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43. An Invitation

He thought that the worst thing after they moved in the city, was the increasing number of invitations to events and more mail in general.

Theo was quite selective about said invitations, declining the majority of them as kindly as possible, claiming prior engagements for the dates the events were held. However, the most recent one, was from a charity foundation their family supported for years and it would look bad if he refused to attend. Therefore, he was obliged to accept. This, normally shouldn’t be Gage’s problem, but it was bound to become just that.

“You are coming with me” Theo announced casually, the moment he glanced at the elegant invitation card.

He had only returned two nights ago, yet it hadn’t taken him long to drag his tail out from between his legs, when he saw that his pet was alive, well and forgiving as always. He had reverted to his old attitude much quicker than his conscience –if it was in existence that is- should permit him to do. Again, this was not Gage’s problem and he wouldn’t let it become one.

Currently, it was somewhat late in the afternoon and they were in the sitting room while Kendra was in her room, waiting to be summoned.

“No, I’m not” Gage denied flatly.

“Yes, you are, brother. It would look good if both of us appeared”

“To show how bonded we are as siblings?” he mocked.

“That too” Theo smirked. “But what I meant was, that it would seem better if we, as the sole representatives of our family, supported acts of charity such as this one, publicly”

“I don’t care about all that” he retorted.

“I know and neither do I, but pretenses must be kept and I’m sure you can tolerate it for one night”

“What about your pet? You intend to leave her completely unguarded?”

Not that he really cared. He didn’t even stay with them for the last two days and he would keep it that way for as long as possible.

He had his own apartment in the city. His father had bought it for him as a graduation gift and after he left the house to join the Army, it was the place he chose to stay the rare times when he returned. After his discharge, he settled there until this madness with Theo started.

Now that they were in the city again, he found no reason to constantly be with those two highly toxic people and made his escape whenever he could. This time, especially, his brother didn’t even dare to order him to stay with them. He accepted that Gage would come early in the morning and would be off as soon as Theo was back.

It was safe to so as, for a while, the devil would pamper his pet and they would live yet another honeymoon before he could no longer hold back his nature. But even if it wasn’t safe, he would probably do the same. If God still had some mercy stored somewhere deep down for Gage, Theo would break his toy and then end himself setting him free. Setting the girl free as well.

“As you’ve said yourself before” Theo said “if Kendra wanted to leave she would have done so, long ago. Hence, I think it will be safe to leave her alone for a couple of hours or a bit more if it comes to that. Of course, I’ll lock her door for a good measure”

“Why do you really want me to come with you?” Gage asked frowning and feeling something was slightly off with his brother’s insistence to take him along at this party.

“I told you already, brother”

“No ulterior motive?” he pressed.

Theo laughed amused.

“Always so suspicious, brother! But you are right, I guess. If I go with you, nobody will dare ask why I didn’t bring a date”

“You want to use me as your fucking date?” he sneered.

“Yes” Theo admitted. “But you don’t have to worry. I’ll try to make our stay there as short as possible. However, you are going to have to wear a tux. The dress code, as you can imagine, is formal”

Gage growled something incoherent and his brother chuckled.

“It won’t be so bad” he spoke again. “Besides, it’s for charity. For children. Maybe, you’ll have more fun than you expect”

“I don’t expect to have fun, nor do I need it”

“Oh, right” Theo nodded mockingly. “I forgot you don’t know how to do that. Yet, as I said, we won’t stay there very long”

“Good” he deadpanned and he turned to leave.

“Did I mention it is a ball?”

He spun his body slowly around only to find the devil smiling at him sardonically.

“It must have slipped my mind” he added. “Get me Kendra before you leave”

The moment he followed the last order he was out the door.

One would expect him to head to his own apartment. A more perceptive person would suspect that he would go to the girl’s house to check up on her, as he used to do. The last two days, however, his course had changed leading him to a different address. He shouldn’t go and torture himself like that, but he did.

A while ago, he had told the girl that he didn’t care about her boy’s name. The annoying voice in his head called him a liar at every given chance. All the times he told himself he didn’t give a damn or that he wasn’t jealous, the voice was there to taunt him.

She had been staying with him at nights. She told him so, in one of the goodnight messages. Perhaps, she should have kept that piece of information to herself for ever since she let him know, he was there.

Under the boy’s building.

Watching his window.

Expecting her silhouette to appear.

Only it never appeared alone; the boy was there, hugging her, making her happy.

Then, when they would be out of sight, he would make love to her. Holding her in his arms as she drifted to sleep.

Every night.

“I don’t give a fucking shit” he muttered to himself, like all the times before as he took the way back home after subjecting himself to this strange torture.

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