Chapter Thirteen: Mal
Here and Now
A groan escaped his lips, matching the one from his lover.
"Hmm…" Mal tightened his hold on the man and continued his movements. Something didn't feel quite right, though. There was a barrier, where there should only have been skin on skin.
"Mal?" the voice again, short and sharp then fading into another moan. Mal trailed his fingers down the lightly furred belly of his lover, before he could reach his prize through, a firm grip on his wrist stopped him.
"Mal, you need to wake up! As much as I'm enjoying this, I would prefer we were both conscious when this happens."
He knew that voice. Kaden. What was Kaden doing in his dreams?The words finally penetrated his sleep addled brain and Mal blinked open his eyes. The room was still in semi-darkness thanks to the curtains. Mal lay so close to Kaden their entire bodies touched, from their heads all the way down to their feet. Mal's arms were wrapped tightly around Kaden's middle, holding him close and Mal's groin rubbed unconsciously against Kaden's ass.
The man himself was twisting his neck back so he could see Mal, his cheeks were pink and his eyes a little glassy, he also had an apologetic smile on his face.
"Shit, sorry," Mal said as he tried to scramble back without hurting Kaden.
"It's okay; I was enjoying it myself," Kaden said then rolled over slightly when he was free so he could see Mal without twisting his neck into an awkward position.
This was the third morning in a row Mal had woken to find himself wrapped around Kaden. They seemed to be drawn together in the middle of the night like magnets. However, this was the first time Mal had tried to molest the man, that he was aware of anyway.
Mal ran his fingers through his long hair, wincing when they got caught in a few knots.
"Would you excuse me for a minute?" Kaden pulled the blankets up and quickly jumped out of bed, making a run for the bedroom door, being very careful to keep his back to Mal.
Mal heard the bathroom door open and close in quick succession and then a groan. He glanced down at his own hard erection currently tenting the blankets then slipped his hand under the sheets.
An hour later they were both sitting at the small round table eating bowls of cereal, neither of them mentioned what happened that morning.
"Any word yet from your brother-in-law?" Mal asked.
"Not yet, he did say it might be a couple of days."
Mal nodded. He was sick of not having anything to go on. Mal wasn't a detective; he had absolutely no skills in that area. He knew how to fight, take care of himself and how to ride and capture rogue dragons. Tracking down his sister's killers without having a lead was turning out to be far beyond his capability.
They'd been back to the police station to see if they could get anything from the detectives in charge of the case, that had been a monumental waste of time. They'd tracked down some of Anya's closest friends and talked to them and been back to the scene of the crime, where Anya's body had been found. So far they'd come away with a big fat nothing to show for their efforts.
"So, what's the plan for today?" Kaden asked him. Mal didn't know why but Kaden had stuck with him every day, always willing to help him no matter what Mal was doing.
"How do you feel about storage sheds?" Mal asked Kaden.
"I have absolutely no feelings on them whatsoever. Why? What did you have in mind?"
"Well, I had to box up all of my sister's stuff when she died. I had planned to go through it all a little later and sort out what to throw and what to keep. I still don't think I'm ready for that, but there might be something in there that the cops missed. Hell, I don't even know if the cops searched her place or not."
"It’s worth a look." Kaden stood and took his now empty bowl to the kitchen and placed it in the sink. He then went to the fridge and pulled out a half dozen bottles of water and placed them on the bench. Kaden grabbed a backpack out of his room and came back to pack the water inside. Mal finished his last mouthful of breakfast then placed his bowl in the sink.
"You got everything?" Mal asked Kaden.
The man was looking mighty fine to Mal, in his denim shorts and Marvel character t-shirt. Sneakers graced his feet. Kaden slung the backpack over his shoulders and settled it in place.
Mal picked up the helmets and handed one to Kaden. It had come as a shock to Mal to find out that Kaden didn't own a car. But that didn't matter. Mal had his bike, and that was fine for getting around on.
They locked up the small apartment and headed out to the bike. The ride in the still cool morning air was invigorating as Mal drove through the streets to the storage warehouse he had rented space from after Anya's death.
It took them a good half an hour to arrive, as the warehouse was in the complete opposite direction from where Kaden lived. Mal pulled up to the gate and scanned his card to get through the security. He then drove down row after row of concrete buildings with roller doors marking all the individual units.
Mal made his way to the one he had rented and pulled to a halt. Kaden dismounted, and Mal followed. He turned the bike off then with the keys in hand headed to the large padlock securing his unit.
He unlocked it and lifted the roller door then stood back to survey the interior. Mal hadn't seen his sister's belongings since the last time he'd visited her for dinner. He'd had to hire a moving company to pack up Anya's life and deliver it here. He hadn't been able to face it himself.
Now, glancing at all the boxes that made up Anya's life, Mal had to swallow the sudden lump in his throat, his eyes filled with tears and stood there and stared. Kaden's small warm hand on his arm helped to ground him and pull him back to the here and now.
He had no idea what sort of order all these boxes were in or what was inside them.
Kaden took a deep breath as he too stared at the daunting task in front of them. Then turned to Mal. “Well, there's no time like the present, let’s get started!”
Mal nodded, he stepped forward and reached for the first box.