Status: Active :) Comments are lovely.

Lost Inside

Let the Healing Begin

Emilia sat across from Declan, steaming cup of coffee nestled between her hands. Her sea green eyes looked sadly onto the hunched figure of Declan, face in his hands.

He wanted to know why, but he was so afraid that he already knew the answer and simply refused to accept it.

“I just…should I get him help? He’s so…alone.” Declan searched Emilia’s eyes for something…anything that would give him answers.
 She sighed, placing her untouched coffee on the table in front of her.

“Honestly Declan…I don’t know how much that will help. This boy has gone through much more than you or I will ever be able to understand,” She attempted to look into his eyes when he turned away. “He is lonely and his thoughts are very depressing right now and I don’t think you shipping him off to some shrink is really what he needs right now. Put yourself in his position and tell me what you would want done.”

Declan could not raise his eyes from the ground. He never wanted to see Caleb in such a fragile state ever again. His heart ached at the sight of the heartfelt sobs racking through the young boy’s body. He did not want to think about what was going through his mind to cause such a reaction.

“I would want…a friend. Someone who actually showed that they cared, even a little; he’s probably never had that in his life.”

Emilia smiled at the response.

“He did have that in his life, even if just once. You were his friend; for a short time, yes, but you showed him that you had cared and I think he needs to know that you still do.” She raised herself from the couch. “I’m sorry I have to go, but I’m quite late for work, I’ll call you later, okay?” She brought him in for a quick hug, wrapping her scarf around her slender neck. As Declan walked her to the door, she turned to face him once more. “Show him that you care, not the full extent of how much yet, because he can’t handle that right now, but as a friend…more will come if you’re patient.” She gave an all too knowing smile and was out of the door and in the elevator. Declan did not want to know how much she knew.
He slowly edged back towards the guest bedroom, peering in at the still sleeping figure of Caleb, now tucked gently away under the covers. How did someone so young get so much so wrong? It was unfair.

Caleb did not want to face the harsh realities of life when he awoke; he did not think that he was ready to deal with it just yet. He remained in bed for about thirty minutes or so, simply staring at the ceiling, then he dared a glance at the clock: 2:54 a.m.....perfect. What was he supposed to do so early in the morning; Declan surely was not still awake and he did not wish to make noise, but his stomach seemed to disagree with him as it let out an audible rumble. Ever since getting reacquainted with food, he was always hungry. This was another time when he was glad that the floor did not creak as he edged his way to the kitchen to relieve his clenched stomach. He was facing a major headache from his earlier experience with the tears, but perhaps a glass of water would help.
He opened the cupboard and nearly burst into tears yet again. Why did he have to be so short? There was no way he was going to be able to reach the glasses or the bowls at the top of the shelf. He turned his head, searching for a chair, but they all seemed too expensive to risk putting his weight on; what was he to do? 
Standing up on his tiptoes, Caleb’s tongue stuck out of the side of his mouth as he concentrated on getting even his fingertips around the edge of a glass. He cursed his genes.

His breath caught in his throat as he felt the edge of a glass touch his fingertips, but that smile quickly vanished when he gave a little jump, sending the glass shattering to the ground. A stray piece of glass flew and slashed his ankle; the sight of the blood made him queasy.

Declan startled out of bed at the sound of glass shattering and immediately thought of Caleb sleeping along downstairs. He quickly grabbed his old baseball bat from beside the closet and stumbled his way down the stairs, not even bothering to keep quiet in the dead of night. He first went into Caleb’s room to find the bed empty; his heart nearly leapt out of his chest at the thought of the young boy being in danger. When he finally got into the kitchen…his heart cracked yet again. Caleb was on the ground, scooping up pieces of glass, ankle and fingers oozing blood, with tears running down his cheeks. Declan placed the bat on the ground and made his way to the scared boy. Caleb shuddered and attempted to move away from Declan, afraid of his reaction to the mess, as more tears cascaded down his already blotchy face.

