Friends, Lovers, and Family Chapter 1

Chapter 1
Maddox

If he got any more nervous, I was going to put vodka in his bottle. Vodka and orange juice went well together, so maybe apple would work in a pinch.

“I know. You don’t have to say it again.” But the way Bryan was aimlessly wandering around the apartment pretending to clean said I probably should.

“You don’t have to do this if you don’t want to.” Starting in on my speech for the third time, I smiled when he jumped in.

“But I need to remember that they won’t think any less of me and there’s nothing to worry about.” Bryan sighed as he finished. “I know it up here.”

He gestured toward his head then shrugged. “It’s the rest of me that keeps forgetting.”

Dr. Shepard thought the best way for Bryan to ease into being little around others was by being in that headspace around Kevin. It was a sound idea, but it wasn’t easy. Bryan had kept all of that inside himself for so long, sharing it made him feel more exposed than if he was running naked through campus.

I had a feeling he’d rather run naked through campus.

But he wanted to be able to play with other littles, and I had a feeling he wanted to prove it to Cody. Their relationship had gotten better, but Cody was still nervous around us because Bryan was so nervous around him. It was a weird cycle that needed to be broken…and the only way to break it was for Bryan to get more confident.

I’d almost put my foot down and stopped this a dozen times, but with the playdate happening this weekend, there wasn’t time to put it off any longer. So I was having to set aside my own worries and focus on staying positive for Bryan.

He wasn’t the only one who was nervous, but he hadn’t realized it. Not that my fears were anything compared to his. But what if I sucked at being a Daddy? The other Doms like Ford and Sean had so much more experience.

I was a good Daddy for Bryan. I knew that, but it was still daunting. I didn’t want him to look at them and see how I should have been doing it.

Not that I thought he would.

He’d be too focused on not freaking out.

“The rest of you just needs to get used to the idea. It’s going to be fine.” When he walked past me, I stretched out and grabbed him around the waist. Pulling him down to my lap, I chuckled as he huffed and curled into me.

Stroking down his side, I smiled and walked him through the plan again. “You’re going to play toys and relax with cartoons. When you’re ready, I’m going to have them come over quietly. It won’t be a big deal.”

We were the closest thing they had to family. Sure, their dad had been coming around more and was trying to be a functional human now that their mom was out of the picture, but they were still rebuilding their trust.

“We’re family. They understand.” Jeremy understood why Bryan liked to submit from a logical perspective, but Kevin was the one who really needed to show Bryan that he got it. Just knowing that Kevin liked it as well wasn’t enough.

Bryan needed to see that nothing would change, and Kevin needed to see that Bryan trusted him and could open up to him. They had the strangest friendship, more siblings than friends, and I think that made it harder. Once someone turned into family, everything changed.

Family meant something special—or at least it should.

They’d work through it, but until then, it wasn’t going to be easy for either of them. Kevin’s patience was only so good and Bryan was a worrier. It was an interesting combination. I was expecting Kevin to burst any day, demanding Bryan get the damned crayons out and play.

“What happens if I can’t relax enough for them to come over, Daddy?” Bryan tucked himself more tightly against me, not even realizing how close to the surface his little side was.

The stress was making it easier because he needed Daddy to make everything better.

“Then we try again later.” Worst-case scenario, he wasn’t little before the playdate. It would be harder for him, but it would still work. He wanted it enough to make it work.

Bryan huffed, a sweet sound that was closer to my boy than my boyfriend. “I’m tired of later.”

“You’re ready for this.” I kissed his head. “You just need to see that.”

“You sure?” He snuggled into my neck. “Really sure?”

Oh yes, his little side was a lot closer than he wanted to admit.

“Yes, Baby.” The plan had been for them to come over in a few hours, but I had a feeling that wouldn’t work. We were going to have to update the timeline. Kissing his head again, I gave him a hug. “I want you to go to the bathroom. I’m going to get your clothes laid out.”

Bryan jerked, eyes widening. “Already?”

Nodding, I did my best to project confidence. “Yes. It will help you feel better.”

