Chapter 19 - Found
M stared at the ultrasound print-out all the way home. It was just a blob, but to M, it was everything.
"It's a boy," M said as he cradled the glossy image. "I know it."
He sat up front with Hannah, and luckily, the girl was more than willing to indulge his baby ramblings.
"You should start keeping an ear out for names you like. Or do you already have one picked out?"
Connor rolled his eyes in the back seat and folded his arms. They'd left the hospital maybe 10 minutes ago now and Connor had been a dark storm cloud ever since.
There was no more denying. There was a baby in M's oven, and no matter how it'd got there, it was there to stay it seemed. Chris, the blue-haired nurse, said the fetus was viable and growing.
Connor listened to Hannah and M discuss baby names with a scowl on his face. He didn't say anything, but he wanted them to shut up. He almost couldn't bear it.
When they got back to Hannah's, Connor jumped out to the curb, sick of the stupid conversation.
As he stood waiting for Hannah and M to get out, a roaring engine sounded to his direct left. He whirled around then glared viciously at the motorcycle pulling up to the curb.
It as Bradley. She took her helmet off and grinned wryly at him. Connor continued to glare.
"What's she doing here?" he asked as Hannah got out of her Prius.
Hannah bit her lip. "I invited her over for dinner. I thought we'd order pizza."
Connor gaped at the girl. "Seriously?"
Connor shook his head. Whatever. He could take pizza upstairs. He just wanted to be alone.
They all went inside. Bradley unzipped her leather jacket and fell graceful onto the couch. She kicked her boots up on the coffee table and ran fingers through her short hair. She was totally showing off.
Hannah breezed through the living room and into the kitchen with M trailing behind her. "I have a coupon for Gudios down the road," she said from the other room. She appeared in the door after rummaging around for a moment or two. She had a flyer in one hand and her cell phone in the other.
M was still cradling his baby picture and he ran into Hannah, so busy staring at it, he didn't notice she'd stopped in front of the coffee table. He weaved around her and sat on the edge of the couch.
"What do you want on your pizza Connor?" Hannah asked absently as she glanced through the brochure.
"Get me a meat lovers or something," he said gruffly, then, "Can I go upstairs?"
Connor took his happy ass straight upstairs. He put a movie on Netflix and zoned out on the pull-out bed. An hour passed… the movie was boring and Connor's stomach was starting to grumble.
He glared at the computer monitor. He was sick of Hannah's place. He was always starving here and she had nothing to drink but sparkling water and milk. He had to wear what Hannah picked out, he had to eat when she was ready. He couldn't go anywhere without her driving and fuck, he even had to ask Hannah for her computer's password when it timed out and logged off.
She controlled everything and she did it with a smile on her face.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. Connor got up immediately and went to answer it. He was already scowling. He planned to chew out whoever delivered his pizza, but when he opened the door and met wide blue eyes, he froze.
M stood on the threshold with a pizza box and a six pack of Budweiser balanced on top.
"What's this?" Connor narrowed his eyes. "Where did you get the beer?"
"Bradley got it when she went out for the pizza," M said. "She told me to bring some up."
"Some?" Connor smirked. "Oh, are the other adults drinking downstairs?"
Connor snatched the pizza box from the blond and stalked back into the guest room. "You can come in if you want," he said over his shoulder.
M came in immediately. He had the foresight to shut the door behind him and Connor continued to smirk as he unloaded the beer and pizza on the edge of the pull-out.
He still wasn't much of a fan of alcohol, but weed was probably off the table, what with a cop and a teacher in charge of the entertainment. He figured he'd try to have fun.
He opened a beer and took a swig as he flipped the lid on the pizza box.
Pepperoni and sausage. Boring, but comfortable and familiar. He picked up a cheesy slice. "Sit down," he said.
M moved to sit away from the pizza, close to the computer. "What are you watching?" he asked timidly.
"An old movie," Connor said. He went to the computer and backed out of it. He scrolled through some different genres, passing the animated ones with a sneer.
"Fuck it, you'll probably like Adam Sandler," he said. "The Waterboy isn't the worst."
"What's a waterboy?"
Connor smirked. "You'll see." He put the movie on and came to sit beside the blond, leaving a foot or two between them. "Are you going to eat something?"
M reached over him and grabbed a slice of pizza out of the box. He took a little bite and immediately hummed with pleasure.
Connor quickly finished his first beer and then his piece of pizza. The movie started and M watched as Bobby Boucher was humiliated by the football team.
"Why are they so mean to him?" M asked sweetly.
"Because he's a retard," Connor cracked open another beer. He suddenly didn't have much of an appetite. He wanted to fill his belly with booze. "It's supposed to be funny."
M made a face. "Who are those big guys?"
"Football players… Complete assholes."
M scrunched his face up in confusion, but he didn't ask anymore questions.
Connor had forgotten how stupid this movie was. He watched with a blank expression.
M laughed occasionally. He liked the scenes when Bobby tackled the other players on the field, but other than that, he was quiet. He seemed confused about the plot, but he kept his questions to himself.
During the movie, Connor ate a second piece of pizza and finished most of the beer. When the credits started to roll, he got up and stumbled to the computer. He searched through the listings for something else to put on and quickly spotted a documentary on evolution. He clicked it, thinking he stick to learning shows so he wouldn't be responsible for more lame comedy.
Obviously, he had shit taste when it came to picking entertainment...
As the show started on the computer, Connor turned back to the couch. He was a little dizzy, but he felt warm and comfortable. He swayed back and forth…
M was watching him carefully, a shock of platinum blond hiding one of his brilliant green eyes.
"How can I prove that it's your baby?" he blurted.
Connor snorted. "There's tests the baby can take when it's born."
M frowned. "Isn't there something we can do now?"
"No," Connor said with a shrug. He sighed heavily. "Listen, M. I'm being way too harsh on you. Maybe this is an unplanned… surprise. Maybe it is my baby… But I don't want to deal with this right now. I'm so fucking frustrated living here, I don't know how much longer I can put up with it."
Connor ended his little rant with a raised voice.
He was shaking.
He balled his fists up and took a few deep breaths. It only helped a little. He wanted to scream.
He almost didn't notice M sliding off the couch. He looked down, thinking M was going to untie his boots or something, but the blond crawled closer and sat obediently at his feet. He looked up the long length of Connor's body, his beautiful eyes shadowed.
"What are you doing down there?" Connor asked, seriously wondering what M was up to.
"I wish I could convince you this is your baby," M said in a soft voice. Connor could see him cradling his belly. "I wish you weren't so upset this is happening—"
Connor laughed bitterly. "Yep. I never saw this coming. You caught me completely by surprise."