“Caleb, what’s wrong? You're alright, hon, it’s just a broken glass.”

A sob ripped its way through Caleb’s lips as he looked down at his cut hands; he didn't want Declan to be mad at him.

“I-I’m s-s-so sor-ry.” He sobbed, clutching the glass tighter, causing deeper cuts to form in his small hands.

Declan moved directly in front of him, forcing the glass out of his clenched hands.

“Hey, it’s okay, Caleb; that was like a two dollar glass okay? Just let it go, we have to get you cleaned up.”

He picked the glass out of his hands, picking up his frail body from the ground and quickly making his way into the bathroom. He did not understand Caleb. He was so fragile and scared of nearly everything. He knew that the boy had some traumatizing things happen in his life, but being afraid of his own shadow? Why did he think that Declan would hurt him? There was more happening to him than Declan knew how to handle. He would have to tell Emilia about this when they next spoke. 
Caleb whimpered and cried as Declan forced shards of glass from his hand and cleaned the cuts. He had to tape a strip of gauze to his hand before making his way to the ankle.

“What were you thinking Caleb? Why didn't you use the broom?” 
Declan realized that he shouldn't have asked the question. He didn't mean to sound angry but he was not mad at Caleb, never, he was mad mostly at himself and he didn't even know why. Something about seeing Caleb hurt sent him over some kind of edge.

Caleb did not realize this; he realized that Declan must be angry that he went rooting through his kitchen without permission; he swore to himself to never do it again. This was not his home, what right did he have to go through Declan’s things without asking first? Would he stay in the guest bedroom all day? Yes, or at least when Declan was home. The older man noticed the drop in Caleb’s expression and quickly set to make his words right.

“I'm not mad at you Caleb. Really I’m not; I just don’t like seeing you hurt. Please don’t be afraid to do anything in the house, just please be careful. I don’t care about the glass, I care more about your well-being and I don’t want to see you hurt again, okay?”

Caleb rubbed at his eyes with a small fist, nodding slowly, trying to keep a straight face as Declan placed a bandage over his cut.
“Now, what is it that you wanted? Are you hungry? Thirsty?”

Caleb nodded to both and Declan could not help the small smile that made its way to his face. Caleb was too innocent for his own good. He honestly wondered what had happened between their school days and where they were now. What had happened between him and his family? When they were younger, he had always thought that Caleb’s family life was just as perfect as his had been. Was he wrong? Of course he was wrong, otherwise Caleb would not be in the position that he was at the moment.

Declan carried him back down the stairs, worried that he might harm himself again by falling down the stairs. He knew that Caleb was not that incompetent, but he could not help but worry about him. It bothered him that he was thinking this way about another man, but it was better than him thinking this way about Clarissa.

It pained him, and disgusted him, to think about Clarissa in any sort of sexual way. Ugh. Caleb’s face remained flushed the entire way down to the kitchen as his face lay pressed against Declan’s chest. 
Declan swept the floor as Caleb made himself a bowl of cereal and grabbed a glass of water. As he made his way to the guest bedroom though, Declan took the bowl from his hands and led him upstairs into his bedroom. Caleb did not think that his face could go through so many color changes in such a short period of time.

“I know this may be awkward for you, but hearing that glass break downstairs…all I could think of was someone dangerous breaking into the house and you being all alone and helpless downstairs. I don’t want to think about anything happening to you, Caleb, and don’t ask me why because I really don’t know, but can you just stay up here with me tonight?”

Caleb had to stop for a minute to control his breathing, but he managed to get it somewhat under control and fared a small nod.

Declan’s bedroom was not what Caleb had imagined it at all. It was much more formal than he would have thought; more golds and reds than he would have though. The room was very big, many windows and open light. The bed was grand and circular, set on a platform in the center of the room. The blankets were red with gold trim with golden pillows and throws. There were two gold armchairs away to the far side of the room, facing the large window – that dominated the entire western wall – covered with red curtains. Other than two large dressers and the closet, the room was otherwise quite plain. Caleb quite liked it, but he would have rather had darker colors. There was a door leading to what Caleb took at the ensuite; from what he could see, there was a large hot tub and granite countertops.

