"Wait! So that means Caleb is going to be at the club when I'm there?!" Danni giggled as she slammed the car door, making Alec gasp in alarm.
"Hey! Easy on the car," He hissed, putting his hand on the hood and rubbing it tenderly, sticking out his bottom lip. "It's okay, baby. I won't let her hurt you anymore."
"You're so lame," Danni murmured, grabbing her fencing bag.
They walked up the steps and pulled on the insanely heavy door. As it opened, air rushed into Danni's face, making her braids flutter backwards. Alec noticed her eyes widen as she saw Caleb walking out of the locker room, his mask tucked under his arm and his sabre in hand. He seemed to be in a deep conversation with the Asian man that was yelling at him at the tournament. He glanced up from their discussion and waved at Alec and his sister. The hazel-eyed boy smiled warmly and waved back, Danni in too much of a daze to respond. Her brother smirked and grabbed Danni by the arm, dragging her toward the fencing sensation.
"W- What are you doing?!" Danni stuttered, stumbling behind her brother.
"We're going to say hi," Alec grinned, looking back at the blonde. "What else would we do?"
"Well, you could let me go so I can go warm up."
"You don't want to see the hot and dreamy fencing star?" Alec gasped, dramatically.
"Shut up," Danni mumbled, grouchily. Before she could get out of her brother's tight grip, they had reached Caleb and the irritated looking man.
"Hey, Caleb," Alec smiled, a starry look in his eyes.
"Oh hey, Alec! Hey, Danni! Instructor Delacruz, can you give us a moment?"
The brunette's instructor glared at him for a second and then nodded, walking away, briskly.
"So Alec, are you staying the whole time to watch Danni fence?"
"Yeah!" Alec said, enthusiastically.
"Whoa, really?" She turned her head to look at her brother in astonishment.
"Yeah, I think fencing's interesting."
"Since the tournament. It was
entertaining to watch."
Alec looked away innocently as Danni glared at him with suspicion.
"Riiight," She squinted her eyes and picked up her bag. "Well I'm going to change. See ya!"
Alec watched as his little sister ran to the locker room, disappearing around the corner. He looked up at Caleb who was staring at him with a raised eyebrow.
"What?!" Alec snapped, his face flushing.
"Nothing," The brown-eyed teen replied, putting his hands up innocently. "It's just, heh, never mind. I gotta go warm up. I'll talk to you later."
"Ok, I won't hold you up."
Caleb smiled, shyly, and hesitantly walked onto the strips to begin his practice. Alec watched as he ran up and down the strip, occasionally performing high knees, side steps, frankensteins, and other different leg warm ups, his body relaxed despite his intense speed. He stopped and began stretching just as Danni's class began. For some reason, no matter how much Alec wanted to, he couldn't keep his eyes off Caleb. He sat there, mesmerized, as he watched Caleb go through the different exercises.
"Leader Follower." Delacruz said, walking onto the strip as Caleb drank from his water bottle. He nodded and grabbed his mask and Sabre, stepping onto the strip across from the instructor and mirroring his position. Alec watched as Delacruz stepped forward and Caleb retreated backwards, the space between them remaining consistent as they moved simultaneously up and down the strip. Their feet flew until Delacruz lunged forward his blade missing Caleb's chest by millimeters as he jumped backwards and lunged back at him while Delacruz recovered into his ready position.
"Good, now let's get serious," Delacruz ordered through his mask. Caleb nodded and they resumed their game, traveling the strip, their feet blurs and their blades clanging. The brunette's head turned slightly towards Alec as he took a step forward, his sole dragging too low to the ground, causing him to stumble headfirst, toward Delacruz's blade. He fell to the ground as his instructor's sabre came in contact with his shoulder, easily hitting his target.
"You need to focus," The Asian instructor demanded, crossing his arms. "Twenty push-ups."
Caleb exhaled with aggravation, sitting up as he ripped off his mask, his eyes shooting daggers at Danni's class full of students watching him. They quickly resumed their practice. Alec stared at him with wide eyes. He'd never seen Caleb so angry. The prodigy got back onto his knees and straightened his legs, his arms bending, lowering his body to the ground. As he pushed himself back up, sweat dripped from his face into a puddle on the floor, his breathing heavy and irregular. Alec's cheeks were burning as Caleb's biceps bulged with every push-up. After doing what his instructor ordered, he picked himself up off the floor and put his mask back on, continuing his lesson. His eyes stayed trained on Delacruz now, not making another mistake for the rest of the 45 minutes.
