Chapter Twelve: Summer Break

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"We can't play Pictionary. There are seven of us. It won't be even teams," Todd said, frowning as they got the game out.

"Sorry, Phee, guess you have to leave," Levon smirked, turning to his little sister and she glared at him. Her wet hair was up in a twist, she had been forced to remove the little makeup she had put on. She was wearing one of Betto's t-shirts and a pair of his basketball shorts. She looked extremely unimpressed with her older brother, clearly not quite having forgiven him for pelting her with water-balloons as she walked to the front door.

"Leave the poor girl alone, Levon," Aisha cut in, sending Ophelia a sympathetic look. "You've put her through enough."

"She's been through worse," Levon snickered, chuckling a bit louder when Ophelia just glared at him harder. Todd rolled his eyes at Levon's antics and kicked the man in the leg to divert his attention. Levon turned his head to give Todd a grin before he slung his arm along the back of Todd's chair. Todd allowed it, feeling his heart rate speed up as it always seemed to when Levon showed any forms of affection.

Being around Levon had changed ever since Levon had said the L-word. Todd felt light, and his pulse quickened each time he was around Levon. Levon had become significantly more affectionate; touching, hugging, and kissing Todd at every opportunity. It was taking Todd some getting used to but he could hardly say it was an unpleasant change. He silently admitted to himself that he did enjoy the small gestures; like the arm behind his shoulders, fingers almost absently moving in tiny patterns on his shoulder.

"I hate that that's true. You bully my girlfriend," Betto sighed and set up the game at the center of the table. They were all in Betto's dining room, placed in the spacious, air-conditioned room and trying to avoid the sweltering heat outside. Sun spilled in through all the windows and they had taken seats around the round table to play games like a bunch of children. Save for the cold beers that were placed around the table and in their hands.

"It's not bullying if she's my sister," Levon argued.

"I'm pretty sure it is," Aisha retorted and Todd sighed.

"Let's just play the game," Todd said and grabbed a pencil and slip of paper. "Me and Levon, Betto and Ophelia, and Cash, Parker and Aisha. Parker is shit at everything so he barely even counts as a player anyway."

"Rude," Parker frowned, and Cash cracked up laughing.

"Way to make me the third wheel of the team," Aisha grumbled and dragged her chair closer to the happy couple. Todd smirked and little and Aisha flipped him off.

Ophelia and Betto went first and the game was sent rolling. The pieces moved across the board and Todd's cheeks hurt from laughing. It was clear that none of them were anywhere near decent artists, and Parker was clearly among the worst, unable to even understand what anyone else was drawing. As predicted he was a useless member. Before long Cash and Aisha were complaining that Parker was the reason why their team was in last place and Betto was trying to shut them up, a satisfied grin on his lips at being in the lead with Ophelia.

Levon was frustrated, ridiculously competitive, wanting to be ahead of his sister and Todd couldn't help how much that amused him. He had purposely dragged their turns out to get Levon on edge and annoyed with him. The pinches Levon kept delivering to Todd's thigh were a clear indicator to how unimpressed Levon was with Todd's behaviour.

"All play," Cash sighed as their piece landed on the orange square and Levon let out a quick cheer, snatching up his pencil.

"Get your head in the game, Toddy," Levon growled at him and Todd snickered. "Or I'll be smothering you in your sleep tonight."

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