Chapter 14

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The current relationship between the two boys is obscure. Trip doesn't have many friends, if any at all, and doesn't yet consider Reed to be one. Reed, however, makes bonds easily and thinks of Trip as a good friend.

But then what term should Trip use for the man who currently shares his bed?

Certainly, he doesn't have an idea and allows Reed to stay over out of the kindness he harbors for others. And the fact that he was much too exhausted to transport Reed home the night before.

Trip wakes before Reed does and slowly rolls off of his mattress before falling onto the floor. He lays there for a few minutes until he hears a curse escape the mouth of a twenty-three-year-old just above him.

"My head," the boy groans and Trip remains lying on his stomach without saying a word.

He hears Reed shift on the bed and still makes no effort to move. He's still exhausted.

"Maybe you shouldn't drink so much," Trip says, his voice muffled by the carpet he speaks into.

"What?" Reed asks, sitting up. He holds his head in his hands.

Trip lifts his face from the ground long enough to speak.

"Aren't you going home now?" Trip asks him before plopping his head back down to the floor.

"Soon," Reed tells him as he closes his eyes again. "Soon."

Trip slowly pushes himself off of his stomach so he's in a sitting position on the carpet.

"Why'd you say that twice?" Trip asks, staring at the floor with wide eyes.

Reed just laughs and lowers himself to Trip's bed again.

"Goodnight," he says to Trip.

"No," Trip says as he wills himself to stand. "Go home."

But Reed doesn't answer him. He simply closes his eyes and falls right back to sleep.

Trip rolls his eyes at the older fellow and heads to the bathroom to wash up. He's in the middle of scrubbing his face when he hears his ancient cellphone ringing from his bedroom. He runs over, soap sliding down his face, as he scoops his phone into his hands before flipping it open.

"Boss," Trip answers and notices one of Reed's eyes open.

"Trip," Boss says. "I need your team to track down a man in his forties from Canterbury."

Trip looks down at Reed who quickly closes his eye again and he breathes out.

"What do we need to do?" Trip asks.

"The man stole one of our member's motorcycles," Boss explains. "He's on vacation and can't retrieve it, so I need your team to help out."

Trip sighs as he heads back to the bathroom and tells Boss he understands the situation. He scrubs the soap off of his face and walks back to his bed where Reed still lies.

Looking down at the sleeping fellow, Trip reaches out his hand and gives a push to Reed's side. When he doesn't budge, Trip pushes harder.

A loud groan sounds from Reed again as he slowly opens his eyes.

"I know you heard him," Trip says. "And now you're pretending to sleep."

Reed rubs his eyes with his hands and pushes himself up with a long yawn.

"Moose, that idiot," Reed says. "Forgot to put his motorcycle in the garage. And we have to deal with it now."

Trip nods his head. It's because of number three who's nickname is Moose that Reed must get out of bed. He doesn't care for the stolen bike anyway nor does he for his comrade.

"Foolishness is the reason I must get out of bed," Reed says as he slowly pushes himself off. "I'm hungover, too."

He rolls over as Trip typically does and lies flat on his stomach for a few moments on the ground. Trip walks over and softly pushes on Reed's side with his toes.

"Get up," Trip says. "Gaze is probably waiting."

"She can suck on my-"

"Open up!" the two boys hear from Trip's front door.

Trip brings a hand to his head and sighs. His ill-tempered teammate has arrived.

"Told you," Trip says as he leaves Reed on the ground.

He unlocks his door and prepares for the brute force that is about to storm into his home. Sure enough, Gaze whirls by him, a streak of purple catching his eye, and he quickly follows her.

She ravages through his small apartment looking for Reed.

"Where is he?" she seethes. "We should've left a while ago."

Trip silently leads Gaze into his bedroom and Reed slowly lifts his head from the floor. He offers a lopsided grin before planting his face back on the ground.

"How'd you know he was here?" Trip questions.

"I'm not stupid, you know," Gaze says. "You two have been spending a lot of time together recently."

Trip frowns. "It's unfortunate, really."

Reed then pushes himself off of the floor and rises. He walks over and pats Trip on the shoulder softly.

"You're lucky," Reed tells him but Trip fails to see what he means.

Gaze taps her foot impatiently and folds her arms across her chest.

"Are we going to get Moose's motorcycle back or not?" she asks.

Reed flashes her a smile.

"Yeah," Reed says. "Ready?"

Trip nods his head and the three make their way out.

Trip pulls out his bike and straddles it as Reed glances over at him. Trip raises a questioning eyebrow.

"Can I hop on?" Reed asks.

"Get on Gaze's," Trip says.

Reed just grins.

"Come on," he says. "You won't let me share your bike today but you let me sleep in your bed last night?"

"What?" Gaze asks as she pedals over.

Trip shakes his head. "Idiot."

He ends up allowing Reed to hitch a ride because he knows they will just be slowed down. The quicker the mission is finished, the better.

And so, the three set on their way.

Sorry I haven't been updating :(

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