While usually I bring you snippets from upcoming or recently released works, I’m giving you something different for the next 15 weeks. Brand new Flash fiction pieces from Falcon Pointe.
Content Warning: While these fics take place after the event, they will discuss a school shooting.
Copyright 2017 Thianna Durston
Links to this flash fic are fine. Please do not repost elsewhere.
Moving slowly as not to wake up Finn, Santi slid out of bed and pulled on a pair of pajama pants and his robe. He stepped out of their bedroom and closed the door behind him. In the dark he could see the light from the television at the end of the hallway. Sadness clawed at him and he shuffled to the living room. “Couldn’t sleep?” he murmured as he walked into the kitchen without looking at Frank.
Frank’s voice was tired, as though he’d lived far too many lifetimes in the span of his forty-plus years. Santi somewhat understood. Not completely, as he hadn’t been in the armed forces nor had he been in the library when the attack came. But he understood that Frank was hurting.
Everyone was hurting.
Falcon Pointe had been his solace since he left home just two and a half years ago. It was home. Only that home felt shattered.
He filled the tea pot and put it on the stove. Tea seemed to help Frank when he was suffering from PTSD. Santi had only seen him after two attacks, but each time, his friend, guide, and landlord looked like he’d just been through war. As the water heated, he pulled out the selection of green teas and picked a flavor at random. Frank seemed to like them all. To Santi, they were grossly flavored water.
After filling a plate with some of the pastries in the cupboard, he poured two cups of tea. He put everything on a platter, turned off the overhead light, and joined Frank in the living room. “Here you go.” He sat on the sofa and handed one of the cups over.
“Thank you.” Frank lifted the cup to his lips and took a long sip. His eyes were glued to the television and Santi looked over to see what he found so engrossing. His lips quirked when he saw it was a Bugs Bunny cartoon.
They sipped in silence for a few minutes before Frank spoke again. “How are you and Finn doing?”
Of course his thoughts would be for them. “We’re fine.”
Frank made a buzzer sound. “Try again.”
Santi shook his head, smiling. “You’ve got enough on your plate.”
“You and Finn are practically kin. You’re more important than anyone. How are you doing?” The emphasis on the last four words told Santi that if he didn’t answer honestly, there would be a spanking in his near future. For a moment, he considered whether he should lie. Would spanking Santi help Frank deal with everything going on? When Frank cleared his throat, he decided caution was the best course.
“We’re doing. The hardest part is the thought of going back to campus on Monday. It’s scary enough to consider me going. But I’m a bit terrified to know Finn could be in danger.” That wasn’t difficult to admit. He and Frank had conversed many times about how it was easier to be worried for someone you loved than it was to be worried about yourself.
“The only thing that’s going to stop that fear, unfortunately, is going back,” Frank said with a sigh. “I want both of you to talk to Levlin. He’s been busy with Rafe and his clients, but you both need to talk this out with someone. I know it probably only sounds like words, but schools don’t usually get hit twice.” He took another sip of tea. “I’ve got to go up to campus today. There’s a general meeting for staff to go over everything so we know how to help the students.”
For a long moment there was silence as Frank continued to watch the television. When he spoke again, his voice was low. “My first thought when I heard the shots was wondering if you two were in the library.” His voice grew husky. “I’ve lived through intense battles where half the men around me never left the field alive. But I’ve never felt so damned impotent as I did leaving my office and spotting that bastard with a fucking semi-automatic rifle picking off those students one-by-one.” He gulped the rest of the tea. “Or so fucking guilty for feeling relieved that neither of you were in sight. Nine students dead because of that twisted excuse for a human being and all I could think about was you.”
Touched, Santi fought back the stinging in his eyes. Frank had been more a support to him and Finn than their own fathers had ever been. “I think that’s normal,” he whispered. “To automatically think of the people you love. When I heard about the shooting, my first thought was for you and Finn, my second for Rafe and Nick. When I realized it was at the library, I—” Santi choked off and clenched his eyes shut as those five minutes went through his head where he’d worried that Frank had been shot.
Frank moved over and sat beside him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. “It’s all right, Santi. Crying is not unmanly. Levlin says it’s the best thing you can do after a tragedy like this. Cry or go conquer something.”
Tears dripping down his cheeks, Santi turned and wrapped his arms around Frank. “I don’t know what I’d do if you’d died.”
“Shh. You don’t need to worry about it. I’m alive. But if something had happened to me, you would be fine, Santi. The men in our circle would have rushed in to make sure of it. You don’t just have me. You have all of us.” Frank pressed a kiss to the top of his head.
“I wonder how everyone else is doing,” Santi murmured.
A deep chuckle resounded in Frank’s chest. “That’s my boy. Always thinking of others before yourself. You can be assured that everyone’s pulled pretty tight. I’ve received texts from every household. Since it was a hate crime, the fear is that much worse. But we’re handling it. And we’re making sure that every man in our circle has at least one or more men to lean on.” His arm tightened and his voice grew husky. “The thing we can’t do, Santi, is let the fear and hatred win. We can’t let that kind of act keep us down. We’ve fought a long, hard war for our rights and nobody is going to take that away from us. Nobody,” he said sharply.
The door opened down the hallway and the padding of Finn’s feet on the hardwood floor came close. “Can’t sleep?” Finn asked as he sat down next to Santi and hugged him.
“I don’t think anyone’s sleeping much tonight,” Frank said. Santi turned enough to put an arm around his boyfriend.
Finn leaned his head against Santi’s shoulder. “I wish we could do something. But I don’t know what to do.”
And that was the problem. What could they do? Nine men were gunned down, executed in the library due to the fact the gunman had decided all gays must die. Frank could have been next if he hadn’t tackled the guy and knocked him out.
Santi hated feeling off center. He hadn’t felt that way since he and Finn moved in with Frank. It might take time, but he knew their group could come up with something, some way, to overcome the event. He just wished they already had. Feeling afraid was something he did not enjoy.
If you have enjoyed this tiny window into Falcon Pointe, check out the first books in the Men of Falcon Pointe series.
Flash Fic #2 will be posted on Wednesday, Oct 11th.
Check out the other works in progress for the WIP Wednesday bloghop: