Movement at the edge of his lot caught Eddie’s attention. Looking up he tried to make out who was there. Stepping cautiously onto the porch Eddie called “is anyone there?” Of course whoever was there didn’t answer. Feeling somewhat exposed under the bright porch light Eddie backed into the house. After locking the door he turned the porch light off. He squinted out the window trying to make out the figure in the dark.
Rory had come home early from the scheduled gigs after the last two venues cancelled at the last minute. He was disappointed to find Eddie gone and had waited for him to come home. He watched as the unfamiliar car stopped in front of Eddie’s trailer. He watched thinking it might be the mysterious person who had been there before. To his surprise Eddie got out followed by a good looking red head.
He tried telling himself the red head was just a friend but judging from Eddie’s reactions to the guy he didn’t think so. He was competition. He smirked out the window. Watching as the guy got in his car and drove away. At least he hadn’t gone inside. He didn’t have to worry about that. Worry? He shook his head pacing the living room floor more agitated with the unexpected turn of events then he cared to admit. He was the one who insisted on keeping their relationship on a friendship level. How was he supposed to know someone else would move in and sweep Eddie off his feet? This was his own damn fault.
He may have left the door wide open for someone to walk in but it didn’t mean he had to give up without a fight. Chuckling softly he knew exactly what he was going to do and whoever that red head was he’ll soon be history. He glanced out his window one last time wondering what Eddie was doing staring into his backyard. Was someone out there? It was too dark to tell. Concern for the young blond had Rory heading towards the door.
Turning from the door Eddie started to put the remnants of the picnic basket away. There wasn’t much left other than empty containers that needed to be washed. Ramsey ate everything with relish and evident delight. Smiling as he began to wash the dishes Eddie thought just maybe he was good enough to be a chef. All those years at University not knowing what he wanted to be and all along his passion was cooking.
The soft knock on his door startled him into dropping a glass to the floor. It shattered into fragments. As he bent to pick the pieces up the knock was repeated. He felt the glass shard slice into his fingers as he yelped in pain dropping the piece of glass to the floor again. Standing Eddie gulped for air as his lungs felt like they were being squeezed in a vise grip. “Eddie are you alright?” Rory’s voice sounded through the door.
Relief flooded his system. He grabbed a towel and wrapped his hand in it to stem the flow of blood from his fingers. Unlocking the door he demanded “what are you doing here?”
Rory took a step back from the door. Shoving his hands in his pockets. “I….I came home early and um ” he looked away peering into the darkness of the yard.
Eddie watched him in concern as he mirrored his earlier actions. Taking a step onto the porch he asked “do you see something out there?”
Shaking his head Rory shrugged “must be my imagination” he smiled weakly. Looking at Eddie’s hand “you hurt yourself?” He took Eddie’s hand and gently pulled him into the house. Looking at the shattered glass and the blood drops bright on the floor he asked “Jeez did I make you do that? I’m sorry I shouldn’t have startled you like I did.”
Eddie watched as Rory unwrapped his injured hand. “It’s just a couple of scratches,” he shrugged “more gore than anything else. It’s my fault for over reacting.”
Grimacing Rory asked “do you have any antiseptic, band aids?”
“Yeah in the bathroom,” Eddie tried to move to go get them when Rory stopped him.
“Stay here I’ll get it,” he commanded as he went in search of the items. Coming back he smiled “this may sting a little.” He applied the antiseptic to the cuts. After blotting the wounds dry he put the band aids around Eddie’s fingers.
Watching him in silence Eddie didn’t know what to think or how to interpret the man’s actions. “I could have taken care of this myself,” he grumbled.
“I know but I wanted to take care of you,” Rory told him as he bent to clean up the mess on the floor.
Shrugging Eddie let him be “why are you here?” he asked. “I thought you had gigs all weekend.”
“I thought so too. Two of the venues cancelled at the last minute” Rory explained “instead of hanging around with the band I came home.”
“Don’t you like your band members?” Eddie asked curious.
“Sure Trent’s my best friend but….” his voice trailed off.
“But what?” Eddie asked “you like him more then just a friend?” He had a smirk on his face teasing him.
“Hell no! Trent’s not my type even if he wasn’t straight. We’ve been best friends since we were kids.” Rory sighed finishing the dishes “he …. he wanted to spend time with my so called sister.”
Eddie’s brow furrowed in concern “you don’t like your sister because she likes your best friend?” He shook his head not understanding “that’s a little messed up. If you’re not interested in the guy why be mad if your sister is?”
“I’m not jealous” Rory exploded “he’s my friend not hers. My family not hers.”
“I don’t understand,” Eddie said watching the guy pace his kitchen floor. It felt strange that he was the one listening to someone else’s troubles and not the one needing a shoulder to cry on.
