It’s Saturday again, which means time for some stream of consciousness writing. Today’s prompt is “egg”. So, let’s see where I can go with this. (Apparently I had my BC Security guys on the brain, since they’re the ones who took over. I seriously didn’t know until the third line. This will take place between Protecting the Heart and Defending the Heart. Small spoiler at the end to Protecting…though it’s pretty much a given for me. And Protecting the Heart isn’t even finished it, so that’s the only bit of the end I really know).
“There’s really no reason to egg him on.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about, brother.”
Declan eyes his old friend. “Piers, come on. You know Xavier never turns down a dare. Especially when it comes from you.”
Piers turned away from him. “You don’t know what you’re talking about, Dec. Just leave it.”
“Granted, I do talk a lot,” Declan said as he fell into step beside Piers as they headed across the ranch yard. It had been transformed for the day. Tables and chairs setup, a dance floor improvised in the middle of the yard. “So, occasionally there is something I don’t know about. But, this isn’t one of them.” Piers didn’t respond, so Declan continued. “I saw you slip him that ten to cut in on Emelyn and Casey. What was the dare? To see if he could get decked by the groom, or to see if he could do it without a punch?”
Piers threw his head back and laughed. That was good to see. Declan had been worrying about his friend lately. He insisted nothing was wrong, but there was something missing. A light that didn’t shine in his eyes anymore. Except the occasional time he caught him glancing at Xavier. What had happened between those two?
Declan knew some of it, or had put it together at least. But, he wasn’t sure what had broken both of them.
The laugh died off when Xavier glanced back at them. He was nearly to the dance floor, where the bride and groom, and several others, were dancing. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d seen Casey so happy. It was good to see, after everything the man had been through. He deserved this happiness now.
Xavier smirked at them, but even rom here he could tell it didn’t match the look in the man’s eyes. They were shadowed, as they had been for a while now. Almost since Declan himself and Piers had joined up with Casey and Alex’s security company. He wished he could figure out what was wrong and somehow fix it.
“Like I said,” Piers said, his voice low and rough now. “You don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s at least one dare he refuses to take. He won’t-” He broke off on a curse and stuffed his hands in his pockets. “Never mind.”
Declan wasn’t sure what to say to Piers, but he still wanted to make things better. Before he could, Piers let out another laugh. “Leave it to him,” he murmured. “Only one who could get away with that.”
Declan glanced back to the dance floor, and saw Xavier swinging Emelyn away from Casey, and she was laughing as they went. Casey just stood there, shaking his head at them. Piers clapped Declan on the back. “I’m going to get a drink. Want to join me?”
Piers was trying to act like nothing mattered, but Declan could see under that. But, there was nothing he could do if his friend wouldn’t let him in. “No,” he said, “I’ve got to get back to my girls.” he glanced back toward the table where Eva and Dani sat. His girls. He’d never thought he’d say that or still feel so protective of them. But, he’d nearly lost them once and would never chance it happening again.
Piers squeezed his shoulder then stepped away. When Declan reached Eva, she grinned at him. “You’ve got a bunch of colorful friends, Mr. Portor.”
He grinned then leaned over to kiss her. “That’s a nice way of putting it, Mrs. Portor.” That still felt so shiny and new, it gave him a thrill to say. “We’re a bunch of colorful eggs, aren’t we?”