M put his hands on Connor's hips. "I still love you though. Do you believe that?"
Connor looked down at the little blond at his feet. The boy's eyes were brimming with emotion… Connor lowered his hand and carded fingers through M's silky locks. The boy moaned softly and arched into his hand and Connor continued to caress and touch him with affection. He cupped M's pink cheek and stroked his thumb over the warm skin.
M was vibrating under his hand. He was moaning so loudly, Connor was sure the entire house could hear.
"I love you, I love you," M panted, pressing his face into Connor's crotch. He breathed hard into the fabric and Connor hissed as the heat seeped through. M's mouth was right over his cockhead…
M seemed to be thinking the same thing, because he was suddenly undoing Connor's belt as he continued to mouth his organ.
Connor helped. Or he tried to anyway. His fingers felt numb and useless and he fumbled his zipper down with a grunt of effort.
M was on him in an instant though, picking up where Connor had left off. He pulled the jeans down and then, much more carefully, slid Connor's boxer briefs down his thighs.
M touched Connor's lightly haired thigh and bit his lip with shyness. Connor's cock was slowly thickening up and M watched with fascination.
"You're going to suck it, aren't you?" Connor asked.
It wasn't really a question. There wasn't anything else M could be doing down there on his knees… Connor had been close to falling over, too, dizzy and swaying on his feet, but there was no way he was going to ruin this by falling over. He knotted his fingers in the back of M's hair and drew him in close to his awakening erection.
M pressed his nose into Connor's pubic hair and breathed in deeply.
Connor laughed darkly. "Do you like that?"
M nodded. His chin rubbed against Connor's balls. "You always smell so good," he said.
"No, like…" M pressed his face into Connor's naked crotch. "I don't know. It smells like skin and salt."
Connor snorted. "Sexy."
M giggled and then he wrapped his fingers around Connor's shaft and guided the head into his mouth.
Connor gasped when M's lips closed around his cock. The heat and wetness of his mouth was incredible. M sucked him slowly, lovingly, his eyes focused on Connor's as he worked the excited length deep into his throat.
Connor watched in awe as M made love to his dick. The blond kept the pace slow and he kept his eyes locked on Connor's as he sucked and caressed the length with his tongue. It was the hottest thing Connor had ever seen and for once, he didn't feel the need to speed it up or to rush to orgasm.
He loved this. And the look on M's beautiful, flushed face as he wiggled his tongue along the underside of Connor's cock was to die for… M's lips were just inches away from the base of the erection and his dancing tongue and the soft suction action of his mouth was steadily building Connor's need to come.
He moaned deeply and stroked M's face and hair frantically. He was right on the edge… he needed just a little more… just a little faster… but the blond continued to suck him at a leisurely pace. He was enjoying Connor's cock like it was a popsicle!
The minutes crept by and Connor clenched his teeth together hard to keep from fucking M's throat and coming forcefully. He grunted and a bead of sweat rolled down from his hairline.
M started to slurp around his cock. He drew back and slowly licked and sucked Connor's fat, swollen cockhead. He grinned hugely while he did it, looking up at him with amusement shining in his eyes.
He was being a total tease.
"Fuck… M…" Connor groaned in the back of his throat. "You're so good at that…"
M hummed with pleasure. He fluttered his eyelashes and Connor rubbed his fingers through his silky hair. He hissed and let his head fall back so he was staring up at the ceiling. He shut his eyes and let M go. It was hard… He was hard… but when he stopped staring at the way M's pink lips stretched around his cockshaft, it was a little easier.
Connor forced himself to keep going. He ground his teeth together and struggled not to to think about coming like a firehouse. He was making soft, desperate grunting noises, but he couldn't help it. His leg was shaking, but that was only because he was struggling to restrain his hips from bucking! His cock twitched every 30 seconds or so, spurting little jets of precum into the back of M's throat… Fuck, he was so ready to come…
Connor gasped. M slid his fingers around the base of his cock and sped up his bobbing head as he began to suck Connor a bit harder. It seemed he was finally going to give Connor a break. He was going to coax him into an orgasm with the way he was going… He worked the shaft like an expert and between his tongue and lips, Connor was in absolute heaven…
"M… I'm gonna come," he groaned after a few short moments of M's wet, velvety tongue stroking his rock-hard member with determination. He saw stars behind his eyelids and with a sob, he filled the blond's mouth with his seed.
M swallowed the load like a champ. He let Connor's cock slip from his lips as he moved to sit back on his heels. He beamed at Connor, pride shining through on his gorgeous face.
Connor slowly raised his hand and pet the boy's hair again.
He was in a daze. His head was swimming and he needed to sit down…
M seemed to sense his exhaustion. He stood up and took Connor's outstretched hand.
It felt like a dream as M put Connor to bed. He touched him with a gentle reverence, guiding him to the edge of the pull-out and then helping him take his jeans off and get his boxer briefs into place.
M drew the blanket over him and Connor laid his head down and instantly, he was out like a light. The alcohol and the amazing orgasm had wiped him out thoroughly…
"Goodnight meanie," M said and he leaned in and kissed Connor on the forehead.
He left the room soon after, but Connor didn't notice. He was dead to the world…
Connor woke when the sun was high in the sky. He was alone and his head felt fuzzy.
He sat up slowly and looked around. The pizza box was balanced on the couch's armrest and empty beer cans were lined up on the little side table beside him.
It looked like he'd drank five cans of beers last night…
He barely remembered it, but suddenly… he did remember M sucking his cock in the middle of the room! He looked towards the door, wondering where the blond boy was...
Why hadn't M stayed with him last night? Connor was pretty sure he hadn't done anything to push him away after he'd come… He didn't get it. Where was his stupid boyfriend?
Connor moped around the room for a couple hours, wondering what he'd done for scare M away in the night. He ate the leftover pizza and watched another documentary on Netflix.
M never came back to the room though… And Connor was too paranoid to investigate. He stayed in the room, stewing in anxiety and anger. He felt like he was being punished and all he'd done was enjoy a blowjob!
Hannah came up later in the day, announcing dinner. She acted like nothing was different, and it seemed like nothing was, really. It was like last night hadn't happened.
She didn't know what had happened between him and the blond alien last night. He could tell. She was completely oblivious.
Connor lowered his eyes and and was relieved when Hannah left the room without any further conversation. Obviously there was nothing to say.
He didn't go down for dinner that night. He toughed it out with the cold pizza.
He was feeling kind of depressed and let down by the uneventful day. He hadn't come to expect much from staying at Hannah's, but today had been a total disappointment.
The next few days were a lot of the same. Connor was bored and lonely and he didn't know what he could do about it.
