So. Valentine’s Day. I think the last time I’ve celebrated it was about nine years ago, when my husband and I were still in the honeymoon phase of our relationship. Now, what with our jobs ad the kid, we don’t do much more than kiss and say ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’.
Still, I wanted to do something nice, at least for my readers, so here it is. It’s a Valentine’s Day story featuring Denver and Jeremy, with a side of Keenan 🙂 it should have been short, which means that obviously it’s not, and I had to cut it in two, so make sure you read the two parts!
Denver knocked the egg on the side of the bowl with a light hand, or at least what he thought was a light hand, and the egg literally exploded. Yolk and slippery egg white dripped on the counter and everywhere but inside the bowl in which it needed to go. Of course.
Denver had to stop himself from throwing the empty shells against the wall—he really didn’t have neither the time nor the want to clean that up too. He was going to have too many things to clean as it was already, but crushing the fragile shells in his hand was satisfactory enough, or it would have been if it hadn’t also smeared Denver’s skin with what remained of the egg.
Swearing, he threw the shells on the counter next to the bowl and looked around the kitchen. Good thing that it was a Saturday and most of the pride members were out enjoying the snow with their kids or getting ready for what would come later tonight.
God knew that Denver had tried, but he just couldn’t cook—or bake for that matter. Jeremy’s Valentine’s Day was going to be a disaster, and it was too late for Denver to try and make it better, especially since he had been the one to ruin it in the first place.
“What the fuck possessed me to insist to plan a special evening? What am I going to give him for dinner, crushed egg shells and dirty flour?”
“You know, they say that the first sign that you’re going mad is that you start talking to yourself, or are you talking to the voices in your head? Because I’m almost positive they aren’t real.”
Denver let his head fall forward. The only thing that would have made his already bad day even worse had just happened. Keenan had found him. “Go away.”
“Only if you explain to me what the heck happened in here. Did the bag of flour explode? And what happened to the eggs? They made you angry?”
“Keenan, go away.” Denver almost added a please, but Keenan would have immediately understood something was wrong. Denver never said please to him. Never.
“Come on, I’ll help you clean up.”
Denver looked up only when he heard one of the drawers open and the sound of plastic being moved around. “Why are you doing this?”
“What, helping you? Believe or not, but I love you, big guy. You’re part of my family, and I do whatever I can to help family.”
Denver almost—almost—said thank you, but he stayed strong. He knew all too well what Keenan would do if he gave the man only one tiny hint of the fact that despite everything he said and the way he acted, Denver loved Keenan too. He would never admit to having any type of feelings for anyone apart for the love he felt for his mate and their son, though.
“Besides, it’s Valentine’s Day, and I don’t have a date, but you do. It’s not a bother for me to take care of the cleaning.”
Denver grunted. “Not sure I still have a date. I’m not even able to feed my mate.”
Keenan’s eyes widened as he looked first at Denver, then again around the kitchen. “Oh…oh, oh! That’s what happened? That’s—”
“Don’t say it.”
“So cuuute! Oh my god, I didn’t know you had it in you, you big teddy bear you!”
Denver wanted to die. Okay, maybe not to die, but at least to disappear from the surface of the earth. “Keenan…”
“I guess I found you a decent nickname, uh, teddy bear?”
There was nothing Denver could do to stop the man. It was like watching an accident happen—you knew you shouldn’t look, but you couldn’t help it.
“So you were cooking dinner for Jeremy, uh? Well, that could have gone…better.”
“Better? Anything could have gone better! The only thing I managed to do was to stick the bread in the oven!”
“Oh, that’s what smells like it’s burning?”
Denver swore and ran to the oven. Between the offending eggs and Keenan, he had completely forgot the bread. He opened the oven’s door and moved backward when a small cloud of dark smoke hit him on the face. He heard Keenan running to the window to open it, but it was too late. The smoke got to the ceiling and the fire alarm started blaring.
Denver grabbed a towel and got the bread out, hissing at the heat before throwing the thing outside in the snow. He just had the time to turn toward the other window when a cloud of white powder hit him right in the face like the black one had done a few seconds before. He coughed, his eyes watering. “What the fuck?”
“Sorry, sorry! Is everything all right? Anyone hurt?”
Denver used the towel he still had in his hand to whip his face before glaring at Jayden. The hyperactive weasel was looking around the kitchen as if he was expecting the fire to jump on him. “We’re fine,” Denver grounded out from behind clenched teeth.
His humiliation wasn’t over, of course. He shouldn’t have expected it to be so easy. Both the Alpha and the Beta ran in the kitchen, followed by so many people Denver didn’t even try to count them, and every single one of them was shouting or asking for an explanation. “You do know that you all should go outside the house if you hear the fire alarm, right?”
“What happened in here, Denver? Why does it looks and smells like a bomb just went off?”
“It was my fault,” Keenan piped up from behind Denver. Denver turned and raised a brow in question, but Keenan shrugged it away. “I was…trying a new recipe and I forgot I had the bread in the oven.”
Dominic didn’t look convinced. Keenan wasn’t a very good cook, but he wasn’t a disaster either. He wouldn’t have made such a huge mess even if he had tried. “Fine, but you’re going to be the one doing the cleaning.”
“Of course. I wasn’t expecting anyone to do it for me.”
The crowd was already dispersing, especially when Dominic started talking about cleaning up. Once Keenan and Denver were alone again, he couldn’t help himself. He had to know. “Why did you do it?”
“What, take the blame?” Denver nodded. “Because I know how much you care about how the others see you. I know you wouldn’t want them to find you like I did earlier, and it’s no big deal for me.”
Denver nodded again and reached for the garbage bags Keenan had left on the counter, but Keenan stopped him as he started throwing empty eggshells into it. “Go and take a shower. I’ll take care of it.”
“It’s my mess, and it’s not like I have anything else to do anyway.”
“Sure you do. You can go and call this number,” Keenan handed him a business card. “Tell them you’re my friend and that you need a table for two for tonight.”
Denver opened his mouth to protest but Keenan pushed him toward the door. “Go. It’s not like I have a date anyway. Have fun for me too, and I expect a minute-by-minute report of all your activities of the night, especially the ones that’ll happen in your bed. I’ll live vicariously through you.” He wiggled his eyebrows and turned back to the mess on the counter, dismissing Denver.
There wasn’t anything Denver could say, so he nodded at Keenan and headed toward his room. As he turned toward the stairs, he heard Keenan say, “Hey, look at that bread. It looks nice in the middle of the melted snow.”
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