A Dash Of Him

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DASH Chapter 7

After two margaritas, Duke was laughing and all smiles. The darkness that was once in his eyes were now bright lights of happiness. He kept wanting to order me a margarita to join him but I had to drive and be on my best behavior. Plus I needed to get him home safely, there was no way he was driving home. I'll call the support center if he can leave his car there overnight.

Duke told me how he met his husband, Emilio. I think it was the most adorable story. Even though he had drinks in him, every time he would mention Emilio's name his eyes would darken and he would put a protective shield around him. I know he was guarded, how do you forget someone that you bound your words to. I know he still loves his husband deeply and it sucks that he passed away the way he did but something about Duke intrigues me. He's very innocent and broken but right now I'm seeing another side of him. He is very caring and delicate. I don't know much of him just a few stories of him and Emilio but I would like to know him.

"Come on, Dashiell," he said my full name and that made me do a throaty laugh. "Have a drink with me or are you too good for being a hockey player?" So he does know who I am? He's fucken adorable.

I chuckled and gazed into his crystal blue eyes, they lit up like a flame. His smirk was the cutest but he suddenly turned away. "I need to get you home safely," I said. I don't want to get into too much detail about why I can't drink.

"Fine, be boring," I held my stomach while I laughed again. He joined me. I don't remember laughing this much. I was having a great time with him.

"So you know I'm a hockey player, you follow sports?" To be honest, it doesn't look like he does but I could be surprised.

He giggled and that was the cutest, the drinks must be getting to him. "Emilio was the sports fanatic. He played football in high school but never pursued it. I saw your picture on the cover of Sports Today," his eyes studied my face. It's like he was trying to put a piece together but then his cheeks went a rosy tone.

"You saw that article, huh. Yeah, I was traveling by myself. Clearing my head from the loss of my mom and just everything that was going on in my life around that time," my throat constricted from the floating memories that were flashing in my head.

"I'm sorry," he finished his second margarita but his eyes darkened again. He must have seen my reaction.

His eyes aligned with mine again. He gave me a soft smirk. "What happened to hockey?"

Fuck. I didn't want to get into detail but I didn't want to be rude. "Let's just say my career went haywire after my mom passed away. I drank a lot, too much to be honest. I would practically be drunk on some of my plays. I was benched most of the time until I sobered up but my drinking became worst. My coach asked my agent to break my contract. They told me to take a year vacation to clear my head. Then I got in trouble with the law and now I'm here enjoying my time with you," his lips curved from ear to ear. God, he was handsome. I wonder what it would be like to kiss him.

"And I'm guessing you won't tell me the part of being in trouble with the law," he flirted, he was being suave.

"We could talk about that on another date," his eyes widen from my words.

"Another date?" He smirked.

"I mean if you want to, no pressure," I did want to see him again.

He was putting his guard up again. His eyes were becoming dull and his smile disappeared. "I'll think about it," he whispered under his breath.

"Hey, as I said before, you don't have to marry me. We can be friends. I don't have many friends," he narrowed his eyes at me. I chuckled. "Yes, believe it or not, I lost some friends from my drinking problem and my team hates me because we lost a lot of games because of me. So I'm friendless," now I'm the one that was going dark on him.

"Anything else?" Our waiter came around, he hadn't shown much of his face after I mentioned Duke was my "boyfriend". I glanced at Duke and his cheeks went a rosy red but his eyes brightened again.

"No that will be all," I took out my card and handed it to him. "We are done, thank you," my eyes still admiring how handsome Duke waS. I heard a huff from our waiter and that made Duke laugh.

"I'm ready to go," he got up still with a smirk on his face. He swerved side to side. "Woah, I might be a little drunk," he put his hands over his face in embarrassment.

I stood up and put my arm around his shoulder. "You're safe with me," I whispered in the shell of his ear. He quickly glanced at me as his pupils dilated. His small grin tugged at the corner of his lip.

"Here goes your card," I averted towards our waiter, whose nose flared and his eyes flamed with jealousy.

I quickly signed and left him a reasonable tip. "Come here babe, let's go have some fun at home," Duke's eyes bulged out. The waiter stormed off and I wanted to burst out laughing but I waited until we got outside.

