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.
David glanced up at the clock on the wall. Not even noon yet. With a sigh he reached up and pushed hair back from his face. It was the longest week on record. He’d get up on the stand and swear it on a stack of bibles ten feet high. The sheer amount of stress one event could cause was staggering. He had the feeling the discipline room in their home had been used more that week than in the last two months combined. How Cory’s arm didn’t get tired, he didn’t know.
He fidgeted in his chair, grimacing as the burn softly sizzled along his skin. Man he’d needed that last night. Ordinarily he would have acted out to get such a spanking, but he and Cory had been trying to keep Bastien, Alan, and Trent calm. He had not wanted to send them into overdrive with his actions. So he’d asked for the damned thing straight out.
While not one hundred percent positive, he’d come to one conclusion. Spankings he asked for with words were more painful than those he asked for with actions. Whether that was because he asked for it or because Cory hit harder, he had no clue. But either way the discipline gave him what he needed. His mind was clear. For the first time in almost a week, he was able to concentrate on work and on the question Cory posed.
What could they focus on that was so incredibly good that it would overpower the fear?
He and Trent had discussed for months wanting to beat back bullies on a more personal scale. They just hadn’t quite come to figure out how.
The sound of the main door to his offices opening drew his attention. “I’ll be right out,” he called.
“No worries. It’s just me.” Trent stepped around the door and smiled. He looked tired, his usual blue eyes a dark gray and his soft face gaunt with a slight green pallor to it. “You look better.”
David snorted. “My ass still hurts.”
“Yeah. I don’t know how you did it. It still shocks me that Bastien asks when he needs it. I prefer for Cory to take that decision out of my hands, thank you very much.”
With a chuckle, David leaned back in his chair. “What’s up?”
Trent let out a loud breath and sat on the edge of his desk. “Cory’s called a meeting for tonight.”
“With us?” David asked, unsurprised. The stress was still high in the house and they needed some sort of break.
“With everyone. He was on the phone with Frank when I left. So far I heard him speaking to Nelson, Tobi, Ethan, and Roderick. I believe he wants to brainstorm ideas.”
That wasn’t a bad idea. They had been trying to think of something but nothing had been big enough to combat the shock and fear that had settled over Falcon Pointe. Perhaps with a room full of men, they could come up with one idea that had power. “What time?”
“Eight. It’s potluck so there should be a little bit of everything.” Trent rubbed his palm up and down his thigh. It was a subconscious movement but David had seen it too many times not to take note. “I was thinking…” He glanced over and shrugged. “I don’t want to be there.”
Startled, David sat up straight. “Why not?” Trent loved being with their large non-related family. Not wanting to be at an event was a bad sign.
“I feel like shit,” Trent said honestly. “I keep talking with students, trying to help them. But it’s difficult to believe you’re helping people when you can’t take your own advice. I know it will take time. I know that there’s a series of emotions I’ll go through before I come to acceptance. I know all this, David.” He clenched his fists and tears sprang into his eyes. “But all I want is for it to be over. I hate living in fear. I hate it when Cory leaves the house, wondering if he’ll return. I hate when you or Bastien or Alan leaves—” He choked and covered his mouth.
David was out of his seat and around the desk instantly, yanking Trent into his arms. “Hey. This is natural.”
“I know,” Trent said in a raspy voice. “I tell myself that all the time. But it doesn’t help.”
Slightly amused, he rocked Trent side to side. “I think this goes under that ‘physician, heal thyself’ joke. You know too much and expect too much of yourself. All you need to do is get through right now. Don’t think about tomorrow. The rest will come.”
While Bastien and Alan were dealing with the emotions of others, Trent seemed the hardest hit. Not that that was surprising. Trent took upon himself the emotions of those he helped. It made him an incredibly gifted therapist. Unfortunately, it ran him down constantly.
Trent didn’t respond, but he didn’t let go either. David pulled out his phone and sent a quick text to Cory.
David: Trent’s really down. He’s at my office and nothing’s helping.
David: He wants to duck out of the meeting tonight.
Cory: On my way.
David slipped the phone back into his pocket and held Trent tighter. There had to be a better way, an easier way, for Trent to do his job and not have it run him down. And while he knew over the next few weeks and months that things would get better, he wanted that magic elixir now. He loved Trent and hated seeing him like this.
Fifteen minutes later the main door opened. David looked up when Cory walked into the office. Trent was asleep on the floor with his head in David’s lap after having cried himself to sleep.
Cory’s eyes softened. “How was he?” he whispered.
“He knows all the reasons but he’s muddled and thinks he should just be magically okay now.”
“Unsurprising. Trent wants to help everyone and is afraid he’ll lose it before he can. I think I’m taking him away for the weekend. He needs to get away from all this.”
“Good idea.” He helped Cory pick Trent up and walked him out so he could open doors. “I’ll see you tonight at the meeting.”
Cory looked over his shoulder after settling Trent into the backseat of his car. “We’re going to come up with an idea tonight. Even if nobody leaves until the sun comes up. The cloud hanging over us is too dark right now and all of us are paying the price.” He glanced down at a still sleeping Trent and pushed a spare lock of hair out of his face. When he looked back at David, his expression was resolved. “This is killing him. And it stops tonight. So start making lists of anything you can think of. We’re going to share every idea and those ideas will build into bigger ideas until we come up with something that is huge enough and important enough to galvanize us into positive action.”
David didn’t doubt it would happen. Cory was a powerful personality. He was quiet and some thought him unassuming, but he wasn’t. He always knew what was going on and, when needed, was a power to be reckoned with. With any of them in a situation, Cory would do everything he could to help. With Trent on the line, Cory would stop at nothing to make sure that stress had a way out. He would accept nothing less than the right idea.
After he left, David walked back into the office and locked the main door. After turning on the answering service, he went back into his office and pulled out a notebook. Time to come up with some ideas that might work.
If you have enjoyed this tiny window into Falcon Pointe, check out the first books in the Men of Falcon Pointe series.
Flash Fic #10 will be posted on Wednesday, Dec 6th.