M was the only one Connor was willing to talk to, but the blond seemed to be avoiding him now. Not that Connor was trying hard to see him or anything, but the rare times he ventured downstairs for a meal, M stared blankly at the TV and didn't speak or he scurried upstairs for a long bathroom break.
Connor knew M's treatment of him was deserved, but he felt like a goddamn ogre.
A week passed and Connor kept to himself, miserable and angry with the world… he didn't know what he was even doing anymore. He'd given up his home, his life… everything… for this? He'd spoken maybe 10 words total over the past few days and those had all been involved with mealtimes.
He started having crazy, obsessive thoughts about running away in the night… He didn't want to abandon M, but he couldn't take this bullshit anymore! He had to get out of this fucking house!
Connor woke up from a lazy cat nap in the mid afternoon. It was Monday, and he was bored and miserable.
There was a brief knock on the door and he looked towards it groggily.
"Connor?" It was Hannah… "We're going to the hospital for another ultrasound."
He grit his teeth and glared at the door. "I have to come too, right? I probably don't have a choice."
Hannah paused for a long, uncomfortable moment. "You don't have to come if you don't want to. I was just telling you where we were going."
Connor got up and opened the door. Hannah blinked at him. His t-shirt was wrinkled and his hair was probably sticking up in the back, but Connor didn't care. He wasn’t about to be left behind.
"I'm coming," he said firmly and he followed Hannah downstairs. She said they were leaving immediately; that they were meeting Bradley in the parking lot and then walking inside together.
M was waiting down in the living room and Connor glanced at him nervously. M looked away quickly, a brilliant red coloring his cheeks. Connor stared at him. He couldn't help it. The blond was so attractive and pouty. He wanted to touch him…
Hannah grabbed her purse from the hall closet and called everyone to the door.
They piled into Hannah's sedan. Connor took the back seat while M hurried to get up front with Hannah. He was careful to avoid looking into the back, at Connor… And finally, Connor huffed with annoyance.
"Why are you acting like you didn't suck me off the other day?" he snapped.
M turned around in a flash. "Because you didn't deserve it!"
Connor's heart dropped. He couldn't believe how much that statement hurt him.
Hannah was staring at him in the rear view mirror. Stunned. Connor scowled at her.
"I don't get it," he huffed, embarrassed he'd started this conversation with an audience.
"I've been waiting for you to come talk to me or to at least smile at me… something," M said shortly. "But you avoided everyone and snuck around acting like we're all your enemies."
Connor frowned. "I didn't know what to say to you, M. That's why I was 'sneaking around' you."
"Well, you fooled me," M said, though he didn't sound impressed. "I thought you were just being a huge asshole."
Connor gaped at the back of the blond's head. M wasn't interested in his reactions though. He refused to turn and look at Connor for a second time.
The car fell into silence as they drove. Connor crossed his arms and pouted as he stared out the window. He was embarrassed, but more than that, be felt like he was thoroughly lacking.
M had been waiting for him to make the next move? Well, he could have ended up waiting forever if Connor hadn't said anything.
They arrived at the hospital in low spirits. M seemed to be purposefully making himself unhappy. He wore a frown as they got out of the car and met up with Bradley.
"Whoa, what's with the long face?"Bradley asked immediately, zoning in on the discomfort as they headed to the entrance through the parking garage.
M didn't say anything and Connor wasn't about to admit to his shitty social skills, so an awkward silence echoed between the little group.
"Oookay," Bradley laughed dryly. "Well, maybe seeing the baby again will cheer you up."
M nodded, but he kept his head down.
They went upstairs to Labor and Delivery and, Chris, her blue hair just as shocking as last time, waited behind the nurses station in the front hall. She stood up as soon as soon as they entered and she hurried over.
"I've got a room set up, down the hall, last door on the left," she said quickly." I'll meet you down there in a few minutes."
Connor didn't like the fevered look in her eyes, but the others started down the hall and he felt dumb standing around, staring at no one because Chris flew back to the nurse's station to gather some paperwork. She didn't adknowledge Connor at all.
Grudgingly, he followed his companions to the room at the end of the hall.
M went straight into the room and hopped up on the bed dominating the small space. He laid down, his hair fanning out on the pillow in a cascade of white-gold. He pulled his t-shirt up and Connor stared at the shock of exposed skin.
His belly was soft and tanned from long, sunny days back in Florida… his navel fluttered a little as he breathed deeply. It was small and temptingly smooth.
Connor swallowed a wave of desire. He had a strange yearning to lick the little dimple…
The rest of the group was left to find standing room, and Hannah practically manhandled Connor out of the doorway.
"Let go," he snapped, though he probably had been blocking the door, stuck up in daydreams about licking M's belly button… He went to stand in the corner of the room, in front of the sink.
Hannah glared at him for her spot next to Bradley. They were almost touching elbows, they were so close together…
She opened her mouth to say something smarmy, if the look on her face was anything to go by, when the door opened and Chris slid into the cramped room.
She clapped her hands together. "Let's get this baby on the monitor!"
Connor gave her a dirty look.
Nobody paid him any attention though. Chris glided past Connor, snapping a pair of latex gloves on her petite hands. She turned the computer on, and switched a couple different machines into action.
"Let's get you on monitor, too. So we can tell you and the baby apart," Chris said as she attached a heart monitor and put a blood pressure cuff on M's arm.
Connor watched with fascination. He was still bitter and angry, but he wanted to see the baby, too. He hadn't looked very closely the last time, but this time he wasn't going to let his anger get in the way. He was going to see the little alien half-breed.
Chris squirted some gel on M's stomach and pressed the ultrasound probe to his skin. She moved the probe around in little circles and after a few seconds, she found the floating jelly baby.
Bradley and Hannah murmured with approval off to the side, but M didn't react. He stared at the screen in silence.
Connor peered at the monster on the monitor. He thought he could see a head…
"Look M! It's forming into a little baby!" Hannah said. "Before you know it, that little guy in your belly is going to be 10 pounds and kicking to get out!"
"What?" M glanced at her in shock.
Hannah waved him off. "Don't worry about it. This is so cool!"
"And a big responsibility…" Bradley added. "I'll grab you a few baby books when I go into the city in the morning," she said. "You need to start learning, fast."
Chris interrupted the female's excited chatter with a little cough. M turned to her immediately, but Hannah was busy advising Bradley about good books on maternity and infant care. Chris coughed again, louder, and Bradley reached up to press a finger to Hannah's lips.
The bossy little teacher shut up in an instant. Her face flushed an embarrassed red.
Bradley jerked her head over her shoulder. "Chris is trying to say something," she said in a smooth, deep voice.
Connor rolled his eyes. God, fucking lesbian…
Hannah nodded and she and Bradley turned their attention towards the blue-haired nurse at last.
As all eyes fell upon her, Chris suddenly bit her lip and started to fan herself with her hands.
"So, last week, M was 9 weeks pregnant by my estimation, right?" Everyone nodded; M listened with a straight face… "Well, the fetus grew a lot over the last week… It looks like he's 13 weeks along now."
Connor frowned. "How can that be?"
Chris finally looked at him, her mouth agape as she did so. "I don't know."
"Maybe… his pregnancy is accelerated somehow," Hannah blurted. "That would explain why the dates don't add up in your head," she said, poking a finger at Connor.
Connor snorted. "Accelerated…" what a stupid excuse.
"No, seriously! Look!" Chris turned back to the monitor. "You can see the limbs! There's the head, there's the spinal cord… and a leg! There's the other one!"
Everyone crowded closer to see. Connor had the worst view, stuck at the far end of M's hospital bed, but he could see what Chris was pointing out. It was pretty neat… Chris pointed out the baby's hand as it shifted position.
"Wow," Chris gasped. "Do you see that? The baby just opened it's legs."
"Ok?" Bradley laughed deeply.
"That's a penis," Chris said, tracing her finger along the grainy image. "It's a boy!"
M sat up a little, jostling the ultrasound probe by mistake. He didn't seem to care though.
"I told you!" he cried and Hannah started laughing hysterically. "I told you it was a boy!"
"Lie still and I'll print some more pictures for you," Chris said. "You're moving around too much."
"Sorry!" M laid back on the bed, an arm under his neck. He looked across the room at Connor, his gaze full of challenge. Connor felt even worse than before, out in the car. He felt like a loser… he'd been trying to shuck off responsibility and blame everyone but himself since they'd discovered M's newest predicament.
This was his baby… And he had a lot of apologizing and ass-kissing to do before he was born. And it seemed like he was rushing to be born much earlier than they'd predicted, so, Connor had better clean up his act fast.
They didn't stay much longer. Chris insisted on taking more blood samples, but they all knew better this time. They distracted M with pictures of the ultrasound and they found that having his attention focused on something besides the pain of the needle and the drawing of his blood made the whole process a lot simpler. Within minutes, Chris had several vials of blood and Hannah and M were still pouring over the images of the baby.
Bradley had been holding M's hand, keeping him still as Chris poked him with sharp objects. She stood up with a broad smile on her face, rolling out her shoulders to straighten out her leather jacket. "How about I take everyone out for dinner? I'm thinking steaks."
Connor wanted to refuse, and loudly, but he didn't say a word. He bit his tongue until he thought it was going to fall off, but he kept biting it harder and harder… He didn't want to cause a fuss, he didn't want to be a problem…
M wiped the gel off his belly with a washcloth Chris provided him. He straightened up then and slid off the bed. Out of habit, he ruffled his fingers through his hair as he smiled at the nurse powering down the equipment. He waited until she was free and then he wrapped his arms around her.
"Thank you for the pictures," he said.
Chris patted him on the back. "No problem."
They left the pregnancy ward and traveled down to the parking garage in the elevators. As they got off on their floor, Hannah and Bradley went ahead of Connor and M, talking about the best steakhouses in the area.
Connor glanced to his right, at the blond walking slowly beside him, his eyes trained on the series of ultrasound prints. He was obsessed.
"I'm sorry," Connor said quickly, before he lost the nerve. M looked up, his eyes widening slightly as if he hadn't realized they'd been walking side-by-side for more than a couple moments.
He probably hadn't…
"Sorry for what?" he asked stiffly.
Connor shoved his hands into his pockets… he couldn't believe how awkward he felt. "I'm sorry for everything. For saying the baby's not mine… for ignoring you all the time…"
"It is your baby," M said firmly. He glared at Connor from the corner of his eye. "Do you want to see?"
The blond held the stack of images out and Connor took them gingerly. As soon as the glossy paper left his fingertips, M sped off in the direction of their female companions.
Connor sighed. For some reason, he'd sorta expected apologizing to be easy. M wasn't usually hard to impress… Connor decided he must have really hurt the boy.
He looked down at the pictures as he continued to drag his feet in the direction of the car. He studied the shape and form of his son's arms and legs… he etched the ghostly image of his little hands into his brain… He wondered what they'd end up naming him… Connor felt a strange surge of excitement. He was so glad M was having a boy. There was no way Connor would have been able to play with Barbies and tea sets, but Nerf guns and dinosaurs? Sure. Connor could probably do that… He smiled and hurried after the others. They were getting steak tonight!
Dinner actually went pretty well.
Once Connor relaxed and decided to let the night happen, he was able to enjoy watching M laugh and talk with the girls. He was able to study the menu in depth and pick out the juiciest steak in the house. He was even able to smile a little and agree when Bradley poked fun at the new daddy.
"I'm glad it's a boy," Connor said with a shrug. "I'm not looking forward to it or anything, but… I'm just glad he's having a boy."
Hannah made a face. "So you'd have been in a terrible mood if it had been a girl?"
Connor felt M's eyes on him from across the table. They were sitting at a booth in the shape of a horseshoe and Hannah and Bradley were in the middle while Connor and M sat on the ends. Connor felt like Bradley had taken on the odious task of sitting next to him, and he stared at M longingly every chance he got. He hadn't realized what a privilege it was to sit next to the blond until now…
"I wouldn't have been in a terrible mood," Connor said. "I'd just be twice as worried."
"Why?" M asked and Connor's eyes flew to his face in an instant. He looked deeply into the beautiful green orbs watching him from across the table and he felt his heart skip a beat.
"B-because girls are harder than boys," he choked out, blushing right after.
Hannah was up in arms immediately, defending all girls on the planet. Connor tuned her out automatically and shyly met M's eyes again over the vast distance between them…
M was smiling at him.
Connor smiled back and for the first time in days, he felt like he'd accomplished something. Sure, maybe that something had been 'pissing Hannah off', but M was amused and that's all Connor cared about.
The waitress arrived with the side salads then, and everyone turned their attention to their food. The steaks came out minutes later and all conversation turned to rating dinner.
Connor loved his steak and he wasn't shy about it either. He devoured the slab of meat with determination and mopped up the juices with a dinner roll.
"Mine's cooked perfectly," Hannah sighed around her meat. "Thank you, Bradley."
"Anytime," Bradley said, grinning hugely. Hannah looked shyly away, back at her plate.
"Yum!" M said as he popped a piece of ketchup covered steak into his mouth… Hannah had suggested it. It was sacrilege. "I like it," he declared, a streak of red on his chin.
