Blue folded arms across his chest, shoulder-length, dark hair framing his face, dangling in his eyes. The scowl returned with a distinct brooding quality.
“We’re talking about me being insane, and you waiting another few years while I get my head together,” Blue said. “You’re going to explode — or find someone else.”
“You’re too hot when you’re pouting for me to consider anyone else.”
“I’m not pouting.”
“I’m trying to be serious, and you’re being an ass.”
“No, you’re trying to create a problem where there isn’t one.” Brady got up from his chair. “I don’t mind waiting, though I doubt it will take years. Dr. Geist is too good at her job.”
“And what happens when you get tired of waiting anyway?”
He stepped to the edge of Blue’s exaggerated personal space. “I won’t.”
“Yes, you will.”
He saw the pain of imagined betrayal fluttering in Blue’s annoyance and stepped closer.
“I won’t get tired because this isn’t a game.” He caressed Blue’s cheek. “I love you, Cub. Unlike certain people in your past, that means something to me.”
The words slid out before he realized what he was saying and he gave himself a mental slap. He hadn’t wanted to admit that to Blue yet.
Blue blinked away the shimmer of tears. “Don’t say things you don’t mean.”
“How can you say you love me? You barely know me,” Blue said.
“Why would you say that? We’ve spent close to eight months under the same roof. That’s plenty of time to get to know you.”
“You don’t know everything,” Blue said.
He smiled and took one of Blue’s hands. “Probably not, but I know more of your secrets than they ever did — and I’m still here, Jeremy.”
He’d never called Blue by his real name before and didn’t intend to do it again. Jeremy was dead, murdered by a sadist, but he was making a point. Blue was a new persona with a new life. He was happy to let him grow into it. That didn’t mean he didn’t remember the kid he used to be and what that kid had been through.
“Don’t call me that,” Blue said and pulled the hand from his grasp.
“My point is I know you as well as anyone and I still want you. If we take longer than some people to get to the part where you don’t sleep down the hall anymore, I guess that’s what happens.”
Blue swiped at his nose.
“Would it be too mushy to say I’m positive you’ll be worth the wait?” Brady asked.
“God, yes.” Blue rolled his eyes and marched toward the door. “I’m going to find a Kleenex.”
Brady smiled after him.