***Contains Spoilers for Darkest Hour Before Dawn***. . . . Prompt: Can we have a training session with the Hobbs brothers where Rafe and Ethan find out about Seb and TIN?
You can do this.
Why was he feeling so nervous? It was his brothers. Seb had always been able to say whatever he needed to say to his brothers. Granted, before he and Rafe reconciled, there hadn’t been much talking going on, but that changed a while ago, and the fact Ethan was talking to Rafe made a huge difference in all their lives. The thought made Seb smile. Their parents had been so happy when they found out. Ethan might not be able to talk to them, but they held onto the hope that one day that would change. For now, they were thrilled to see their boys were close again, like they’d been when they were little. It had been a difficult time for all of them, but they’d been close.
The doors to the small training bay Seb had booked for the next two hours opened, and in walked his big brother looking as somber and imposing as ever, and behind him his little brother, his big dopey smile and cheerful wave squeezing Seb’s heart. He felt a fierce sense of protection wash over him, same as it always did when Ethan was around. The only one more protective of Ethan was Rafe, and Seb couldn’t imagine how hard it had been for their big brother to keep his distance.
Seb stood from the bench near the mats, and smiled at them. “Hey. Thanks for coming.”
“What’s going on?” Rafe asked, looking around the training bay. “Why did you book a room?”
Maybe it would be best if he eased into the whole I’m-now-a-spy thing. “I thought maybe we could do some training together.” He smiled wide.
Rafe and Ethan exchanged glances before they narrowed their eyes at him. So suspicious these two.
“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”
“Since when?” Rafe asked.
“Since now.” Seb grinned wickedly. “What’s the matter? Afraid I might kick your ass?”
Rafe’s eyebrows shot up then he let out a laugh. “Seriously? You really think I’m going to fall for that?”
Ethan looked from Seb to Rafe and back. “He’s right.”
Damn it. Now what the hell was he supposed to do? He couldn’t just blurt it out.
“Because it’s obvious I’d be the one kicking both your asses,” Ethan said softly, big smile on his face.
Seb and Rafe both stared at him before Seb turned his attention to Rafe. He pointed at Ethan. “Did you hear what he just said?”
Rafe shook his head, the amusement in his eyes betraying his deep frown. “You are both so very delusional if you think either of you can kick my ass.” He pulled his uniform shirt from the waistband of his tach pants, and started to unbutton it. “Don’t go crying to your boyfriends when I wipe the floor with you.”
Seb threw his head back and laughed. “Please. By the time I’m done with you, you’re going to be glad your girlfriend’s a doctor.” He unbuttoned his own shirt, and pulled it off, laying it on the bench next his brother’s shirt, along with his thigh rig, and tactical belt. Ethan did the same.
“I could say the same about you,” Rafe said, beginning his stretches. “Don’t worry, Hudson will kiss it all better.”
They both turned to look at Ethan who blinked innocently at them. “I don’t need a doctor, or anyone to kiss my booboos. I have a boyfriend who will avenge me.”
Seb frowned at Rafe. “He’s right. Calvin would totally snipe our asses.”
Rafe nodded. “He’s kinda scary for a little guy.”
Once the three of them were down to just their tach pants, black undershirts, and bare feet, they stepped onto the mat. Seb had no idea how he was going to do this. Maybe he should have had a plan other than getting them down here with the pretense of a training session. What was he going to do? Tire them out, tell them, and then make a run for it, because if Rafe didn’t kick his ass, Ethan would.
“Okay, so how do you want this?” Rafe asked them.
Ethan smiled pleasantly. “Every handsome tiger Therian for himself. Last one standing gets dinner paid for by the losers.”
“For him, and his sweetheart,” Rafe added.
“Aw.” Seb held a hand to his chest. “Hudson will really appreciate that. Personally, I’m in the mood for a big ole steak. I hope you two brought your credit cards.” They each took their positions facing each other forming a triangle. Seb clapped his hands together and rubbed them.
Rafe rounded his shoulders, the muscles of his arms flexing. He was bigger than Seb, more muscular, stronger. He looked mean, and rough, especially with the permanent five o’clock shadow he sported. His tough exterior had softened some since he’d let his hair grow out a little from the military buzzcut he’d always sported. No doubt Nina’s influence. Anytime he saw the two together, she’d be running her fingers through his hair. His brother seemed like such a different person when she was around. Almost… vulnerable. At one point Seb could have sworn he’d seen Rafe blush, but it had been gone so quick Seb put it down to being a figment of his imagination.
“We doing this, or you wanna day dream some more?” Rafe asked, motioning for Seb to advance.
Seb looked from Rafe to Ethan. Did his brothers really think they were going to get one over on him? Like he hadn’t grown up with them? Whoever Seb went for first, the other would then come after him. The two would team up against him until someone inevitably started losing, and then the winning two would team up, take out the competition, and then face each other to leave one victor. Rafe thought he’d already won because it was how it had always been. He was the biggest, and strongest with the most training and experience. And the reason he won, was because he knew Seb wouldn’t go for Ethan. Ethan was counting on that as well, and it occurred to Seb that his sweet little brother had no idea Seb knew about his being a TIN associate, or his months of TIN training.
It was time to see how good his little brother was, and at the same time, give him the leverage he needed to reveal his own secret.
Part Two 6/29/17 © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.