Excerpt 002 from WBMAM

Rating: M

“How did you find me here?”  It was sweltering in the claustrophobic sauna, but Judah’s tone remained a block of ice, untouched by the heat.

Pilot tilted his head sideways somewhat to peer around his brother to check on the woman from the front desk, who was twisting the belt of a robe around her waist, her motions hurried and angry. When she looked up at him, it was only to scowl as she snapped at the two of them, “I better get back to work,” before she left. The automatic door closed behind her with a soft whoosh. He felt for her – he certainly hadn’t intended to lead her on so far, and he felt guilty for not realizing how much their flirting had insinuated to her.

“The same way I always find you, Judah,” Pilot answered, settling his hands on his thighs to rub them on the fabric of the robe. He was reaching a point in his body temperature where he was passing discomfort and would soon feel queasy.

“Didn’t you get the hint, Pilot?”

He kept the wince to himself and shrugged. “I’d hoped maybe you were half dead in a ditch somewhere.”

Judah’s expression went from mildly irritated to hostile. “Very funny.”

Pilot laughed, and it was choppy and forced and it brought him more pain than it did Judah. “Yeah,” he said, “Like leaving your brother at the airport to walk over 30 kilometers in the torrential rain. Good jokes.”

Judah’s mouth formed a hard line and Pilot saw himself. Their anger was identical. “So what do you want, then?” Judah crossed his arms over his chest, signifying to Pilot that Judah had shut out any sympathy he may have been feeling.

“I was just making sure you weren’t dead, but I see now that you were hoping I was.”

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