Twenty Three

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My eyes dart to Xavier, I implore him with a glare that screams, 'shut up, shut up, shut up

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My eyes dart to Xavier, I implore him with a glare that screams, 'shut up, shut up, shut up.' Please Xavier, don't wedge your foot any father in your mouth than it already is.

I force a smile at Jackson. Now, more than ever, I want to go back to his beach house and forget that I exist. I want to crawl under the feather duvet with Jax, feel the breeze from the open window and smell the salt from the ocean while I bury myself inside the secure confines of his arms until I start feeling like a person again.

I clear my throat. "You didn't miss much."

Xavier's expression is completely deadpan.

Jax removes one of the to-go cups and hands it to me before repeating this process for Xavier and himself. He sets the bag on the coffee table and flops down in the armchair, leaving me no choice but to sit myself down beside X.

Xavier shuffles no more than a millimeter to the side so I make myself as small as I can, folding my legs to fit on my two thirds of a square of couch. He's not being super generous with the sofa real estate. Given the bomb he decided to explode ten seconds ago, it's fair to say he is being rather inconsiderate.

Jackson leans forward and removes three styro-foam containers from the large paper bag. "Eggs, bacon, hash browns."

I can smell the bacon and I can't tell if the way my stomach churns is a result of the scent or the hangover. Jackson continues, removing three plastic forks and napkins. He hands one to each of us, flips the lids to the containers open and sets them across the length of the coffee table.

"Who needs plates? Dig in." He points to the container of bacon. "Look at that, it's like bacon floatation devices swimming in grease. You'll be cured before you know it... kind of." He grins at me.

I grab a piece of bacon with my fingers while Xavier leans over and takes an obscene amount of hash browns on the end of his fork. The grease from the bacon literally drips off of the end and I have to cup my other hand underneath it to make sure the mess doesn't land on Xavier's carpet.

Jackson starts in with the eggs. "You're quiet," he observes.

I chew on the lukewarm bacon, clear my throat and say, "Cause I feel like I've been revived from the dead."

He shrugs. "Fair enough."

"Thanks for getting breakfast," X says.

"No worries." Jackson's eyes settle on me. "Did you get to talk?"

I almost choke on the bacon. "Yep."

"Good," Jax says. "Eat up."

Filling my face with food, even in my current state holds far more appeal that actually speaking at this point. I don't want to utter another word.

Half an hour later, the only thing that remains from breakfast is the recycled oil the food was sitting in. Xavier finally gives up the couch space, standing to deposit the containers into the trash while Jax is leaning back against the armchair, his hands folded across his stomach and a contented look on his face. I almost feel bad for making him move.

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