The ringing of the bell signaled to the students that lunchtime was upon them, and immediately the students rushed out of their classrooms and into their respective areas to eat and socialize with their friends. Many students headed to the cafeteria to grab early spots in the lunch lines or to various study rooms to catch up on their assignments. Teachers spend lunchtime by either eating or grading whatever papers they had left to grade.
However, there were two students who weren't spending their time eating or socializing.
Marshall dug fingers into Morgan's hair as he was pressed against the wall gently and their lips smothered together in a deep kiss. Marshall felt hands grab his hips and pull him closer, and his hands moved from the blonde's hair to the nape of his neck. The two of them hoped no one else had the idea to spend their time on the school roof or else they would be in for a sight. Occasionally, students would hang out on the roof to escape whatever harsh times they would come across in their lives in hopes of collecting themselves -today was just not one of those days- before returning to where they're supposed to be. Normally, there wasn't a way to get on the roof until a sophomore found a hidden stairwell a couple years back, and it had apparently been blocked off due to unknown reasons; when the staff found out, they told students not to get too carried away with the new discovery, but their efforts were futile as the students found the roof to be a new hiding spot.
Morgan pulled away from the kiss to glance at the caramel-skinned teen that held half-lid eyes and a light blush on his face. "This is your way of spending the lunch period?" He asked with a lifted eyebrow and smile.
"What else would I do?" Marshall responded by nuzzling the blonde sweetly with closed eyes and sighing happily when he felt Morgan pull him close.
The blonde kissed the top of his head in return and gently ran fingers though his hair. "Well, you could use it to work on some assignments." Marshall looked up at him and pouted, and Morgan knew what kind of response he would get. Whenever he wasn't busy, the ravenette would always find some way to be with him, regarding whether or not he was neglecting important work that needed to be done. Of course, Morgan scolded him for it, but somehow, Marshall always found a way to get his work done in so little time.
"That's no fun," Marshall placed his hands on the blonde's shoulders with a slight glare before softening his look. "I'd rather spend it with you," He glanced at the phone concealed in his pocket to check the time before turning his gaze back to his lover. "A couple more before the bell rings? Please?"
Morgan released a sigh as he shook his head with a smile. "You're lucky I love you." Marshall's eyes lit up as a grin spread across his face, jumping in place a couple times before slamming their lips together once again. He slightly stood on his toes to kiss him further, not caring about his glasses trying to fall off his face. However, before the blonde could lay a finger on him, the bell signaled for the students to return to their classrooms. The ravenette cursed to himself before pulling away and glaring at the door leading to the rest of the school with a pout. Morgan chuckled and gently took his hand. "Marsh, we gotta go."
"I know." The other teen muttered with a lowered head. Morgan led him towards the door where the two quietly made their way down the steps and into a hallway, and they were greeted by a crowd of students rushing to get to their classes. Lockers slammed shut along the way and a stampede of footsteps echoed across the floor as students chatted loudly. There were teachers standing outside their doors to make sure everyone was getting where they needed to be; the clocks spread across the walls indicated how much time the students had left.
Morgan pulled the ravenette towards a nearby wall near his classroom door so they could part ways. "Are we still going to your mom's place after school?" He asked.
Marshall nodded and took a quick glance at his classroom down the hall. "Yeah. Even we need a break from the mafia."
Morgan rubbed the back of his neck with a sheepish smile and a shrug as he nodded in agreement. "You do have a point." The ravenette giggled as a response before pecking his cheek lovingly. "Meet me at the front gate when the bell rings."
"It's a date then." Marshall stepped away from the blonde and waved as he strode towards his classroom, blowing a kiss to his partner before entering the room.
"What's with that grin on your face?" A voice called out to him from near the back of the room, and he turned to see his best friend, Ava, glancing at him with a smirk across her face. Marshall rolled his eyes and took the desk next to her and flipped through his notebook without a response. Ava kept the smirk on her face as she lodged a fist in her cheek. "Making out with Morgan again?"
"Having twisted fantasies about the football team again?"
The response earned him a slap upside the head and he only grinned in return as a blush covered her face and she hid in her notebook. "But you were with Morgan. I do know that. Aren't you scared?"
"Scared of what?"
"Well, everyone in the school knows who you both are, and it wouldn't be long before someone mentions it to your father that you're dating the son of his rival."
Marshall shot a glance at her for a moment before returning his gaze to his notes. "They know if they tell him, they're sleeping with one eye open," He responded. "Why? Are you thinking about telling him?"
"No, of course not," Ava quickly reassured before the stern gaze returned to her face. "But it's only a matter of time before he finds out. What then?"
The ravenette was silent as a response and he rested a clenched fist on the table. Ava glanced down and saw it slightly shake. "I don't want to think about it."
"I said I don't want to think about it." She heard his voice crack slightly, and it didn't take a genius to realize he was afraid. Ava gently squeezed his hand for comfort as the bell rang once again, signaling the beginning of another lesson. Marshall breathed out a sigh and shook off the worried look he had on his face, glancing over at the girl next to him to tell her not to worry. The rest of the lesson consisted of silence between them with Ava giving the ravenette an occasional glance of concern. Marshall would comfort her with a smile before returning his eyes to the front of the class.
Morgan leaned against the front gate as he glanced at his phone with half-lid eyes as students exited the school building while chatting loudly about their plans for the rest of the week. His bag was slung over his shoulder and he glanced at the front doors to see if Marshall had made his way through. Luckily enough, he spotted the ravenette waving good bye to Ava, and his eyes lit up when he saw the blonde. Automatically, he ran towards the gate with a smile spread across his face and jumped into Morgan's arms while pecking his cheek with kisses. Both of their bags drop to the concrete and the two spent a moment sharing a couple kisses and ignoring the glances given to them. Morgan pulled away despite Marshall continuously pecking his lips. "It's only been a few hours since we last saw each other." He said with a chuckle.
"It felt like ages." Marshall whined while trying his best to press against the blonde. Morgan shook his head with a smile before grabbing both of their backpacks and leading the ravenette towards his car. Marshall sat himself in the passenger seat with a smile as his lover took hold of the wheel. He kept a gentle hand on the blonde's thigh as they exited the school's parking lot and onto the street in front of them. The ravenette stroked light circles with his thumb with lowered eyes as he drove, passing various shops as they made their way towards the suburban area.
Morgan sighed as a result. "You can't keep your hands off me, can you?"
"I'd like people to know what's mine."
"I'm not an object."
Marshall frowned at the response and nuzzled his arm. "I know," He muttered before glancing up at him. I'm just possessive. I see the look girls give you."
"Yeah. They wish they were you." Morgan chuckled as they pulled up to a two story house that sat on a corner.
Parking the car, the duo grabbed their bags as Marshall held the house keys tightly. They made their way up the stone walkway and Marshall noticed the blonde's car was the only one in sight. "Mom must be out." He concluded with a shrug. He unlocked the front door and was greeted with a neatly cleaned living room. Morgan barely had time to close the door behind him before the ravenette surprised him with another kiss. Intertwining their fingers, Marshall led him towards the staircase leading to the second floor.
Morgan kept his arms tightly locked around the ravenette's waist while his head was perched on his shoulder with a half-lid gaze as Marshall's fingers rapidly mashed the buttons on his controller. The enemies on the TV screen were being destroyed endlessly, although it didn't faze the two at all. Morgan nuzzled the other teen with closed eyes and kisses his cheek, and Marshall pressed against him as a response. Both of them perked up when they heard a woman's voice down the hall. "Marshall? Where are you, honey?"
"We're up here, Mom!" Marshall called out before turning off his game.
The two heard faint footsteps draw closer, and the bedroom door opened to reveal a middle-aged woman with a striking resemblance to the ravenette; her hair was tied in a low bun, and the knee-length dress she wore showed off the heel boots she had on her feet. "It's nice to see you again, Morgan." She greeted sweetly.
"Nice to see you too, Ms. Rose," Morgan replied with a smile, slowly unwrapping his arms around the other teen as he leaned back against the bed. "I'm surprised you're not wondering why I'm here."
