Chapter 26: Home Sweet Home
Post-Bristol – Dale Jr.’s House – Saturday Night
The discussion with the detectives went on for hours as they wanted to know everything. It seemed they never ran out of questions no matter what Dale said. However, he was now glad to be home. It meant that he could have some relaxation from everything. He had said his goodbyes to Tony, promising to get in touch that week.
He walked inside the house, closing the door behind him, glad to be done everything that needed to be done. With the announcement of the charges, his post-win media schedule had been cleared to avoid doing any publicity so close to everything. They would do a meeting mid-week to discuss what to do moving forward and then proceed.
As he slipped his shoes off, he heard footsteps coming towards him, knowing who they were once he saw the fluffy pink bunny slippers.
“You’re home!” Dale heard before he could look up to address the person before him, recognizing the voice to be Kelley’s. After speaking with her on the phone, she agreed to stay there with Angelica till he got home so that way Rick and Linda could go home. She mainly did it, though, so she could see him first thing when he made it there. Before he could move an inch from his position, the owner of the pink bunny slippers wrapped her arms around him, wanting to just be close to him. Since hearing the news, she had been worried. She knew that it couldn’t be too bad due to not noticing anything before, but had a tinge of worry on her mind. “I’ll leave you two be to talk. Don’t be a stranger tomorrow.” Kelley knew by how the pair were reacting that they needed their space.
“I’ll make sure to come and see you,” Dale told his sister before giving her a quick hug, the other set of arms still wrapped around him. He watched his sister leave, focusing his eyes down at the teenager that stood there, not willing to remove her arms from around him. Well he wanted to scream due to the pain he felt in his back and her pushing on it, he didn’t have the courage to say a word at that point. He couldn’t even begin to imagine what she was thinking. He had already heard from Steve and Rick both that she was worried about him.
“I’m just glad you’re okay Dad,” Angelica finally squeaked out, not wanting to let her dad go. He lightly rubbed her back, moving slowly into the front room as he knew that there’d be some questions she’d ask.
“I’m just so happy to see you.” They then sat on the couch, facing each other, Dale ready to face whatever was on her mind. She was a 15-year-old teenager now and probably not short of questions. “Did Steve tell you about Lind-”
“He told me that she is going away a couple days due to being scared.” Dale shook his head yes at those words, not sure if he was ready to tell her Lindsay’s secret. Was she too young for that? Seeing the heartbreak on her dad’s face, she grabbed both of his hands, wanting to find someway to give him comfort. She just wanted everything to be fine again.
“Okay. She’s worried that Jeff may get some people who don’t like her to come after her. She knew some bad people when she was younger and moved to North Carolina to get away from them. She’s scared that Jeff will tell them everything as to where she is so she wants to hide out till we get Jeff put in jail for a long time.” He looked up at Angelica’s eyes, curious of her reaction, not wanting to dive into anymore details about Lindsay’s past. That would have to wait till Lindsay was back home with them as that was her place to decide whether Angelica should know.
“Okay.” Angelica then looked down, wanting to tell her dad how she really felt, but also scared of what he would say and the affect on him. “When I heard the news, I’ll admit – I was in total shock.” She looked up, curious as to what he would say or do as a result of her words. All he did was nod his head in agreement that he was listening, not sure yet what to say. “I didn’t want to believe it that someone had hurt you because I’ve been around you and I haven’t seen anything that would make me believe it. But I knew it had to be true because you wouldn’t lie like that and it worried me. I didn’t know how you were or where you were or anything. That’s why I’m just glad that you’re home.”
“I’m glad to be home with you, too, and I’m sorry I worried you so much.” She knew her next question would test the waters of what could be said, but she had to know. She had to answer the worry questions in her mind.
“What did he do to you exactly, Dad?” Looking down as she saw no reaction on his face, she immediately regretted even asking the question.
