Today’s Story a Day prompt was to elicit an emotional response. I love digging down into a character’s emotions. One of my favorite parts of writing. And since I’ve just broken my couple up, figured this was perfect for where I’m at in Closing Time.
Gio closed the office door behind him and walked slowly to his desk. He felt almost robotic as he moved. Maybe that was better. Robots couldn’t feel anything. Not that dashed hope, the grief, anguish, betrayal.
How could Cam have done this to him? he’d known it was a possibility. He’d done it before. But, Cam had sworn he’d known what he’d done was wrong. So why had he done it again?
Gio hadn’t even told him very much. Just in case something like this happened. But, apparently Cam made his own assumptions. Now, that Cam’s brother knew, who else would find out?
He wasn’t worried about his family. His parents and siblings already knew. Some of the cousins even. So, it’s not like he had to worry about coming out to them. Not like Nolan had when Cam had spilled his secret.
He was worried that everyone else would find out, and it would mean a hit to the pub’s business. Or even worse, he’d be locking up one night and someone would jump him because they only saw him as some perverse freak.
Gio ran his hands over his face and dropped into the chair at his desk. Why? it didn’t make any sense. Cam didn’t even like his brother, so why had he gone spouting off to him? And when? He’d said he hadn’t spoken to his brother since earlier that day when he’d been in here. And Gio hadn’t told him those things until after that. So, one of them had to be lying.
He hadn’t even told Cam all those things Elliot was spewing. Had they both just made assumptions about Gio? Or was there something else he wasn’t thinking of?
Gio dug the heels of his hands into his eyes as a headache started to build. He needed to stop thinking about this. But, the thoughts wouldn’t stop circling in his mind. He stared down at the papers scattered across his desk then with a sigh, gathered them up. He’d have to figure this out once everything else settled down.
At the knock on his door, his hand jerked and the papers scattered once more. “Cam, I told you to go home.”
The door swung open, though, and it was his brother who stuck his head in. “He did go home. Is it okay if I come in here?”
Gio nodded and relaxed back in his chair. Brann stepped through the door and closed it behind him again. He glanced around, his lips twitching slightly. “Think this is the first time I’ve made it to the inner sanctum.”
Gio shook his head then dropped it into his hands again. “Not in the mood right now, Brann. Didn’t you have a date out there? You should probably go back to her before she feels abandoned.”
Instead he dropped into a chair on the other side of the desk. “Jaya. She was at Mark and Caitie’s wedding. A paramedic with the department down here. She also has two older brothers and understands sometimes they have to make sure their younger sibling is doing okay after some bad shit goes down.”
Gio snorted at that. “Mom never washed your mouth out with soap enough, did she?”
Brann let out a deep laugh. Their mother said Gio reminded her the most of their father, his heart at least. But, Brann took after him in the most ways, including that laugh. “Hell, Gio, Mom taught me most of the curse words I know. I don’t think she ever worried too much about us picking it up. As long as we weren’t using the words to hurt others.”
That was true. Their mom had always been big about helping and not hurting. That had tears burning his eyes because he didn’t think it was a lesson Cam had ever been taught. “He hurt me, Brann.”
“I don’t think he did.”
That had Gio jerking his head up again. “What do you mean? You heard the things he told his brother. I trusted him. I should have known better after what he did to Nolan. And still I…” No, he couldn’t bring himself to say that part. It hurt too much.
“I also saw the devastation in his face when you turned away from him. I don’t think he did anything. Could his brother be lying?”
“How? He wouldn’t have known those things unless someone told him. And Cam’s the only one I’ve told any of that outside the family. I never should have trusted him.” Never should have started to fall in love with him.
Brann reached over and squeezed Gio’s arm. “It’ll be okay. No matter what, you know we all stand behind you.”
Gio did know that. And he thought his family might be the only thing that would get him through this.