Anti Hero (pt. 1)

The Author presses the backs of his hands into his eyes and tries to control his breathing, but he still feels like he’s falling. And it won’t stop. It won’t go away.

There’s a knock on the door, swift and loud, and Author’s head shoots up. “The Host was just wondering if Author would like some dinner.” His voice is so soft and flimsy, nothing like Author’s powerful, commanding tones. The difference makes the Author sick. What happened to me?

“No. I’ll be fine.” He gets up off the floor and staggers over to the bed on wobbly legs that feel like lead. He listens as the Host tarries a moment more outside his door before Host turns and walks away. The Author falls onto the bed and stares up at the ceiling.

He exists.


He remembers everything, up until the point where the Author became the Host. That area is so gray, because can anyone really pinpoint the exact moment in time when they became someone else?

Author pushes his hands through his hair and feels something squirm inside his chest, a little parasitic beast of worry and fear but also excitement. He was in limbo for so long, a strange place between existing and being forgotten. His change had been so complete that the Author was no longer… himself.

But now he’s back. What could it mean? He falls asleep there on his back, still wondering what he’s going to do with himself.


Author wakes in a cold sweat in his new room at Ego Inc. The sun is already shining brightly outside of his window and a glance over at the digital clock on his desk tells him that he’s slept in again. He throws on clothes—any will do—combs back his hair, and arrives just as the meeting is coming to a close.

Bim bumps into him as Author squeezes through the door, and the TV show host tries to smile and be polite. The Author doesn’t spare him a second’s glance. That one’s pretty useless, he thinks until his eyes settle on Dark and Wilford in the middle of a shouting match. Ah, those are the ones I want to see.

Author remembers the two big-shots from when they were still just starting out. Dark in his black hoodies and smudged eyeliner and Wilford with that ridiculous hat, always with a gun in his hand. Now, at least, the two of them seem to have matured a bit, but to what intent and purpose? And can they still be of any use to the Author?

“I’m telling you, the glitch isn’t our biggest problem right now, Dark!” Wilford’s teeth are bared, and pink glitter winks in the air around him in a growing cloud. The other Egos make a speedy exit as they see the impending storm, but the Author stays, just out of the way.

“And I’m telling you that if we don’t find a way to make sure we can contain him should anything go awry, we’re all going to end up paying the price! I want those spineless, good-for-nothing Septic Egos to take responsibility for their pet demon before I tear someone’s head off!” Dark’s aura whips around him angrily, deflecting off of Wilford’s pink cloud of glitter until there are literally sparks catching in the air between them.

Author smirks and steps forward. “Boys, boys. Settle down.”

Dark glares over at him. “And just what does our second biggest problem want?”

Author smiles and shrugs his shoulders. “Why, I want my own space in the building, of course.”

Wilford raises an eyebrow. “What makes you think that you deserve that?”

“Oh, please. That would-be hero gets a whole floor to himself. All I’m asking for is my cabin, here in the Inc. I know that the two of you could manage it.” Author’s eyes flick to Dark. “And one of you owes me quite dearly.”

Dark stiffens. “I don’t owe you anything.”

“Alright then, you owe the Host,” Author concedes, “but since he’s not smart enough to collect, I’d be happy to do it for him.” Author grins and taps a finger to his chin. “I think that’s only fair for being brought back into this circus? Don’t you think?”

Wilford and Dark share a glance before Wilford pointedly says, “Told you the glitch was the least of our worries.”

Part 2

anonymous asked:

do you read victuuri fanfics? i'm looking for new recs ^^"

I do ♡ I can rec you some, but they’re pretty popular, so a lot of people have already read them.

On My Love by RikoJasmine (Rating: Teen And Up Audiences, Status: Ongoing)

Time Travel AU where after an accident, Yuuri wakes up in Detroit before his first GPF.

For the second time, the Sochi Grand Prix Finals arrive, and with it a reborn Yuuri Katsuki. “Viktor,” Yuuri thinks over the pounding of his heart, the crowd going silent as the music begins. “I’ll show the world what you meant to me.”

I have never cried so much in my entire life.

Masquerade by Ashida (Rating: Explicit, Status: Ongoing)

Mafia/Gangsters AU 

“Just say the word.” came the whisper as Victor stepped close, behind them Yuuri was aware of guns out and at the ready, of confused men and questioned loyalties, here Victor was offering, and Yuuri was too selfish to say no.