"Marshall told me this morning you were coming over," Marshall's mother replied with a hand on her hip. "Even if he didn't, I knew you would be here sooner or later."
Morgan scratched the back of his head with a sheepish look while Marshall averted his gaze with a light blush and a smile, slightly nodding in affirmation of his mother's words. "You know us too well, huh."
"Son, you've loved this boy since you came out of the closet," Her response caused him to blush further, and he held Morgan's hand as a result. His mother's smile only widened as she continued to speak. "Don't think I don't know what you two get into. Like sneaking into his bedroom every other night," She almost laughed at the surprised expressions they held, almost as if they were asking themselves how they were caught. Instead, she chuckled and waved her hand. "Don't worry. You're not in trouble for it. But you do need to be more careful, Morgan."
"I will, Ms. Rose."
"That's good," The two noticed her gaze had softened and saw the saddened look on her face. "Marshall, your father called for another job. He says he'll be here in an hour to pick you up."
Marshall frowned in return and his eyebrows furrowed in annoyance. He gave Morgan a saddened look before averting his gaze towards the floor. "Guess you better get going, huh." He muttered.
"Yeah." Morgan replied sadly. The two stood from the floor and slowly made their way downstairs with intertwined fingers. The demeanor in the air took a major shift, and no longer felt as light-hearted as it was. Morgan brought Marshall's knuckles to his lips and kissed them gently for comfort, but it did little to ease his mind.
They reached the front door, and Marshall was hesitant to pull away while one of Morgan's hands was already wrapped around the door handle. The blonde smiled and cupped his cheek with his free hand, and Marshall immediately grabbed his wrist to keep it there. "I'd rather you not go." He whined.
"But I'd rather not get a knife lodged in my throat," The ravenette averted his gaze, knowing that was the most possible outcome if his father saw the blonde. "I'll see you later, alright?" The smaller teen nodded and turned his gaze back to the blonde, forcing himself to smile. "Love you."
"Love you too." After a lingering peck on the lips, Morgan turned the handle and opened the front door so he could exit the house. Marshall waved at him and stayed in the door frame until the blonde's car was out of sight. He released the breath he was holding in before making his way back upstairs to prepare for the night.
The sun was half-set over the horizon when Marshall saw a black car pull up into the driveway as he adjusted the gloves covering his hands. Pushing up his glasses, he began to step towards the front door before hearing his mother call his name softly. Marshall turned around to see his mother with a troubled expression, and the sad look in her eyes caused him to frown out of guilt. Walking a few steps towards her, he pulled her into a comforting hug, and she didn't hesitate to return it. "Be careful tonight, alright?" She asked before kissing his cheek. "Try not to do anything to aggravate him."
"I won't," Marshall's gaze averted towards the floor, his face devoid of any emotion, but the look in his eyes wasn't able to fool anyone. Giving his mother another tight hug, the ravenette turned on his heel and walked to the door, giving her a final look of comfort. "I'll be alright. Promise." However, the second he opened the door, he was face to face with the man waiting for him: he was tall, almost towering over his son, and had dark brown hair and eyes with slight stubble complimenting his jawline. He had a lighter skin tone than the teen, and the stern expression he wore made him seem intimidating to approach.
Marshall quickly lowered his head and placed his hands behind his back with pursed lips. "Good evening, Father." He greeted softly, refusing to meet the man's cold gaze.
His father was silent for a moment and kept his gaze on the teen. "Lift your head when talking to your elders, boy." Marshall slowly looked up, the expression on his face remaining unchanged as he nodded. His father stepped passed him and headed towards his mother, and Marshall saw his gaze soften. After a quick kiss and whispering comforting words, he stepped away from the woman as the cold expression returned, and he proceeded to walk outside towards the car. Marshall waved at his mother before following the man and closing the front door behind him.
Marshall leaned against the window with half-lid eyes and a frown, his phone clutched in his lap in case Morgan sent him a text wishing him luck on his mission. His father remained silent as he drove, not saying a word to the teen as the sun disappeared under the mountains, allowing the moon to become visible in the sky. The radio was at a low volume and barely audible to either party, but neither of them bothered to care.
Sure enough, Marshall felt his phone vibrate, and he glanced down, making sure to turn the screen away from his father's peripheral vision, before spotting the text from the blonde.
[Good luck on the job. Hope everything goes well. Call me when you get back. Love you!]
The ravenette couldn't help but smile and send out a quick response before placing his phone back in his lap face down. He released the breath he was holding in and relaxed his shoulders as he leaned back into his seat. His heart swelled and fluttered in his chest, and a light blush made itself known on his cheeks.
"What's with that smile on your face?"
His frown returned at his father's words, and he turned his gaze towards him with furrowed brows. He kept his phone out of sight, slipping it between the seat and the door. "I was thinking about Ava," He lied before lowering his head. "I was thinking about how she has an easier life than I do." Marshall heard a quiet sigh from the man, and he knew what he was about to hear. He couldn't remember not hearing the speech whenever he compared his lifestyle to other people. He slumped in his seat with a tilted head, awaiting the words he's always dreaded to hear.
"She could never have the luxury of being in our position," His father began, not taking his eyes off of the road. "We're one of the most powerful families in the country. Even the smaller gangs fear what we could do to them. For the most part, we are free to do whatever we wish with little consequence. If anything, she has the harder life by being tied down by the restricting laws surrounding her. What a shame it is. She could have avoided this once she became your wife."
Marshall choked on his breath and coughed as a result, the thought of marrying Ava leaving a bad taste in his mouth. Not because he wasn't straight, but because he never had the idea of spending the rest of his life with the pinkette despite all of the years they've spent together. He fidgeted uncomfortably in his seat and turned his head away from his father again. If there was one flaw of his father's that he despised, it would be his overwhelming sense of pride as a mafia boss. Marshall tended to call the man a hypocrite for not wanting to admit that he followed laws like the rest of the country did. Boasting about his occupation was a favorite hobby of his, and Marshall could recall countless times where he overheard his father at a couple parties going on and on about how being in a mafia has its perks, and he knew guests were never thrilled to hear those stories.
He was snapped out of thought when the car came to a stop in the middle of a forest clearing. The sun barely peaked out from a mountain while the rest of the sky was a dark blue with a few stars making themselves known. In front of him, Marshall saw a pair of black cars with a small group of men standing around them dressed in black suits. He followed his father out of the car, and his father approached the men with open arms. "Gentlemen, I'm glad to see you could make it." He greeted happily as the teen followed closely behind him.
As they went over their plans for the night, Marshall leaned against one of the black cars with crossed arms and furrowed brows, not caring about whether or not he was being filled in on the mission. He knew it had something to do with the Twilight Mafia, and knowing that much made him care less. As long as he could remember, he never knew why the two families hated each other, and even his mother was left in the dark about the situation. At one point, he deemed the rivalry unnecessary and wanted it to be over. Marshall still had no idea how he was able to hide his relationship for so long, but he decided not to question it as long as it remained that way.
"Are we clear, Marshall?" The teen's head shot up at his father's voice and saw the group of men giving him expected glances. Marshall only nodded despite hearing half of the conversation, although he knew he could follow the others' lead and not be lost. His father signaled to the men to advance, and Marshall was about to follow suit until he was stopped by a blade held in front of him. He glanced up to see that his father's stone gaze hadn't faded. "Do not fail me tonight." He muttered with furrowed brows.
Marshall's gaze lowered and he slowly took the knife, his fingers wrapping around the hilt before making his way behind the group of men. They sneaked through the trees, barely making a sound save from the crunching of leaves and branches under their feet, and the moon rose above them and gave them more light to see their surroundings. Marshall stayed near the back, but not back enough to be left behind from the group. Uncertainty slowly grew in his chest as he thought of the multiple outcomes that could happen when the mission was over, a good portion of those outcomes involving he or his father either being captured or killed.
