“Apollo, where have you been?” His mother sobbed into his arms. “You’ve had everyone worried sick.”
“I’m sorry, I just…I had something to take care of.” Apollo looked for the right words to say.
“You should have told us! I’ve been keeping up a brave face for Lynette, but I’ve been crying myself to sleep. You can’t just disappear like that!” She wiped her eyes. “What exactly was so important?”
“I…I can’t tell you. I don’t want you to worry. Just know that everything is resolved now and I can finally live my life.”
“Apollo…” She wanted him to tell her. She had been worried sick for him, but instead she had dropped it. Apollo could have murdered someone and she’d still be there for him. If he really couldn’t say, then she wouldn’t push him. He’d tell her when the time was right. “If you can’t really tell me, then I’ll trust you anyway. You’re my son and you’ll always be number one in my life.”
“I missed you so damn much,” He hugged his mother tightly. ‘
“Come on in, it’s raining and I’m sure everyone would like to see you. First of all, I think you should see Lynette.”
Apollo nodded. “Mom…are my children beautiful?”
Leia nodded. “They’re the cutest little things. Three is a handful but you’ll love them.”
When Apollo found Lynette, she was leaned over one of the cribs cooing softly to one of the babies. “Who’s precious? You are!”
“Can I see them? Apollo asked, coming into the room.
“Apollo!?” Lynette’s eyes grew wide and she launched herself at the male. “Where the fuck have you been?”
“You’re going to hate this answer, but I can’t really tell you other than I got your brother back home to Twinbrook.”
“You found Tommy? Where was he?” Lynette asked.
“I can’t tell you.” Apollo shook his head. “It’s for your safety and mine.”
Apollo reached towards her and held her arms firmly. “All you need to worry about is that I’m here to stay, for our children.”
Lyn wiped the stray tear that she had been holding back. “I can’t even be mad at you, that’s how much I’ve missed you.”
“It was only ten months. I lived without a dad for ten years. They’re little Grays, they can handle it.” Apollo smiled.
“Over there, that’s Bailey, in the middle is Ken and on the right is Scarlett. Here, Scarlett is awake, you can hold her.” Lynette leaned into the crib and passed the baby over to Apollo.
“She’s crying, what do I do?” Apollo panicked.
“Just rock her and speak gently. She loves it.”
“Hello Scarlett, I’m your daddy,” Apollo said quietly. “We’re going to be best friends. I’m going to spoil you and buy you whatever you want.” He looked to Lynette with amazement. “She’s sleeping in my arms!”
“Told you, she loves it.” Lynette smiled. “I don’t know why you’re being so secretive but I trust you and you can’t believe how happy I am to have you back. I don’t want you to ever leave again.”
Looking down at the sleeping girl in his arms Apollo grinned. “Look at her. I can’t believe that I helped make that gorgeous face. We’re 22 with triplets, not really what I was planning, but I don’t plan on leaving them. I’m already attached.”
Lynette came up to him and began to rub his back. “Thanks for finding Tommy. As much as he hates to admit it, he needs help once and awhile.”
“Lyn, I can’t sleep. Do you need any help?” Ambrose yawned.
“No, she’s got plenty of help right here,” Apollo smirked.
“Oh my…crap.” Ambrose hugged his brother tightly. “You stupid jerk. I had to endure childbirth for you and I’ve had to clean three times the dirty diapers!”
“I’m sorry, jeez. I just had my hands tied, but I’m back now and I’m going to talk to dad about finding our own place like we said we would. You included. How many months left of school do you have?”
“I have a few and then I graduate. You’re going to be at my graduation. I can’t believe that you’re really here. I don’t think I can go to sleep now.” Ambrose crossed his arms. “I want to hear all about it. Where were you?”
“No good Ambrose, he can’t tell us, for our safety,” She mocked.
“I’m serious.” Apollo gave her a look. “I’m trying to protect you guys.”
“I need to go text Kiwi, I’ll be back,” Ambrose turned to leave.
“Still good friends with Kiwi?” Apollo asked aloud.
“Oh yeah, those two are inseparable.”
Apollo stayed with Lynette a while longer until the babies fell asleep. Then he went to hunt down his father who had just gotten home from work.
“The guardians didn’t ruffle your feathers too much, did they?” Noah asked as he watched his son enter the room.
“You knew?” Apollo asked.
“I was part of their little game too. I didn’t think you just disappeared. I figured either they or Mason had something to do with it.”
Apollo sighed. “They’ve both…ruined my life.”
“Want to talk about it?” Noah pulled out a chair for Apollo to sit in.
Apollo decided to start from the beginning when he and Tommy kissed, and then he told him how he had come back and woke up with no memory of the last four years. Mason said he had fast forwarded time when in reality it was a therapist who had wiped his memory clean of those four years so that he could get together with Lynette. “I went to Moonlight Falls with Frost Bite, one of the guardians.There we met up with my old college roommate, Damian who turned out to be a powerful vampire who tried to kill us. Tommy saved us, but became semi-paralyzed. He can stand but walking is impossible. Frost lost her powers. If it wasn’t for this mage, Ethan, none of us would have survived. He…well, we kind of sort of kissed and I can’t stop thinking about him.”
