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[personal profile] asphaltcowgrrl
Title: Delicious Secrets
Fandom: Um…
Pairing: Adrien Lupei + Dante Lupei
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,502
Summary: Dante lets a juicy tidbit about his brother, Emilio, slip to Adrien.
Author’s Notes: Written for the Say What challenge at 1_million_words. The prompt was "Originality is the art of concealing your sources." Also just an excuse to bring Dante out to play.


“How did you find out,” Adrien asked, stacking the dishes neatly in the dishwasher. “I mean, it’s not like he left any obvious clues.”

Dante shrugged. “You know Emilio, always the lawyer, covering his damn tracks. But he forgets one thing every time.”

Adrien turned, a coffee mug in one hand. “And what’s that?”

“That I’m sneakier than he is.” Dante handed him a casserole dish and winked. “He might be smarter than I am, but I have creativity on my side.”

Laughing, Adrien wiggled the casserole dish into a tight space, smiling when he made it fit. Of his two uncles, he was definitely more like Dante than Emilio, although they had both been huge influences on him as a child. Even now they guided his path with their love and goofy anecdotes. “So did he deny it when you confronted him?”

“Absolutely,” Dante said, handing the last dish to Adrien and leaning against the kitchen island. “He prides himself on being so decorous that I had to bust his balls when I found out.”

From the moment he decided to go to law school, Emilio had given up what Adrien’s mother had always referred to as ‘his whoring ways’. Not that Em had ever been overly promiscuous, but he had gotten around. Or so the stories went anyway. “And?”

“And he swears there’s nothing going on between the two of them, but I’m not buying it.” Dante crossed his arms across his chest and waited while Adrien started the dishwasher.

“Why not,” Adrien asked, stretching his arms over his head. It had been a long day and he was more than ready to crash.

“Because she’s gorgeous,” Dante said.

“You don’t like women,” Adrien pointed out.

“Neither do you,” Dante teased, “but you can’t deny it’s true.”

He was right. Catrina Ives was one of the prettiest women in country music at the moment and right up his uncle’s alley. Adrien shoved his hands into his pockets, leaning against the dishwasher. “Okay, so I am with you so far, but what made you think there was actually something going on?”

“She flirts with him nonstop,” Dante said, standing straight and glancing at the liquor cabinet. “Want a drink?”

He shouldn’t, but this conversation was going to make him wish he had by the time it was over. “Sure,” he said, nodding towards the cupboard. “Anything else?”

“Nah,” Dante said, pulling the bourbon out and setting it on the counter. “Just things he’s said and things I’ve heard.”

Dante’s dream had always been to be a private eye. In the interest of making enough money to actually feed and clothe himself, however, he’d decided to become a teacher, specializing in U. S History. But the desire to solve mysteries never fled. Even if he made them into more than they were.

“Em insisted on knowing my sources and I told him that wasn’t information I gave out.”

“He accused you of making it up,” Adrien chuckled.

“Basically,” Dante confirmed. “Said that if I had any sources I’d divulge them. I told him that my most creative endeavors came from obscuring my sources.”

Adrien chuckled, thinking about how that conversation had to have gone. It was most definitely a wall shaking discussion. Although, the idea that his uncle was having a clandestine affair with one of country music’s hottest new stars was rather titillating. “Does she know?”

“That you’re his nephew?” Dante shook his head and poured bourbon into their glasses. “I doubt it, but how anyone can miss the resemblance is shocking.”

“That’s good,” Adrien said, looking past his uncle, thinking. The Lupei genes were strong and he bore an uncanny resemblance to both of his uncles. “Makes me feel a little better about this.”

“If nothing else, it might mean she’s only be after his money and not yours, too.”

“You’re awful,” Adrien laughed. “But probably right, even though she is doing pretty well for herself these days. So, who is your source?”

“Me,” he grinned, patting himself on the chest. “I was out running some errands and stopped at that little coffee place you took me a few months back. They were outside at a table canoodling.”

“Canoodling? In public?” Adrien loved his uncle’s way of expressing himself, it was as distinctive and animated as the man himself. “I don’t believe it,” he said, although he really kind of did.

“Yes,” Dante said, handing over his bourbon and soda. “Flagrantly so.”

“Have you been hitting on that cute English teacher again,” Adrien asked before taking a cautious sip of his drink. “Your vocabulary is off the charts tonight.”