I don’t think anything I say will do this fic justice.. It’s so beautifully written and so heart-breaking, it’s my favourite Viktor x Yuuri story. You can also find short side stories here.

Until My Feet Bleed and My Heart Aches by Reiya (Rating: Explicit, Status: Complete holy fuck)

Rivals AU where everything changes the day Yuuri goes to see young Viktor perform and win his gold medal in the Junior Grand Prix.

“I’ll show him.” Yuuri vowed, hands still clenched tight around the pillow. “I don’t want to be like him anymore. I want to be better. I’ll beat him at his own game and he won’t be laughing at me anymore.”

a.k.a. the cause of my death and part one of the Rivals Series (the first chapter of the second part, titled Of Bright Stars and Burning Hearts, will be will be posted on the 26th of March and I will f perish help me). Also my favourite fic.

centripetal force by braveten (Rating: Explicit, Status: Complete)

College/University/Roommates AU where Viktor Nikiforov, popular frat boy and Linguistics major, ends up rooming with Yuuri Katsuki, a shy Physics major (who happens to be the same person that Viktor hit on his skateboard).

“Oh,” the boy says from the bed. 

He looks surprised. 

(Obviously he looks surprised.) 

Victor can’t stop staring. “Hi.” Then he remembers that Bike Boy probably hates him. No, he remembers that there’s almost a zero chance that Bike Boy doesn’t hate him. “Sorry about this. I heard you were separated from the guy who was supposed to be your roommate, and so was I. So we can switch rooms, get it the way it’s supposed to be. They’re just a floor down from us.”” 

This is like, adorable and so funny, I read it in one go!

Stargazer by Fahye (Rating: Teen And Up Audiences, Status: Complete)

Space/Royalty AU where Yuuri has been admiring the ‘sport of Kings’ from afar until His Royal Highness and reigning ballistic champion Viktor Nikiforov appears out of nowhere and together they reach for stars.

“Victor wore pink, that year, and his costume was cobwebbed with gold thread and amethysts. The jewels glittered and winked at the cameras as though even the lights were in love with him, were bending their heads to chase him as he moved, faster and brighter and grander and more breathtaking than anyone else had ever been.

That’s the image in Yuuri’s mind as he finishes his routine. There are purple sparkles and a gorgeous, carefree smile on display on the inside of his eyelids. 

So when he opens them to see the reigning men’s ballistic champion standing barely a yard away on the other side of the barrier, feet on the floor of the arena, close enough to the sealed-shut hatch in the transparent sphere that he could reach out and touch it–”” 

I read this a couple of days ago and I’m still speechless. There are wonderful illustrations in it, the story is incredible and the imagery really beautiful! 

premier dans mon coeur by aphhun (Rating: Teen And Up Audiences, Status: Ongoing)

Canon Divergence/Danseur AU where Yuuri is the Principal Dancer of The Bolshoi and moves to St. Petersburg for a few months to help Lilia Baranovskaya choreograph a routine for Yuri Plisetsky’s Senior Debut in the Grand Prix Final.

“I’m Yuuri Katsuki. Wonderful to meet you finally, Mr. Feltsman.” 

Viktor fell on his ass, elbows slipping out from under him from how he had been lounging against the boards. He went down, not hard, but embarrassingly enough as he stared up at the attractive danseur from his spot on the ice. Damn.

Holy shit. Breathing - was he breathing? Did he still have to?

The kind of fluff you never knew you needed!

My fun fact is: by stillmadaboutpetra (Raring: General Audiences, Status: Complete)

After retiring, Yuuri goes back to the University of Michigan for a Master’s in education. What he fails to mention to his friends is that he’s a retired competitive figure skater.. and that he’s an Olympic medalist.. and that he’s pretty famous.. and that he’s married.  (based on this prompt

“But a big, cheek-busting grin bounces onto Yuuri’s face and he turns to them. “Would you like autographs?” 

Uh huh huh what now? 

A muffled scream swells in one girls throat, and the other bursts out “I knew it!” and the other one, closest, holds up her phone, eyes big. “We thought we saw you at the exhibition the other week.”” 

This is so funny, I’ve read it like, three times in a row and I still go back to read it some days. 

worth mentioning & my Marked for Later list:

Welp that’s all, I still have a lot of fic rec lists I have to check out as well (saved in my drafts) but I hope you enjoy these because I really did!

Your name is Hanazawa Shigeo, and when you are twenty four years old, you meet a boy.

His name is Reigen Arataka.

