“His folks were quite affluent, so he got pretty much anything he wanted. He told me once that he had always felt as if part of him was missing, and no amount of presents could make that feeling go away. He couldn’t explain it, but sometimes he would have these dreams of this other little boy, as if he looked into a mirror.” She looked deeply into his eyes. “Deacon, I think that other boy was you. I believe you and Pete were twins.”
Stunned, he sat quite still, doing and saying nothing. “He found out who is parents were, well his mum anyway. He had his father’s name, but hadn’t ever found him. His mum had him when she was sixteen. She had twins and gave them up for adoption. She had hoped they would be adopted together. Pete’s parents were given to understand he was a single birth, or they’d have adopted his brother. By the time they discovered it, no one could find the other boy, but they did look for you. I think they would like to meet you sometime.”
“I don’t know what to say, Kacy. Did you ever meet Pete’s mother?”
“She’s a lovely lady, you’d like her. Pete looked just like his mum, they had the same blue eyes,” she gulped. “Just as you do.” She started to cry again, but softly, not the sobs which had shaken her small frame before, their first night together.
“We should go to bed,” Deacon said drowsily.
“Yes, and get some sleep. I mean sleep, Deacon. I won’t allow you to be naughty, even if it means I sleep in my own bed,” she scolded him, frowning.
“Yes, Mum, I promise to be a good boy, keep my hands to myself, and play nicely with others. Honestly, I hurt too bad to want to do anything but rest. Doc gave me a prescription for some pain pills but I’m a little worried about filling it.”
They were moving slowly to the bedroom, his weight on the cane and her shoulder. She looked up at him strangely.
He explained about his former drug problem.
“Before you fill it, ask him about it. He might be able to suggest something else. I want you to promise me something.”
“Yes, my lady love?”
He sat heavily on the side of the bed while she helped him get his jeans off. He knew he must really be out of it, having her hands on his pants didn’t even get a tingle.
“You’ll stay home tomorrow, finish those designs, and have a courier take them to Dino’s office to be copied. Do you promise?”
“Only if you’ll stay with me.” He grabbed her waist, his hands going around easily.
She rolled her eyes heavenward. “Honestly! I’ve got to keep an eye on the crew! What if they do the wiring all wrong, I’ll have to do it over!”
“Dexter knows what he’s doing, and I trust Mac to keep the others running smoothly. He knows what has to be done, as well as I do. I’ll stay here, if you do.”
“Half day, I’ll go in for the morning and come back for lunch, how would that be?”
He agreed to the concession. “All right, but the second half of the day, I get to be naughty again.”
“Only if the swelling is down!”
Sighing, he levered his legs into the bed, gritting his teeth. With a gasp, he agreed. Her kiss normally would have set him on fire, but he was just too worn out and sore to give a damn about anything. Kacy placed pillows under his leg, changed to her nightshirt in the bathroom, and snuggled in next to him on the side opposite his sore leg.
“You know just what to do to take care of me, thanks.”
He kissed her hair. She snuggled closer.
She’d had lots of practice over the years, with Pete. He’d broken limbs, toes and fingers, pulled muscles, nearly ruptured a disk in his neck and chipped most of his teeth. At the age of twenty-seven, he’d had more aches and pains than a man three times his age. Stunt work was very demanding physically, and not for the faint hearted. She’d had to make herself watch him, but it terrified her. The more dangerous the gag, the more worried she’d get. Pete loved the danger, taking each as a personal challenge. He loved the complex gags for the very reason she didn’t.
The day he’d been hurt, she could hardly bring herself to go to the set, but something compelled her there. His last kiss had been full of love and sorrow. She remembered the touch of his lips on hers. He never got scared before a stunt, but this time he had checked and double checked his equipment, going over the devices personally. The only thing he couldn’t account for was human error, a button pressed too soon.
Huddled up next to Deacon, she felt the tears fall, tears she thought she had conquered. Whether she wept for Pete, or herself, she didn’t know. Maybe it was Deacon she cried for, because he had lost a brother whom he would never meet in this life.
Deacon’s arm draped around her as he turned on his side. She thought he was asleep, but he kissed her hair, cuddling from behind. He didn’t have to say anything, just having him there was enough. So gentle, so kind and loving, even more than Pete had ever been. There were times when he’d been absolutely callous, and not understood what she was feeling. Deacon knew, without her saying a word. The two were so alike in some ways, and in others completely different.
©2021 Dellani Oakes