Chapter 4: The Dinner

44.6K 1.3K 280

I stared blankly between Darian and Nathan. I saw zero resemblance. Tilting my head, I said, "Are you sure? You guys look nothing a like."

Nathan gave a small laugh, "Same mother, different fathers. Probably why Darian is the next Einstein, and I'm not."

"Oh," I replied lamely. When Nathan went to give another customer a drink, I turned to Darian, "I thought we were having dinner?"

"He gets off at eight," Darian sighed, looking longingly at the beer bottle that rested in between us, empty.

Nathan took the empty bottle and replaced it with two new ones, placing them in front of Darian and I, "Eh, I'll get off a little early, it's not that busy anyways," he turned to the older gentleman behind the counter, who I quite frankly, didn't notice until now, "Isn't that right Ed?"

Ed only grunted in response.

"He's a man of many words," Darian's brother said sarcastically, as he made his way around the counter so he could now stand with us, "How about we move this to a booth?"

Darian nodded, grabbed his beer, as did I, and we followed Nathan closer to the quieter part of the bar.

The lights were just as dim here than they were at the front, making the green leather booths look a lot darker than the green leather stools.

Once we were seated, a waitress immediately placed menus in front of us, checking out Nathan in the process. Nathan, however, paid no attention. Instead, he was staring at me. Leaning forward, his eyes pouring into mine, he said, "I recommend the cheese burger here, the onion rings are nice too, we make our own batter. So, do you have a boyfriend, Audrey?"

Taken aback by the last sentence, I literally jerked my head back. Darian on the other hand, groaned, "Bro, can you keep your penis in check? Yes, she has a boyfriend. Now shut up and stop hitting on my roommate. It's creepy."

"My apologies," Nathan said, not sounding very apologetic. He quickly glanced at the menu, clicked his tongue and said, "Well, I meant what I said. The burgers and onion rings are pretty good."

Twenty minutes later, all three of us are presented with plates of cheeseburgers and onion rings. Darian and Nathan were talking, like normal brothers do. Occasionally I joined in the conversation, but I found myself backing off. Mainly because I didn't want to risk Nathan's flirty comments, but also because I didn't want to intrude. For the first time in weeks, Darian looked relaxed.

That was until Nathan stopped the conversation to say, "So, my smarty pants brother and smarty pants brother's roommate, I also invited you out tonight because I need a favour."

Halfway through my last bite of my cheeseburger, I swallowed it whole, nearly choking in the process, "Uh, okay-y?"

Darian gave me a nervous glance, "What's the favour?"

"I need a place to live," Nathan stated bluntly.

"What happened to the place you live in now?" My friend asked, slowly reaching for his beer.

I studied Nathan, waiting for a answer.

"The person who I was renting from decided they wanted to move back in," Nathan also grabbed his beer, taking a large sip of it, "I have until next week to move out and I don't have enough to get a place of my own."

Leaning forward, I said, "Why can't you and your current roommate find a place together?"

Darian nodded in agreement at my question.

Nathan sighed loudly, "Because he moved in with his girlfriend," crossing his arms and pouting, he muttered under his breath, "That jerk."

Darian gave me a sideways glance, "Do you want to talk about this outside?"

Nodding my head, both Darian and I stand up, making our way out of the bar. When we get outside, the autumn breeze combs through my hair and my breath is seen when I exhale into the night sky.

Darian is the first one to speak, "It's okay if you don't want him to move in. He can be a jerk and hard to handle."

"Darian," I started and then paused. Taking a deep breath and then licking my lips I said, "He's your brother. Where would he go if we say no?"

My roommate ran his hand through his blond locks, "I don't know... My parents sure as hell won't take him in. They'll say he's too old to be living with them and lecture him about it and then I have to hear about it."

I glanced at him, "How old is he? He's not like, thirty or something, right?"

Darian let out a chuckle, looking up at the night sky, "No, he's not thirty, Audrey. He's going to be twenty four in December."

I nodded my head. Okay, so he wasn't creepy old. But he was still a huge flirt. How would Noah react if he heard I was living with another guy, who was most definitely not gay? He would be livid.

I glanced at my friend, his eyes dripped with worry. I couldn't say no to Darian's family. Sure, I just met Nathan and I already think he's annoying, but, if it were my sister who needed a place to stay, Darian would say yes in a heartbeat.

Turning to Darian, I said, "Well, we do have an extra room in the apartment. I know we said we would wait so we could adjust more before we got a new roommate, but he's your brother."

Darian's blue eyes widened, "Are you sure?"

"Positive," I nodded my head and smiled, "But please try to get him to stop flirting. I have Noah and he's most likely not going to be too thrilled of the news that Nathan is moving in."

"Of course," Darian nodded his head in understanding and then enveloping me into a tight hug, "Thank you so much, Audrey."

"No problem," I smiled at my friend.

Together, we went back inside the pub, and back to Nathan, who was still sitting in the booth. When he noticed our presence, he eyed us anxiously, "So, what's the verdict, Doc?"

Darian looked at me, inviting me to tell his brother the news. I sat down in the booth, took a deep sip of my beer, and breathed, "You can move in, we have an extra room, so it shouldn't be a problem."

Nathan gave me a wicked grin, showing off his pearly whites, "Thank you, sweeth-"

Darian raised his hand, "Shut up, and listen."

My friend, who was still standing, leaned over and pointed at his brother, "You will not flirt with Audrey, you will not party until the brink of dawn," wagging his finger, like a mother would to a misbehaving child, he continued, "You will not be a slob. Slobs are gross. And you will contribute to paying rent and groceries. You may be my brother but you aren't getting any freebies."

Looking at my friend, I let out a small snort. Here was Darian, who was visibly smaller than Nathan and visibly younger, telling him off like a child.  And here was Nathan, sitting there, arms crossed, taking it like he's used to Darian scolding him.

"Fine," Nathan grumbled, "I won't flirt with Audrey. But if she flirts first, there's no telling what I'll do next," Darian's brother finished with a wink.

I gagged internally. Like that was going to happen. There was no way in hell I would flirt with my friend's brother.

Darian sat down beside me, finishing the rest of his beer in one sip, he muttered, "I'm going to need something a lot stronger than this."

The Art of the Bartender's HeartRead this story for FREE!