“He slapped me, he hit with a belt across the back, he shoved me against the dresser one night – a couple different things over the course of the past two years. That’s why I didn’t want you here at first. I didn’t want you to come near what was going on. I only kept it a secret for this long because I was scared, scared that Jeff would hurt you or Lindsay. Tony finally convinced me to do the right thing. I want you to know, though, that he will never, ever, touch you because he is going away for a very long time.” He then tilted her head up towards his eyes, wanting to see those blue eyes he loved so much. “I would never let him touch you ever.” Feeling the pain on his back really begin to bug him, he stood up, knowing that he needed to go upstairs, relax and go to sleep, while getting the fabric that glazed the wounds off. “Anyways, it’s late and we’re both tired so why don’t we get some sleep? We can talk about more in the morning. I’m willing to tell you whatever you want to know. I don’t mind telling you.” He then pulled her close, giving her a kiss on the forehead. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” She then looked up at him, smiling. “Can I ask one more question before bed?”
“Go ahead. What is it that you want to ask? I told you I’ll tell you everything. I don’t want you to worr-”
“How bad does it hurt? I could see you biting your tongue as we were sitting there. How bad does it hurt? What exactly is bugging you? You’ve done tons for me so I want to do tons for you.” He smiled at her courage, loving the fact he could see that Earnhardt fire right inside of her.
“My back is really sore, to be honest, because that’s where he did the most of the pain. There’s multiple marks across my back from nights with him.” She shook her head, now understanding everything. That’s why nobody knew as he always had a shirt on. Even if they were going swimming – he had a top on.
“How long will it take them to heal?”
“A couple weeks probably. Don’t know for sure.” She then hugged him, carefully not touching his back as she wrapped her arms around his waist.
“I love you and good night.”
“Good night Angelica. See you in the morning.” They both then headed up the stairs, separating at the top as they headed into their rooms. Once Dale was in his room with the door closed, he quickly snatched the shirt off of his back as quick as he could, slightly relaxing. “It’s over. It’s done. You’re safe and the girls are safe.” He then flopped down on the bed, belly first, knowing that he was exhausted and just wanting sleep. A slight glance at the clock showed it was 4 in the morning. “I hope Kelley and mom weren’t expecting me too early.”
Chapter 27: Sleepless Nights
Post-Bristol – Dale Jr.’s House – Tuesday Night
“You know you like it,” he heard growled against his ear, feeling another thrust up his rectum, pain filling his entire body.
Dale woke up, tears streaming down his face, glancing at the clock. 3:28 am. For the third straight night in a row, he couldn’t sleep as he envisioned everything that had happened in his mind. How was this possible? How could he ever move forward? He sat up, wiping the tears off, just wanting to go back to a peaceful sleep. He way overtired and needed his rest. Everybody could tell. It was why Rick had said to take some days off and try to relax.
One bedsroom over, Angelica rolled over her in bed, hearing the tears that came from the room beside her. Her dad thought that she was asleep and didn’t know of these nights. However, she had woken up each night. She wanted to go comfort him, but wondered if that would cross the line.
“You can’t keep doing this Dad,” she commented aloud as she picked her phone up off the nightstand, holding it in her hands. She knew of one person who cared for Dale more than most. She knew by how Tony had been around that he must be important.
“Fuck me,” she heard from the room over, hearing the bedsroom door crack. She knew that he was going to find some Tylenol for the pain or a glass of water to calm his thoughts. She had gotten used to these sounds. It was affecting her, not getting her own sleep. With going back to school and having homework on top of racing, she knew she couldn’t keep doing this. “Why can’t I just forget?” She shook her head, eyes focused on the number before her.
“Because you know it goes deeper than that….” She hit the number, knowing she’d have to whisper, but knowing that Dale needed him. She hated to call Tony in the middle of the night, but what else was she supposed to do?
“Hello?” She heard a panicked voice on the other end. “Angelica? Are you oka-”
“I’m fine Tony,” she started calmly. As she sat on the bed, she heard the footsteps of her dad outside of the door and into the bathroom.
“Then what’s going on?” As she heard the sound of vomit coming upstream into the toilet, she cringed slightly, knowing she definately had made the right move.
“Tony, you need to come over now please.”
