The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

Chapter Four

"That's it for today, class!" Prof. Lindon Carrigan called from the front of the room. "Don't forget to hand in your reports to my dropbox before 10:00 tomorrow morning! Any reports handed in at 10:01 and after will be tossed in the trash! Enjoy the rest of your day!"

While Kyle packed his messenger bag, Julie Rainor said, "I think I am so fucked. I'm, like, three-quarters done my report and I only have eighteen hours to finish it, write in citations, proof it, edit it, and stick it in a fuckin' report cover."

Kyle offered, "If you don't have work, I can help you finish it and proof it for you."

"Are you sure?" Julie excitedly asked. "I mean don't you have, like, a hundred videos to film?"

Kyle shrugged and responded, "I still have over three weeks to film thirteen videos for my holiday and film regular videos. I'm awesome at scheduling my content. Butt loads to time."

"Hey, guys!" Kyle said with excitement at his camera lens. "What is the haps, Internet fam? Welcome back to my channel, Kyle Beauty, where I give you all the tips, tricks, lessons, products, and reviews on all things beauty.

"Today, as you can see from the piles and piles of packages behind me, I am doing a... Okay, what am I doing...

"Today, as you can see from the piles and piles of packages behind me, I am doing an unboxing. I don't even know how many packages are sitting here but I am gonna guess and say at least fifty. I have here a large peach acai smoothie with protein and fibre from Le Guerison to keep me cool and hydrated. Let's get started. So, guys, welcome to another episode of 'Free Stuff Kyle Beauty Gets in the Mail'. I really need to work on a new title of these videos.

"Okay, let's dive right in wif... Wif! Already fumbling over my words.

"Okay, let's dive right in with this box. This is from... Maybelline. I'm guessing... that this is... their gel eyeshadows that- oh. Nope. I am wrong. This is the entire collection of Maybelline's SuperStay Matte liquid lipstick. Let's do a couple of swatches. This is a beautiful nude shade, and you guys know that I am all about them nudes. This shade is called... Dreamer. Maybelline's lipsticks always smell odd to me, but let's see how it applies to my hand. Got a nice applicator, and it glides on pretty well. Definitely a glossy application, but this should dry to a matte finish. Now this is the shade Heroine, a bright, vibrant red. Alright, the Dreamer definitely is drying down but we will have to play around with these more, possibly in a dedicated video but we'll see.

"Okay, this box is from... Laura's Boutique. Hmm. Let's see what she sent. I do have her Nixon cap in blue, and I love it! Aww! She sent me the Nixon cap in green and the denim cap! I'm trying to grow my hair but there are days where my hair annoys me, so I hide it under a cap or a beanie. I will definitely put these caps to good use. Thank you, Laura.

"Now this is from... Sally Beauty. Hmm. Okay,miso they sent me acrylic nails, gel nails, press-on nails, and a whole bunch of nail polish. Some of these polish shades are gorgeous! But sadly I don't grow my nails, nor do I wear artificial nails or nail polish. I'm sorry, Sally, but this is all going in a giveaway.

"Next up is this package from... Too Faced. Open this bad boy up. Let's see... Ohhh! I know what this box is. Yep! Too Faced has sent me the entire line of their Born This Way foundation! I bought myself this foundation in the shade Nude last month and I like it. It builds to a full coverage, super easy application, hydrates the skin, and doesn't glide or move when applying other makeup on top. I will post a photo on my Instagram later today for giving away different shades. Comment on it what shade you think you are and I'll randomly choose winners.
"Okay, onto the next! This is from... the U.K. sent by Desiree. Subscriber mail! Okay, let's see what this person sent. Aww! She knows me so well. Maoams! My favourite candy! Thank you, Desiree! I'm gonna eat one real quick. Oh, look. She also sent me this makeup primer and a letter. She said that its alright to read this online so let's see what she wrote.

