“Leave it to you to show up after all the heavy lifting is through,” Callum laughed as he handed Jax a beer.
“Yup. Figured you guys could use the workout.”
“I don’t know about Callum, but what I could use is about a week to sleep,” Max said as he dropped down onto the couch. “Too bad we’ve got about four days before orientation and all that fun stuff.”
“That’s the price you pay for higher education,” Jax pointed out.
“Funny, I thought that was the tuition check?” Max shot back.
Jax surveyed both of them and laughed, “Better you two then me.”
“You could do it, if you wanted to,” Callum muttered, giving voice to a half-decade old argument between the three.
“Yeah, but you’re forgetting one major thing, I don’t wanna,” a grinning Jax reminded him.
“Yeah, yeah, so I thought you were supposed to be renting us a nice, quiet place. We weren’t here an hour before the cops were hauling some guy outta here.”
Jax frowned, beer frozen halfway to his lips. “From what floor?”
“Upstairs, man you’ve got some crazy people on your floor. Glad they’re up there. This guy was screaming about coming back and kicking doors down and setting shit on fire.”
“Fuck…” Jax breathed, setting his beer on the table. “I’ll be right back, I’ve gotta go check on someone.”
Before Max or Callum could say a word, Jax bolted from the apartment and up the stairs to beat on Danny’s door.
“G-go away!” Danny stammered from somewhere inside “I mean it Sean, I’ll call the cops again.”
Sean, so that was the big asshole’s name, He must have gotten bailed out today. Jax sighed and knocked lightly.
“It’s not Sean, Danny, It’s Jax. Are you okay?”
Silence. Great. While he tried to figure out what to say next, Jax noticed dark scuff marks about halfway up the door and a long split in the door frame. Frowning, he studied it closer, and noticed chunks of wood on the hallway floor. Holy shit, that fuckin’ bastard had tried to kick the damn door in.
A soft click preceded the door being pulled open and Danny poking his head out.
“Hey,” Jas said, shocked to find himself studying Danny to be sure he didn’t have any new bruises. “Heard you had a visitor today.”
Danny sighed and leaned against the doorway. “Yeah, Sean came back and he didn’t want to listen when I told him he didn’t live here anymore. I had to call the cops on him, now tomorrow I get to spend half my morning getting a restraining order.”
Leaning, Danny noticed two guys standing halfway up the stairs, watching them intently. “Are those your friends?”
Jax glanced behind him to see concerned expressions on his best friends’ faces.
“Everything okay, Jax?” Callum asked warily.
“Yeah, everything’s fine. Why don’t you two stop lurking and come up here and meet Danny.
Danny glanced between the three of them as the two men joined Jax outside his door.
“Hi,” Danny said as he held out his hand. It was almost amusing, now that he could see them clearly. Neither looked like friends he would have expected Jax to have. Guess that was what he deserved for making assumptions.
“Hey Danny, I’m Callum,” the short, sandy haired man said as he shook Danny’s hand. Danny knew he’d gotten the short end of the stick in the height department but this guy was even shorter than him. If he was more than four inches over five feet Danny would have been shocked. Standing next to Jax, didn’t really help any, because his tattooed giant of a neighbor dwarfed him. Not only that but Callum looked more like a professor than a student, even with his shirt untucked and holding a beer.
“And I’m Max.”
Danny shook the second man’s hand, and nearly cringed at his firm grip. He wasn’t as tall as Jax, but he was wider and stockier. Not nearly as defined as Jax either and Danny blushed to find himself actually doing a mental comparison of the way Jax had looked when he’d had his shirt off. Max might be bigger, but no way in hell would he have looked as good. His hair was longish in front, shorter in the back, coal black and a little matted. He reminded Danny a little of some of the jocks he’d known back in high school. He just hoped he wasn’t as big a creep as most of them had been.
“Nice to meet you both,” Danny said, crossing his arms over his chest and half expecting them to all go back downstairs now that Jax had seen that he was okay.
“Wanna come down stairs and have a beer with us?” Jax offered.
Danny gave him a polite smile and shook his head, already backing into his apartment. “I’d better not, I’ve got to be up early in the morning and drinking really isn’t my thing. “
“Oh well we’ve got sodas too,” Max offered.
“Yeah, I think I’ll pass, no offense but, I don’t really like hanging out with people while they’ve been drinking either,” Danny said firmly, hands gripping the door. “Talk to you later, Jax.”
Jax scowled as Danny pushed the door shut.
“Goodnight, Danny,” he muttered wondering if the other man had even heard him as he closed the door in Jax’s face.
Callum frowned at the door before glancing over at Jax as Max headed back down the stairs to their apartment. “That was…odd.”
“Yeah, I um…” At a loss for words, Jax just shook his head and followed his friends, relieved to know Danny was okay.