Stopping in his rotation of the kitchen “she just makes me so mad. My life was just fine until she showed up.” He stopped talking upon seeing the horrified expression on Eddie’s face.
“I couldn’t imagine life without my younger brother and sister” Eddie said softly a note of fondness in his voice as he mentioned his siblings. “I remember when my parents brought them home. How they let me hold them. I couldn’t wait to be their big brother.”
“That’s just it,” Rory growled “I didn’t even know she existed until she showed up one day. Then poof I have a sister and I’m supposed to be alright with it. Everything I’ve ever known is wrong. One big fat lie.”
Frowning Eddie took a moment to think about what Rory said “did your parents keep her existence a secret?”
“Yeah you could say that. They put her up for adoption. I never knew….”
“That’s not her fault” Eddie insisted.
“No?” Rory asked. Shrugging “maybe not” he sighed “I don’t want to talk about her anymore.”
Nodding Eddie decided it was best to drop the subject ” was there a reason why you came over tonight?”
“I wanted to make sure you were alright,” Rory told him avoiding eye contact. “I saw that car drive up tonight and wanted to make sure…”
Eddie looked at him sharply. He had to have seen Ramsey bring him home. Was he here because he’s jealous? Curious? Whatever it was that prompted his unexpected visit Eddie wanted to take advantage of it. “Would you like to sit and talk awhile? We could go into the living room…”
Fidgeting with his hat Rory looked a little uncomfortable with the suggestion. “Um uh” glancing at the clock on the wall “it’s really late. I should be going.” He walked towards the door. Stopping he turned towards Eddie with a shy smile “thanks for letting me vent tonight. Trent doesn’t like it when I say anything about Gayle.” His hand dropped from the door knob as he walked back towards Eddie. His expression was a mixture of determination, hope and fear as he wrapped his arms around the blond “thank you for listening.”
“That’s what friends are for,” Eddie said using the same phrase Rory had been throwing at him since the day they met.
“Yeah I guess” he murmured pulling back.
“Hey” Eddie grabbed his hand unable to let him go after seeing the hurt in his green eyes “are you alright?”
Looking down Rory shrugged “I wish…” he stopped swallowing hard. Looking into Eddie’s soft brown eyes he asked “it’s too late isn’t it?”
Confused Eddie asked “too late for what?”
“For us,” Rory said “I didn’t realize until this moment what I was doing. I’ve gotten so used to pushing people away that I did it to you without giving us a chance.”
“A chance?” Eddie echoed “I thought we were…” His words were cut off by Rory pressing his lips against his. Just a for a moment Eddie gave in to the urgent need to be wanted, reveling in it until Ramsey’s face flashed before his eyes and he pulled away “I can’t…I’m sorry.”
“It’s that guy isn’t? The red head?” Rory asked.
Eddie nodded even though it was all a bit confusing. He didn’t know if they were in a committed relationship or not. It had never been discussed. Eddie knew he liked Ramsey but he wasn’t sure if the feeling was mutual.
“Give me a chance. That’s all I ask,” Rory peered into Eddie’s eyes “Please I know I screwed up insisting that we were just friends but I…I really like you.”
Any resistance or hesitation Eddie had melted upon hearing Rory’s declaration. No one had ever told him they like him before except for Amber and she didn’t count. She was the reason why he doubted himself so much unable to trust his instincts and feelings. “Ok. One chance,” Eddie said giving in to Rory’s pleas.
He was rewarded with a huge grin and an intense passionate kiss that left him weak, breathless and craving more. “Thank you” Rory whispered in his ear “you’re the best thing to happen to me in a long time.” Rory took a step back “I should go. I know you have to be up early. I’ll call you tomorrow to set something up.”
“Ok” Eddie murmured following him to the door.
“Do you need a ride in the morning?” Rory asked turning back to him.
“Uh no. Ramsey is picking me up” Eddie told him deciding he didn’t want to cover anything up.
“Oh” he looked away absorbing the information “what happened to your car?”
“Someone slashed the tires” Eddie explained “Ramsey said he’d have it towed to the mechanic in the morning for me.”
Worry creased Rory’s features he didn’t like knowing someone out there had something against the gentle, skittish blond. Taking a step forward he pulled Eddie close to him “be careful and call me if you need anything at all.” He stepped back “promise?”
Nodding Eddie’s heart beat loudly in his ears as he tried to smile saying “I promise.” He walked to his door and stopped “I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Rory nodded saying “take care Eddie and goodnight.” He stood on the porch watching him go back inside. He waited until he heard the definite click of the lock before he walked home worry gnawing at his insides wondering who had it in for Eddie.