Chapter Twelve: Mal
In Need of a Friend
Mal nodded, and he looked around. The living, dining and kitchen all seemed to be in one room, there were two doors on the right wall, Mal assumed they led to a bedroom and a bathroom. At least he hoped that was what they led to.
One two seater couch and a single recliner chair faced the mid-sized flat screen television in the living room, a small round table with four wooden chairs took up the space allocated for dining and the kitchen took up a corner with the benches running along the walls. A microwave sat on top of the fridge, obviously, so it didn't take up what limited bench space there was.
Mal looked back at Kaden and noticed the man seemed embarrassed. There was nothing to be embarrassed about in Mal's opinion. The place was clean and looked very homey. Art decorated the walls and photos of who Mal assumed were friends and family stood pride of place on top of the TV cabinet and bookcase.
"It's a nice place," Mal assured as Kaden closed the door behind them, he then pressed the button lock on the door handle and flicked the key over in the deadbolt to secure it in place.
"It's nothing special." Kaden downplayed as he took off his shoes and placed them on the rack next to the door.
"It doesn't have to be a mansion to be home," Mal told him. Kaden nodded.
"So, umm…." Mal glanced at Kaden and realised the man was blushing again.
"What?" Mal asked.
"Well…" Kaden glanced at Mal for a moment before looking at the couch, several times. Mal finally understood what Kaden was reluctant to say.
There was no way his six foot five frame would fit on the couch, comfortably or otherwise. Hell, he had enough trouble fitting in a king sized bed, and he doubted Kaden had one of those in this small apartment.
"I'll sleep on the couch; you can have the bed."
"So not happening. I'm not kicking you out of your bed," Mal argued.
"I don't mind, honestly."
"Nope." Mal refused to let Kaden sleep on what looked like a very uncomfortable piece of furniture. "Do you have any objections to sharing the bed with me?"
Kaden stared at him, wide-eyed for a moment, then dropped his gaze down Mal's body before slowly working his way upwards. Mal didn't think he'd ever been eye-fucked before, but he liked the way Kaden was looking at him. He had to bite back a moan as Kaden's pink tongue flicked out to swipe over the man's bottom lip. Kaden must have realised what he was doing as he suddenly went very still then his eyes met Mal's, wide with shock and a slight tinge of fear.
Heat coursed through Mal's veins and as much as he wanted to pull Kaden into his arms and devour his lips, then bend him over the back of that small couch and pound his ass, now really wasn't the time.
"It's nice to know you like what you see," Mal said with a little flirtatiousness in his voice.
Kaden's cheeks reddened. Mal stepped forward and cupped Kaden's cheek in his large hand, stroking his thumb over the smooth skin. He bent down and placed a light kiss on Kaden's lips, not trusting himself to take the kiss any deeper before he pulled back.
"As much as I would love to explore you fully, with the way my life is up in the air at the moment I think I need a friend more. Is that okay?"
Kaden quickly nodded, Mal's hand still against his cheek. Kaden smiled up at him shyly. "Would you be willing to share the bed, if you won’t let me sleep on the couch? I forgot just how big you were, and how small my furniture is."
Mal chuckled. "I'd be happy to share if you don't mind."
"Not at all. It's this way." Kaden stepped back, and Mal dropped his hand, he headed to the door on the left and opened it, flicking on the light as he entered the room. "The bathroom is right next door." Kaden hiked his thumb over his shoulder pointing at the wall behind him which would be through the door on the right.
Mal walked into the room, It wasn't massive, enough room for a queen sized bed, two bedside tables and a chest of drawers with a clothes rack next to it for any hanging clothes. He could see which side of the bed Kaden slept on as the sheets and doona were still scruffed from that morning.
"Make yourself comfortable, I'm just going to go for a quick shower.” Kaden hurried out of the room and into the bathroom next door.
Mal heard the door close and then muttered cursing through the thin walls. He had to smile as he listened to Kaden berate himself over his behaviour. Mal quite enjoyed Kaden looking at him.
He heard the water turn on next door and not wanting to be still standing in the same place when Kaden returned Mal made his way into the room and to the other side of the bed. He dropped his bag onto the floor in the corner, then sat down. His ribs protested the movement when he bent to undo his boots. Mal hissed and gritted his teeth as he pulled the knives from within his boots and placed them on the bed next to him then went back to work on the laces. When he had them loosened sufficiently, he kicked his boots off, leaving them where they fell on the floor.
Mal stood and carefully shrugged out of his jacket. He removed both guns from the holster and placed them on the bed next to the knives. He unclipped the leather from his belt and rolled his shoulders to allow the holster to slide down his arms. He gathered it up and placed it on top of his bag.
Taking off his shirt was going to hurt like a bitch, so Mal worked his jeans off first, unbuckling his belt then his fly and button. The jeans easily slid down his legs and Mal let them pool on the floor. He placed one hand against the wall as he lifted first his left then his right foot to pull off his socks.
The sharp indrawn breath had Mal turning around quickly; he didn't reach for one of his guns, thankfully. Kaden stood in the doorway a towel around his waist, his eyes glued to where Mal's ass had been on prominent display, now where his groin was outlined by the black cotton of his tight boxers.
"Would you mind giving me a hand so I can have a quick shower?" Mal asked.
Kaden continued to stare, and Mal chuckled.
"Kaden?" he asked again.
"Huh?" Kaden shook his head.
"Could you give me a hand?" he asked, Mal picked up a gun and placed it on the bedside table, the others he placed in the top drawer of the tallboy, on top of Kaden's socks. He stepped towards Kaden.
"A hand with what?" Kaden asked.
"My shirt, if you don't mind, I'm a little sore." Mal sat on the corner of the bed so Kaden would be able to reach.
"Oh, oh, sure." Kaden stepped up to him and grabbed the hem of Mal's shirt then slowly lifted it. Mal lifted his arms up carefully as high as he could, which wasn't very high.
Kaden's hiss as he uncovered the purple bruises on Mal's chest told him they looked as bad as they felt.
"How the hell are you even moving?" Kaden asked as he threw the shirt to the other side of the bed where the rest of Mal's clothes were.
"With a great deal of pain. I don't suppose you have some Nurofen or anything?"
"Sure. You take a shower, and I'll grab you a couple. There are towels in the bathroom.”
"Thanks." Mal stood and made his way next door.
He groaned when he closed the bathroom door and got a good look at the space. There was no way he was going to be able to stand straight in the shower without hitting his head on the roof. He hated with people built showers over raised baths. It made showering a bitch if you stood any taller that six foot.
The water was hot and felt amazing against his skin, even if the pressure caused him to hiss when it hit his chest and ribs. Mal quickly scrubbed himself the best he could then turned the water off. He used the facilities, dried himself and pulled his underwear back on.
He usually slept naked but didn't think that would be a good idea with his current sleeping arrangements.
Kaden was already in bed with the blankets pulled up around him when Mal walked back in the bedroom. He had the small lamp on his bedside table on so Mal flicked the main light off.
"The drugs are on your bedside table."
"Thanks." Mal made his way to his side of the bed and pulled the blankets back then sat down. He found the three capsules Kaden had left for him with a glass of water and downed the pills. He lay down on his back and pulled the covers up, closing his eyes.
He heard the flick of the light as Kaden turned his lamp off and a soft "Goodnight."
"Night, Kaden. Thanks for everything."
Mal sighed and tried to shut down his brain, needing sleep desperately if he was going to track down those responsible for his sister's death in the coming days. The soft sounds of sleep from Kaden beside him brought a smile to his lips as he finally drifted off.