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    Nephylim
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

My Brother Daniel - 15. Chapter 15

We take coffee and toast back to bed and brave crumbs while we watch one of Daniel’s favourite television shows. Apart from documentaries and historical programs of any kind – yes, he is a Downton Abbey fan – Daniel’s favourite station is Disney Channel and he loves watching cartoons and shows aimed at teenage girls. I have to admit it’s not something I would ever be inclined to tune into, but watching Daniel watch television is so much more entertaining than anything I could watch on the screen.

We get a bit carried away – Daniel watching his favourite shows and me watching Daniel – that before we know it there’s a knock on the door and it freezes us.

“It’s probably Sara,” I say, making to get out of bed. Daniel clings to me.

“Don’t go. It might be Andy.”

“I’m sure it’s not. He wouldn’t be that stupid, and we are expecting Sara.”

“Please. Don’t.”

I hate Andy all over again for the sheer terror in Daniel’s eyes. A surge of anger has me gently disengaging Daniel’s fingers and practically running from the bedroom. By the time I reach the front door I’m ready to swing for whoever’s on the other side.

Sara takes a step back, her eyes wide.

“Sorry.” I rub my hands on my pyjama bottoms, and hang my head slightly. I’d been a split second away from hitting her and we both knew it. “Daniel was scared it was Andy, and it made me so angry….”

I glance up, expecting to see anger on Sara’s face. Instead I see a big smile. “Nice to see you’re manning up and protecting him finally,” she says, pushing past me into the flat. I hear Daniel’s delighted cry at seeing his sister, but I’m frozen for a moment; shock – at Sara’s response, and the after–effect of the adrenaline surge – make me weak. I take a deep breath to steady myself. When the shock begins to wear off, a sliver of pride works its way in. I did step up. I was ready to protect Daniel. I would have hit Andy without giving him a chance to open his mouth. Hell, there was Daniel talking about growing up and I never realized how far from being a grown up I still was. Will I ever be? With Daniel around, probably not, and that’s a good thing.

When Daniel finished hugging Sara, we all sit around the kitchen table while I make coffee. Daniel is chatting ten–to–the–dozen, telling Sara all about what happened, from a very Daniel–like point of view. I catch Sara’s eye and give her a little shake of the head to indicate that things didn’t go down quite as Daniel is portraying. She sends back a little nod. Of course. She knows him better than I do.

“You’d better go take a shower if you’re going to get to the police station this morning,” Sara says, and immediately pours cold water on my buzz. The last thing I want is to leave Daniel and talk about what happened with a stranger. I sigh. That’s what Andy’s counting on, though so that’s why I have to do it, and it has to be now before I lose my nerve.

“Okay.”

As I rise, Daniel rises with me. “Where are you going?” Sara asks.

“To the police station with Rayn.”

“Oh no you’re not. You’re not well enough. That’s why I’m here.”

Daniel sighs. “It’s nice that you’re here, but you don’t need to be because I won’t be here. I have to go to the police to give a statement. I was here. I saw what happened. Oh. He hit me too. I can make a statement for me, too, can’t I? I can do a whatever and make him be arrested for what he did to me, too. I can, can’t I?”

“I…don’t know if you should.”

Sara is glaring at me. She knows that anything she says will only make Daniel more determined and she’s looking to me to discourage him. The thing is, I don’t know if I want to.

There is a war going on inside me. On the one hand I’m thinking why the hell shouldn’t Daniel make a complaint. He’s right, Andy did hit him too and he should get justice for himself. After all another nail in Andy’s coffin wouldn’t hurt. On the other hand I can imagine what a good defence solicitor or even worse, barrister, would do to Daniel if he took the stand.

Before I can say a word, Daniel moves to stand in front of me and puts one hand on my shoulder. He gazes into my eyes and I’m shocked at what I see in his. I’ve got too used to seeing Daniel as someone who needs taking care of. Maybe I have been guilty of seeing him as something less than a grown up too, in some ways. Now, I’m shocked by the strength and intelligence behind his calm, cerulean gaze.

“I’m not a child, Rayn, and I’m not stupid. Not really. Not on things like this. I know what I am. I’m not normal. I’m not the same as everyone else and I guess in some ways I won’t ever grow up.” He looks pensive for a moment, and Sara tried to but in. He silences her with a wave of his hand.

“But I’m not a complete child, and I’m not innocent either. Not in everything. I know what will happen if I give a statement. I know it will be horrible. I know they’ll try to say bad things about me, try to trip me up and make me say things I don’t mean. I probably will. I’ll get upset. Maybe I’ll cry. But that doesn’t matter because I’ll know I’m doing the right. Mam and Sara always told me I have to do the right thing. I ha…have to tell the truth and be brave. That’s what I want to do.

“Andy hurt you. He hurt me. I…I don’t want to be mean, or…or…um…venganceful because I think that’s wrong, but I–I want…want….” Daniel’s face screws up as he thinks of the right word. “Justice. Yes, that’s what I want. I want to be brave and I want justice. Well…well okay….” He smiles a wicked little smile. “Maybe a bit of re…revenge would be good.”

