There would be no family for him. Roman would make him share his family anyway. Andreas grimaced. He could see that dark path stretching before him. Short little bodies, Lucifer’s blond curls, snotty noses, and food-encrusted faces peering up at him, wanting to be lifted and spun. Wanting to hug him and be hugged. Ugh.
The vision of a tiny heart-shaped-faced girl with large brown eyes took form for a moment. He pushed it violently away.
“It is an interesting addition to this room, though.” Roman tapped the desk with his heel. The light in Roman’s eyes, and the way he had waited to bring up the subject said he knew more than he was letting on. Like always.
“It is an abomination.”
Roman threw a pair of dice, sending them skittering across the wood tops, eyes never leaving Andreas’s, even as Andreas reached out to stop them. “So, why is it still here?”
Why is she still here? was the real question he was asking.
“You will know when you meet her.”
“Right. If you recall, I know you. You can get rid of anyone in five seconds flat.”
“Not her,” he grumbled.
Roman examined him. It was sometimes impossible to know what his brother was thinking behind his masks.
Andreas didn’t know why he opened his mouth, but words emerged without permission. “Something hurts in my chest whenever she looks my way. Whenever she touches me.”
Roman’s stare went blank for long seconds before a grin slipped across his lips. “She makes your chest hurt?”
“Yes. As if I’ve been felled by a blow.” He rubbed his chest absently.
“Felled by something.” Roman looked amused. “Odd for someone to want to keep a person near who makes him hurt.”
“The pressure decreases when she smiles.” His damn lips wouldn’t stop moving. As if he had needed a confessional and a priest had finally, finally appeared. “And she smiles often.”
Roman raised a brow. “You are partial to someone having amusement?”
“I like it when she smiles. It makes me feel … something.”
Roman didn’t say anything for a few long seconds. “By god, you have it bad.”
“She kissed me.”
Under normal circumstances, Andreas would have fiercely celebrated the look of utter astonishment on his brother’s face, but he just wanted to finish his confession and be done with it. Then he could button it all up and ship it off to parts unknown. Never to return.
“She knows about the brace. I slept without nightmares next to her. She makes the best biscuits you’ve ever tasted.”
Roman’s mouth opened and closed, nothing emerging for a moment. “Biscuits? You eat her food?” His feet dropped from the desk, and he leaned on it, as if he needed the prop all of a sudden. “My God. You love her.”