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.
Chan is worried that things are strained between him and Evan, but he isn't sure what he can do to change that. He feels torn between wanting to be there for his lover and also for his siblings. It's tearing him apart. See what's going on in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them! Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!Super Trooper #55 (13.1)
Chan had meant to carry the children to their own beds, once they fell asleep. He didn’t think there’d be any harm in their sleeping with him until then. It had all started when he heard Madhu crying. He was just about to go to bed when he heard the whimpers coming from the room she shared with Laksha. Alarmed, he’d hurried to the door and gently opened it.
Laksha was pushing back her blankets, about to get out of bed to tend to her sister.
“I’ve got her,” Chan whispered, scooping Madhu up from her bed. She wound her arms around his neck and burrowed her face into his chest. He could still hear her soft moans. “Go back to sleep, please.” For a moment, he thought Laksha might argue with him. Instead, she lay back down and rolled over, obviously too sleepy for anything else.
Taking his younger sister to his room, Chan had rocked Madhu until he felt her quiet in his arms. He laid her in his bed, then lay beside her and watched her sleep. His heart ached for her, longed to take away her pain. But he just didn’t know how to do that. Not more than a few minutes later, Kamal padded into the room and climbed up into Chan’s bed without so much as a by your leave.
I’ll move them before Evan comes home.
Not until Chan’s alarm went off and he opened his eyes to the new day did he realize that his siblings were still there. Alarm bells began to go off in his head, until he smelled something cooking. He took an appreciative sniff. Bacon. Evan must be making breakfast.
Which meant he must have slept in the guest room.
A pang of guilt raced through Chan. He hoped Evan wasn’t angry with him. On the other hand, how mad could he be if he was willing to cook for them?
Carefully, he extricated himself from the sleeping children. He’d wake them when breakfast was ready. Truth be told, he wanted at least a few minutes alone with Evan. He slipped into his robe and cinched it as he made his way down the hall to the kitchen. Pausing in the doorway, he admired the sight before him. Evan, in a pair of sleep shorts and T-shirt, was quite a delectable sight. Just looking at him filled Chan’s heart to bursting with love for this wonderful man.
He softly crept up behind Evan and wrapped his arms around his waist, laying his head against his warm back. “Good morning, love,” he murmured.
“Morning,” Evan murmured in return. They stood together without speaking for a long moment before Evan placed the skillet he was cooking in on a back burner and turned off the heat.
Chan peeked from behind him to see what else he’d done, and was greeted by the sight of a second skillet, heaped with fried potatoes. Everything looked and smelled amazing.
“I missed you last night,” Chan confessed as Evan turned to face him. “I’m sorry you had to sleep in the guest room.”
“I didn’t want to disturb you all,” he replied. “You looked so comfortable.”
“But that’s not the point. That’s your bed, and I meant to take them back to theirs. I must have fallen asleep.” Chan felt very guilty, even though he knew he’d had good intentions.
“No worries.” Evan kissed him softly. “How was dinner? Everything go all right?”
“Everything was fine.” Chan nodded. “How was work?”
“It was fine.”
Chan thought he detected something in Evan’s voice, but maybe he was reading into things too much. His mother had always said he had a tendency to worry when there was no need to do so. He thought for a moment before saying, “You aren’t upset with us, are you?”
Evan started to say something then closed his mouth abruptly as a timer went off. He reached for the oven door. Chan backed out of the way so he could open it, as he pulled out a sheet of biscuits. He set them on the stove and closed the door before turning back toward Chan. A slight frown marred his forehead.
“Maybe a little, I won’t lie,” he finally said.
“About what?” Chan asked, distraught, a knot forming in his stomach. He told himself to calm down and let the man speak. He’d rather hear the truth than some pretty lie.
“It just felt to me as if you were rewarding Kamal’s behavior… and… well, what he said. I know you didn’t mean it that way. I shouldn’t have said anything.” He reached into a nearby cabinet and pulled out a plate, covered it with paper towels, and then scooped out the bacon onto the plate so the grease could drain.
“No, I always want to know what you think,” Chan said. “He shouldn’t have said that, and I’m sure he didn’t really mean it. Please, don’t be upset.” He laid his hand on Evan’s arm, his breath catching at the idea that he hurt the man he loved. Sometimes he felt as though he was talking a tightrope between Evan on one side and his brother and sisters on the other. He was afraid something might actually break, and he prayed it wasn’t their relationship. He didn’t know what he’d do without Evan.
Evan enveloped him into a warm hug, holding him tightly while Chan struggled not to cry. “I love you, Chan,” he said softly. “Please don’t push me away.”
Chan tried to protest that he never would but their moment was interrupted by Kamal’s cries of “Bacon! Mmmm, I’m starved.”
Evan released him and he turned reluctantly away to set the breakfast table.
to be continued
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