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Story a Day September: Day 27 – “Mutual Faith”

Today’s Story a Day prompt was to write to our natural length. Which could mean writing a part of a longer story. Well, I decided to jump in right where I left off with Closing Time yesterday. This actually starts in the middle of a scene. honestly, this isn’t too different from what I’ve done for most of the month, except I usually try to start at the beginning of a scene and try to make sure it will stand on its own. Still. As you’ll probably be able to tell, Nolan and Cam have some history together. Cam does feel a little weird about talking to a former lover about his current one, but Nolan’s the kind of person who it’s pretty easy to talk to and usually helps you see through an issue.

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Cam wasn’t quite sure what to say to Nolan after that. He’d asked him to meet for a reason and now he couldn’t even do it. “What’s going on?” Nolan asked softly. The waitress filled their coffee cups then disappeared again.

Cam wasn’t sure how to start telling him the ways he’d messed up. Especially when he didn’t even know himself. “Did you know Gio and I went out Wednesday night?”

Nolan nodded. “Jeremiah said something about that. He’s our newest recruit on the engine. Corrin had told him.”

Jesus. Gio’s family was so connected, Cam couldn’t even keep track of them. “Is he another cousin?”

Nolan laughed. “In a way. His older sister is married to one of Caitie’s cousins, Adrian.”

Right the cop. And she was some kind of fire cop or something. Gio had told him that. But, it was nearly impossible to keep all of that straight when Gio had so many damn cousins. “Anyway,” he said, and Nolan grinned. Cam had never been comfortable talking about family. “We went out, and he came back to my place. And again after we worked the lunch shift today. Yesterday,” he corrected, looking at the clock. He told him about Gio being called in about a problem at the pub. “I was supposed to meet him there at closing time, and we were going to go up to his place.”

“What happened? You stand him up?”

“What? No! Of course not.”

“Then, what happened, Cam?”

Cam took a deep breath and looked down at his hands. “My brother was there when I got there. He was saying things to Gio. And making it seem like I’d told him. How would I have done that? I hadn’t even talked to him since he smacked me earlier in the day.”

He saw Nolan’s hands ball into fists at that. “Why do you let your family treat you like that?”

“I don’t let them do anything. I’d already threatened to call the cops on him if he didn’t stop harassing me.” he had to take a sip of his coffee before he could continue. He hadn’t realized this would all be so difficult. “He said I’d regret it. I just didn’t know what he planned to do. Now Gio won’t even speak to me.”

“Why? What did your brother tell him?”

Cam opened his mouth then snapped it closed again. He couldn’t do this. Couldn’t spill Gio’s secret for real. He shook his head instead. “I didn’t hear all of it. And some of the things he said, Gio hadn’t even told me. So, how could I have told Elliot?”

“Is this about his gender identity?”

Cam’s gaze shot up to Nolan’s. “You know?”

Nolan shrugged one shoulder. “Caitie’s said a couple things, not much, though. I’ve observed a lot more. It doesn’t bother you?”

“I thought it would. But, I love him, Nolan. Not his gender, whatever it is. The rest doesn’t matter.”

Nolan smiled and reached over to squeeze his arm. “You should probably be telling him that.”

“I can’t do that if he won’t even talk to me now. Elliot mentioned what I did to you, so of course Gio believed I’d do it again.”

“Maybe you need to figure out who actually did tell him then. Since it wasn’t you.”

Nolan was the second person to show faith that he was innocent. And he had a lot less reason to trust Cam than even Gio’s brother had. “How am I supposed to do that?”

“Do you know who all knows? Obviously Caitie does, but she and Mark should be on the plane back from Scotland. They’re getting in sometime Saturday.”

“He said only his family knows. Brann was there when Elliot showed up, but he didn’t look very guilty.”

Nolan shook his head. “Brann isn’t the talkative type. I can’t see him doing that. Honestly, I can’t see any of his family betraying him. They aren’t like that.” He paused for a moment, twisting the coffee cup between his hands. “Unless…no.”

“What?”

Nolan sighed. “Caitie said they’re oldest brother isn’t handling all the new revelations all that well. I know Cormac wouldn’t do something to knowingly hurt any of his siblings. He swings a bit to the overprotective side. And he’s probably the most devout among them.”

That had Cam’s stomach twisted into tight knots. He’d come from a devout Catholic family, too. Gio’s experience had been different, but Cam knew how those beliefs could be twisted to hate. “You think he would have done this?”

“Not on purpose. But, if your brother used their mutual faith, he might have trusted him.”

Cam knew just how much one should never trust his brother. “What am I supposed to do now? Gio hates me.”

“I doubt that. Give him some time and have faith. It will work out if it’s meant to. Things worked out for me and Maura even when I thought she was done with me.”

Cam wasn’t sure he could be as lucky. But, even talking it out with Nolan had helped settle his mind, even if it still felt like his heart was shattered. Now, if only he could make things right with Gio.

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