"'Hi Kyle! I love your beauty videos and I've been subscribed to you since I was fifteen. Now in my first year of university, your beauty videos have given me so much advice on makeup choices and application. Because of this, I came to uni confidently and have made a ton of friends. I wanted to offer my thanks by sending you your favourite sweets. I also have never seen you wear tinted makeup primers so I thought you could review this primer by Sunday Riley. It is my go-to primer because it corrects colour, moisturizes perfectly, and allows the skin to breathe. Hope it works out.'

"Oh, my god. Desiree! Thank you! You've been subscribed for so long and it makes me really, really happy to hear that my content has helped you so much. But I have tried a couple of tinted primers before. Ambient by Hourglass, and Backlight by Becca. If any products have worked for subscribers that I haven't tried before, I am more than happy to review it.

"Now this is from... Jouer. They haven't sent me anything in forever! Since I reviewed their Essential foundation and Mineral face powder. But they have sent me these two eye palettes. This is the Spring Time in Paris palette, and this is the Skinny Dip Ultra Foil Shimmer palette. These look very shimmery! I am excited to test these out."

Kyle spent the next hour opening forty-six more packages he'd received in the mail. His C-shaped desk was completely filled with makeup, skincare products, hair products, and candy from subscribers, but most makeup.

Kyle then spent the next forty minutes editing the seventh minutes of raw footage down to a twenty-one minute clip. After editing it, Kyle exported the clip to an MP4 file and taped all the collapsed boxes together. After bringing the two bundles of cardboard down to the recycling bin, Kyle checked the time and saw that Brendan would be home in fifteen to twenty minutes.

Kyle went back into the office and quickly filmed a video for his tech channel on why iPhone users should not update their iOS software to 11.1.1 but to wait for iOS 11.2. There was just sixteen minutes of footage and Kyle edited it down to a nine minute clip.

While the clip was exporting to an MP4 file, Brendan's voice called, "Ky!? You home, Baby!?"

"Office!" Kyle called back.

Brendan walked in and kissed the top of the brunette's head, and asked, "What's up?"

"Decided to begin filming many, many videos so I don't have to film during the holidays," Kyle replied. "Go shower. We're filming the 'Boyfriend Tag' on my beauty channel. I'm doing your makeup."

Brendan groaned and retorted, "Can't we do that tomorrow?"

"Nooope. We've been putting this off for three months now. Shower, Pumpkin. And take your time because I'm filming a 'First Impressions' on these lip products."

After changing his shirt, Kyle said to his camera, "Hey, guys! What is the haps, Internet fam? Welcome back to my channel, Kyle Beauty, where I give you all the tips, tricks, lessons, products, and reviews on all things beauty.

"Today, we are gonna do a... Baa-da-dum. Baa-da-dum. Fuck. Okay.

"So in my last P.R. unboxing video, I got this entire collection sent to me by the amazing people over at Ciate. There are fourteen shades. They are each so beautiful. I present to you... the Liquid Velvet matte lipsticks. And you guys know that I love a matte lipstick.

"So I have here all fourteen shades that I will unbox, swatch on my arm, and see how they apply to the lip. Ladies, gentlemen, welcome to my first impressions of the Ciate Liquid Velvet. Let's get started."

Began began removing the tubes of lipstick out of the boxes, and Brendan called from the bathroom, "Mind turning the heat up!? I've been cold all day!"

"I hope you're not getting sick!" Kyle responded.

"I've been taking Emergen-C and Cold FX since this morning! Don't worry!"

"Okay, Google," Kyle said as he stood the lipsticks neatly on the desk. "Can you turn the heat up in all rooms to seventy-one degrees?"

"Sure. Turning three thermostats to seventy-one degrees Fahrenheit."

Kyle walked around the desk and took his camera off the tripod that was still filming. He filmed a close-up shot of the neatly lined lipstick tubes by sweeping the camera across. Kyle then set the camera on the tripod and sat back down.

"So those are the fourteen shades of the Ciate Liquid Velvets. Now let's get to arm swatches of all the shades. This will show us how the applicators work on the skin, and then I will try one on my lips.

