Or three
Sun Jul 23, 2017 22:45

Ruben said he thought it would be easier to start on the left, like someone who had never tried to paint their nails of their dominant hand while the polish was still drying on the other one. Maybe it would be easier for a first-timer this way, but practically it wasn’t a great idea, unless you knew the charm to instantly set and dry your nail polish. Holland did, so they picked up their ebony wand with a careful pincer grip and cast the spell.

They were repeating it on the other side—since their wandless magic had started getting better, it mattered less which hand they held their wand in—when Russell appeared and started stammering at them. At first he was so discombobulated that Holland wanted to check and make sure he hadn’t been put under the Imperius Curse or accidentally drank a Babbling Beverage. The latter was more likely but Holland was still uncertain how that could have happened; they’d believe that Marissa would spike her own drinks with potions, but not other peoples’, and not a potion that just made you ramble incessantly. And a party set up for everyone to be together for hours wasn’t an ideal setting for that.

But then Russell said he was asked to do something and glanced over his shoulder at the person he’d been talking to, and two plus two equaled damn it, Emmett. It was usually sweet that Danny and Emmett were protective of them. After everything with Lucien last year—the first time the boys had actually had a reason to be protective of them—Holland got why they might be a little on edge. Yeah, Ruben could be intimidating and kind of scary. That was why they had broken up, but the breakup was amicable even if it wasn’t mutual. And Emmett was passing acceptable “concerned big brother” (or “judgmental little brother”) territory and verging on “hillbilly dad with a gorgeous redheaded daughter” levels of protectiveness. Holland looked pointedly at him and rolled their eyes.

It wasn’t none of Emmett’s business, but he should know Holland could handle themself. If they wanted help, they’d ask for it. But Holland didn’t need any help right now and they did not appreciate being sent a chaperone.

Especially Russell, who was tremendously bad at it. And who apparently would just do whatever anyone told him to do. Holland couldn’t fathom how Emmett had put him up to this when he clearly didn’t want to be there. Although him being bad at socializing with ulterior motives didn’t warrant Ruben flicking him off. And calling him a slave made Holland a little uncomfortable because

Right. Dealing with this now. Under any other circumstances they’d be happy to let Russell join them with the nail polish—his presence was hardly intrusive—but they were feeling a bit annoyed at him. And fairly annoyed at Emmett. And a smidge annoyed at Ruben, for being super rude, but they were annoyed enough at Emmett that they were willing to overlook that. “Knock it off,” they told Ruben, bumping his hand with their wrist. To Russell, they said, “Yeah, you don’t have to be his owl.” They looked past Russell’s shoulder at Emmett. “But if you’re still doing that, can you tell Emmett that I can talk to whomever I want, and if he has a problem, he should just talk to me?”

  • That makes two of us - Ruben, Sun Jul 23 15:02
    He couldn’t hold back a snort at Holland’s explanation. “Yes, I know that nails are small, do not worry,” he said in a tone meant to be mock-reassuring, nudging hen playfully with his sock-padded... more
    • Or three - Holland, Sun Jul 23 22:45
      • ...Motion carried - Russell, Mon Jul 24 20:17
        Russell didn’t think that he’d ever had such a sudden reversal from burning-face-of-awkward-shame to freezing-face-of-awkward-death as when Ruben flipped him the finger. Hot and cold were opposites.... more
        • This pleases me - Ruben, Mon Jul 24 21:38
          Still smirking, Ruben made a whining noise in the back of his throat when Holland whapped him. “Really?” His hand dropped soon after this. He didn’t wait to push his luck; in some ways, he was... more
          • Can’t say I disagree - Holland, Tue Jul 25 16:47
            Russell had seemed terribly nervous before Ruben told him to get lost, so maybe Holland should have been a little nicer when they talked to the boy. Or maybe not; after all, he’d decided to come... more
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