“i’d never believe you if three years ago you told me we’d be here,” link said.
rhett studied the horizon. “but here we are, under a sky so blue, in malibu.”
jessie was making tacos in the kitchen, christy was just coming down the beach, the boys were off adventuring somewhere, and lilly was sitting in a blue and white beach chair, reading quietly by the ocean. rhett and link stood at the cliffs, gazing out at the waves.
link put his hands on the wooden fence, one on top of rhett’s. “sometimes i feel like i’m drowning, and you’re there to save me, and i want to thank you with all of my heart.”
rhett leaned in with a fond smile and kissed the top of his head. “it’s a brand new start. a dream come true.”
and that’s exactly what it was. two years ago, rhett, link, and their wives discovered something that had been true all along: that the four of them worked best as a unit, in every aspect of the relationship. it was weird, at first, to admit to feeling things they never thought they would have, but after a few nights of dinner and wine and no kids, they figured it out. and every night after that, it got a little easier, falling a little more in love. two fathers, two mothers, five children. a big, mythical family, now with no apprehension about who and where they were allowed to touch, which of their kids they could call their own.
that brought them here, taking two weeks off work to vacation at the beach. they were four days in and all that remained of the city were the clothes they brought, and even those now smelled like saltwater and sunshine. the sand went soft under their tired feet, horizon a beautiful purple-pink fade at the ocean’s edge, air as fresh as the californian coast itself, not a smudge of smog anywhere.
rhett put an arm ‘round link, his longtime companion and now, his husband, as he watched link’s wife christy cross down towards lilly. she was absolutely lovely in a pink bikini and sarong, blonde hair twisted into a loose braid. she swayed elegantly in the breeze as she met her daughter and put a hand on her shoulder. lilly looked up from her book, smiling, and rhett felt like a proud papa.
link shuffled in closer to him then, pushing his face against rhett’s neck. “thank you for bringing us here,” he said, hand trailing down the dip in rhett’s back.
rhett squeezed him, two kings against the orange sunset, ablaze in love. “it’s my pleasure, baby. a man’s gotta do right by his family, after all.”
below, the waves crashed white against the cliffside, so powerful rhett thought they might be unicorns. he held onto link tight, hand fitting just right at the cut of his waist. jessie called out from behind them that dinner was ready, and as if on cue, four wild boys came sprinting out of the hills. their laughter bubbled over the private beach then disappeared inside the cabana. as christy walked lilly back up the beach, rhett tipped link’s head to face him. he checked his eyes for any sign of fear, discomfort, or worry, yet found none, only peaceful contentment.
he pressed in and kissed link full on the mouth, enclosing him in his long arms and dipping him back. when they broke, link was pink-faced and smiling, and they headed off to dinner hand in hand, knowing full well that there was nothing, absolutely nothing, better than this.
and they were right.