[For @tardistype221b. I was your gifter for the Mob Psycho 100 Holiday Gift Exchange 2016 at @christmas-shou! I am so sorry for how late this is. Happy (belated) Holidays!]

[Continue under the read more or on ao3]

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anonymous asked:

Can you write some hugo/damien with them making out in damiens library?

As the sun dipped beneath the horizon, the impending evening’s shadows danced on the wall of Damien’s library. In their case, the immaculately pinned specimens of blue morpho winked and glittered with the last rays of sunlight. On a side table shoved into a far back corner, a record player in the shape of a gramophone played a faint tune - its simple melody the only break in a peaceful silence. 

They sprawled on the couch. Their books, long forgotten, rested like small tents on coffee tables and chaise lounges.

Hugo’s tie was missing; his hair was no longer in its messy half-bun.

Damien was sinking into couch cushions; his vest slipped effortlessly to the floor.

They breathed. Rebuilt - made from nothing but warm whispers and toe-curling kisses. Every so often, their eyes would open, their gaze would make contact, and they would simply, softly, laugh. Neither said a word, neither prompted such a response. But somewhere in the spaces between lay the unspoken, unbridled joy.

A quiet freedom.

[Requests: Open] [Ko-Fi][AO3]

anonymous asked:

sirius my best friend reminds me of you. he's badass has long hair he's obsessed with has a motor cycle and wears leather almost everyday. the only difference is that almost all his shirts are crop tops and he wears body glitter almost everyday

Sirius: MY LOST TWIN!! Honestly I wear crop tops more than you guys think I do. *winks* but body glitter? I NEED THIS!!

Elemental - Chapter 5

Fandom: Haikyuu!!

A/N: the beginning of this chapter has some much needed iwaoi bonding so im using this as an opportunity to dedicate it to @amalasdraws , an artist that has filled my dash with some wonderful art and content. i am honored to call her a mutual! 

Night is upon them, the crescent moon sitting high in the sky, millions of stars glittering and winking at the world. A gust of wind blows past Oikawa and he shivers, the chill seeping into his bones. Glancing at his sleeveless tunic, he realizes that in retrospect, he should’ve brought his warm, north-pole-ready coat.

Sleep refused to drag him into the world of dreams, and so Oikawa had decided to explore a little. Their rooms were in a large tower on separate floors, and while Oikawa couldn’t really leave the building without air bending or a flying bison, the building itself seemed rather interesting. They were placed on the higher floors, closer to the mountain, while the lower floors overlooked the edge of the cliff.

As he’d been walking down the winding staircase, Oikawa had found a crack in the wall, just big enough for one person to crawl through. Curiosity had gotten the better of him, and he’d made his way to the other side, only to find himself on a long aisle with a tiny circular landing at the end. If he were to guess, this was a meditation spot. There aren’t any noises, just the sound of the wind caressing his skin, and the smell of fresh, healthy air.

But why he really loves it?

The stars.

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Bed of Roses

Pairing: Bucky x Reader

Summary: Bucky attends your funeral (ib: If I Die Young by The Band Perry)

Word Count: 2009

Warnings: angst

Tags: I’m tagging my favorite writers bc why not @buchananbarnestrash @minervaem @sebbytrash @bionic-buckyb @bovaria @imaginingbucky @marvel-ash @etherealbarnes

Originally posted by allthisherostuff

Bucky could hardly bear to see you today. He had seen you a million times, but never like this. Today he had to attend the one thing he never saw coming: your funeral.

“Buck, are you ready?” Steve’s voice came from the bedroom doorway. He nodded, looking in the mirror one final time. He was wearing a black suit, your favorite flower tucked into his front chest pocket.

“Yes.” Bucky sighed. “I’m ready.”

They drove to the site of your burial in silence, the morning rays of sunlight lighting up the sky in soft hues of pink, orange, and lavender.

When they arrived, Bucky saw everyone standing in the garden, surrounded by numerous beautiful plants and flowers. It looked like a small piece of heaven in a world that seemed so dark and cold. There was a stream trickling nearby, and the sound of water was calming.

Everyone parted as Bucky and Steve walked up, giving them a clear path to the casket. Natasha and Wanda had picked out your dress; it was long and white, as if you were enveloped in a satin cloud. He imagined it flowing out behind if he twirled you around. The image of you made his chest tighten in pain. A simple strand of pearls hung around your neck, resting at the base of your throat, the same spot Bucky had planted his lips countless times.