“Clarissa decorated the bedroom; trust me, I don’t like it.”
Caleb gave him a small smile, making his way to the chairs and placing his glass on the small Venetian table. Declan placed the bowl next to the glass and opened the curtains. Caleb’s breath was nearly taken away; the view was absolutely beautiful. Caleb had only seen the New York skyline from behind a trash can, but Declan’s flat was on the top floor of a Manhattan skyscraper and he saw nearly everything. Lights were shining, the moon was bright and the sky was lit; he did not need the light to be turned on in the bedroom to see everything clear and bright.

“One of the main reasons I chose to live here; you can’t beat the view anywhere else in New York.”

And yet again Declan was filled with guilt; he had been staring at Caleb’s profile as he mentioned the beauty of the view. Caleb was beautiful, but Declan definitely could not look at him like that. He was engaged and Caleb did not need him to be making moves on him at this point in his life. He needed a friend and no matter how much it would hurt later on in the future, Declan would not move past that. Not now, perhaps not ever.

“I-It’s l-looks like a grown-ups bedroom.” Caleb whispered, quickly shoving a spoon of cereal in his mouth so that he would not have to repeat his words. 
Declan grinned; Caleb spoke to him and barely stuttered. It was an improvement to the barely there head movements he was used to.

“Are you saying that had I been the one who decorated, it would look like a child’s bedroom?”
Caleb let out the small smile that he was attempting to hide under his hands. “Just because there would be Disney Princesses on the wall, does not mean that it would be a child’s bedroom.”

Another improvement: the giggle. At first Declan did not know if it was just a trick of his mind, but the smile that followed made his mind turn to mush and also brought him down deeper into his swirling developing emotions for Caleb. He had never heard a more beautiful and rich sound than Caleb’s laugh and he was never more frightened; he would have to pull away from the boy soon before he did something that they both would regret.


Emilia came to stay with Caleb when Declan went off to work a week later. The two were getting quite close, though not as close as the two men were. Emilia was in the kitchen, making dinner before the main man of the house arrived home while Caleb was on the couch, strumming the guitar when the door opened and an annoyingly high pitched voice flowed through the house. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Caleb on her couch while a strange woman she had never seen before in her kitchen touching her things. 
She dropped her Louis Vuitton eight hundred dollar purse on the ground and let out a piercing scream. Caleb nearly dropped the guitar on the ground and Emilia let out a slight growl; she had never met this woman before, but she did not like her one bit.

“Who the hell are you people and what are you doing in my house? Get out now!” Clarissa shrieked, fumbling through her purse for her equally expensive phone. “If you don’t leave, I am calling the police!” Emilia turned off the stove and walked to Caleb, draping her arm around his shoulder in order to attempt to calm him down. She had learned that he did not like raised voices or anger. “I knew Declan made a mistake letting you come into his house; get out now! And don’t you ever dare come back!”

Emilia knew that it was not a very smart idea to begin arguing with this woman; she was clearly not very bright and it was not very smart to argue with a fool; they will simply bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. She took Caleb by the arm and led him from the couch; he was confused, but knew better than to argue. 
Clarissa screamed at them as Caleb placed the guitar in the music room, locking the door behind them. Declan had given Caleb the key for when he was not home and Caleb wanted to practice. He carefully wrapped the key back around his neck; Clarissa did not approve of this.

“Give me that key!” She shrieked; her voice reminded him or nails on a chalkboard. “That is my fiancé’s key so get your grimy hands off of his things.”

This…Caleb would not do. Declan had trusted him with that key because he trusted him to care for his instruments…he did not trust Clarissa and he would not allow her to touch Declan’s key!

