Tag Archive | Elaine Liu

Knights of Hope – Chapter 9 – Movie Date

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Trebor leaned against the moving van kneading the back of his neck.”How did I let myself get roped into doing manual labor on my day off” he muttered to himself.

“I don’t know. How did you” a familiar voice said next to his ear.

“Braylin” he cried jumping a little when the man’s fingers dug into his sore overworked muscles.

“Mmm that feels divine” closing his eyes he let himself relax beneath the hand’s kneading his tired sore muscles. “I thought you had to practice this morning” he hummed slightly. He was sure if he were part cat he’d be purring.

“Practice is over” he leaned forward pressing his lips into the back of Trebor’s neck. “Thought I’d come by to see if you needed any help.”

“OMG this is him isn’t” Elaine’s voice cried shrill with excitement came to them as she came out of the house. “I’ve heard all about you. I didn’t really believe it though.”

Tensing Trebor stepped away from Braylin to face his cousin. “Did you think I made him up or something?”

“Well….” shrugging she turned to stare at Braylin “maybe just the part about him being a famous hockey player.”

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“You told them I was famous” he asked eyes twinkling with amusement.

“Well aren’t you?”

“I don’t know….maybe a little” grinning he turned his attention to the girl “maybe I am among hockey fans.”

“I’m not a fan” she gushed “but my boyfriend is. Russell is going to freak.” Turning her head towards the house “Russell come out here. There’s someone you need to meet.”

Trebor reached for Braylin’s hand giving him an apologetic look. “I’m sorry” he murmured.

“Don’t be” he squeezed his hand to reassure him. “I’m kind of used to this kind of reaction from fans.”

The door opened and a tired looking young man appeared. “Elaine what are you doing out here? You should be inside resting.”

“I’m fine” she insisted. Waving her hands around in the direction of Braylin she announced “look.”

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Russell’s eyes became large and round. “You’re you’re” looking to Trebor as if he needed confirmation for what his eyes were telling him “is this your boyfriend?” Receiving a nod in response to his question he continued to stare at Braylin too tongue-tied to say anything.

“Are you a hockey fan” Braylin asked when the silence lengthened into awkwardness.

Nodding Russell blinked slowly as if coming back into focus. “Ssssorry. It’s just I never expected to meet you in person.” He gave Eli a glare who was snickering behind his back but resolutely continued “you never know how much to believe when your source is that guy.” He jerked his head towards Eli.

“I would have told you if he were lying” Trebor said softly.

“Don’t be upset” Elaine quickly stepped in “we just thought it was a case of love being blind and all that jazz. We assumed you wouldn’t know if he was famous or not. You never seemed to be all that into hockey when we invited you over to see any of the games.” Giggling a little “it’s not like you were all that interested or ever actually watched the game.”

“You got me there” he admitted scratching his head. “Before Braylin I didn’t know anything about hockey. I barely knew what a puck was.”

“You’ve come a long way babe” Braylin beamed at him wrapping an arm around his waist and pulling Trebor to him. “So how much more do you have to do? Trebor and I had plans tonight. I don’t want him to miss that movie he’s been talking about for weeks.”

“Are you taking him to the new dragon movie” Elaine asked as they all converged on the van.

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“That was the plan” he said “but the last showing is at 3:30 so we had to cancel.”

“Cancel” she cried “why did you do that?”

“Laine it’s alright” Trebor assured her “I’ll see it when it comes out on Netflix.”

“You’ll do no such thing” she shook her head at him resting her hands on her slim hips. Turning to Braylin “do you know he collects all things dragon? He’s wanted to see that movie since he saw the previews. He absolutely loves dragons.”

“I don’t see how we can help you move and make the movie” Trebor pointed out picking up a large box.

“Put that down” she ordered.

“What” he asked almost dropping it.

“You heard me. Put it down” she pointed towards the floor of the van. “If you leave right now you’ll be able to get cleaned up and still make it in time to see the movie.”

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“Are you serious” he asked slowly setting the box down.

“Of course she is” Russell encouraged coming up alongside kissing her cheek. “She’s a romantic at heart.”

“Shush” she leaned into him “I would have insisted you stop working a while ago if I had known.”

