan gave another shy smile.  “I really liked them. I've liked everyone I've met today.  You've all made me feel so welcome and at home."

"I'm glad to hear that.  You are home.  After we finish up here, and you and Heath do your thing, head on back to your bungalow and try to get your things in as much order as you can. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it.  I told Brendon that you can start in two days, after you've had time to settle in."

"Thank you, Jeff," Tristan replied, signing off the last of the papers, the nervous expression back on his face for all to see.  "I will."

Jeff glanced at Heath.  It was quick but neither man had a problem interpreting it.

"You've been in a DP before, Tristan?"

"Yes, sir, a couple.  But they weren't... I mean, I'm not sure... I know that the idea of it is right for me but the men weren't..." Brendon, he thought. Aloud he said, "They weren't a good fit for me, I guess."

"We encourage all of our residents to attend as many of the courses that we offer as possible.  You'll learn a lot that you didn't know.  What you learn will help you to find out what is right for you."

"I will sir, thank you."  Tristan said

"Alright then. I think we're done here for the time being.  Make sure to call me, James or Heath if there is anything you need to talk about." Jeff said, leaving his questions unasked.

"Thank you, sir... Jeff.  I'm ready to go now, Heath." Tristan said quietly.  

Tristan followed Heath to the infirmary and endured the short exam.  It was the conversation afterward that he wasn't prepared for.

Heath held the infirmary door open for Tristan.  "Come on in Tristan and we can get started."  He led the young man back to one of the exam room.  "Remove your shirt and we can get started."

Tristan was reluctant to take his shirt off.  "Can't you just listen to my heartbeat and stuff over my shirt?"

Putting the stethoscope up to his ears the doctor answered, "I need to be able to hear your heart and lungs, Tristan.  Please remove your shirt." he said firmly.

Tristan slowly took his shirt off, trying to cover the old scars on his wrist and the inside of his forearm.

Having read his patient's file, Heath wasn't surprised to see the scars.  He gently checked Tristan vitals then picked up the damaged arm.   "Want to tell me about this, Tris?" he asked.

Tris shook his head. "Not really, it was just somethin' stupid."

"Tristan, I'm your doctor now and as such I need to know your full medical history." Heath stated.  "Now, let me rephrase the question.  Please explain these scars?"

Tristan blushed hotly.  "It was after a bad breakup.  I was really depressed. I... I started cutting." He admitted.  "It was a stupid thing to do.  I realized that after I started treatment and I stopped, but it was hard to stop.  And yeah, I did try to kill myself during a low, but I don't do that anymore.  I haven't done that since... that first time."

"Are you on any medication and if you are, are you taking them regularly?"

“Hang on, I have a list of meds, I just have to get them out of my wallet.” The boy answered.

Heath did a quick scan of the young man's torso confirming that he was telling the truth about not cutting his self again.

"Abilify, Lexapro... antidepressants and mood stabilizers mostly.  That should all be on my medical history...and...well..." He hesitated as he handed the card to the doctor.  "I almost always take my meds on time.  Sometimes I'm rushing or just forget, but I'm ok going without a day or two. Oh, and Seroquel to help me sleep."

Heath sighed, "It's important that you do take them regularly, Tris."   Heath handed the card back to the boy. 

"I don't forget very often.  It's not that big a deal." Tristan replied a little defensively.

"Did you take them this morning?" Heath asked, noticing the tremors in Tristan's hands.

Tristan had the grace to look embarrassed.  "No, I didn't.  I was rushing and I forgot to take them."

"I can understand you forgetting today, Tris.  New job and all." Heath agreed.

Tris glanced at the doctor, "I can go take them now."

"How about I walk you back to your place and you can talk them now?" Heath said.  "And then you can show me where you keep your meds in case there is ever a time you need help with them."

Tris nodded. "All right." He led Heath to his assigned bungalow and into the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. "Here's where I keep 'em."

The doctor looked over the bottles of pills.  Most would need refilled soon.  "I'll contact the local pharmacy and get the prescriptions transferred there.  Go ahead and get the pills you missed, Tris."

Tristan gave Heath a look that was just this side of dirty and began to open his pill bottles, taking out the recommended dosages and putting them into his hand.  "I'll need a glass to drink them down with." He said a little testily.

"Would it help you remember to take your meds if we set up a schedule.  Maybe I can call you to remind you to take them." Heath suggested.  "We want you to be happy here."