Caleb quickly ran to Emilia who had her jacket wrapped tightly around herself. She handed Caleb his coat and together they made their way out of the door.

Emilia turned to the smirking Clarissa before she left.

“You,” She pointed. “…are a bitch and a whore. Declan does not love you and deserves so much more than the likes of you. I hope you enjoy your time in the spotlight because that is all going to end very soon.”

Caleb was proud that Emilia was standing up for Declan, but as they exited the elevator in the lobby, thoughts began to circle through Caleb’s head. How close were Declan and Emilia? Caleb was not going to lie, Emilia was quite beautiful. She was a slender woman with the right curves, beautifully round and rosy cheeks, sea green almond shaped eyes, thick, soft brown hair and she was just the right height for him. They were perfect for each other and Caleb could not believe that he was just noticing this now. Here he thought that he was getting closer to the older man and yet the closer he got, Emilia was right there beside him. How could he think that he looked somewhat normal or beautiful when standing beside such a beauty like Emilia? He had never felt uglier in his life. And again, Caleb began to hate himself, not just because he was feeling less than dirt when comparing himself to a beautiful woman but also because he ever thought that he stood an inkling of a chance with Declan…the very straight Declan. 
Emilia noticed the heartbroken look on Caleb’s face and immediately assumed it was because of Clarissa.

“Don't worry honey, I’m calling Declan right now and telling him what just happened. We'll go to my house and have dinner there until Declan comes to get you okay?”

Caleb simply nodded; he liked Emilia and he would try his hardest to be happy for his only two friends if they ever decided to be involved with one another; it would hurt, but he only wished for their happiness.

Declan was getting ready to pack his things and race home when his office phone rang. He had half a mind to simply ignore it and continue on his way, but he did have responsibilities and if he ever wished to be out of his parents’ shadow, he would have to do a good job and earn his freedom. He did not expect it to be Emilia though.

“Emilia? What’s wrong? Is everything okay?” He could hear traffic in the background, so he figured she was driving. She had told him that she would be staying with him and Caleb for dinner. Why would she be leaving?

“No, everything is not okay! Your crazy bitch of a fiancée kicked us out of the house!” Declan’s hand clenched into a fist as a vein attempted to push itself from his skull. “Caleb was sitting innocently on the couch, playing with the guitar and I was in the kitchen making dinner when she shoved her way in and started yelling at us to get out of her house and to stop touching her things. You really need to get that bitch in check.”

Declan took a few deep breaths through his mouth in an attempt to calm himself down.

“Where are you now? Where’s Caleb? Is he okay?” He could not imagine what was going through the mind of the young boy. He probably would never want to return to the loft ever again.

“Yeah, Caleb’s fine, he’s right here. We’re heading to my house and I think I can speak for the both of us that we will refuse to go back to that house until the wicked witch of the west is gone! Imagine if I had not been there when she walked in; what would have happened to Caleb? Not only would he have had no way to contact you or me, but he would have had nowhere to go and nothing to eat for dinner!” A wave of guilt washed through both men. Declan had truly left Caleb vulnerable by himself with no way to care for himself.
Caleb did not want Declan to think he was completely incapable; he knew that Declan was probably feeling horrible about it. “I’m not getting mad at you, Declan, and I am not trying to blame you for any of this, but you have to think about the power of this crazy bitch and the repercussions of your actions of your actions.” She pulled into a parking spot in front of a multi-colored townhouse in a small, quiet, suburban neighborhood. “We'll talk more about this later, I just got home.”

They exchanged their goodbyes and the two made their way into the house. A small, fluffy white dog bounded over to them as soon as they made their way through the door. A real smile lit Caleb’s features without his permission. His parents had always refused to get him a pet. Emilia sighed and smiled down at Caleb as he kneeled and pet the old dog, receiving wet kisses in return.

She did not understand how someone as innocent as Caleb was handed one of the worst hands she had ever seen. She knew that Declan would take care of him…and that is what she was afraid of.

