So here they were. Hanging out in a hotel lobby, full of rich guests and numerous business types. Ethan and Jane were seated at a table, sharing a drink while keeping an eye out for trouble. Benji sat on a sofa in the centre of the room, sipping his whiskey while keeping tabs on things via his phone. Brandt, in the meantime, was standing at the bar seducing the rich guy.
Well, he wasn’t really. He was posing as an entrepreneur looking to invest in their target’s dirty schemes, but Benji voice in his ear was kindly reminding him that he was ‘getting his wish’. So far, everything was going to plan. Brandt was getting the information they needed and the others remained incognito.
However they didn’t expect that someone else was after their target. What they also didn’t realise, was that this other person was not planning on being as subtle as they were.
Ethan and Jane had noticed two men exiting the building in a hurried manner and knew that something was up.
“Two men leaving the hotel.” Ethan spoke quietly as the pair stood up. “Jane and I are gonna check it out, you two stay in position.”
“Roger.” Came Benji’s reply; Brandt simply managed a nod from the other side of the room without their target seeing. The pair made their way out of the hotel, maintaining their ‘couple’ persona, and began to make their way across the car park, noticing that the men they were pursuing had begun to jog. Picking up the pace, they continued to follow them until the ground shuddered beneath their feet.
“What the hell is that?” Jane asked, spinning round just in time to see the hotel begin to collapse. “Oh my God!” she began to run towards it, however Ethan grabbed her arm, pulling her back to a safe distance. “What are you doing?! Brandt and Benji are in there!” she struggled against his grip.
“I know! I know. But we’re not gonna be any good to them if we’re dead, are we?” Ethan looked from her to the building that was now merely a pile of rubble. He only hoped that their friends were ok.
Benji had been sitting on the sofa watching the world go by when he felt the floor shake. He glanced around at Brandt, who looked just as confused as Benji felt. He heard a noise above him and when he looked up, he saw a rather huge piece of ceiling heading straight towards him. Quickly flinging himself off the sofa, he felt an awful pain somewhere in his body before something hit his head and the lights went out.
Brandt saw the ripple in his drink and his immediate thoughts were to a scene from Jurassic Park. However, he soon realised that this was real life and something bad was about to happen. Glancing across at Benji, he saw the younger agent look at him before looking up. He watched as his friend dived out of the way of the falling debris and disappeared amongst the smoke and dust. He made to run to him, but as he did, his feet disappeared from underneath him and the last thing he remembered was flying through the air.
The first thing that Brandt’s mind registered was the horrible pain in his left leg. The next was his aching head, shortly followed by an intense feeling of nausea. With a groan, he was able to free his right arm from under a piece of debris and slowly, yet painfully, managed to wriggle out from his current position. Every bone in his body ached, but none more than his leg. When he tried to move it, he realised that it was definitely broken. He spat out some blood, caused by the split in his lip.
What had happened? He remembered standing with their target, the ground moved and then he blacked out.
No. There was something before he blacked out. He was trying to do something. Trying to get somewhere. Someone was in danger.
As he coughed, it suddenly all came rushing back to him and he remembered the moment when the Englishman disappeared in a mass of debris and smoke. He had to get to Benji. He glanced around at the surrounding chaos; the hotel was in ruins, bodies strewn across what was left of the lobby. The only thing stopping the ceiling completely collapsing was the beams and concrete pillars, which had lodged themselves between the floor and roof, acting as a temporary wedge – but he feared they wouldn’t hold for long. As he looked around, he saw the broken, bloody body of their target lying a few feet away from him. He tore his eyes away from him, needing to get to Benji. He knew that Ethan and Jane had made it out of the building before the explosion, so all that was left was to check on the technician. Using debris as leverage, he crawled his way across the uneven surface and as he got closer, he saw the familiar figure lying behind a piece of fallen concrete. By the time he reached Benji’s side, he was just beginning to regain consciousness, though his eyes hadn’t opened.
“Mmmm…?” the technician, who was lying on his back, had a lovely gash on his forehead; starting on the right at his hairline, it ran down and across, finishing at the bridge of his nose. Bright red blood was dripping from it, running into his eyes.
“You alright?” Brandt managed to roll onto his side and was looking closer at his friend’s injuries.
“I think my shoulders out…” came the shaky response. “You?”
“Well, aside from my blatantly broken leg, I think I’ll live. Can’t say the same for Janovec though.” Shaking the image of their target’s dead body from his mind, he checked Benji’s shoulder and the suspicions were confirmed. “Ok, I’m gonna have to pop this one back in. Here.” He pulled off his belt and gave it to Benji, who understood. He’d only had to reset a few dislocated limbs before, but it he didn’t exactly enjoy it.
“Well, so much for the mission, huh?” Benji replied, placing the belt in his mouth.
“Yeah, but the main thing is, we’re alive. That’s all that matters.” After Benji’s nod, Brandt gave a shove onto his friend’s shoulder and Benji let out a scream into the makeshift gag. Brandt gave him a few moments to recover before removing the belt and throwing it to the side. “Better?” the response was a breathy ‘yeah’ and a frantic nod. Propping himself up further, he continued to look over Benji, checking for further injuries. He froze when he realised that there was something solid covering Benji’s waist. “Benji?” his voice was filled with fear as he shot his gaze to his friend, who shut his eyes and swallowed.