Alec looked up as the door to the club opened and his mom walked in, running a hand through her windswept hair. She sat beside him in the spectator's area, conversing about random stuff as they waited for Danni to shower and change. The hazel-eyed boy looked up when he noticed Caleb and his sister come around the corner together, his sister's face bright with excitement.
"Mom!" She ran up to the blonde woman, dragging Caleb behind her by the sleeve. "Mom, this is Caleb Muran. The fencer I was telling you about!"
"Oh, really?" She grinned, glancing over at Alec, who was mesmerized by Caleb's still-damp hair that was dripping onto his clean, yet wrinkled t-shirt. "I'm Elaine Valencia. But you can just call me Mom..."
He stared at her awkwardly.
"Say, Caleb," Elaine said, her face lighting up as she exchanged glances with Danni. "What do you say to coming over for dinner tonight?"
Caleb stared at Alec's mother for a moment, as if taken aback by the offer. He smiled nervously, rubbing the back of his head.
"I- I don't know," he stuttered, looking away, his cheeks flushed. "I don't usually get invited places like friend's houses. But I'll call home and ask."
Caleb backed up uncomfortably and walked out the door, pulling a cellphone out of his back pocket. Once he was out of sight, Alec turned to his mom, his breathing suddenly rapid and his eyes wide and pleading.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!" Alec squealed, lifting his hands up in misperception. His mother laughed inwardly, her eyebrows creasing in amusement.
"Doing what a mother does best," She giggled. "Embarrassing her single, gay son."
"You're so mean," He whined as Danni and Elaine began laughing up a storm. "You know, don't you?"
"What, that you like the kid? Of course. It's pretty obvious
" her voice dropped slightly and her eyes shifted to the side. "And your sister told me," She muttered, returning her attention to Alec with an innocent smile.
"Why must my sister share your evil personality?" He asked, grimly.
The Valencia's looked up as Caleb walked back into the room, stuffing his phone back into his pocket.
"I can go," He chuckled a bit, smiling slightly.
"Ok! We drove separately," Elaine said. "So you have the choice to ride with the amazing me and the gorgeous Danni Valencia. Or you can ride with that loser, Alec."
She laughed and jokingly elbowed Alec in the side, the golden-haired boy shooting hazel daggers at his mom.
"I'll go with Alec," He laughed quietly, keeping his eyes on the floor.
"Then it's settled!" Elaine snorted, grabbing Danni by the wrist and dragging her out the door.
Alec and Caleb walked into the parking lot, Alec opening the passenger's side door for Caleb as the brunette admired the mundane vehicle. He sat in the seat, his back rigid and his eyes fixed on the road ahead. Alec glanced at him from the corner of his eye, his slouched position and habit of driving with only one hand on the wheel feeling improper and lazy compared to Caleb. He shifted uncomfortably, his eyes focusing on the road.
" He muttered his head tilted away from Caleb's turned gaze, "Why'd you come in my car?" Caleb stared at him a moment as if he was trying to come up with a plausible answer.
"The rest of your family
that I've met at least
" he muttered looking away, his face flustered, "scares me
" He shuddered slightly.
Alec stared at him then burst out laughing. Caleb looked at him, astonished. "I know right!" He gasped for air. "They're horrifying!" He struggled to keep driving straight as he wiped the tears from his eyes. Caleb laughed along with him, doubled over in his seat.
"I can't believe you agreed with me!" Caleb blurted between giggles.
"Are you kidding? Everyone thinks that about their families," Alec stated without thinking.
"I don't. My parents are very admirable and work hard day and night. I don't see them enough to have much of a say on their personality."
"Seriously? You don't know what your parents are like?"
"They're always busy with work, just like I am with fencing. We don't see each other unless it's some important event."
"Well then who takes care of you?"
"Oh, my butler. But I usually fend for myself. I don't like to demand things from the staff."
Alec smirked and kept his eyes on the road.
"Butler? Staff? What are you, rich or something?"
Caleb looked over at Alec, shrugging a bit.
you don't have those things?"
Caleb looked down, his eyebrows furrowing and his cheeks flushing with embarrassment.
"Oh," He whispered, weakly. "Sorry."
The golden-haired boy smiled warmly.
"Don't be sorry," he chuckled.
He's so cute, Alec thought to himself, his cheeks reddening.
After a few moments, Alec pulled into the driveway of his house, putting the car in park and removing the keys. He climbed out and guided Caleb to the front of his home, the bright red door standing out against the pale body of the structure. Alec walked into the building, getting a whiff of meat and vegetables being cooked.
"Steak and 'taters for dinner!" Alec's mom yelled from the kitchen. Caleb's eyes widened as he entered the house, a wide grin stretching over his face.
