Chapter 5:

Headache of Five

Love and Destruction

      That night–or more accurately morning–, Sylas and Actavio both had only gathered about an hour’s worth of sleep. It was the first time Actavio had ever felt sluggish after intercourse, since he and his wife never had a marathon such as that before, so he lugged himself out of bed to go shower while Sylas still struggled to rise. After fifteen minutes, he exited, looking much better than he did before.

They swapped, now letting Sylas rinse himself off. He absolutely loathed getting his hair wet but it was a must and luckily Actavio happened to have a hair dryer he could use. It took infinitely longer for Sylas to leave the bathroom, mainly because of his long hair, and by the time he left a pleasant smell filled the studio apartment. Breakfast.

In general, the apartment was looking much better than it was the previous night. The sheets were removed and folded on top, likely to clean later, and the tatters of clothing were now sitting beside them.

“You can wear your clothes, or if you’d like I can lend you some of mine.” Actavio exited the kitchen counter, readjusting his clothes. The only thing he wasn’t wearing was his blazer and coat, which was now resting on one of the stools by the counter.

“I’ll just wear mine.”

Sylas got dressed, redid his loose half-braid, then sat at the counter across from Actavio. The meal looked sensational with eggs cooked to perfection and an array of vegetables underneath it. Healthy, just as he would expect from Actavio.

“You know how to cook?”

“I do.” Actavio ate with a knife and fork, also the kind of class he expected from him. “I had to for someone at a time.”

Sylas debates prying further, but judging by his vague answer figures he doesn’t want to talk about it in the first place.

He takes a bite of his food, letting the bursting flavors encompass his mouth before remembering to speak. After all, who knew when he’d get another chance to talk to his crush again.

“You mind if I ask why you’re fighting in the underground ring? It’s not like you need the money.”

“There’s someone I’m looking for, and the only lead I have is that they’ve been seen there. As for the funds, I ask the orchestrator to donate the money I earn to those who need it.”

“You don’t have a lead other than that?”


“Seems like a needle in a haystack don’t you think? Especially ‘cuz you’ve been doing this for years now I take it.”

“It is. And I have. But it’s all I can do.” Sighing, Actavio changes the topic before he can ask any more follow up questions. “You have a lot of tattoos on your body. Even on your…private area.”

Sylas smirks, taking the opportunity to flirt. “I do, you like them?”

“I’m indifferent.”

“Never thought about getting some tats yourself? You’re a mafia boss but you’ve got the skin of a model.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment, but no. I haven’t and don’t plan to. My group is more of a business that lacks morals than it is a wealthy street gang, hence I’d prefer to keep its professionalism.”

“You and your fancy talk.”

Sylas sets his silverware beside his plate after finishing his meal, to which Actavio picks up and proceeds to wash both of their dishes. The neat and clean type - the complete opposite of Sylas. He imagined himself creeping up from behind, cradling his crush by his waist as he kissed his neck. And then one thing would lead to another and…


Actavio’s voice blinked him back into the present moment. He really needed to get rid of that daydreaming habit.


“That considers us even, correct?”

“Yeah, right.”


Actavio pulls on his blazer and coat, then straightens them out before exiting the apartment with Sylas.

“Not gonna clean the sheets?”

“I have someone to do that.”

Of course you do.

He rummages through his pocket for his cigarettes. The moment he places one in his mouth, he makes eye contact with Actavio’s glare and subsequently removes it.

“You can have your smoke, I’m leaving anyways.” Actavio checks his watch and clicks his tongue. “I’m already late as it is. Good day, Sly Fox.”

Sylas lifts his hand in a farewell and watches Actavio walk away, then enter his car and drive off. He considered himself foolish for expecting anything more yet at the same time knew that this was the type of person the Head was. Even now he could hardly believe that he slept with him, nor did he plan on letting it be a one time affair.

The delinquent lights his cigarette, letting the smoke fade into the morning air as he takes note of the address.


     For once the living room was fairly quiet, no siblings in sight. Aiden was peacefully reading a book with his legs crossed on the sofa. After all of his studying he had enough spare time to get some personal readings in.

His father was late. That was unlike him. He wanted to ask if he could join his meeting later in the day since he finally had the free time.

The instant the door creaked open, Aiden rolled his eyes, already knowing it was one of them. Siblings. And of all of them, Eirian.

Eirian always looked terrible, with all manner of cuts, bruises, and pointless patches on their face. They sank themselves into the loveseat, feet kicked up on the coffee table as they lit a cigarette. It was a wonder how their father went so easy on them.

