The jarring sound of his cell phone ringing tore into Gavin’s peaceful sleep and he squinted one eye open to stare at the bright green numbers next to his bed that reatd, two-twenty-five am. Nothing good ever happened after two o’clock in the morning. Groaning he flipped over onto his back, reaching blindly for his phone with one hand, while trying to scrub the sleep from his eyes with the other.
Yawning, he answered the blaring contraption in the middle of yawn, “’ello?”
“Can you come get me?” The voice on the other end of the line was soft, defeated.
He pulled the phone away from his ear and glanced at it, he didn’t recognize the number. “Who is this?”
Gavin blinked a couple of times, opening his eyes wider, shuffling to a seated position against his headboard. Cole Winters. A twenty-one year old bane of his existence.
“What happened to your car?” Gavin threw his legs over the side of his bed, setting his phone back on his nightstand on speaker.
“It kind of got towed.”
“And money for a cab?” Gavin snagged a shirt off the floor, sniffed it, and then pulled it on. He really needed to do laundry.
“I lost my wallet,” the sentence came out in a low murmur that Gavin barely picked up.
Gavin shook his head and jerked on his jeans before sitting down to put on his shoes with a resigned sigh. “And I was the first person you called?”
Gavin shrugged into his jacket then grabbed his wallet and keys. “Why not your brother or Aaron?”
“I was asleep,” Gavin snapped. Picking up the phone, he took it off speaker and stalked out of the room. “You know, like a normal person on a Thursday night after two am.”
“Please, Gavin,” Cole’s voice held a desperate quality that called out to the knight in shining armor that lived inside Gavin.
One of these days Gavin was going to find that little metal clad bastard and strangle him, because he needed to sleep and Cole was taking advantage of his weakness. There was a time for saving people and a time for letting them learn a lesson, by freezing their ass off in the chilly Northwest fall weather. Now should be a time for teaching. Stupid savior complex.
“Gavin,” Cole prodded. “I’ll owe you one.”
“You already owe me enough to buy your soul.” Gavin strode through his home and opened the door to the brisk night air. “Stop your groveling. I’m on my way. Just give me an address.”
A squeal met his answer. “You are the most awesome man I’ve never slept with.”
Gavin snorted. “Well, there’s a tagline.”
“I’m at the gas station a block from Scandal.”
“Of course you are.” Gavin unlocked his black Rav 4 and climbed in. “Isn’t it a school night?”
“No. Do you want a list of my classes…Dad?” Cole replied, sarcasm practically dripped off the last word.
“Hardy, har, har.” The engine roared to life and he backed out onto the street, making his way to save the ungrateful little twit. “I don’t want that responsibility. I’ll be there in five minutes, watch for me.”
“Yes, oh mighty one.”
Cole hung up before Gavin could get in a response. Clutching the steering wheel he counted to ten and took a deep breath. Why he let Cole get to him, he had no idea and why he continued to help him baffled him more still.
The pale yellow lights of the gas station came into view and he pulled in glancing around but no waif of an evil sleep-stealing demon ran amok in the parking lot. Instead a lump shaped Cole pushed away from the brick wall and stepped through the curtain of shadows into the light. Cole’s normally perfectly styled spiked locks were flattened and slicked back with the misting rain. His pale skin appeared even more like ivory with the sheen of water and droplets slipping from his hair along his temples. All in all, he was soaked. A grin curved Cole’s lips as he gave a little wave, seemingly undeterred by the icy shower he was in.
The man was crazy. He had to be freezing. Gavin could make out the black fabric that clung like a wet second skin, and the jeans were equally drenched. Gavin wondered if the black leather boots were filled with reservoir of water. Wow. If this was what clubbing looked like, he was happy he’d missed out.
Running a hand over his face he fought a smile, he couldn’t help the end thought that swept in. Cole did manage to look adorable, in a drowned puppy kind of way.
Excerpt from WIP- Firehouse Six, book 6 (Cole and Gavin)