Declan was absolutely terrible at hiding his true feelings; she barely knew the man and she could already tell this fact about him; she did not want Caleb to be hurt by something he did not understand.

“I take it that Declan’s almost done work, so we'll just eat dinner here until he gets that tramp out of his house.”

Caleb rose from the ground, frowning as he followed Emilia into the kitchen.

“Y-you did all of that hard work c-cooking a-and she’s probably eating it.” He whimpered. Caleb found it somewhat easier to talk to Emilia than it was to Declan. It was not that he did not feel comfortable around the man because he did, somewhat, he was just afraid that Declan would somehow be able to read his emotions and find out his true feelings; therefore he kept his mouth shut. It had only been about three weeks since the two found him on the street, so of course there was still high skepticism, but he could not have been more grateful for these two people who took him in.

Emilia gave him a sad smile and led him deeper into the house. This was the first time she had ever brought him here; even Declan had never stepped foot in her house.

The entrance hallway was long and bright pink with various photos of Emilia with friends and family and one man in particular she seemed to love taking photos with. They looked pretty good together; Caleb wondered if it was a close family member, perhaps a brother or maybe this was the boyfriend she talked a lot about. Caleb could not help but smile. There was much love in the hallway alone. It led directly to a cozy living room, painted a light peppermint. It gave the aura of being in a peaceful place; pictures lined every inch, antique wood furnishings and a magnificent stone fireplace. Not to mention the shelves full of books. So many books.

Yet another reason Caleb’s parents could not stand him; he was smart and he loved to read. They had always refused to get him any sort of book or magazine or anything of the kind, so he had always snuck out to the local library to take them out. When his parents had asked, he had told them that he had snuck out to be with a girl; it was so pathetic how proud they were to hear that he was potentially sneaking off to have unprotected sex.

“Yeah, I have a problem with buying too many books that I will never actually have time to read. Would you like to borrow some?”
 She did not miss how the young man’s eyes lit up at the offer. Caleb allowed himself to give a shy nod and all but ran to one of the shelves. The first he grabbed was a book called ‘Outlander’. He had never heard of it but he plopped himself down on the chair and was absorbed almost immediately. Emilia let out a light giggle and made her way into the kitchen to locate something to eat.

Declan was surprised that no police officers stopped him for going a good 30mph over the speed limit, but he was thankful. He could not believe the nerve of Clarissa; she did not understand the meaning of ‘leave’! What was so hard to understand? His hands were clenched so tight around the steering wheel that not only did his knuckles turn white, but they also went back to red as he was sure he burst a blood vessel. He had bypassed the elevator and ran straight for the stairs, but he had to stop at the fourth floor and catch the elevator because he was in such poor shape and he was not running up to the penthouse on foot. That was what he would call a suicide mission.

Clarissa was sitting on the couch, reading some fashion magazine, looking absolutely livid. Declan all but growled. How dare she think she has the right to be angry? Upon seeing him, she rose from the couch, crossed her arms and glared straight at him. He glared right back, adding a snarl for effect.

“The nerve of some people!” She shrieked. “That homeless thing you brought home had invited other people into our home!” The vein in his neck was threatening to pop. “There were at least six people in here, all homeless and smelly and gross! I had to disinfect the whole house after they left and I am more than certain that they robbed you.” …And it popped. She was blatantly lying to his face and for what? What did she think that would accomplish? Especially since he knew the truth. “Oh baby, I was so scared, I thought they were all going to attack me!” She uncrossed her arms and ran to Declan, attempting to wrap her arms around him. He gave her a great shove off. She seemed a little taken aback, but quickly regained herself. “Well I cooked an amazing dinner for us, honey. Sort of like my way of saying sorry for everything that’s been happening between us lately.”

Declan felt that if he didn’t punch something – and soon – he would throttle the woman standing in front of him. Instead, he kept his hands tightened into fists and stepped away. Clarissa didn’t even know how to boil water - it was beneath her; it was the dinner that Emilia had been in the process of making.