I gaze at Sara who gazes back. We’re both stunned and I am so, so proud.

“So I’m going then, right?” Daniel says his gaze dancing from me to Sara. Some of his certainty is leaking away, especially when he looks at Sara to find her stony–faced. “I am going, Rayn.”

I slide my arms around his waist and pull him close to plant a gentle kiss on his lips. “Yeah, you’re going. You’d better shower and clean your teeth though, because you’re stinky.”

“I am not.” Daniel laughs and throws a triumphant look at Sara, who throws up her hands.

“What am I going to do with you two,” she says but her expression tells a different story. She’s every bit as proud of Daniel as I am. “Well, you’d better get going if you both have to shower and dress. I’d better give Mam a ring and tell her I won’t be home until late. It will take forever for you both to give statements.”

“You can go home right now,” Daniel said, his stubborn expression creeping in.

“I’m coming, and you can stop looking at me like that because you know I can be every bit as stubborn as you. Besides, my car is more comfortable than Rayn’s and I’m a better driver.”

Daniel opens his mouth, then closes it and sniggers, throwing me a glance.

“What?” I narrow my eyes at him, having an inclination what he’s thinking.

“You’re a terrible driver, Rayn,” Daniel says. “You made me sick yesterday.”

“That’s not fair. I was hurrying to get you home because you were in pain and you were sick because the pain meds upset your stomach.”

“Nuh huh,” Daniel says, that same wicked expression on his face. “You made me sick going round corners fast and nearly hitting people, and cats, and dogs, and those lighty up things in the road and….”

“I did not do that. Any of that.” I glance at Sara horrified. At this rate she will never let me take Daniel anywhere in the car again. Fortunately Sara is smiling. I forget how well she knows Daniel.

“Get off with you,” Sara said. “You’ll be having me think Rayn is completely incompetent behind the wheel and I know he’s not; not completely. He usually manages to miss all those things perfectly fine.”

With a crow of laughter, Daniel turns and runs for the shower, fully expecting me to follow, which I do.

Daniel struggles with his shoulder, so we decide to shower together, so I can help him. The shower is only just big enough to fit both of us. Taking a joint shower is not as pleasurable as I’d dreamt it would be. Daniel is clumsy with his arm and get fractious again, from pain. It’s all forgotten when I start to wash his hair, though. Daniel loves to have anything done to his hair. Sara told me he would sit for hours when they were little, while Sara brushed, plaited and generally messed with his hair. He’d always insisted on keeping it long and, apparently, trips to the hairdresser were nothing less than nightmares. They’re only marginally better now.

As soon as I slick on shampoo and start running my fingers through his hair, Daniel goes still and sighs. As I lather up and massage his scalp he makes little sounds of contentment and enjoyment that shoot straight to my groin and I squeeze my legs together in an attempt to prevent my body from revealing the way I feel to Daniel. I’m pretty sure the last thing he wants right now is to have his horny boyfriend press a painful erection into his back. Daniel is lost in sensual pleasure and probably wouldn’t even notice, but still….

Eventually, Daniel’s hair is clean and he turns to face me. His hair is darkened by water, and his eyes are darkened by something else.

“Do you want to uncross your legs now?” he purrs.

My mouth goes dry and my – “What?” – is a squeak.

“I know what you’re hiding,” he says running a soapy hand over my chest. “I could help with that if you like.” He glances down to where my erection is standing proud between us. I notice Daniel is already at more than half–mast.

“I…um…we should go.”

“Won’t take long.”

“Um…I…Sara.”

“I’m not inviting Sara.” Daniel’s voice is a sexy husk. He sways forward and, due to the close confines, immediately pins me against the wall. “Let me give you something to think about at the police station.”

I swallow hard. It’s almost always impossible to say no to Daniel, even more so when every fibre of my being is screaming yes.

My response is a moan, as I melt against him and take possession of his mouth.

 

“YOU TWO took your time,” Sara says when we finally return to the kitchen. She’s cleaned up and is in the process of wrapping sandwiches.

“I was very dirty,” Daniel says, then goes into peals of laughter at his double entendre.

“I’m sure you were. Have you dried you hair properly?”

My face is burning. I can’t look at Sara. Sometimes, Daniel’s lack of barriers can be mortifying. We’ve had the talk about appropriateness and boundaries I don’t know how many times, but he’s steadfast in his opinion that none of that applies to his mother or Sara, which is fine, except at moments like this. We’re going to have to have that talk again soon. When I glance up, the expression of amusement on Sara’s face only increases the burn in my cheeks.

While Daniel and Sara banter, I get together everything we’ll need for the day and by the time Sara has finished with the sandwiches I have my coat on and am eager to leave. It’s not that I’m looking forward to what is to come, but I want it over and done so I can get on with my life.

Daniel is silent in the car. He leans against my side with his head on my shoulder.

“You okay? Not too scared?”

“I’m fine.” Daniel sounds weary and sad.

“You don’t have to do this, you know. You definitely don’t have to do it now. You can wait until you feel better.”