The ravenette lifted his head to gaze at the sky, wondering what his lover was up to now that they were apart. Of course, he wasn't allowed to tell Morgan what happened. Although, he knew for a fact that even if the mission went well, his father would find some excuse to criticize him and ruin his night further. Marshall groaned as a result, but silenced himself immediately when he saw his father give him a glare. He avoided the man's gaze and kept his eyes towards the ground, not saying another word for the rest of the journey.
Marshall saw the group stop, and he saw a large building hidden in the trees in front of them, wondering what his father had dragged him into as he shook his head with a quiet sigh. Slowly, he followed the group towards the outside of the building, keeping out of sight from the security cameras perked at the entrance. His father signaled for the men to shoot the cameras down. With a few sparks resulting from the gunshots, the cameras crashed onto the ground and the men were signaled to head to the front door with their weapons ready. Marshall was about to get into position until his father stopped him before he could make a move. "You will stay by my side until the mission is over. Do not go off on your own."
Marshall grimaced in response, but nodded nonetheless. That decision just proved to him that his father didn't trust him enough to do anything by himself. Marshall frowned and kept near the man with an averted gaze, waiting for him to signal once again. There was a pause, and then doors were thrown off hinges, and a flurry of footsteps and gunshots were the only sounds in the area. Not missing a step, Marshall followed his father through the wave of bullets and shouts and made his way through a small corridor with a few other suited men. "I don't think I was told the reason why we're doing this." He spoke up cautiously with a lifted eyebrow, keeping his blade close to his chest.
His father glanced behind him, and the teen saw that the scowl on his face had yet to disappear; whether that scowl was directed at him or not, he didn't know. "The only reason we're here is to weaken our enemy," He responded coldly. "I refuse to let anyone take our place at the top of the food chain, so the best way is to make sure they don't have the chance," Marshall had to stop himself from grimacing at his response and had to keep his mouth shut from saying anything, knowing he was going to be yelled at. He only nodded as a result before the small party stopped at a corner. The teen felt a hand being placed on his shoulder, and his father nodded at him to make a move. Marshall was surprised; his father never allowed him a kill so early in the mission.
Marshall made his way to the front of the group, peeking around the corner to see a guard with his back turned to them and whistling a light-hearted tune. With inaudible steps, the teen snaked across the floor, his knife ready to strike his opponent. In an instant, he slapped a hand over the guard's mouth, yanking him backwards so he could have a better aim. Before the guard could make a sound, Marshall wrapped an arm around his neck so he could drive the blade into his chest, clinging to the man like a koala until he fell forward with a loud thud. Marshall pulled away immediately and scampered back to his father in the shadows. His father gave him a small smirk of approval, and it gave the teen a slight boost of confidence.
The mission was going rather smoothly, and Marshall was surprised they weren't running into any sort of trouble. As the night went on, his father had grown more impressed with his work, and he had hope as to how the night would conclude. However, that hope was walking across a tightrope as his father still wouldn't allow him to leave his side. He didn't fully know the reason, but he mainly boiled it down to trust and he wasn't even sure if that was the reason. He hadn't had a full conversation with his father since his early teenage years, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to after the last conversation they had.
Marshall released another sigh as they came across another hallway with a large door on the other end, wondering how long the mission will continue. He kept his spot at the corner of the hall and waited patiently for instructions before feeling a hand push him forward. He jerked his head behind him to see his father keep his stoic face and place a hand on his shoulder. "Go inside. We'll keep watch here."
Marshall couldn't stop a look of disbelief appearing on his face. He almost didn't want to believe what he heard. There had to be a catch to it; he couldn't see it any other way. Maybe he was being tested by the elder or he was the last option. Either way, he had a bad feeling about his father's decision. Nevertheless, the ravenette nodded and darted towards the door as quickly and quietly as he could before slowly pushing it open.
Behind the door was a small study that seemed to contrast the rest of the building. Marshall closed the door behind him, not needing to be told what to look for because he would have been asked for the same thing: something to use against the enemy. He stepped around the room, glancing at the bookshelves and looking through every nook and cranny he could find to make sure he didn't miss anything. He was half-tempted to look on the computer for something, however, he knew there was a password securing it, and he knew better than to try and figure it out. The teen froze when he reached the desk, his gaze softening immensely. He spotted a small frame with a photo of Morgan standing in front of the gates leading to their high school with a calm smile on his face. Marshall gently picked up the photo, a light blush forming on his cheeks, before kissing it sweetly and holding it close. He paused for a moment before opening the frame and neatly folding up the photo before placing it in his back pocket. Before opening the door, he shook off his blush and returned his face to its normal deadpan look.
"Did you find anything?" His father asked as he entered the hallway once again.
Marshall placed his hands behind his back and shook his head. "There was nothing useful," He responded, partially telling a lie. "It was a waste of time," A couple of his fingers dipped into his pocket to feel the photo once again before pulling away. "Are we done here?"
"There's one more room we need to check," His father replied before turning to the other men in their party. "My son and I will check the final room. The rest of you head back to the entrance."
Marshall lifted an eyebrow as he watched them leave before turning to the elder. "What makes you think there's something else?"
"You never leave a stone unturned." His father responded while stepping down a nearby hall. There were faint gunshots, although Marshall didn't exactly know where in the building they were coming from. What mainly mattered to him was getting the job done and over with so he could return home, and depending on how he felt when the mission was over, call Morgan. Although, he had a feeling he would call the blonde either way for emotional support. An unpleasant feeling began to creep up on him, and the confidence that he held for the night had almost completely disappeared. He lowered his head with a troubled gaze and held his knife close to his chest.
Standing before the two was blood splattered across the walls and a door that was blocked by a few corpses. Marshall couldn't tell if they were allies or enemies, but decided to not worry about them. He cautiously stepped towards the door after his father, who gave him a glare that told him to stay clear of what might happen. The teen nodded despite still feeling unsure before the man took another step forward, and slowly pushed open the door.
The two were greeted with a wave of gunfire, and they immediately dodged the attack. Marshall attempted to catch his breath, and he glanced over to see his father disappear through the doorway. "Wait a minute-" He was cut off by the sound of more gunshots and peered inside to see the man against three men in suits, each of them sporting various injuries. The teen had began to wonder how they were still standing, although knew it had something to do with refusing to die or something akin to it. He contemplated letting his father handle them alone since he wasn't having trouble, but he also felt as though he should step in to not let his father believe he was a coward.
Once one man was killed, Marshall rushed forward to tackle a second to the ground and lifted his knife to drive into the man's chest. However, he was immediately shoved to the floor and was quick enough to dodge a bullet headed straight for his head. He quickly got to his feet and made sure to put some distance between them before lunging for another attack. Instead of charging towards him like the man predicted, Marshall darted behind him and jumped on his back. Hooking his arms and legs around him, he held the other in a tight lock with one arm while driving his knife into the man's shoulder. He felt the man stagger and stumble backwards.
Marshall almost lost his grip, but he was soon given a headbutt and his arms were yanked free. He fell on his back with a thud, wincing on impact before dodging another attack. He held his nose with a groan, knowing there was blood but not having time to think about it. Letting his nose run, he tried to focus on the task at hand. He clutched his knife tighter before he lunged forward, eyes narrowing to have a better aim for his target. He swiped at the man before he dodged, grateful that he was lucky enough to draw blood, before he was kicked off of his feet. Marshall landed on his back harder this time, and when he looked up, he saw the man towering over him with a gun pointed at his head.
A memory came flooding back to him, reminding him of a similar situation, and he froze in place as a result. His pupils shrunk in fear and he couldn't stop himself from shaking. He felt his heart pounding in his chest and the knife slipped through his fingers. The man in front of him had been replaced by a figure from his past, the air around him was filled with the sound of muffled gunshots and shouting. At once, Marshall acted on instinct and curled into a tight ball, not wanting to be reminded of the first time he was in that situation.
The vision shattered when a closer gunshot was heard and Marshall found himself in a familiar setting. He lowered his head to see that the man who was towering over him was dead on the floor. His father stood over the man with a glare as he lowered his gun before turning to face his son. Marshall didn't have time to react as he was grabbed by his shirt collar and hoisted to his feet roughly. "Somehow, this doesn't surprise me," He scowled. "I don't know why I bother getting my hopes up."
