Chapter Two

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Chapter Two



Having cleared customs, Noel stepped foot on Australian soil for the first time in over a year. He didn’t like the circumstances he was in, without his best friend and babysitting his best friend’s sister. It would be some homecoming.

He took in the smell of the Melbourne air; Noel smelt taxis and tourists, but the air was different here than Boston. He loved it. He took out his phone and scrolled his contacts for Alexander Lawrence’s number.

It was 4:00 p.m. in Melbourne, and Noel knew it would be 12:00 in the morning back in New York. He knew Alex would be up waiting for his call about his arrival.

"How was your flight?" Alex said softly, Noel knew he was tired. Alex had been working on the Owens account for hours at a time, starting early and finishing late.

"Long! I got sat next to a twenty-year-old, and she was a little grabby, if you know what I mean. Had I not been strapped to my chair with about a hundred other people on the plane, I might have said yes." She was cute, but he wasn't up for any kind of fling during his eight-week stay in Melbourne.

"Jesus, Noel. Clara’s turning nineteen. I don't want you thinking about her in the way you were thinking about that girl on the plane. I trust you to not lay a finger on her.” It was more of a demand than a question. Noel knew his best friend would rip him apart, balls and all, if he tried to touch Clara. The threat did little as Noel laughed into the speaker of his phone.

"Don't worry, Alex, your poor heartbroken little sister won't be rebounding with me. I can assure you,” Noel said, almost too proudly.

"Shit! You better make sure she doesn't go and throw herself at the next guy she sees. Her head isn't working properly, Noel. And I don't want her rebounding at all! No matter how much she wants to go home with a guy, you tell her no!" Alex was almost growling.

Is he serious?

Alex was one protective bastard over his sister. Noel always knew it, but this time it was different. But what did he know? He only had his older brother George, who was sailing around Greece with his bride-to-be, Penelope.

"All right, Alex! No guys trying to get into your sister's pants. I got it! So, does little kiddo know you aren't coming for two weeks now?" Noel asked as he shuffled his bag in front of him.

"Crap!" Noel heard Alex fumble the phone and then the sound of bang. He must have punched the table again. Noel heard that sound numerous times whenever he spoke to Alex lately.

"Don't tell me you didn't tell her you’d be a week later than expected?" Noel asked, raising the eyebrow he knew Alex wouldn’t see.

"I didn't even tell her I wasn't going to be there for her birthday, let alone two weeks late to see her!" Alex said, sounding defeated.

"Don't worry, man. I'll let her down easy for you. Just concentrate on that case so you can get your ass down here," Noel teased. It was meant to be their summer to get away from work and everything in between.

"I owe you one. Thanks for doing this for me and checking in on Clara. I’m one lucky bastard to have you as my best mate,” Alex said with pride. Noel felt the same sense of pride through him. Alex had been his best friend since his first memories. He was everything to Noel, practically his brother, blood or not.

"Remember, not a hand on my sister, got it?" It was another demand. Noel shook his head and let out a bothered breath of air.

"As if I'd lay a finger on my mate's sister, let alone little Clara." 

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