Caelan shuffled over to him, putting his arms around his shoulders.
“When are you going?” Caelan asked quietly, resting his head on Zeke’s shoulder.
“In the morning.”
Caelan sighed quietly, giving in to his earlier urge; he ran his hand through Zeke’s hair. Zeke froze before shivering. When he looked over, there was an unfamiliar emotion in his eyes.
“Have you told your dad you’re going?” he asked, his hands beginning to tremble from the look Zeke was giving him.
“No. I don’t plan to.”
“You’re just going to leave without telling him?”
The grandfather clock out on the landing chiming, telling them it was four in the morning; time for Caelan to go home.
“I have to go,” Caelan whispered, beginning to move away.
Zeke grabbed his wrist suddenly. “Don’t, please. Stay the night. I know you hate me but please.” The pleading tone in his voice and the expression on his face was enough to make Caelan stop where he was.
Why couldn’t he resist him? Zeke was leaving, Caelan had begged him to stay, but he was still going; and now Zeke was the one begging, pleading with him to stay the night, one last time. And Caelan knew he was going to say yes.
“I don’t hate you, Zeke. I can’t change your mind if that’s what you think you need to do. I’ll stay.”
“Thank you,” Zeke breathed before pulling him to him.
Caelan yelped slightly, shocked at the sudden movement. He ended up practically sprawled across Zeke’s lap, being held in a tight embrace.
“I’m just going to go and change for the night. You know where my pyjamas are.”
With that, Zeke stood, grabbed the pyjamas from his desk chair and went into the bathroom, leaving Caelan staring at the door, confused.
For a moment, it didn’t matter that he was eleven, or that Zeke was three years older than him. He was feeling something. He didn’t know what the something was though. It didn’t matter anyway; Zeke was leaving and it would be years until he saw him again. Zeke would meet someone during that time. And who was he to say that Zeke even felt anything for him at all? It was highly unlikely that he did.
Caelan got up and went over to Zeke’s chest of drawers, pulling out a t-shirt and a pair of pyjama bottoms. Changing quickly, he laughed at himself silently in the mirror; they were ridiculously big on his slender frame.