What? No, don’t leave me on my own. Okay, keep it together… Fuck, what’s my name? Erm… John! No, that’s Ocala. Um… Maxxie! What? That’s your boyfriend, idiot. Your name’s… It’s…. Hadley! No, it’s not Hadley, that’s your brother. Wait, think about Hadley. Well, don’t think about Hadley. No, think about Hadley, it’ll help you remember your name. Er… “I never wanna see you again you fucking fag”…. “You don’t belong here, Cayden”. Cayden! That’s it!
Now that I’d remembered my name I figured it was about time I actually introduced myself. I cleared my throat and went for it, "I, uh, I'm Cayden... Cayden Smith"
"I know," he said with a grin, "Max told me you were coming over with him in one of those new-fangled e-mail thingies. They're great, aren't they?"
I laughed nervously. Why was I still nervous? The guy hadn’t given me the glare of death yet so I was doing something right, right? "Yeah. So, um..."
"Why're you so nervous?" he asked with a smile. One of those warm grandpa smiles, "I don't bite. it's okay."
"I don't know... I guess I was just worried you wouldn't like me" I said, rubbing the back of my neck. In case you hadn’t noticed, I tend to do that when I’m nervous.
"Is Max happy when he's around you?"
"Yeah. At least, I think so"
He flashed me that smile again. "And are you happy when you're with him?"
I smiled, more at myself than at Maxxie’s gramps. "Yeah"
"Then you had nothing to be worried about," he laughed, making me jump a little bit, "just don't do what his last boyfriend did to him, and I think you'll be safe,"
"I'd never do anything like that"
He smiled again. Damn, where was Maxxie? It doesn’t take that long to get coffee, does it? I tugged at the hem of my shirt nervously, trying to think of something to talk about.
"So... What was Maxxie like as a kid?"
"Cute," he laughed again, "forever falling over and grazing himself. He's probably still got the scars on his knees. You'll have to check that one."
I grinned, thinking of just when I could check him for scars. "I'll keep that in mind"
"There used to be a picture of him just as he'd fallen over, bawling his eyes out over a tiny scratch on his hand. He said it'd cut through the life line on his palm, and asked if he was gonna die."
"And you'll never let me forget it," Maxxie said, suddenly appearing with the coffee.
I laughed, still a little nervous for no apparent reason. "You dork"
"I know," he said, not exactly looking pleased.
"You weren't the brightest spark, Max, it has to be said," Maxxie’s gramps said, trying not to laugh.
"Thanks, granddad. I love you too."
I laughed and smiled at Maxxie. He passed Gramps and me our coffees before flopping down next to me on the couch.
"Even the one that didn't bother disowning me hates me," he scowled and Gramps chuckled.
"I think they call it tough love."
I giggled as I remembered something Maxxie did a little while back. "Didn't... Didn't you cut your finger at work the other day and sulk over it for the entire week?"
"...No. Not at all."
"No, I distinctly remember you coming home and making out like the world was gonna end"
Gramps grinned. "Always the drama queen."
Maxxie just kept on scowling and I threw my arm around his shoulders. He pulled his feet up onto the sofa and leant into the hug.
"Everyone hates me," he pouted.
"I don't know, dollface, I'm pretty sure I love you" I said, flashing him a warm smile.
"Dollface? You youngsters do come up with strange expressions," Gramps said, frowning thoughtfully.
I tried not to laugh at it. Why had I been so nervous? This guy’s fucking awesome. Maxxie smiled and Gramps waved a hand dismissively.
"So how'd you two meet?" he asked. Oh. That’s why I was nervous.
"Clubbing. I was a bit drunk and he helped me get home." Maxxie said before I could speak. Not that I would’ve known what to say anyway.
Gramps raised an eyebrow. "In other words, you were shit-faced and..." he turned his gaze to me, eyebrow still raised, "took care of him, hmm?"
I felt myself blush and let out a nervous chuckle. It’s hardly the best way to meet someone, is it?
"You should know better than to try and cover up stuff like that, Max," Gramps said, obviously trying to do the whole stern parental thing and really failing miserably, "I didn't need to be there to know what you got up to since Alex ran off," he paused and looked reminiscent, "reminds me of my friend from my army days."
Maxxie rolled his eyes. Something told me he knew every possible story Gramps could tell.
"Ah yeah, England doesn't have the whole 'don't ask, don't tell' thing going on, does it?"
"Depends where you are, I guess," Gramps shrugged, "I'd never have known he was gay if he didn't go out and do exactly the same thing. Minus the clubbing,"
"Maxxie never said you were in the army"
"I doubt he's ever said anything about me," Gramps laughed.
I laughed as well. "I pretty much have to bribe stuff out of him"
Gramps smiled "Since when did the drama queen get all secretive?"
