Joshua threw himself at his maternal father, wrapping his arms around his neck and crying with joy at being reunited with the older man.
“They took me! Justin, I want Justin.”
Trystum soothed his son as much as he could, stroking his long dark curls tenderly. “Hush sweetheart. Daddy’s here. Daddy is here.” Trystum kissed Joshua's forehead and hugged the distraught boy tightly.
Joshua looked up tearfully at his father. “Where is Caleb?”
Trystum stroked the hair from his son’s eyes. “He’s with his new daddy baby.”
“But he’s my brother.”
“I know darling and he always will be. James and Joey promised that you will never be excluded from his life.”
I was so frightened. Daddy, Lance is here.”
Trystum lifted Joshua's chin so he could look in his teenage son’s eyes. “You know Lance?”
Joshua nodded. “I was with him at the fair when the north attacked. He was a part of my personal guard.”
“Darling, Lance is an undercover agent for the north. He had been sent by the north’s government to infiltrate your father’s household and gather secrets. When he discovered that Chasez had a teenage breeder son he told his husband, Joey.”
“Joey? Captain Fatone?”
“Then Lance is . . . “
Trystum smiled and swiped his thumb softly over Joshua's cheek. “James.” He finished his son’s question for him. “Yes. He was meant to be in the helicopter with you but he managed to get shot in the shoulder. He’s only just got out of hospital.”
“I thought he had come to take me back. To put me in a breeding farm.” Joshua pulled out of his fathers embrace and turned his back, embarrassed at his naivety
“No darling, you’re safe. They are taking us further north tomorrow. They have arranged a chopper for us.”
“But I can’t go!” JC cried broken heartedly. “Justin will be looking for me, I know he will.”
Trystum wiped away the wetness that trailed down the side of his son’s face. “Sergeant Kirkpatrick has gone to find Justin. If he’s not here by the time we are ready to go, he will join us in Madison.”
Joshua nodded sadly. He knew he had no choice in the matter. He was beginning to learn that the military decided every aspect of his life, at least until Justin installed him as his husband in his own house.
There was a knock at the door and Lance came in. In his arms he carried Caleb. “Hi, I thought you might like to see this little fella.”
Joshua rushed to take the baby, cooing at the little boy. “He’s so tiny. I can’t imagine ever having one of my own.”
Trystum laughed softly and rested his arm around his son and baby, playing with the newborn’s fingers. “Well you will. If they were preparing to send you to a breeding farm then the test results must have been confirmed.”
“They took bloods and did tests just after my seventeenth birthday but they didn’t tell me what for.” Joshua cringed slightly at the memory of the constant injections he had been subjected to.
“Would you like to hold him Trystum?” Lance asked. Even though he was now Caleb’s father he still felt an obligation to the older man.
Trystum bit his lower lip and looked very tempted. “No,” he said. “I’d be afraid I’d not want to give him back.”
“I wanted to talk to you about that Trystum. Joe and I have been talking. We’d like you to come and live with us in Madison.” Lance waited for his request to sink in.
“Live with you? But I thought I could have a house of my own.”
Lance smiled and stroked Caleb’s dark hair. “Well if you really would like that it can be arranged but I kinda thought it would be nice for Caleb to have another breeder around while he was growing up. One that would make sure he was properly educated and knew what he would be going though.”
Joshua gasped. “Caleb’s a breeder! Daddy Caleb is a breeder.”
“A breeder! Are you sure?” Trystum’s eyes glinted with tears
“Almost 100% sure, I had him tested in case. I mean you’ve already given birth to one breeder it stands to reason that you could again. He’ll be tested again when he’s 10 and again when he’s about 18, pretty much the same as you are in the south.” Lance gazed adoringly at his adopted baby boy. “Will you come and live with us Trystum? Be part of Caleb's life, be part of our lives.”
Trystum chewed his thumb nail, concerned. “Can I think about it? It’s a big step and I’m not sure if I could cope with hearing him call you daddy and not me.”
“Trystum, you’ve given the north a glorious gift. It would be a shame for you to miss out on his childhood the way you did Joshua's.”. Lance waked over to where Joshua was standing rocking his brother in his arms. The young breeder was gazing dreamily at the infant. “I have to feed him now.” Lance said. He paused then asked thoughtfully, “would you like to help me bathe him Joshua?”
“Can I?” the teenage breeders eyes lit up with excitement.
“He’s your brother Joshua that will never change.” Lance gently took Caleb back and rested him against his shoulder and rubbing his back. He turned back to Trystum. “Think about what I said, we have the room and I’m sure we could get on really well and as for him calling me and Joe daddy, there’s nothing to stop you from being uncle or grandpa or even daddy if you really want it.”
Trystum smiled, “go and wash your son James and take Joshua with you, he should learn how to care for a baby and I’m sure you know more than I do.”
“You don’t mind do you? I mean if you would rather me stay here with you.” Joshua asked thoughtfully.
Trystum caressed Joshua's face. “Go play with your brother Josh, when Justin takes you to Birchwood you won’t get the chance.”
Joshua kissed Trystum sweetly on his cheek. “Thank you daddy.”