“He’s still in Moonlight Falls?” Noah didn’t question Apollo’s story, he simply listened. “Why?”
“I forgot to mention that Damian closed the time portal, so Ethan had to build a time machine for us. That’s what took so long. He needed to stay there so Damian couldn’t trace me back here.”
“And you miss him?” Noah asked.
“Of course I do. I can’t stop thinking about him, and how I’m going to tell Lynette. Even if I never see him again, I want some closure. I have to tell her,” Apollo breathed.
“Seems like quite the predicament.” Apollo thought about telling his father about Cora but decided against it. She would be his little secret. His mother didn’t need that kind of negativity in her life.”Is there any way I can help you, at all?”
“Actually, yeah. Do you remember how you offered to chip in to buy a house for us? I might have to take you up on that offer.I know it’s really soon, but I need to move forward with my life. I just can’t keep looking back.”
Noah hugged his son. “I understand. I’ll look around for you.”
“I am so tired,” Lynette yawned, leaning back on the bed.
“Tired? That’s it? I’m exhausted!” Apollo exclaimed. It was nearly three in the morning and the triplets had all finally fell sleep. He didn’t know how Lynette did it. Once one fell asleep, another would wake up.
“Come here,” She patted the spot next to her. “I can make you feel much better.”
“I don’t want a repeat of what happened before I left,” Apollo said honestly. “I can’t sleep in the same bed as you anymore.”
“I’m your wife,” Lynette said.
“Lyn, you were the one who told me that I was gay,” Apollo said. “I thought that I could change it, by marrying you I’d be able to change myself. I did some stupid stuff, and I wasn’t expecting you to get pregnant. I’m going to be in the children’s lives but it wouldn’t be fair to you to pretend that I’m in love with you,” Apollo confessed. Only half of it was wrong. It was a lot harder than he thought, but he was glad to get it off his chest.
“You met someone else haven’t you? Who is she?” Lynette demanded.
“He. It’s a he Lyn. I’m telling you honestly that I’m gay. I am in love with a man who I’ll probably never see again, because my life sucks.”
“How can you spring this on me right now?” Lynette cried. “You cheated on me!”
“It wasn’t like that,” Apollo tried to pacify her but she was sobbing uncontrollably. “It’s better if you just stay out of their lives! They don’t need you!”
“Hey!” Apollo said sharply, causing the hysterical girl to look up at him. “Fine, I’ll tell you the truth, even if you don’t believe me. Before I left, I…I couldn’t remember the last four years of my life, and I still can’t. Apparently I went to a therapist who wiped my memory. The last moment with you that I remember is when we kissed and you told me that I was gay. I know it sounds crazy but I can tell you everything about that day.” Apollo continued to explain everything about that day until she finally caved.
“I always knew, you were a little too eager for my attention sometimes. I never felt that fairytale spark, but I let it continue. You had gotten a good job and everything seemed like it’d get better. I should have followed my gut,” Lynette said.
“Lyn, I love you so much, just not romantically. I’ve met someone that I’m absolutely crazy about, and I know he feels the same way. Whether I ever see him again or not doesn’t matter. It wouldn’t be fair to you or our kids to pretend that what we had was real. I’m going to be here every step of the way. I’m even getting us an apartment, we’ll be moving out of here soon.” Lynette did the unthinkable, though she was fuming she leaned in and hugged Apollo. Neither knew where to go from there, but they’d figure it out together.
It rained a lot in Sunlit Tides, more than Apollo cared to notice. The more it rained, the more Apollo felt the need to take shelter. On days like these, he’d stay upstairs with is children. It had been almost a year since Apollo’s return. Ambrose had graduated and got their parent’s blessing to move out. Noah was able to find the three a small one bedroom apartment with low rent. It was tiny, but it’d only be a mere step in the path to the future and they could all make it work. Apollo had agreed to stay home and watch the kids while Lynette was out at work. She had climbed the law enforcement career ladder pretty high and in no time they would have enough money to remodel. Ambrose decided to hold off on college and promised to get a job to help pay the bills. When he wasn’t working, he’d help out with the kids as well. They had their lives planned out and APollo was ready to move sooner than later. He wanted the kids to get used to living in their new house.
Everyone was a huge help with the babies. It would be hard for Apollo to handle initially and he knew that, but he wanted to learn to improve. He’d have Lynette and Ambrose to back him up. His mother had reminded him that she was only a phone call away. Apollo zipped up his last suitcase and headed towards the car to load it up. He watched as Ambrose played with Bailey and how his mother cuddled Ken. These children were blessed to be a part of a family that was willing to offer so much love. He turned to his mother nd let the thought of Cora pass through his mind yet again. That woman had made a mistake giving up on Leia and Lorie so easily. He couldn’t help but smile at the wonderful family she had passed up.
Lynette stood on the porch, ready to take on what life would throw at her. This wasn’t what she expected from her relationship from Apollo, but she wasn’t angry. Deep down she knew the truth. She couldn’t be happy pretending any longer. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t make Apollo love her. At the end of the day, they were friends, best friends, who also had kids together. The two had been in the process of filing for a divorce, neither wanted to have that attachment looming over their head if they found someone else. But for now, Lynette was focused on raising her children.