Halo Ch. 09


Ren got to his feet hurriedly and went to stand beside her; he placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. "Calm down 'Tanaya. Let me speak to Janey while you take several deep breaths," he said calmly. Gently he eased the phone from her tightly clenched hand.

"Hi Janey, It's Gabe. What's happened?" Ren asked calmly.

"Uh ... Gabriel," Janey said quietly, surprise clear in her voice. "Brad got hurt this morning. He'll be fine but he's in hospital over night. He had to go to work for a few hours and on the way to work the vehicle went off the road. The window broke and Brad got his arm sliced open. And a mild concussion,"

"Is he likely to get home tomorrow?" Ren asked quietly.

'Tanaya glanced around the room wildly, "I'm gonna pack and I'll get the first flight home," she announced and headed for the bedroom she had been using.

"Yes, he just has to stay in because he has to have strong antibiotics in a drip over night," Janey was saying softly.

"And you're staying at the house alone with Nicky?" Ren inquired.

"Brent will be here shortly. He's going to camp in the lounge room so I'm not alone," Janey explained.

"That's good Blondie. I'll wind things up here tomorrow morning and we'll head back as soon as we can, alright," Ren said soothingly.

"Okay," Janey agreed.

"Got a pen handy Sweetheart" Ren asked.

"Yeah, just a moment."

Ren listened to the faint rustling on the other end of the phone and then her soft breathing once again.

"Got pen and paper. Got a message for Brad or Brent?" Janey asked.

"Copy this number down," Ren said and slowly gave her the number to where he was. "One of you give us a call about ten in the morning. Let us know how Brad is, okay,"

"Can do," Janey acknowledged.

"Talk to you in the morning. Sweet dreams Blondie," Ren said, his voice dropping to an intimate tone.

"Is 'Tanaya okay? She sounded very upset when I said Brad was in hospital," Janey said softly.

" 'Tanaya will be fine, I'll look after her for Brad," Ren said gently. "Goodnight Blondie."

"Goodnight," Janey echoed.

Ren put the phone down and let out a huge sigh, glanced around for 'Tanaya then headed towards the bedrooms.

"Hey 'Tanaya, calm down mate," Ren said soothingly.

"Brad's hurt - I need to be with him," 'Tanaya said tearfully.

"We'll head home tomorrow. It should only take me half an hour, an hour at the most in the morning to set things up for Saul to finish things up for me," Ren told her gently.

'Tanaya nodded shakily and sat down on the edge of the bed and buried her face in her hands.

Ren hesitated for a moment before walking over, sitting beside her and putting an arm around her shoulders.

"It'll be alright," he soothed gently.

After a few moments 'Tanaya lifted her head and smiled teary eyed. Ren gently lifted her face by her chin. He kissed one eye closed then the other before enfolding her in his arms and holding her gently. When he felt her turn her head he pulled back slightly and looked down into her face for a few moments.

Her eyes drifted closed as he lowered his head and their lips met halfway. She felt the slight rasp of his goatee as his lips brushed against hers and she opened her mouth as his tongue traced the seam of her lips.

Both of them were breathless when he raised his head and he rested his forehead against hers for several minutes while their breathing returned to normal.

"I'd better go to my room," Ren said quietly.

"That might be a smart idea," 'Tanaya agreed faintly.

Ren got to his feet and walked to the door. He paused and looked back at 'Tanaya for moment before leaving the room.

Where the hell is my head? 'Tanaya is Brad's woman and he's my best mate, Ren thought as he shut his bedroom door.

Ren stepped into the centre of the room and ran both hands through his hair. His body was humming with frustration and he shut his eyes tightly.

" 'Tanaya might be one sexy lady but she's not you Blondie, she's not you. Damn I need you sweetheart - you make my soul complete," Ren muttered softly.

In the other bedroom 'Tanaya was lying face down on the bed with her face buried in her pillow. After several moments she rolled onto her back taking the pillow with her and hugging it to her chest. Ren's kiss had been everything she had imagined kissing him would be like and nothing like she had thought it would be.

"You stay in your room Ren 'cause I don't think Brad would understand about satisfying physical urges with another man. As much as I've wondered ... it wouldn't be worth it," 'Tanaya muttered to herself. She took a deep breath and let out a tense sigh.

If I have to restrict myself to one man then I'm glad it's Brad. 'Tanaya thought with a frown as she rolled onto her stomach once again. Trust me to fall for someone who's not into threesomes or voyeurism.

* * * * *

Janey put the glass of water and two pain relief tablets on the coffee table near Brad and planted her hands on her hips.

"You will take those tablets now!" Janey ordered tightly.

"No. I want to be clear-headed when Ren and 'Tanaya get here in a little while," Brad said between clenched teeth.