"You will remain silent while I take you home." Marshall bit his lip and lowered his gaze as he was pulled out of the building, barely hearing his father give orders to the other men in the group. His heart sat in his stomach and he avoided eye contact with the people around him. He was practically thrown into his father's car before they drove off, and for a moment, he swore his heard the man mumble about disappointment, and he almost felt tears prick his eyes. He glanced at his phone to see it was sometime after 10:00 before leaning against the window with a quiet sigh.
The moment Marshall exited the car, his father drove off without another word, leaving him alone on the front porch. He slumped his shoulders and turned on his heel, barely able to reach towards the door before it slowly swung open with his mother on the other side with a concerned but comforting look. Marshall closed the door behind him once he was inside before collapsing against the door and bursting into tears. He felt his mother's arms around him in an instant, hearing her whisper soothing words in his ear and petting his hair. Marshall just held onto her and poured out the emotions he couldn't show around his father in fear of what he would say.
It took almost half an hour for his sobs to be reduced to sniffles, although tears still ran down his face. His mother pulled away and softly cupped his cheek. "I'll make you some tea. Just the way you like it." Marshall's response was only a nod before he slowly made his way to the stairs. Once he was in his room, he stripped his clothes in exchange for something more comfortable before crawling on his bed, phone in hand. He wiped the remaining tears from his eyes, scrolled through his contacts for a moment, and placed the phone to his ear.
"Morgan, I need you."
With a blank gaze, Morgan waved at the security guard standing in front of his family's parking garage before stopping in front of him. He sighed and leaned back as the guard peered through the car windows to see if there was anything suspicious. Morgan hated having to do this every day; it's not like he really had anything to hide in his car to begin with, and he wished his family was excluded from the search. Morgan glanced at his phone for a potential message from the ravenette only to be disappointed to not receive one. Once he was given the all clear, he drove further into the lot and parked in his usual spot.
It took no time for him to grab his things and take the elevator towards the penthouse that sat on the top floor. Morgan sighed as he readjusted his backpack as he stepped down the hall towards his flat with a lowered head. To him, being part of the mafia wasn't exactly a terrible thing: he was able to live a comfortable life, get whatever he wanted, and learn how to defend himself. However, the expectations were high, and the amount of times he was kidnapped for the sake of power or money was endless. There were members who didn't believe Morgan wasn't cut out to be the successor and thought the title should be given to someone else. Although, Morgan's father wanted to prove them wrong, which made the expectations higher than ever.
The moment Morgan opened the door, he let out a groan, dropping his bag next to the loveseat and kicking off his shoes before collapsing face-first on the couch. He hugged one of the pillows and buried his face into it with a frown. Morgan was still for a few moments, calming down after the day he had, before raising his head. "Guess I better start before I forget."
After changing into a t-shirt and jeans, Morgan grabbed his bag and sat at the foot of the couch before pulling out a textbook and papers and setting them on the table in front of him. His eyebrows furrowed at the work in front of him, lodging a fist in his cheek as he tapped his pencil against the book. He occasionally glanced at his phone for a distraction, but to no avail. Nonetheless, he sat in silence, figuring it was better than waiting for anxiety to creep up on him.
Morgan heard the door open, but he didn't look behind him to see who it was. He first thought it was the butler coming in to clean the flat or check on him, or it was his father momentarily coming by to look for something. However, the moment he heard jingling keys, he knew it wasn't either option. He turned his head and immediately smiled at the sight of his mother, a woman with blonde hair and green eyes, standing over him with a calm expression. "You're late again today. I thought you would be at Marshall's longer."
"His dad gave him another job, so I had no choice but to leave," Morgan leaned back against the couch with a slump as the woman sat next to him, leaning over to glance at his homework. "Unless I actually wanted to challenge the head of the Vanità myself, in which case I'd definitely get my head on a platter."
"I can imagine that being a literal outcome. You put the x in the wrong spot," Morgan saw the spot she was pointing on the paper and quickly fixed the mistake and looked at his textbook once again. His mother tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and softened her gaze. "Although, I am worried about the two of you and how long you'll be able to keep this up."
"We've been hiding it for two years."
"Yes, I know, but for how much longer?"
Morgan paused and furrowed his brows, slowly setting his pencil down with a quiet sigh. "About a couple months ago, we decided to tell them when we turned 18 since that was when we're given all control of both mafias. We figured if we told them then, they couldn't do anything."
"And if they find out before?"
Morgan's breath hitched at the question as a million thoughts ran through his mind. He was asked the question a few times before so it shouldn't be new to him. But, every time he would have a voice in the back of his head telling him he couldn't keep the secret as long as he wanted to and telling him there would be consequences to both him and Marshall. Normally, the thought would be either his father forcefully transferring him to a different school or homeschooling him all together, but other thoughts involved violence and most notably death. He shuddered visibly, causing his mother to place a hand on his shoulder and squeeze it comfortingly. "I don't like thinking about it," He finally responded. "I always end up imagining the worst because of the lengths he'll go."
The teen felt arms wrap around him and didn't hesitate to return his mother's hug. The two of them sat in silence as the woman kissed the top of his head sweetly before pulling away. "Are you sure you don't want me to talk to him?" She asked in a soft tone.
Morgan shook his head with a pained smile. "Not now. Not until I'm sure he won't go nuts," He then started to put his work back into his bag, not having the motivation to continue working on it and wanting something else to distract him. He stood from the floor and stepped towards a small safe that was embedded in the wall, inserting a code before the door clicked. Morgan opened the door to reveal a small rack of keys on separate hooks. He grabbed one of the keys before closing the hatch and heading towards the front door out of the flat. "I'll be on the training floor if you need me."
"Be careful." Morgan gave his mother a reassuring smile before closing the door behind him, leaning against it with a sigh for a moment before heading towards the elevator with a lowered head. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't shake the feeling that his mother was right. It was only a matter of time before his father found out about he and Marshall, and it was almost impossible to know what exactly the punishment would be. While he hoped it was nothing major, but he had plenty of doubts.
The elevator doors dinged and Morgan watched the numbers decrease on the screen above him after inserting the key. His hands were tucked in his pockets as he leaned against the wall with a deadpan gaze. He couldn't shake off his mother's question, and it made him worried about what could happen. He sighed with a lowered gaze, glancing down at his phone to see a few texts from Marshall that caused him to smile. He sent out a quick response before the elevator doors opened, and he grabbed the key and stepped onto the floor.
In the span of an hour, Morgan had gone through simulation after simulation and nothing had helped him clear his head. No matter how many targets he shot down, no matter how many foam bullets he dodged, he couldn't stop himself from imagining what could happen to him or Marshall. A foam bullet almost grazed his cheek as he reloaded and cocked his gun, rolling a safe distance away before firing at another target. He panted as a result, almost tripping over his feet as he shot the last remaining target in the room. Relaxing his shoulders for a moment, he lowered the gun to his side and glanced around the room filled with fake pellets scattered across the floor. Morgan winced due to the pain in his legs and abdomen, knowing he didn't come out of the exercise unscathed and there were at least a few bruises where the rounds hit him.
"Wasn't expecting to see you," Morgan turned around to see a woman only a few years older than him with dark brunette hair tucked behind her ear and lime green eyes they both shared. She briefly glanced at her phone before turning back to the blonde with a half smile. "At your friend's again?"
"I was helping her with homework."
"Oh? It's a girl?"
"None of your business, Samantha." Morgan placed his gun back where it belonged before stepping out of the training room and back to the elevator. He had to hide a growing scowl as the woman followed closely behind him humming a light-hearted tune with her hands behind her back. Morgan couldn't help but feel slightly tense around his cousin, given her gossip-like nature. It was hard to trust Samantha regarding anything she said out of her mouth, and it was also hard to rely on her to keep a secret. The two of them weren't exactly close due to Morgan knowing of her reputation before they even met, but their relationship took a nosedive a few years before. Samantha had originally stayed with them due to her own parents constantly being on business trips, but she decided to stay at the base the moment she turned 18 despite having the option to stay with her parents; she was also the one the employees wanted the inheritance for instead of her cousin.