We reached my truck and I heard Duke laughing behind me. "I can't believe you said that. Did you see the look in his eyes? He was so mad," he swerved and held himself by the door. I quickly grabbed his arm and straightened him up.

"I like your laugh," he suddenly stopped laughing and his face went serious. He leaned on the door as we had a moment to ourselves. He averted his eyes away from me but I moved his chin up with my fingers. "Hey, be happy," I'm not sure where this courage is coming but I got closer and his body tensed up. His blue eyes glowed at me and I saw a tiny shiver on his lips.

I put my hands over the frame of the door as I hovered over him. He was trapped. He slowly glanced at me while his vulnerable eyes filled with water. "Hey, don't cry," I said softly.

I slowly leaned down towards his lips but he pushed instantly pushed away. "I can't, Dash. This is not being friends," he walked a couple of feet away and raked his hands through his hair. "Take me back to my car."

"I'm sorry, I just—I'm not sure what I was thinking," that was the truth. I didn't know what I was thinking. My body took over. I wanted to make his body burst into flames and shield him from any pain that he was going through.

He sighed and stood in front of me. His eyes studied me again just like we first met. He was in pain again but then I saw him go to the side. He almost went down but I gripped him from his arm. "No, you're coming back with me. I don't live far. You can rest for a bit until you sober up and then I'll take you back to your car," I hope he doesn't fight me on this.

A wave of sadness filled his eyes, all I wanted to do was protect him from all this but his guard was up again even with a couple of drinks in him. He was back into his gloomy state of sorrow. "Ok," is all he said. I opened the door for him as he got in quietly. I shouldn't have been so impulsive.

The sun was below the horizon and the night sky was slowly covering the sky. I glanced at Duke who was deep asleep. His head was bobbing back and forth. I pulled into my house and parked on the driveway. I got out and went to his side. I slowly opened the door and made him comfortable. He groaned and moaned. "Give me 5 more minutes," he slurred and laid on top of the console. He was damn adorable. I went to unlock the door and left it open. I think I'm going to have to carry him into the house.

I came back and now he was quietly snoring. He was completely out. I grabbed his arm and slowly threw him over my shoulder. "Fuck, you're heavy," I caught my breath and kicked the door of my car shut. He groaned but never woke up. I walked down the hallway and into my room. I saw the silhouette of my bed and the shadows of my pillows. I slowly placed him on my bed and took off his shoes.

"Mmm," he moaned. I chuckled and made his body more comfortable. I moved his head onto one of the pillows and turned on the lamp on the drawer. I studied his handsome features. He had the most beautiful full lips, his bottom lip having more fullness than the top. He had naturally shaped eyebrows and his jawline was soft with some roughness on the edges. I noticed some scruff growing and that was a plus. I loved a guy with scruff but I feel like he shaves but I don't mind a clean-cut guy.

My phone started vibrating in my pockets. I turned off the lamp and walked into the lounge room. I saw the screen and it was unknown. I know who this was. I answered. "Hey bro," it was my brother Kieran.

"Hey man, how you been?" He sounded happier.

"I've been better, how have you been?" I haven't seen my brother for a year now. He's in jail for a car accident we were in. I tried to take the blame for it but they soon found my brother. My brother is in jail for running from the law, driving under the influence, and manslaughter while intoxicated.

"You know same shit, different day but I'm calling you to tell you they lowered my sentence to 2 years," he sounded relieved. His sentence was 4 years, my dad tried to help but all fingers were incriminating him.

"That's great man, I fucken miss you," my words choked. He was one year younger than me but we were close. He gave my parents a headache but he was just a rebel and trying to do his own thing. I know he felt pushed to the side because of me. My mom was always cheering me on with everything but he didn't help the situation, my mom would try to motivate him to be better but he wouldn't budge from his rebellious lifestyle. He would do the opposite of what my parents told him. But when he found out my mom got breast cancer he didn't take it very well. He drank more than me and was out of control. I had to go pick him up at a house party he was in that night we got in a car accident because he was completely drunk.

He was coherent when I got there but he refused to listen to me. I had drunk that night as well but I sobered up when his friend, Peter, called me that he was being obnoxious. I fairly remember that night, it was a hazy memory...

********

*A YEAR AGO*

He stormed out of the house party. "Kai, fucken stop," I yelled at him but he was going straight to his car. I saw him swerve side to side. He got into his car and that's when I bolted. The headlights turned on and I got quickly into the passenger side.

