Almost As Much As I Love Pickles

Chapter Two: They're Bar-B-Q-ing In Their Boxers And It's Hailing

03152007 – 0541P

AN::Looks furtively around:: Is anyone still here? Oh, good. Whew. Anyway, please enjoy!

XxX

I stood in the apartment bathroom before the full-length mirror, peering at myself sideways. Maybe I should lay off the cookies, I thought, pulling the elastic of my pyjama pants away from my waist before letting go sharply. Ouch, that smarted. I rubbed the now-red skin, grimacing, before turning the doorknob and going out into the house.

I turned my nose up, sniffing the air as a smile spread across my face. Damyon must have been cooking bacon. I shuffled to the kitchen and situated myself on a barstool. Indeed, Damyon was standing by the stove, cracking an egg into a bowl and whisking it as the bacon sizzled and popped in the pan.

Damyon has a thing for breakfast foods. I don't really care for them, but right now I'm starved.

"Don't look like you're starving, Eli," Damyon said with a chuckle. "You eat like a horse."

Oh my God, can he read my mind? I bet he can. I bet he's just been hiding it all these years so it can stay like his secret weapon or… something. Wait a minute—

"I do not eat like a horse!"

"Yes, you do." Damyon's back was turned to me so I stuck my tongue out and flipped him off simultaneously. "That's not nice, dear."

I knew it! He's psychic!

"Hey Damyon, what am I thinking right now?" I asked sweetly. He sighed.

"Something stupid undoubtedly." he turned around, grinning at me. "I could see your reflection on the wall tile. Anyway, how many pieces of bacon do you want?"

"Four."

"Okay," he agreed, fishing the meat out of the frying pan with a fork and sitting it on a plate. "I'll have to make some more… you want scrambled or fried eggs?"

"Fried, over easy," I chirped, letting the remark about making more bacon slide. He probably didn't mean it as an insult, anyway.

"Why don't you go wake Angel and Ricky?" Damyon suggested after a moment of silence.

"Okay," I agreed, sliding off of the stool and out of the kitchen nook.

I plodded down the short hallway to Ricky's bedroom (I stress that the room is Ricky's, not ours, he won't share a room with me) and knocked briefly before strolling in.

He was sprawled out on the floor, for some reason, with his hair forming a curtain over his face. His sheets were tangled around one of his legs and hanging awkwardly from the corner of the bed, so I guess maybe he fell out during the night or something.

I nudged him a bit with my foot until he opened his eyes sleepily.

"Breakfast!" I announced when he seemed almost completely focused. He nodded and groaned, rolling over and stretching a bit. I assumed that meant he was getting up and left.

Next was Angel. I hate waking Angel.

I cracked his door open cautiously and stuck my head inside. He was still in bed, alone for once. I sighed and walked over, leaning close to his face and poking his shoulder gently.

Big mistake.

Those brown eyes shot open in an instant and his hand shot out just as fast, catching me across my face. I felt his nails sink into the skin and winced. Oh, that was going to hurt… Yep, there it went. The initial shock wore off to be replaced by a sharp stinging pain.

"Oh my god, Eli, are you okay?" Angel asked, looking worried as tears started to well up in my eyes.

"What the fuck was that for?" I demanded, although my voice was a little too high and wavery to be threatening.

"Jeez, you know better than to sneak up on me in the mornings!" he retorted, reaching out to inspect my face. "Oh shit, you better get to the bathroom and take care of that, you're bleeding. Jeez, are you okay?"

I nodded slightly, still trying not to cry, and rushed to the bathroom. Today was already not a good day.

After I cleaned myself up a bit I went back to the kitchen, where the other three had already sat down to eat. My plate was at my place, piled with food.

I looked around at the other's breakfasts. Angel was drinking a SlimFast (nasty stuff) and munching on dry toast while Ricky was drinking a protein shake. Damyon was the only one with a breakfast similar to mine, and he only had about half as much food as me.

For some reason, my breakfast was starting to turn my stomach.

"Um, I just realized, I'm running late. I want to make it to the gym before seven. See you guys later," I said hurriedly, getting up from the table and heading for the door.

"Since when does Eli go to the gym?" I heard Angel ask in what he clearly thought was an undertone. Damyon laughed.

"Shut up, you two," Ricky said.

"Sorry, but you have to admit it's true," Angel said.

Ouch. That was harsh.

XxX

AN: So… my promise about this chappy may have been an empty one, I don't know.

I'm not sure how this story seems to others, but it's an issue very close to my heart, so I hope you'll all be kind. Of course, you usually are.

It may be a weird story to dedicate, if so I apologize, but this is dedicated to Rin, because she's officially been reviewing my stories for a year now.

I'll try to do a good job.

's and X-Rated Thoughts—Luci