“Why? What’s wron-”
“Dad hasn’t been able to sleep since coming back from Bristol.” As she sat there, she heard the cries, she heard the vomit, just wanting to run and hug him. But was that the right thing to do?
“I’m on my way.” She slowly opened her bedsroom door, catching her father’s eyes as she looked down towards the kitchen. The signature crystal blue was no longer found as it was replaced with a navy color – hurt, pain.
“Okay. See ya soon.” She then hung up on Tony, setting her phone down before slowly making her way to the bathroom. She knew it’d be a little bit before Tony showed up so she had to do something. She walked in the bathroom, sitting on the edge of the bathtub, looking at her father who sat there on the floor crying. She didn’t know what to do. She felt so afraid and so much pain in seeing him like this. “Tony is on his way over.”
“You called him?” Dale asked as he felt a hand rub his back lightly.
“You need him Dad,” she replied. “You can’t keep doing this every night.” She then scootched onto the floor beside him, continuing to rub his back as he looked towards her. It was enough for him to be going through what he was going through. But to know that his daughter knew was another fright in itself.
“You need to go back to be-”
“I’m not moving till Tony gets here.” He looked towards her, pulling her close into a hug, loving the comforting feeling of her just being there.
“I love you, Daddy. I hate to see you like this.” He looked down, letting himself vomit some more as he had yet to shake the memories. She then stood up, wetting a wash cloth, before sitting back down and wiping his face, trying to do something to help. He let her as tears filled his eyes, now knowing that she knew exactly how he felt. What was going to happen now? “The start of the trial is Thursday so you got two more days so you need to keep it together.” The start of the trial meant hearing Jeff’s plead. They expected him to plead guilty considering the evidence. If he did, it meant sentencing and gone away for all time. If he plead not guilty, then it would be a long process in telling what happened. That was something Dale didn’t want to face.
“I know and I’m trying, sweetie.” As they sat there, he felt the ability to confess that bit of emotion as there wasn’t anything to hide anymore.
“I know you are and you’re strong willed and you’re great. But you can’t do it alone and if Lindsay can’t be here for you, then I know Tony will take care of you.” He looked towards her, curious by those words. How did she know about Tony’s caring side for him?
“How do you know this, if I may ask?”
“I saw the way he was with you at Bristol so that’s enough to say a good guess. I take it by your reaction that I’m right.” He then smiled as he pulled her close, glad to be having a talk like this. It was starting to get his mind off of what he couldn’t minutes ago.
“Yeah, you’re right.” She looked up, seeing that smile, glad that she could bring some comfort to her dad. She just hoped that Tony could add more and things would end officially on Thursday.
Chapter 28: Tony
Post-Bristol – Dale Jr.’s House – Tuesday Night
Angelica opened the door, glancing at the big lock as it was officially 3am in the morning. Now she really felt bad for calling for Tony so late, but it had to be done.
“Hey princess,” he said before giving her a hug. He then slipped off his shoes and hung up his jacket. “Where is he?”
“In his bedsroom,” she said as they headed up the stairs. She had gotten him to calm down and led him back to his room before Tony had shown up. “Thanks for coming, by the way. I really appreci-”
“I’d do anything for him, Angelica.” He really meant those words. There was no lying now with the feelings that he had for Dale.
“I’ll leave you two be.” She then went into her bedsroom, closing the door as she knew the boys needed their privacy.
Tony walked into Dale’s bedsroom, sitting on the bed as he set his eyes on the man before him. He could see the tears streaming down Dale’s face, he could see the hurt in his eyes. It all the more ate at Tony as he wondered why he hadn’t kicked Jeff’s ass before their plan took full force.
“You didn’t have to come,” Dale let out as he looked at the person before him. How could Tony always be there like this for him? “It’s not fair for me to wake you out of bed.” Tony shook his head as he climbed up further in the bed, closing the gap that was between them.
