Time for another Stream of Consciousness Saturday post. Today’s prompt is “second”. I’m almost to the point in Protecting the Heart where I’ll start outlining the next story. In this case, Defending the Heart, Piers and Xavier’s story. So, I think I’ll explore more of what’s happening between them.
“Now, just wait a second.”
Piers turned slowly at the other man’s voice. “What, Xavier? I figured you would prefer it if I leave.”
“I know I’ve never said that. You’re the one who walked away from me.”
“Because you could not even keep a simple promise to me.”
“There’s nothing simple about it. I told you-”
“And I told you I would not be your secret anymore. But, that is just where you wanted to keep me, wasn’t it? Where you would still keep me if I let you.” Piers hated the flash of pain that went through the other man’s eyes, but he couldn’t do it. He just couldn’t.
“It’s not what I want,” Xavier insisted. “I just don’t know how to handle it any other way. Dad is-”
“You already told me you didn’t want to disappoint him. There are worse things, though, X. Mine barely spoke to me for a year. Even these last two, things have been strained. And all that for nothing because you refused to see your end through.”
“Are you done now? Or are you going to interrupt me again?” Piers scowled, but he didn’t open his mouth again. To his surprise, Xavier’s lips did pull up slightly. “As I was trying to say, Dad’s sick. He’s been having a lot of health problems for more than a year. I don’t want to add more stress on to him.”
“And you really think him knowing you love another man would add stress?” Or maybe love never had anything to do with what was between them. He didn’t want to accept that, though.
“And I’m not willing to risk it. I’m sorry, Piers, but I just can’t.”
So, they were still at a standoff. Just as they had been for the last three years. Only now Piers couldn’t avoid Xavier. They’d be working together. Maybe it had been a mistake to accept Alex’s offer after all. But, it was one he’d have to live with now.
Just like falling for Xavier in the first place.
Oh, these two. I always knew Piers would get his own story, I didn’t realize until they ran into each other at the end of Guarding the Heart that they had a story to tell together. I also wrote that moment when things first fell apart back in April, if you want to take a look at more of their background.