Exclusive Excerpt from Ash
by Jack L. Pyke
He’d been asleep for only a few hours, and another rev of engine came, another draw to wake him to darkness, and Ash eased slowly off the bed.
Not bothering with slipping on a T-shirt, he made it out into the hall—the landing light always kept on—and cast a glance at his dad’s door as he passed. No movement came from inside, but then he didn’t really expect there to be, not with the drink his old man had taken.
Bare feet light on the stairs, Ash made it down into the kitchen.
Go back two nights, the darkened mass blocking out the natural moonlight through the door should have startled him, probably sent him running over to Chase to regroup and laugh the fear away, but now?
Always that fucking but with Raif.
Ash padded over and stood breath to breath with him.
“You left the door unlocked,” Raif said quietly, watching him in the darkness.
Ash looked behind Raif. Yeah. Guess he had.
Raif’s look seemed to ask one question, chewing it over so slowly and testing the whys… the whens. “Why did you leave the door unlocked, Ash?”
Ash tilted his head slightly. “Why did you push it open to find out?”
Raif let out a hard breath.
Games. Did they both play them now?
“Because if you’re this intense over trust,” Raif said quietly, “maybe I wondered what it would be like to see you fall in love with someone.”
Ash narrowed his eyes. “You’re the type to stand on the side lines and watch people fall in love?”
Raif went to say something, then for the first time, he fell quiet, looking so unsure.
“Trust,” said Ash. “Not so easy, is it?”
Raif looked up, gave such a cocky brow, then moved past Ash. Ash watched him head upstairs like he owned the place, then after a moment, he followed to.
He stopped by his bedroom, resting against the frame as Raif pulled the duvet off his bed and sat in his gaming chair, throwing the cover over him.
Giving a sniff, keeping his movement quiet, Ash headed back out into the hall and pulled a spare duvet from the cupboard. Then he went back into his room, shut the bedroom door, and climbed on the bed.
For a moment he watched Raif, saw him close his eyes, ease the tiredness in his face.
“Gonna be like that, is it, ghost?” he said to Raif, snorting a smile.
Ash got a wink a moment later, then Raif fell quiet.
After a moment, Ash eased down in the covers too, that feeling of… security creeping back in, as Raif fell asleep in his chair. Continue reading