“It is when you can’t sleep and I care about you,” Tony commented as their eyes met. When they did, Tony was reminded back to a couple weeks ago when he had busted in that night. He was reminded of the pleading eyes that just wanted to be held and comforted. Would it always be this way? “I care about you a lot and would do anything for you so don’t even start that shit on me.” Seeing no movement in Dale, he continued his crawl up the bed so the pair were sitting beside each other.
“I just want the feelings to go away. I just want to forget everything that happened. I want to move on.” Tony knew those feelings all to well as he hoped that everybody could do that with what had happened. He knew it was only becoming harder with the fact that Lindsay had ran.
“And you will as soon as Jeff is locked away for good.” Dale looked towards Tony at those words, having his own fears about Thursday.
“And what if he doesn’t get locked away? What if he ge-”
“That damn well won’t happen as we have loads of proof for what he’s done!” Seeing the tears on Dale’s face, Tony did the only thing next that he knew – he pulled Dale close, holding him. He wanted to help him forget the one thing that made him mad the worst.
“I can’t help but think about him getting off. You have to realize that can happen.” Tony then lifted his gaze, meeting Dale’s as he only had one set of words for that.
“If for some reason that asshole gets off, he will be met by me before he can do anything to you.” Dale then pulled himself in even closer to Tony, loving the safe and secure feeling that came over him.
“Why does it hurt so much? Why can’t I just forget it? Why does it continue to bug me?” Tony knew the answer to that as there was no questions about it after the confessions that had come out.
“Because you let it go for way too long. But that doesn’t matter now.” Tony lifted Dale’s shirt slightly, wincing at the marks across the young man’s back, but knew that it would help to have the fabric not touching it as he pulled the shirt off. Once the shirt was off, Dale cuddled back close to Tony, laying down in his arms as he felt the lack of sleep catching up with him.
“Thank you…..I can’t ever than-”
“Stop as you don’t need to say it. Just close your eyes and go to sleep.” Dale did as instructed, exhaustion taking over his body as he was asleep instantly. Tony laid there not moving, letting Dale lay against him, as he got his phone out of his pocket. There was one other person that needed his comfort in this house.
Tony: Angelica, are you okay?
Angelica: Yeah, I’m fine Tony.
Tony: You know if you need someone to talk to that you can always talk to me. I’m here for both of you. I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. You don’t have to think about that alone.
Angelica: Thanks Tony. ‘Appreciate that. Just worried about Dad. Worried about how he is feeling and all. Worried about the pain and his feelings. Scared for him, too. Also just want Lindsay to come home. I can’t believe she ran. It’s just not fair.
Tony: I hear ya but you don’t need to worry. Dale will be fine. He will heal over time. He just needs to have the comfort and love. Lindsay will come home. It will work out. Jeff won’t see the light of day. Just stay strong and believe. You’ll have the life that you dream of. I can promise you that.
Angelica: Luv ya. So sweet. Ill let you sleep – need mine.
Tony: Okay. Nite. See ya in the morning.
Angelica: Night Tony.
Chapter 29: Trial
Post-Bristol – Court House – Thursday Afternoon
Dale sat there in between Tony and Rick, eyes focused forward. Today was the big day. Today they would learn the fate that they all questioned. Dale just wanted things over and done with after everything that had happened. He wanted to never go through the events again. There was no way this couldn’t be the end.
As his thoughts ran through his mind, he kept Tony’s hand close to his, clutching it in his tightly. Since Tony came over late Tuesday night, he hadn’t left. He called Stewart-Haas and told them that he had some things to take care of, agreeing to be there for his friend. While Dale thought he was done with crazy relationships following things with Jimmie, he was slowly finding himself falling for Tony. He had wanted to say something – but was scared. He still loved Lindsay and he didn’t want to change that. However, the comfort he felt with Tony – it was different. It was special and it had helped a ton.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Rick whispered as he turned towards Angelica. Angelica had begged them to come. She wanted to know herself that things were over, too. She knew she couldn’t go to school and sit through the day with worry. She also knew that staying home wouldn’t work either. After much protesting, they all had agreed to let her go so there she sat beside Rick. She knew it was a tough time for Dale and that Tony could offer the comfort he so deserved. In that respect, she had turned to the one person that she had depended so much on the last couple years of her life to help her out.