“Are you sure” he asked again “I don’t mind helping. I don’t want to leave you with all this work yet to do.”

“Don’t worry about it” she waved a dismissive hand towards the boxes. We have the truck until Monday. We’ll finish tomorrow if you want to come back in the morning to help.”

“We’ll be here” Braylin grabbed Trebor’s hand and hurried from the van.

“But…” he stammered “we should finish and I’m not dressed….”

“You look fine” Braylin assured him.

“Have fun you two” Eli shouted “don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.”

***

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“I wish I had time to have a shower at least” Trebor mumbled under his breath as they found seats in the middle towards the front.

“You smell fine” Braylin flashed his trademark toothy grin.

“That’s something at least” taking a handful of the buttery popcorn Braylin insisted on getting.

“I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist this buttery goodness” winking at him nonchalantly munching on a handful of popcorn.

“I’m starving” Trebor explained “we were waiting for Lana to come back with lunch.”

“Oh” the movie theater darkened. “Would you like some nachos? I could get you some?”

“Don’t worry about it” he munched on more popcorn “I’ll survive.”

Most of the movie Braylin found himself watching the man beside him. Trebor’s eyes were glued to the screen jumping whenever something tense or exciting happened in the movie. He especially liked the almost childlike wonder that Trebor had allowing him to suspend reality and fully give himself over to the movie.

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Walking from the theater Trebor asked “what were you thinking about during the moving? You kept watching me.”

“I didn’t think you noticed” he brushed a street of hair from Trebor’s eyes.

“I could tell you were watching me not the movie” he turned to leave disappointment in the sag of his shoulders and eyes.

“Hey don’t be like that” Braylin caught his arm slowing him down.

“Like what” he challenged “we could have watched something else. We didn’t have to watch that particular movie because it’s the one I wanted to see.”

“I liked the movie well enough” he protested.

“What was it about” Trebor challenged.

“It was …. Um” he shrugged “I don’t know. Maybe I needed to know more about dragons to really enjoy it.”

“We could have gone to something else” anxious now that he knew Braylin wasn’t as into Dragon’s as he was.

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“I enjoyed it” he insisted.

“But you didn’t like it” Trebor shook his head “you probably think I’m being silly for liking it so much.”

“Not at all” he shook his head taking Trebor’s hand and leading him from the empty theater. “I enjoyed watching you enjoy it. It was all worth it.”

“You’re not just saying that” he asked looking up watching Braylin contritely.

“It’s like you watching me play hockey” he explained “you don’t understand it but you still have fun. That’s how I feel right now.” He watched the anxiety melt from Trebor’s face and eyes and smiled. “That’s better” he teased touching his face “I missed that smile.”

“Sorry it’s just after all the talking I did about the movie and how great it was going to be” he shrugged “then you didn’t like it. Don’t say you did. I’ve gotten familiar with the way you crease your forehead when you don’t like something. You may not dislike it but you’re just tolerating it because of me.”

“Oh” he was chagrined “I still had fun though.”

“I don’t know how if you hated the movie” he persisted.

“I had fun watching you enjoy it” pausing flicking Trebor’s nose playfully. “You were so engrossed in the movie. I would have paid to watch the way your face lit up. That’s what I found the most enjoyable watching you.”

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“What do you want for supper” Trebor asked changing the subject.

“I thought you were going to feed me a gourmet meal” he teased.

“I don’t know how gourmet it will be but I can cook” Trebor said “Do you like lasagna?”

“I’ll eat anything you make.”

“That’s not an answer.”

“I’m not fond of Italian” he grinned “but it beats eating Chinese take out again.”

Frowning as he drove up outside Trebor’s building. “This isn’t a very good neighborhood.”

“Don’t worry. Your car will be safe” he assured him getting out. “I can’t afford anything else with all my school loans” he said.

Pointing in the direction of the little diner packed with customers. “Have you ever eaten there” he asked.

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“Not often” he said leading the way towards his apartment. “It’s always packed and yes their food is that good.”

“One day we should try it” he suggested.

“Are you saying you don’t like my cooking” he asked.

By the tone of his voice Braylin knew he was teasing “I didn’t say that.”