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The Head Room - Phan Oneshot

Summary: Dan’s headache becomes a migraine - domestic happenings ensue (I’m so shit at summaries I’m sorry)

Genre: Fluff

Rating; PG

Pairing: Phan (like I’ve ever written anything else)

Title Cred: “The Head Room” - Video by YouTuber “thisbedottie” - find the video here (seriously it’s a really cool video go watch it - hasn’t got much to do with this fic, but still…)

Dan jolted, snapping out of his trance as Phil elbowed him gently in the ribs.

“What?” He whispered, trying to keep a low profile. 

“You look like you’re falling asleep,” Phil murmured in an effort not to draw attention to themselves. Although it wasn’t a particularly important meeting, being told off for interrupting would be needlessly embarrassing and neither of them fancied it. Dan shook his head.

“Headache,” he explained, and Phil made a sad face. Dan chuckled quietly and looked back at the speaker, trying to ignore the ache behind his eyes.

His head had been pounding progressively harder for the past forty five minutes, and it was beginning to get unbearable. At first he’d assumed it was dehydration, but now it seemed to be shaping up to be more of a migraine. He kept glancing at his watch, the five remaining minutes of the meeting seeming to drag on forever.

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Preference #6: Hating On Your Vibe

#6: Hating on Your Vibe - He basically annoys you about something that you are very passionate about to a very high extreme. 


“If you dare say that Supernatural is a pointless show again, you can sleep on the couch for the rest of your damned life,” you hissed out of your teeth as you turned back to the show, the episode really one of the best ones that you had seen in a while.

“It’s all made up!” he pressed on, inching closer to your hand that held the remote as if you didn’t know what he was trying to do. “Like demons? Angels? Lord knows there ain’t anythin’ like that.”

“And when a demon possesses my body and you find me beating the hell out of you, don’t be surprised because you deserve it! You have a TV in our room, go and watch the game there!”

“This is my favourite seat,” he whined and you rolled your eyes at him. “Please? Pretty please?”

“For the last time no. I have waited all week for this episode and I am not missing it because you want to watch a dumb soccer game!”

“Oi, football is not dumb!”

“Guys chasing after a ball to kick it into a goal and faking injuries 24/7 for penalties. Sounds like a wonderful sport,” you snort only to yelp when he snatched the remote from your hand and changed the channel, his game starting just in time as you try and get it back from him.

“You can watch it online,” he reasoned, hugging you to his chest as he lay back on the couch, legs wrapped around yours so you couldn’t kick him and arms holding you tightly together.

“This isn’t fair!”

“Life ain’t fair either darlin’.”

Supernatural is better than this!”

“Nothing beats a good ole game of footie,” he reasoned, pressing a kiss to the top of your hairline as you shot daggers at him.

“You fucking owe me for making me watch this bullshit.”

“I’ll pretend to be that Dean character when we fuck tonight. Deal?”

“…for now.”


“Rise and shine darling,” he sang and you waved your hand blindly in the air, hoping to smack him for waking you up. It worked when you heard his soft “Ow” when your hand connected with the hardness of his chest.

“Fuck off, I’m sleeping,” you murmur into your pillow, pulling the sheets up around your shoulders, the warmth making you sigh in contentment.

“Firstly, thank you for bruising my chest. Secondly, it’s eleven in the morning. Thirdly, you promised me that you would go running with me this morning,” he said in your ear, tugging at your ponytail lightly as you made more incoherent noises, pushing at his chest to make him leave you alone to fall back asleep.

“I lied, I’m sorry, I’m having an affair with the bed. It’s too soon to leave. Have a good run baby come back soon,” you yawn out, rolling over onto your stomach as you cuddle a pillow to replace the entity that was normally Liam.

“Babe exercise is better than sleep, especially when you need—“

“Are you calling me fat?” You question, opening one eye and turning to him for the first time for the morning. He was dressed in a light brown hoodie and a pair of grey joggers as he propped his head up on his hand to stare at you. The panic on his face nearly made you lose your poker face as you accused him of bothering you about your insecurity of your weight even though you knew that it was never an issue and never would be with him.

“No not at all! Of course not, you’re perfect!” he stated immediately. “I’m just saying like a healthy way of gaining more energy and being fit would be to come running with me.”

“I pick sleep. Work me out later.” He sighed when you dropped him a glittering wink.

“Alright, if you insist. We’re gonna compensate for this no running thing though.”