Janey was silent as she regarded him for several moments. He was strained around the mouth and his eyes were glazed with the pain from his arm. He had been very difficult for the last two hours as the pain in his arm built.

"Take the tablets before Nicky finds them," Janey warned angrily.

"Put them up so he can't, " Brad shot back.

"Take the tablets and go try to have a nap. I promise I will wake you when they get back," Janey said tapping one foot in irritation.

"Back off," Brad warned darkly.

"Just take the bloody tablets," Janey snapped.

"They can't be more than half an hour away. I'll take the tablets once I've seen 'Tanaya," Brad said and looked away. "She was really freaked out when you told her I'd been hurt according to Ren."

"You think she will be impressed that you're in pain when she gets back because you wouldn't take your tablets before you saw her?" Janey demanded.

Brad gave a slight groan and reached for the tablets. "I didn't think of it like that," he admitted.

Janey watched relieved as Brad put the tablets in his mouth and washed them down with the glass of water.

"If you go lay down I'll keep Nicky quietly occupied," Janey said softly.

"I'll go lay down before I start to get groggy," Brad agreed and got to his feet stiffly.

Janey watched him head to his bedroom then turned her attention to Nicky who was playing with some matchbox cars. He was making engine noises and moving the car he held along the outline of a road on the play mat on the floor.

"Would you like some fruit salad Nicky," Janey asked. They referred to pieces of several fruit as fruit salad and it was Nicky's favourite mid afternoon snack.

"Frui' sala," Nicky said as he looked up eagerly.

"Fruit salad," Janey confirmed with a laugh.

The cut up fruit was ready in a covered bowl in the fridge and Janey sat at the table with Nicky while he ate with gusto. Her mobile buzzed its silent vibrating demand in her pocket and she took it out to check the screen. It showed private number and she placed it on the table without answering.

While Nicky was occupied with his fruit Janey helped herself to a glass of cold water. When her phone buzzed on the table she almost didn't look at it then reached for it with a sigh. The number displayed was unfamiliar and Janey answered it reluctantly.

"Hallo," her voice was cautious.

"Hi Janey, it's 'Tanaya,"

"Just down the road" Janey asked.

"We'll be another couple of hours; the road is closed from a crash earlier. We could turn back and go way out around but that would add another two or three hours driving time. We're both pretty bushed so we're waiting here. At least we can have a break if not a rest," 'Tanaya explained.

"Bummer. Brad should be asleep at the moment he took some painkillers. He'll be up and about when you get here," Janey told her.

"How is he," 'Tanaya asked.

"Grumpy 'cause you aint here," Janey said with a laugh.

"Awww -the poor boy," 'Tanaya commiserated.

"See you when you get here," Janey said.

"Yeah see you then," 'Tanaya agreed before ending the call.

"Dar?" Nicky was watching her hopefully.

"Dar and Naynay," Janey told him. She watched as her son broke into a beautiful smile and clapped his hands together mashing the piece of strawberry he held.

Janey laughed and got to her feet to get a wet rag to wipe his hands and face. She paused and turned her head towards the doorway, faint sounds catching her attention. Footsteps sounded nearing the kitchen and she watched the doorway.

"They not back yet," Brent asked as he stopped in the doorway.

"Hey move it," Matty complained behind him.

"Not yet, something about the road being temporarily closed after an accident. They should be here close to tea time," Janey said as she turned her attention back to her son.

"Need a hand with anything," Matty asked as he walked over and picked up Nicky who was now clean after his snack.

"Yeah you can occupy Nicky quietly for the next two hours," Janey said with a smile.

"Want to have a go on the swing?" Matty asked Nicky who was chatting away merrily to him. Nicky nodded enthusiastically and Matty headed for the backyard.

"Matty is nothing but a big kid himself," Brent remarked as he turned his attention back to Janey.

"Yeah but at least he's house trained," Janey agreed.

Brent shook his head with a smile as he helped himself to a cold beer. "So Shantanaya keeps reminding me," Brent said wryly.

"What is the story between you and 'Tanaya if you don't mind me asking," Janey said as she sat across the table from him.

Brent was silent for a moment as he studied Janey's face. "You'd have to ask 'Tanay' about it," he finally said.

Janey turned her face away and reached for her empty glass.

"How are the birthday plans going for Friday?" Brent asked evenly.

"Good. Every thing is worked out," Janey said with a grateful smile at the change of subject. She still found Brent a bit intimidating at times.

"Is there anything Nicky would want or need? I'm a bit stuck with present ideas," Brent explained.

"Nicky loves building blocks, toy cars and t-shirts with toy cars on them," Janey said with a faint smile. Robby had asked her the same question a few days earlier.

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