Chapter 19

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Trip sighs.

"Hi," he answers.

His brother is on the other line.

"Have you packed?" Beck asks.

Trip kicks his suitcase. "Mhm."

"Good," Beck says. "I'll swing by tomorrow morning around five."

"Okay," Trip says. He's truly a man of few words.

"Make sure your friend is packed, too," Beck says.

"Yeah," Trip says. "He'll be here in the morning."

"Alright," Beck says. "Who is it?"

Trip breathes out again. "Some kid."

"A kid?" Beck questions.

"Yeah," Trip says. "He acts like one at least."

Beck laughs softly. "Okay."

He doesn't question Trip further because he knows his brother is brief. But Trip surprises him when he speaks up again.

"His name is Luca," Trip says before pausing. "Or more familiarly; Reed."

It takes a few seconds for Beck to reply. He's taken aback.

"Reed?" he asks.

"Mhm," Trip says. "Is that a problem?"

"N-no," Beck stammers. "It's not."

"Hm," Trip says.

"Has he-"

"Yeah," Trip says quietly. "He told me."

Trip hears Beck breathe out a long sigh on the other end of the line.

"He's willing to come?" Beck finally asks. "Is he aware that I'll be there with Monica?"

"Mhm," Trip hums for the third time.

"Shit," Beck curses. "He probably resents me."

"I didn't think you'd care about something like that after only chasing his body," Trip harshly tells his brother. "I thought you lacked emotion in that hazy relationship."

"I did," Beck says. "And so did Reed."

Trip knows that's false.

"Then why-"

He halts himself from asking another question. He knows the brothers will only be brought into battle and decides to wave his white flag.

"What?" Beck asks.

"Nothing," Trip says. "I've gotta get to bed."

"Okay," Beck replies. "See you at five."

"Yeah," Trip says before hanging up the phone.

He collapses on his bed and closes his eyes but doesn't yet succumb to sleep. His mind is preoccupied and creating hypotheticals about his brother. And about Reed. He doesn't quite understand the idea of the basis of their past relationship and sees the end result of love as inevitable. Even if they were just making love.

And now his mind focuses more on Reed. But why? Why is Reed suddenly occupying Trip's small mind?

He thinks back to a few nights prior to when he shared a bed with the twenty-three-year-old. Honestly, he had trouble falling asleep that night knowing that Reed was beside him. And when Reed ended up tangled up with him in the morning, Trip hadn't minded it. Rather, an odd rush of emotions overcame him instead. If Reed hadn't snuggled into him, would he have been the one to? But why?

He shakes his head and groans as he throws himself onto the other side of his bed. Reed's smiling face flashes across his head and Trip feels heat in the bottom of his stomach.

"Shit," he says.

He concludes he's delusional due to lack of sleep and forces himself to rid of the thoughts before he finally falls asleep.

Though, sleep doesn't serve as an escape from the forbidden thoughts as Trip had hoped it would.

Because he's met with Reed once more in his dreams.


"Beep! Beep! Beep!"

Trip hauls his hand over the side of his bed and crushes his alarm clock, pressing the button to cease the noise.

"Damnit," he hisses before rolling over onto his floor. He stays there for a moment and painstakingly heads into the bathroom to get ready for his day. He's in the middle of brushing his teeth when he hears a soft knock on his door and curses.

He continues to scrub his teeth as the toothpaste begins to foam around his lips and he unlocks the front door.

An awfully tired boy stands on the other side and Trip steps to the side, allowing him in.

He immediately thinks of the embarrassing thoughts he had last night and becomes quiet. Brushing his teeth is the excuse he needs to remain so silent.

Once he finishes up in the bathroom, Trip finds Reed sitting on his messy bed that he hadn't bothered to make.

"Morning," Reed says with a small smile.

"Morning," Trip replies. "Do you have everything?"

"Yeah," Reed says. "I'm ready."

Trip falls onto his bed beside Reed and lays down on his back.

"Are you sure you want to spend three days with Beck?" Trip asks.

"It's not like we're going to constantly be with him," Reed says. "I'm sure he wants to spend time with his wife."

Trip isn't so sure.

"I guess," he says as Reed peers down at him.

Trip flinches when he feels Reed's fingers graze his hair.

"You cut it," Reed says.

"Yeah," Trip replies. "I did a terrible job."

Reed laughs. "Nah, it suits you."

Trip bats Reed's hand away and sits up to face him.

"Aren't you going to cut yours?" Trip asks.

Reed laughs. "Should I? I was thinking of growing it out a little longer."

Trip shrugs. "Up to you."

"It'd be nice to get a second opinion," Reed tells him.

"Oh," Trip says and then responds quietly. "I like it."

Reed's smile widens and Trip just stares at him. He forces his usual frown.

"What?" he asks as Reed reaches over again. He ruffles Trip's hair and Trip quickly grabs hold of Reed's forearm as he did a few nights ago.

"I'll pin you down again," Trip warns as one side of his lips curves up in a smirk.

"Go ahead," Reed challenges with a grin. "Try."

Trip pushes Reed's arm down and reaches for the other one, but falls forward into Reed's lap when Reed quickly moves his arm off of the bed. Reed softly pushes Trip backward who falls onto his back and takes the chance to straddle the younger boy's waist before grabbing hold of both wrists. He brings them behind Trip's head with ease and then holds both in one hand, using his free hand to press down on Trip's chest.

"I went easy on you last time," Reed says, smirking.

But Trip cannot bring himself to speak. His rapid-beating heart feels like it will explode at any second.

Though, he's saved the moment the two hear a knock at the door.


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