“Clarissa,” He managed through gritted teeth. “I want you to get out of my house right now without saying yet another word. You have no right to come into my home and to kick out my friends and then blatantly lie to my face about it. Please, for your own sake…leave now.”
But she was not going down without a fight.

Not only did Clarissa refuse to move from her spot, but she began to claim that the house was as much hers as it was his. Why she would possibly think this was beyond him, but he would not stand to look at her in front of him anymore. He asked politely yet again for her to leave and yet again, she refused…he lost it.

Declan stalked right up to his ‘fiancée’ – not missing her frightened start – and threw her right over his shoulder, her head dangling down his back. If she would not leave, he would make her. She screamed profanities at him, telling him to put her down this instant or she would call the police on him. He stopped by the door to pick up her bag before making his way to the elevator and dropping her to the ground. She had the nerve to look absolutely appalled.

He did not spare her one glance as he walked back into his loft and slammed the door behind him; he would have the locks changed again…and maybe he would add a deadbolt, just for safe measures. 

When Declan arrived at Emilia’s house, Caleb was still buried underneath the book, not touching the food in front of him. Emilia just rolled her eyes and smiled, letting Declan in the house. She pretended to take no notice of the bandage around his knuckles – he had punched a hole in the living room wall. He would have to get that fixed before long.

“He’s been sitting in that position, reading that book since we got here.” She placed eight large hardcover novels in Declan’s arms before he could even fully comprehend what she had said. “These are the rest of the books in the series, he can keep them. I would tell him this, but I don’t think he’d hear me.”

She walked into the living room and grabbed the novel right out of Caleb’s hands, placing a bookmark where he left off. The heartbroken, confused look she received was almost enough to make her hand the book right back and leave him be…almost.

 “It’s time to eat, honey. The book will still be here when you're done.” She smiled, taking his arm and leading him into the dining area. That was when Caleb took notice of Declan in the home. His cheeks flushed; he wondered how long the man had been standing there.

Caleb was somewhat hesitant to get back in the car with Declan, hoping that the mean woman was not still at the house; but from the stand-off way that Declan had been behaving that night, he was afraid to ask. He hoped she wasn’t still at the house. Declan, of course, noted Caleb’s reluctance to get into the car and he could not help but feel bad and somewhat jealous. Caleb lived with him and he would not let Emilia steal him.

As they were driving through the highway, Declan finally piped up.

“I’m really sorry about what happened today with Clarissa. I had had the locks changed and everything, so I still don’t know how she managed to get in.”

Caleb bit down on his lip, hard, but said nothing. Declan did not have to apologize for his fiancée.
“But Millie was right about me leaving you helpless in case something like that was to happen with no one there. I’m coming home earlier tomorrow, so I’m going to take you out and get you a phone.”

And this is where Caleb finally speaks up for himself. There was no way he was going to accept Declan buying him something like a phone. Their living arrangements were temporary; this made it serious and Caleb did not know why this scared him so much.

“N-no. I-if it happens again, I-I'll j-just wait!” It was still his usual whisper, but his voice carried over louder than usual.
 Declan did not know why Caleb was reacting like this, but he would not give in.

“I don’t know what that crazy bitch will do next time and I don’t want to come home one day to find all of your stuff gone and I have absolutely no way of knowing what happened to you. I don’t want to see you end up back on the streets; I don’t know how you ended up there in the first place, but I don’t want you going back.”

Caleb hung his head; he absolutely didn’t want Declan to make him feel like he belonged. He knew it would not be long until the older man grew tired of him and he didn’t want to know that kind of pain just yet. To have yet another person turn their back on him…it might be too much.
He didn’t want Declan to see him cry yet again, he’s been too weak around him and weakness made it easier for people to walk all over him. 

“Caleb,” Declan pulled to a stop at the traffic light, turning to face his companion. “Please, just let me do this one thing and I promise that I will stop being so…overprotective.”

