TWTOO Bittersweet

3 Players Gonna Get Played


3: Players Gonna Get Played

“Why is he still checking up on us?” Matt asked scowling up at Bailey from his counter height chair at the steel dining table as he and Tyler entered the open living area. “He can’t still be pretending to care.”

“He does care, in his own way.” Bailey grabbed the cue ball from the pool table as he passed it.

“Bullshit,” Tyler said with Matt nodding agreement.

“If he cared then why tell on Tyler to the one person who could have him killed without blinking?” Matt leaned forward and tapped on the table emphasizing each word. “Face it Bailey, your father wants Tyler dead.”

“Then he can get you and Matt back.” Tyler marched into the kitchen and began examining the toaster, then opening cabinets. “That son of a bitch has probably bugged the place. That’s the only way she would have found out. “

“Matt, how did you get her to confess? Dad’s people are usually loyal,” Bailey asked tossing the ball from hand to hand to keep from punching something.

“I remember the last time when dad found out about you and Tyler. Tyler believed the house cleaner who was hired by dad that time too, might have bugged our old house. So… I asked her how much Radford paid her. She pretended she didn’t understand, but I saw it in her eyes. When I said I was going to tell Tyler, she ran.” Matt grinned, wiggling his eyebrows.

Bailey groaned understanding. Tyler was always the model citizen around anyone other than family. So for her to run like that, she knew the vengeful Tyler better than she should.

“The motherfucker even used the same tactic. I would’ve thought he’d use more ingenuity.” Tyler began to ramble as he got on his hands and knees to open lower cabinets. He stuck his head inside some to inspect the roofs of the counters. “Yet… in a way that was genius. I would’ve never guessed he’d use the same trick twice, because I was expecting something befitting of my brilliance. The asshole played me.” Tyler slammed each door shut after checking. “I’m going to have to get a detector. And some other equipment…” He mumbled as his brain worked.

Matt gave Bailey a cheesy grin. “I hate to say I’m enjoying his frustration-“

“No, the hell you don’t.” Bailey glared.

“No, the hell I don’t.”

Bailey sighed, resigned that Tyler would be preoccupied for awhile trying to debug the house. “You’ll have to help me do the cleaning until we find a new housekeeper.”

“What about Tyler?” Matt asked getting up.

Bailey glanced over at his lover who continued to mumble scratching his head, face screwed up in thought. “I think we can agree, he’s not going to be with us mentally for a while.”

Matt snorted. “Was he ever?”

That afternoon, coming back from lunch, Matt and Bailey walked into their apartment to find Tyler up on a ladder taking down the light fixture on the ceiling. “Listening devices.” He announced.

Down on the floor, lay a small device where Tyler probably dropped it.

“That’s the second. I’m still checking. Go have ice cream or something,” Tyler said. “Take your violin.”

Bailey sat Tyler’s lunch on the counter as Matt ran to get his violin. On their way downstairs, Matt said, “Should we get a hotel room? He’s going to be doing this all night.”

Bailey smirked. “No, he won’t. I’ll make sure of it,” he said suggestively.

“Ewww…” Matt groaned.

They walked to the nearest park where Bailey found some shade from the hot Miami summer sun. Matt played beside him with his open case out on the sidewalk. After about fifteen minutes of playing, some of the people walking by started putting money in the case. Bailey’s jaw dropped. Did they think Matt was a street performer begging for money?

Bailey was about to get up and close the case, but Matt said, “Don’t. That’s my ice cream money for later.”

So damn independent. Chuckling, Bailey sat back against the tree and closed his eyes.

When it started getting dark, Matt began packing up and Bailey decided to call his mother and warn her.

“You caught me at a good time,” The woman said. “How are you?”

“Okay. We think dad is going after Tyler…indirectly,” he said without telling her everything that Tyler had done.

She blew a breath before saying, “I warned you that he could be vindictive. He doesn’t like when things don’t go his way. Whatever he plotted, it sounds like he failed. Which means… he’ll try again.”

“That’s what I feared. And if I know Tyler, he’s not going to let this go either.”

“Yeah,” she said getting quiet.

“Mom, why did you marry dad? You must have known what he was like?”

“The problem is… I didn’t.” Her voice lowered a bit. “The man is like Tyler. He can charm anyone. He makes you fall for him. Love him. And if you’re unlucky like me, you get to see the real him. Unlike Tyler, Travis can’t be controlled. He does what he wants and pisses off anyone he wants. And he hates his image to be tarnished by anything. But I guess you’ve already seen that.”

“If he hates his image to be tarnished so much, why does he have so many enemies?”

“Because even a scorpion can’t hide its nature. Pissing people off, hurting people it’s what fuels him.”

Bailey closed his eyes. “I don’t want Tyler to be like that.”

“Me either, sweetie. So do what you must to keep him from being that man. Because while Tyler is conniving, he could be a whole lot worse. You all be careful.”

“We will.” He looked down at Matt who was counting his money. “You want to talk to, mom?”

“Why not.” Matt handed Bailey his money and took the phone.

The two talked more like friends than mother and son. Bailey was glad of that at least. For a while, he thought Matt didn’t really like their mother. But now that she was coming around to accepting their relationship, Matt was being friendly.

They walked down the street to get ice cream, Bailey checking out the scenery as he listened to his brother’s changing voice. It reminded him of the time his own voice changed. The girls teased him until he grew a foot taller and put on muscle, and then they were always around him. He wondered what Matt would be like once he started dating. The kid only seemed to like music, so would there ever be room for more than that and his family?

“Hey, mom, you’re impeding on my ice cream,” Matt said when they arrived at the ice cream shop. “That means hang up.” Then he laughed before handing Bailey his phone back.

“What did she say?” Bailey asked in wonder sliding it in his pocket.

Matt took his money back from him. “She called me a mean hermit crab and hung up.”

“She has the hermit part right,” Bailey said looking down at Matt’s smug face.

“I prefer the term solitary.”

They got ice cream and headed home. Matt had enough to pay for Bailey’s as well. When they got back, the house smelled like Tyler cooked. Matt and Bailey looked at each other confused. Tyler didn’t cook.

In the kitchen, they found cartons of aluminum pans that had been opened. He had food delivered. And it looked like Tyler started without them. Bailey and Matt, having finished their ice cream, ate the food. And it was good. Southern cuisine at its finest.

Tyler was on his computer working intently, not paying them any attention.

“I guess I should get to work distracting him.” Bailey grinned warming up his hands, eager.

Matt rolled his eyes. “I love noise canceling head phones. Goodnight.” He said putting the empty containers in the trash.

Bailey walked over to Tyler and slid his hand over his brother’s shoulder and down the front of his shirt before stopping to roll a nipple between fingers. Tyler let his head fall back and his hand came up to touch Bailey’s face.

“Cheater…” Tyler’s husky voice sent shivers through Bailey.

“Bedroom. Now.”

Tyler licked his lips nodding his head. With a few key strokes, his computer went to sleep.

In the bedroom, Bailey shut the door and Tyler began removing his clothes. After removing his own, Bailey crawled onto the bed, joining Tyler there. They began kissing and stroking heated skin when Bailey grew sleepy. He tried to shake it off…but… His mind fogged and he wondered what… What…? “Ty…” The word came out thick, lazy.

“I love you, Bay,” was the last thing he heard, lips kissing him the last thing he recalled, before he collapsed on the bed.


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