The Bartender

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Chapter Twenty-Seven

“Hey kid, kid! Get up”

My eyes fluttered open at the sound of someone calling me and at the feel of a hand tapping me. My sight was blurred by the flashing lights of the cars around but mostly by the tears that had welled up in my eyes. The sound of the ambulance was too loud making me wince, and I could see silhouettes rushing towards me.

“It’s okay to let him go now. The paramedics are here” a deep voice said from above me. I looked up to see the man from earlier, the one who had helped frighten those guys away. I didn’t know who he was but I was grateful. I blinked at him, taking in his features. The first thing I noticed, even with the darkness was that he had a scowl on his manly face. I had a feeling it was permanent. I didn’t have time to take in his other features other than the fact that he was extremely tall, almost as tall as Brian if not the same, and his beard when Zander coughed.

I looked at him sadly, seeing the bruises on face and body. How did he even get himself in trouble? Was it the guy that Brian talked about? I remembered it having to do something with BDSM. Did the guy send those guys after Zander? I wondered.

The paramedics took him from me and started asking me questions but I couldn’t find my voice to answer. The man answered for me though. I could only watch as they took him towards the ambulance, muttering something about a hate crime.

With my head bowed, I walked to my car. I felt so sorry for him. If it really was a hate crime, I couldn’t help but wonder that it could have been Niall, or Kyle, or my dad, or my mom or even Chance and Klara. My whole family could have been in this kind of situation if they hadn’t been already.

It also made me wonder if this was what happened to Brian. Had his parents treated him like that? Just for being gay? Some people were just so cruel and I really hoped that no one that I loved went through such a thing.

My phone buzzed in my pocket and I retrieved it, seeing my dad’s contact. I answered the call with a sigh.

“Where are you?” he asked making me roll my eyes.

“I’m around, why?”

“We’re all waiting for you at the restaurant. Please hurry up” he said.

“Okay, which one?” I asked since there were many restaurants in this town. But knowing my parents, it would probably be La Chaumiére since they liked expensive food that tasted like puke. But who was I to complain?

“La Chaumiére” he said and I rolled my eyes. I knew it.

With a sigh, I drove there as quickly as I could without breaking any speed limits. I hoped they didn’t mind what I was wearing. I would have gone home to change but I was already late, and I wouldn’t want dad screaming at me again. Honestly, if he really wanted my forgiveness, he should stop screaming at me.

Driving past the hospital instantly reminded me of Zander, dampening my mood. Not that I was happy before, okay I was happy but after seeing Zander, it just went out the window. I slowed the car down, watching as they wheeled various patients and victims to the building. I hoped Zander was okay.

Taking my phone again, I dialled Brian’s number thinking that I should tell him of his friend’s situation. He answered on the first ring. I set it to speaker.

“Hey babe” he answered, “missed me already?”

“Yeah” I whispered and sniffed. “Um...” I trailed, not really knowing how I should go about it.

“What’s wrong?”

I sighed. “I saw Zander” I said.

“Oh? Tell him he owes me 40 bucks” he said.

“I... I can’t. Zander is in the hospital”.

“What? Why? What happened?”

“I went to your club after I left your place, just to look around. I mean, I don’t even know what I was doing there but as soon as I got there, I saw some guys following Zander. He was dressed like a stripper. Is he a stripper? Don’t answer. That’s not important. But, I followed them and saw them beating him to a pulp. I couldn’t get them to stop but this guy from nowhere cane and they ran away. Zander looked bloody though but we called an ambulance. So he’s there right now” I ranted quickly.

“Aiden, I didn’t hear anything aside from bloody and ambulance. Calm down and talk to me” Brian stated, sounding worried. I didn’t blame him though.

“Zander was beaten up by some people, the paramedics think it’s a hate crime. He’s at St. Lawrence Hospital” I said more calmly.

“I’m on my way there” he stated.

“Keep me updated okay?” I whispered at last.

“No problem, but baby, are you okay? Even after witnessing that?”

I shrugged even though he couldn’t see me. “I will be. I’m going to dinner with the family”.

“Okay, well, let me know when you’re done. Be safe”.

“Okay” I nodded.

“I lo...I’ll call you later. Thanks for letting me know” he said and hung up.

