- Brother // Matt Corby 

Paige Walker;

“Please, for the love of God tell me you have some booze.” Were pretty much the first words out of my mouth as I let myself in Jared’s apartment. He’d given me a key ages ago but I generally didn’t use it - either I came back here with him, or he was letting himself into my apartment. Today though was a desperate situation, I was run down from work and showing my parents around and as much as I loved them, after having seen a lot of the city dad was know asking if I had any friends that would be interested in being a character in his new story. Persistently. Somehow I doubted any of them wanted to end up murdered, even if it was only in print.

“Funnily enough I don’t actually.” Was the answer that came back, as I turned to shut the door “though Jared might have some lying around here.”

“Cole.” I found myself smiling brightly as I spun back around. Jared’s brother was sprawled along the entire length of the couch, his feet propped up on the arm. A practically empty sport drink bottle was clutched in his right hand which was pretty much trailing the floor and television was on. “How’s it going?” I asked.

He climbed of the couch, standing to greet me with a cheeky grin, “Fine, good.” He waved his hand dismissively as he answered the question, allowing me to wrap my arms around his waste in a hug. I was struck again by how huge the guy was, Jared wasn’t short, not by a long mile but he looked practically tiny in comparison to Cole - I didn’t even come up to his shoulder.

“I’m going to ignore the fact that’s a lie.” I smiled, stepping back and brushing past him to situate myself on the couch. He glared at me slightly but didn’t say anything, instead electing to sit next to me.

“So where’s your brother?” I asked, curious as to why Cole was here but Jared apparently wasn’t.

“I see how it is.” He narrowed his eyes at me and clutched at his heart, “You’re here just for him, even if I am the smarter and better looking one.” Yet he still didn’t answer my question.

“Not going to open that can of worms.” I rolled my eyes, brotherly bickering was even bitchier than that between sisters I was sure, “Though it is funny I came looking for Jared at his apartment isn’t it? Silly me.”

“The universe was leading you to me,” he said arrogantly and right now I was struck with the similarities between the two brothers. Seriously the egos on the two of them competed with mine, and I’d been called conceited more times in my life than I could count.

“Remind me to curse the universe later.” I sighed, flipping my hair over my shoulder in a show of conceited callousness, “Now where the fuck is Jared?”

“You wound me.” He said, almost like a question. I just lowered my very best glare at him - one reserved for special occasions and Jared - causing him to put his hands up in mock defence, “Okay I surrounded. Princess Jared is having a nana nap.” 

“The hell is a nana nap?” I asked, getting up off the couch even though my exhausted body just wanted to stay there.

“A nap that an old woman takes.” He looked at me like I was incredibly stupid, which okay maybe it was obvious but how many times did I have to emphasise I was freaking exhausted.

“You’re brother is not an old woman.” I told him as I made my way to the bedroom that I knew was Jared’s, obviously I knew which one was his, “Trust me I’d know.” I threw over my shoulder with a wink before slipping into Jared’s room.

“Good morning princess.” I chorus softly, knowing Jared was most probably awake, it wasn’t even 10 o’clock yet.

“You escaped Cole then?” Was the reply I got back sounding 100% awake. And did I have to mention that obviously I’d gotten past Cole if I was talking to him.

“No I am Cole.” I deadpanned, hesitantly making my way towards the bed. Jared’s room was generally quite clean, but knowing my luck I would trip over a stray shoe.

“You sound to sexy to be my brother.” was the reply I got and well let me get back to you on wether I found that cute of creepy, so I elected not to even acknowledge it had been said.

“Why exactly is Cole here?” I asked, still feeling out in front of me with my right foot. It wasn’t exactly unusual for Cole to be here during the day, he just usually was home to put his kids to bed earlier than this.

I didn’t get a reply straight away, instead I felt a hand yank on my wrist and a second later I had tumbled onto the bed, Jared’s arms wrapped around me. Well actually technically I had tumbled onto Jared

“Are we cuddling?” I asked with a smirk, as he tightened his arms around me and rolled so I was now next to him, not on top of him,

“I dunno, you tell me.” He replied smugly. He was totally smirking as well, I’d bet money on it.

“Why are you lying here in the dark.” I said instead, curious but also wanting to avoid that. I was avoiding a lot of things at the moment. Maybe I was always avoiding everything, wasn’t going to look at that thought for to long, or ever.

“So Cole thinks I’m sleeping.” He replied in that condescending tone he was so good at and used to often. The one that implied he thought I was the biggest idiot under the sun. Yet another thing those two boys had in common.

“Of course, that makes sense.” I said dryly, except it didn’t. “why is Cole here Jared?” I asked again, more forcefully this time because yes I was tired but I was also flipping curious.

“He’s been staying with me all week.” He told me, and wow it showed how little contact I’d had with him recently because normally I would know something like this the minute it happened.

“Why?” I asked, moving past my - totally uncalled for and illogical - disgruntlement, when faced with a new mystery. I hadn’t had a puzzle in a long time, and I could do with a good one, 

“I don’t know exactly.” He shrugged, which I could feel largely because he still had his arms wrapped around me.

“But you know something.” I prodded him, simultaneously poking him gently in the side with my finger. He clearly did know something, I knew that man well.

“Not really. He didn’t really say anything.” That of course was a most blatant of lies. I considered calling him on it, wondering what on earth he had to keep from me before deciding I was to tired. I’d call him on it in the morning. For now I could do with a nap.

“Alright fine.” I sighed, settling - and totally not snuggling - into his arms and shutting my eyes, still completely clothes, “But I’ve had a long day, so let me sleep.”

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