"Auntie told me to tell you that dinner was ready, by the way," She spoke up once they entered the elevator back to their flat. "I was just about to tell Uncle."
"Then why are you going back with me?" Morgan couldn't help but snap as he crossed his arms.
"I can't check on my baby cousin?" Samantha asked with a grin, leaning in closer to his face with a tilted head. "Someone has to hear all of your woes and worries."
"I'm not telling you anything after you forced me out of the closet." Morgan's tone was cold and the scowl on his face had evolved into a hard glare despite avoiding eye contact from the brunette. He gripped his arms tightly with a lowered head, not allowing Samantha to see his face no matter how hard she tried. Eventually, she pulled away with a huff and glanced at the numbers above them as the two spent the rest of the trip in silence.
Morgan stormed into the apartment and almost slammed the door in his cousin's face if she wasn't so close behind him. His mother peered into the room with a lifted eyebrow but decided not to question as Samantha sent a quick text before looking over at her blonde cousin with a smirk. "I got a story to tell, Auntie. I'll wait for Uncle to show up." The blonde woman's face slightly paled as a result, turning to her son briefly before heading back into the kitchen to make sure the stove didn't burn. After a moment, Morgan's glare lifted and he stepped down the hall towards the bathroom, wanting to wash the day away with a hot shower.
Once the water hit his face, Morgan sighed and leaned his head forward with closed eyes. Feeling the water spray his back felt refreshing, and it was almost enough to relax him. Morgan pulled his hair back in silence, tilting his head with a quiet moan as he ran his fingers through blonde threads. He let his mind wander for a bit, feeling the tension in his body fade as it relaxed instinctively. Morgan's thoughts soon drifted to whatever Marshall could be doing, and an image appeared in his mind: the two of them were alone in his bedroom, and for once, Morgan didn't question why they were in his room to begin with or how they got there in the first place. He imagined Marshall underneath him on his bed, both of them not being able to keep their hands off of each other as their lips pressed together aggressively. Clothes were practically ripped off, and marks were made as Morgan trailed his way down the other's body and between his legs, nipping the inner thigh and causing Marshall to cry out a moan. The imagery was so vivid, Morgan thought he was reliving a flashback; even the way Marshall breathed out his name was almost too real.
Unfortunately, Morgan snapped out of his fantasy once he realized his body was reacting to it. Glancing down, he saw an erection pressed gently against his torso, the tip flushing red and a bead of precum resting at the slit. Morgan felt somewhat embarrassed; for the past year and a half, he never exactly felt the need to masturbate with a partner like Marshall. On the other hand, he was just like any other hormonal teenager who would rather break their partner's bed than go to school. It wasn't like he was hurting anyone, and he knew for a fact the Italian probably did the same when he wasn't around.
Morgan shuddered the moment his fingers wrapped around his length gently, giving it a slight tug before giving himself a slow pace. He tried to conjure up another image in his head: this time they were in one of the janitor closets at their high school with Marshall on his knees in front of him staring up at him with those hazel brown eyes he always seems to get lost in. Morgan had to bit his lip to stifle a moan as he ran a thumb against the underside of his dick, copying the other's actions and just reminding him how long it had been since he had any sort of pleasure; the three months of summer vacation were filled with constant kisses and touches, slipping in a few hand jobs or blow jobs (or occasionally a round or two) if they had the chance. The last time they had a chance of sex was the first day of the semester celebrating the beginning of their senior year. Afterwards, the two were busy with school and family matters and never had the time.
As Morgan's pace quickened, he felt his hips thrust forward as a result, keeping the image of Marshall blowing him in his mind. His breath became ragged as he saw Marshall's hand grip the base, causing him to curse quietly with a furious blush on his face. He paused for a minute to press a nail into the slit, causing him to jolt as a response and it almost caused him to cum on the spot. Morgan released a breath as he resumed his pace, almost doubling over at Marshall giving him a seductive gaze in his thoughts. The heat in his gut was almost boiling and he wasn't going to last long. Morgan decided to make this quick before his family realized how long he was gone.
He aimed for faster and rougher strokes because it wasn't the time for style or finesse, and it was one of the rare ways Marshall handled him. Normally, it was slow and drawn out with endless teasing that made both of them melt. He thought of the ravenette once again, and just seeing the two of them make eye contact while Marshall was still on his knees with a dick in his mouth caused him to lose it. Morgan had to lean on the wall for support, lowering his gaze to the splatter of cum on his chest and torso that was slowly being washed away.
It took him no time to clean himself and step out of the shower, exiting the bathroom wearing a tank top and sweatpants and noticing the smell of dinner down the hall. He stretched and threw on his jacket before hearing a male voice coming from the kitchen. Holding in a breath, he stepped inside the kitchen and came face to face with his father: a middle-age man with matching brown hair and eyes and the same pale skin as the blonde teen. There was a thin line of stubble along his jaw, and he had a semi-athletic build to him. Once Morgan took a step in the door, his parents paused their conversation to glance at him. "Morgan, it's good to see you." His father piped up cheerfully.
Morgan gave him a wave as he grew a half-smile before tucking his hands in his jacket pockets. "Hey, Dad. Did you just get back?"
"Yes. I received a message from Samantha on my way here," Morgan shrugged to hide his frown as he leaned against the wall with a lowered gaze, briefly spotting his cousin in the living room. His mother gave him a gentle gaze before walking passed him to set up the dinner table. His father soon made his way towards him and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I hear that you're training has improved. If so, I'd like to see for myself how you've changed."
"I wouldn't mind having you watch." Morgan's mood was slightly lifted, but it wasn't enough to completely lower his guard. He wouldn't exactly say the relationship between he and his father was tense, but he had a much closer relationship with his mother. While the expectations were high, his father never pressured him into rushing to improve his craft and simply allowed him to engage in whatever he enjoyed. This was something Morgan tended to appreciate from time to time, and his father respected him for wanting a normal teenage experience rather than the experience of a typical successor of a powerful mafia. However, he knew his father had a tendency to overreact and cross the line on occasion, which was why he was always nervous about opening up to him completely.
Once the four of them were seated, Morgan occasionally shifted his gaze towards the direction of his bedroom, wondering how long he had to eat before he could leave the room and avoid whatever Samantha was going to say. Apparently, his mother had the same idea, and he had a feeling she knew what the brunette would say. The family ate in silence, the low hum of the TV being the only sound coming from the living room. Morgan's father decided to break it and sat up. "Morgan, how are your studies coming?"
This was something he could handle. If the topic didn't involve his relationship or anything akin to it, Morgan found himself at ease, but it didn't stop the conversation from transitioning into that, so a part of him always felt anxious. "Pretty well. I'm not having trouble with anything."
"That's good to hear. That would be one thing to brag about to the men," At times, Morgan believed his father only cared because he was the successor and he had pride in him and not because he wanted to be a genuine father to him. He always talked about wanting to prove everyone wrong, but even as a child, Morgan had found that odd, and instead of it being supportive, he thought it sounded more like he was betting on him like a racehorse on a track. Morgan turned back to his plate in silence as his father turned to his niece. "And how are you, Samantha?"
"I'm good, Uncle. In fact, I have to tell you something about Morgan."
Both Morgan and his mother paled, briefly glancing at each other before turning to the brunette with frightened gazes, Morgan almost glaring at her. Samantha merely smiled and rested her elbows on the table. She looked over at the panicked blondes before turning to her uncle with a grin. "Morgan here has a little girlfriend."
"Really? That's great news," His father gave him a happy smile. "Why didn't you tell me sooner?"
"I-" Morgan had no idea what to say, but he was somewhat relieved Samantha didn't know who he was dating. He was also concerned that she might figure that out, but for now, he played along to her blindness. "I wasn't sure what you would think of her, so I was nervous. I ask Mom not to say anything either. It was personal. I wasn't expecting Samantha to find out."