“No? You just implied it” he held the door open for Braylin to enter first. He walked past the elevator going towards the stairs. With a groan Braylin followed.

Several flights up Trebor exits the stairwell and going towards his door. Holding it open allowing Braylin to enter first. Whistling softly Braylin said “not bad.”

“Not quite the hole in the wall you expected” he challenged.

“Nope” he went to inspect the view “wow you’re super close to the train.”

I’m kind of used to it by now” he said moving around the kitchen gathering the ingredients he needed to cook. “I hardly notice it now. After we eat we’ll need to go up to the roof to check out the view. It’s my favorite spot.”

***

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An hour later Braylin was leaning back at the kitchen table. “That was delicious” he patted his stomach. “I might have to do extra laps tomorrow to run it all off.” Silence greeted his announcement. Giving Trebor a concerned look only to find him staring at his phone. “Something wrong?”

Shaking his head he looked up meeting Braylin’s gaze. Eyes moist with tears not yet fallen. “It’s my little sister. She quit college.”

“Her choice” he asked sensing that her quitting school wasn’t the real problem.

“She only has a few months to go before getting her degree” he took a deep breath. Putting his phone away saying “my parents don’t know where she is. They were hoping she’d come here.”

“Will she?”

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“I don’t think so” he drummed his fingers on the table a far away look in his eyes. “We used to be really close when we were kids. Now” he shrugged “I don’t know her.”

Pushing away from the table Braylin stood and began to clear the table. “I’ll clean up” he offered “why don’t you give her a call?”

“Are you sure” he asked frowning as he watched as Braylin stacked the dishes haphazardly. Biting his lip to keep from saying anything he stood up too.

Sighing Braylin looked at the dishes in his hands “I know I haven’t learned your method yet but I promise I’ll get them clean.”

“Alright” he nodded reluctantly taking a few steps towards the living room before turning back. Wrapping his arms around Braylin he whispered “I don’t know what I’d do without my hockey player.”

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“Well Doctor Bennett I hope you never have to find out” he smiled letting the warmth caused by Trebor’s words to spread through him. Briefly he felt the warmth of Trebor’s lips on the side of his neck just below his ear lobe.

Turning Trebor stood in front of his dragon tapestry letting his mind wander to the movie he’d seen earlier that day. How would it be if he actually had a real dragon? His hand traced the dragon’s tail while he listened to his phone ring waiting for his sister to pick up.

Frowning as the automated message played he took a deep breath to leave his message. “Ava this is your brother. Where the hell are you? Mom and Dad are hysterical. I know you’re going through some sort of experimental phase or whatever you call it. That’s no excuse to make everyone worry about you. Call me.”

He slowly turned around coming face to face with Braylin. “Don’t say anything” he snapped not happy with the message he’d left.

“In my experience that’s the last message I’d return” he said drying his hands on the back of his jeans. “What kind of trouble is she in?”

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“I never said she was….”

Walking over to the other man he gently lifted Trebor’s chin up to gaze into his eyes. “You didn’t have to.” He could the indecision and trouble in the light blue eyes as they stared up at him “tell me” he requested softly.

“She’s just the typical college senior” he mumbled turning away. “She drinks too much and … “ wrapping his arms around himself he stared at his feet.

“Is she into drugs” Braylin asked making a guess.

Nodding he looked up “I found the drugs in her room when we were both home for the holidays last year. She promised she’d stop.” His voice rose “now I don’t know. She may have just been telling me what I wanted to hear.”

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“All you can do is wait to hear from her” he murmured.

“She won’t call” he said jerking from the well-meaning arms of the hockey player. “She’s too stubborn. Always doing her own thing. I thought if I was a good enough big brother she wouldn’t have to go down this path.” Turning he reached for the door knob “maybe it’s karma come to bite me in the ass.”

Frowning Braylin wondered what he meant by that. But before he could ask Trebor said “want to go up to the roof?”

The plea in his voice and the sadness in his eyes made him want to do anything he could to wipe that expression from his face forever. “Sure babe I’d like that” he followed him out and up the stairs. Reaching the top he said “you know you can tell me anything right?”

A pause ensued at Trebor stared at the busy bridge in the distance “I know. I just need a little time.”

