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Can't Text This (Page 8)

“Eye contact, bud,” I remind him.

He presses a button on the controller and sets it down, turning my way. “Sorry. I wanted to ask you a question. Can I?”

“May you, and although you technically just did, yes. What’s up?”

“Can I stay the night here tonight?”

I clutch at my chest. “And leave your old dad to fend for himself? Absolutely not.”

His lip juts out. “Aw, man, but I wanted to stay here with Uncle Zach again.”

“You’d pick Uncle Zach over me? Where did I go wrong with you?”

Xavie exhales sharply. “I’d pick you first, but Uncle Zach second…or maybe Marshy.”

“You’d put my own goat in front of me? That’s messed up,” Zach says.

“BURN!” I yell. “But, seriously, kiddo, you want to stay here?”

He bobs his head up and down. “Like old times.”

Ah, that’s it—he’s missing being here with Zach.

I have to admit, I do too sometimes—but only for the super cheap room and board, not the actual living with Zach part, of course.

“Um, allow me to chime in here right quick.” Zach points to Xavie. “You are not allowed to stay here…ever. Not again.”

Xavie’s bottom lip begins to tremble. “W-Why not?”

“Because you shat on my bed, that’s why.”

“I sharted!”

“I know!” Zach hollers back. “And it got all over my bed.”

“I didn’t do it on purpose!”

“No one sharts on purpose, Xavie. No one.”

“What if I promise not to shart again?”

It takes everything Zach has not to laugh. I can tell by the way his lips are twitching and his eyes are beginning to crinkle around the edges.

“You promise? Like really, super promise?” Zach pushes.

Xavie nods enthusiastically. “Really, super promise.”

“Pinky swear? You have to say it. Say, ‘Uncle Zach, I promise to never shart in your bed again.’”

They hook pinkies and my son stares him right in the eyes as he solemnly says, “Uncle Zach, I promise to never shart in your bed again. I didn’t shart on purpose though.”

Zach chuckles. “All right then. The next weekend you’re with your daddio, it’s on. We’ll have a big, huge slumber party. Me, you, Delia, and the S’mores brothers. Deal?”

“Deal,” Xavie replies enthusiastically, then promptly goes back to playing his video game like we didn’t just have an entire conversation revolving around him sharting.

I exchange a look with Zach.

“Your kid,” he mumbles, picking up his own controller and getting back into the game.

I shake my head and check the message waiting on my phone.

Monty: I think that’s something we could do.

Me: You think? Or you’re sure?

Monty: Are you asking if I’m sure I’ll still want to bang you once I get to know you? No. That I have no darned clue about.

Monty: But if you’re asking if I’m sure I want to get to know you, then yes.

Monty: You seem interesting enough and I don’t have any friends here, so why not?

Me: “Interesting enough”. My ego thanks you.

Monty: I’m certain it could use the blow.

Me: I know of something else that could use a blow…

Monty: YOU ARE SO PERVERTED!

Me: Guilty as charged.

Me: But you like it.

Monty: You think you’re so smooth.

Me: I have something that’s smooth.

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