TWTOO Bittersweet

1 Boys Will Be… Oh, Boy…


1: Boys Will Be… Oh, Boy…

Bailey, with the other two quarterbacks, sat in the head coach’s office after practice while the man discussed his worries for the new year. As a new student to the university and the football team, Bailey wasn’t a starting player yet. Especially since his arm wasn’t one hundred percent, though closer to ninety. But the coach still wanted him ready for action. Attending the university’s summer training camp helped in his rehab, but Bailey was used to playing and going all out, so it felt awkward “taking it easy”.

After a lengthy monologue, the coach dismissed them and Bailey went to the showers where most of the team was already packing up to leave.

“Rookie B!” One of the team members called to him as he grabbed his towel. “Where is that hot girlfriend of yours? Did she finally dump your ugly ass?”

Bailey laughed with the rest of his team. “Even if she did, you still wouldn’t stand a chance,” he said and grabbed his soap bottle.

“Seriously though, we haven’t seen Cody in a while. And she’s usually always hovering.”

“Right now she’s on a business trip.” Bailey lied.

“Damn, she’s got that kind of job at her age?” Another player asked.

“Why the hell not?” A different player added. “With looks like hers she can have any job she wants.”

Bailey tuned them out as he went to shower. Cody being on a business trip was total bullshit. Her being his girlfriend was also total bullshit. She pretended to be his girlfriend to help keep suspicion away from him and his relationship with his brother. However, right now she was off on some secret vacation with her true lover. 

While Bailey was glad for her, he missed his friend. She’d been his game watching buddy and rival when debating sports, so it was lonely now watching it without her banter.

After his shower, he packed up his bag and headed to his truck hoping Tyler had learned his lesson. He loved his brother, soul deep, but the guy kept doing things that made Bailey nervous and fucking crazy. Tyler’s most recent antics focused on Cody. She had been miserable for months, so when they found out she was in love with her father, his genius brother the idiot that he was, decided on his own to set her up with a mobster’s son. And set her up he did. The guy became obsessed and kidnapped her. It was all a big diabolically elaborate plot by Tyler to force Cody and Gabe to finally confront their feelings for each other.

Unfortunately, Gabe found out. Billionaire in the spotlight and gangster in the shadows, Gabriel Lloyd Walthour III loved Cody to the point of murder. And from what Cody told him, he definitely ordered deaths because of her. So Tyler was in hot water. Cody said she could convince her father to not kill Tyler, but that didn’t mean there wouldn’t be punishments. He just hoped when the man got off vacation, all killing tendencies were gone and retributions didn’t leave permanent scars.

Tired after the long day, Bailey trudged from the elevator to his condo door fishing in his backpack for the house keys. The coach had been working their asses off lately, wanting them to be ready for the season. Their first game was in a month and a half and Bailey didn’t look forward to being the freshman on the bench. He had always loved football, but the college level was far more grueling and cutthroat than the high school level. Yet, he ached to play.

All summer he had worked and pushed to match the team so that he could do his part. It didn’t help that he still felt slight aches from his arm recovering… He shook his head of those thoughts. Felicia was gone, no longer an issue. It was time to move forward with his life. But he still couldn’t shake the guilt of not realizing what she was. If he never dated her she’d still be alive.

Finally finding his keys, he put it in the lock, twisted, and opened the door…into a damn hurricane.

The house looked like World War three and four broke out and five stared without pause for a shit — cushions tossed, glasses broken, books thrown, and, “I’ll fucking kill you!”

Something hit the floor with an umph, before a body skidded across the hardwood into view — Tyler, his recently turned seventeen-year-old brother. Then another body flew right after him, jumping from what Bailey had to guess was the bar counter. Matt, his fourteen, soon to be fifteen-year-old brother landed on Tyler and proceeded to choke the hell out of him.

“You son of a bitch.” Matt growled as his hand wrapped a vice grip around Tyler’s neck.

Tyler thrashed and kicked, hands around Matt’s wrists trying to pull him off.

“What. The…. Hell!” Bailey roared slamming the door behind him. He threw his duffel bag at Matt, knocking the boy over and off Tyler. Then he stomped toward Tyler. “What the fuck did you do?”

Tyler coughed, pointing to Matt, trying to catch his breath.

“He took wire cutters to my piano strings. He ruined my piano!” Matt snarled on hands and knees looking like a crazed animal.

Bailey paused dumbfounded. Did Tyler want to die? Matt tolerated a lot. A hell of a lot. But don’t fuck with his music.

Matt launched at Tyler again, but Bailey shifted, grabbed his brother by the back of the shirt, and put him in a headlock before he stabbed his finger at Tyler. “Explain. Right now.”

Tyler nodded. “He…” He took a ragged breath. “He told Mr. Walthour. He betrayed me.”

Bailey frowned, confused.

“No, the fuck I didn’t asshole,” Matt said viciously, “Unlike you, I know loyalty. I’d never sell your evil ass out. Though you deserved it after what you did to Cody.”

