Marshall looked through the lookout walls. Nothing was stirring, nothing was happening and nobody was awake.

Everyone had gone to bed, except for Marshall, who had his eyes peeled down the driveway, waiting in silent anticipation as his tail wagged happily.

Running up the driveway, with a hood over his head and a duffel bag slung over his shoulder, Cody scampered over to Marshall, who quickly ushered him inside his pup house before poking his head back outside for anyone, and then promptly shut the door.

When he turned around Cody greeted him with a kiss on the cheek. "Hey."

"Hey. You know, Chase would be proud of your sneaking abilities."

"Well I thought I better play it safe, I know you're uneasy about things."

Marshall nodded his head. He absolutely was. Now more than ever. "What Ryder doesn't know won't hurt him, and he won't be back until morning, knowing him he will want to spend the night with Chase and Rocky," said Marshall.

"I'll have to set my alarm pretty early if I'm going to get out of here before he gets back, huh?" Cody said as he stepped onto the mattress and let his body collapse onto it, sighing in delight.

Marshall nodded his head. "Bright and bushy tailed, early."

Cody giggled and let his head rest in his paws, and it grew silent between them, momentarily.

Cody spoke up after a while, "I can't believe things happened the way they did. I don't want to imagine what would have happened to Rocky if Everest hadn't been there." Marshall had filled him in on everything once they brought Everest to the hospital once she was stable.

Marshall sighed and picked up the blanket spread across the floor and circled his bed before sitting down, pulling half of the blanket over himself. "I know what you mean, luckily it only hit her side, nothing vital. She should be getting out of the hospital in a few days now."

"That's good," Cody said, pawing at his end of the blanket absentmindedly.

"Yeah. But I've never seen Ryder so strict. He is even cracking down on Skye and Zuma, who are the most well behaved out of all of us. Everything must be getting to him."

"What about you. Is he hovering around you?" Cody smiled coyly at him.

"Not as much, he's mostly been giving me space. I must have really impressed him while he was gone. Besides, I've been plenty good," he paused and grinned at Cody. "Well, besides having a secret slumber party, that hardly counts as good behavior."

Cody nodded his head and swallowed. "Define good."

"Good for him?" Marshall said brushing Cody's head. "Not really."

He moved behind Cody and wrapped him in his arms and took both of them to the soft mattress. "Good for me, yes," Marshall said, sighing as Cody nuzzled into him, letting his weight lean against Marshall's chest.

"Well it's very good for me." Cody looked up and found Marshall's eyes. "But."

"But?" Marshall paused with his brushing, looking at him curiously.

"We've never taken this big of a risk before, what changed your mind?"

Marshall sighed, "I am tired of living in fear. Tired of living for everyone else and everyone else's happiness. And life is too short."

"Are you saying?" Cody started but was cut off, as Marshall connected their lips together and Cody's body went slack as Marshall held him in his arms.

"Whatever happens, as long as I have you, I can face anything," Marshall said, looking into his cattle dog's, his boyfriend's eyes, so full of love and light that they sparkled.

They stayed like this, staring at eachother, without a care in the world, until Cody's eyes grew heavy.

"Sleep, it's ok, I'll still be here in the morning," Marshall said and kissed him on the lips and cradled his head against his chest and let his body's natural processes do the rest.

"Stop cheating," Cody murmured with a smile before his eyes closed completely and his breathing became longer. Calmer.

Marshall watched him sleep as he went over the past day's events and tried to block out the bad, while accentuating the good. Whatever happened, he was ready to face it. And soon he drifted off to sleep too.

He dreamed a dreamless sleep until morning came and the hot sun woke him up, and he moaned as he opened his eyes and stretched.

To his right, Cody stirred as well and let out a yawn. "Morning."

"Sleep well?"

"Like a puppy." He stood his upper half up while his lower half remained under the covers and he stuck his hind end in the air and stretched, "It was sweet of you to wake me up before my alarm did," Cody said and brushed up against Marhsall, who went rigid.

"I didn't hear your alarm go off?"

Now it was Cody's turn to freeze. "Oh dog, what time is it?" He checked his watch and his eyes went wide, "It's eight a.m." He turned to Marshall who was equally as panicked.

"Ok, ok. Breathe. Maybe Ryder isn't back yet. We better get you home."

Cody frantically got his things together and Marshall opened up the door and they took timid steps out into the morning light.

"I don't see his ATV." Marshall turned back to Cody, who was at the threshold of his pup house, and his chest rose and fell in a deep breath.

"Whew. That could have been bad," he said, laughing nervously to himself and he went up to Marshall and hugged him. Sitting together, Marshall thanked his lucky stars, before speaking into Cody's ear.

"When you get home call me, I'd like to redo our dinner date properly. " Marshall said, pulling away from the hug and giving Cody a smile. Gazing into his eyes, Marshall couldn'help it and kissed him deeply.

But Cody didn't kisss back like he usually did. Marshall pulled away looking at him confusingly as Cody went rigid and fear twisted his expressions into a petrified gasp, looking past Marshall.

"What is it?" Marshall asked, holding him closer but he didn't respond. Marshall looked behind him and ice coursed through his veins. Ryder stood just outside of the sliding glass doors, hands balled into fists.

Marshall took a timid step towards him as his heart beat out of his chest.

"Ryder, I. . ."

"Get inside. Now!" Ryder's voice trembled and his eyes burned.

Marshall had to stifle the whimper that crawled up his throat and he obediently moved to sliding doors. As the doors opened, he tuned his head as Cody tried to follow but Ryder stepped in between them and put out a hand. "Not you."

Cody's ears became glued to his head and he looked up to Ryder and then met Marshall's gaze in bewilderment.

"Don't look at him, look at me." Ryder snapped his fingers and Cody met his gaze again with glassy eyes but remained rooted to the ground as Ryder spoke. "leave. Now."

"Go!" Ryder pointed and Cody didn't waste any time making himself scarce, not daring to look back at Marshall.

Ryder turned to face Marshall and his face hardened. "Get inside, you have a lot of explaining to do."