“You know father doesn’t like cigarettes.”

Eirian exhaled the fumes as they glared at their brother. “Suck my dick.”

Aiden rolled his eyes. There’s no getting through with them.

At the least they were quiet, as disturbing as the stench they created was. Unlike those others–


The door flung open again after no more than ten minutes, and again Aiden rolled his eyes. Nolan frantically ran in with tears in his eyes and his sisters cackling as they followed after him. Immediately, with no parent in sight, Nolan sprints behind their older brother for protection. At the sight of their brother, Eirian puts out their cigarette.

“They’re–hck–trying to put…makeup on me again!” The youngest fumbled through sobs.

“Nooooo!” Cynthia rejected in a blatant lie.

“Yessss of course we are! Aiden’s not that dumb, CiCi.” Celia affirmed, not even bothering to hide the brushes behind her.

“Can you take this shit elsewhere?” Eirian groaned.

“OOOOH!!! Eirian cussed! Eirian cussed! Dad’s gonna be so mad!!” The girls chanted in unison, completely forgetting that they were trying to torment their little brother.

Nolan wipes his eyes with the edge of his sleeve, trying to recover from his weeping with a sniffle. “W-were you smoking again, Ria? I-It’s–”

“Bad for you, I know. I’ll stop.”

“W-where IS Dad by the way? I thought h-he said we’re going out to eat a-after his m-meeting?”

Cynthia and Celia sit on the sofa across from their older brother, Aiden.

“I hope there’s cake!”

“I hope there’s pudding!”

“I hope he shows up.” Eirian bitterly adds, making the girls pout due to their unnecessarily added negativity.

Their father almost always canceled at the last second as something always came up for him to take care of.

“He’s trying.” Aiden finally spoke with a snap.

“He tries with me. Not with you guys.”

The door unlatched for a third time. Ceida, their mother.

“Have any of you seen your father? Oh–Eirian! What happened to you?!”

Ceida starts rummaging around the room; due to Eirian’s frequent brawls she ended up keeping first-aid kits around the manor. After retrieving one she sits beside them and begins mending their wounds.

“You really worry your father and I when you get into fights, Eirian. And I’m sure your brothers and sisters too! Right?”

Aiden scoffs while the twins readily respond.

“Of course we’re worried! They’re ruining their blessed genetics!”

“And their clothes. But to be fair, if you wore something other than hoodies all the time then I’m sure people would flock to you!”

“Maybe a nice suit like dad!”

“Or some well fitted shirts!”

“Ohhh! That’s perfect!”

As the girls trail off into their own world, Nolan stutters in a mumble, “I-I’m worried.”

The sentiment coming from Nolan seems to hurt Eirian the most. “I know you are. I’ll work on it, promise.”

A warm smile from Nolan makes his puffy eyes look all the more childlike and innocent, almost causing Eirian to laugh.

“Have you been smoking again? It’s not good for someone your age, and your brother’s asthma could get worse–”

“I know. I wasn’t smoking in front of him.”

“Second hand–”

“I said I know, Mom.”

For a fourth and final time, the door opened. At the sight of the blonde hair the twins shot up from the sofa and launched towards their father, Actavio.


“We missed you!”

He pats their heads but not enough to ruin their hair. The last time he did that they made sure to chew him out for it.

“The answer is yes, you can go shopping. Take Dagne with you.”


“Thank you Dad!!!”

In a flash the girls dash out of the room, their giggles still being heard as they skip down the hallway.

Actavio notices his youngest son’s rosy cheeks next, so he makes his way over and sits beside him.

“Your sisters teasing you again?”

Nolan can’t bring himself to make eye contact with his father, let alone formulate an articulated response. “M-mhm...”

“It might not be your sisters pushing you around next time, you know that right?”


Actavio sighs, knowing that as much as he tries it’s unlikely that he’ll change at this point.

“Father, can I come with you to your meeting later today?”

“Mimimi I’m Aiden and I’m such a kiss ass.”


The simple but effective sharp scold silences his eldest child.

“Yes you can Aiden, and Eirian I’ve told you before not to smoke. And if you’re going to do it behind my back then don’t do it indoors.”

Although Actavio eyes down their injuries, he opts not to reprimand them for it this time around. Aiden rolls his eyes again. That same favoritism. But if it was him doing that, it’d be the end of the world.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Actavio’s phone rings and he steps out to take the call. With their point proven, Eirian sticks their tongue out to further mock their brother, making Aiden roll his eyes for a fifth time. 

This Novel Contains Mature Content

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