“Can’t wait,” you say, blowing him a kiss as he walked out the door, laughing and shaking his head.


“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND WE COULD FEED A SMALL VILLAGE IN AFRICA WITH THAT MONEY!” you shout at him from the couch as he stared at you, eyes wide and bewildered as he offered you a brand new dress from what seemed to be Valentino. All your eyes trained on was the whooping $10,500 price tag that hung off of it.

“It thought it would look good on you and it’s your birthday in a couple days,” he explained. “Why are you shouting at me?”

“Oh my God Zayn that dress is so expensive, Jesus Christ can you still return it? Can you return Valentino? Oh my God you’re an idiot why would I need a Valentino dress you’re insane oh my God that could give feed an entire village in Africa for months—“

“Can you slow down?!” He placed the dress on the coffee table, ignoring how you flinched away from it like it was diseased. “I bought it so you could wear it. It’s not a big deal babe, really.”

“Zayn that 10K worth of cut up fabric,” you shudder. “I didn’t need a new dress babe, Lord knows that I would have made due with something in my closet next week.”

“But…like I wanted to buy it. It’s not a big deal. There was this one that I thought you would look good in too for around 12K but it had sequins and I know you don’t like those so I didn’t get it.” You found it alarming that he was willing to spend so much money on you. Extremely alarming that he was talking about it so casually like he had nothing to lose. Well, he really didn’t being Zayn Malik and all but just looking at the red fabric made you want to burst into tears because God it was so much money.

“Zayn…okay I know you wanna spoil me and all but, God, buy me shoes or something. Or like non-expensive things that I could probably buy myself. Like this dress is beautiful, it really is but I’m not accepting it. It’s way too much.”

“To be honest I don’t care,” he answered and you raised your eyebrows. It wasn’t often when Zayn disagreed about something with you, especially concerning money. “I wanted to buy it so I did. I’m giving it to you because I love you. End of discussion.”

“But Zayn—“

“End of discussion. Now mind taking off your clothes to try it on?”


“Love, we both know you only love baseball because of the fact that any man’s arse looks ten times better than it does normally.”

“Excuse fucking me Tomlinson but it takes hardly anything to run back and forth across a fucking field compared to having to hit 90 miles an hour baseballs hurtling at your face.”

You were having the age old argument with him. Honestly, normally it was something random that you wanted to talk about concerning baseball and you actually thought that you both could have a civilized discussion about sports. But of course, Louis always tried to upstage your preference by comparing how much better “football” was compared to your beloved baseball. And of course, you both ended up getting into an argument because of it.

“Oh please, what do you even know about baseball! You’re a girl!” That set you off immediately and he knew it. The moment it slipped out of his mouth, his eyes widened from his position on the kitchen counter to where he watched you slicing up an onion for dinner. Pointing the knife at him, he immediately raised his hands up in defence as you walked up closer to him.

“You know very well that I used to play baseball Tomlinson,” you said to him. “You know damn well that I was the starting pitcher and best right field that any team ever had. I’ve been watching and playing baseball almost as long as you’ve been playing and watching damned soccer so don’t tell me that I don’t know anything about my sport.”

“I’ll um wear the Yankees uniform for Halloween,” he bargained. “Just put the knife down babe.”

“The pants too?”

“Anything for you…and I’m not just saying yes because you have a knife pointed at me but because I love you very, very, very much.”


You were hanging onto his leg and he was just staring at you. There was no expression on his face other than just him looking down at you and probably thinking that you were close to insane. 

 “Please?” you begged and he shook his head. “Please? Come on it won’t hurt anyone!”

 “I’m not taking a selfie.” You hugged his leg tighter as he tried to wiggle away. 

“Harry please! You always say my selfies are so pretty, so be in one loser!” 

“Insulting me won’t make me take a selfie with you baby,” he replied, casually bending over to pick you up, squealing and shaking as he tickled you repeatedly. You knew Harry loved taking pictures, his photos always some weird boyband basic trend that you had seen so many times before. But hardly had he taken a selfie with you to post personally. He had no problem with stealing group photos and ones that other people took of you both, but when it came to taking picture of himself, you had literally never met anyone so camera shy. 

 “Please?” You laughed out once he finished with his tickles. “Just one selfie before we go to Liam’s party.”

“Do I have to?” he whined and you nodded. “I don’t even like photos baby please? People are gonna take pictures of us anyway!”

 “But I want a photo of us!” He groaned. 

