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Lad’s night out. Nicholas can’t remember the last time he was dragged off to a pub by Travis, but he’s willing to bet that it was sometime during academy.

And he’s not exactly going to say no. Travis, after all, has been almost exclusively his only friend since primary school.

“Who’s all going?” Nicholas asks as he stands in front of the mirror.

“Dave, and maybe one of his mates from SOCO,” Travis responds from the sitting room. “And don’t you dare put on a tie.”

Nicholas frowns and moves about to see if maybe Travis is able to take advantage of his line of sight and spy on Nicholas using the mirror. If he is, he’s a bloody ninja, because Nicholas can’t see him anywhere in the flat.

Nicholas sighs deeply as he steps out to the sitting room, presenting himself for Travis’ approval. “Why are we going with them?” he asks. “We don’t even know them.”

Travis walks up to Nicholas and unbuttons his collar. “I said casual, you wanker,” he says. “And just because you don’t know them, doesn’t mean I don’t.”

“You slept with him?” Nicholas asks simply.

“None of your business.” Travis leaves Nicholas to go finish getting ready, himself. “And for the record, it was his sister.”

Burying his face in his hands, Nicholas sits down on the sofa. “I can’t believe you. What would your mother say?”

Travis pokes his head back out into the corridor. “My mum wouldn’t care. But what would your mother say?”

Nicholas tactfully chooses to ignore that question, and instead begins plucking lint from his shirt. “I don’t want to get drunk,” he warns.

Travis pulls a football jersey over his head as he wanders back out to the sitting room. “You can get a little drunk,” he assures. When he gets to Nicholas, he reaches out and grabs hold of his wrist. “Stop that. You’re driving me crazy,” he says sternly. “I thought you’d gotten over that, anyway.”

Again, Nicholas ignores him and just stands up, ready (though, not particularly eager) to follow Travis out to whatever night of delinquency he has planned.

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Police Chief Inspector Nicholas Angel

September 2013

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