"First up, we have the shade Diva. It is a sexy red, as you can see. Nice applicator that has two flat sides for the lips and grabs product nicely. Let's see on my arm. Oh wow. Just one light swipe and that is a lot of product.

"Next we have the shade Risque. A very hot orange. I'm talking flaming hot orange. I don't know if I'd ever wear this shade simply because I'm not into any kind of orange lipsticks. But I'm sure a lot of you can totally rock this shade.
"And we have Sass Pot, which is a lovely pink shade. Okay, this shade is a little patchy, so let's try another swipe of this. There we go. So some shades you'll have to layer."

Brendan entered the office freshly showered and dressed when Kyle was swiping the last shade on his arm.

Kyle said to the camera, "Now if my lovely cameraman can zoom in on my arm. Perfect. Thank you.

"From top to bottom we have Diva, Risque, Sass Pot, Smitten, Swoon, Pin Up, Wonderland, Kiss Me, Fast Lane, Head Over Heels, Chatterbox, Envy, Voodoo, and Starlet.

"Some shades required layering and building to get the same results as the more vibrant ones. But that is to be expected with nude and lighter shades with basically any lipstick brand.

"Can you zoom out? Thank you, Babe.

"Now to test the product on my lips, I will use the shade Smitten. This rosy shade is one that I'd wear on the daily and it swatched on my arm nicely, so let's see how it applies in the lips.

"Mind zooming in my face? Oh yeah, there we go. Show everybody my flaws through my makeup."

Brendan laughed softly and responded, "You have amazing skin even without makeup, Gorgeous."

"You're just trying to butter me up to get out of the Boyfriend Tag."

"Har har."

Kyle then said into the camera, "So just let me remove my lipstick from this morning using a makeup wipe.

"Okay, here we go. Smitten on my lips.

"After just one good swipe on my bottom lip there is definitely a good amount of lipstick. But it is patchy, so I'll let that dry and apply another layer."

"Want to go out for dinner after filming?" Brendan asked as Kyle fanned a mirror to dry the lipstick.

"We are meeting Irina and Justine for dinner, remember?"

"Oh, right."

"Okay, now that the first layer is dried down, I can go ahead and apply another layer to fix any patchiness.

"There we go. As I said before, with some of these shades you'll have to apply more than one layer. But with lipstick that looks this good, you wouldn't mind. Now to dry this down to see if it transfers."

Kyle took the same makeup wipe he'd used to remove his old lipstick to wipe the lipstick swatches off his arm.

Brendan said, "I like that lipstick on you. Nice shade. Dries down matte."

Kyle smiled warmly at the redhead and asked "On a scale from one to ten?"

"Mmm, a solid eight."

"Really?" Kyle's asked with surprise. "That's high praise coming from you considering you gave both the Guerlain and Y.S.L. lipsticks eights, too."

"What's your current favourite lipstick?"

"The Y.S.L. Pur Couture," Kyle answered, and then said to the camera, "Okay, so here is the lipstick dried down. If my lovely cameraman could zoom in. There we go. As you can see, it dries down to a very matte look. I like it. But let's see how it transfers if I kiss my finger.

"Hmm. A tiny bit of transfer, but it's a lot less than I was expecting. So you'll have to touch this up after eating oily, greasy foods and making out with your lovely.
"Okay, time to rate this baby. I'll give the amount of shade choices a nine out of ten. Application is a seven because you'll have to layer it to build with the lighter shades. And wearability gets a six because it does transfer a little. So all in all, I give the Ciate Liquid Velvet a seven overall. If anybody has tried this product, comment down below what you liked about it and what you disliked about it.

"Well that is it for this videos, guys. Give this video a thumbs up if you enjoyed it, show me some love. I hope you guys have an amazing day. Alright, bye."

Brendan hit the shutter button and grabbed the other stool. He sat it beside Kyle's. The couple shared a sweet kiss before Kyle got up and put the new lipsticks in one of the drawers of his shelves. Brendan cleared the garbage while the brunette took out a lot of makeup and set it all down on the desk.