"I see. Well Samantha, I wish you would have kept it to yourself if it meant that much to him."
"Should have said that when she outed my sexuality," Morgan muttered under his breath quiet enough so no one could hear him, but he also wondered what took him so long to say anything about her gossip habits. "I wasn't really ready to tell you about her."
"But you love her, don't you?" Morgan lowered his gaze as his thoughts drifted to the Italian and the time they spend together, causing him to smile with a light blush as he nodded. His father nodded and leaned back in his chair. "Then I wish to meet her."
"Huh?" Morgan snapped out of his thoughts and looked at the man with slightly widened eyes. "When?"
"As soon as possible, of course," The brunette man closed his eyes in satisfaction and relief. "I'm quite glad. I don't think I would know how to feel if you were dating a boy. Although, you're free to do so, but it would leave a sour taste in my mouth."
Morgan's breath hitched and his heart sunk into his stomach as a result. All the more reason for him to hide the real relationship between he and Marshall. His appetite had vanished leaving his half-eaten plate in front of him. Intertwining his fingers, he slowly glanced at his mother. "May I be excused? I'm not so hungry anymore."
"Of course, dear." Morgan nodded and stood from the table with shaky legs, quietly entering the hall and heading straight for his bedroom. Once he closed the door, he leaned against the wall, feeling the need to vomit at his father's words despite knowing they could have been a lot worse. Morgan's father was an excellent leader, and he was the reason why the Twilight mafia rose to be one of the most dangerous yet respected organizations in the country save for the Vanità mafia. However, he normally said what was on his mind, quite bluntly at times, and he wasn't great at reading the mood. It was one of the criticisms he had received from employees and reporters alike, but he continued to stay positive and optimistic.
Morgan wrapped himself in the pansexual flag blanket he had on his bed and curled into a ball with closed eyes and shaky breaths. He rolled onto his stomach, almost believing that he might throw up from the man's remarks. He took in deep breaths to calm himself down before hearing his phone vibrate from the other side of the bed. Morgan peered over and relief washed over him when he saw it was Marshall calling. Almost immediately, he darted towards the phone, cradling it before answering the call. "Hello?" He asked enthusiastically.
"Morgan, I need you."
It was almost 11 by the time Morgan had pulled up to the Rose household, noticing that the porch light had been turned on. He exited the car and pulled his bag out of the backseat, fully intended to spend the night for both his and Marshall's sake. He didn't want to face his father nor Samantha after dinner; it would just be awkward and there was a high chance Samantha would try to bring the conversation back, something he wanted to avoid. He told his mother where he was going before almost storming out of the door, wanting to be away from his family for the night.
He knocked a couple times before he saw the Italian's mother answer the door with a gentle smile. She stepped aside and gestured him into the hall. "He's been crying since he got home," She explained softly as she closed the door. "He didn't tell me much, but I know it was a rough night. I hope you've had it better. Is Gwen doing well?"
"Yes, she's great actually." Morgan was actually quite relieved that their moms were best friends, and he was especially grateful that neither his nor Marshall's father had tried to interfere with their relationship. He found it ironic that the men had gotten along well with their wives but hated each other. There were times where Ms. Rose had come over for dinner, and his father had showed no ill intent throughout the night (although he had her escorted outside of the building, but he would do that with any guest). Because of this, Morgan hoped their fathers could get along sometime in the future, but it seemed to be impossible.
Morgan thanked the woman before heading upstairs to see how the ravenette was doing. He imagined Marshall was curled up under his covers with the lights off, wanting to hide from the rest of the world after the night he's had. Morgan wondered what kind of reaction he would get; the first option to pop in his head was Marshall tackling him the moment he opened the door, the second option was Marshall would wait for him to approach, but Morgan found that unbelievable given their track record. Marshall was the more physically affectionate of the two even when he didn't show emotion in public. It was his way of reminding himself that he and Morgan were safe and sound and that nothing was wrong.
Morgan slowly opened the door to see that the lamp on the nightstand turned on, and Marshall had his knees pressed against his chest with a lowered gaze. At the sound of the door, Marshall's head jerked up with slightly wide eyes, and Morgan saw that his cheeks were red, puffy, and held dried tears. Barely a moment had passed before the Italian stretched his arms out towards him, and Morgan almost threw himself into a hug. Marshall wrapped his legs around the other's waist and clung to him like a koala, desperate to not let go. The two were content with spending the rest of the night in silence, being in each other's company was more than what they could ask for. But the elephant in the room was waiting patiently for the conversation to begin, and Morgan knew they couldn't avoid it completely. "So, what happened?"
A nuzzle was his response, and Morgan had to mentally slap himself at the question. "Right, right. I can't know, but were you successful at least?"
He earned a nod before Marshall pulled away but didn't let go. "Yeah, we were successful. But, we were fighting the boss, and I froze. That's when Father got mad."
"Why did you freeze?"
"It felt. . . familiar," Marshall bit the corner of his lip with a troubled look. "I-I got reminded of some stuff, and it wasn't pretty, and-"
"It's okay. Say no more."
Morgan gave him soothing kisses along his cheek and jaw in case he needed to calm down at the memory. Marshall threaded fingers in his hair and guided him to kiss lower, giving a slight shudder when he felt a nip at his collarbone. "H-How was home, by the way?"
"Complete shit," Morgan sighed as he somehow found himself on top of the Italian but still holding onto him. "Sam is scaring me with how much she might know, Dad said something homophobic, and I stormed out."
To both of them, dating another boy was much worse than dating someone in a rival family; it was stigma that kept the formality between Marshall and his father, and while Morgan didn't have that formality, the way his father talked about him settling down with a girl made him uneasy. Given the outlandish reactions from the past, he expected anything at that point. It was hard to read his father sometimes, but his actions said enough.
Morgan was almost taken back when Marshall almost slammed their lips together in a heated kiss, and he responded by cupping a cheek with one hand and holding one of Marshall's thighs with the other. Marshall kept his arms wrapped around the other's neck for a moment before aggressively tugging at his shirt. Morgan's breath hitched as a result. "Marsh, wait."
"Lock the door." Marshall breathed out before loosening his arms enough to let Morgan sit up. Morgan still felt embarrassed of the fact Ms. Rose was fully aware that her son was having sex with him, but he felt more embarrassed because she could just take one look at them and know when they've done it. But at the moment, Morgan could care less; he had some steam to let off, and Marshall needed him in more ways than one.
Their kisses became more aggressive until it ended up being a flurry of bites across their skin. Hair was tugged on as clothes were practically ripped and thrown to the floor. Legs were spread and both of them almost couldn't breathe. The first thrust was gentle, as it was during their first time, before all hell broke loose. Nothing was spoken, only the gasps and moans that escaped Marshall's mouth echoed throughout the room. This was normal for them both; the only time he moaned was when he wanted a distraction. He kept his legs firmly wrapped around Morgan's hips, and while Morgan was clutching the sheets underneath them, Marshall had his nails digging into the other's shoulder blades, almost deep enough to draw blood.
When they reached the end, both of them started to spasm with shaky breaths, and Morgan almost collapsed on top of the younger teen but thankfully moved to fall next to him. Marshall's glasses were seconds away from slipping off his face, so he took them off and set them on their usual spot. He sighed with closed eyes, unable to feel his legs, noticing Morgan shift to sit up on the bed and mentally grinning at the sight of the large purple hickey on the side of his neck. Morgan gave him a soft gaze before speaking. "Get some rest. I'll clean up tonight."
Marshall nodded and watched him leave, adjusting himself so his head was resting against the pillow as he pulled his shirt down to cover himself. He wanted to stay awake, but he had already exhausted himself from crying earlier that night, and the recent round of sex certainly further kept him from keeping his eyes open. He turned over, debating if he should rest his eyes for a minute, but found himself passing out the moment he closed them.