Nobody had leftovers. Everyone was stuffed as the waitress cleared away the empty plates. Hannah started complaining about having to get up early in the morning for school and Bradley chimed in with similar objections. She was on duty at the 'crack of dawn'.
"We should get home," Hannah said and she paused to yawn impressively. "I want to get a bath before bed."
"Mmm," Bradley hummed. "That sounds nice."
Hannah blushed. "It does."
Connor cleared his throat. "I think we're all tired," he said awkwardly.
Hannah looked around guiltily. "We should get home. It's getting late."
Bradley tried to calm her down with gentle words, but Connor got up immediately. M followed his example and scooched out of the booth. Hannah, in panic mode now, hurried to get out of the booth and away from Bradley and her soothing voice.
Bradley sighed. She left some money on the table as a tip and then got out of the booth on Connor's side.
Connor and M followed Hannah across the dining room and into the lobby. She went straight out the door when they reached it, and Connor followed her. He grabbed M's arm and pulled him along when the blond tried to wait for the cop to settle the paycheck at the front desk.
Hannah rushed them out to the parking lot. Connor and M were nearly running to keep up by the time they reached Hannah's car.
The girl unlocked the doors frantically with her little key remote and hopped in behind the wheel. Connor and M piled in the back.
The tires squealed when Hannah whipped out of her parking spot and tore out of the lot.
She looked into her rear view mirror once they were on the main road, her eye wide with anxiety.
Connor snorted. "Relax. She's not following us."
"Shut up!" Hannah muttered.
Connor laughed. "Fuck, Hannah, you should try girls out for awhile. Don't beat yourself up for being attracted to—"
"Stop!" she shrieked.
Connor rolled his eyes. He'd wanted to tease the poor girl a bit more, but he knew he shouldn't. She was already about to explode.
"Your friend just bought us steaks though," Connor sneered. "You should probably call and thank her. None of us got to say anything before you yanked us out of the building."
Hannah huffed. "Yes. Of course, I'll apologize for leaving so quickly tomorrow or something."
Connor sat back in his seat. He didn't know why he was even remotely interested in Hannah's love life, and he really wished he wasn’t, but he did want her to find some kind of happiness. She seemed pretty happy when Bradley was around. It seemed like a logical conclusion that Hannah should try being with her.
Connor glanced at M as he attempted to settle into his seat. It looked like M was trying hard not to laugh… Connor sighed and dropped the subject. He didn't actually care if Hannah ruined her lesbian chances with Bradley. She could do whatever she wanted.
They got home and Hannah rushed around the house, frantic to get everything done and put away so she could get in the bath and then to bed, like she'd promised Bradley she was going to do.
M was setting up for the night on the couch, watching Hannah make her nightly rounds in a panic.
Connor left them to it. He figured there was nothing he could do but let Hannah unwind… and M? Well, Connor had time to make things right… He had a feeling rushing things would only make it worse.
He nodded at the blond as he went upstairs. The gesture was friendly and amicable and M watched him ascend the staircase with hooded eyes. He didn't seem upset anymore… he was just quiet.
The next day, Connor woke when the front door slammed hard enough to shake the whole front of the townhouse.
The rattling window was what made him sit up initially, but as Connor blinked into the early morning light, he stomach started grumbling.
He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and got out of bed. He planned on grabbing a bowl of cereal in the kitchen…
When he got downstairs, M was sitting up on the couch. He was looking towards the foyer with a dazed expression on his face.
"Did Hannah just leave?"
M's head snapped around at Connor's question. His gaze was piercing and Connor shifted awkwardly as he waited for a simple reply.
"Yes," the boy said after a moment. He blinked a few times and seemed to shake off the stupor that had delayed his speech.
"Was she still in a bad mood?" Connor asked casually. He rubbed his hand along the staircase banister.
"Yes?" M said with a little smile.
Connor huffed. He folded his arms across his chest and looked away. "I didn't mean to offend her," he said. "I want her to be happy, actually. I thought Bradley might be the lady to do that."
M giggled and Connor turned to glare at him. "She still loves you," he said. "I already told you that."
Connor sighed and he went into the other room. The only cereal Hannah had was Raisin Bran and Special K… Boring stuff, but he picked his poison, filled a bowl with it, and added milk.
M was flipping through the TV channels when Connor came back into the room. He felt a little uncomfortable about doing it, but Connor sat beside M on the couch, amid the blankets and pillows he'd been sleeping alone on for the past week…
Connor had a sudden, wild fantasy about rolling M naked into his blankets. Then, Connor would kiss him and suck his sweet tongue into his mouth… He'd stroke his eager little cock to orgasm while M cried and shook with pleasure.
Connor wanted desperately to touch the sleepy blond beside him…
But he took a bite of the Raisin Bran and forced himself to concentrate on the TV.
"You like the news, right?" M asked. He'd stopped on The Daily Show with its familiar cast.
Connor nodded slowly.
"Hannah watches this channel sometimes," M said and he put the remote aside.
They watched the news for an hour or so. There was nothing particularly interesting going on, so they started replaying stories after too long. They switched to the Disney Channel after that, and Connor felt a lot less bitter about the kids shows.
They chatted occasionally about the shows on TV, but they were quiet for the most part. It was a comfortable quiet… so when the house phone started ringing around noon, Connor glared into the kitchen, towards the cordless on the counter.
Grudgingly, he got up and rushed to check the number before it went to voicemail.
It wasn't Hannah's cell and that's the only number she had said she'd call from. It was a local number, and he figured it was a friend leaving a message.
He let it go and went back to the living room.
"Who was it?"
Connor shrugged. He leaned over the back of the couch as he watched the kiddie sitcom M had playing. He felt like something would happen if he sat down again.
M looked back at him, his brows furrowed with question.
"I didn't recognize the number. It's not a big deal. It was probably—" Briing, briiing, briiiiing! The house phone started ringing again. Shrilly. Connor flinched, but in the next heartbeat he was going to check the number again.
It wasn't Hannah's. It was local. Connor was pretty sure it was the same number that had called previously. He let it ring until voicemail picked up and whoever was calling left another message.
"Maybe you should answer it and find out who's calling," M said as Connor came back into the room.
Connor frowned. "No. This isn't my house and nobody knows I'm here," he said. "Whoever's calling doesn't want to talk to me."
M made a face, but he didn't say anything more.
Two more hours passed and the phone rang two additional times. Connor didn't check the number… he was getting annoyed.
On the third ring, M begged him to answer the phone.
It was after two… Hannah would be home in another hour and a half and Connor really didn't want to deal with any of her 'friend's.
