D imtri’s eyes popped open unbidden and he stared into the dim reaches of the dragon temple above him. He let his eyes and ears acclimate to being awake, ignoring the remnants of the dream he’d been having about his twin brother. Alex… you should be here, too , he thought.
This had been their shared dream, finding a place like this. The desire to find evidence that the mythical creatures were real had driven the two brothers through their studies. Now Dimitri was there , waking up to the image of exquisitely carved jade dragons that guarded every reach of the massive temple, and the only thing on his mind was the regret that Alex wasn’t there to share it with him.
You’re here to let that go. To let Alex go, he told himself as he clambered out of his sleeping bag and hunted for the kettle. The nearby fountain splashed and gurgled and Dimitri marveled at the artistry of the carvings that made up their water source while he filled the kettle. The strange stones that filled the firepit they used for cooking were even more fascinating, and yet another detail he could imagine Alex enthusing over. He set the kettle down onto the hot bed of glowing rocks and sat back. Unable to shake thoughts of his brother just yet, he gave in one more time to the memories that played out in the bright embers while he waited for the water to boil so he could make coffee.
“Hey, love. I’d like you to meet my brother, Dimitri.”
Dimitri put on his brightest, most welcoming smile to greet his twin brother’s girlfriend. “Thea. Alex has told me so much about you.” Probably a lot more than you’d be comfortable with , he thought. Alex’s description of her had definitely done her justice, at least.
He reached out his hands to clasp hers affectionately, acutely conscious of her soft skin and the way she filled out the sheer, black blouse she wore. He let his hands linger over hers just a little longer than necessary, ignoring the little voice in his head reminding him that she was taken.
She was petite and curvaceous, with short, curly brown hair. Pixieish was how Alex had described her the week before. “With luscious lips and a cunt that tastes like strawberries.” Dimitri agreed that her lips did indeed appear luscious, and his brother was not prone to exaggeration so he trusted the other detail was accurate, too. If he didn’t feel just a little desperate for attention after being dumped himself, he’d have been able to deal with the soft allure of a pretty girl. As it was, Thea was a little too perfect. Alex had good taste. They both did, but somehow Alex was the better judge of character.
“Wow, Dimitri, you are every bit as handsome as your brother told me,” Thea replied with a flirty twinkle in her eye that made Dimitri curse his brother in response. She’d won him over already, and now she was flirting?
Dimitri pulled his hands back and shoved them in his pockets, taking her in surreptitiously while they walked to the bar. As first impressions went, his impression of Thea was good, at least objectively. Not that he could be strictly objective after thinking about her naked. But as long as he ignored his unmistakable attraction to her he could tell that Alex seemed happy, and his brother’s happiness meant more to him than anything.
At the bar, the three of them bantered like best friends. After a few drinks Thea decided to make it her singular purpose to find Dimitri a date.
“I don’t think my brother’s looking for a date tonight, love,” Alex told her.
“How do you know?” she asked.
Dimitri was entertained by her contrary tone. His brother had found a live one. Not exactly surprising, but it didn’t help him remain objective.
“I know because we share those details with each other.” Alex met his eyes and took a drink of his beer. He hadn’t been lying, but the truth was the two of them shared everything. There was nothing Dimitri had experienced that Alex didn’t know
Darrin Zeer, Frank Montagna