“Why?” Beth frowned.
“Onyx doesn’t like Zeke. He thinks he’s corruption on legs. Caelan and Zeke have been hooking up for ages. There are only two people who know that though. That’s me and our father. My brother likes to make out that he sleeps around a lot but—”
“Zeke’s your brother?” she asked, surprised.
He nodded. “Nathan’s our dad, Leena our mother. But anyway, Zeke likes to make everyone think he sleeps around a lot, with both men and women. He doesn’t though, but everyone thinks that he does. Including Onyx. Onyx is going to think that Zeke is simply taking advantage of Caelan.”
“Is he?” she challenged
“Okay. And what do you want me to do about it?” Beth asked, not seeing her place in all of this.
“I need you to talk to Onyx when Caelan tells him. He’s going to try and kill Zeke. He won’t listen to Aaralyn. Not about this.”
“When’s Caelan telling him?”
“I don’t know. But will you do it? Talk to Onyx?” he asked, his eyes shining with worry for Zeke.
She nodded. “Yeah, I will. Where are Zeke and Caelan right now?”
“Thank you,” he breathed, his shoulders sagging in relief. “They’re in the lab, as usual.”
“Once I’m dressed, I’ll go and talk with them,” she nodded again, trying to form sentences in her mind that she could say to the two of them.
She jumped a little as Caleb took her hands in his and kissed her cheek.
“Thank you for doing this, for me and my family. Is there any way I could repay you for this?”
She looked up at him, seeing the genuine relief and appreciation in his eyes. She smiled kindly.
“Just consider it a favour. I like Zeke anyway.”
“Thank you,” he whispered again. “I’ll leave you to dress.”
He kissed her cheek once more, a gentle friendly kiss that was very unlike the kisses Robert would lay on her skin. Then he left, shutting the door firmly but quietly behind him.
Beth sat down on the bed and looked at her face in the mirror on the opposite wall. Her blonde hair stuck to her face and neck. She glanced at the plain clothes she’d chosen to wear.
Suddenly she didn’t want to wear them. She stood up and tipped the contents out of the fairly large bag, spreading it out all over the bed.
Beth searched the pile slowly, eventually finding a cream-coloured lacy top. She smiled at it, remembering when she’d bought it with her friend Emily.
She gasped suddenly. Oh, God, Emily... She hadn’t spoken to her for who knew how long. Since before Robert had gone for definite.
In the morning, she’d ring and ask her if she wanted to meet for lunch, or whatever.
For now though, she needed to get dressed.
Hm, trousers... she thought as she looked over them all. No, she decided. No trousers, not today. She was going to wear a skirt. She picked up her black knee-length skirt and laid it down beside the blouse.