"I'm not even gonna ask how you got this," Ava leaned over and flicked the faded mark on Morgan's neck. He winced and slapped a hand over the spot with a scowl towards the girl while Marshall smirked at his work. The three of them were on the roof during the free period, wanting to be away from the other students who might want to be nosy and listen in on their conversation. Ava flipped through her notebook with crossed legs before looking at the pair. "So, what did you want to talk about?"
Morgan scratched the back of his head with a nervous gaze. "Well, you're gonna have to help me continue lying to my dad."
"What do you mean?"
"Look, I know you're both not gonna like this, but hear me out," Morgan gave them both a glance with a sigh. "Ava, I need you to pretend to be my girlfriend."
Both Marshall and Ava stood in disbelief, almost glaring at the blonde. Morgan winced sheepishly, and he gave them both an apologetic look. "Listen, my cousin told my dad that I was in a relationship, and obviously he assumes I have a girlfriend. So, he wants to meet her."
"And you want me to be the fake girlfriend?" Ava lifted an eyebrow before pointing to the ravenette. "Why can't Marshall disguise himself? You know he would gladly crossdress for you."
"My dad may be terrible at reading the mood, but he's not stupid," Morgan leaned against the rail with half-lid eyes. "It wouldn't take him long to put two and two together. If he didn't know what Marsh looked like, I wouldn't be asking you this."
Marshall bit his thumb with a grimace and an averted gaze, deep in thought at the other teen's words. While it was true the Twilights knew what he looked like, there have been multiple times where he made himself unrecognizable whether he was crossdressing or not. But he also heard rumors about the boss's temper, rumors sounding so bizarre he almost couldn't believe them. Morgan knew his father better than anyone, and if he was scared about what could happen, then Marshall had to take his word. He turned to Ava with a troubled gaze as he crossed his arms. "He's right."
"Are you hearing yourself!?" Ava's voice almost rose to a shout. "If I have to actually kiss your boyfriend-"
"Look, none of us like it either, but we have to keep up the charade," Marshall interjected with a fearful tone before lowering his head. "There's so much on the line, and one tiny screw-up can ruin everything. Please, Ava. Do it for us."
The girl shifted her gaze between the two of them and saw the most uncomfortable looks on their faces like no matter if the plan would work, they wouldn't like how it was executed. The thought of being intimate with Morgan made her squeamish with betrayal, and it wouldn't be something she could easily get over. Ava sighed and looked over towards the track field underneath them. "Dad won't like this."
"Definitely." Since they were young, Ava's father was completely against their friendship due to the fear of her being held hostage or killed for mafia-related reasons. While it was understandable, that didn't stop Ava from doing everything she could to befriend the two; they were close enough to do anything for each other, but pretending to be in a relationship was something that was always off of the list from the beginning.
Ava finally turned away to face the blonde. "So, when should I meet him?"
"If I'm honest, as soon as possible. I can take you there after school to get it over with," Morgan finally stood and gathered his things, grabbing Marshall by the hand and kissing his knuckles gently. "We'll avoid anything intimate if we can." He soothed.
"I know," Marshall gave Ava a stern gaze and placed his hands on her shoulders. He let out a heavy sigh before darting forward to give the girl a quick peck on the lips. She and Morgan were stunned at the action, but noticed the grimace on his face. "There. That way if you do have to kiss him, it would be an indirect one from me." Marshall shuddered and held himself close, telling himself to wash his mouth out when he went home that afternoon.
The bell rang signaling the end of the free period, and the trio made their way back towards the halls to join the rest of the students. While they were silent compared to the bustling crowd, their thoughts were loud and clear. They were worried about how the meeting would turn out, and they were worried about Morgan's father catching on to the lie. They were worried about how far he would go to see who Morgan was actually dating, they were worried about what he would actually do to him, but they were especially worried about what he might do to Ava. But until then, they could only hope and pray.
The school bell signaled the end of the day, and while students were glad the week was slowly coming to an end, the air was tense around Marshall, Morgan, and Ava as they quickly made their way to the front gate. Marshall had already called his mother for a ride home as he rode with Morgan that morning. The three of them were silent as they stepped passed the school buses towards the parking lot behind them, ignoring the chatter of the other students and the heavy smell of gasoline that was mixed with the fresh air. They swerved their way through the parked vehicles, cars that were making their way to the open street, and teens that were standing around with no real direction of where they were going.
They approached Morgan's car with frowns, and Ava gave the Italian a hug before she reluctantly climbed inside the passenger side. Morgan scratched the back of his head nervously and was about to speak until Marshall placed a finger over his lips. "Make sure he doesn't find out, and say hi to your mom for me."
Morgan nodded, a smile growing on his face before taking Marshall's chin between his fingers and kissing him sweetly. Marshall giggled in the kiss and grabbed his shoulders momentarily before they pulled away with loving gazes. Marshall was the first to break by turning on his heel and heading back towards the front gate, giving the blonde a final wave before disappearing through the crowd of buses.
Marshall leaned against the wall, watching Morgan's car pull out of the parking lot and out of sight, eventually slumping with a frown. He watched the buses begin to pull away from the school followed by a crowd of cars that had waited too long to leave and had to wait further for the buses, and also saw a few groups of students who were waiting for their rides as well, glancing over at him occasionally with hushed whispers. Marshall couldn't help but roll his eyes and lower his gaze towards his phone.
"Hey Rose, do you think Morgan is cheating on you?"
He heard a student ask in an almost excited tone, and looked up to see a trio of students approach him with curious smiles. Marshall couldn't help but sigh. "No. He's not cheating on me, nor will he ever."
"But he left with Ava. Isn't that suspicious?" The female underclassman next to him asked with her hands behind her back.
Marshall of course couldn't tell them the truth; it would only tell them how their fathers saw their relationship, and Marshall wanted to keep that aspect up to interpretation among the rest of the citizens. It was risky either way: not knowing the truth could cause people to ask either mafia boss themselves, and in turn, they would know about the relationship and try to break it apart, or various rumors about their relationship status would start to spread with people wondering if there was any love between them to begin with. On the other hand, if the public thought the two fathers knew, they would assume they were okay with their sons dating and bring it up to them whenever they could. Then it would be revealed the two fathers didn't know and the public would only be left with their reaction and potential outcome.
Marshall only shrugged at the question. "Am I not allowed to let my boyfriend hang out with his female friends?"
"We're not saying that. We just find it weird."
"Look, nothing is going on. Morgan and I are still dating."
"What about your dads?"
Marshall internally jumped for joy at the sight of a familiar car, immediately brushing off the trio in annoyance before darting towards the car in a rush. Giving obscure answers to the press was something he was used to, but he never enjoyed being ambushed by reporters and the like whether he was in public or in school. The newspaper club would try to find every way to be alone with him or Morgan and ask them questions about their relationship. It also didn't help that the head of the club was the daughter of one of the reporters who had been tailing both families for years.
"You've never been that happy to see me."
Marshall frowned at the voice, his eyes widening slightly at the sight of his father behind the wheel, lifting an eyebrow in confusion. "Where's mom?"
"She had a matter to attend to and asked me to come get you." For some reason, Marshall had trouble believing that as his father pulled away from the school; He knew his mother well enough to know she would tell him in advance. Marshall lowered his gaze slightly as they drove, away from the suburban area and heading downtown. His heart sunk with dread as they passed various skyscrapers and buildings, wondering what exactly his father was going to drag him into. For a moment, he had a feeling it had something to do with the mission the night before, but he wasn't exactly sure.
They pulled up to an underground parking garage that was connected to a tall skyscraper, and the two slowly made their way to the elevator in silence. Marshall rubbed one of his arms with a lowered head, avoiding eye contact with his father as the elevator lifted them to the upper floors. Marshall noticed the lift slowing down until stopping completely, and he realized they arrived on the training floor. He silently followed his father with his gaze towards the floor, noticing the other employees keeping their distance in silence. Marshall didn't know what exactly was going on or what had happened even though he had recently been to the base a few days prior.