'I'd be happy if people would just leave me alone.' Tristan thought.  Aloud he said, "I suppose if I had one of those pill dispensers, I could fill it at the beginning of every week and take them every day."  He didn't want to admit that he needed help of any sort, though privately he thought that having Heath check on him or even dispense the meds daily would be helpful.

"That's a great idea.  We use one at our house." Heath agreed smiling.  "We can pick a couple up at the pharmacy.

"Kay then, I guess that's settled." Tristan said, happy that he was off the hook.  He felt the pills getting soggy in his hand and considered tossing them as soon as Heath wasn't looking.  After all, he felt fine.

"Let’s see how things go and if you find yourself forgetting I can still set a schedule to remind you to take them."  Heath stood watching Tristan.

Tristan flushed slightly.  He could feel the anger building in his chest but he didn't want to let on to Heath that he was right.  "Would you get me a glass so I can take my pills now?" He asked quietly, still thinking of flushing them as soon as Heath was gone.

"The doctor chuckled, "Those pills aren't going to do you any good in your hand, young man.  Let's go in the kitchen and find that glass.

Tristan tried unsuccessfully not to blush again at being seen through so easily.  He led Heath into the kitchen and got himself a glass of water.  Seeing that Heath was watching him, he grudgingly took the pills and swallowed them, showing Heath his empty mouth as he'd done at the hospital.

"Thank you, Tristan." Heath said.  "I'm not trying to be a hard ass but as a doctor I know that keeping to your schedule will insure that you don't relapse."

Tristan didn't want to admit that Heath was right but he didn't want to start off on the wrong foot with anyone here, especially since his job might depend on it.  "Thanks." He muttered.

The doctor leaned against the counter.  "We like you, Tris and we think once you get settled you will love TLR."

Tristan felt a little guilty for thinking the way he'd been, especially since Heath had been so kind to him.  "I already love it here."  He replied softly.  "I'm sorry if I was being a jerk."  He knew that as soon as his meds kicked in he'd be on a more even keel, and began to appreciate Heath's insistence that he take them.

"Apology accepted, young man."  Heath grinned.  “I wouldn't say you were being a jerk.  Just unsure of your surroundings and the people here." he explained.  "It's not all going to fit in place the first day."

Tristan smiled despite himself.  "Thanks, doc."

Heath watch this young man. He had instantly liked him when they first met.  Paul had told him about Tristan's history with Brendon and he hoped they could work something out.  Paul also said Tristan needed a firm hand.

"Your coloring is better, Tris, looks like the pills are kicking in."

The young man blushed slightly but smiled at the doctor.  "I feel better, thanks.  I don't realize how much they do for me until I haven't taken them for a couple of days.” 

"And yet you still fight taking them." Heath laughed.

“I guess having someone remind me wouldn't be such a bad idea." He admitted.

"I can and will help you in that department. Give me your schedule and I’ll work something out.”

Tristan grinned sheepishly.  "Thanks again, Doc.  I appreciate that."

'Good boy,." Heath said hugging Tris's shoulder.  "I guess I'll head back to the infirmary and you can get settled."

Tristan blushed happily.  It had been a long time since anyone had shown him affection of any sort, or had been supportive.  "Ok.  Thanks again.  I'll do better."

"I know you will." Heath assured him.  "You can call me or James and Jeff if you need help with anything."


Wednesday came all too soon and found a small group in the lodge just finishing the last meal they would share together for at least 6 months.  Stephen pushed back from the table and looked around at the circle of friends surrounding it.  He and Billy had spent a little more than a month at the resort.  Granted, with his accident, they hadn’t gotten to do everything they had planned but because of his fall they did have time to really relax and reconnect.  Coming together for their farewell lunch was almost a tradition. 

Suddenly James’s cell rang.  “Harrington,” He crisply answered.  The other men continued eating and talking as the resort owner stood and took a few steps for them. 

“It sure was great meeting you, Jaxon,” Stephen said to get the young man’s attention off of his older partner.

Jax blushed.  “Yeah, it was,” He agreed.  “I’m gunna miss my therapy session with you Billy.”

The young therapist laughed.  “I think we played more than we worked, but, I did enjoy it.  I’m hoping you are going to continue with the exercises.”

“Oh, he will continue them, Bill,” Heath interrupted.  “James and I will make sure of that.”

“And I’ll help him too,” Mutt added. 

“And I’ll make sure of that,” Jeff laughed as he finished the last bite of his lunch.

