Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wednesday Briefs: In Pieces #33 (8.6)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

Ryan learns a little bit about Abby's background from Deacon and it's beyond horrifying. But Deacon's story is little better. See what he has to say 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 #33 (8.6)

“I’m afraid he wasn’t any help,” Deacon said so softly that Ryan wasn’t sure he heard him.

“That poor girl,” Ryan said. “I can’t even imagine… I mean…” Words failed him.

“Yeah, exactly.” Deacon gave him a wry smile.
Suddenly Ryan remembered something Ben had said, the night they’d seen Abby crying. When she’d claimed to have seen a ghost or something. “Do you know who Brandon is?” he asked.

“Brandon? That’s Abby’s boyfriend.” Deacon gave Ryan an appraising glance. “Why do you ask?”

“Nothing. I was just wondering. I heard the name, and I thought it had something to do with Abby, but I wasn’t sure. So, am I wrong in thinking that Cameron’s coming on to Abby?” Once he’d started asking them, Ryan found the questions just kept coming. He told himself it was because of the book. He had to gather all the information he could before he could decide what was useful and what didn’t matter. He could always edit out the unimportant.

“Cameron ‘s been hitting on her, yeah. Sometimes too strong. I think that’s why Aiden makes sure not to leave them alone. And why they room together."

That made sense, and explained a lot.

“Although, to be honest, I think he swings both ways. And I’ve seen him looking at you. I wouldn’t worry, though. Ben won’t let anything happen.”

Ryan felt his cheeks grow warm, grateful for the cover of the night.

“My turn to play twenty questions.” Deacon smiled.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean…”

Deacon waved his apology aside. “I’m just playing with you. I know it’s what you do. You’re a writer, right? Ben sings, and you write. So, you and Ben… stepbrothers, aren’t you? Not blood brothers.”

“No, not blood relations at all.” Ryan wanted to make that clearly understood, especially in light of what Deacon had just told him about Abby and her father. That was just… wrong, on so many levels. What he and Ben had was right and good and wonderful. “My dad married his mom, when we were just kids.”

“I assume since  you hadn’t seen him in a long while that they aren’t still married?”

“No, not for years. Divorced about ten years ago. Dad remarried. His third wife was Cassie. She’s not much older than I am, and pretty awesome.”

“Was…?” Deacon was obviously trying to be delicate.

“Dad passed right before I joined the band.” Ryan tried to be matter-of-fact and not get emotional in front of Deacon, but he realized he must have failed to hide his feelings when Deacon took his hand and squeezed it.

“I’m so sorry, Ryan. I can’t even imagine how that feels. I’m not… exactly close to my father. I can tell you must have loved him a lot.”

Ryan nodded, not trusting his voice.

“You’re lucky. I thought I was close to my family, but when I came out to them, everything changed. I thought living in San Francisco, they’d be down with the idea, but apparently being gay is okay for everyone else but their son.” He laughed briefly, but there was no mirth in the sound. “They told me I would have to stop being gay if I wanted to live with them, and when I said that wasn’t possible, they kicked me out.” He shrugged.

“Damn, that’s harsh. What did you do?” Ryan squeezed Deacon’s hand in return.

“Luckily for me, I was already friends with Keanu. When I called him up, sitting in front of my parents’ house, crying my eyes out, he told his parents and they came and got me. They insisted I move in with them, wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

“And friendship turned into love?” Ryan guessed.

“I think I was halfway there already, but living together didn’t hurt.” This time Deacon’s smile was more genuine, his eyes softer. “He and his family came from Hawaii. They’ve been supportive of us from the beginning. When Salvation makes it big, we’re going to get a place of our own. But I’ll never forget the Nakamuras and what they’ve done for me. I’ll be grateful to them for the rest of my life.”

They stood together in silence for a moment.

“You and Ben…you love him, don’t you?”

Ryan nodded, his heart swelling at the thought of Ben.

“Watch out for him,” Deacon said, suddenly enigmatic. “Protect him.”

“From what?” Ryan was confused at the unexpected turn the conversation had taken. But before he could get a response from Deacon—assuming he’d been about to make one—another voice was heard.

“Goddamn, that is one fine bathroom.” Keanu had come up behind Deacon and hugged him from behind. “I bet you could fit an entire football team in that thing.”

“Why would you want to do that?” Deacon asked as he turned toward his lover. Instead of a reply, he received a kiss.

Ryan decided he should probably get more candid shots of the birthday boy. That’s what he told himself, but the truth was he wanted to make sure Ben was all right. And that young Master Miles wasn’t doing anything he shouldn’t with his Ben.

to be continued

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