Ryan and Ben want to get away from Cameron's house as quickly as possible,all things considered. But where to go? Ryan's stepmother has the perfect solution - a trip to St. Louis! Can they get away from a bad situation unscathed? See what's going on in this week's chapter of In Pieces. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!
In Pieces #82 (19.5)
“I guess we’ll Uber to the airport,” Ben said. Aiden and Abby had taken the van for the trip to Atlanta, and Deacon and Keanu had already taken an Uber to the airport. The keys to Cameron’s sedan sat on an end table in the foyer, where he could easily find them.
“Sounds good,” Ryan agreed. He was happy that Ben seemed as delighted as he did at the prospect of going to St. Louis to stay with Cassie. He’d been apprehensive, considering Cassie lived in the same house where he and Ben had lived as boys, unsure what bad memories might linger from that time. But when Ben had finished using the Uber app, and Ryan mentioned his misgivings, Ben just shook his head.
“That’s the place where I fell in love with you, Ryan,” he said, almost shyly. “Those are the best memories, you and me together.”
Ryan’s cheeks warmed at Ben’s words. “I couldn’t agree more. Want to wait for our ride outside?” The sooner they were out of this place the better, he couldn’t help thinking. They might not know where they would go after St. Louis, but he sure as hell wanted to forget where they’d been.
“Good idea,” Ben said. Carrying their bags, they exited the house, locking the door behind them. “No reason to go back here ever. Good riddance…”
“I see a car at the end of the drive,” Ryan said, shading his eyes to squint into the distance. “That was fast.”
Ben frowned. “I thought he said fifteen to twenty minutes. Maybe he was closer than he realized.” He too looked toward the approaching vehicle. “Shit, shit, shit. That’s no car, it’s a truck.”
Ryan realized his mistake immediately. Cameron was back. Well, they could put up with him for the few minutes they had to wait until their Uber arrived. With any luck, and a little bit of common sense on Cameron’s end, maybe he would avoid them completely.
No such luck, of course.
Cameron parked his pickup and hopped out. Rounding the bed of the truck, he strode straight toward them, a huge smile of greeting on his lips. “Hey guys, almost missed you didn’t I?” He glanced at the luggage on the ground at their feet.
“Bad timing on our part,” Ben said wryly.
“No harm done,” Cameron said jovially. “You guys will be back in a week or so. We can catch up then.”
Ryan tried to keep from showing the amazement he felt at the older man’s words. Was he really that clueless? Or was he playing some kind of game?
“We’re not coming back,” Ben said. “Ever.” Ryan was proud to hear the note of confidence in Ben’s voice. As if he’d faced his demons and didn’t have to worry about them anymore.
For just a moment, Cameron’s smile slipped, but then he recovered himself and playfully punched Ryan’s arm. “I know you’re just kidding me, aren’t you? Can’t fool me.”
“Don’t touch him!” Ben almost snarled, moving protectively between Ryan and Cameron. “Never touch him. Or me.”
“I’ve never laid a finger on you,” Cameron protested. “Your mama warned me you were off-limits, but she never said anything about the rest. This one’s a cutie, don’t you think?”
“I think you’re disgusting is what I think,” Ben replied. “Pretending to be our friend all this time. Our benefactor. When all along you knew it was her, and you never said a word. Not to mention, you haven’t left Abby alone since you met her. I don’t even care which team you play for, but you sure as hell need to leave every one of us alone. You read me?”
“Loud and clear,” Cameron said smoothly. “But before you get all high and mighty on me, I know about you and Liza, so just don’t. Not that I care. I have my own kinks, and Abby answers those pretty well. I mean, just knowing what that pretty gal has been her legs makes me want to —“
Whatever his desires toward Abby might be, Cameron never got to say, interrupted by Ben’s fist pounding into his mouth. Cameron staggered backward, but didn’t lose his balance. His hand flew to his face and came away bloody.
“Son of a bitch!” he swore. “Seems like you have more of your mama in you than I realized. She can be a real spitfire too. Especially in the bedroom. Go on and leave if you like, makes me no never mind. But just remember this. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. And know that she’ll find you, wherever you are. You can’t hide from Liza.”
Ryan was ready to punch the miserable bastard himself, but Ben laid a restraining hand against his chest, clearly in control of the situation. Luckily, just then their Uber arrived.
The driver jumped out of the car and opened his trunk so they could put their bags inside. He gave Cameron a curious look but said nothing. Opening the passenger door, he returned to the driver’s side. Ben waved Ryan inside, then followed him. Just before he took his place inside, he looked at Cameron and said loudly, “Fuck off.” Then he settled on the back seat, closed the door, and told the driver they were ready. Probably picking up on the tension in the air, he asked no questions, just stepped on the gas, heading around the circle and back up the drive.
Neither Ryan nor Ben looked back. Ben took Ryan’s hand in his. Their glances met. “Now we live our lives,” Ben said.
to be continued
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