It couldn’t make him feel worse, and I had a feeling he’d sink into his little side faster than he expected. My boy wanted to be cuddled and to let someone else do the worrying for a while. As he got up and headed to the bathroom, I sent Jeremy a quick text.

Moving up the timeline. I’m getting him ready now so maybe about twenty min or so.

They hadn’t made any other plans for the afternoon, so I wasn’t worried about the change in schedule. I’d given Jeremy a heads-up that a strict timeline wouldn’t work. The response came back in seconds.

Good because he’s driving me nuts.

I smiled. Kevin was just as nervous. It was easy to see that Kevin wanted Bryan to feel safe. His own submission might not take the same form as Bryan’s, but he understood how it felt to be vulnerable.

LOL you’ll survive a bit longer.

The text I got back had me trying not to laugh.

Maybe but he might not.

They were insane, but we couldn’t have asked for better friends. As neighbors they were iffy because of the loud sex, but that was forgiven with all the other benefits.

Setting my phone on the couch, I looked around at the room for a moment. It was clean thanks to B’s worries, but I didn’t want him to have a clear line of sight to the door when he was playing. Pushing the furniture around, I angled the couch so it would block his view of the door and tugged the chair around so it would be behind him. It would drive me crazy if we left it like that, but for the afternoon it would work.

When it was done, I headed into the bedroom and started getting everything else ready. Bryan had obsessed over every aspect in so much detail that I’d finally told him I would make the decisions. That gave him fewer specifics to worry about but only helped to a degree.

He’d taken worrying to an Olympic-level skill.

As I laid out a T-shirt, his baggy jeans, and a diaper, I started mentally rearranging the afternoon. When Bryan came in, he made one little sigh after seeing the diaper but didn’t complain, just eyed it nervously.

“Come here, Baby.” I smiled as he slowly inched his way across the carpet.

Even though he would’ve been going backward if he’d gone any slower, he still eventually made it. “Good boy.”

Ignoring the pouting look and nervous wiggles, I sat him on the bed and started stripping his clothes off. He needed to be completely immersed to be able to let everything go. “Hands up.”

The shirt had some of his favorite cartoon characters on it, so I knew he wouldn’t try to talk his way out of it too much. The diaper was another issue altogether, but I wouldn’t back down unless he safeworded. Not that I thought he would. He needed me to take the decision out of his hands.

Besides, I’d already talked to both Kevin and Jeremy to make sure they didn’t have any hard limits. Diapers were something they were both expecting. Not that I planned on telling Bryan that. No point in setting him up to faint. “Perfect.”

Kissing his head, I pressed on his chest lightly. “Lie down for me.”

The regular athletic socks he wore came off quickly, along with his pants and boxer briefs. His cock couldn’t decide if we were playing or not, but the half-hard chub he was getting said he wasn’t as nervous as he thought he was.

Deciding a bit of a distraction would be a good thing, I knelt down and reached under the bed for the lotion that usually went with his diapers. Pouring a generous amount in my hand, I slowly stroked around his cock. Bryan made a little whimper but spread his legs wider.

“That’s cheating, Daddy.”

I chuckled and kept up the slow strokes. “I like making my boy feel better and I want to protect your skin.”

Bryan let out a quiet whimper and rocked his hips. “Please, Daddy.”

Since he’d asked so sweetly, I wrapped my fingers around his cock and slowly rubbed the lotion along his thickening erection. “That’s much better.”

When I reached for the diaper and Bryan realized he wasn’t going to be allowed to come yet, he sighed. Smiling, I raised one eyebrow. He knew better than to complain.

As I gave his hip a pat for him to raise his bottom, I spoke again. “If you’re a good boy this afternoon, I’ll give you a reward later.”

Spreading the diaper under him, I brought it up between his legs and smoothed it over his erection. Giving his covered cock a squeeze so he knew what his reward might entail, I stroked slowly to keep him focused on his need. “Good boys get nice rewards from their Daddies.”

