“Wind? You’re full of hot air, more like.”
“At least I don’t have rocks in my head.”
The familiar retorts relaxed them both enough to ease out of their stances and stand more normally. Rocky’s shoulders slumped slightly, as he ran a hand through his hair. “We got into a fight before we left for the summer. She was mad because I chose to go to Grandpa’s instead of staying here with her.”
Colt’s jaw dropped. “But…we’ve been going to Grandpa’s every summer since we were seven!”
“Apparently, since I chose my brothers over supporting her trying out for cheer and drill team, she decided that she would find someone ‘willing to invest physically and emotionally’ in a relationship.” Rocky said dryly. “Also, dating Darren Jenkin’s little brother means that he and his goon squad won’t steal your bike or try to bully you out of your lunch money.”
“That conniving, two faced, scheming little – ”
“Colt!” Rocky snapped, grabbing his arm, but couldn’t help the reluctant grin. “It’s done. Let it go.”
His brother glared down the street. “Aw, c’mon. Can I go short sheet her bed? I can get in and out, easy. What about TP’ing her house? Or I know! I can go let all the air out of her tires.”
“C’mon, idiot. Let’s go.” Rocky rolled his eyes, turning away to grab his duffel bag. Colt darted by him, jabbing him in the side on the way.
“Still too slow! Guess you’ve got rocks in your head and your feet!” he teased, taking off with his brother in hot pursuit.
Later that night, after the last ‘mom’ bed check, Rocky’s quiet voice sounded out of the dark.
Nothing else needed to be said. For all of their bickering and competing over the years, they both knew that they would always watch out and protect each other, physically and emotionally – even when their sibling insisted that he didn’t need it.