Behind the Lens (Behind the Lives)

Behind the Lens (Behind the Lives) by Marita A. Hansen

Book: Behind the Lens (Behind the Lives) by Marita A. Hansen Read Free Book Online
Authors: Marita A. Hansen
shifted around him, then a hand landed on his shoulder. “I’m sorry,” Corey
said. “I didn’t meana yell at you.”
    “It’s
not you,” Sledge mumbled, now wishing he’d gone to his own room.
    Corey
pulled Sledge’s hand away from his face. “Why you crying?”
    Sledge
wiped his eyes, embarrassed he’d let Corey see him like this. “I went to Ash’s
house.”
    Corey
pushed Sledge onto his back and scanned his body, probably searching for
bruises. Sledge hadn’t had the best relationship with Ash, which was pretty
much why Corey would’ve thought he’d been hurt.
    “What
did he do?” Corey finally said. When Sledge didn’t reply, he repeated the
question.
    “He
told me he’s not my brother.”
    Corey
eyebrows shot up so far they disappeared into his beanie. “He disowned you?”
    “No,
he said me and Juliet are adopted, and Hunter’s our real father, while our real
mother died after childbirth. I visited Hunter at the psyche unit, found out
that everything I knew wuz a lie, and that the culture my grandparents, or Ash
and Dante’s grandparents, brought me up in isn’t even mine. I loved them so
much, and to know that my baba and dida ,” he said, using the
Croatian words for grandmother and grandfather, “aren’t even related kills me.
I don’t understand why they even took me and Juliet in after my mum wuz killed.
For Christ’s sake, she wuzn’t even my mum, she’s Ash and Dante’s. All my
memories are nuthin’ but lies.” Sledge screwed his eyes shut, now wishing Ash
hadn’t told him, because at the beginning he hadn’t realised the full implications
of knowing. His grandmother Ash and Dante’s grandmother was now dead,
but their grandfather wasn’t, a man he regularly went up to visit in
Dargaville. But how was he supposed to see the old guy now? Could he face him
again, knowing his supposed dida had lied to him, pretending to be his
grandfather? And what about his uncle who took him surfing? Uncle Luka had
pretended to be blood too.
    “I
want my family back,” Sledge sobbed. “I don’t wanna know this, I wanna forget.”
    Corey
laid his head on Sledge’s chest and wrapped his arms around him.
    “Nuthin’s
real,” Sledge cried. “Nuthin’.”
    “I’m
real, and I’ll be all the family you need.”
    Sledge
wiped his eyes, Corey’s words affecting him. He took Corey’s face into his
hands, staring at him so intensely Corey flushed red. “You mean that?” Sledge
asked.
    “Of
course, and if I could, I’d marry you and give you my name, then you’d be a
Connor.”
    Sledge
blinked at Corey, surprised by his boyfriend’s words. He was still coming to
terms with falling in love with his best friend that he hadn’t even considered
where they were headed, and if he had, he didn’t think this thing they had
together would last, because there was no way he could admit to his family and
friends that they were boyfriends, no matter how much he loved Corey.
    Corey
continued talking, barely breathing as he babbled excitedly. “Or I’d be a Rata.
I don’t know how it would work, and it’s not exactly a marriage. They call it a
Civil Union and it’s perfectly legal, I checked it out on the internet. But if
ya wanna get married for real, we can go to Spain. I checked out the flights,
but they’re a bit expensive. Maybe if I get a job and save we can plan that.
Wouldn’t it be romantic if we could get married in Spain?” Corey’s face
dropped. “Oh shit, you think it’s a horrible idea. I know we only just started
dating, well, not dating, but being together, and we haven’t even had full sex,
which hopefully you’ll fix soon, but if you actually thought about it, it would
be really good to get married, not only cos I love you and wanna be with you
forever, but we would be related. How cool would that be? And—”
    Sledge
kissed Corey hard on the lips to shut him up, although his boyfriend’s words
made him feel good. He knew they wouldn’t get married, the idea of

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