Home of a mother, wife, writer

Story a Day September: Day 14 – “Rough Patch”

Today’s prompt for story a day was to write a story containing a sidekick. Not sure that’s exactly what I’d call Felipe. He’s more of a mentor to Xavier. But, he does point out some of X’s strengths as well as weaknesses. So, I’m going with it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Felipe.”

Xavier stepped into the gym, wondering why all the lights were still dimmed. Usually by now, they’d all be on full blast even though the gym wasn’t officially open yet. Something slick and dark twisted around his heart. Something had to be wrong.

He’d only planned to stop in here real quick before heading on to his parents’ house, but if something was wrong with his former mentor–or his husband–Xavier didn’t see that happening.

He called the man’s name again and finally heard an answering grunt from the back room. Relief washed some of that slick feeling away from his heart. But, something still didn’t feel right.

“Felipe, what are you doing back here? I’ve got to get over to Mom and Dad’s, but I wanted to stop in since I missed your wedding last month. We were…in the middle of something.” He’d probably heard the news reports of what had gone down with Doug Solarz. But, as far as Xavier was concerned, the details were Declan and Eva’s business. Not the public’s.

He finally saw Felipe and what he was doing. “Why are you stacking all those boxes? Usually this place is a mess, and it doesn’t bother you. Shouldn’t you or Randy be getting ready to open the front door.” Xavier had come in through a door in the back, which Felipe had given him a key for years ago.

“He’s gone,” Felipe said, his voice rough.

“What are you talking about? If he’s broken your heart after one month of marriage, I’m going to-”

Felipe let out a harsh laugh, breaking Xavier off. “You’ll do nothing, boy. Randy and I taught you to fight. I think he could handle you. And he’ll be back. Though I appreciate your concern. I’m glad to see nothing’s destroyed your compassion.”

Felipe was one of the few people who had never seen his soft heart as a weakness. “What’s going on?”

“Nothing,” Felipe said, waving his hand. “Just a rough patch. We may have only wed last month, but we’ve been together a damn long time. Rough patches happen. You been going through one the last three years.”

That statement was like a pick right through his chest. “Don’t know what you’re talking about, Felipe. I haven’t been in a relationship in longer than that.”

Felipe let out a bark of a laugh. “Call it what you will, boy. Your friends with benefits are all just so you can keep that one person away. I tried it too once. Only works for so long.”

Xavier couldn’t help looking over his shoulder, but no one else was around. “You’re nuts. Piers wants nothing to do with me anymore. He’s made that pretty clear.”

“Then, you’re both being idiots. Go on and see your folks. I need to finish cleaning up in here then I’m going to call my husband and apologize before I open up. An apology for screwing up works wonders, even three years later, boy.”

Xavier wasn’t sure even that would be enough.

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