"Aww," He giggled, putting a hand over one of Alec's baby pictures hanging on the wall. "This house is so quaint and homey."
Looking up from her book, Danni announced, "We have to go to Dick's Sporting Goods tomorrow."
Alec exhaled, slowly, his shoulders slumping.
"Whyyyyyy?" He complained. "Can't mom take you?"
"No, she has to work and I need new sports bras."
"Fine," He sighed, dropping onto the couch next to Danni.
Caleb stood awkwardly in the doorway, his hands behind his back as he let his eyes wander.
"You know you can sit down," Danni told Caleb, staring at him with a raised eyebrow. "It's not like we're the King of England's family."
Caleb smiled a bit before hearing the door swing open, a man striding in, his black, messy hair and wrinkled clothes covered in grease.
"That smells amazing, Lainer, is that steak?" Alec's dad froze, mid-sentence, his eyes landing on Caleb.
"Hello, Sir," The tall brunette put his hand out for him to shake. "My name is Caleb Muran."
"I'm Bryan. You don't need to call me, Sir or Mr. Valencia for that matter. Makes me feel older than I already am."
Caleb smiled, his awkwardness slowly fading away and dropped his hand.
"Ok, Brryyann," He said, slowly, as if testing out the name, making everyone in the room burst out laughing.
Alec stood up and walked over to a set of black, spiral stairs, motioning for Caleb to follow, the metal of the steps resonating as they climbed them, reaching the top where a loft was. On the left was a queen sized bed with a flat screen TV across from it, sitting inside an armoire. Caleb followed Alec straight ahead, coming up to a closet as Alec pushed the door open.
Caleb hesitated a moment as he watched Alec walk into the closet, disappearing behind hangars of clothes.
"You coming?" Alec asked, his voice drifting from inside the space despite the fact that he had vanished from sight. Caleb walked into the closet, behind the hangars and came out into a small area. He ducked, his shoulders hunched over as he walked over to Alec sitting on the ground, his back against the wall.
"Why are we in here?" Caleb asked, his eyebrows creased in wonder.
"The hiding spot."
"It's where I come when I want to get away from everything. When my parents and Danni are driving me up the wall, I escape to the hiding spot. It's my bat cave!"
Caleb snorted, taking a seat next to the shorter boy.
"So why are you showing me?"
Alec laughed a bit, shrugging his shoulders.
"I dunno," He mumbled, a crooked smile on his lips. "Just 'cause."
"Well that makes me feel happy," Caleb said, fiddling with his fingers. "I'm glad
Without warning Caleb's arms wrapped around the golden-haired boy's shoulders, his face smothering Alec's shirt.
"W- Wha?" Alec gasped slightly, his hands gracelessly in the air. He sighed and wrapped his arms around the brunette's waist, a small smile forming his lips.
"That's what friends do right?" Caleb lifted his head to whisper in Alec's ear.
"What do you mean?"
"I- I don't have many friends," He murmured, not releasing the golden-haired teen and resting his chin on Alec's shoulder. "You're my first actually."
"Really?" Alec pushed Caleb back to stare into his dark eyes. "You're serious?"
"Y- Yeah. I don't go to public schools and I am so busy with fencing that I don't have the time to make friends. So yeah, you're my first."
Alec gawked at Caleb.
"Aw," He pouted, slowly bringing his hand up to caress the prodigy's face, his eyelids lowering. His face moved closer to Caleb as he closed his eyes, his lips parting slightly.
"A- Alec," Caleb stuttered, causing the hazel-eyed boy to freeze.
Shit, Alec quickly leaned back, dropping his hand to the side. What am I doing?
He looked up at Caleb, the boy motionless, his eyes wide and his cheeks a deep crimson in the dim light.
"Sorry," Alec chuckled, raising his eyebrows in bemusement. "I was just messing with you."
Caleb laughed and punched Alec's shoulder, playfully, shifting his position on the floor.
"Boys?" Elaine called from the bottom of the staircase. "Dinner's ready!"
Alec and Caleb emerged from the closet, laughing and jostling each other as they raced down the stairs, taking a seat next to each other at the dinner table. After everyone had sat down and had filled their plates with food, the room was submerged in an awkward silence.
"So... Caleb," Alec's mom said, breaking the quiet and staring at the boy in wonder. "Are you gay? Alec is."
Alec dropped his fork inches from his mouth, the loud din of the metal crashing onto the ceramic plate making everyone wince.
"Mom!" He yelled across the table at her, between clenched teeth.
"What? I was just wondering," She pouted, sticking out her bottom lip.
Caleb smiled a bit and leaned forward.
" He glanced over at Alec. "I have a girlfriend."