**This week, we have a company picnic…and one last time with Wyatt and Tru. Enjoy!**
“You’re sure it’s okay that we brought the dogs?”
I chuckled and reached out to squeeze Tru’s knee. He’d been all worked up since we left the house this morning, and it only got more pronounced the closer we got to our destination.
“I’m sure, Tru. It’s a picnic. Outside. Our boys won’t be the only ones there.”
“It’s a company picnic, Wyatt. That changes the rules.” He glanced into the back seat where Aldo, Fawkes, and Chester were buckled in. Aldo was perfectly content to stare out the window, Chester was sleeping, and Fawkes, as usual, had enough of sitting still and trying to get down. Fortunately, his harness wouldn’t allow it. “Besides, that’s not what I meant.”
“No? What did you mean?” I signaled to turn off the road and into the park where my graphic design company had rented a pavilion for the annual barbecue. I’d only attended a handful of times before, but now that I’d moved and worked from home, it seemed prudent to make the trip and show my face.
“We’re staying with your mom while we’re in town. And you said she doesn’t have pets. Are you sure she doesn’t mind that we’re all invading her house?”
“I’m sure.” I glanced at him as I slowed even more. The narrow winding path required my concentration. “She loves the granddogs.”
“On Skype, maybe.” Tru’s knee started to bounce the closer we got. I pulled into the parking lot, and it didn’t take long to spot the banner with the company name stretched across the gate. I even recognized a few coworkers milling about.
“It’ll be fine. Come on.” Turning off the car, I shot him a smile. Then reached for the door handle.
“Wait!” Tru gripped my arm. “Maybe we should take the dogs to your moms first. That’d be better, right?”
I shoved the keys in my pocket, then turned as much as the seat would allow so I could look him over. Even though it had been more than a year, it was still strange to see him without his hat. And from the way he kept reaching up and tugging on his curls, I had to wonder if he missed it too.
“Okay, honey. What’s really up?”
Tru swallowed, cleared his throat, then swallowed again. Finally, he looked at me.
“This is where you work.” He rolled his eyes, and gave me a tiny, nervous looking smile. “I mean, not here, obviously. These are the people you work with. And you’re going to introduce me and the boys to them.”
Ah. I thought I finally understood.
“They’re going to love you, Tru. And the boys. Some of them have already met Al. But you don’t have to worry. No one is going to be mean or weird or say shit. Just be your usual charming self, and it’ll be fine.”
Tru stared at me, his brown eyes wide. “It’s a big deal. Introducing your boyfriend to work.”
I shrugged. “Well, maybe, yeah. But you’re not going anywhere. Why wouldn’t I want them to meet the man I love?” Aldo stuck his head over the seat, and when I reached up to scratch his ears, Fawkes gave a plaintive whine that said he wanted attention too. I smiled down at him, then turned back to Tru. I held out my hand, and Tru took it at once.
“I love you. I want my coworkers to meet you. I want to show off our family, and have them all be insanely jealous.” I gave him a leer and he laughed. That was better.
“Okay.” He blew out a breath. “Okay. Let’s go make them jealous.”
Three hours later, I’d caught up with all my coworkers, ate two hamburgers and broke up two more for the boys. Tru was surrounded by a flock of people, and when I’d wandered by earlier, he was giving tips about dog care and making everyone laugh. I knew he needn’t have worried. He had the biggest heart of anyone I’d ever met, and people were drawn to him.
I still was and he’d been mine for more than a year.
“You know, our insurance covers same-sex partners.”
I startled at the voice and turned to find my boss down on his haunches and petting Chester. Aldo and Fawkes were with Tru, soaking up all the attention they were getting. Chester was still skittish around too many people for too long.
“I know, Mr. Danbury.”
He looked up and smiled. “It’s good to see you happy, Wyatt. And if that man is the reason your productivity has been so high, I’m going to demand you keep him forever.”
I laughed. “I’m keeping him forever anyway.”
“Good.” Mr. Danbury stood up. “Think he’ll mind if I ask him for some tips about my Shiba Inu? Little girl is stubborn as anything.”
“He’d be delighted to help,” I assured Mr. Danbury. I watched as he walked over, and then insinuated him into the conversation. Whatever Mr. Danbury said had Tru looking at me and giving me the most radiant smile.
Yep. I was definitely keeping him.