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Silas pulled at the collar of his shirt for the umpteenth time.
“Leave it alone, you’ll make your tie crooked again,” Daniel admonished him. “You’d think you’d be used to having something around your throat, you have been wearing His collar for a while now.”
Silas glared at his smirking brother. “You just wait until it’s your turn. I’ll get even. You see if I don’t.”
Daniel simply poked his tongue out and returned to adjusting his own suit.
A knock heralded Toby arriving. “Is the lamb ready to be led to the slaughter?” He smirked at Silas and got the same glare Daniel had.
Silas threw his hands in the air. “Fine, pick on the groom. See if I care.”
“Aww, we love you really bro,” Daniel cooed and pulled Silas into a group hug with Toby.
Silas melted and returned the hug. He couldn’t believe he was getting married. He wasn’t going to be Oliver’s husband. What did he know about being a husband?
Anna had tried to tell him that being a husband was no different to being Oliver’s boyfriend, submissive, or even friend. But, although he knew that in his head, telling his heart not to worry was a different thing. What if he disappointed Oliver? What if he messed p bad enough that Oliver told him to leave? What if…?
“Stop!” the command cut through his panic like a knife through butter.
Silas realized Toby and Daniel had let him go and he was shaking badly. The command had come from Carlos who was now moving nearer.
“What are you thinking. Tell me all of it now.” Although Carlos’ tone was firm and brooked no argument his face was gentle and Silas drew a shuddering breath.
After he’d told Carlos everything Daniel and Toby tried to break in, but Carlos held up a hand and they stopped.
“Silas, I’m not going to tell you you’re being stupid or that you shouldn’t have those feelings and thoughts. I will tell you a story though.”
Carlos led Silas to a chair and made him sit.
“I got out the army a few years ago. I wasn’t in a good way and was feeling rather sorry for myself. I didn’t want to see anyone and I basically locked myself in my small apartment.
“You see I was a sniper and someone had told the enemy where to find me and my team. My team died getting me out alive. I blamed myself and I was sure I wasn’t good enough to be around other people. Needless to say, I was discharged quietly and told to get help.
“Oliver and Tara didn’t give up and after a few months, they took matters into their own hands. Oliver broke down my door and Tara dragged me to see Anna. Oliver then informed me that I was a partner in the club he and Tara were running and I was expected to be there at oh-nine-hundred on Monday morning to learn the ropes.
“When I did my first shift at the bar I was terrified. I thought what if trouble starts up? what if someone tries to start a fight and I can’t talk them down? What if I freaked out and people started laughing at me? Need I go on?”
Silas shook his head and tried to make sure his jaw wasn’t on the ground.
“What I’m saying is we all have fears and we all have to try and get past them. you will always have that voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough, or that you’re going to mess up. the hard part is telling that voice to fuck off and doing things anyway.
“Oliver is not going to let you leave here today as anything except a married couple. The only way you could escape would be to convince him you don’t love and want to marry him. and that’s not true, now is it?”
Silas shook his head again. Music filtered through the closed door.
“That’s your cue.” Carlos rose from his crouch and straightened his suit. “You ready now?”
Silas swallowed and nodded. Then he had an idea.
“Will you escort me to Master Oliver, Sir?”
Carlos looked shocked for a moment, then he grinned and held out his arm.
“It would be my pleasure.”
And so Silas headed into the unknown with his brother’s Master on his arm and his brothers protecting his six.
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