“I’m fine Rick,” she replied as she glanced towards the back of the room after hearing the door open. They had kept it as a closed court session, only certain people allowed to be there. Seeing the person, even if hid underneath her hood, she smiled. She recognized that face anywhere and was glad that she was there. “Look behind you but don’t say a word, Rick.” Rick took a quick glance towards the direction as he watched the women sit down in a seat at the back of the room.
“Court is now in session!” They all heard announced, turning their gaze up towards to the front. “Mr. Jeff Gordon, do you understand the charges that you are facing?”
“My client would like to follow a request with regards to one of them,” Gordon’s lawyer spoke up, causing concern to rise in Dale’s throat. What were they going to try to pull? “The charges against my client with regards to Mr. Earnhardt – there are no problems.”
“Then what is the problem?” The judge then asked, which was a question that many of them wanted to spit out. “The charges put forth with regards to Lindsay MacKenzie?” The lawyer then shook his head yes as he opened up a folder.
“Mrs. Lindsay MacKenzie has yet to file a statement with regards to the charges. She also has not officially stated that she is filing charges against my client.” Seeing the eyes of the Judge switch to the other side of the room, there was a small bit of tension.
“Is this true? Has Ms. MacKenzie done the necessary work required?” Angelica then took a glance towards the back of the room, feeling the need for an unveil soon.
“No she hasn’t,” Blake Johnson, the lawyer representing Dale and Lindsay, finally spoke. “She has officially taken to hiding as a result of some threats that Mr. Gordon has levied against her. She has stated her reasoning due to the safety of her family. I have an official telephone record of our conversation, which states her warrant to press charges. I can pla-”
“That’s not enou-” The judge started as Angelica smiled at the sight of the hood being put down.
“I am here and present and pressing those charges,” Lindsay then spoke, hood removed. Instantly, everybody turned to the back of the room, mixed of emotions. Dale’s was a full smile as he was glad that she had come back home. “I hope you rot in hell for what you did, Jeff.”
“Your honor!” Gordon’s lawyer Miley Williams protested against the outburst.
“Charges stay in place per Ms. MacKenzie’s words, but Ms. McKenzie must keep her mouth shut now,” the judge then spoke as Lindsay sat back down, eyes fixed on Dale. They locked eyes for a moment and she knew there was no way of running away now.
“There are still a problem – Lindsay McKenzie is not her real name!” The judge then turned back towards Blake as Dale looked down. Were they ready for the secret to be revealed there?
“Is this true Mr. Johnson?” The judge asked as Blake cleared his throat.
“She had her name legally changed over eight years ago and can show proof of that,” Mr. Johnson clarified as the judge motioned for the proof to be shown. Lindsay then stood up, walking to the front of the room, handing Blake her wallet. “Here it is.” Blake handed it to the bailiff who took it up to the judge, who looked it over.
“This checks out. Thank you Ms. McKenzie. Anymore protests before your client puts in his plead?”
“No sir,” Miley Williams said as Lindsay sat beside Dale on the bench.
“I missed you,” she whispered giving him a quick kiss before turning her eyes back towards to the front.
“So we’re going to go through these one by one…..” The judge started as he looked down at his sheet. “I’d rather do them at once but cannot do that legally. I am going to mention each type of charge and end your plead. Some of these have multiple accounts, by the way. On the charge of physical and mental abuse towards Dale Earnhardt Jr, how do you plead?”
“Guilty,” Jeff stated as he looked down. He knew by the length of proof that Tony had there was no way to get out of it.
“On the charge of assault towards Dale Earnhardt Jr., how do you plead?” Dale kept his eyes focused on the ground, body still sore from what had taken place, pain filling him. He knew part of it was mentally in thinking back to some of the nights.
“Assault? No no, that’s not guilty. I may have slapped in and pushed him, but that’s not assu-”
“That defines assault. Assault is when you cause bodily harm to another individual, whether with or without a weapon. Do you change your plead, Mr. Gordon?”
