Chapter Twenty Two
Warm hands wandered slowly down his torso, tweaking his nipples. Lips were working slowly against his neck, nibbling the joint between his shoulder and his neck. He wasn't quite sure how he ended up in this position… He'd been playing football, and now, suddenly, he was lying on a comfy bed, with someone on top of him. His body seemed super sensitive. Every touch felt like it was burning him. Gentle fingers slid underneath his waistband and caressed his length slowly. The person on top of him drew back, smiling seductively. Twinkling blue eyes… floppy blonde hair… straight white teeth… Gabriel!
Jordan sat up in bed with a soft yelp, and immediately fell back on the pillows with a groan. His head was pounding dully, his body was covered in a light sheen of sweat, and his heart was racing in his chest. And, he was rock-hard underneath the blankets. Flushing with embarrassment, Jordan slowly opened his eyes again, and looked around. Moving his head hurt, so he kept as still as he could. He was in a small room, painted a light cream colour. There was a small red and yellow painting of flowers on the wall above his head. The room smelt… clean, almost clinical.
The door opened slowly, making him look over, and wince as he did so.
"Mrs Dower?" He groaned softly.
"How're you feeling, Jordan?" The school nurse knelt beside his bed and brushed her fingers again his forehead gently. "You're burning up. Would you like some water?" Jordan shook his head, only just realising he was shivering.
"What happened?" He whispered.
"You were ill on the football pitch, and then you passed out. Three of your teammates brought you to me." Jordan groaned softly. "Would you like some aspirin?"
"Allergic." Jordan grunted. There was a soft knock on the door, and Gabe's head poked around the edge of the door. Jordan remembered his dream and flushed brightly. Fortunately, Mrs Dower just thought it was a symptom of his illness, and laid a damp flannel across his face.
"You okay, fella?" Gabe came over and felt Jordan's forehead. "Jeez, you're hot."
"Shuddup." Jordan grumbled sourly.
"Come on. Let's get you home, and in bed." Jordan almost groaned aloud at Gabe's wording.
"I'm fine. Let me up."
"You're going to bed, and you're going to stay there until you're better." Gabriel said firmly. "Come on." Mrs Dower helped Gabe lift Jordan to his feet.
"How are you going to get him home?" Mrs Dower asked, as they stumbled through the corridors. Jordan moaned softly in pain as his head jolted.
"I found an old wagon in the cellar before I came. I can pull him along on that." Mrs Dower stared at Gabe.
"Yeah. I don't have a car. My boyfriend's outside. He can help me." Jordan stumbled and almost fell as they reached the entrance hall. He moaned softly when Gabe's arm snaked around his waist and hugged him securely, keeping him on his feet. Jordan was feeling too ill to react to Gabe's touch, more than to get a fuzzy feeling in his stomach. With a groan, Jordan leant over one of the large flower pots beside the double doors to the school entrance, and vomited loudly into the soil. He felt Gabe's fingers gently stroke his hair, rubbing his back as he crouched over.
"I feel crap." He whispered.
"I know. Come on. Bailey's parked just over there."
"So, there's no wagon?" Mrs Dower asked, looking relieved. "I never could tell when you were joking, Gabriel." Gabe smirked and her, and gently levered Jordan into Bailey's car. "Keep him cool when you get him home. Take away his duvet, and keep him under thin blankets. That should help to break the fever. Feed him what you can; liquids, preferably. And see if you can get him to take some medicine. He said he's allergic to aspirin?" Gabe nodded.
"I use Calpol. The children's purple stuff. It works really well on him. Thanks for your help, Mrs Dower. Can you please get a message to Phoebe that Jordan's unwell at home, and could she come straight back after school?" The school nurse nodded and went back inside. Gabe clambered into the car beside Jordan, and felt his brother's forehead again. Bailey drove them quickly home, and helped Gabe carry Jordan up the stairs to bed. Gabe stripped the duvet from the bed and laid a thin cotton sheet over Jordan.
"I'm cold." Jordan murmured, starting to shiver violently.