 “Just this once,” he warned and you squealed, grabbing your phone and pressing a kiss to his cheek repeatedly so you knew he was gonna smile as you snapped the picture quickly. 

 “See! Look how fucking adorable that is!”

“Yeah yeah, let’s go Miss Paparazzi.”


An anon requested an up close pic of my makeup yesterday, so here it is!

I used Make Up Forever foundation and concealer, Naked 3 palette, Dolly Wink eye liner, blush, glitter, eyebrow mascara, and mascara are from Etude House, and the lipstick is Candy Doll!

I should use falsies more often but I’m pretty lazy (-_-)

Also you can see the blue of my eyes through the lenses! ha!

anonymous asked:

3, Alec & Raphael

Alec, Raphael + Bookstore

I threw in some malec too, because I’m feeling generous :)

Alec placed the books on the top shelf, the shelf Raphael couldn’t reach without standing on a stool. Whenever the higher shelves needed to be restocked, Raphael always left it to Alec, without a word. It was part of their system of working together; Alec did all the things Raphael couldn’t or wouldn’t do and in return Raphael would not mock him for the rest of the day. He was difficult to work with, though Alec missed him when they were not working on the same day. Not that he would ever tell him that, of course. Raphael would never let him forget it.

It was unfair to think about him in that way, he supposed. Raphael did a lot of the things he hated too. Mostly dealing with tricky customers; the ones who complained because a book had a different cover to the rest of the series – like they could do anything about that – or the ones who came to the store looking for new books but seemed to hate reading. Raphael was good with those customers. Although ‘good’ was not exactly the right word; the number of complaints filed because of a rude employee was almost laughable. And yet Raphael never got fired. He always knew how to get his own way.

He finished stocking the shelf, flashed a quick friendly smile at a nearby customer, started to walk away and then did a double take, glancing back over his shoulder. He almost walked straight into a low table laden with hardbacks as he did so. The customer was a tall man, with high cheekbones and a crown of spiky black hair. When Alec had smiled at him, he had tipped Alec one glittering gold wink. He was turned away now, examining a book in his slender fingered hands, and Alec could admire the graceful curve of his throat and his strong jawline. He was only brought back to his senses when Raphael stalked past him, approached the man and engaged him in conversation. Alec felt a sharp pang of jealously before quickly walking away.

There was a short queue at the empty till, so Alec hurried over and began to serve the customers, making light small talk. He was hoping the man who had winked at him would come to this till but he couldn’t see him anywhere from here.

He finished serving the customers in the queue and then leaned on the counter. He wondered where the man had gone. He hoped Raphael hadn’t been rude to him and driven him off.

He was just thinking that when Raphael came around the corner of a row of shelves and approached Alec’s till looking both amused and annoyed, a combination only Raphael was capable of. He reached the till and slammed a piece of paper down on the counter.

‘What’s this?’ Alec asked.

‘My brother’s phone number.’

‘Your brother’s…’ he trailed off, stunned.

Raphael raised one delicate eyebrow. ‘The entire store saw you trip over that table in your attempt to get a better look at him, Alexander,’ he said. ‘He noticed it too. He likes you.’

‘Why?’ He asked the question without even thinking and felt his cheeks burn.

‘God only knows,’ Raphael mumbled just loud enough for Alec to hear. Then he raised his voice again. ‘You like him, si?’

‘I don’t know him.’ Raphael just looked at him until he realised what the question had actually meant and was momentarily relieved he was already blushing. ‘I guess.’

‘You guess?’

‘I don’t understand why you’re asking me this.’

‘Because he is my brother,’ Raphael said. ‘And he likes you. I may also have mentioned you once or twice to him so he knows you a little better than you know him.’

‘Why did you tell him about me?’

‘Because I knew he would like you,’ Raphael explained, as though this was obvious. ‘The point is, if you hurt him I will make sure you regret it.’

‘I haven’t even spoken to him yet.’

‘But you’re going to?’

Alec looked down at the phone number on the counter and thought of the man winking at him. If Raphael had told his brother about him before, did that mean he had known who Alec was? The thought gave him a pleasant fluttering sensation in his stomach.

He nodded. ‘Yeah. I’m going to.’

Raphael smiled. It softened the almost permanent hard glare in his eyes and nearly made Alec forget how sharp his tongue could be.

‘Good,’ Raphael said. ‘His name is Magnus, by the way.’ Then he left to help out another customer.