Chapter 8 – Friendly Get Together / Chapter 10 – Trouble Brewing

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Knights of Hope – Chapter 3 – Uncomfortable Situation

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Tossing his soiled scrubs into the hamper he hoped the hospital laundry service would be able to remove the blood stains. Leaning against the cool ceramic wall of the locker room Trebor took several deep breaths letting the cold seep into his tired body.

“You better get a move on” Eli said prodding him in the side as he walked past on his way to his locker. Doctor Bracket is looking for willing volunteers to work a double tonight.”

“Not tonight” Trebor moaned forcing himself to move. “I’ve already worked overtime.” He moved like a slug towards his locker where his street clothes were stored.

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The locker room door opened allowing an older man in his late thirties early forties into the room. “I need a couple of volunteers” his eyes locked onto Eli a moment before moving to Trebor.

“No can do” Eli declined shaking his head. “Trebor and I have important family matters to attend to.”

The man’s eyebrows rose skyward disappearing into his longish hair on his forehead. “Is that so” he pondered letting his gaze bore into Trebor before dipping and lingering on his bare chest and torso.

“Yyyyeah” Trebor said dismissing the fleeting thought his superior was checking him out. “One of the victims in the multi car pile up was our cousin” he explained. “We need to make phone calls home to inform the family.”

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“I’m sure Eli here can take care of all that” Doctor Bracket said stepping close resting a hand on Trebor’s shoulder “I could make it worth your while if you stay.”

Stepping back to break the unwanted contact Trebor fell over the nearby bench. His feet flew out from beneath him. He landed on his back with a loud jarring thud. He lay staring up at the concerned faces while stars floated in front of him as he fought to draw air into his lungs. Struggling to his feet still gasping for breath mumbling “I’m fine” he assured Eli before he could ask if he were okay. Composing himself he addressed the Director “I can’t work a double tonight. Sorry.”

Disappointment tinged with anger flashed in the man’s eyes before nodding and backing towards the exit. Stopping by the door he gave Trebor a lingering leer.before leaving and slamming the door behind him.

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“Wow” Eli said releasing a breath he’d been holding “that guy has it bad for you. Did you see the way he was looking at you?”

“You’re kidding right” Trebor protested shrugging into his shirt deciding to wait until he got home to shower.

“Didn’t you see the way he was undressing you with his eyes” groaning he shook his head at his friend. “You cannot be that oblivious.”

“I’m telling you you’re wrong” Trebor insisted finger combing his hair. “The man is married. He has kids a few years younger than us. Why would he be interested in me?”

“So you did notice” Eli grinned earning himself an exasperated glare. Ignoring him he said “you’re a hot young stud. Why wouldn’t he want to tap that?”

“Whatever” Trebor rolled his eyes as he fled the locker room and the jeers his best friend would taunt him with.

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Walking past the nurses’ station he was well aware of Doctor Brackett’s eyes upon him. It gave him an unsettled feeling in the pit of his stomach. It wasn’t the same thrill of fluttering butterflies he got when he caught Braylin watching him the night of the Charity event. With Braylin he felt desired almost like a cherished piece of art. With Doctor Brackett he felt somehow dirty, like a cheap trick to be tossed like yesterday’s trash.

Waiting by the door for Eli wasn’t the best idea he had that night. He should have waited in the locker room. At least there he wouldn’t have been alone or under the watchful eyes of Dr Brackett. “Finally” he jumped from the wall where he’d been leaning when Eli joined him.

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“Couldn’t help it” he said holding his phone up. “Russell called to see if Elaine had made it in alright. I had no choice but to tell him what happened.”

“How did he take it” Trebor asked thankful that Eli had gotten the call and not him.

“Terrible” he sighed “he was in tears before I finished telling him. This is one of the things I hate about being a doctor.” Squeezing his eyes shut he inhaled deeply. “He and Lia are catching the earliest flight they can from Sunlit Tides. They should be here sometime tomorrow.” Glancing over his shoulder where their Director was watching. “I hate to do this to you buddy but I need you to cover for me tomorrow night.”

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“You owe me big time” Trebor said walking towards the exit.

