An image popped into her head from a few weeks back: It was Chance offering her a bowlful of peanuts soaked in soy sauce. Dane said, “Don’t be an idiot; no one wants to eat crap like that” in that clipped manner he’d developed, talking quietly, through clenched jaws, and glaring at his brother.
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She found Dane’s behavior both unappealing and attractive. His anger was ugly, but she understood where it came from. The little brother had to be the big brother now and he resented it, hated the responsibility that no one had put on him, but that his mom and dad still expected. He didn’t know how to be the older brother, he didn’t know how to direct an adult to be responsible, he didn’t know how to deal with the voices and give his brother some kind of relief and it made him mean. It made him attractive as well; Fiona felt for his struggle so deeply that she had begun to feel deeply for him. She wanted to lean back against him and let what was warm inside of her melt what was cold inside of him, but she couldn’t allow herself to do that; they’d been friends since before kindergarten and so she couldn’t allow herself to even say anything. Instead she found herself leaning toward the warmth from the lamp, gathering more heat should she need it.