So today's flash was inspired by a cute picture I couldn't resist. Now, just so folks know, I was inundated with a few projects, and my blog was shunted to a back burner for a bit. But never fear, I'm coming back. I'll be posting more varied content, as well as getting back to commenters. So, if you felt I was ignoring you, I promise I wasn't, and I do dearly appreciate every comment sent my way by readers/fans.
Lost Inside Chapter 24
He could’ve been a kitten. Splayed on his back, naked, his stripes glowing faintly in the neon light from the bar sign, Yuri reached up and batted at Benny’s hand. “Keep rubbing.”
Benny stared down at his mate. “You have a brother?” There’d been no brother when their Clans had merged.
“Uh huh.” Yuri frowned. “Keep rubbing.”
Belatedly, Benny started tracing his fingers across Yuri’s forehead, lightly scratching his scalp, and then beginning again. Maybe Yuri’s headache had to do with this new memory coming forward. “Where’s your brother?”
“I dunno.” Yuri shrugged one shoulder.
“You don’t know, or you don’t remember?”
Yuri huffed. “If I don’t remember, I could know and not know I know.”
“But, no, I don’t know. That day, my father was so mad. Yuisi was supposed to mate and produce cubs. But he left.”
“He’s older than you?”
“Yeah, but just like, a year. People always used to think we were twins.”
Benny leaned down and pressed a kiss to Yuri’s forehead. “You’re remembering a lot.”
“Sometimes. It’s all blurry, though, like the one time when the TV was broken and all we could see were wavy lines that came and went.” Yuri snarled. “I hate it. Why can’t I be normal?”
“Normal’s overrated. You are what you are. The venom is helping you, but nothing is perfect.” Benny urged Yuri up. “Let’s go back to bed.” They were both tired, and Yuri’s little revelation needed time to settle.
He’d had a brother.
Just how did that fit in with everything else?
“How’s the head?” Benny couldn’t sleep so he got up after Yuri drifted off. He turned the TV on low and made some coffee.
“Better.” Yuri slumped on the couch next to him around sunrise. “Can I have some milk?”
“Sure.” Benny got up and poured Yuri a cup of milk. “You didn’t have to get up yet.”
“You wanna talk, right?” Yuri shrugged. “I couldn’t sleep anyway.”
“Things are really changing for you, aren’t they?”
Yuri set his cup down and pulled his legs up. It was almost comical, seeing him curl up his long legs, if it didn’t make Benny sad.
“I remember my brother, kinda. But he left years ago, and it’s all kinda fuzzy.”
“Do you know why he’d be attacking you?” That was the question Benny had been wrestling with since the wee hours of the morning. He’d nearly killed his mate’s brother, and he’d feel bad, but he wouldn’t hesitate to actually do it if the Tiger attacked again.
But how could Yuri forgive him for that? He was damned either way.
“What? No! You didn’t think Yuisi was the one who attacked us, did you?” Yuri sat up, staring at Benny with a frown.
He had. “You mean that Tiger isn’t your brother?” Who the hell was it? Damn it, they’d be back to square one trying to figure out who the hell was after his mate.
“No!” Yuri shook his head. “He’s Yuisi’s mate.”
“Hey, guys,” Ellis said. He walked into Benny’s apartment followed by Dav.
“Hi, Ellis!” Yuri’s headache seemed to be completely gone. He pounced on Ellis, giving him a hug. “I smell muffins.”
Dav smiled and produced a bag from behind his back. “Yep. Ellis said these were your favorites.”
“Thank you, thank you!” Yuri opened the bag and took a big whiff. “Banana!”
“Are you going to share?” Benny smiled when his mate pouted.
“There’s only two,” he whined.
Dav pulled his other hand from behind his back. “I’m surprised you couldn’t smell these.”
“Not smell bacon?” Benny huffed. “I just wanted to see how much my mate cared.”
Yuri hurried over to him. “I care. I do! I’ll share, if you want some.” He held out the bag.
Benny felt like a total ass. “Hey, I was just joking,” he said softly. “I don’t like banana muffins, so Dav got me some bacon biscuits. I forgot you probably wouldn’t remember. I used to… .” He used to joke about stealing some of Yuri’s muffins, but his mate must not remember that.
He ran a hand over his head. “I’m sorry.”
“You used to joke like that before, right?” Yuri asked.
Benny nodded, bracing himself for Yuri’s reaction.
“Okay.” Yuri smiled. “I’m glad you don’t want any of my muffins, but maybe I’ll steal some of your biscuits. I do like bacon.”
The grin on his mate’s face was a far cry from the temper tantrum or frustration Benny expected. Well, at least he was in a good mood. Hopefully it would last through the whole discussion.
They sat in the living room, coffee all around, except for Yuri who wanted more milk to go with his muffins.
“So, the guy who attacked you is Yuri’s brother-in-law?” Ellis asked. “Why in the hell would he do that?”
Benny shook his head. “I don’t think he’s in his right mind. Something’s going on—and I have no idea what the hell it is.”
Dav was already on his phone. “But at least now we have some avenue of investigation. I’ll reach out to my contacts.”
Ellis put his coffee cup down. “And I’ll call Isiah. We’ll also get in touch with Velaku. In the meantime, though, let me see your back, Benny.”
Sighing, Benny lifted his shirt. Ellis peeled back the biggest bandage.
“These look pretty good. You need to head in before the skin grows over the sutures, though.”
“I planned on it. Yuri needs to see the doctor too.”
“I do?” Yuri made a face. “Great.”
Benny sighed. “Remember, Dr. Vancould wanted to check the spot where they’d put the port in again.”
Yuri sulked. “I remembered… I just hope you forgot.”
“Humor him”—Benny leaned forward and kissed Yuri, sucking on his full lower lip—“okay? It won’t take long, and then I have a surprise for you.”
Okay, check out the Briefer's website or use the list below to check out the other updates by the Briefer's participating this week.