Brendan's orange eyebrows rose and he commented, "That's a lotta makeup."

Kyle smirked at the redhead and responded, "That face needs a lot of work."

"Ha ha haaa," Brendan laughed sarcastically.

"I can't believe we're finally doing this," Kyle happily stated when he set back down beside Brendan.

"I know. When are you posting the video?"

"Tomorrow morning. I have photos for us to post on Instagram and Twitter when the video goes live. Mine is of us cuddling in bed with you blanked out. Yours is a photo of us taken in L.A. during my business trip with me blanked out. We will caption the photos 'The Boyfriend Tag' with a YouTube link."

"I have an idea," Brendan stated while getting up off the stool and out of the camera shot. "Do your intro."

"Umm, okay," said Kyle with confusion and Brendan hit the shutter button. "Hey, guys! What is the haps, Internet fam? Welcome back to my channel, Kyle Beauty, where I give you all the tips, tricks, lessons, products, and reviews on all things beauty.

"Today I have a very special guest joining me. As you can see from the title of this video, I am doing my boyfriend's makeup. You heard me correctly, boys and girls. I have a boyfriend. He's sexy A.F., he's sweet, he has the biggest heart, but what's almost a deal-breaker is the fact that he hates makeup."

Kyle literally froze intentionally. He didn't move a muscle. He didn't even blink. And it took Brendan a few seconds to realize that that was his entrance. So he quickly walked around to the desk and sat down beside the brunette.

"Meet Brendan Dennafort," Kyle said chipperly, pointing his hands at the redhead. "Or, as you guys may know him from his YouTube channel YouBeFit, Sammy D."

Brendan flashed his dazzling smile at the camera and said, "Hi, guys."

Kyle laid his forehead to Brendan's shoulder and affectionately said, "We're finally doing this."

"Are we not filming anymore?" Brendan asked with amusement.

"Oh I'll be inserting a compilation here."

"A compilation of what?"

"It's just a two minute clip of our relationship. There's my video of us on the ferris wheel at Luna Park during our third date, your video of me sleeping at your place for the first time, my video of me driving us to Niagara Falls and I screamed to scare you awake, your video of me humming some song during our vacation at the Colorado hot springs, my video of you and your aunt grilling chicken, your video of me and my siblings playing Mario Kart, my video of you mopping the floors, and your video of me baking red velvet cupcakes."

Brendan giggled and stated, "Those are the cheesiest clips. Fitting for this video."

Kyle's laughed as well, then said to the camera, "Okay, as the title of this video suggests, I'll be doing Bren's makeup as we do the boyfriend tag."

Brendan clapped his hands once and enthusiastically said, "Let's do it!"

Grabbing a tube of makeup primer, Kyle said, "Okay, first question is when slash where did we meet?"

"Kyle here," Brendan began with a huge smile, "the thirsty little guy, followed me on Instagram."

Kyle laughed boisterously and responded, "I thought you were one of the hottest guys!"

"I think he was fifteen, maybe sixteen. Before either of us started our YouTube channels. I was in college then when I saw one of the few new followers on Insta was this cute kid. I didn't follow him back because he was too young. He was a fan, though. Pretty much any post of mine, Kyle liked. He left comments on selfies and shirtless photos."

As he pumped foundation onto his glass palette, Kyle said, "And when did you follow me back?"

"Kyle was seventeen-and-a-half when I checked out his Instagram again. He had been making YouTube videos for over a year. His smile hooked me. His brilliant, beautiful smile was begging me for attention. Literally five minutes after I hit that Follow button, Kyle sent me a D.M. saying 'OMG you followed me back!' and I had to giggle at that."

"The hottest guy I'd been following for two years followed me back!" Kyle said in faux defense while blending foundation to the redhead's face.

"So we D.M.'ed back and forth," Brendan went on. "PG13, I promise. He was not yet eighteen, and I didn't wanna get arrested. It was mostly platonic conversation like how our days were, dates we'd been on, his makeup ventures, my gym dreams, family situations."

