For the story so far
When I got out, Sam was whistling in another room. I headed down the corridor.
“Go to sleep Indy, the road will be open early and we can retrieve your car, go visit Beth and the baby and then head to your unit.
I sighed. Hiding from the worry in sleep seemed like a grand idea, I just felt that Sam was back to hiding again.
“Sam,” I asked him. “What is going on, you are so unsure.”
Sam rolled another part of the wall.
“I grew up in a military family,” he put the roller in the paint tray and continued what he was saying, “It was expected that I would be a green beret just as my father, my uncles and my grandfather had been. I liked it. In fact, initially, I loved it. But after a while, I got sick of working along rules and guidelines I didn’t always understand. The op where I met up with your brother was the first of a few joint international ops. The last one I was in went bad. We played by the rules. They didn’t. No matter how much we knew we were being screwed, legally there was nothing our commanders could do. I was injured. That’s when Matt saved my life, and I was given an opportunity for discharge. That was around the time Matt thought he had better get over here and be a brother to you.”
He was silent for a while, rolling yet more of the walls. I said nothing content, for a while, not to expose my soul to Sam. I had done enough of that.
“When I took the discharge, my family took it hard. Father was in the Royal Marines; my brothers were in the Royal Marines. They were career soldiers and everyone assumed it was what I wanted too. They didn’t and still don’t understand why I am not a Royal Marine. Matt gave me a lifeline. ‘Come home with me,’ he said, ‘have a break from your family.’ I did. Damn it, Indiana, I have watched you do something you don’t actually like and I did it for longer than you. It will kill you slowly. I don’t want that happening to you.”
“Do you speak to your family?” I asked rapidly keeping the topic off me and on him. Sam so rarely talked about anything except current affairs.
“One of my brothers and Father refuse to speak to me, my mother rings on my birthday. I ring her about once a month when I know Father is out. You see, I committed a cardinal sin. When I resigned, I went private. Matt and I opened up our own little operation. We no longer work for the government in defense of a country. We are at the stage of expanding and hiring more staff. Not only did I go private, but I am a successful private operator. That’s a crime in my family.” he said sadly. It was my turn to step towards him and hold him.
“You’ll get wet paint and more grout on you,” he said after a moment, pushing me back a little. “As I recall I was the one giving you a hard time, not the other way around.” My mind flashed back instantly to a few minutes earlier.
“Samuel,” I said, “This is important for us as a couple. You cannot assume that because you have a shitty family and have had issues in the past that they will be the same now. If I chose to make stupid mistakes you have to let me. I made plenty of mistakes but I also know however much I hate my job that it is secure and it is enabling me to buy my townhouse. When I have that, I will buy a house and rent out the townhouse. Matt was very clever when my parents died. He didn’t let me blow any of that money. That means that I am only a year away from actually having an investment property. There is a maternity leave position at work at a higher pay level that no one wants to apply for except me. So you need to be very aware of some things, Mr. Controlling Sam. I am in control of my life now, not you, not Matt. I am more than happy to have what we have. Hell, I have wanted to be your girlfriend for I don’t know how long, but I am not going to have you judge me or even tell me that I can’t do something that I am happy to do. I don’t care how much I might sometimes hate work, it pays my bills. If this wacko is a result of my work then that isn’t going to change. Now clean up I am exhausted and I am going to bed. You can join me if you want, but we are not doing anything.”
Sam looked at me and grinned.
“I’m serious Sam, you have confessed today that you are useless as a partner and I have never had a relationship. You can sleep with me and hold me but that is it.”
I hoped I was firm enough.
He traced the outline of my jaw. Then he traced down, nibbled at my neck and traced the neckline of the shirt I had borrowed. Both of us breathed deeply. He paused and pulled his finger away.
“Okay, we’ll play by your rules tonight.”
The dawn glow crept into Sam’s bedroom. I don’t know what time he had eventually curled up beside me but I had woken a few minutes ago, not used to having someone roll over in the bed. I rose, unable to sleep now. What would my house be like, how much damage was there?
An earth-shattering alarm sounded and I jumped a mile. It settled down to a persistent beep.
“Don’t worry, that’s just the alarm I have for when one of my brothers skype.” Sam jumped out of the bed and quickly pressed a button on one of his screens. The noise stopped.
He pressed a few more buttons and a younger version of Sam appeared.
“Hey Bro,” the fellow said with a very British accent.
“Good Morning Alastair,” Sam said mildly coolly, “What’s up.”
“Out of the Royal Marines,” Sam asked more intrigued now.
“Out of the Royal Marines, out of the family and out of the closet.”
“Wow,” Sam said carefully. Sam looked shaken. His hands trembled slightly and I moved into the picture, forcing Sam to wrap his arms around me. It felt possessive and I liked it.
“Hi, I’m Indy.”
Alastair looked me up and down and wolf-whistled.
“I thought you were gay,” Sam growled territorially.
“I am but I can appreciate. Pleased to meet you Indy. Is that brother of mine annoying you?” he asked in his cute accent.
“Nope,” I replied. “So, no longer a royal marine, does this make you a rebel like your brother here?”
“Fucking yes, and proud of it. The Colonel is chucking a pink fit. First you, then me and to top it all off, I introduced them to my boyfriend.”
“The Colonel is always a Colonel first, a bastard second and if you fit in with his mold, a father third. How is Mother?”
“She’s okay. Actually, she’s pretty good about all this really. She told me to visit you. That’s what I am calling about. Rom and I are at LAX.”
I looked at Sam, he looked completely shell-shocked now.
“That’s fantastic,” I stepped in again. “We had a major storm in the last couple of days and have been blocked in at Sam’s house. The road is meant to be opening this morning. Sam, go check the status of the roads.”
Sam grunted something and disappeared.
“We can always stay at a hotel,” Alastair said.
“Don’t worry about it. You just need to give us a bit to get organized. Why don’t you get a train to my brother’s house? You can leave your bags there and go out and have a look around. Sam can pick you up from there when he drops me there myself. I’ll give them a call and let them know you’ll be there in an hour or so. Have you cleared customs?”
I received an affirmative.
I rattled off Matt’s address and gave them detailed instructions on how to get public transport to the house. “Give us a call when you get there and we can sort out something from there.”
I gave them instructions on how to get to the train station, what trains to catch and how to purchase a ticket.
We hung up and I walked downstairs. Samuel was just hanging up a phone. He looked pale.
“The roads will be clear in about thirty minutes. I want you to stay here, I have good security.”
“That is irrational. There was a bug in my handbag. Whoever this creep is, he knows I am here,” I stated. Sam looked a little deflated. I gave him what I hoped was a death stare but he just headed into the kitchen. I followed him. Guess he’d been death stared by experts.
“Look, your brother and his lover are on the way to Matt’s. Let’s get down there. I can borrow some of Beth’s clothes – we were the same size. I’ll be safer with you. If you can’t protect me from the stalker you can protect me from Beth. She’s going to be grumpy finding out her quiet time has ended.”
“Thanks,” he offered. I stepped in and hugged him.
We arrived at Matt’s forty-five minutes later. There were a few groups of people who were walking around looking, but very few cars on the road as yet, near Sam’s. At Matt’s it was business as usual.
I got out of the car and shut the door harder than intended. The door of the house swung open immediately.
“What the hell,” Matt exploded before pulling me into a tight hug. “Thank god you’re safe.”
What hadn’t Sam told me?