He smelled Lafeyette as soon as he sceadued into his apartment.
“Don’t you knock?” Vayle asked as he raised his head.
Lafeyette walked around the couch and leaned on the wall beside the window.
“Why would I do that?” He folded his arms.
His brother’s silver eyes sparkled more than usual.
“Why are you dressed like that?”
Vayle indicated Lafeyette’s too-tight pants and equally tight bright pink shirt that stopped around his navel. For some reason, Lafeyette decided not to tie back his long, pale blue hair. What was his problem?
Lafeyette looked himself over and shrugged.
“For what? Why do you even own something like that?”
Again, he shrugged.
Who knew what went on in his mind? Lafeyette probably intended the outfit to bring out some sort of reaction from Vayle. His brother didn’t expose his arms and torso around anyone else.
His skin looked like every scar in the world decided to call Lafeyette’s flesh home. Since Vayle had never known his bother to hurt himself, he figured they were souvenirs from his human life. Vayle had a few scars as well, though he didn’t remember how he got them. He’d asked Lafeyette about them. That was the first time his older brother yelled at him.
“What do you want?” Vayle asked.
“John and Charlotte have been looking for you.”
Vayle leaned further down in his chair and groaned.
“Who knows? I said I’d find you.”
“And where were you looking for me?”
Again, he shrugged.
Lafeyette had too many secrets. Even from him. His big brother had a habit of disappearing, then becoming unresponsive when asked where he had been.
“You aren’t as wonderful as people think you are,” Vayle said.
Lafeyette smiled. It wasn’t pleasant.
“Of course I am.”
Not knowing what to say, Vayle gazed out the window. The view was something else to concentrate on besides Jon and Charlotte and their desire to control every aspect of his life.
“I heard about Shade. It seems she has a tendency to ignore good old common sense. She walked Raesul alone and was attacked. Shocker.”
Shade had said the same thing. She often made stupid statements. Lafeyette always thought about his words before the world heard them.
“Grudgingly, I would agree for the first time, even the second and third time. Common sense wouldn’t have helped against that invader,” Vayle reasoned to himself.
Lafeyette soiled the air with his rage. In an instant, the pleasant Del’Praeli morphea! into a beast. His eyes no longer sparkled. They bore into Vayle with fierce intensity. Lafeyette could probably see his bones.
He never understood why Lafeyette cared about Shade. Vayle had adopted her, Lafeyette hadn’t.
Vayle didn’t understand. He told him anyway.
“Four in two days. Even for Shade, that’s intense.”
Lafeyette calmed. The air still remembered his anger. His brother surveyed the wall as though he could see through it.
“The air smells of blood, has for a long time. Some Del’Praeli have disappeared.” He looked back at Vayle. “Bleak told me about the deaths. This is separate.”
Vayle hadn’t noticed. He didn’t observe other Del’Praeli like his brother.
“Why are they hiding it? Why are they making us leave?”
Lafeyette nodded. “You’ve connected those pieces too.”
It was his turn to nod.
“I don’t think Iniquity despises Shade as much as they let on,” he said.
Lafeyette didn’t stand up for those who didn’t deserve it.
“They tried to eat her.”
Lafeyette sighed and again bore into him with those silver eyes.
“Think outside of your own feelings for a minute. Even Shade must see by now the punishment was not nearly as bad as she expected or as much as she deserved.”
Vayle was not going to agree, even in thought. He said nothing.
“Grow up,” Lafeyette said..
“Go crawl back up Jon and Charlotte’s butt-hole.”
Lafeyette chuckled and shook his head.
“Are you sure Shade’s safe alone?” Lafeyette asked.
“No, but I can’t tell her that.”
If Lafeyette showed up in her apartment, Shade wouldn’t think twice about doing what he asked. Savage Hall wouldn’t let him in and even if it did, Lafeyette’s appearance would unnerve Shade and then, she’d be angry.
“Leave her. She can take care of herself.”
Lafeyette snickered as he put his hand on Vayle’s shoulder.
“If only you believed that.”
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