A snippet of the work in progress Holden sequel …

I’m still working on the Holden sequel, which is too damn long. So I thought I’d treat everyone curious about it to updates and snippets. Such as this one. I will give you no context. This is simply a random part. Sorry, but I think it’s more fun that way.This bit has Roan and Chai in it, with a cameo by a couple of hockey players.

**

“Roan!” Grey exclaimed, sounding remarkably like an excited little kid. And unlike an excited little kid, Grey grabbed Roan in a bear hug and lifted him off his feet. He even shook him around a bit, like he was no more than a rag doll. Roan looked both amused and slightly ruffled at this.

“Put him down before you hurt him, you big oaf,” Scott said, with weary affection. That alone told Chai Grey had done this too many times to count.

Grey did, setting Roan on his feet again. Roan patted Grey on his big arms like it was no big deal. “Good to see you too, Grey. Let yourself go a little, huh?”

Grey grinned at the sarcasm. “You know me. Laziest asshole this side of Martin Brodeur.”

“One of these days, you guys are going to let me in on the hockey jokes,” Roan replied.

Scott grabbed Roan and hugged him, which seemed to startle Roan more than Grey picking him up. “Whoa, chill. Didn’t I see you guys a few weeks ago?”

“Yeah, but, you’re home,” Scott said, taking a step back and holding him at arm’s length. “Seattle should be throwing you a fucking parade, man.”

“Hah. If they knew I was here, they might throw me in a cage instead.” Roan nodded his head in Holden’s direction. “How’s he? Any change?”

Chai shook his head. “He has enough drugs in him I think he’ll be asleep ‘til next year.”

“Don’t be so sure,” Roan said. “He’s got a good constitution, and an impetus to get up.”

“He doesn’t need to seek revenge,” Scott pointed out.

Roan shook his head. “Yeah, he does. He got the hired hands, not the ones at the top of the pyramid.”

“There’s a pyramid of bad guys?” Grey asked.

Roan nodded. “It seems like it, yes.”

Scott looked at him and held his hands open, like he was offering him an invisible treat. “We’re here, and we can help.”

“Aren’t you training for the season?”

“Do I look like I need to do any more training?” Grey asked. That was more than a fair point.

“Yeah. Beating up some assholes would actually be training,” Scott said.

Roan gave him an uncomfortable, off kilter smile. “Maybe so, but if you do anything, I want you looking after Holden, okay?”

Scott suddenly looked serious. “Do you think he could still be in danger?”

“I can’t rule it out. So could you keep an eye on him until he’s awake?”

Scott nodded. “No problem.”

Chai knew immediately Roan was saying that to keep them from being involved. Even Grey looked a little suspicious, but said nothing. Besides, if there was the tiniest possibility it was true, Scott wasn’t going anywhere. And Grey wasn’t leaving Scott’s side. Holden was right – they had the best non-sexual love story ever told.

Once they left the room, Chai asked Roan, “Why are you keeping them out?”

“They have careers and lives that could be destroyed easily. The fact that their association with me didn’t end their lives or careers before is a minor miracle. I don’t want to risk it any further.”

“I don’t think Grey cares.”

“I don’t think Scott does either, but that doesn’t change my mind.”

Chai was starting to get the cult of personality formed around Roan. He looked after them as much as they looked after him. That was the problem. Chai thought of them as friends, and they weren’t. They were Roan’s family.

Roan noticeably slowed his gait as they reached the elevators, and Chai guessed he did it for him. On the one hand, he hated being treated as disabled in any way. On the other, Roan did seem to be getting far ahead of him without even trying. He wasn’t even walking fast. He just had a deceptively efficient stride. Chai knew about Roan’s reflexes, but was he faster than the average human in general too? Hard to say.

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