Marshall followed his father through a pair of glass doors, nervousness rising in his chest as he was tossed a foam knife after stepping inside the room. "Your performance last night, though it was excellent, had been weaker than it had been previously," His father started while twirling another foam knife in his hands. "Before I make any conclusions, I want to test something."
"Um, okay?" Marshall was a bit confused, but he knew to be ready when his father lunged at him. He rolled out of the way, but the man's fast reflexes almost threw him off, feeling a hand grab his leg and pull him back. Marshall jerked out of his hold by kicking away his hand, getting back on his feet and throwing his arm out to aim for his father's neck. Unfortunately, his father swatted his arm away and grabbed him by the neck and pinning him to the floor, raising the wielded hand above his head for the finishing blow. However, Marshall hoisted his legs in the air to wrap around his father's neck and sat up for their blades to clash. Marshall then kicked his father in the chin in an attempt to get him away, and before he could recover, Marshall charged forward and brought the knife to his neck with a glare and pinning his father's wrist to his side so he wouldn't be able to counterattack. He ignored the fingers digging into the nape of his neck and he pressed the foam blade against the man's skin as a result.
The two were still for a moment before his father pulled away with a stoic look. "I was right. For some reason, you're better at training than you are at missions. Why is that?"
Marshall frowned in response. "Do you want an honest answer, Padre?"
"I'd prefer it."
Marshall sighed and stepped over to return the knife where it was supposed to go. "If you want the truth, then I don't care about any of this. Whatever is going on between you and the Twilights, I don't care. What's the point if you won't even tell me what started this to begin with? I get it; I'm your successor, but it's because I'm your successor that I feel like I have a right to know what's going on. You don't tell me anything, so why should I care?"
"No, I'm sick of this," Marshall cut him off with a glare. "Either tell me what's going on, or you'll get what you got last night." His father's only response was a scowl as the teen turned on his heel and exited the room, almost slamming the door behind him and storming back to the elevator.
Marshall had stayed in his room for the rest of the afternoon. His mother hadn't questioned what happened, but she knew it had something to do with her lover. Marshall had the urge to scream, shout, or rather do anything to make him feel better. He couldn't call Morgan to see what was going on with his family and Ava, and there weren't many people to consult to. He groaned to himself as a result, watching the sun slowly begin to set outside his window. He heard his mother call him for dinner down the hall, and he slowly got off of the bed and headed for the door, dreading whatever his father was about to say to him.
Marshall stepped into the dining room to see both of his parents already at their respective seats at the table, and he silently sat between them. It was one of the rare nights where she visited the headquarters, but whether she was staying over was something Marshall didn't know. As they ate, Marshall avoided eye contact with both of them in case one parent tried to start a conversation that he knows for a fact would go downhill. He kept his head lowered with pursed lips, almost devouring his food to leave the table as fast as possible.
Unfortunately, Mr. Vanità noticed his son's fast pace and lifted an eyebrow. "And what are you in a rush for?"
Marshall bit his lip with furrowed brows. "One of my favorite shows is airing pretty soon," He gave an excuse he knows wouldn't convince him, but he hoped it would work. "I don't want to miss it."
His father gave him a stern look, and Marshall averted his gaze as a result, not wanting to elaborate but also trying to come up with something believable. He almost breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the man nod, but it was immediately followed by "By the way, how is Ava?"
Marshall's breath hitched at the question, and he saw his mother with a worried look on her face. He looked away with a frown. "Why do you ask?"
A chair skidded across the floor and a few footsteps were headed towards him. Marshall balled his hands into fists, afraid to look the man in the eye before noticing his father standing a couple feet in front of him. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw his mother stand from her seat, ready to intervene if necessary. Marshall bit the corner of his lip, half-tempted to shroud away, but stayed where he was in case it upset the Italian boss. "What's wrong? Are you that nervous to tell me?"
"I just wanted to know why you asked." Marshall almost spat out, digging his heel into the floor as he tried to stop himself from shaking.
"Well, it's not unusual for me to ask since she's joining the family soon enough," Marshall almost stumbled, keeping a hand on the wall behind him to support himself in case he fell. He swallowed, taking in a few deep breaths, before looking back at his father, his eyes widening when he saw the man was serious. "Unless there's another girl that caught your eye."
There were a lot of things Marshall wanted to say, but the words were caught in his throat. For some reason, he couldn't bring himself to say anything without inaudible nonsense sputtering from his lips from trying to speak. His bottom lip quivered slightly, shifting his gaze to his worried mother for a split second and seeing her begin to step away from the table before returning to his father's eyes. "There is no girl."
The boss lifted an eyebrow with half-lid eyes with an unconvinced look. "What?"
"There. Is. No. Girl," Marshall repeated as a growl, a glare appearing on his face but fear still lingered in his eyes. "I thought after I told you years ago you would understand I'm not attracted to them."
"You don't know that. Boys your age are normally confused about who they like."
"Confused," The word hit him like a truck as he spat with a shaky breath. Three years of silence and it's the first time Marshall heard how his father felt about his sexuality. He almost couldn't believe it. Three years of ignoring it completely and that's the word he uses. His own father practically thought he was lying to himself. Marshall felt tears stinging his eyes, but he tried to hold them back. "You think I'm confused? You're crazy."
"You're crazy," He ignored his father's tone as his glare deepened. "Crazy for even coming to that conclusion. All I want is for you to accept me. I just want you to accept that I don't like girls because I'm gay."
Immediately, a hand was around his neck and he was pinned against the wall. He heard his mother call out and rush to the two of them, pulling on his father's arm in an attempt to get him to let go. His grip only tightened and Marshall gasped. He tried to pull himself away, but his father's grip was fierce and he only struggled. Ms. Rose was still pulling on his arm, but to no avail. In the back of his mind, he remembered the small knife that was in his back pocket, something he kept on his person in case of an emergency. Marshall was pressed further into the wall as he reached into that pocket to grab it, and with a burst of courage, he swiped at his father's hand. Automatically, he was released as Mr. Vanità pulled back with a wince, cradling the blood seeping out of the back of his hand and giving the teen a hard glare. Marshall froze for a moment before bolting down the hall towards his room. "Marshall Rose, get back here now!"
He slammed the door and locked it when he heard heavy footsteps, and a moment later, a loud banging was heard on the other side with his father shouting in his native tongue. Marshall curled into a ball to let himself cry, squeezing his eyes shut as he covered his ears. The banging stopped a moment later, probably due to his mother somehow calming him down, but he wasn't going to open the door to check. Marshall was grateful for her; he knew for a fact he would have been dead years ago if she wasn't around, and the thought alone frightened him.
It was almost midnight when Ms. Rose went to check on him, and she opened the door to see him curled up under the sheets fast asleep. The woman approached the bed slowly, adjusting the pride blanket covering him and gently petting his hair, causing him to shift with a quiet moan. Despite the few tears still rolling down his face, he looked at ease as though crying had helped him feel better. She kissed his temple sweetly before pulling away. "He thinks you hate him, you know." She spoke to her lover who stood at the doorway with crossed arms and a scowl, his hand neatly wrapped in a bandage.
Mr. Vanità only shrugged as a response, giving a blank gaze towards the teen with half-lid eyes. "I hate what he's become."
"He's become who he is," The woman closed the door behind her as they entered the hall. "Is it wrong for him to be happy who he is?"
"He's not happy."
"Because you push him away because of something that shouldn't be a big deal, but you treat it as such," Ms. Rose lowered her gaze with a troubled look. "The only thing he wants is for you to come to terms with who he is. Put away your personal feelings for his sake," She slowly took his hands and intertwined their fingers before looking back at him. "For my sake."
The man grimaced slightly with an averted gaze before turning to the desperate look she was giving him. He sighed and leaned forward, letting his lips linger on her cheek for a moment as he pulled her close. "I can't promise anything."
"I'm only asking you to try." She replied softly while returning the hug and closing her eyes. She didn't pull away when the Italian kissed her sweetly for a moment before he stepped down the hall to his own bedroom. Ms. Rose glanced back at her son's door with a sympathetic gaze before following her partner hurriedly and closing the door behind her.