James came back to the table.  “Sorry, guys but I have to go over to the office.”  He stepped around the table to shake Stephen’s hand.  “Always look forward to your visits Stephen.  Have a safe trip home.”  He turned to Billy, “You take care of your man, Bill, and come back soon.”

“I will, James,” the young man said standing up and hugging the big man.  “Thanks for having us here again.”

“My pleasure, little one.”  James said returning the hug.

“See you two later,” he said leaning over to kiss first Jax then Heath.  He turned and left the lodge heading back to his office.

“I wish you could stay a couple more days,” Mutt said.

“We do too, Mutt, but we’ve been here longer than we planned, what with my accident,” Stephen explained, “we need a few days to get back to normal. And speaking of that, we better get going so we can get there before dark.”

“Yeah, Stephen’s letting me drive home and he’s afraid I’ll turn into a pumpkin or something if I drive in the dark.”

They all laughed and Billy’s husband tussled his hair.  “Come on Billy boy, let’s get going.”

“Let us know that you made it home safely, my friend,” Jeff ordered with a grin as he and Mutt walked their friends to their truck.


Sawyer and Jenson waited until the doctor came in to let them both know what the blood test showed. 

An hour later Sawyer and Jenson walked out with a pamphlet on ADHD and what kind medicines that will help Jenson. 

Heath had suggested that they make an appointment to see Dr. Davis when we get home as soon as possible. 

“Um, Sawyer.”

“Yes Jenson, is there something you want to say?” Sawyer answered. 

“I, ah, I'm sorry about earlier.”

“And?” Sawyer said.

“And that you be with me and help me deal with my disorder.”

“And?” Sawyer asked as he raised his left eyebrow and folded his arms.

Jenson thought about telling Sawyer that he hated doctors.   

“I, ah,” Jenson shrugging is shoulders. “I, um, I don't remember.”

Ok, since you can't remember, when we get back to our bungalow I want you find a corner and maybe that thought will come to you.”

As soon as Jenson was about to protest Sawyer's hand came crashing down with a hard swat to Jenson’s backside lifting him off the ground.

Arriving at home, Jenson knew by the look on Sawyer's face he was none to happy.

“Corner and hands on your head and stand still. I'm going to make our flight reservations for Friday for home while I cool off then we'll talk.” Sawyer ordered.

Meanwhile in the corner Jenson was thinking and feeling bad about how the day started as the tears started to fall.

“Jenson, come and sit.  Jenson, you ready to talk? We need to talk.” Sawyer asked his brat.

Nodding his head Jenson answered, “Yes, I'm ready.  I’m sorry.”

“Alright here's what you’re going to do. When we arrive home you will make an appointment with Dr. Davis and you'll keep the appointment.”  If I find out you cancelled, I'll make sure you won't be able to sit when you do go to see the doctor.  Is that clear?”

Jenson started to fidget and asked the question he dreaded to ask. “Umm, are you going to spa....spank?”  

“What do you think?”  Sawyer asked while never taking his eyes off Jenson.

Jenson couldn't stand the look Sawyer was giving him.  His head bent down looking at his feet and he wished the floor would open up and swallow him.

"Jenson, I'm waiting.” 

Getting up Jenson moved in front of Sawyer and looked up. With Jenson’s tears returning his hand went to his zipper.

Sawyer's eyes became softer and his hand went up to Jenson's and stopped him, and said, “Wise choice you made,” he said then moved Jenson’s hand away and pilled his zipper the rest of the way down.   Yanking down his jean shorts and underwear he pulled the younger man over his knee.

“Do you know why you’re getting a spanking? Sawyer demanded as he rubbed small circles on Jenson's back as to calm him and to let him know he is loved.

“Yes sir.”

“Good. You want to explain?”

“Sorry I gave you a hard time about going to the doctors and being a smart butt.” Jenson answered.   

“Good answer Jenson.  Now I'm going to give you six.”  With that said Sawyer laid the first swat hard enough that Jenson felt it and his hand went back to protect his behind.  Sawyer didn't wait for Jenson to move his hand and swatted a little harder than the first hitting his hand, butt until he moved his hand and continued spank until Jenson went limp. That’s when I knew he's learned his lesson.

He kept rubbing circles on his back until he was calm enough to lift him up to a sitting position. Jenson leaned in to Sawyer’s chest wiping tears and snot on his shirt.

“Jenson, do you understand why you got a spanking?”

“Yes sir, I do. I should be careful and take better care in my health.” He answered.

