Prompt: Tony and the boys when they were young. I would like to see the first time that Cael had coffee and how they figured out he can’t have it ever again.
“When’s Dad going to get here?” Cael huffed, swinging his legs back and forth on his side of the booth, his feet not touching the floor. “I’m hungry. And thirsty.”
“Soon,” Dex replied, rifling through Cael’s Tiny Toon Adventures backpack. “He probably got stuck at work.” He pulled out a sandwich bag with some pretzel sticks then handed them to Cael who scrunched his nose up at them. “Just until Dad gets here. Then you can have a burger that’s bigger than your head.”
“But I’m so hungry now,” Cael moaned. “I could die.”
Dex rolled his eyes. And his dad said he was dramatic. “You’re not gonna die.” He pulled out a kiddie cup with water, and placed that in front of Cael who eyed it like it was going to eat his flesh or something. “Would you just chill out.”
“Dex,” Cael whined.
Dex put his hand up. “Talk to the hand.” His hand was smacked away, and he was met with a very stern pout.
“How come you get to have pie?”
“Because I’m not a cheetah Therian whose hormones are all over the place.” Cael had his first shift just a little under two years ago, and since then his little Therian hormones were going nuts. The doctor told them not to give him anything with too much sugar or caffeine. His mood swings were totally freaked out. Sometimes he was sweet and adorable, sometimes everything made him cry, and sometimes he was a little shit.
“As if! You’re a teenager, so your hormones are just as bad.”
The duh was implied.
“Are you giving me sass?” Dex arched an eyebrow at him.
Cael’s exasperated sigh was loud as he rolled his eyes. He tilted his head and studied Dex who took a sip of his cappuccino because finally his dad said he could have coffee. Not that he hadn’t had coffee a long time ago, but now his dad knew about it. The diner didn’t actually offer cappuccinos, but the waitress thought he was cute, so he’d batted his lashes at her and boo ya! Cappuccino.
“Why does all your clothes have stripes now?”
“Because it’s cool,” Dex replied.
“You look like Freddie Krueger.” Cael giggled his face off at his own joke.
“Are you saying I haunt people’s nightmares?”
Cael nodded, his expression turning very serious. “Except you don’t kill people, you just annoy them.”
Wow. Pre-teens were the best. Not.
Dex brushed his long bangs away from his eyes, and glared at his little brother. “I remember when you used to be cute.”
Cael smiled wide and put his index fingers to his dimples. “I am cute.”
Dex snorted. “Whatever.”
“And your jeans are full of holes.”
“That is also cool.”
“Because you’re nine.”
“Nine and a half,” Cael clarified. “If your boyfriend kisses another boy does that mean he’s not your boyfriend anymore?”
Dex almost choked on his coffee. “What?” he wheezed.
“I said, if your boyfriend kisses another boy does that mean he’s not your boyfriend anymore?”
Dex wiped the coffee he’d dribbled on himself. “Why would you ask that?”
Cael pointed behind Dex, and Dex turned to find his boyfriend—no, ex-boyfriend—sucking face with another guy. Dex jumped out of the booth, and marched over, his arms crossed over his chest.
“Hey, Tommy. Found his tonsils yet?”
Tommy jumped so high, he hit the table with his knees, spilling the milkshake he was sharing with some guy who was not Dex.
“Dex! What—what are you doing here? I thought you were going to the movies with your dad and little brother.”
“I am. Unlike you, I didn’t lie.” Dex grinned widely at the blond guy who looked like he was about to freak out. “Hi, I’m Dex. Tommy’s ex-boyfriend as of….” He checked his watch. “Two minutes ago, when I discovered he was a cheating asshole.”
“Come on, Dex,” Tommy said, running his hands through his long hair. “It’s not like it was serious or nothing. I mean, your dad works for the THIRDS and your brother’s… one of them.”
Dex flinched. He hadn’t expected that. “One of what?” he asked through his teeth.
“You know,” Tommy muttered, shrinking back into his seat as Dex loomed over him.
“I don’t know. I need you to be more specific, Tommy. You didn’t seem to have a problem with my family when you were moaning my name in the boy’s locker room during the pep rally.”
“Dex,” Tommy hissed, his gaze darting around the diner, and his face as red as his hair.
“Wait,” blond guy said, sitting up with a frown. “Last week’s pep rally?”
Tommy groaned and slunk down so far in the booth he was almost on the floor.
“You said you had band practice!”
Dex grinned. “Oh, he was blowing something all right, but it wasn’t a clarinet.”
The blond grabbed the milkshake and threw it in Tommy’s face. Dex jumped back quick enough not to get strawberry milkshake all over him. He laughed as the guy stomped out of the diner.
“Dex, please, I’m sorry.” Tommy grabbed his hand, trying to stop him from going. “It won’t happen again. I promise.”
Dex snatched his hand away. “You bet your ass it won’t. We’re over Tommy.” Jerk. He marched back to his booth, and stopped short. A gasp escaped him at the sight of pie crumbs, but it was the empty cappuccino mug that was freaking him out. He looked at Cael who was completely still, his pupils blown so big his silver eyes were black.
“Cael, where’s my coffee?”
Cael smiled big, and Dex took a step back.
“I drank it. Aaaaalllll of it.”
Part Two next week. Copyright © 2018 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.