Dante had the sense to blush at least. “I told you about that, huh?” He shook his head. “How much had I had to drink?”

“A lot,” Adrien laughed. “But um, I think I might have been keeping pace that night, too, so…”

“Lord,” Dante said, shoulders shaking with laughter. “Your mother will kill me if she ever catches wind of what we get up to when you’re out this way.”

“Eh, I think she already knows,” Adrien said. “But the cutie?”

Dante made a face. “He thought I was joking so I moved on.”

“Ouch,” Adrien said, thinking about how much it would have hurt if Elliot had felt the same way. “Any new prospects?”

“Not at the moment,” he said. “I’ve been too busy trailing my brother.”

“Priorities,” Adrien said. “Are you going to tell him that you caught him in the act?”

“Not yet,” Dante said, taking a long sip of his drink, grimacing. “Yikes, that’s strong even for me. But no, I’m going to let him sweat it out a bit before I say anything.”

These were the things that made Adrien wish he had a sibling while simultaneously being thankful that he didn’t. “Have you seen them since that first time?”

“Yeah,” Dante said. “They seem to have a standing date on Saturdays at eleven. I’ve seen them there three times around then. Why?”

Adrien shrugged. “Because maybe I might have some business down on Music Row tomorrow say… around eleven?”

“Hah,” Dante crowed. “I knew I liked you for a reason.”

**

Adrien almost wished he’d never made the suggestion to Dante. There was no amount of coffee in the world that would combat the raging hangover he was suffering. Although Elliot’s reprimand that morning had been teasing, Adrien knew his boyfriend was right. He knew better, especially when it came to Dante. But, on the other hand, he hadn’t laughed so damn hard in weeks. Eventually, he’d have to stop drinking completely to make up for his binge sessions with Dante, but he could worry about that later.

He paid for their drinks and walked to the end of the counter where they’d be served. Dante had gone outside to scope out the best place to spy on Emilio and Adrien had to laugh at that. It was a wonder either of his uncles had been any kind of help to his mother when he’d been a baby considering that both Em and Dante were big children themselves.

“Austen,” the young barista called out. “Austen? I have one iced coffee, nonfat, no sweetener and one chai latte with coconut milk, extra hot?”

Shit, he hated it when he forgot he had an alias. “Sorry,” he said, stepping up to take their drinks. It was so much easier to go by his given name, but here in the heart of Nashville, it wouldn’t fly. “Those are mine.”

The girl’s eyes went wide. “Oh. My. God. I had hoped it was you when I read that name on the cup. I’m such a huge fan. Would you mind…” Her voice trailed off as she made a vague notion.

A genuine smile crossed Adrien’s face. “Of course,” he said, taking both the magenta sharpie and the paper cup from her. As he signed his name to the cup, he chastised himself for forgetting he wasn’t some anonymous individual and never would be again. Especially not here in Nashville. “Thank you, for the coffee and everything else.”

“What took you so long,” Dante asked, accepting the Chai Adrien offered him. “Oh, never mind. I can see it all over your face. Crazy fan?”

“Not crazy,” Adrien said, setting his iced coffee on the table. He looked around, searching for either Emilio or local up and comer, Catrina Ives. “Just um, enthusiastic.”

“She didn’t propose to you, did she?”

Dante lived for Adrien’s crazy fan stories. “Not this time although she might if I go back in for a refill,” he joked.

“Start drinking,” Dante laughed. “I need a little excitement in my life today.”

“Well, you’ll get it if Elliot finds out what we’re doing,” he said.

“Why,” Dante asked. “It’s not like we’re doing anything illegal. I mean, he’s my brother and I live in this town. Is it so unreasonable that I’d be here at the same time he is?”

“Actually, yes,” Adrien said, giving Dante a look. “We all know you’re a homebody and would rather cold brew your own coffee than drive this far for a Chai.”

“Eh,” Dante said, waving it off. “My sole nephew was in town and I came to meet him.”

“After he spent the night at your place,” Adrien chuckled. “Wait, I think that’s Catrina.”

“And good ol’ Emmy coming from the other way.”

Adrien looked in the direction Dante pointed and spotted his uncle. Did he really come all the way here to meet with Catrina? It was beginning to look like it. “I am stunned,” he said.

“I was, too,” Dante said, leaning forward. “He’s not the type to go this much out of his way for anyone, not with the kind of work schedule he has. It’s why I kept following him.”

