Chapter 10.8Mature

“Got to look a little bit presentable, darling,” Zeke muttered to him as he did it.

“At least I don’t have AIDS,” Caelan murmured sleepily, and quite randomly, Beth thought.

“Well neither do I,” Zeke responded, a bemused smile on his face.

“You’d tell me if you did, right?” Caelan asked, looking up with the eye he wasn’t trying to clear of sleep.

Zeke rolled his eyes. “No, I’d keep it a secret for ever and ever.”

“Shut up.”

Caelan dragged his feet as he went over and slumped into a seat at the island, letting his head fall onto the surface with his eyes closed. In Beth’s opinion, this defeated all the eye-rubbing from a second ago.

“Besides,” Zeke started, “how would I have AIDS if you didn’t?”

“Practicalities,” he replied, waving his hand in dismissal of the subject.

Zeke grinned and shook his head.

“You know, I have an idea to wake you up,” Zeke said to him.

“Does it involve either coffee or sex?” Caelan mumbled.

“No.”

“Then leave me alone.”

Beth grinned, holding in a laugh as she watched Zeke pick up a glass of water and walk around to Caelan. He stood beside Caelan, stroking his back gently, a sneaky smirk on his face. Beth knew what he was going to do and had a much harder time of holding in her laughter.

“You sure about that?” Zeke asked.

“Yes.”

“Tough,” he said as he tipped the water over Caelan’s head.

Beth let her fit of giggles out, clutching her stomach as she doubled over. When she stood up again, Caelan was glaring at Zeke, dripping wet. Zeke himself was biting his lip to stop himself from laughing.

“I hate you,” Caelan said.

“I know you do.”

“I’m going to get you.”

“Only if you can catch me,” Zeke teased.

“Best start running then.”

Zeke took off, sprinting past her and out into the living room. Caelan wasn’t far behind him. She walked into the living room to see Zeke and Caelan either side of the couch, waiting for the other to move.

Caelan took a step to his left, and so did Zeke, keeping them exactly the same distance apart.

“You know that I’m faster than you, Cae.”

“We’ll have to see about that,” Caelan replied, dripping water onto the floor.

“You sure you want to go there? I’ll only win.”

Caelan made a dash for him around the sofa but Zeke jumped over it, landing on the other side. He grinned. Lying down on the couch, he said:

“Let’s just assume I’ve won this game.”

“You probably would anyway,” Caelan gave in, leaning over the back of the couch to kiss him. “I’m going for a shower. Finish the job you took upon yourself to start.”

Zeke raised an eyebrow at him with a smirk. Caelan laughed and shook his head.

“No,” he said as he straightened up.

Zeke pouted. “Spoil all my fun.”

“Later,” Caelan said as he walked away, heading for the corridor that led to the other rooms.

After a few seconds, Zeke shouted, “Is it later yet?”

“No!”

Zeke smiled and relaxed onto the sofa. Beth grinned and went over to him, sitting on his legs.

“You could tell me to move,” he commented with a smile.

“No, you’re comfortable,” she said to him.

He grinned. “Why, thank you, dearest.”

“Not a problem.”

They sat in a comfortable silence for a couple minutes. When Beth looked over at him to say something, she noticed his eyes were blank and unfocused. She stood up and moved to see if he was alright but in that one second, he was up and running out of the living room, the way Caelan just went, as if hell itself were after him.

The End

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