Shaking my head, I threw the phone on the front seat and parked the car as I was already at the restaurant. I saw dad waiting for me at the gate and he didn’t look pleased.

“Sweatpants? Seriously?” he asked, gesturing at my clothes.

I shrugged. “I didn’t have time to change”.

“Is that blood?” Dad asked as I got closer to him making me look down at my shirt. True enough, it was stained with blood. I looked up to see that looking at me with a look I couldn’t decipher. I didn’t know if it was concern or disappointment.

“It’s not what you think” I started saying.

“Are you hurt anywhere? Should we go see a doctor? Lift up your shirt”.

I lifted it up immediately showing him I was okay. “I’m okay dad, really. I just... Um... On my way, I saw a friend of mine getting beat up and I went to help” I explained, not bothered that I had referred to Zander as a friend.

“What’s that?” Dad asked, pointing to my chest. I looked down and saw a darkening bruise just below the left side of my pecs. A blush coated my cheeks immediately making me look away from dad.

“Is that from your boyfriend?”

“Yes but that’s not important”.

“Are you two sleeping together?”

“No, Dad! Can we not do this? I just told you that a friend of mine got beat up and it was probably a hate crime, you know, with all those homophobes running around” I stated, rolling my eyes. It’s sad to think that a couple of months ago, I was just like them. It made me so angry to know I was such a hateful moron.

“I’m sorry, but you can’t blame me for worrying”, Dad sighed. “Is he okay now?”

“He will be” I said and he nodded.

“Let’s get you something to wear. I have a suit in the trunk” Dad said making me gape at him. I shouldn’t even be surprised at this point, really. But before we went there, I walked up to him and hugged him tightly. He tensed at first and relaxed into it.

“I love you dad, really” I told him. “I’m still angry about what you did but I love you, okay?”

I felt him kiss the top of my head. “I love you too Aiden. Thank you. And I’ll make it up to you, I hope”.

***

Everyone was seated at the table, waiting for me. They had all suited up too, even Niall wore a suit and he really did look good. I made a mental note to take a picture of him and send it to Kyle. He’ll probably cum in his pants at the sight. Mom was dressed beautifully in a red gown and Klara wore a black dress with gold at the edges. She looked really beautiful. Her blonde hair had been held into a ponytail.

My mom was seated next to Klara, Chance was with Niall and there was a seat by Chance that was reserved for Dad, I guess. The only other empty seat was by Klara. I didn’t know why, but I still didn’t like her.

I walked towards my mom and kissed her forehead. “How are you feeling hun?” she asked.

“I’m good, better even” I told her. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and I went to sit down. I missed her, in a way. Before I saw her “cheating” on dad, we were quite close and now, it’s like we were estranged family members. I hoped that after this dinner, everything will be back to normal, obviously not as normal as it was, but at least, we’d get over our differences. Well, I’ll get over my differences with them.

“Hey” I smiled at Niall as I was sitting opposite him. “What’s up?”

“Nothing much” he whispered, playing with the sleeves of his shirt. I narrowed my eyes on them for a while and then looked him in the eye.

“I meant, how are you?”

“Oh” he said with wide eyes. “I ... I’m alright”.

No he wasn’t. Something was wrong. I could feel it in my veins and I knew it had to do with his arms. Not wanting to make a scene, I kept my mouth shut as the waitress came and we all ordered our food.

Throughout dinner, dad asked me questions about school and stuff, and then he threw in a few about Brian in an attempt to make conversation. I honestly didn’t mind if they talked about business or living arrangements or whatever it was that adults did. I was itching to ask Niall what happened.

I answered all their questions though, with as much enthusiasm as I could fake. Especially when they asked if I was okay with how things were going.

“Yeah, it’s cool” I said with a smile, looking at the weird food on my plate. I really shouldn’t have let dad tall me into trying a new dish. Whatever happened to the classical French fries and grilled chicken?

“Aiden, how do you feel about moving in with Chance and I?”

“What about mom?” I asked. I’d love to live with my dad. I never saw him and it would be nice to have him around for most days when he’s not out of the country. However, I also wasn’t ready to leave mom and our home. I’ve lived there since I was a kid and mom has always been the one taking care of me. I didn’t want to leave her too.

“Aiden, sweetheart” mom started and I looked at her worriedly, “I’m sorry to break this to you but Klara and I have decided to go sightseeing around the world”.