They watched Emilio walk up to the blonde and kiss her cheek, smiling like she was the sun in the sky. He escorted her to a table and they sat, talking, for what seemed like an eternity. Every few minutes, Emilio would reach out and touch her hand, or her arm and she’d laugh and smile. Honestly, it was all a bit too much and it made Adrien wonder if he and Elliot were ever that obvious in public. When Emilio got up and walked away, Adrien turned his surprised eyes on Dante. “I can’t believe this. I mean, I get it. He’s a good looking guy with a really great job and she’s beautiful and popular but why didn’t he tell us?”

“Maybe it’s because ya’ll are a bunch of nosy asses,” Emilio said from between the two of them.

Adrien jumped, not having heard his uncle come up behind them. “Good lord, we may be nosy but we don’t deserve to have a heart attack.”

Emilio snickered and pulled out a chair. “Why are you two following me?”

“In our defense, we were here before you were,” Dante pointed out.

“Yeah, I see that,” Emilio said, motioning towards the cups on the table. “Is my love life that exciting that you two can’t wait for me to say something on my own?”

“Well, no,” Adrien began.

“Look,” Dante cut in. “I wouldn’t have been so intrusive if you hadn’t lied to me. I have a feeling you knew I saw you that day and yet, when I asked, you denied it. Shit like that is why you get followed.”

Leaning back into his chair, Emilio looked at his brother and then his nephew. “I guess I kind of deserved that. I could have told you it wasn’t serious.”

“Although it is,” Dante said, grinning. “You’re glowing, Em.”

“Go to hell,” Emilio laughed. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Because I know her,” Adrien said. “And I like her, I like her a lot actually. You guys would be good together and I could have helped if I’d known.”

“No offense, kiddo,” Emilio said, giving Adrien a fond smile. “But I haven’t brought you up yet and don’t plan on it until I’m sure.”

“I can understand that,” he said, because he truly did. “But that’s not the point.”

“Maybe,” Emilio sighed. He looked back over to where Catrina sat at the table, alone.

“Where did you tell her you were going?”

He looked at Dante. “To get coffee you idiot, what else?”

“What did she want,” Adrien asked.

“A sugar free vanilla latte,” Emilio said. “Why?”

Of course she did. God forbid she or any other female celebrity get caught eating or drinking something that tasted good. “Go back to the table. I’ll go get your drinks and bring them to you. My way of saying I’m sorry for invading your privacy.”

“I appreciate that,” Emilio said, giving Adrien a brisk hug. “And what about you?”

“Fuck off,” Dante said. “I’m not apologizing to you, you’re my brother.”

“Fair enough,” Emilio chuckled. “I wouldn’t apologize to your ass either.”

Emilio went back to Catrina and sat down. From the way he was moving his hands, Adrien figured he was explaining that someone would be bringing their drinks to them. Adrien went inside and ordered Catrina’s latte and Em’s usual cup of black coffee. Spotting the double chocolate cookies in the pastry case, he added two to the order and carried it all out.

“Let me take it over to them,” Dante said, taking the tray out of Adrien’s hands. “She’ll recognize you for sure and that would fuck up Em’s plan. Wait here.”

Adrien drank his coffee, waiting for Dante to return from his mission. Seeing him walking back, Adrien stood.

Dante gave him a discreet wave. “Sit, finish your coffee.”

“So, we’re not leaving?”

“Hell no,” Dante said, settling back into his seat. “We said we’d respect his right to tell us when he was ready but we never said we were going to leave.”

Grinning, Adrien lifted his cup up for a drink. This was going to be a disaster later when Emilio was alone again. He was going to come for them both hard. But for the moment, listening to Dante’s continuing narration of what was happening across the patio was entertainment enough.

Adrien’s phone buzzed a minute later, the screen showing a photo of himself with Emilio. He slid his finger across the screen, unlocking it so he could read the text. “We’ve been made.”

“What do you mean,” Dante asked, leaning over to read the message.

I know you two are still back there.

Adrien, tell your mother to prepare for another family dinner three weeks from now. Whether she’s with me or not remains to be seen.

Now go away!


“I guess we got told,” Dante said, typing out a snarky response to Emilio. “But I’m getting hungry again. You up for lunch?”

“Always,” Adrien said, not wanting to even think about what Dante might have said in that return text to Emilio. “Let’s leave him to his canoodling and go get some food.”

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