"Next question is..." Kyle began while grabbing a tube of concealer and looking down at his phone, "when was our first date?"

"It was March 8th, 2015. Kyle and his dad had flown in from Portland two days prior to tour the N.Y.U. campus. Kyle had told me a week before, and he was begging for a date. I wanted to, believe me, I wanted to. So I talked to his dad over the phone and got his approval. Kyle was still a minor then, so I promised Jim, Kyle's dad, that I wouldn't defile his son until his eighteenth."

"And Brendan was adamant about keeping that promise," Kyle said with humour.

"The most- athletic thing we did was make out.

"Which leads us to question number three. When and where was our first kiss?"

"March 10. Kyle and I went on a second date on March 9. On March 10th, I drove Kyle and Jim to the airport. We shared a passionate kiss before they went through security."

"Best kiss of my life," Kyle stated firmly while blending the concealer in. "So far, anyway. So when is my birthday? Not really a hard question, like, at all."

"Kyle's birthday is July 23rd."

"And Brendan's birthday is September 7th. Who said 'I love you' first? Brendan did."

"I did," Brendan agreed shyly. "Kyle and I dated long distance. I flew over to Portland in mid April. Kyle flew here in late May. I surprised him for his birthday by flying out there even though I told him I couldn't afford to fly out until August. If was the day after Kyle's birthday and we were cuddling on the sofa and watching 'Ghost Busters' with his whole family. Kyle was holding me, and I just felt it. Kyle laughed, and the sound of it just... I dunno. It made every single cell in my body burn, or electrify."

Kyle and Brendan gazed deeply into each other's eyes, which were beginning to water. Kyle had stopped dabbing setting powder to Brendan's face. Kyle leaned in and they shared a lingering, sweet kiss.

"Yeah," Kyle said with a slightly emotional smile. "Brendan grabbed my hand off his chest and said it. I knew I'd loved him for a couple of weeks at least but he said it first.

"What i
s a food that I dislike?"

"Tomatoes!" Brendan answered laughing. "But the weird thing is, Kyle likes cherry tomatoes. So if I make him a sandwich or anything with tomatoes, I use cherry tomatoes."

"I honestly have no idea what that's about," Kyle replied, shrugging. "I just don't like regular tomatoes. Anyway, Brendan hates... mozzarella cheese. When I make pizza, it's a blend of cheddar and blue cheese.
"What is a T.V. show that I love watching?"



"Mm! Loves me some Jared Padalecki. But I can't stand how Jensen Ackles makes his voice sound. But Brendan loves watching 'House of Cards'."

"It's edgy, it's sexy, smooth continuity, excellent character developments, and doesn't focus too much on politics."

Kyle grabbed an eyebrow pencil, and asked, "What am I good at?"

"Mmm... you are great at caring for your loved ones. You do so much for your family and your friends."

"I was gonna say the same thing about you!" Kyle happily called while filling Brendan's brows in. "I fell in love with you all over again last when your grandma passed away. You used so much of your savings to arrange and pay for her funeral. Selfless.

"What do you think is my weirdest habit?"

"Oh, there's a lot."

Kyle smacked Brendan's arm and cried, "There is not!"

Brendan laughed and answered, "Okay, your weirdest habit is that you can't stand it when different foods touch each other. Guys, Kyle doesn't eat a grain of rice that grain touched his beef roast."

"I just think it's disgusting!" Kyle defended himself with an embarrassed smile while looking at different eyeshadows. "I know it's all gonna go into my stomach anyway, but I can't stand it.

"Brendan's weird habit is none of his videos can be thirteen minutes in length. If you go to his channel, you'll find some fourteen minute videos that have a lot of rambling."

"Thirteen is an unlucky number."

"Okay, Baby. What sport do I like most?"

"Kyle likes to watch football," Brendan easily answered. "American football for you non-Americans. His favourite team is the Miami Dolphins. But his favourite sport to play is basketball because it involves a lot of cardio."

