It was nearing 11:30PM on New Years Eve and Brian Haner was maneuvering his way through the crowds of people on the pier at Huntington Beach. It seemed the whole of Huntington Beach had gathered to watch the fire works that are put on every year off the coast of the glistening blue Pacific Ocean. Snuggled into the tall man's arms was his very asleep son Jayden, or Jay as his father likes to call him. The four year old couldn't look more like his father. Both have dark brown hair, dark chocolate brown eyes and naturally tanned skin. Brian would never say it out loud, but he was glad that his son looked and acted so much like him. It meant that he had little to no reminder of the women who left him only 4 months after their son was born. The pier was a buzz with people selling food, others doing magic tricks and clowns blowing up balloon animals for overly excited children.
Brian looked down at the boy in his arms and smiled. Though being a single father was hard, nothing compared to watching his son grow and change each day. The boy was sound asleep even though the surrounding area was so alive with music and chatter, Brian couldn't believe how soundly the boy slept. He hated to have to bring the boy from his peaceful slumber but he didn't want him to miss his first time at the fireworks.
'Jayden', Brian spoke, shifting the boy in the hope of rousing him, 'come on buddy, you are going to miss the fireworks'.
Jayden's eyes slowly opened, revealing big brown eyes that were slightly dull from sleep. He mumbled incoherently before laying his head back on his father's shoulder.
'Hey, bud come on, up you get'. Brian placed the boy on his feet as his eyes slowly opened again. He stumbled a bit as he regained his balance, looking up at his father with a frown on his face. Brian chuckled lightly as he glanced down at the clearly tired boy.
'Don't give me that look Jay, you told me you wanted to see the fireworks'.
'I do, but I'm tired', Jayden said as he rubbed his eyes.
'I know bud but once they're done we can go straight home okay? How about we get you something to eat?'.
'I want nachos', Jayden said as he looked up at his father, a smile forming on his now wide-awake face.
The boy reached up and clasped his smaller hand in his father's bigger one, Brian squeezing it slightly to ensure the boy stayed close. Brian pulled his son through the crowds of people before he reached a stand selling food. Brian withdrew his hand from his son's as he order two lots of nachos from the vendor. As he was placing his wallet back in his pocket he looked down to where his son had just been, realizing that he was no longer there. Shear panic took over his senses as he looked around at the sea of people, unable to spot his son anywhere.
'Jayden!!', Brian called as he stepped into the crowd, looking around for any sign of the boy with brown spiky hair. Seconds felt like hours as tears started to well in Brian's eyes, fearing that someone had taken his son. The crowd of people seemed to be getting larger, closing in on him until he felt like he couldn't breath. Hopelessly, he continued to call out his son's name, minutes went by without a single response. Brian asked random people if they had seen a boy matching his description but to no avail.
'Fuck', Brian said as he put his head in his hands, cursing the fact that he had taken his eyes off the boy for only a few moments. Worry filled his mind, worse case scenarios staring him in the face, screaming that he would never see his son again.
'Daddy!!', Brian looked up seeing his son running at him through a break in the crowd, a huge smile adorning the little boy's face. Brian bent down to his son's level, resting on his knees as he took the little boy into his arms, squeezing him tight and vowing silently to never let him out of his sight again. Brian pulled back, wiping away his tears as he looked into his son's wide shining eyes.
'Jayden, don't you ever run away from me again, you really scared me'.
Jayden looked down, a frown taking over the smile that had been there before.
'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to. I just saw Chris and I wanted to say hello'.
Only then did Brian see the slightly shorter boy standing a bit behind his son. The green eyed boy waved shyly before taking Jayden's hand in his own, stepping up to stand next to his best friend. Brian smiled at the sight, remembering Jayden mentioning something about a friend called Chris from his pre-school.
'Hey Chris', Brian said, turning to the little boy in front of him, 'are you here with you mum or dad?'.
Before the boy got a chance to answer, Brian's head perked up to see an older version of the little boy in front of him running towards them, calling out the boy's name. The little boy turned around, running into the man's arms screaming 'daddy' as they embraced. The man with dark, almost black hair hugged his son with all his might, kissing the little boys temple as he set him back down on the ground.
'What did I say about running off Chris, what if daddy couldn't find you?'
Chris looked up at his father, identical emerald green eyes staring at each other as the little boy shuffled his feet.
'I wont do it again. I promise. I just wanted to play with Jayden'.
Only then did the green eyed man notice the young boy, who must have been around his son's age standing with a man who looked exactly like him. Zacky's breath caught in his throat for a moment as he took in the taller man before him. Moments went by without anyone saying a word, the sounds of the lively pier being the only noises surrounding the four.
Brian smiled as he stepped forward, extending one hand to the shorter man with a smile, while his other grasped tightly to his son's hand.
'Hi, I'm Jayden's dad, Brian'.
'Zacky', the shorter man said as he extended out his own hand, shaking the taller man's hand in his own, not missing the undeniable tingly feeling he felt at the contact.