‘Stop acting like you care because you don’t! No one does…’
Caleb wanted to badly to scream out, but he kept his mouth shut and simply nodded. There was no way to say no to Declan.

Declan left for work at seven thirty in order to make it to work by eight o’clock that next morning. He checked in on Caleb quickly before he left; the boy was clutching a pillow tightly to his body as he snoozed comfortable in bed. A smile lit Declan’s face as he felt like he could stay there watching Caleb all day, but he had his job and that too was important to miss.

He returned home at noon, Caleb was preparing himself a grilled cheese sandwich. Declan was surprised to see that he had made an extra one for him as well. He did not know that Caleb had also prepared a second breakfast earlier that morning because he had not known what time Declan would be home from work and he wanted to be prepared…but he would not tell Declan this.

Caleb was not very pleased when they made their way out less than two hours later to the nearest cell phone provider; so Caleb buried his face in the book that he was almost finished and attempted to forget all that was happening at present in favor of Jamie Fraser and his delicious fictional hunky-ness. Declan realized what he was attempting to do and simply left him be; he would not change his mind.

“So, what kind of phone do you want?” Declan asked, browsing through the small store and gawking at all of the shiny telephones. Caleb was sulking behind him; he did not like this one bit.

“N-nothing expensive and f-fancy p-please, I just n-need something t-to reach you.” Declan barely heard him, but he got the gist of the mumble. But would he listen, of course not. Caleb did not seem to realize – or want to realize – that Declan wanted to spoil him with the world. He had the means to afford just about anything he wanted, so why not do it? For the past few years, he had been wasting his money on Clarissa and that was regretful enough, now he would spend it on someone who actually mattered and deserved it. He believed that no one deserved it more than Caleb.

Declan immediately walked to the Androids; he himself owned one – and loved it – so why not get one for Caleb as well. Or was he more of an apple user?

“Are you an apple or an android?” Declan asked. The dumbfounded look he received was more than enough of an answer. He chuckled and picked up a random android.

“Do you like this one? And don’t you dare look at the price tag!” Caleb’s head snapped back as he gave a guilty look; he couldn't help himself. He did not feel comfortable allowing Declan to spend so much money on him when he could give nothing in return. “Do you like it? Pick the one you like, please. The quicker you pick it, the sooner I’ll shut up and the sooner we get to go home.”
That brought a small smile from Caleb. He did not want Declan to shut up, per say, because he loved hearing the other man’s voice – he found it heavenly – but he did wish to leave the store and return to at least the car where he could continue on with his book. He sighed and walked, continuing from the Android section where the big, obnoxious cell phones began giving him a headache. Declan found out that day that Caleb was in fact, an apple.

The new cell phone was still in the packaging; Caleb was not bothering with it. He knew he most likely seemed ungrateful and selfish and that hurt, but he did not want the thing. He was fine living without that sort of technology. Declan sighed, scooping up the bag and unloading the contents. They had even purchased a case – Declan had chosen it since Caleb was barely paying any attention. After programming his number along with Emilia’s and sliding it effortlessly in the bright orange case – Caleb’s favorite color – Declan carefully placed it on top of the book. Caleb caught it before it could slide to the ground. He too let out a sigh and looked into Declan’s eyes. He began to speak before he got lost.

“T-thank you f-for the phone…even though I don’t want it.”

“You are very welcome…and I don’t care if you don’t want it, you’re going to take it and no, you cannot give it back.”

“Y-you’re very stubborn, you know.” Caleb placed the book on the coffee table and set to playing with the new device. He had never had a cell phone before.

“Thank you.” Declan chuckled. “My mother says that it is one of my best features.”

Speaking of his mother, Declan had been wondering when she would be at his house, knocking the door down with Clarissa on her tail. He was sure that Clarissa had already gone to her and told her what had happened between them not to long ago; she surely would have been at the house already. Unless Clarissa had said nothing, but then why would she do such a thing? She lived to make Declan’s life hell in any way she could and the easiest way to get to him was to call his mother.