"I do love basketball," Kyle agreed as he combed the redhead's brows. "Brendan's favourite sport all around is baseball. If you haven't seen him in baseball pants... Wooh!

"What is my favourite song? Brendan's current favourite is... 'Walk on Water' by Eminem."

"Wrong!" Brendan called with laughter. "It's actually 'All My Friends' by Snakeships. Yours is 'Dusk Till Dawn' by Zayn and Sia."

"Ugh, you know me so well."

"Ah man," Brendan groused. "Please not eyeshadow."

"C'mon!" Kyle said with a smile. "We're doing a full glam. I gotta use a dark grey and a couple of purples to make your pretty blue eyes really pop!"

"Oh, my god, fine."

Kyle looked down at his phone while grabbing eye brushes, and asked, "What film always makes me cry?"

"Kyle always bawls his freakin' eyes out when watching 'Steel Magnolias'. And I can't blame him. It's a powerful, emotional film."

"It is," Kyle nodded his head. "Bren always cries from 'My Girl'. I mean the funeral scene is heart-shattering.

"Next question is where does my family come from?"

"Umm..." Brendan said in deep thought. "I can't remember if it's your great-great grandmother or triple-great grandmother that moved from Exeter to Old York. But I know that your grandfather moved from Toronto to Portland."

"It's my double-great grandmother that moved to Old York. Bren's great grandfather moved from Armadale, Scotland to Plymouth, Massachusetts. His grandmother married a man from Orlando, Florida, and that's where Bren moved from for college.

"Okay, what am I deathly afraid of?"

"Kyle is deathly afraid of roller coasters. I'm talking white-as-a-ghost fear. And it's not even just about riding them. He is afraid of getting near them."

"None of you can judge me," Kyle said as he pointed a makeup brush at the camera. "It's terrifying to me that the roller coaster could fall off its hinges and crush me to a messy death.

"Anyway, Bren is afraid of pregnant women. He's not afraid of them, he's afraid that he could do something that'll cause a miscarriage."

"I don't even know where that fear comes from."

"Next. What do we argue about most?"

"The amount of porn I watch," Brendan responded with a big smile of amusement. "I'm a bottom, and--"

"--Wait, we're disclosing that?"

Brendan smiled at the brunette, shrugged, and replied, "Sure. I don't mind. We always talk about not understanding why celebrities and other YouTubers don't like discussing that or answering that question. I think it shows how comfortable I am sexually, and how confident I am in my likes.

"So I'm a bottom. Kyle is a vers top who likes to- receive once in a while. But what bugs Kyle is the fact that I sometimes watch porn after sex. It has nothing to do with being unsatisfied by Kyle, or anything bad. I just need to get off more. So Kyle gets insecure about that and we sometimes fight about it."

Kyle giggled uncomfortably and said to the camera, "I didn't know we'd be brutally honest here. I was gonna say that we fight most about being so busy. We do fight about that sometimes. I'm busy with university six hours a day, five days a week all while filming, editing, and posting six videos a week. Bren is busy with running his gym and posting a video every other day.

"Okay. Next question. What is one thing that you would change about me? And no cheesy answers like 'I would not change a thing about you'. Hmm. I think that you would change... my cleanliness. I am a clean freak. We Swiffer and Swiffer Mop the floors every single day, we wipe down the remote controls and door knobs every other day, we clean the bathroom every other day, we- it's a lot. It's a shitload of cleaning."

"Wrong," Brendan said, smiling. "I don't mind cleaning when we do. It means that it's always presentable for company, and keeping germs levels as low as possible. What I would change about you, though, is your dislike for tomatoes. It's annoying having to cut all those cherry tomatoes for a sandwich."

"You don't have to make me any sandwiches."

"Yeah, well, I need to keep you happy so I have a better chance of getting la--"

Kyle had to stop brushing purple eyeshadow to Brendan's eyelids to cover the redhead's mouth, and amusedly asked, "Okay, what do you think I would change about you?"

"I think that you would change... my manscaping. You've said multiple times before that you like it when I have hair on chest and stomach."

