front door. When he opened it he found Jake there, hand raised as if about to knock.
Jake did a double take, and frowned. âWhat is this, Sixth Sense ?â
âYeah,â Willem said, and winked. âI see gay people.â
âUh huh.â Jake smacked Willem upside the head and entered the hallway. âYour eyes clearly need testing, then, guy,â he said, and carried on into the lounge. âHey, champ!â
Willem closed the door with a smirk, after a quick wave to some random passer-by who happened to look up in time to see this rather good-looking bloke standing in the doorway with nothing on but a bathrobe. The old woman, who either blushed very easily or was heavily made up, quickly looked away embarrassed. Willem wasnât too sure if she was embarrassed for him or her, but decided to not bother asking. He returned to the lounge, but got as far as the doorway before stopping, and just watched his best mate and nephew as they played.
Jake called out âSpider-manâ and Curtis assumed his attack pose, before running into Jake hitting him with everything he had, each thump accompanied by a âdoofâ.
That was what Willem loved about Jake; he always came across as a bit of tough-nut, the kind of guy who was always good humoured around those he liked, but not the sort of person youâd want to cross. The shaved head (freshly razored at the behest of Amy, no doubt) added to this effect, and it was a look Willem was beginning to get used to, after a week of it not growing on Jake. Despite all this, Jake could be the gentlest soul in the world, amazingly compassionate and considerate, and his tactility with young children was beyond reproach.
Although neither as tall nor as ugly, Willem had heard people refer to Jake as the BFG, and it was a label Willem kind of agreed with. Not that he was especially tall, but his bulk always made Jake appear like a giant among men.
Now they were rolling on the floor, Curtis on top, arms held high claiming he was the winner. Jake offered Willem a wink.
âCoffee?â Willem asked, still smiling.
âGood call,â Jake replied.
Once Jake was able to extricate himself from Curtis, he joined Willem in the kitchen and plonked himself on his usual stool by the back door. He pulled out a cigarette and lit it. âSo whatâs the what, guy? I doubt you called me here just to admire my gorgeous looks.â
Willem turned from the kettle and looked Jake up and down. The tight jeans Jake wore were doing him no favours, pressed as they were against his not so impressive crotch. Briefly Willem was reminded of their hug during the early hours of Wednesday morning, but dismissed the thought quickly. âNo,â he said, ânot to admire your looks.â
âYeah, Iâm just too much man for you. One day youâll have to admit it.â
Willem laughed, glad to see that Jake was as in high spirits as he. He had wondered if Jake was still a little off about his trip, but it seemed Jake had got used to the idea. âOkay, one day, I promise. Until then, I need to talk to you about Curtis.â
Jakeâs good humour left him abruptly and he sat up straight, casting a quick glance to the hallway beyond. âWhat about him?â
Willem held up a hand, and said quickly; âDonât worry, heâs not been harmed or anything like that. Iâm just concerned for his wellbeing.â He let Jake relax a little before asking; âHow many times has Curtis stayed here in the last two weeks?â
Jake thought about this. âThree, four?â
âThree, right. Two of those nights have been in the last three days. I donât know whatâs going on with Ren, and right now I donât much care, but a kid Curtisâs age needs stability, not pulled from pillar to post.â
âAgreed. So what do you suggest?â
âIâm not sure, exactly, but Iâm seriously thinking of bringing the
Percival Everett, James Kincaid