"Just leave me alone!" his words slurred but I knew he was on the verge of crying. He hasn't gotten over the death of my mom, both of us haven't but he's taken in harder. He regrets not listening to my mom. He slammed his fist on the steering wheel. "I miss her, Dash. I fucken miss her!" I studied his face. He had bags under his eyes and his hair was disheveled. His murky blue eyes had no life whatsoever. My brother was lost and I couldn't help him. My dad and I have tried but he just pushes us away.

"Kai, look at me," I shouted while the car engine roared. His foot was pressing on it. I needed to keep him calm so he wouldn't do anything stupid. "Don't you think this hasn't affected me too!" My voice was stern but calm. I heard thunder coming from the distance, the scent of heavy rain invaded my nostrils. I noticed the sky was a murky gray tone, it looked like it was going to rain.

"Yeah, but she loved you more than me. You were her star. I was pushed to the side," a sob rose from his throat, there was a string of melancholy and confusion in his eyes but then his voice changed. "I hate you and that's why I'm going to kill us both," he pushed on the gas and the tires screeched loudly. I quickly put on my seatbelt and held it tight.

"Kieran, stop!" I yelled but there was a fury in his eyes. He was hellbent to kill us.

"No!" He pressed the gas passing stoplights. Thankfully there were no cars in these little streets. It suddenly started to rain and thunder pounded in the gray sky.

"Kai, stop! We could both get into serious trouble," I've been drinking too but not as bad as him but my breath says otherwise. We got into a long street as I held myself. The street was empty but I saw traffic on the main street. He pressed the gas and the car built up speed. The light turned yellow, suddenly there was a bright light that blinded us, it was loud and all I saw was Kieran brace for impact. His eyes widen and he passed the stop light then I heard glass breaking. I heard the honk of another car and metal smashing into our car.

I was knocked out for a bit but then gained consciousness. I turned to Kieran who was waking up as well. "Kai, wake up," I tapped on his shoulder. Our windshield was shattered but I saw a red car in front of us. Smoke was coming out of their hood. Kieran groaned but quickly woke up when he saw the shattered glass. The rain came down hard as droplets started to come through the broken glass.

"Fuck!" He got out without any injury. I felt a scratch on my forehead but I quickly followed Kieran outside. His hands were pulling his wet hair back as his eyes were terrified at the red Mercedes. It was completely shattered from the passenger side. Then I saw the figure of a man. His face was covered in blood, a few people were starting to come closer and sirens were coming from afar. I glanced at the intersection lights and the camera was burned off. I saw a giant hole on the pavement, it's was lightning that blinded us.

"Kai, get out of here. I'll take the blame," he was still in shock as he stood there aimlessly studying the car. The rain poured hard on our bodies. My clothes were hugging my skin from the rain.

I ran towards him and grabbed his shoulders. "Kai! Get out of here!" I yelled and he nodded. He ran into some park and I raked my hands through my hair. My wet hair fell on my face as I waited for the cops and ambulance to come but I couldn't bear to see who was inside the car. He was completely covered in blood.

********

*PRESENT DAY*

"Well you could've visited me," I could hear the tease in his voice.

"I'm sorry. I've been clearing my head from all this shit."

"I know and I'm sorry, bro. I know your career dived because of me. I'm truly sorry man," I could hear his voice choked.

"Hey, fuck that. You're my brother and I tried to protect you but damn cameras in that clothing store," there was a camera in a clothing store that was directly facing the street. It recorded the impact of the lightning and us colliding with the red Mercedes. It also showed gesturing to Kieran to run. It captured him running into the park. I got some heat from the car accident but my brother was blamed for the rest.

"Thank you for doing that," he went silent.

"I'll visit you soon. I'm just trying to get my life back together," I told him.

"Yes, I would like that. Dad calls here and there but hasn't come to visit me," his voice sounded defeated. Our dad rarely showed us affection and that's probably one reason why Kieran was so rebellious. "But I'll let you go my time is almost up. I love you, bro. I'll talk to you soon."

"I love you too, man," he hung up and a knot formed in my throat. I lay on the couch while my mind was a vortex of sadness and sorrow. I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths. Slowly my thoughts winded down and I immediately fell asleep.
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