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 Part 2

For the first time since Gagie met her, Erin stood up for him. She stepped forward, with a cautious smile and tapped her father's shoulder, "Uh, Mom, Dad, this is Gaige. Brad's son. He's going to be living with us for, uh, a little while," Brad and Erin exchanged nervous looks while her parents shared suspicious looks.   

The other people around pretend to end keep up their conversations but, they look at Gaige now that he has a name and a relation. A reason to be in their presence. He blinks at the older couple, hands at his sides. If this were an old western movie he'd be ready to whip his guns out of their holster to win in this shoot off. But in reality, he was a skinny boy without any weapons but his tongue and his past. 

"And he couldn't dress up? Did no one inform him how Thanksgiving works in this house?" Erin's mother threw her hands up in the air like it was the biggest deal in the world Gaige wore his windbreak and not some Calvin Klein button up. 

Brad and Erin looked at each other again before Brad laughed uncomfortably, "Well, trust me. We tried to tell him what to wear. But he's stubborn like his mother. And now my son's wearing jeans with holes in the legs," Erin catches on and laughs with Brad. Her parents purse their lips. 

"Hmm," Stanley takes in Gaige again, Milton's moved out the way, obviously delighted the attention is off himself, "Well, too late to change now. Krista, sweetheart, help your mother and gram in the kitchen?" Gauge could see the blatant sexism happening, but no one said anything about him so he wasn't about to stop it either, "Milton, We've invited the Osborns for dinner today. They've got a son your grade. Adonis, I think his name. Be a nice chap-" Gaige scrunched up his face at the word 'chap'. Who said that anymore? Especially in America? "-and talk with the kid? He's smart too, I think you two should have some things in common to discuss. I believe he's a football game very loosely," then his eyes dart over to the living room that's barely see-able from the kitchen. 

Adonis' last name was Osborn. That was a new thing Gaige was learning. Over the past four weeks Gaige had lived in Michigan, he'd only been around Adonis a handful of times. The first time he stumbled upon their filming, two more times when Adonis gave Gaige rides home, and one more time when Alexia practically drug Gaige to a scene she was filming. Gaige thought it was weird how Adonis blushed while Gaige watched him adjust his camera and his angles. And now he was at the worst holiday get-together of the year with his too big of ears and little round frames. Gaige couldn't help but wonder if he wore the right clothes or if he got criticized by Stanley too. 

Milton sucked in lips, not wanting to go talk to some boy he'd never met, but nodded and pushed past Gaige. Who immediately turned and followed his set-brother through other people, a herd of small children, and into a jam-packed room of toxic masculinity. 

Men of all ages and sizes sat with beers and waters and angry and happy faces in front of a large flat screen TV that broadcasted the running of two teams back and forth on a fake grass field. Couch and loveseat were packed, folding chairs were placed behind the couch for more party joiners. Like Adonis, Milton, and Gaige. 

Adonis truly did look miserable sitting slumped in a black folding chair behind the tan couch while half the men let out a 'No!' and the other half let out a 'Yes!'. Clearly, the film boy didn't care about sports a blinding bit. No one was sitting next to him, or talking to him. He was forgotten because he didn't fit with all the other males. 

Gaige stuffed his hands in his pockets. Milton looked around the room for the splitest of a second, Gaige watched him suck in his lip, let out a deep breath, before walking over and sliding into the folding chair next to the miserable boy. Gaige followed suit. 

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