Maxxie shrugged. "I never felt the need to mention that you were in the army. Apologies. Next time, I'll tell the whole world that you spent most of your service 'drinking and gambling'." He said, sending a sly smile Gramps’ way.
Gramps just glowered at him. "I did occasionally have to blow a few people up, y'know. Scarred me, that did."
"Where abouts were you stationed?"
"Just outside Hanoi," he said with a half smile.
"Any Aussie's out there?"
"A few," he nodded thoughtfully, "not sure if we ever spoke much, though. I stuck with the Americans, mostly."
I laughed. It sounded exactly like the time we went on holiday to America. Every single member of the family straight out refused to talk to any of the Americans unless we 100% had to. It was hilarious.
Maxxie’s face wore a look that said he’d heard the story that was about to follow at least fifty million times.
"Don't fall asleep on me, Max. If I'm not allowed to fall asleep in the middle of the day, neither are you." Gramps said.
I smiled and kissed Maxxie’s cheek. Well I can hardly full on make out with him in the same room as his gramps, can I?
Maxxie snuggled up against me. "It's not my fault you tell the same stories over and over."
Gramps sighed. "Would you rather I rant about your father again, then?" he flashed that warm grandpa smile again.
I leant my head against the top of Maxxie’s. Damn, I love him being shorter than me. Everyone else I’ve ever been with has either been taller or the same height. "I don't like the sound of your dad"
"No, it will always be a mystery why my daughter decided to marry him," Gramps seemed to scowl at the thought, "Though I s'pose something good did come out of it," he gestured at Maxxie whose face swiftly turned bright red.
"Something more than good came out of it" I said, flashing him a smile.
Okay, if I thought his face was red before then they need to invent a name for this. It almost looked like his cheeks were going to explode from the heat. And it looked adorable. I grinned and kissed his cheek again. Gramps turned his gaze to the ceiling and Maxxie full on kissed me. To say it was a little awkward would have been an understatement and I know I started blushing but kissed him back regardless. Maxxie went back to snuggling me and giggled as he addressed Gramps.
"You can look again, granddad,"
"Just because I had gay friends, doesn't mean I'm any more used to a public display of affection. Or whatever it is you young people call it these days." He grumbled.
"I don't know about here but back home they call it making out" I said, trying not to laugh.
Maxxie smiled. "We call it making out, too. Some people prefer to call it snogging, though," he giggled again.
"Snogging... That sounds shit with this accent"
"'Snogging' sounds shit in any accent."
"Stop swearing," Gramps said, scowling.
"Sorry" I said, trying not to laugh at the look on the old guy’s face.
"Fucking hell," Gramps frowned, "you already forgot about the hypocrisy rule, Max?" he shook his, pretending to be disappointed with his grandson.
I cocked my head to one side and gave Maxxie a confused look. Was that an English thing or something?
Maxxie rolled his eyes. "He's allowed to swear but we're not."
"Mmm. The old man sucks, alright," Maxxie grinned and instantly received a scowl from Gramps.
I let out a mischievous laugh and said "Yeah but sucks what?"
"Anything. I don't think many of those teeth are his." He giggled. "Can't help but wonder what he got up to while he spent all that time cooped up with a gay guy and a bottle of booze." Gramps’ scowl deepened and I laughed.
"Enough of that, you. I think teasing is gonna have to come under the hypocrisy rule."
I leant over and whispered in Maxxie’s ear "As long as I can still tease you"
"Oh ganging up on me, according to his rule, is totally acceptable."
"I meant a different kind of teasing" I chuckled.
"Maybe not here," he said, trying not to giggle as Gramps looked at the ceiling again, pretending not to hear.
"Is that an open invite for once we leave, hmm?"
"I think you know it is," he leant over, kissing me.
The urge to just go ahead and straddle him was weighing down on me but I settled for just kissing him back. The straddling could wait til later. "I think we're grossing your gramps out"
"Of course we are," he smiled and muttered in my ear, "I think I'm ready to go back now, but you're welcome to stay and be ranted at about Vietnam, if you like."
"Hmm, Vietnam or the chance to tease you for as long as I want... Which to choose?" I smirked.
He laughed then turned to Gramps who’s eyes had now left the ceiling, "I think we're gonna go, now. Lotsa... touristy stuff to go see. I'll come back and see you before I go, though."
"Touristy stuff? I didn't know your boyfriend's dick was a tourist spot," Gramps said, cracking a half smile, "if you don't come back, I'll call you when you get back and talk at you for hours." Maxxie stood up at that point and I followed suit, stretching my arms, "see ya, kids. Have fun. And for fuck's sake, use a condom."
"Will do, Gramps" I laughed.
"Cheeky beggar. Shoo."
I laughed again and walked outside, hand in hand with Maxxie.