“Yes, I change my plead then. Sorry. Guilty.” Tony held Dale’s hand tighter, knowing what was left to come in the list of charges that still laid ahead of them.
“On the charge of threatening bodily harm towards Dale Earnhardt Jr., how do you plead?”
“On the charge of rape towards Dale Earnhardt Jr., how do you plead?” Hearing the words, both Lindsay and Tony took each of Dale’s hands and held them. They could see the hurt in his eyes at the words being mentioned and the thought of tears that threatened to fall.
“Not guilty.” Tony then looked up stunned at Jeff’s words. Didn’t Jeff know he was guilty by the video content that was already recorded?
“On the charge of rape towards Lindsay McKenzie, how do you plead?”
“Guilty.” Lindsay locked eyes with Tony at the conflicting pleads that they had heard. Why was he saying he was guilty to one but not the other?
“On the charge of threatening Lindsay McKenzie, how do you plead?”
“Not guilty.” Lindsay looked towards Jeff, surprised by those words. Was it a ploy for her to tell the story?
“On the charge of threatening Angelica Jami-”
“She just completed the process of getting her name legally changed to Angelica Earnhardt,” Blake Johnson interrupted as Angelica smiled at the thought. It was a long process that involved DNA tests to confirm everything, but she was glad it was done. It felt right to have the Earnhardt last name.
“Okay then,” the judge commented before making a change to his notes. “On the charge of threatening Angelica Earnhardt, how do you plead?”
“Guilty.” Jeff then looked towards the young 15 year old with a smile on her face as she turned away. She didn’t want to look towards him after what he had done to Dale and Lindsay.
“To recap, you have plead guilty to abuse, assault and threatening Dale Earnhardt Jr., raping Lindsay McKenzie and threatening Angelica Earnhardt. Adding the sentences together for the multiple accounts, you are to sentenced to life in jail without chance of parole. With that said, Mr. Johnson, do you want to prosecute the defendant on the other charges?” Blake looked towards Dale and Lindsay, looking for answer. Both shook their head no, knowing the emotions of going through talking about some of the nights would be too much on them both.
“No your honor,” Blake Johnson replied. “Although I do have a request about Mr. Gordon’s time in jail.”
“And what is that?” The judge asked as Lindsay held her breath. This was the moment of truth on whether she could stay there or have to run for the safety of those she loved.
“Due to the status of the threats that Mr. Gordon has levied against my clients, I request no touch with the outside world. I don’t think it’d be right to chance those secrets getting out. The secrets that he holds against Dale Earnhardt Jr., Lindsay McKenzie and Angelica Earnhardt could put them in danger if released.”
“Motion accepted. Any mail that Mr. Gordon wants to send out will be screened before leaving. Is that all?”
“Court ajourned!” Dale then let out a long sigh of relief as he looked towards Lindsay, kissing her, as they both watched Jeff go away with the officer.
“It’s over finally,” Tony whispered as he gave Dale a quick hug before standing up. He knew that the pair would want some time to spend together alone after Lindsay’s escape.
“Thank you for everything,” Dale said as he stood up with Tony, pulling him into a hug. Even though he didn’t want to admit his feelings out loud, he wanted Tony to know how much he thanked him for everything. If it wasn’t for Tony stepping in, this could be still going on.
“You don’t have to thank me, Dale. I did it because I care about you. You’re my best friend and I hated to see you going through that.”
“Thank you for taking care of him the last couple of months,” Lindsay then interrupted them, wrapping her arms tightly around Tony. There were no words to describe how thankful she was for what Tony had done. “It means the world to me, to us.”
“Like I said – you don’t need to thank me,” Tony replied as he smiled. They all then walked out of the court house, finally relieved. As Tony stood back and watched Dale, Lindsay and Angelica talk, he couldn’t help but smile. They were a happy family again and there was no one around to ruin it. That’s all that mattered at that point.
Chapter 30: My Thoughts For Him
Monday Afternoon – 1 month down the road after the trial (end of September) – Tony Stewart’s office
To everybody’s surprise, life pretty much returned to normal for everyone.
