Today’s prompt was to pay attention to the tone of your piece/use a tone you do well. Today’s “story” is really the next scene in Ready When You Are, which is at times serious, sweet, and even with some sexy thrown in. Right now we’re at one of the more serious sections, though.
Kelan didn’t know what he should do. He’d been staring at the letter for too long and still couldn’t figure anything out. He wanted to call Oliver. He seemed to be able to comfort Kelan better than anyone. But, he’d already gotten the other man involved enough in this. Which was evident by this last note that had been left for him. He spends time with dangerous people. Something might happen to him.
No. Kelan couldn’t let that happen. Oliver hadn’t done anything wrong. Hell. Kelan hadn’t done anything wrong. And yet somehow he’d brought the attention of someone who wanted to make him pay for…something. That still wasn’t clear. But, the best thing Kelan could probably do was keep Oliver far away from it. He had enough problems of his own right now.
But, he definitely had to do something. He didn’t know who was leaving these notes for him, but there had to be someone who could find out. This was probably the first time he was truly glad to have a contact in the police department. An added bonus; she was Oliver’s cousin. And he knew how seriously Caitie took family. She’d do what it took to keep him safe. Hell, she was practically part of Kelan’s family, since her fiancé had been pretty much drawn into the family since he’d become friends with Kelan’s younger brother more than a decade earlier.
“Caitie,” he said when she answered. “It’s Kelan. Are you busy?”
“No,” she said, but she sounded a little breathless. Like she’d been running, or…he heard a deeper voice rumble through the line, though he couldn’t make out the words. Yeah, he didn’t want to think too much about what he’d interrupted, but heat still rushed up his neck and into his face. “I have today off,” she said after murmuring something to the other person, who he was sure was her fiancé, Mark. “We were actually about to head out in a few minutes to finish up some wedding stuff.”
Right. That was in less than two weeks now. It made him feel a little worse about calling her about this. “I’m sorry, but I think I might need help with something.”
“A pseudo-sister-in-law kind of help or the cop kind of help?”
He almost laughed at the way she cut right to it. But, none of this was very funny to him. “Definitely the latter,” he answered. “I was trying to ignore it, but now Oliver may be in trouble, too.”
“I can be there in less than ten minutes,” she said, and he could sense she’d already gone into cop mode, just by the way her voice hardened.
“Thanks, Caitie. I appreciate it.”
“You’re like a brother to Mark, and Oli’s my cousin. There’s nothing to thank me for.”
He appreciated it anyway, but he didn’t say it again before hanging up the phone. He just really hoped she could help with this problem. He didn’t know where else to turn to.
His phone chimed with a message as he headed to his bedroom to change out of the clothes he’d worn at school all day. He glanced at it, and something quickened through him at Oliver’s name on the screen. Going to be late at work, he read. Talk to you later?
He couldn’t help it. Despite everything else going on, the words sent a giddy thrill through him. He knew he needed to step back, put some distance between them, for Oliver’s sake. But, he wanted to talk to him. Wish he could just let Oliver hold him. Right now that’s all he wanted. But, he couldn’t let himself take even that. Not if it would put Oliver in danger.
Call me when you can, he typed back. We need to talk.
This was going to kill him, but he knew it needed to be done. He couldn’t let Oliver be dragged down into this and pay for what someone saw as Kelan’s sins. He’d protect the other man no matter what it cost him.