“Just finish cleaning up.” Shane picked up a small wastebasket from beside the nightstand and pushed some used napkins into it from the stand. “You’re drunk, I’m fucking exhausted, and we need enough sleep to be able to hit the road first thing in the morning. Fight with me tomorrow.”
“Asshole,” Todd snarled.
“Shut the fuck up!” Red filled Thaniel’s vision, and he was in front of Todd without knowing how he’d gotten there. “Don’t you fucking talk to him like that. You’re bitching about your fucking woman again, and no one gives a shit. Got it? Shut up and fucking help, or go sleep in the goddamn van.”
“Than.” Shane’s voice trembled. He rested a hand on Thaniel’s shoulder. “Cool it. It’s all good. We all need to sleep, right?”
“Yeah.” Thaniel shook with the tension of not smacking the shit out of Todd. Fighting happened all the time, but he didn’t lay a hand on the others if he could help it.
He’d upset Shane again. He took a deep breath. He shouldn’t upset Shane.
Todd opened his mouth again and Thaniel braced himself. If the guy said one wrong word, Thaniel would forget about controlling himself and just let fly.
“Dude, chill,” Owen-Wayne said. “See those cups over there? Grab them and I’ll find you somewhere to toss them.”
Todd closed his mouth and stomped over to the pile of discarded cups. Owen-Wayne picked up the wastebasket from beside Jace’s bed and followed.
Thaniel took a few deep breaths and nodded at Shane to let him know he was okay. Shane looked skeptical but let go and wandered off to pick up more trash.
“Dude.” Bryan spoke so quietly Thaniel barely heard him. “You okay?”
Thaniel kept his voice low too. “He’d better watch what he says. I’m fine.”
“Okay.” Bryan glanced around. “We’re never going to get all this cleaned up. We can leave some of it for the other guys to deal with in the morning, but let’s get it at least presentable.”
Half an hour later, Thaniel’s eyelids were closing on their own and his head spun. But the room was a hell of a lot cleaner than it had been, and no one was arguing anymore. He could live with that.
“Sleep,” Bryan moaned. “Where are we crashing?”
Owen-Wayne tossed the cushions off the couch and pulled it out to a full-sized bed. “Two of you can use that. I’ll take one of the chairs.”
“I’m taking the other one.” Todd flopped down and kicked off his shoes. “Sorry. Not in the mood to share.”
“Good, because your stench would keep us all awake.” Thaniel turned his back on the other guy. “Shane?”
“Like you and I’ve never shared a bed before?” Shane grinned, though his eyelids drooped and puffy black circles outlined the bottoms of his eyes. “It’s cool.”
“And I’ll sack out with Mister High over here.” Bryan nodded toward Jace, who was snoring softly. “Departure time?”
“Eight,” Shane said.
“Seven,” Todd said. “I have church tomorrow, and she’ll kill me if I miss it.”
“Then you’re buying the coffee so I can be awake enough to drive.” Shane checked the alarm clock beside Jace’s bed. “It’s two. Five hours of sleep is going to royally suck.”
“Yeah.” Todd closed his eyes. “I’ll buy the coffee.”
Shane turned away and took off his shoes and jeans. Thaniel couldn’t resist watching the curve of the guy’s ass as he bent. His cock rose, and he swallowed hard and closed his eyes. Being turned on by Shane was one thing. Having other people realize it, not such a good idea.
He switched off most of the lights in the suite, leaving only the lamp between the beds on, and made his way back to the couch where Shane had crawled under a blanket Owen-Wayne had pulled out of the closet.
Bryan lay down beside Jace and pulled a pillow over his head. “The kid does snore.”
“Yeah.” Thaniel kicked off his shoes and lay next to Shane. “Are we good?”
“We’ll talk tomorrow.” Shane gave him a small smile that melted Thaniel’s heart. “We’re good. Now get some sleep.”
Lying beside his best friend, Thaniel closed his eyes and savored a warmth that had nothing to do with the blanket over him. His heart swelled.
He was happy. Something new.