He sorta had the feeling it was Bradley calling…
But M was whining at him to see who it was, probably having the same feeling Connor was, and so he leapt up and swooped into the kitchen so he could answer the phone before the caller was granted the opportunity to leave yet another message.
"Hello?" he growled into the receiver.
"Connor?" It was Bradley… fucking great. "Did Hannah stay home today?"
"Have you guys heard from her at all today?"
"No," Connor said again. "We never do. She'll be home in like an hour, so—"
"I've been trying to get ahold of her all day," Bradley said quickly. "She hasn't said a word to me… it's not normal."
Connor snorted. "Everything's fine. She's probably busy and hasn't checked her phone in a while."
"I don't think so." Bradley was starting to sound frantic. Connor imagined her biting her nails and sweating like a nervous pig. It wasn't a good look… "I think something weird is going on… Connor… I got fired today."
"What?" Connor walked back into the living room with the phone. M was twisted around in his seat, watching Connor with wide eyes.
"My boss called me into his office this morning before I could clock in," she said breathlessly. "He reprimanded me for using my position to research personal interests… He knew about the blood samples I sent in to be analyzed, the Michael Thomas records I requested, the file on the FBI agent…" Bradley sobbed and Connor fell stiffly onto the edge of the couch. "He fired me… he said he had to. He said the higher ups wanted me out and he couldn't protect me."
"I'm sorry," Connor said awkwardly.
"I don't know what that even means Connor! What 'higher ups'?" Bradley snapped. "I've been trying to reach Hannah so I could tell her what happened, but she's MIA."
"No, she's not—"
"You don't know, Connor. I need her… badly, and I can't even get her to even pick up the phone," Bradley said. She sounded like she was weeping with emotion, and maybe she was, but Connor felt deeply uncomfortable either way. "Something bad's going on," she said. "I'm going by the school to check on her… Standby!"
Connor wanted to talk Bradley down, but the cop hung up on him.
"Crazy bitch," he cursed, tearing the phone from his ear as it went dead.
"Who was it?"
Connor took the phone back into the kitchen and slammed the headset onto the cradle.
"Bradley," he snapped. "Who else?!"
"Well," M started as Connor came back into the living room. "What's going on?"
Connor scoffed. "I don't know. She's worried about Hannah because she won't answer her cell."
M pouted. "Could we try to call her?"
Connor huffed and stormed back into the kitchen for the phone. He punched in Hannah's number and waited through a series of rings.
"Hannah," he snapped when voicemail picked up. "Call Bradley. She's worried about you and freaking out because you haven't spoken today." He waited a beat, hoping Hannah would answer. But she didn't.
He growled into the phone, feeling useless. "Just… hurry up and call someone." He hung up and went back into the living room. It wasn't until he sat down that he realized he still had the phone clenched in his hand.
M was staring at him with concern. Connor huffed and threw the phone on the coffee table. He buried his face in his hands. "I can't handle this stupid drama," he muttered.
"I just hope everyone's alright," M said instead and Connor groaned.
"Have we considered the fact that Hannah may not want to talk to anybody?" he said. "She left in a bad mood, right? You're the only one who saw her."
"I didn't see her," M said and Connor looked up at him in confusion. "I mean, I saw her leave. She didn't say goodbye like she usually does, she left in a hurry and slammed the door behind her, but I didn't see her face."
"So? It sounds like the body language was doing all the talking," Connor said. "She's pissed at us."
"I don't know, Connor—"
"I don't know either," Connor cried. "But I'm sure Hannah's fine! Fuck!"
They both fell into silence after Connor's outburst. The Disney show played softly in the background. Connor felt like an enormous asshole and he debated different apologies in the silence.
"I had a weird dream last night," M said suddenly.
Connor looked at him sideways. "About what?"
"The agent," M said in a whisper. "He's coming for us."
Connor felt goosebumps prickling the back of his neck. "But you said we were safe."
M bit his lip.
"I— Connor… " M trailed off. "I'm scared."
Connor threw his hands up in the air. "I'm going to take a shower!" he swept out of the room and up the stairs. "Everyone's freaking the fuck out! Super helpful, guys."
Connor didn't really need a shower, but he did need some time alone.
He slammed the bathroom door and turned the water on hot. He moved to stand in front of the sink then and he watched his reflection get foggy and wet in the mirror.
He figured he could use a shave. He bent to grab the cheap razors Hannah had picked up at the grocery store out from under the sink. He turned the sink on hot as well, and lathered his face with some soap. He shaved the stubble from his cheeks and his chin. The routine of it was comforting.
As he was finishing up, he heard the phone ringing downstairs. He glared at his reflection, shut the sink off and stripped naked so he could hop in the shower. He just wanted to avoid this bullshit.
He was in the middle of washing his hair when there was a loud knock on the bathroom door. He'd only been in the shower maybe 10 minutes. He wiped soap out of his eyes and yelled over the sound of the running water.
"Stop worrying, M!" he shouted. "And don't answer the fucking phone! Let Hannah and Bradley handle their lovers spat on their own!"
That was definitely not M. Connor dipped his head under the water and rinsed off quickly.
"Connor, I went to the school and they haven't seen Hannah today either. She didn't call off, she just didn't show up."
Connor grit his teeth. It was Bradley. He was standing naked and wet in the shower stall while a lesbian tried to pour her heart out to him.
"What?" he cried, shivering under the heated water. "I'm fucking naked right now!"
"Oh," Bradley bumped into something and Connor heard her tennis shoes slide on the slippery tile. "I'll wait down in the living room."
"Cool!" Connor snapped. He wanted to wrap the shower curtain around his body. He felt so violated…
He heard the bathroom door shut though and he made quick work of the rest of his shower. He washed up and got out right as he finished. He grabbed two towels, covered himself from head to toe and ran down the hall to the safety of the guest room with the lock on the door.
It didn't take him long to dress… but Connor felt grumpy and he dragged his feet a little as he got ready to go back downstairs.
Hannah seemed to be missing though,,, and Connor was terribly curious, so he picked up the pace, combed his wet hair back, threw on a t-shirt and jeans and then he went down to find out what was going on.
Bradley was crying on the couch. She had her head on M's shoulder and the blond was comforting her as best he could, a hand on her back, a soothing shushing noise coming from his lips.
Still, when he saw Connor standing at the bottom of the stairs, he seemed relieved and he sat up a little.
"Connor's back," he said.
Bradley sat up, brushing tears and dark hair out of her eyes in the same move. She sniffled and looked at Connor through her watery eyes.
"Hannah's missing. I got fired… Everything's going to hell, Connor."
Connor drew himself up. "Are you expecting me to do something? I don't know what's going on."