He would not call to check up on his parents because…well he did not really love them all that much, but if it became too long that his mother was not calling to berate him for some reason or another, he would have to make sure that they were still alive. 
Emilia came over with Scooter – Caleb tried to push his feelings aside as he saw her and Declan begin speaking – so Caleb was immediately immersed in the dog and yet again, Declan got that raging, irrational feeling of jealousy. Of a dog? Well of course not, yet again he was jealous of Emilia and how easily she was able to communicate with the boy and know what he wants. What if Caleb decided that it was too much effort to live with him and moved in with her and Scooter?

What would he do? What could he do? Surely nothing. He wanted to slap himself for contemplating getting a dog…just to get Caleb to stay. He did however love seeing the smile on the young man’s face playing with the dog; he had never seen it so big. Maybe he would get a dog…
Sighing, Declan made his way into the music room, picking up a random guitar and making his way back down the stairs. Emilia opened up a book and made herself comfortable on the love seat while Caleb cuddled with the dog, opening up his own stories. Declan began strumming away and barely realized he was playing a tune until he was half way through. He was so immersed in the music that flowed through his fingers that he paid absolutely no attention to his surroundings. When the melody flowed to an end, he finally saw the two pairs of eyes staring directly at him.

“You have a lot of talent Declan.” Emilia praised. “Have you ever thought about doing music professionally?”

'Every day when I open my eyes in the morning and realized what I’m actually doing with my life’

But of course, he could never say something like that. So he gave a light chuckle and placed the guitar on the ground beside him.

“Nah, it’s just something I do for fun and relaxation. I think if I made it into a job, it would ruin the fun of it all.”

Caleb saw right through the flimsy lie that Emilia seemed to believe. How could he say it would take the fun away? Is it not everyone’s dream to do what they absolutely love every day for a living? Caleb knew that Declan would love to be a musician, even if he would never say it himself and Caleb also knew that Declan’s parentage may have something to do with why he chose just about the most boring profession on the planet – next to school teacher, of course.

Caleb shyly inched closer to his ‘roommate’ and tugged on his pant leg.

“W-would you mind t-teaching me that one?” 
Declan’s face split into a grin; it was great to know that Caleb had not gotten all that bored of him yet. To both Caleb and Emilia’s surprise, Declan did not get another guitar, he situated himself behind the younger man, placed the guitar in front of him and wrapped his arms tightly around Caleb, bringing his hands to the guitar. Caleb’s breath halted as his face burned bright. Emilia tried not to make a sound, but this was exactly what she had been hoping that Declan would not do; this was pushing the boundaries of friendship…even a close one. 

“I’m still teaching you how to read sheet music, but I can get this one written for you so that you can practice if you would like.” Declan breath ghosted on Caleb’s neck, causing gooseflesh to arise from the pink skin. Caleb hoped to everything holy that he did not have bad body odor; that would be just traumatizing. He could not focus on a single word that was coming from Declan’s mouth, especially when the man grabbed his small hands and placed them on the guitar, moving his fingers accordingly. Caleb could faint. Declan’s hands were soft and extremely warm; he would not even begin to think about the heated tightening in his stomach at the close proximity and contact, it was all too much.

Emilia was getting angry; she did not want to see Caleb hurt and she knew that Declan held all of the power to do so. No one had the power to cause more damage and there he was, practically toying with the boy’s emotions; she would not allow this to continue. And yet…she looked on at the two and how perfectly they seemed to fit together, their bodies moulded into one another. She had to separate them, but it seemed like a crime against everything right. Although Declan had the most power to hurt Caleb, he also, unknowingly, had the power to heal him.
♠ ♠ ♠
Well this one is a really long chapter...I don't know how I feel about it, but....yeah....

My babies are getting closer and it's so adorable :3 I just love them!

Thanks to:
Josh Cutlip
for commenting on the last chapter, you guys are awesome.

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