“I want to do it now.” Daniel hasn’t lost any of his vehemence and certainty, but he still sounds very tired. I remember with a jolt that he barely slept last night. I shelve plans to take Sara and Daniel out for dinner.

“When we’re done here we can go home and get into our pyjamas and watch your television programs; maybe a film. I’ll order pizza.”

Daniel raises his head, his face lit up. “Can I choose the toppings?”

“As long as it isn’t something horrible.”

“You’re planning to go back to Rayn’s then?” Sara comments tightly. “Mam’s expecting you home.”

Daniel’s face falls. “Do I have to?” he whines.

“Rayn has a shift tonight.”

Dammit I do. With a sinking heart I realize I shouldn’t have assumed Daniel would be coming home with me. It had only been one night, and a horrible one at that, but having Daniel beside me had been one of the best experiences I ever had and I was greedy, hoping for the chance of a better one tonight.

I catch Sara’s eyes in the mirror and there’s a softness there I’ve not seen before. “It’s lucky I’ve already called in, isn’t it. I explain to Malcolm, and I’m taking Rayn’s shift. You owe me though.”

Malcolm is our boss and I’m absolutely gobsmacked that Sara would have called him and taken my shift.

“Does that mean I can stay with Rayn again tonight?” Daniel asks, holding his breath.

“I suppose so. I’m not taking an extra shift just so Rayn can stuff his face with pizza on his own.”

“What about Mam?”

“I’ll explain to Mam. You’re going to have to put up with her fussing tomorrow, though. It’s just for one night, remember.”

“Yeah, yeah, one night’s fine…for now. We’ll be living together soon.”

There he goes again. Sara grins at me in the mirror as Daniel settles down with a contented sigh.

 

THE AFTERNOON was a nightmare; even more so than I’d expected. For one thing, they insisted on splitting Daniel and me up. Although Sara was able to go with Daniel, I was ushered into a different room. It was explained clearly and gently enough – that we had to give our statements separately so we didn’t influence what each other said – but that didn’t help at all. Daniel’s expression when he and Sara were led away was one of shock and confusion and I hated the police officer who ushered him into his own room and shut the door. I heard him call for me. Just once. Then it was silent and I was led away to my own room.

It took two hours to write a statement that was only a few pages long. The police officer, although nice enough, challenged me on everything. Again, I appreciated that it was necessary to make sure I was clear and strong on the facts, but it was intensely frustrate and it worried me that the same thing was happening to Daniel. Would he be confused? Upset? Angry? Would he be calling for me. Surely if he was they’d stop the interview and come for me. No one would be that cruel.

Thoughts of Daniel, going round and round in my head, distracted me even further and hence the whole process took longer. By the end I was pacing the room. The police officer remained calm, reassured me whenever I freaked out about what might be happening to Daniel, and was extremely professional in every way. Nevertheless, by the end of the afternoon I hated him with a vengeance. When he eventually put down his pen and told me we were done, I almost tore the door off its hinges to get out of there.

Daniel and Sara were sitting in the waiting room. I’d expected a tirade from Daniel, but he got to his feet, strode across the floor and took me into a tight, one–armed embrace, and simply held on, silently. It was the silence more than anything that told me Daniel had been through an ordeal. Catching Sara’s eyes over his head, I shivered when she nodded. I closed my eyes and pressed my face into Daniel’s neck, breathing in the sweet scent of him. Calming myself with his essence.

“Are you all done?” Sara asked, her voice clipped. I hoped she was angry with them and not me. I nodded. “Come on then.”

Turning on her heel, Sara strode from the building leaving me and Daniel to follow. It wasn’t easy to disengage myself from his grip, and he clung to my arm all the way to the car.

“Was it that bad?” I asked when we were safely underway.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Daniel murmured, hiding his face in my chest.

I shifted slightly, so I could manoeuver the arm around Daniel to enable me to stroke his bad shoulder. It must be sore by now. “I’m sorry.”

Daniel tilted his head to gaze up at me. He seemed confused. “Why are you sorry?”

“To have put you through all that.”

“You didn’t. They did.”

“But if it hadn’t been for me you wouldn’t have had to be there at all.”

Daniel’s confusion deepened, then he frowned. I could practically see wheels moving inside his head. “Well,” he said at last. “I’ve thought about it. I don’t think you can take the blame for anything Andy did. You tried to stop him, but he wouldn’t because he’s a bad–– He’s a complete bastard.” Daniel gave me his wicked smile as Sara automatically scolded him from the front seat. I couldn’t help the chuckle.

Daniel sobers again. “It seems to me that there are only two ways you could have stopped what happened – and I don’t count not letting me come today because that wasn’t anything to do with you; it was my decision. The first would have been to not go to the police at all, which would have been a bad thing. The second would have been to not be with me, and that would be a much, much worse thing.”

Gazing down into Daniel’s open, sincere face, there was nothing I could do but agree.

“Andy had better hope,” Sara said, “that we never meet. I don’t care what the consequences might be, or even whether it’s possible, but I am going to do my very best to rip off his balls and stuff them down his throat.”

“Now where have I heard that phrase before?” I said.

“But this time, I mean it.”

Copyright © 2016 Nephylim; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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