Gideon is pacing in front of the tv before sitting down again. His right leg bounces up and down before he jumps up and starts pacing again.
“Gideon!” I snap at him. “Sit your ass down before you pace a hole in the floor.” He turns and looks at me like I just spoke to him in another language. The ends of hair stand up from all the pulling, a clear sign that he’s nervous and I don’t have to guess about what. I feel it too. We left Jaleena in the middle of a panic attack and although I know she’s safe with Roan and Julian, I can’t help to feel the butterflies flying around in my stomach. This time it has nothing to do with the way I feel about the gorgeous girl upstairs.
“Fuck, Cass. We shouldn’t have left. What if something is wrong? I mean, she just found out she shares a brother with Roan. The guy she f... sleeps with. What if she decides to leave? Or worse, what if she sees Roan as her brother now? I mean, that would be weird, right? Sleeping with your brother is gross and I...”
“Damnit, Gideon! Just stop it!” I yell. Instantly, shame washes over me. I never yelled at him before but this whole situation leaves me agitated.
“She’s not going to think of him as her brother. Have some faith buddy,” I say in a softer voice.
“I can’t just lose her now, Cass. I’ve already lost my sister and don’t think I don’t know that the chances to save her are slim to nothing,” he chokes.
My chest aches when I glance up at him. He’s supposed to be the goofy one, the fun guy to hang around with. He’s not supposed to look so broken with tears in his eyes, obviously hurting from what we’ve learned today. And that’s even before we know what happened last night when she and Julian stepped through that portal to visit her father. Knowing Jaleena, she scared the shit out of him.
We both look up when we hear footsteps echoing through the hallway.
“How is she?” he asks as soon as Roan steps into the living room.
He rubs his hand over his face and I notice that he looks tired. I can’t even begin to imagine what he’s going through. Finding out that you have a half-brother is tough as fuck. He places both hands on the back of the couch and sighs deeply.
“She’s going to be okay. She has to be,” he whispers.
I raise my hand but freeze before I can touch his shoulder. We both look at each other for a few long seconds before I drop my hand. I lower myself on the couch and shake my head.
“I’m afraid to touch you. I can’t touch you anymore. Not now we’ve just found Jaleena,” I admit.
I look at the tip of my shoes because I know what I find when I look at him and while I know he understands, I have to admit we had fun. Lots of fun. But it’s not worth it if it would mean we’d lose Jaleena and I’m sure he feels the same way.
Roan looks at me and smiles. “Do you think we should tell her?” he asks in a low voice.
“Tell me what?” I snap my head up and see Jaleena leaning against the doorway.
Gideon looks at us before moving towards Jaleena with a beaming smile on his face, obviously relieved that she seems to be okay.
“Lena, I’m going to pretend that I have important things to do. I do not want to be here when you have the talk,” he winks and leans in to place a soft kiss on her lips.
I’m still amazed by the fact that the big green monster doesn’t rear his head up. Warmth spreads through my chest when I see the loving look they give each other. We all give her something that the other can’t give her and she deserves every bit of love someone can give her. Even if it’s from more than one person.
Jaleena brushes her hand against Gideon’s. “Don’t be an ass,” she scoffs. Gideon just chuckles and without another look, he leaves the room.
I quickly glance at Roan and see him closing his eyes and shake his head a little. When we both don’t say anything, she pushes herself from the door frame and walks towards us with a strained look on her face. She fiddles with her fingers and I can see the tension rolling off of her in big fat waves, but she stares at us head-on. She’s a goddamn warrior, that’s what she is. She doesn’t back down, not even when she’s afraid. I see her brace herself before raising one eyebrow. I clear my throat before nudging Roan with my elbow. He slowly lifts his head locking eyes with her.
“I don’t want you to know,” he says.
My mouth falls open when hearing his words. I never would’ve thought he would be ashamed of what we did. We never fucked each other, but we tried other things. I feel my blood running south and it takes every ounce of strength not to adjust myself a little when I think back about how he tasted on my tongue. Julian obviously never cared and neither did Gideon. I know he’s not into men but he couldn’t care less what we did. He only asked if we could do it somewhere private, but that made sense to me. I don’t think I could even get it up when there’s an audience.
Jaleena closes her eyes and sighs in defeat. “Really? We’re going to do this every time I ask a question? Fine, whatever. You could’ve just said you didn’t want to talk about it,” she huffs before she turns around to walk away.
Before she can even step foot back into the hallway, Roan jumps up, catches her by her waist, and drops her between us on the couch. He grabs her hand and laces their fingers together and stares at their joined hands.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said it that way.” He takes a deep breath before he continues. “It has nothing to do with your father or any of our plans. It’s kind of personal and I’m not sure what you’ll think of it. I guess I’m just scared that you don’t want me anymore after I tell you. Or you don’t want us anymore I should say.”
Damn, I’ve never seen him so vulnerable. When I look at him now, I can see he’s afraid of her reaction and it’s a side of him I haven’t seen before. Now I feel bad that I thought he was ashamed of us.
She cocks her head and turns her attention to me. She keeps looking at me until I fidget in my seat from her intense stare because it damn well feels like she looks right through me. Her mouth turns into a knowing smirk and winks at me before looking at Roan again. Damnit, how does she do that? How does she know things about me, about us, without saying or asking anything?
She nods reassuringly at Roan. “Okay, tell me when you’re ready.” She stands up and leans forward to place a soft kiss on his forehead. With one last loving stroke through his hair, she walks away.
“I’m going to find Gideon so he can make those little chicken thingies to eat. After that, I’m going to scare the crap out of Julian, so I need his help.”
Roan and I both stare at her perfectly shaped ass when she leaves the room. When she disappears around the corner, I close my eyes and lean back against the cushions.
“Oh, by the way. Cass?” I open my right eye and see Jaleena’s head peeking around the doorway.
“You know I can feel what you feel through our connection, right?” She winks and before I can register her words, she’s gone.
It takes me a second to realize what she means. That’s how she knew what Roan didn’t want to talk about.
She felt it. She felt all of it.