"The second I started looking up that FBI agent you say is stalking you, I start getting treated differently at work," Bradley said, standing up and gathering her strength about her. "I sent M's blood work away for testing last night. I was waiting for an opportune moment and that was yesterday! Only, I got my ass handed to me this morning when I walked in the station. They took my gun and my badge… " Bradley dissolved into tears once more. "I don't even know what happened!"
"You shouldn't have messed around in our business," Connor said stiffly. "I'm sorry. But I told Hannah the agent's been trying to ruin me. I'm not surprised."
Bradley pointed a trembling finger at him. "You said you'd lost him! You said he wasn't following you anymore.
Connor looked at M. That was kind of a problem. The agent hadn't been doing any life-ruining since they'd fled Florida. Why now? Because of some blood work?
"The agent has eyes everywhere—"
"Even at my police station?" Bradley scoffed through her tears. "No way. Nobody in my squad is a turncoat. I trust— trusted everyone there." Bradley frowned at her own correction, but she stuck to it.
"Well, who all would have seen my blood?" M asked calmly, obviously trying not to offend the poor ex-cop. "If you sent it away, other people would have been involved, right?"
Bradley rubbed her chin. "Yes," she said. "And my request for Thomas's info could have flagged anyone connected to Michigan's network. I was browsing through a lot of Detroit PD files."
"There you go," Connor sneered. "You guys did exactly what I told you not to do! You let other people know about us! You brought the agent back! This is your fault! You're to blame, you stupid bitch!"
Bradley bared her teeth at Connor. "I haven't seen any creepy alien FBI agents skulking around. I think we're fine."
"You just said something was going on!" Connor roared. "Make up your fucking mind!"
Just then, the front door gilded open. The movement would have been completely silent, except the doorknob hit the wall and sound of it was like a gunshot.
Everyone turned at the sound. Bradley choked out a strangled cry of joy, M's jaw dropped, and Connor frowned as he watched his best friend walk through the door.
It was Hannah, but… she didn't look like Hannah. Her hair was a mess, her makeup was smeared under her eyes, her outfit was ripped and dirtied. And her eyes… her eyes were vacant and empty.
M paled. "He got to her," he said. "The agent."
Connor lunged in front of the girl, getting into a defensive stance. "Is she bugged?" He looked into her dead eyes. The girl swayed gently in place, holding still for the examination. He felt M step up behind him. The little alien looked over his shoulder for a long, tense moment while Connor waited with bated breath.
"No… she's not bugged, but she doesn't look good," M said.
There was a flurry of movement behind them and suddenly, Bradley was shoving her face into the group. Connor hadn't even noticed, but she was wearing a standard black police uniform, stripped of the badge and the gun belt, of course. He'd never seen her in uniform before…
"Hannah, are you in there? I've been looking for you all day," Bradley said excitedly. "Hannah!"
"Calm down," Connor snarled at her. He shoved Bradley out of the way with his elbow.
"Hands off!" Bradley shoved him twice as hard in the solar plexus and Connor grunted and doubled over in pain.
"Fucking bitch!" Connor hissed, but he was ignored.
M and Bradley ushered Hannah inside and onto the couch. The student teacher started to wake up finally and she slurred something vague like: "Where am I?"
"Home," Bradley said. "You're home."
"How… how did I…?"
"M!" Bradley snapped. The blond immediately jumped to attention. "Look out front… is Hannah's Prius parked on the curb?"
M hurried to the window. He gasped and Connor lurched into action, too. He went to stand behind the blond and he looked out on the street.
Hannah's Prius was out there all right! And it was half up on the curb, one tire flat, and the driver side was completely tore up. Like Hannah had scraped a highway barrier as she sped past, but she hadn't made any effort to pull away. The mirror was gone, both front and back doors were damaged way beyond the paint job…
"Hannah? What happened?" he asked, turning to assess the girl on the couch.
Hannah was looking around the room aimlessly. There was a funny smile on her face… she looked totally out of it and seemed to be enjoying it.
"I don't know," she said cheerfully.
"Well, apparently you did some driving," Connor sneered. "You totaled your Prius."
"What?" Bradley started to get up, but Connor shook his head.
"Don't bother. It's fucked up," he said.
Bradley pressed her hand to her mouth. Her lips were trembling. "What the hell is going on?"
Connor turned to M and the two of them shared a knowing look.
"We have to leave, don't we," Connor said, completely straight-faced even though his heart had started pounding double-time.
"This place isn't safe anymore. Neither are the people who have been sheltering us." He gestured to Hannah and Bradley on the couch. Hannah smiled blandly, but Bradley looked like she was about to tear her hair out. Her eyes were frantic and she was breathing fast.
"Where are we supposed to go?" she asked when she realized Connor's harsh stare was asking a question.
"Somewhere far away," Connor said shortly. "And we need to go now."
Connor glared at the dumb lesbian. "What do you mean 'how'?"
Bradley got up suddenly and pushed past Connor and M to look out the front window.
"Damn," she said under her breath. "It really is destroyed."
"I told you," Connor sneered.
"Well, I don't know how we're all supposed to run, I don't have a car and I doubt Hannah has another one up her sleeve—"
"Actually, she probably does," Connor said. "Her mommy's rich."
Bradley pressed her lips together. "Well, good luck getting anything out of her in her current state," she said bitterly. "She doesn't know anything."
Connor glanced towards M again. "Is she going to be alright?"
M bit his lip and went to sit on the couch once more. He turned to face Hannah completely and he reached up to cup her face between his gentle hands. He started to talk to her in low, even tones. Connor couldn't pick out any of the words or the meaning, but Hannah seemed to be enjoying his voice. She cooed down at him, beaming like a brain dead mental patient.
M talked to Hannah quietly for a few moments, Connor and Bradley watching intently and with interest.
"No, no, I don't remember any of that happening," Hannah mumbled, smiling hugely afterwards. "Nothing at all!"
M turned back to them with a grim look on his face. "She'll be ok. She'll snap out of it soon, probably—"
"Probably?" Bradley gasped.
M sighed. He got up and looked towards the window again. Connor backed out of his way immediately and Bradley reluctantly followed suit. M smiled softly and went around the two of them to look out on orangish-red light of late afternoon.
"I'm pretty sure the agent did accessed her memories," he said.
"What does that mean?" Bradley snapped and Connor rolled his eyes.
"What do you fucking think?" he sneered and saw Bradley glaring at him from the corner of his eye.
M explained anyway… he didn't seem to be paying attention to Connor's and Bradley's bickering. "If he went though Hannah's memories, which I'm pretty sure he did. She's having trouble with both short term and long term memories… I'm not even sure how she'd know how to get back here."
