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It Starts With Sunflowers

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The postcards started arriving two months after Riley took Ethan away in custody. He never signed his name, but Giles knew who they were from. The first one featured Van Gogh's Sunflowers from the Van Gogh Museum. Amsterdam, with its waterways and lax drug laws, would make the perfect rest stop for someone recovering from the U.S. military.

The second and third postcards were waterways in Eastern Europe. Ethan's notes were as old and painful as the cracked stone that created the bridges. They scratched at crusted over sores.

Fourth from a place in Turkey that Giles had promised to take Ethan to one day. The fifth from the Canary Islands. Ethan moved closer and talked of the future. Only the pond separating them now, Giles mused.

Then they came from New York City, Atlanta, Phoenix, and finally San Francisco. Giles only knew it was from San Francisco because a store's address at the bottom. Of course, Ethan could've just ordered it on-line, but Giles didn't think so. The two men kissing on the front rather gave Ethan's normally cryptic message the added anvil.

Ethan was always a little flashier than he was. All balderdash and chicanery, until Giles stripped everything away from him.

"Hello," Ethan said, standing in Giles' doorway ninety-six days after the first postcard arrived. His shirt was unbuttoned to expose a tease of his smooth chest.

Giles nodded. "I've been expecting you." He pointed to the box brimming with all his mail, including Ethan's postcards.

"Good." The door slammed shut behind Ethan as he moved forward. "What do you say?"

"Yes." Giles grabbed Ethan's collar and kissed him.