Laughing softly Eli said “that guy gives me the creeps.”

“You” Trebor asked incredulously “what about me?”

“Yeah well” he shrugged “you’re the one who says he doesn’t want in your pants.”

“Ugh” he walked towards his car knowing Eli would follow “he doesn’t.”

“Then you have nothing to worry about” Eli flashed him a grin.

“Stop” Trebor warned “or you’ll have to walk home.”

“Alright I’ll behave” he said “but it’s not gonna change the fact Doctor Creepy wants you bad.”

***

254In between rounds the next day Trebor stopped to check on his cousin. The sound of the machines in the semi dark room was reassuring. He knew that most people would find it eerie but it meant life. The patient was still fighting. Holding on. It was good. Automatically he checked the chart smiling as he perceived the small improvements in her condition.

Glancing up when the door opened behind him he grinned at the visitors. “She’s doing better” he announced. “Not out of the woods yet but definitely better. He could see the relief flood into the visitors faces at his words. “Russell how are you holding up” he asked.

“I’m functioning” he mumbled staring at the still young woman.

“We’re doing everything possible for her” Trebor assured him.

His only response was a weak nod as the young man shuffled forward his face etched with pain. Lana stood beside him silently rubbing his back a steady presence offering support. Wishing he knew the right words to offer him instead of the cold clinical terms his medical training gave him.

“How’s it going with Doctor Creepy” Eli asked irrelevantly using the nickname he adopted for their superior.

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“Haven’t seen him” he shrugged attempting a nonchalance he didn’t feel.

“You could get him on harassment charges” Lia said coming forward. “Someone in his position shouldn’t be propositioning his underlings.”

“Eli you blabbermouth” he cried glaring at his friend “you weren’t supposed to tell anyone.” Crossing his arms he felt heat rise to his cheeks “it’s embarrassing enough as it is without everyone knowing.”

“Hey I was only trying to help” he held his hands up in surrender. “It’s not my fault the guy wants you.”

“Does not” Trebor snapped.

“It’s okay” Lia said “victims always deny it’s happening. Its normal.” Patting his arm she continued “we’ll have plenty of time to discuss this later.” She turned taking her boyfriends arm and guiding him to Elaine’s bedside.

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Trebor grabbed Eli’s arm before he could join the others “what did she mean that we’d have plenty of time to discuss it later?”

Eli looked around the room before meeting Trebor’s gaze “ you know how she is.”

“So” he asked nodding towards her “she’s a law student. That doesn’t answer my question.”

“We didn’t know Geoffrey was coming” he explained “we don’t have room for all of them.”

“What does that have to do with me” Trebor asked “I don’t have any room for them either.”

“You would if you gave up your bed and slept on the couch” Eli said biting his bottom lip.

“Sleep on the couch in my own home” he demanded like he thought his friend had lost his mind. “You could have at least asked. I could have company or something.”

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“Like who” Eli challenged with a smirk “lover boy?”

Crossing his arms in front of him Trebor said “well yeah.”

“Thought you said it was just a one nightstand” Eli his grin becoming wider.

“You’re the one who said it’s not a one nightstand if it’s with the same guy” Trebor pointed out.

“So they can stay” Eli asked changing the subject.

“Yeah they can stay” he assented walking towards the door. “You know where the key is.” He walked out almost colliding with Doctor Brackett.

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“Hasn’t your shift started” he demanded his voice harsh bordering on angry.

“I still have ten minutes” he said “I wanted to check on my cousin before going down to the ER.”

“We don’t pay you to stand around visiting” his eyes narrowed “your work performance has been sub par lately. Come to my office at the end of the shift and we can discuss how you can improve before disciplinary actions need to be taken.”

Trebor could feel his insides trembling as he watched the older man walk away. The man who held his future in his hands. If he lost his residency no one else would have him. His career and dream of becoming a heart surgeon would be over.

Jumping when a hand came down on his shoulder “geez don’t do that” he cried putting a hand to his rapidly beating heart.

Looking after the man who made their daily lives miserable Eli said “you might want to talk to Lia about Doctor Creepy before this gets any worse.”

“Yeah” he swallowed hard “I’ll think about it. I’ve got to go.”