“What?” No. She couldn’t.

“It’s just that we’ve been planning this since forever and I never had time to leave. But now that your father is here, I think it’ll be a great time to achieve my dream”.

I sighed. Really? Another secret? As much as I was happy that mom still had dreams she wanted to achieve, it hurt that she’d have to leave me to achieve them. And really, sightseeing around the world? She basically just said that she’d be travelling to every country on the planet. I didn’t know if I should hate her or love her for wanting to do that.

But no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hate her for it. She had dealt with me for 18 years when Dad couldn’t be man enough to handle me. So I guess I owed her that.

“Fine, but I’m still staying at home” I said with a shrug. I’m not moving anywhere.

“That’s alright” Dad said.

I looked at Niall then, seeing that he looked very out of place. It was as if his mind was somewhere else.

“Hey Niall, do you want to come and live with me?” I asked, not knowing where that came from but deciding to go with it.

“Um....” he stuttered.

“That’s a great idea Aiden” Dad agreed. “That way, we can have a break from your mom” he said, rolling his eyes at Chance who just growled at him. I didn’t know what they were talking about but I wasn’t going to get into it. I turned to Niall, raising my brow in expectation.

“Yeah, I guess. If that’s okay with you” he said.

“Of course it’s okay with me. You’re my brother and I still have yet to beat your ass in fortnite”.

“I don’t play that game”.

I gaped at him. “You’re kidding!”

***

After dinner, we all agreed to help mom and Klara pack for their trips. Let me rephrase, they agreed, I didn’t. Besides, what would they need on that trip anyway? They were travelling all over the world. All they needed was a backpack with money in it.

Mom and Klara headed to their car, Chance walked ahead with Niall but Dad stayed behind with me to talk.

“I’m glad that you decided to this. I really appreciate it”.

“It’s no big deal” I shrugged. It really wasn’t. I know they lied to me and all, but they were still family. And at the end of the day, I had something to blackmail them with so we were all good. Just kidding. I chuckled to myself at that thought. “But you owe me a favour though” I stated.

“Whatever you want. Just name it” he said with a smile.

“Great. I need you to use your links to find someone for me. I’ll send you the details later. And I want a Lamborghini. Wait, two Lamborghinis.” I smirked.

“What do you need two for?”

“I just want my boyfriend and I to have matching cars” I smiled.

“You can buy it for him yourself. I’m only getting you one” Dad answered and I sighed.

“Fine”.

Dad just shook his head at me and rushed towards Chance, greeting him with a kiss on the lips. I watched them with a smile on my face, seeing them so happy made me wonder if Brian and I would have this in the future, and honestly, I wouldn’t mind.

I didn’t miss how Niall turned away from them though. The boy looked terrible so I decided to go cheer him up.

“Hey” I said as I got to him.

“Is it okay if I go with you? I don’t want to listen to them talk about sex, please”

I chuckled at that. I was actually going to ask him to drive back home with me since I wanted to talk to him so it was good that he came to me himself.

“I got you bro” I smirked and led him to the car. Once we got seated, I turned to him. “Okay, what’s going on?”

“What?” he asked, playing dumb.

“You’ve been on edge all night. What’s wrong?” I questioned. He fidgeted the sleeves of his shirt again and this time, I got really worried.

I took his arm and pushed up his sleeve, shocked when I saw no marks except old white ones that were healed.

“You thought I cut?”

“I’m sorry, but what was I supposed to think? You’ve been acting all weird, just like how I used to when....” I sighed. “Just tell me. You know I’m here for you”.

Niall sighed. “I wouldn’t do that. I promised”.

“Then what’s wrong?”

Niall looked anywhere but at me. He took his phone from the pocket of his jacket and handed it to me, blushing heavily.

“What’s on it?” I asked cautiously.

“Just look” he insisted and unlocked the phone before shoving it in my hand again.

I looked down at it and screamed, throwing it to the glove compartment. “What the hell?”

“Now you know” he said, blushing deeply.

I took the phone again, looking at the boy who laid on a bed laid with black satin sheets, wearing a red lingerie and a red lacy thong. The caption under it said, “I’ve been a bad boy”.

I looked from Niall to the photo and back again, trying to decipher how Kyle, my best friend, could fit his dick and balls in a red lace thong.

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