Thane stared at Antonio, waiting for his older brother to explain why he had been talking on Sebastian’s phone and slowly a trickle of cold fear dripped into his system at the prospect of Antonio spilling Thane’s secret entered his thoughts. But Antonio said nothing. Instead, he just laughed to himself, sitting on the couch drinking orange juice and thumbing the packet of gum in his hand.
This was just what all Thane needed, just a few minutes earlier he had been totally relaxed in the shower. But as soon as he was dressed and came out of the bathroom all the stress, fear and anxiety that he had been harbouring flooded back to him.
“It was Sebastian wasn’t it?” Thane asked, but Antonio said nothing and instead just smiled at Thane as if someone told a joke at Thane’s expense.
“Shakespeare, what did my brother say to Sebastian?” Thane asked as he walked to the unusually quiet skull on top of the fireplace.
But Shakespeare said nothing, the skull was completely silent. Frowning, Thane stared at the skull for a long minute before he noticed something different about Shakespeare. The skull seemed empty – well, emptier than usual – as if there was no life in it… no soul.
Tapping the skull with his finger a plastic sound emitted from it, the skull wasn’t real, but one of those replicas that schools used.
“Where did you put Shakespeare?” Thane turned to Antonio who laughed quietly into the glass of orange juice.
“I’m in here!” Came a muffled shout from the bin in the kitchen and hurriedly Thane fished out Shakespeare from the pit of rubbish and placed the real Shakespeare back on the fireplace, throwing the fake skull in the bin.
“I’d appreciate it if you didn’t put my best friend in the bin.” Thane scolded, but Antonio just stared at Thane, unfazed.
“Why do you have to be such an asshole?” Thane shouted in frustration, slamming his fist on a spot on the fireplace next to Shakespeare.
“It was just a little fun… and besides at least your boyfriend now knows that you’re sexually frustrated and that you haven’t had sex in years. So, it gives you an excuse for being a wound up asshole all the time.”
Thane felt himself relax again, what Antonio said to Sebastian was still embarrassing, but at least he hadn’t spilled the beans on Thane’s actual identity. And because of that Thane just nodded in reply before grabbing his coat and heading out of the apartment.
It was as soon as he closed the door behind him and walked two steps on to the street that Thane felt the uneasy feeling of someone watching him. He could feel their eyes boring down at his back, but looking around him Thane couldn’t see anyone…