'I guess we need to keep a better eye on these two so they don't run off again huh?', Brian said towards Zacky before looking down at his son, big brown eyes staring back up at him before the little boy fiddled with the hem of his shirt shyly.
'It seems so', Zacky said looking down at his own son, gripping his hand tightly, silently telling the little boy he wouldn't be running away again. Chris looked up at his father, tugging on his hand pleadingly.
'Daddy, can we go ride on the Ferris Wheel?', the little boy said, pointing eagerly towards the big wheel on the far side of the pier.
'Sure thing bud', Zacky said, smiling happily at his overly eager son.
'Daddy, daddy, can we go too?', Jayden said, his brown eyes sparkling with excitement at the prospect of riding the big wheel.
Brian looked towards Zacky, a soft smile tugging at his lips before he looked back down at his son, nodding his head in agreement.
'Sounds like fun little man, lets go'. Both boys jumped up and down eagerly, grabbing the others hand and pulling their father's along towards the colourfully lit Ferris Wheel. The wheel itself seemed to shine against the midnight black sky behind it as it spun around slowly on its fixed course, stopping every now and then to allow those at the top to admire the view of the pier and the city beyond it.
Brian looked towards Zacky. Almost black hair, shimmering green eyes, the start of a sleeve tattoo peeking out from underneath the folded up sleeves of his dark blue button up shirt. His eyes travelled lower and he noticed that Zacky's ass looked good in skinny jeans – really good. He smiled to himself as he looked away. He had been with a man before so these feelings weren't new, but something about Zacky made him feel extra special. He hadn't even felt this way about his ex at first sight.
Zacky looked down at his son, smiling as he watched the two little boys converse about whatever as they held hands. He was glad that Chris had a friend. The little boy had always been so shy that Zacky was afraid that he would find it hard to make friends but he seemed so open and happy with Jayden, it made him smile.
The four found their way to the Ferris Wheel, joining the line of people who were all waiting for the same thing. Slowly the line started moving and the group of four inched forward, the little boys jumping up and down in excitement as they got closer and closer to the ride. Finally it was their turn and the two men and the two boys climbed into the four-seater capsule, the two boys climbing onto one seat leaving the other seat for their fathers. When everyone was seated the ride slowly began its ascent, slowly going around in circles. Jayden and Chris shuffled around in their seat, looking out the plastic encasement of the capsule at the beautiful night sky eagerly awaiting the fireworks.
Brian looked over at Zacky, the shorter man's green eyes shimmering as he gazed at the two boys in front of him. Brian cleared his throat, breaking the silence as the ride continued its journey.
'So, you always lived in Huntington Beach?'
Zacky broke his gaze from the two boys and looked at the obviously gorgeous man next to him.
'Mhm, born and raised. What about you?'
'Same. I moved to LA for a few years but after Jayden was born and his mother left me I moved back here to be closer to family'.
'It's great isn't it…watching them grow. I mean, sometimes its been hard doing it on my own but I wouldn't change my life for anything'.
Brian smiled, nodding in agreement. It was nice to have someone who knew exactly what it was like to raise a child alone. Brian looked back over at the two boys who had fallen asleep, Chris resting his head on Jayden's shoulder, Jayden's head laying on top of the smaller boys. He couldn't help but smile at how cute the boys looked as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone, snapping a picture of the two slumbering angels.
'Cute huh?', Brian said as the Ferris Wheel made its stop at the top of the circle.
'Yeah, you are'.
Brian looked at the man next to him and blushed lightly.
'Brian', Zacky said as he gazed into the taller man's chocolate brown eyes, 'would you like to go out sometime…like a date?'
Brian smiled, the emerald green eyes before him seemed to shimmer with something indescribable as they looked up at him.
'I would love to'
All of a sudden the midnight fireworks erupted in the sky. Flashes of red, green, blue, gold and purple shone and then faded into the never-ending blackness of the night sky. The loud noises seemed to wake up the two slumbering boys who turned around in their seats to look out at the beautiful display.
Brian continued staring down at Zacky, the two slowly inching closer and closer as the myriad of colours exploded continuously around them. Zacky leaned up, closing the gap between the two as he placed a slow and gentle kiss to Brian's lips. The ride slowly kick started back into life, pulling the two men from their kiss as the ride slowly came back down to earth. The two little boys turned back to their fathers, smiling with joy at the bright lights and magic of the fire works display. Each man picked up their own child and stepped out of the Ferris Wheel, walking back out into the slowly dissipating crowd, each child speaking at such a fast pace that neither man could understand a word they were saying.
Brian and Zacky got to the end of the pier ready to go their separate ways when they turned back to each other. The little boys in their arms were once again fast asleep from all the excitement of the night. Brian looked at his watch the white hands pointed directly at 12:12AM.
'Happy New Year Zacky', Brian said as he leaned forward, gently placing a quick kiss to Zacky's cheek.
'I think it might just be'