“Thank you babe,” Sawyer said giving his tired young man a hug and a kiss on his sweet lips, he turned him laying a softer swat to his behind.  “Go and wash up we're going to enjoy the last few days we have here on TLR.” 

Jenson didn't have to say a word it was all in his red eyes when he turned back around and gave Sawyer a crushing hug and smiled up at him.

“Go on my boy, get cleaned up.”


The day before Tristan was to begin work, there was a knock at his door.  He was happy to see Mutt and let the man in.  "Come on in and have a seat." He said with a smile.

Mutt sighed.  "I'm not sure you're going to want me to hang around, so I'll stand for now, Ok?"

"What's wrong?  Did I do something wrong?”

Mutt knew what the problem was and couldn't avoid the subject any more.

"How well did you know Paul?"

"I hung around with him and his fiancé at the local bars.  We'd hang out at my place sometimes." Tristan responded, slightly confused.

"How did you meet?"

"He saw my last boyfriend pushing me around. Being verbally abusive.  He and Theo stopped him, they told him to go take a hike.  If it had just been Paul I'm pretty sure Frank would have slugged him and then me, but since it was the two of them he backed off.  He said to me, 'I'll deal with you later.', and Paul said that he and Theo were going to go home with me and that if he was still there he'd call the cops on him.  When I got home Frank and all of his things were gone.  He'd trashed the place and taken everything of value, my stereo, CDs, the TV and DVD player I'd bought.  He and Theo helped me clean up.  They helped me track Frank down and were with me in court when I sued him for the damages and the theft of my stuff."

"So you got to be pretty good friends with them."


"And Paul told you about the resort?"

"What he could, yes."

"Did he ever mention the head baker to you when he told you about the job?"

Tristan, who had been becoming a little more nervous as the questioning went on, sat down at his kitchen table, swallowed hard and began to pick at an invisible spot on the table top.

"From what I understand, you and Brendon knew each other." Mutt pursued the issue.  "I figured from his attitude that whatever happened didn't end well between the two of you."

"How did you know? Did he say something?"   Tristan asked worriedly.

 "No, he didn't say a word.  It was what he didn't say that caught my attention."

"Mutt," Tristan said, nearing tears.   

"You knew who you were going to be working for.  I'm just guessing that if you didn't want to work with him you wouldn't have put your résumé in."

Tristan looked at Mutt, searching for some understanding.  "Yeah, I knew who I'd be working for.  I thought about not applying but..." he felt his irritation wearing off, "People change in ten years, you know?  I mean, are you the same person you were ten years ago?"

"No, no I'm not."  Mutt admitted.

"Neither am I.  I just hoped that if I could show that to Brendon... well... I hoped..."

"That you'd get back together again?"  Mutt asked kindly.

Tristan looked at Mutt uncertainly.  "I don't know.  Maybe.  Is... is he seeing anyone? Is he married?  I didn't... there was no way for me to know for sure unless I came here."

Mutt shook his head.  "No, he's not involved or married.  I've never seen him in a serious relationship with anyone."  

"See, even if we don't get back together again... even if he has no interest in me like that anymore... I'd like to make things up to him, and if all we end up being is friends, then that's fine with me too... but I needed the chance... to apologize, if he'll accept it... to explain things, perhaps.  But I don't know how receptive he'll be to anything that comes out of my mouth." He said sadly.

Mutt finally sat down across from the distraught young man.  "Just take your time.  Don't make any waves, you know?  Let him grow to trust you as a coworker, and then you can work on becoming friends.  If anything more than that happens, great, but you're going to have to go slow at first.  Got it?"

Tristan nodded, tears spilling down his cheeks despite his best efforts.  "Do you believe in second chances?  Do you believe that people deserve them?"  He asked sadly.

"I do, to both questions." Mutt replied quietly.  "Just don't try to rush anything.  If you push he'll push you away."

"I understand."  Tristan replied with a watery smile.

"So... are we cool?"  Mutt asked uncertainly.  He had to admit to himself that he'd been more than nosy in this instance but he didn't want Brendon hurt and couldn't sit by while a relative stranger caused him problems.


  1. I am in love with this series! I cannot wait for more chapters! congrats to the authors for an incredible job!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. We are glad you love the series, we do too. There'll well be more to the series. and We hope it won't disappoint.
      Thanks again.


  2. Antidepressants and mood stabilizers don't work instantaneously, they take time to build up in your system—weeks and sometimes even months.

    1. Right, and Tris has been on the meds for several years.
      Thanks for the comment.