That was enough to prevent him from worrying about the diaper until after his pants were on and I was slipping him into the cartoon socks that matched the shirt. It wasn’t anything outrageous, but it was different enough from his regular clothes that there would be no denying he was my boy.

“Perfect.” He really was cute. His eyes showed how turned on he still was even though he was wrapped up tight and wearing the cartoon shirt and socks that made him look so innocent. The mix of needy and naïve was something I’d never realized was hot until I’d met this side of Bryan.

“Playtime?” Bryan fidgeted enough I knew he was still aroused, but it wasn’t so much that I was concerned about how the afternoon would go. It was right at the point where he wouldn’t worry about what Kevin might think and should be able to slip deeper into his role without stressing about it.

Hopefully.

“Yes.” Smiling, I took his hands and helped him sit up. “How about we take your men and cars out to the living room? I’ll even turn on cartoons.”

Between the toys and the TV he would have plenty of distractions to keep him little. He wanted this. He just needed a bit of help to get there—and help was what Daddies were for.

“Cartoons?” His simple questions had me smiling, knowing it was his way of pushing away the grown-up world.

“Yes, your favorites and I’ll even make you some juice and get you a few cookies.” Anything to make him feel like my boy.

“Animals?” He tugged at his shirt and wiggled his hips for a moment before looking up at me. I knew he was rubbing his cock against the diaper, but for once I didn’t stop him. Whatever he needed was fine with me.

“Yes, animal crackers.” They were little Bryan’s favorite snack lately because I’d made the mistake of buying the frosted ones.

Who knew they were so much sweeter than the regular ones?

His smile widened. “Hungry.”

So lots of crackers, huh?

But when they had frosting were they really crackers?

“We’ll see.” Crouching down, I pulled the basket of toys out from under the bed and picked up the whole thing to take to the living room. Standing up, I leaned in and kissed his forehead. “Ready?”
Bryan nodded. “Playtime.”

“Okay, let’s get your toys laid out.” I didn’t have enough hands to hold his, but Bryan followed me out to the living room. His walk was just a little bouncier than how grown-up Bryan would move, so I knew he was sinking deeper.

It was little things like that I wasn’t sure if Kevin and Jeremy would notice or not.

Either way, it was time to find out.

“Daddy?” Bryan turned to me after taking in the new furniture arrangement.

“Just for today, Baby.” I walked around the couch and laid the toys and rug in front of the TV. “It gives you more room to play while you watch your show.”

Technically that was true, so I wasn’t lying.

“Yes, Daddy.” Bryan was biting his lip as he sat down, probably realizing something was off but trying not to think about it.

I spread out the rug and smiled at him. “Which side do you want, the road or the grass?”

He’d had the toy for a long time now, but it was still one of his favorites. On one side of the little rug was a town where he could play with his cars and have an imaginary world. The other had what looked like a park. His favorite way to use that was to set up little battles with the cheap plastic soldiers. He could do that for ages, just sinking into the world he created.

“Grass.” He reached for the little bag that had the soldiers and held it out to me. “Daddy.”

Chuckling, I flipped the rug over and smoothed it out before reaching for the bag and dumping it on the floor. “There we go. I’ll be right back.”

Giving him a minute to set up his men, I headed back to the bedroom and grabbed his binkie off the nightstand. Bringing it out, I clipped it to his shirt and popped it in his mouth. Bryan hummed and wiggled as he started to suck. The rhythm always soothed him. I wasn’t sure if it would help his comfort level, but he’d either sunk deeper than I’d realized or he just wasn’t worried anymore about what Kevin would think.

I was betting the only thing on his mind was cookies and toys, and he’d worry later.

Later would be interesting, but I wasn’t too nervous because I trusted Kevin and Jeremy. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have supported this idea to begin with. They’d earned our trust and B knew that as well as I did.

Running my hand over his head, I straightened and headed into the kitchen. Filling a sippy cup with juice, I poured the cookies out into a little blue bowl with cars on it and brought them both to the living room. Just in case he needed more options, I grabbed crayons and some coloring books out of the basket and laid them on the coffee table.

