By the time I finished the paperwork for Naomi, Emerson and the Dragon, conveniently leaving out Trix, Val and the baby vamp who were all colluding with Ye Pan. I couldn’t forget that Matthew Haskins was there with The Dragon, or the the viking looking fellow who had the strange magic. I made a note to remind me when I walked into my new apartment that I needed to sketch the face of the man who I didn’t know. Maybe Sage could find out who he was. There were players in this game higher than the Dragon I was sure of it, and he was part of it. But who was he?
When I got home my brothers were goofing off with video games and snacking on a pizza that looked like it had seen better days. “That’s dinner?”
“Yep.” Rider said as he jerked his shoulder into his brothers arm knocking him off course. It was almost as violent sitting on the couch as it was in their crash em up game on the TV screen.
I went to my fridge and saw chicken plated with vegetables of varying colors and beer sitting next to it. Laker called out, “We made you dinner, and the beer is from the girl down stairs, said you should join her.”
Rider giggled. “She didn’t believe us when we told her you were gay.”
I laughed, “I’m not exactly gay.”
Laker snickered, “We know, but we like telling people that cause it makes them go. Oh my god, really? Does he know so and so from wherever? Like you and every other gay man knows each other.”
Rider laughed, “Or they don’t believe you and try to convince us we don’t know our own brother. ‘Nah, he’s straight, I’ve seen him with a girl’ And when they describe her she’s Mia or Dee, or even Dae’lin. Really people don’t pay any attention to what gets your motor running.”
I sighed as I took my cold food from the fridge and made my way to the couch with my brothers sitting on it. I sat between them, they moved only enough for me to sit. I could barely move to eat but that was alright. Both of them pressed in against my shoulder in that sort of ‘it’s alright bro’ type hug they were fond of showing me. I wondered what it’d be like if the boys stayed here all the time. I was going to miss them.
Rider smacked the palm of his hand to his forehead, “I almost forgot.” He looked at me, “There is some paperwork on the table Dorian sent over, stating that pending the meeting tomorrow in two weeks Drake can come live with you.”
Fuck! I hadn’t forgotten, but I wasn’t sure that two weeks was gonna work. I was still a fucking mess with the new place. And I was certain that the world was going to get a whole lot more dismal after tomorrow. I killed the head of The Last Phoenix. They called me a murderer. Fuck!
My brothers pressed their shoulders against me again. “We’ll be here still to help with Drake. You got this.” Laker said. Rider nodding right along with his brother, like they could read each other’s mind.
After dinner and one rousing round of playing their silly game with them I started working on that sketch in my room. I kept glancing at my phone waiting, hoping, praying to whatever gods might be listening that Alex might call me. I was getting worried.
I shot him a quick message.
N: Hey, Alex. I got the big bad. Though I think he’s got others working with him. Case solved, I’m free for a little while, if you want to get together and talk. Anytime.
I sighed as I looked at it. When it went through I waited. I don’t know how long before I set my phone on my chest and closed my eyes. I used to dream of him. He told me I did. I remembered some of them. I wanted to dream of him again. To see his blue eyes, to run my thumb over his lower lip. Fuck I just wanted to see him, to hear his voice.
I did something stupid and I called him. I knew he wasn’t going to pick up I just wanted to listen to his voice. I didn’t leave a message but I called back three more times before I tossed my phone across the bed and got up to take a shower.
Where the fuck was he?
I dreamt of Alex. I woke up to deep gashes across my back, and apparently Fee was upset with me as she glared at me when I sat up. “Fuck!” I said as I crawled out of bed and wrapped the lingering blood on the bed up in earth and air and cleaned the bed before sending it off into the trash.
Rider poked his head in rubbing his eyes, “You alright?”
I nodded. “Nightmare.”
“You’ve never screamed before.”
I sighed. “It wasn’t hurting me. Just my dream guy.”
Rider came in and wrapped his arms around my shoulder tentatively and when he didn’t feel anything sticky he dropped his arms to my body and pulled me close. “I’m sorry. Can I help?”
I shook my head. “No. I’m gonna do some yoga, grab a shower, make breakfast and then walk to the AU building to my meeting in the big conference room which you should wear a suit and tie in.”
Rider giggled, “You aren’t wearing a suit are you?”
I shook my head, “No fucking way.”
Rider let me go and grinned, “I’ll make breakfast. Dorian grabbed your list from your cupboard back at the old place and I stuck it above the coffee machine, so we knew what you’d want. That okay?”
“It’s perfect.” I pressed a kiss to my brother’s cheek, “You know I’m gonna miss you when you are gone.”
“I know. Laker too, maybe we can all move out here. I know Dad would love to have you around more.”
“I doubt that. But thanks for that thought.” I said.
Rider shrugged as he headed out the door to leave me to my own devices.
I did everything I said and I even had time to play a quick round of their favorite car racing game. Laker laughed at me, “Dude, you suck!”
“My life wasn’t spent playing video games, wanna run an obstacle course with me, or go around in the boxing ring?”
Laker looked at me and smirked, “I could take you if you didn’t cheat.”
“Do you wanna prove that?” I asked.
Rider started laughing and nearlry choked on his eggs. Lake stood up and offered me his hand, “You name the place and I’ll be there.”
“I’m not going to forget.”
Laker smiled, “Good.” We shook hands and he pulled me up off the couch. “You better get going, you’ll be late for your very important data.”
“I’m never late.” I grinned at him and glanced down at my watch. “I wasn’t even close to being late.”
Laker giggled. “I figured you wanted to be 30 minutes early so you are running late.”
I hugged my brother as I walked past. “Thanks man, don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“You’d probably die of anxiety attacks.” Laker laughed as he sat back down to play another few games with his brother.