"That is exactly what I would change about you," Kyle agreed with a smile. "Not that I mind a smooth body, but some fur is sexy A.F., especially on you.
"Next question is if I could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?"

"Easy," Brendan responded as he watched Kyle uncap a pencil eyeliner. "Milan. It is the capital of the fashion world."

"True. And all those sexy Italian men. Ooh-la-la."

Grinning, Brendan asked, "Should I have something to worry about?"

"Absolutely not. Look up for me, Babe. You have nothing to worry about because it is an annoyance to become comfortable farting around someone like I have with you."

Brendan laughed softly and retorted, "Oh, is that it?"

"Yes. Farting is everything in comfort in a relationship. I trust that you won't scream and fuss when I pass gas. So I know that you would move to Berlin for its architecture and beautiful buildings, even though there are more attractive sights out there.

"Where was--"

"--Oh, God, not false lashes, too."

"Yes false lashes. We're doing full glam. C'mon, we've done your makeup before.
"Where was our first trip together?"

"It was to Orlando, Florida," Brendan answered, trying not to blink too much as Kyle applied a false lash. "It was his cousin Cahlan's wedding, and it was... seven or eight months in our relationship."

"It was seven months into our relationship. So when did we move in together?"

"I moved into this apartment, which Kyle had been living in for five months, in December of 2015. We'd been dating for roughly nine months. My apartment lease was due to end on December thirty-first, so Kyle asked me to move in because we'd been spending ninety-nine-percent of our nights together anyway. At the time, Kyle's beauty channel had over two million subscribers and his tech channel had nine hundred thousand if I remember correctly. My channel had one-point-six million subscribers. So we really have grown together."

"Last question because I am almost done. Why did we--"

Kyle was interrupted by his cell phone vibrating on the desk with a call. He the blush and blush brush down and picked up the device.

"It's my mom. Hi, mom."

"Hey, Ky," Mrs. Hemstad said pleasantly. "How's my boy?"

"I'm doing great, ma. How's everyone at home?"

"Oh, everybody is just fine. Your dad is up for a big promotion! You remember Marcus, right? He's retiring in January."

Kyle smiled a great smile and replied, "Oh, my god! That's fantastic! Give dad a big hug for me!"

"Of course. Eli went on a date yesterday. He was so cute!"

Kyle heard his little brother's voice in the background cry, "Mom!" and he laughed.

"Whaaat? You were! Anyway, Meg is going to Lake Merwin tomorrow with Darius and his family for a weekend getaway. She's quite excited."

"That's awesome! I love Lake Merwin. How are you, ma? You sound- I dunno, distracted."

Kyle heard his mom sigh heavily and she responded, "It's your uncle Ben, Ky. He's... he's gonna be a father!"

Kyle smiled excitedly and cried, "Ohmygod! That's amazing news! Do they know what gender- of course they don't."

Mrs. Hemstad laughed softly and replied, "Yeah, your aunt Leanne is just six weeks pregnant."

"I can't believe this. After trying for, like, two years Uncle Ben is gonna be a dad. Promise me you won't tell them, but right after filming this video I'm ordering them a shitload of baby clothes. Gender-neutral of course, until they found out the gender."

"I'm sure you aunt and uncle will really appreciate that, Ky. Wait, you're filming a video? I'm sorry, Ky. You should've said something."

"It's fine, ma. Bren and I are filming the Boyfriend Tag that'll be posted tomorrow. There are a couple of questions that might make you guys uncomfortable, so I must ask that you not watch it."

"I promise, sweetie. Tell Bren we said hi. Love you."

"Love you, too, ma. Bye."

After Kyle ended the call, Brendan asked, "Somebody is pregnant?"

"Yeah. Uncle Ben and Aunt Leanne."

"Wow, that's awesome!" Brendan called with enthusiasm. "You're getting baby clothes? I'll get 'em breast pumps, bottles, a fuckload of diapers and wipes."

"Sounds good but let's get back to the video.

"Why did we keep our relationship hidden for so long. We are going on three years together after all."

