Going to try for a long chapter after this one. The events I’ve written for now aren’t really conducive to length without getting overly tedious. Thanks to those people who submitted comments. I really appreciate the input. Lastly, I’ve been told my transition between perspectives could use a little work, so any tips or suggestions there would be phenomenal.
James woke to energetic music pulsing through the house. He had been so comfortable he didn’t even remember falling asleep. The music wasn’t anything he was used to, so he stayed in the bed for a bit trying to understand the fast lyrics. Also, there was something missing, but it took his half-awake brain some time to realize that thing was Shaine. Glancing around the room, frowning, he confirmed that Shaine had left, but the music meant he was probably still in the house. Relief flooded through him that his friend had not run from him yet again.
He tossed the comforter to the side, still trying to get a grasp on the stupid music. Stretching his arms above his head with a yawn that caused his jaw to crack audibly, James tried to locate his clothing. An amused smile spread over his face as he stood and walked to where someone had neatly folded the mess he’d made of his clothing the previous night. He retrieved his T-shirt from the top of the pile, pulling it quickly over his head with a chuckle. Shaine’s voice had popped into his head, “Everything has a place. If something’s not in its place, I have to put it there.”
Not bothering to put on anything else, James walked out of the room and into its adjoining bathroom to satiate his bladder. He walked back into the room to the sound of more extraordinary guitar work. Finally, he could make some sense of what was being said. The lyrics to the window vibrating music were like something out of a fantasy novel. “Flying on dragons with shining swords?” Shaine’s taste in music was something else. Shaking his head and grinning widely, he headed down the hall towards the living room.
To his surprise, the area hadn’t been touched. The sliding glass door, now minus glass, was letting in the afternoon sun as well as a nice breeze. Glass glittered over much of the carpet, while the music pumped from the stereo above the television. Shaine must have turned on the stereo, and then ignored the mess.
“I guess broken objects don’t really have a ‘place’ then,” James thought. Noises from the kitchen caught James’ attention, so he headed in that direction.
Not being a morning person, or good at waking up at all, James’ mind wasn’t working at top performance. Halfway to the kitchen door, James regretted not having put his shoes on. Putting his food down, a large shard of what was left of the sliding door cut deeply into the sole of his foot, shooting pains up and down James’ leg.
James made soft grunting noises, immediately taking his weight off the injured appendage. Gritting his teeth, he hopped over to the wall and leaned against it. Propping his injured foot on the thigh of his other leg he bent to inspect the damage. A half-inch of glass stuck out of the skin, blood dripping out of the wound, off his foot, and onto the carpet. Looking up, James could see he had dripped on the way to the wall, the bright red drops contrasting sharply on the white carpet. There was no way Shaine would be able, after the vomit, vodka, and now his blood, to keep the carpet. It would have to be replaced along with the door; two permanent reminders of the last few days.
Looking down again, it looked like he’d have a reminder of his own. The wound was going to need stitches, maybe a shot, and would probably leave a scar. Gritting his teeth so his neck muscles bulged, James tugged the fragment out. Holding up the shard, it looked like it had only gone in about half an inch. Shaking his head, James made to move again towards the kitchen when he froze. The entire pathway there was littered with glass, as was the way back to the hall. He was stuck unless Shaine either brought him his shoes, or carried him over the glass.
With a sigh, he took a deep breath and hollered for his friend.
James’ bellow cut through the driving music. Shaine turned from the stove where he was cooking breakfast, to the doorway. Confused, he grabbed a washcloth to wipe his hands on, and walked to the door.
It was obvious to Shaine, after that morning’s excitement, that James wasn’t going to just leave him be. He would be harassed, manhandled, and quite possible institutionalized until he told James why he’d been acting so oddly. So, the only thing to do was tell the stubborn ass enough to satisfy him and pray that he would never guess the truth, or that he wasn’t being told all of it. It probably wouldn’t be too hard; James wasn’t known for reading people entirely well.
Shaine had decided, after he’d woken and seen the disaster area that was his living room, to start making an early dinner. James liked food, so maybe it would put him in a better mood. Plus, if they were eating, it might be easier to disguise the fact that he was hiding things. If nothing else, it would put more distance between him and the bedroom. It had been very hard to leave the protective embrace he’d woken up in.
Now, with James calling for him, Shaine’s thoughts raced back over the time since he’d woken up, and he wondered if he should have cleaned up the living room instead of cooking. The mess might have reminded James of the earlier scene. James could want to start at inquisition sooner, rather than later. He feared the bellowing from the living room could be the beginning.
Getting to the doorway, Shaine gasped when he saw James leaning against the wall. The man was certainly a sight to behold: brown hair standing at awkward angles, tousled and messy; t-shirt a little too tight, revealing well-defined muscle under a shirt stretched tighter from its owner’s position; jeans rumpled from being slept in; and blood running freely onto the carpet from a deep wound in his foot. The idiot must have cut himself on the glass that was scattered over most of this part of the living room. Shaine heaved a sigh; what a way to start an afternoon.
“Congratulations,” Shaine groaned. “You know, shoes would have been a smart move.”
Seeing the embarrassment in James’ eyes caused a twinge of guild in the blonde’s stomach, but the man should have known better, and now he was hurt. Annoyance flashed in his eyes as he walked towards the brunette. James shouldn’t have gotten hurt, shouldn’t be making him worry.
“Look,” James said with a half-hearted smile, “it’s not like I meant to have this nice, long piece of glass make its way into the bottom of my foot. I mean, it’s really fucking painful. Who’d want that to happen?”
The attempted joke fell flat as Shaine crouched down to take a good look at the hole in James’ foot. He wasn’t in a joking mood. He was worried and anxious about what James would say to him later. The wound appeared clean, yet deep. It was going to need stitches, which meant a trip to the hospital. Shaking his head, Shaine stood again.
“It’s the emergency room for you, genius,” Shaine said, disgruntled. “You should know better than to walk over broken glass without shoes on, for Christ’s’ sake.”
James winced at the sharp tone, causing Shaine another twinge of guilt. Gazing back down at his gash, frowning, James stayed quiet. Shaine cursed himself in his head; he was supposed to be putting James in a better mood, not a worse one.
Shaine, sighing again, said, “Okay, I’ll go find your shoes, and then I’ll help you to the truck. This is one hell of a way to start a afternoon.” He headed down the hallway to the bedroom he’d avoided all morning, retrieving shoes for the one person he least wanted to be around.