"Well, she obviously didn't get here without any trouble," Connor said sarcastically, gesturing to the wrecked car out on the curb.
"Right…"M hunched his shoulders up. "If the agent looked at her memories, then he knows everything we've done recently and said. He probably knows about the baby…"
Connor swallowed. "Is there even any point in running? Or will he just follow us, wherever we go."
M shrugged. "I really don't know. I don't know what he'll do now."
Connor screamed with frustration. "This is insane! We left everything behind to escape this guy last time, how are we supposed to get away this time?!"
"I don't know."
Connor whirled around and kicked the leg of the coffee table. "This is bullshit!" he yelled as the table shook, but luckily, stayed standing.
"Connor, cut it out," Bradley said through her teeth.
"Fuck you! You're not the boss of me! You're not the boss of anyone anymore. You're a civilian now," Connor said and he just barely restrained himself from sticking his tongue out to further taunt the ex-cop.
Bradley flipped him off.
Connor laughed humorlessly. "Well, I'm going to pack a bag. We'll have to go soon, no matter what. You heard what M said. It isn't safe here anymore," he rolled his eyes, but he wasn't joking about the bag. He wasn't eager to be on the run yet again, but he was ready to get out of this stuffy house…
"What am I supposed to do?"
"Go home, grab a bag of clothes," Connor said as he headed up the stairs. "We'll wait for you, but try not to get caught by the agent!" he ran up the last few stairs, laughing at the absurdity of the situation.
He found a plastic shopping bag in the closet and went through the dresser, stuffing his two pairs of jeans, his three t-shirts and his 5 pack of undies and socks into the bag.
Once he was done, he felt pretty stupid for making such a big deal out of packing. He certainly wasn't going downstairs now. So he tossed his bag on the pull-out bed and went to mess around on the computer. He went to Google Maps, just to brainstorm where they'd head to next…
After maybe an hour, M came to knock on Connor's door.
"Bradley's back," he said. "She brought dinner."
Connor was suddenly a lot more interested in seeing how Bradley's packing had gone. He clicked out of Google and went to answer the door.
"What did she bring?" Connor asked, still a little stunned by the brilliant green of M's eyes. The blond stared up at him so trustingly…
"Clothes and things like that?" M said, his brow furrowing with confusion.
"No," Connor chuckled. "What did she bring to eat?"
"Sweet," Connor said. At least Bradley had good taste when it came to food.
He followed M downstairs. Hannah was slumped into the couch, asleep, and Bradley was setting a box of fried chicken and jojos on the coffee table with a stack of paper plates and napkins.
She looked up as M and Connor arrived. "I'm packed," she said, gesturing to a heavy backpack by the door. She'd changed out of her uniform too and wore jeans, a white tee, and a her leather jacket.
Connor smiled. "And you brought food. Nice."
"I try," Bradley said.
Connor sat on the far side of the couch. He peered at Hannah curiously for a moment, then reached for a paper plate.
"Did she do anything interesting while I was gone?"
"Not really. She doesn't know what she did today. She said she was sleepy maybe a half hour ago and she put her head down. She's been asleep ever since," M said.
Connor served himself some food and sat back to stuff his face. "That's weird."
"Her mind was picked through…" M said. "She doesn't remember it happening and it's a good thing, actually. Her brain is trying to protect her."
"I guess," Connor shuddered. He felt very uncomfortable thinking about how vulnerable the humans were to the aliens… If they wanted, they could raid your mind without your knowledge or permission. They could track you down and find you wherever you went. There was no hiding… They could take control of your entire body and life at a moments notice…
Connor licked his fingers and ate another greasy piece of chicken. He didn't want to think about anything important anymore. He just wanted to pig out.
The others sat around the living room to eat. Bradley surfed through the channels on the TV until she found Family Feud. It was neutral, everybody watched the show wordlessly.
"So, you say she's going to be ok?" Bradley asked. She stroked her fingers through Hannah's hair as she got up to put the leftover chicken in the fridge.
"She'll wake up soon," M said looking very seriously at the unconscious girl.
"Well, maybe we should get some sleep too," Bradley said from the other room.
"That's a good idea," Connor rubbed his stomach. He felt comfortably full and now that he considered it, he felt sure he could catch some Zzzs. "When she wakes up, we have a lot to discuss. We have to get moving. "
Bradley appeared in the entranceway. She nodded solemnly. "OK," she said. "I'm ready, I guess. I told Hannah I'd help her." She looked longingly towards the teacher sprawled out on the couch. Hannah chose that very moment to snort in her sleep and Bradley smiled fondly. "I'll follow her anywhere. I'll do whatever it takes."
Connor rolled his eyes. "She hasn't accepted her lesbian feelings yet, you know that right? You're going to have an uphill battle with that one."
Bradley firmed her jaw. "How did win her over?"
Connor laughed. "By being completely uninterested."
Bradley blushed. She turned her face away, but Connor had seen her embarrassment. He smirked at her.
The ex-cop bustled into the room and collected the paper plates for the trash. Connor felt lazy, but he figured he'd let the lesbian take care of things if she wanted. He hated cleaning…
"I'll grab the other end of the couch and take over watching Hannah," Bradley said, her voice muffled through the wall.
"Sounds good," Connor called back. He glanced over at M. The boy was sitting at the coffee table on pillows. He met Connor's gaze and smiled softly. "Looks like you lost your bed," Connor said plainly.
M continued to smile. "I guess I did."
"You can crash with me, if you want," Connor said after a beat. "We can watch something on Netflix."
M rubbed his chin as he considered the offer. Bradley breezed back into the room, then. She'd manage to put herself together in her brief trip to the kitchen and she walked up to Connor and looked him straight in the eye.
"Do you know where any extra pillows and blankets are?"
Connor stared the lesbian down. He didn't want to admit he didn't know, but he would have to eventually.
"They're in the closet here," M said suddenly, and he got up to point out the one next to the front door. "There's a couple pillows over there though," he said, gesturing under the coffee table.
Bradley smirked at Connor and finally broke the eye contact. She went to grab the pillows just as M arrived with an armful of throw blankets.
"Thanks," Bradley said.
"No problem," M said pleasantly. "We'll let you two get some sleep now," he said, laying the blankets on the corner of the couch. He looked up at Connor then. "Are you ready?"
"For bed," M beamed at him.
"Oh," Connor got up, clearing the space for Bradley to curl up on. "We'll be upstairs if you need us. In the guest room."
Connor turned to the blond boy then, studying his sunny expression. "After you," he said, stepping aside so M could go up the staircase.
M gave him a loaded look and then swept past to get upstairs. Connor followed him up.