In Between
My Promise

Last night was the hardest night of my life. Literally. After spending twenty minutes in the bathroom, Kane came out wearing nothing but a towel around his waist. Hotels rarely carry towels large enough to fully cover men of our stature. The thing looked more like a towel-ette. His hair was still damn and his skin was glistening and I… I was preparing for lift-off, damnit! I'm thinking he's about to put his money where his mouth is – or something where his mouth is – and, instead, he just taunts me.

Did he really need to stay bent over his suitcase for that long? I'd been through his bag and knew his pajama bottoms were right on top. All that digging and shifting was completely unnecessary. And then the towel "accidentally" slipped off. I have not spent a lot of time studying my brother's ass. But when it's put front and center like that… Well, I didn't study it. I may have wondered if his skin was as smooth as a baby's bottom… I may have imagined how firm those muscles must be… But I did not study it.

Pajamas found, he slipped them on. And with a wink and a smile, he hopped into his bed, curled up, and promptly went to sleep. Completely shocked, I spent the next ten minutes staring at his bare back. The man had propositioned me. I conferred with Justin just to make sure I hadn't dreamed the incident. He'd climbed on top of me, teased me, and then left me to my own devices!

I was so mad, I didn't even bother to get undressed. I just turned off the bedside lamp and rolled over so I wouldn't have to look at him. Yet no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it out of my head. The whole thing ran on a loop through my brain over and over again. The more times I relived it, the hornier I became. The hornier I got, the madder I got. Horny and mad, mad and horny. In the end, it was sheer exhaustion that kept me from smothering him in his sleep.

The shrill ringing of the telephone woke me up this morning. Given my condition, it was not the most pleasant method of drawing me from my slumber. Therefore, I am uncharacteristically unpleasant to the person on the other end of the line.


"Um… Sir?" Does all the front desk personnel sound like this or do I simply bring it out in them? "This is your wake-up call."

"I didn't ask for a wake-up call." I know how I am in the mornings and I wouldn't want to inflict that on an innocent bystander.

"I know, sir. The person sharing your room made the request. And he made me swear to keep calling until you answered."

The meeting! We've got a meeting at 8AM sharp and that bastard left without me! He knows I'm not a morning person! He knows how hard it is for me to get up and leave at these ungodly hours! And he just leaves me… with a wake-up call.

"What time is it?"

"Twenty after seven, sir. I've been trying to reach you for some time now. But I was given strict orders…"

I can imagine Kane just looming over this woman, giving her detailed instructions. "'Don't stop calling until he picks up. And make sure he says a few sentences so he fully wakes up instead of hanging up and going back to sleep.'"

"Strict orders, huh? Well, thank you for the call."

"You're welcome, sir. Have a nice day."

After placing the receiver back in its cradle, I stare at his empty, rumpled bed. He left me with a wake-up call so I wouldn't be late for the meeting. Granted, it doesn't make up for his tacky behavior the night before, but it's still worth something. Maybe I'll get him some breakfast.

I arrive at the conference room with ten minutes to spare. And up in the far corner of the last row is Kane. He's got his mask on, which I've come to expect. It's an improvement over its predecessors. At least now his mouth is free, making conversations much easier. I'm sure it makes other things easier, too, but I'm not going to dwell on that. I've got enough problems as it is.

"Here." I drop a sack of McDonald's in his lap before taking the seat next to him. "I got you hash browns. Don't get used to it."

"Good morning to you, too," he says, happily opening the bag. "Sleep well?"

"Oh, yeah… Like a rock."

"You mad?"

"I brought you food, didn't I? Now shut up and eat your McMuffin."

Nothing worth remembering ever happens in these meetings. The only people who get anything out of them are the type of people who enjoy pie charts and slideshows. They take notes. They ask questions. They sit in the front row, all perky and alert. And I don't have a problem with them. As long as they stay the hell away from me.

Having no intention of paying attention, I lean back in my chair and close my eyes. I'll rely on Kane to inform me later of the important bits. In the meantime…

In the meantime, there is something in my lap. It's creeping up and down my thigh and it is not entirely unpleasant. Slowly, I open my eyes, look down, and see a hand. It is attached to my brother. He squeezes my thigh in greeting.

"What the hell are you doing?" We're far enough away from anyone else for me not to have to worry about being overhears. There's no one else in our row and the seats in front of us are vacant. Surprisingly, no one wanted to sit next to us.

"I am being discreet." He rubs my inner thigh, right where Little Marcus was taking his nap. Except Little Marcus ain't so little and naptime is over. With treatment like this, the boy is definitely on the road to redeeming himself.

Head back, I close my eyes again. "Proceed."

I love my brother. I think I'll keep him.