For starters, everyone needs a friend like Bell: true, honest, loyal, even willing to try and hide weakness for the sake of being a friend.
It was a great adventure and a good narrative for the discoveries the star couple are making. The emphasis placed on having a healthy, respectful relationship over and above sexual desires is awesome to see them try and aspire for.
It's also nice to see Declan could also see past the limitations of the advice he's been getting from Leigh and understand he can pull equal weight in a balanced relationship and voice his concerns and desires if he wants them to be heard.
The trip to the Springs was fun and the discussion in the car along the way was healthy and refreshing. Nice to see that they fit in so well with the crowd. I'm just curious are we seeing the old Jon being his old self before Jake was able to fully transform him? He seemed a little grumpy.
We definitely need to see more stories from this group of characters, Patreon requested, or not.
Fortunately, there was no bad grandpa or black sheep uncle making an appearance for Corbin in this story.
I did notice one thing the beta readers might have missed. In TRO, Corbin's dad was Harold. This time around he's being called Don.
Well, in The Right One: Aftermath, Corbin's father is Don. From TRO:2:
Greetings were stiff. My uncle was a hypocrite, just like Gramp. He was supposed to be religious but he, too, had been divorced. The depth of his insincerity, though, really came to light once we'd all sat down for dinner.
“So, Don, you got the call from Dad this morning?” Ray asked my dad. The rest of us passed serving dishes around and listened as the meaning for his visit unfolded.
“Well, I'm just here to say I was here, okay? The old man rides my ass as much as he does yours and I couldn't care less that Corbin fagged off.”
I glared at Ray, who was oblivious to me.
“Frankly, I avoid the guy and pay him lip service when I have to talk to him. I tell him I go to church, date nice Christian women and Jesus saves, hallelujah, amen and pass the peas, please.” Ray leaned back and drummed his fingers as he looked at his younger brother who chewed with casual disinterest.
“Dad,” Grayson said and then waited for his father to turn his head slightly in acknowledgment that he'd spoken. “I don't like it when you use that term. Stop it, please.”
An insincere smile crossed Ray's face and he turned back toward my dad. “Grayson's got himself a boyfriend, too. Looks like it's in the genes or something, Don.” He chuckled mirthlessly. “Old man hasn't seen my ex or his grandson since the divorce so he doesn't know. I certainly don't want to hear it from him so what say we not tell the old fucker, eh?”
“Well, you could do that, Ray,” my mother said. “But wouldn't it be more fun to invite him to the wedding....”
I think he was called Harold once, when the grandfather yelled out, now that I think about it. I'll have to go back and ret-con that so it's consistent. That one doesn't fall to the beta readers, but to me. Unfortunately, some story arcs pick up after months and I'll miss a detail like that.
In the SS series, because I do hope gay kids find it, I want them to value each other more than sex. Sex is an expression of affection, and I always want to include that idea in this series. When we think back to the time we lost our virginity, I mean that as in anyone reading this, some people regret it later because it wasn't special and not with someone they really liked or wanted to be with. Hormones take over, we have an opportunity and motive isn't a question, but we always remember that first person - for good or bad.
As far as Jon goes, who he is with Jake is not the same as the person he is with a crowd - or a stranger to him. We also don't know if Jon particularly wants to go play football in the snow or if he's just there because Jake wants to hang out with their friends. While I think Jon began a process during their story arc, I don't think you can undo a lifetime of a certain style of thinking in a few months. Realistically, Jon and Jake have only been a couple for a few months, despite having been friends for a fair bit longer.