So this was about how Walthour found out that Tyler had been the one to set up Cody to be kidnapped. Though insidious, Tyler’s plot worked but it had created a mess. 

Not believing for a second Matt would ever tell, Bailey asked, “Ty, what proof do you have that Matt would do something like that?”

“I covered my tracks. I was careful. I don’t get caught… Unless someone told.” Tyler hissed sitting up and rubbing his neck.

“If someone told, it wasn’t me.” Matt pushed at Bailey trying to get free. “Let me kill him.”

“Tyler. Evidence.” Bailey demanded.

Tyler, looking pained, pulled his phone from his khaki pants pocket and scrolled through it. Then he held it out. 

Bailey took it and read the email on the screen. “Mr. Walthour,” he began aloud so that Matt could hear. “We were sent an email the other day that stated definitively that Tyler Delarosa was involved with the plot and planning of Cody Delarosa’s kidnapping. The source of the information came from inside the Delarosa residence, and therefore, a request has been submitted for your permission to search Tyler’s personal effects… “

Bailey looked around at the apartment. “Is that why our apartment looks like hell?”

“No,” Tyler said, his voice strangled. He winced in pain, holding his neck. “That was Matt trying to kill me.”

“I didn’t rat your devious ass out, someone lied. And it didn’t even say it was me!” Matt shouted. “I might hate you and want you dead, but I want to do it myself. Walthour isn’t allowed to kill you.” Matt kicked at Bailey’s ankles, and Bailey tightened his arm around his youngest brother’s head.

“Settle down.” Bailey ordered staring at the email again. “No one else lives here but us. Unless someone in the building overheard something. Maybe one of Mr. Walthour’s guards came in uninvited one day or maybe-“

“The fucking maid! Did you stop to consider it might be her you shit?” Matt growled.

Bailey grunted as Matt fought harder to get free, punching at the arm around his neck.

Tyler nodded. “The maid.”

He was about to head for the door but Bailey grabbed his curly hair with his free hand and pulled so that they faced each other. “No.”

Tyler’s shoulders slumped. “Fine.”

“Start cleaning.” He ordered his brother before he kissed him on the lips. “I’m going to take Matt out to calm down. You better be here when I get back or no sex for a week.”

Tyler screwed up his face and said again, “Fine.” Exasperated.

Bailey walked to the door, dragging Matt with him. When they got on the elevator, he let the teen go. Matt shoved Bailey, before he began pacing like a newly caged tiger — rabid and ready for raw meat.

Bailey just watched readying for anything. The kid ran his hands through his messy short brown hair. Matt usually kept it neat, but after trying to kill Tyler, it was understandable why it looked crazy, wavy in every direction.

The elevator door opened and Matt marched out, Bailey following. They walked in silence for about half an hour before Matt whirled on Bailey staring those big pretty brown eyes up at him. “You should’ve let me kill him.”

“Why? Because he cut the wires of your piano, because he accused you of betrayal, or because of Cody?”

“Hell, all of the above. I’d never snitch!”

“I know.” Bailey did. Matt kept all their secrets. Especially the illegal ones. Hell, he was their accomplice on most of it.

“But after what he did to Cody, I’m not upset one bit that Walthour knows. The fucker deserves it for nearly getting Cody killed and raped. And for cutting my piano strings.” Matt growled flaring up anew. Bailey just followed him. 

Though he was tired, he needed Matt to settle down. Matt was a good-natured kid, fiercely independent, protective of his family and that included Cody. Yeah, Matt had tried to choke Tyler in his sleep a couple of time when he found out what Tyler had done, but Matt had calmed down… And it wasn’t like Tyler didn’t deserve it. Tyler was always pulling some shit.

Still Bailey loved him.

They stopped in front of a music store and Matt went inside. For about an hour, until the store closed, Matt played on an electric piano and Bailey talked to the guy behind the counter about having their piano’s strings rewired.

Calm, nearly Matt again, Bailey took his little brother to get Chinese take-out. When they got back home, the house was mostly clean, and Tyler was sweeping up glass.

Bailey looked over at Matt who ignored Tyler, putting the food on the table. He said nothing, remaining quiet as he pulled out cartons.

“Tyler,” Bailey sighed. “Apologize to Matt.”

Tyler nodded and began, “Matt-“

“Fuck you,” Matt said going to the cabinet to pull down paper plates. “When have I ever betrayed you?”

Tyler stopped sweeping and twisted his face as if actually thinking about it. Matt threw the fried rice at him before nearly jumping across the room. Bailey rushed, grabbed the guy, tackling him to the ground.

“You’re an asshole, you know that Tyler?” Bailey snapped. “Stop baiting him, or he’ll try to kill you in your sleep again.”

“I was just joking.” Tyler only shrugged.

“Not while it’s so fresh! Are you insane?” What was Bailey asking, of course Tyler was. It was part of his charm. “Finish cleaning up the glass and go to our room.”

“I want him dead!” Matt roared.

I’m not going to get any sleep tonight… 


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