"Kyle actually brought it up," Brendan answered as the brunette brushed blush on his cheeks. "He said that he wanted us to grow as a couple behind the cameras before we made it public. We've all seen YouTubers that throw their relationships right in front of their audiences, even brand new relationships, and that's fine. Do what you want, but then theirrelationships didn't work out. But Kyle didn't want that. He wanted us to get to know each really, really well before we came out, so to speak. At the time, a month into our relationship, Kyle's two channels had a combined total of... two million subscribers I think. My channel had eight hundred thousand. So it made sense, I was happy with that, and that's what we did.

"So then when we moved in together, Kyle asked whether I was comfortable with broadcasting our relationship. I was not. I was not because I was scared that everybody would look at me differently. I've always been out and proud about my sexuality, but I was scared that people would start treating me like a YouTuber dating an even bigger YouTuber, ya know? Like I was using him for views or subscribers."

Kyle grabbed a fan brush and a compact of high lighter and said to the camera, "Yeah. So I proposed that we do a collaboration to establish that we at least knew each other. I had been paying for a membership to his gym, even though he insisted that I don't have to pay but I chose to because he's running a business. So in January 2016 we shot the 'Kyle Hemstad Gets Fit' on his channel, and we filmed 'Doing YouBeFit's Glam Makeup' on this channel. Since then, I've appeared on Bren's channel every month for progress videos, and Bren has been on this channel a total of four times now."

"No lipstick," Brendan protested. "Please, please, please no lipstick."

"C'mon," Kyle begged. "It makes you look more manly."

"Riiight. Fine. But I'm wiping it all off when we're done filming."

"Can't, Tumbleweed. We have to pick up Irina and Justine in a half hour."

Brendan begrudgingly sat still and allowed the brunette to swipe a deep purple lipstick on his lips.

"And we are done," Kyle happily stated and grabbed a bottle of setting spray. "There you go, guys. Does he look amazing? I present to you my boyfriend, Samuel Brendan Dennafort."

Just as Kyle was going to ask Brendan something, Brendan said to the camera, "You guys may be wondering why Kyle calls me Brendan in our personal lives. All of my friends and family and some YouTubers call me by my middle name. And the reason for that is explained in one of my sit-down videos called 'Growing Up With Abuse', which Kyle will link in the description box down below."

"I will, so be sure to check that out and his other videos to get to know him better.
"I will also provide all of the names of all the products used in this video if you guys want to check those out.

"I am also giving huge shout-outs to any people that speculated that Bren and I were in a relationship long before this video. I remember over a year ago someone had left a comment on my 'Beauty Guru's Breakfasts' video that my kitchen was extremely similar to YouBeFit's kitchen. And there were dozens of responses to that comment that said the same thing."

"We share a kitchen," Brendan stated. "And a living room. And a bathroom. And a bed. Damn, we share that bed so good."

Kyle laughed and said, "Oh, my god, shut up, so that is it for this video guys. I hope you enjoyed getting to know my boyfriend, and smash that thumbs up button if you think I did a good job with his makeup. I hope you guys have an amazing day. Alright, bye."

Kyle turned in the stool toward Brendan. Their eyes met, and they shared a lingering kiss on the lips.


To Be Continued

Hello! I hope you enjoyed reading this third instalment of 'The Trick Is To Keep Breathing'. I am having fun writing about YouTube personalities as I know next to nothing about being a YouTube 'content creator' as they call themselves.

I love hearing back from readers! Email me whether you liked this story or not. Have some criticism? I take criticism well!

Stories located here on The Story Lover's Home:

High School - 'Near Wild Heaven'

Relationships - 'Somewhere A Clock Is Ticking'

College - 'You Don't Mean To Hurt Me'

Science Fiction, High School - 'Connected'

High School - 'Do Not Go Gentle'

College - 'A Quick Fall'

College - 'The Other Half of Me Unknown'

College - 'You Call It Madness'

Comments and suggestions appreciated at Tyler Christopher