“You’re going to hurt yourself trying to do that, little badger.”
The youngest Alkaev, Avery - who was nestled a little too close to the fireplace for comfort in an attempt to start it - glowered at the comment. “Piss off, Yaroslav.”
Yaroslav, who was only called his full name by Avery when the little one was trying to tempt him into a fight, simply turned the page of his newspaper and took a leisurely sip of his coffee as tried to ignore the angry badger in the fireplace.
“I mean it. You’ll catch your sleeve on fire, just like last time. And we wouldn’t want that, now would we?” The blond’s tone was patronising, and purposefully so. There was nothing quite like getting a rise out of the ashen haired brunet - after all, who could resist teasing a spitfire?
Hazel eyes didn’t even have to flick up to see the rage etched into his brother’s face. Gold bore into hazel when he did look up, and Yara smirked. He would ease into victory easily, that much for certain. He could tell by the intensity in those narrowed eyes.
The blond would never admit it, but he was a bit jealous of his little badger’s stare - although both brothers had those profound dark rings around their irises, Yara’s eyes were made of striking shades of brown and green and Avery’s looked like they were made of molten gold. Dragon’s eyes, their father had called them. Although his mother had deemed Yara a siren, and he could happily live with that comparison.
Yara was a charmer. Always had been, always would be, and he easily attracted both sexes. He’d never slept with a woman, but that was only because he’d not had much interest in doing so. The blond preferred the strong hold of a man, the intensity of the type of dynamic he could have with another male. This, naturally, disappointed his mother as she was in desperate want of grandchildren...but what was a man to do?
“Maybe you’ll catch fire, you wanker.”
Warm laughter filled the room before Yara drained the remnants of his mug, “I’m sure I will, little one.”
A low hiss of, “Don’t call me that!” Followed him into the kitchen where the empty coffee mug was filled once again.
“Mama says that you might be bringing someone home on your next visit.”
“Maybe I am.”
“What’s their name?”
“None of your damn business.”
“‘None of your damn business’? That’s quite an unusual name. Bit of a mouthful, don’t you think?”
“I’m just curious to see who’s caught your eye is all, badger.”
“Well, you won’t be here anyway.”
“I could be.”
The snarl that Avery shot his way made him laugh again. “Surely you aren’t intimidated by me, little one? Do you think I’m going to steal your man?”
Now they were treading on sensitive ground. It was well known in the Alkaev household that Avery struggled to hold on to any kind of intimate relationships - whether it was the seeming lack of romantic confidence or his searing temper, it was hard to say. One thing that was certain though was the younger brother’s jealous nature. He loathed the fact that Yara came off as confident and glamorous in all of his masculine glory - how his long blond hair caught the sunlight, how shirts stretched across his wide chest and jeans clung to strong thighs, how his smile could cause someone to miss a step...not that either of the Alkaev brothers smiled much when in the company of those who weren’t friends or family. It was just that Avery was more prone to scowling and snarling, which made Yara look much more amicable.
“Come now, Avery. I harass you only because I’m your brother - I wouldn’t cause you heartbreak. Not on purpose, anyway.” The last jab, paired with that lazy smirk, caused Avery to swing his leg in an attempt to get his brother’s shin, but Yara easily sidestepped. He knew the younger man too well. Avery was about seven inches shorter than his brother, who stood at just under five-foot-eleven, and so was always bound to go for the legs.
“Ah, ah, ah! That’s not kind of you, little badger. Unlike you, some of us actually have physical labour to do and are in need of our limbs.” Like their father, Yara worked in the ironworks. Good hard physical labour was the family business, and the Alkaev family was renowned for the quality of their iron and steel. Little Avery hadn’t taken to the trade. Apparently that wasn’t a problem, as their father had always claimed that Avery was made for better purposes. That had always rubbed Yara the wrong way. It equally bothered Avery, who had been stuck at home as a child and made to do more intellectual and artistic work with their mother while their father was out bonding with Yara. Neither thought it fair.
“Now tell me, is he handsome?” Avery ignored Yara, instead tending to the kettle in hopes of getting it boiling and boring the older male.
“Ah. Fine. Is he rich?” That caused Avery to slam the refrigerator door as he retrieved the milk, refusing to look his brother in the eye. But Yara was a patient man and instead began to hum the tune of ‘Que Sera’ while cradling his mug of coffee.
Two minutes and the little one broke. That was one for the record.
“Of course he’s handsome, you bloody idiot.” It was snapped out, but Yara would happily take it.
“And what, Yara? He’s handsome with a stupid bloody name and a stupidly handsome bloody face, okay? That’s all you’re getting from me.”
“Oh, come now!” The blond pulled his pony tail over his shoulder, threading callous fingers through the hair. “Surely you have more to say! How long have you been seeing him for? What’s this ‘stupid bloody name’ of his? Where’s he from? What does he do?”
Yara trailed after the now-slumping Avery with absolute glee. Oh, he was going to have fun with this.