***

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“Are you going to tell us what happened between you and Doctor Creepy” Lia demanded eyes bright with more than casual interest.

Shrugging he said “I can handle it.”

“Don’t be all stoic” she said “let us help you. It’s not like we live in the stone ages and you have to put up with this shit.”

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A soft knock on the door interrupted what was about to turn into a lengthy lecture. With ill disguised relief Trebor moved to answer the door. “Give it a rest” he pleaded opening the door. A shiver of lust and desire went through him as he recognized his visitor.

“Surprise” Braylin grinned over a large bouquet of flowers.

“I could get used to this” he blushed taking the flowers from Braylin their fingers brushing against each others increasing his desire. “Thank you” he murmured stepping aside to let Braylin enter his apartment. “I have company” pointing he made introductions “this is my cousin Geoffrey and his girlfriend Lia.” Waving a hand to the pink haired male standing beside him “this is Braylin. I’m sure Eli has already told you all about him.”

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Grinning Lia had a look of a cat about to pounce on its prey “maybe you can talk some sense into your boyfriend…”

“He’s not my …” he paused shaking his head he decided it wasn’t worth getting into a debate.

Putting an arm around him Braylin pulled him to his side. “I’ve always found Trebor to be pretty sensible.”

“That may be but he’s making a huge mistake” Lia said preparing to launch into her spiel once again.

“Don’t listen to her” Trebor said nudging Braylin towards the door. “We’ll be here all night once she gets going.”

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“Could be interesting” Braylin teased a sparkle in his eyes as he regarded the young woman in front of him.

“Trust me you’ll want to hear this” Lia insinuated hands on hips.

“Geoffrey can’t you do something” Trebor asked.

“I would if I thought it would do any good” he shrugged “in this instance I agree with her.”

“What’s going on” Braylin asked looking from one face to the next all amusement draining from his eyes.

“Nothing you need to worry about” Trebor insisted. Grabbing Braylin’s arm he moved towards the door “we better be going or we’ll be late.

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Braylin let Trebor hurry him from the apartment. “Where exactly are we going? The last time I checked we didn’t have any plans.”

“I don’t care” Trebor admitted “as long as it isn’t here.”

“We could go back to my place” he offered “order in some Chinese. Watch a little Netflix. See where the night takes us.”

“Sounds perfect” Trebor sighed getting into the elevator.

Moving to stand next to Trebor sensing that something was wrong and wanting to help.

“Is someone giving you a hard time” he asked guessing.

Grunting Trebor shrugged “I don’t want to talk about it.”

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“Is it work” he pressed hoping he might stumble upon the problem and be able to help.

“I can handle it” he growled stepping out of the elevator as soon as the door slid open. “I’ll follow you” he said hoping to avoid anymore probing questions.

“If your afraid I’ll pressure you for answers I promise I won’t” Braylin said. “If you need someone to talk to I’m your guy. No pressure though.”

Stopping Trebor considered his words. “I just want a stress free evening. Free from someone telling me what I should do. I just need a chance to think.”

“Okay” he nodded closing the gap between them. Once he was within touching distance he brushed his lips over Trebor’s forehead. “I know a sure fire way of making you forget all of your problems.”

“Really” he asked perking up.

 

 

“I can work all kinds of magic with my hands” he nuzzled the side of Trebor’s neck nibbling on his ear. “Trust me. You won’t remember your name by the time I’m done with you.”

“Sounds wonderful” he sighed returning the kiss as Braylin’s lips pressed into his. His stomach took that moment to growl “food first. I’m starving.”

“Well…” he gave him a mischievous grin “maybe we can start with desert while we wait for our food to be delivered.”

“You’re insatiable” Trebor chuckled leaning into him taking comfort in the man’s warmth.

“So I’ve been told” he said letting his fingers wander beneath Trebor’s belt “but you’ll find there’s more to me then hot passionate sex.”

“Not tonight” Trebor said pulling away before Braylins searching fingers found their destination. “Tonight all I need and want is the hot passionate sex.”

“After we eat” he grinned taking Trebor’s hand and walking towards his waiting car.

Chapter 2 – Date Night / Chapter 4 – Opening Up