With a heave that gave life to his body, he threw the covers off of him. He had woken up about ten minutes before his alarm and he had decided not to wait for an extra 10-minute nap. Shay groaned as he rolled out of bed, saving himself from a face full of carpet, he stood up and dragged himself to the bathroom. He yawned, scratching his chin and opened the door.
He shed his shirt and boxers off before entering the shower and turning it on. He hears his phone alarm, and a second later it was turned off with a inaudible curse.
He rubbed his sore muscles and stretched his limbs as the hot water slid down his skin. Humming in appreciation, he could only focus on his shower than on the other man who entered the bathroom and used the toilet.
The man left, then closed the bathroom door behind him for Shay.
Having freshened up for the morning, Shay wore a pair of joggers and a black hoodie. He grabbed his phone from the bedside table of his side of the bed. He wandered off to the stairs, to the kitchen, and found Haytham brewing coffee. His back to Shay as he watched the coffee pot closely.
“Mornin'.” Shay greeted, standing behind Haytham to give him a kiss on the cheek, the older man hums in response. Then Shay proceeded to sit by the island counter. “I’ve been thoroughly fucked.” He commented albeit too loudly, but it was a good thing they were the only ones in the house.
“I believe I should have the pleasure of saying that.” Haytham muttered, still intently watching coffee drip down the pot.
Chuckling, Shay pulled out his phone from the pouch of his hoodie and opened his Instagram, thumbing through it, double-tapping on the new pictures the twins had posted the night before. They had invited him to come to a party their close friend was having, but he had to decline as he had other more drunk in love than drunk on wine to do that night.
Haytham moved from his position in front the coffeemaker and goes to the toaster, he plates the two slices and slid it across the counter. Towards Shay. He toasts another pair, then grabbed stuff from the refrigerator and almost dumped it on the counter. The glass Nutella jar gave a solid sound, which made Shay concerned if it had cracked the counter. He placed the Nutella upright and felt for the possible dent on the counter. He looked up to see if Haytham had been fazed by this, but he was not, opting to go back to watching the coffeemaker.
Utterly shocked, he asked, “Haytham? Are you alright?”
The older man turned to face him, a look of guilt on his face. “I called Ziio yesterday.” He said, quietly.
Shay put down his phone on the table. Anything regarding Ziio was a serious matter when it comes to Haytham. “How did that go?” He inquired.
Ziio was a girl Haytham had fell in love with when he had gone to the States. So many years ago. Apparently, they had conceived a boy. Ziio, with maternal instincts, though not so selfish, had contacted Haytham with an anonymous letter saying she was raising their child, but he was hers. Haytham, despaired, had attempted to ask her for more: more contact, more pictures of their son, more information. But in doing so had almost caused a grave mistake at Haytham’s end as journalists intend to destroy every politician they could grab on to. Hence the radio silence. Then, it was relatively stable at Haytham's part, his attempt to pursue communication with Ziio and his son had been met with silence. Silence for about two decades.
“I asked her if she would allow Raton—” He paused, pained that he could not even say his son’s name right, “Connor to come, here in London.” Haytham said.
Shay blinked, looked around, then back at Haytham. “And? What did she say?”
"She said that she thought it was a good idea, but she would let Connor decide.”
Shay stood up and approached Haytham, hands opened, arms ready to take him, ready to comfort him.
“I’m terrified.” Haytham confessed.
“Why? What have you to be terrified of?” He stood in front him.
Haytham looked him in the eye. A man like Haytham Kenway had been deemed by his employees and colleagues as a sociopath: charming, cunning, though apathetic. But Shay knew better ashe had broken the walls the man had built so high. Haytham was as much of a mortal as any man. He was capable of hurt and sadness, of happiness and pride, of mortality and sex. “What if he hates me? What if he says no? What if, if he does come here, does not approve—”
Shay enveloped him in an embrace. “Haytham, Connor would be alright. If he does not choose to come, what of it?”
“But I want him to come, I want to spend time with him, make up for all the years I was not there for.” Haytham stated, so scared. Anticipating the worst and the best, and from the best, the worst.
“Trust, dear heart, trust.” Shay whispered to his ear
Haytham took a shaky breath, then nodded, raising his arms and embracing him back. “Thank you, Shay.”
Their house wasn’t as homey as Shay would want it to be. Sure they were at one of the high class neighborhoods in the district. Four rooms and two and a half bathrooms, a two-car garage, and an outside swimming pool – two stories for only two people. It was too much and too less all at the same time. They could put up décor that indicated that people do live there. Haytham had told him he could put up pictures around the house, but seeing their line of work doesn’t exactly permit them to be so sentimental, Shay opted for art instead.
Shay had tasked himself as house-band since he was more in the house than Haytham was. He was fine with the unspoken arrangement. Cleaning, doing laundry, do the grocery. But to be honest, time was spent more on babysitting the twins, Haytham's cousin’s children.
Though Evie and Jacob were of age, they were a force to be reckoned with in the worst way. Shay could trust Evie, but when she’s with her brother she’s very much like the meme that goes like:
'That’s a bad idea. Let’s do it.'
So their parents had begged Shay to check in on the two from time to time.
Shay might be ten years their senior, but once they found out he wasn’t much of a stick in the muck, they even take him out partying. Haytham may have told him he was more of an adult than the two, but Shay knew he was iffy of letting Shay out partying like a college student.
“Connor is coming?!” Jacob shrieked from the kitchen.
Evie quickly tuck Jacob’s cards back in its place on the table.
The three of them were playing Uno and Shay had already finished all his cards.
Jacob came back with three bottles of beer and a party-size bag of chips. He paused before sitting down, eying Evie suspiciously.
She smiled at him sweetly.
Finding nothing odd, Jacob proceeded to sit and handed them their beer.
“So are we giving him a tour around as tourists do or as natives do?” Jacob asked, taking his cards back in his hands.
Shay sighed, “We’re not even sure if he wants to come.”
“Well, I lowkey am following him on IG and I know for certain he’s someone I could get along with.” Evie commented.
“'I knOw FoR cerTain hE's soMeONE.'" Jacob mocked her, “You get along with everyone, Ms Department of History.”
Shay laughed as Evie poked out her tongue at her brother. Evie had join her department's pageantry and had won. During her thank you speech, she had thanked Jacob, but in her own loving sister way.
“And last but not the least, my favourite dolt of a brother. You got your Rooks, I got my crown!”
If that wasn’t advertising a frat house, Shay doesn’t know what it is. Maybe a very touching thank you. The two had their ups and downs. Last year, the two had a fight that made Jacob run away from their dorm, he came to Shay's doorstep at 2am.
Evie came to get him thirty minutes later with a six-pack and a hundred McNuggets. “And I swear I'll never make out with a guy you like ever again.”
“Uno.” Jacob announced snobbishly.
Evie layed down a Skip and a +4 card, “Thank you, brother dearest.”
To hear that Connor was willing to come to England for two weeks made Shay rethink about their home. Maybe he could get his camera out from their makeshift attic, and take pictures: afill their walls with memories. And if Ziio would let him, even have her picture up somewhere meaningful.
Connor, as fate would have it, was part of the rainbow. He was more than accepting, regardless of the situation.
“What if,” Jacob started.
They, the twins, Shay and Haytham, had decided to eat out, two days after Connor’s flight back home. It wasn’t somewhere fancy, just a pizzeria near the twins' house.
Evie stole an olive from Jacob's plate with her fork. Jacob blocked her utensil with his own.
“What if we went to Connor’s next year?” He said, grabbing his entire plate and holding it close to his mouth.
It was a bad idea.
Shay grinned, “Let’s do it.”