Dale was dealing with his emotions slowly, getting through them one step at a time. He hadn’t had to worry about Jeff so he was feeling much better. Lindsay and Dale’s relationship was back to where it was before and she was convinced once again that her secret was safe.
For Angelica, life had returned to as normal as a 15-year-old girl racing could have her life. She was racing quarter midgets for Kasey Kahne’s team and doing well, finishing top five each week with some wins. She was also doing well in school and was lined up for her first ARCA start at Toledo Speedway in a month.
So with everything returned to somewhat normal, why was Tony sitting in his office stuck in deep thought about everything? It was also no surprise that the two people who knew the most about everything – Danica and Ricky – were sitting across from him. Yes, somehow Ricky managed to sneak past security at SHR again. Tony was beginning to think he should hire him and be done with it.
“So what is on your mind since you called us here?” Ricky asked, finally breaking the silence. Tony had texted the pair an hour ago asking for them to come over to talk. They showed up 40 minutes later and had been sitting there in silence the past 20 minutes, only saying hi to each other and asking how they all were. “Jeff escape jail? Was one of those secrets revealed? You need to tel-”
“It’s not what you’re thinking Ricky,” Tony cut him off, not even wanting to think about that happening. That’d just be a nightmare.
“Then what is it?” Danica asked as she stood up, walking around the big desk to be right beside Tony. She had used this tactic many times before and each time it had worked to her advantage as he would spill everything. “You’re with friends. We won’t tell anybody.” Tony took a deep breath, knowing it wouldn’t be easy to tell them.
“With the time that I spent with Dale, I developed a lot of feelings for him. Guys, I don’t how to say this but I love him. I love him a lot and I miss cuddling with him. I miss those sweet nights together.” Ricky looked towards the man before him, confused. What had broken off what they had going?
“Then why did you run away when the trial was over?” Ricky asked, catching Tony’s eyes. “Why did you leave him there and not say a word about this?” Tony looked down, remembering that day. That day wasn’t about him. It was about Dale and ending his nightmare. It was about Dale returning back into the arms of the person he loved the most.
“I wanted to just let him and Lindsay be because I felt that was right,” Tony started. “I never though I had fallen this hard for the guy.”
“Then why don’t you tell him?” Danica then asked as she walked back over to Ricky. “I finally broke down and admitted that I like this guy.” Tony knew it wasn’t that easy as there were other things to consider.
“What about Lindsay? What about that relationship that they have?” Danica shook her head as Tony’s questioning, remembering what Tony had told them the one day.
“What about her being okay with you and Dale cuddling that night?” Ricky smiled as he remembered how Tony’s face lit up when he talked about spending that time with Dale.
“She said it was fine and left you two be,” Ricky then added. “You had a different special look to you with your smile when you spoke about that. You need him, Tony.” Tony looked down, knowing that the pair was right.
“Yeah, I really do need him more than I think I realize,” Tony let slip out of his mouth as he felt a pair of hands on his shoulders. He glanced up, to see that both Ricky and Danica were standing behind him now.
“Then go tell him that.”
“The worst he can say is no and you don’t have to sit here questioning it everyday,” Danica added as she remembered the times she sat in her office thinking about Ricky before she started dating him. “Take a chance. Let yourself fight for what you want. We know that you are always willing to pick a fight so go after it. I bet you’ll find something you weren’t ever expecting.” She then smiled as she got Ricky to follow her out of the office, closing the door behind her.
Turning to Ricky, she pulled out her phone, showing him a text. Dale had been texting her the last couple of weeks wondering what Tony was up to and how he was doing.
It was true – Dale also missed Tony and wondered if he’d ever get those late night cuddles that meant so much to him back.
“All he has to do is listen to us,” Danica commented as she put her phone back in her pocket.
“He will – his heart won’t let him not,” Ricky replied as he remembered when Danica confessed her love for him. He wanted to deny it – not wanting to get involved so soon after her marriage. However, he couldn’t deny his heart in having what it so desired.