"I know. But you'll feel better for this in the morning. Do you want anything? Some soup?" Jordan shook his head. "Alright. I'll be back in a minute." Gabriel went down and rooted in the medicine cupboard for a moment, before he found a bottle of Calpol and a plastic spoon. He went back upstairs and dosed Jordan with medicine, ignoring Jordan's spluttered protests about 'it's just a cold' and 'I'll be fine in the morning'. "Try and go to sleep." Gabe told him firmly. "I'll bring you some soup in a few hours." Jordan mumbled something, and rolled over, cuddling under the thin sheet. He was asleep by the time Gabe left the room.
"Is he alright?" Bailey asked when Gabe went back into the kitchen. Gabe shrugged.
"I think he just needs to rest." He flopped down in a kitchen chair and yawned.
"It's two in the afternoon, and you're already yawning?" Bailey smirked.
"Well, you tired me out this afternoon." Bailey laughed and kissed the top of Gabe's head.
"Hey, guess what?"
"I found a place in the paper a really like, and I've got an appointment with the estate agent tomorrow to go and see it. You wanna come?"
"I wish I could. But I've got to work." Gabe smiled at him. "It's good you've found a place though. Where is it?"
"Blackthorne Terrace. It's near the cinema." Gabe nodded.
"I think I know where it is."
"It's just a little apartment, but it looks nice in the picture." Bailey sank into the chair beside Gabe with a sigh. "Actually, I think living by myself could be really great… I can watch whatever I want on TV."
"I'd love to be able to do that." Gabe sighed. Bailey laughed. "I can push Phoebe and the twins off, no problem. It's Jordan who's… immovable." Bailey smirked.
The pair spent a quiet afternoon together, watching old films on the TV and making out in the advert breaks. Gabriel at one point got up to start making dinner preparations, but Bailey pulled him back down onto the sofa and Gabe sort of forgot about getting up again once he was down. They only separated when they heard Phoebe and the twins come through the front door.
"Hey Gabe." Rose came and jumped on his knees, grinning broadly.
"Hey, munchkin. Good day?"
"Yeah. It's our trip next week!"
"I know. Are you looking forward to it?"
"Yeah! We're going to the zoo!" Bailey smiled in amusement. "I wanna see a monkey!"
"I want to see a lion!" Liam chipped in.
"I'm sure you'll see both." Gabe wrapped his arms around them and lifted them both easily. They giggled and cuddled into his neck. "Do you guys want some dinner? We have… fish fingers, beans and eggs."
"Yeah!" They chorused together. Gabe sent them to find fish fingers in the freezer and quickly found two tins of beans in the cupboard. He put the fish fingers under the grill and waited ten minutes, before tipping the beans into a saucepan and putting an oiled frying pan onto another ring. He quickly fried five eggs and dished up dinner, calling everyone down to eat.
"How's Jordan?" Phoebe asked, sliding into her seat and tucking in.
"Still asleep." Bailey replied. "I just checked on him."
After dinner, Gabe went up to check on Jordan again. He gently shook his brother awake and felt his forehead.
"You're still really hot. Do you want some soup?" He asked gently. Jordan shook his head and rolled over in bed.
"I want my duvet back." He mumbled.
"Sorry, kid. Not going to happen. Sure you don't want anything to eat?"
"Mm." Gabe tucked the blanket more securely around Jordan's body, closed the curtains, and let his brother go back to sleep.
"Just us tonight, folks." The twins were bickering over DVDs when he went back downstairs. Phoebe and Bailey were chatting animatedly about one of Phoebe's school subjects. For a moment, Gabe stood and surveyed the picturesque family scene, for once without arguments, drama, tears and shouting, and immediately felt guilty that he should feel that way when only Jordan was missing. Gabe stayed with them for an hour or so, before firmly putting the twins to bed.
"I'm going up too." Bailey said a few minutes later. "I'm exhausted." Gabe nodded.
"I'm going to stay with Jordan tonight, in case he needs me." Bailey yawned and nodded cheerfully. "Were you warm enough last night? I forgot to check before we fell asleep. I can fetch you more blankets if you need them." Bailey shook his head.
"I'll be fine, thanks." Gabe fetched himself a sleeping bag from the cellar and took it up to Jordan's room. Determined to give all the camping equipment a good airing before next week, Gabe spread the bad out beside Jordan's bed, on the floor, and slithered inside it, trying to ignore the musty smell of the fabric.