Happy Birthday and Thanksgiving. You Little Bitch.
“Remind me why we are doing this again?” Toby groused at Hale.
They were walking across the driveway of the feline coalition’s compound. Not only was it as cold as a donkey’s ass, but the ground was covered in black ice. While Toby usually didn’t have any trouble keeping his footing. After all he was a Leopard Shifter and an Assassin one at that. Nevertheless, he found himself slipping as he balanced what had to be two dozen containers of food.
“Tell me again why you had to cook so much? Trevor said that we didn’t need to bring anything and that he had the whole meal covered,” Toby bitched.
“It would have been rude to come empty-handed. Besides, the whole point of Thanksgiving is to eat way too much,” Hales replied, calmly. “Be careful with that bottom box. It has your birthday cake in it.”
Had it been anybody, but Hales, Toby would have rolled his eyes. Hell, he may have even dropped the cake on purpose. The last thing Toby liked, other than having to be around his brother Shane, was to celebrate his frigging birthday. It’s pretty hard to get excited about the day he was born since it only reminded him that the only reason his mother had him was to sell him off to the highest bidder.
The guard at the door smiled at Hales as he let them inside. As for Toby, he rarely got a smile of a Hey, how are you? Not that he minded. After all, it wasn’t like he was lovey dovey with anybody save for Hale.
As they walked inside, Toby was assaulted with the warm, smells of cooking food. It seemed as if the cafeteria was having its own celebration for those who had no family of their own to be with.
“It smells like an apple, cinnamon, gravy, turkey explosion in here,” Toby said.
“I think it’s great,” Hale said with a big.
Hale always had loved celebrating the Holidays and Toby’s birthday. It would have annoyed the hell of Toby had he not known that Hale did it out of love for his mate.
They made their way to Shane’s living quarters and knocked on the door. Trevor opened it and damned if he didn’t look as excited as Hale. Sigh. The only thing that was worse than one happy elf was two.
Then to Toby’s great relief Shane came up behind Trevor. Shane wore a scowl, showing he was just as irked by all the family togetherness as Toby. For some odd reason, knowing that made Toby feel more at home.
“Hey, bitch,” Shane greeted Toby.
“Hi, piss-hole,” Toby returned.
Since that was the usual manner that they greeted each other, Hale and Trevor didn’t seem to notice. Trevor just reached out and took the containers out of Toby’s arms.
“You guys didn’t have to bring anything,” Trevor protested.
“Well, I wanted to make sure that Toby had a cake for his birthday and once I got baking, I just couldn’t stop.” Hale took off his coat, revealing a bright red sweater with a turkey in the middle.
Trevor rushed into the kitchen and put the food away. As soon as he came out, he wrapped his arms around Shane and said, “Why don’t you give Toby his present?”
Toby had to work hard to hide his surprise. Why in the hell would Shane get him a damn present? They hated the hell out of each other and Toby was happy for things to remain that way.
He still took the large package as Shane thrust it his way. Looking down, Toby could see that Trevor had done the wrapping. Not only was it all bowed up and everything, but there were no death threats written on the colorful paper.
Toby sat down on the couch and unwrapped the gift. When he opened the box he was amazed to see that a pair of shortswords were nestled inside. There was no way Trevor would give out a gift like that. Besides, they were an exact match to the ones that Shane always carried. Only they were shiny and new, with no nicks or scratches on it.
That could only mean that it was Shane himself that had bought the weapons. Plus, he had taken the huge step in making sure they were the same as his. Toby was speechless. Never before had Shane gone this far out of his way to show that deep inside he did care, just as Toby cared for him. While they may be Leopards, they were brothers in the end.
“Thank you,” Toby finally managed to say, his fingers tracing the etchings in the handle.
Shane paused and for a brief moment Toby was able to see the brotherly love in his eyes. Then Shane waved his hand in a dismissive gesture and said, “Whatever. Happy birthday, asshole. Now let’s go eat.”
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