Perfect.

Switching on the TV, I turned it to Scooby-Doo and let it start playing in the background as I sat down in the chair. In minutes, Bryan was stretched out on the floor spreading out the little men. Picking up the phone, I sent Jeremy a short text and changed it to silent so it wouldn’t distract Bryan.

I got back a quick thumbs-up sign and waited.

Jeremy knew to not bother knocking and come in quietly, so I wasn’t surprised when in seconds the door opened almost silently behind me. The TV was loud enough that it covered the noise, so I wasn’t even sure Bryan was aware of them as they sat down on the couch.

He simply kept going like it was just him and me in the room. I thought it was deliberate on his part, but I wasn’t going to question him on it. Jeremy gave me a nod and an understanding look. When we’d talked about it, Kevin had asked questions about how Bryan would feel, but Jeremy had wanted to know how I felt about it. Their relationship wasn’t typical, but he was more of a Dom than most people realized.

Kevin’s wide eyes darted between me, Jeremy, Bryan, and the TV. Evidently he liked Scooby-Doo too because he quickly settled back against the couch and just started watching. For Intro to Kink 101, it was going pretty well.

Jeremy quietly slid his phone out of his pocket and set it on the cushion beside him. After a few seconds of watching him type away, my phone flashed silently. The text had me fighting the urge to smile.

He keeps watching those cookies like Bryan is guarding them with his body.

Yeah, I’d noticed that too.

Kevin didn’t seem to have the urge to be little, but he was little at heart. Texting back quietly, I tried to keep from attracting Bryan’s attention.

Bryan would probably share…not sure how to push it though.

Not doing anything was working fine, so I wasn’t in a hurry to change it.

Well, I might have been hesitant, but evidently Kevin wasn’t because he wiggled down to the floor in front of the couch and started inching toward the coffee table.

Jeremy and I were barely breathing as he scooted closer. Bryan finally realized he couldn’t keep ignoring everyone since Kevin was moving around the room. He looked up as Kevin reached the coffee table beside him.

Kevin took a deep breath and watched Bryan for a few seconds. Bryan wasn’t quite as little as he’d been when he’d first started playing, but it wasn’t grown-up Bryan who stared back. The almost-little Bryan who stared at Kevin needed him to be the one to set the tone going forward. Did Kevin understand that?

“Can I have a cookie?” Kevin glanced down at the bowl and gave Bryan puppy-dog eyes. “Please.”

Bryan nodded, still sucking on the binkie like he was afraid it would escape if he relaxed his lips. Kevin beamed and reached for a cookie. Bryan looked at the snack and then down at his toys. I wasn’t sure what was going through his mind, but he pushed the soldiers to the side and flipped the rug over.

“Cool.” Kevin seemed honestly entertained to see the other side had another pattern on it. That had Bryan beaming around the binkie.

Kevin didn’t even seem to notice. He leaned over and looked into the basket. “You’ve got cars.”

Bryan was still smiling as Kevin reached in and pulled out the bag. As he dumped the cars out, Bryan reached over and pulled another cookie out of the bowl. Passing it to Kevin, he picked out a small black truck and stretched out on the floor.

Kevin ate the cookie and lay down beside him, picking out a red sports car and starting to push it around the little fake neighborhood.

And that was it.

No more worries and no more what-ifs.

Cookies and Matchbox cars were all it had taken.

Friends,Lovers,andFamily by MA Innes - Gay Romance Ebook Cover

Synopsis:
Understanding who we are and accepting our needs isn’t always easy—and sharing that side of ourselves with others is even harder.

When five littles get together for their first playdate, it will take more than confidence and toys to bring them together. The family and friends who love them just the way they are will make all the difference, giving the men the support they need to shine and the push they need to show who they really are inside.

Author’s Note: Friends, Lovers, and Family shows the first playdate between five of my age play characters: Bryan, Ryland, Hayden, Cody, and Miles. While this book can be read as a standalone, it is best enjoyed after you have met the characters in their own books and series.

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