“I’m sorry, Brandt.”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“I didn’t wanna be a bother.” Benji opened his eyes and looked at Brandt, letting a tear roll down his cheek. Brandt felt his own eyes tear up, glancing back down at the large piece of concrete that lay over Benji’s lower body, leaving the technician trapped underneath its weight.
Outside, Ethan and Jane stood staring at the remains of the hotel in shock. They watched the emergency crews begin their work to free any survivors and prayed that they would see Brandt and Benji appear, alive and relatively unharmed.
Ethan lifted a hand up to wipe away the tear that was slowly making its way down Jane’s face. As he did, she looked up at him, noticing that he was clearly fighting back his own tears. Ethan was always the one who held it together, stayed strong during tough missions, but right now, two of his agents were trapped underneath a fallen building and they had no idea if they were even alive. He was struggling slightly to maintain his tough façade. To try and take their mind off Brandt and Benji, Ethan began to think of the mission.
“So…” He cleared his throat. “I’m assuming that those two men we saw leaving the building had something to do with the explosion.”
“Were they after the target or us?” Jane queried.
“I’m not sure, but if they were working for Janovec and were therefore after us, why blow up their boss?” Ethan wondered aloud. “They must have been after Janovec himself.”
“And we were just in the way.” Jane assumed that Janovec was dead by now and the mission was over. However at that thought, she remembered that both Brandt and Benji had been near the target when they left the hotel. If he was killed then…
“We have to stay strong, Jane.” Ethan rested a hand on her shoulder and she tried to nod.
Brandt tried as hard as he could to budge the debris that was holding Benji down, but he wasn’t strong enough. He let himself flop down next to Benji and let out a sigh, noticing that his friend had let his eyes close again.
“Hey, hey! Don’t you close your eyes, you hear me?” at that, Benji’s eyes fluttered open again.
“Sorry… I’m just tired.”
“I know, but you just gotta hold on until help gets here ok?” Brandt felt a small piece of debris fall onto his shoulder and looked up. The ceiling wasn’t going to hold much longer and he was afraid of anything else falling on top of Benji. The weight of that concrete was bad enough, he didn’t need anything else added to that. He could hear the sounds of voices and sirens nearby. “You hear that, Benji? They’re gonna get us out of here.” He grabbed his friend’s hand and gave it a small squeeze.
Ethan saw a pair of fire-fighters walking past and decided to speak up.
“Excuse me?” they turned at his words.
“Yes?” the first said.
“Look, two of our friends were inside when the explosion happened-“
Ethan was cut off by the second. “Look, we’ll keep you posted if we find anything.” With that, they turned and walked away, leaving Ethan and Jane stunned. They were being treated like civilians. They knew they technically were in this situation, and couldn’t reveal anything about who they worked for, but they just wished that there was some way that they could get closer.
“No compassion.” Ethan walked back to Jane as he spoke. “None.”
“Hold on, guys…” Jane muttered under her breath.
Brandt wasn’t sure how long it had been since he woke up but, in his opinions, it had been too long considering the state Benji was in. The analyst himself was very tired, he knew that was partially due to the concussion, however he needed to stay awake in order to prevent Benji from losing consciousness. Every so often, he would notice his eyes closing but would remind him that he needed to stay alert. Brandt gave Benji the job of being his extra ears, listening out for any sign that help was getting closer. He tried talking to the younger agent, hoping that the distraction would buy them time.
“So, tell me about when you were growing up.” Brandt decided to let Benji do all the talking.
Benji let out a scoff, or it may have been a cough. “What is this? A first date?”
Brandt laughed. “Oh, come on. I just wanna know about you. We were kinda thrown into that Cobalt mission together and I don’t know you that well. Need to know my best friend’s history like the back of my hand, don’t I?”
Benji smiled at that. Best friend.
“Ok, fine. I don’t really know what to tell, to be honest. I’m not all that interesting.”
“Oh, I bet you are. Start with the basics. Birthday?”
“Now that’s mean. Never ask a man his age.” Brandt feigned a sulk and Benji sighed. “Right, how about this – you answer the same questions I answer. Even it out a bit?”
“Geez, you’re not a fun date at all.” Benji gave a laugh which turned into another cough at Brandt’s words. “Ok, go on then. But you go first.”
“Fine. Birthday: June 5th 1975.” He glanced at Brandt and waited.
“November 24th 1974. Parents names?” Brandt knew it was lame, but if it kept Benji awake, then he’d go through with it.
“Andrew and Karen Dunn. But my parents separated when I was 6.”
“Yeah. Divorce went through on my 9th birthday.”
“Man, that must have sucked.” Brandt paused, realising how insensitive that must have sounded. “Sorry.”
“Eh, it’s fine. I always said it was the best birthday present I ever got.” Benji saw Brandt’s eyebrows raise. “A bit morbid, I know.”
“Hey, who am I to judge. Anywho. I got Samuel and Margaret Brandt. Still together.” He gave a small smile to Benji before continuing. “Siblings?”
“Nup, only child.” Benji managed a grin.
“Older brother, younger sister. Matthew and Caroline.”
“She single?” Benji joked.
“Hey, you stay away from my baby sister, now.” Brandt laughed at Benji’s comment before returning to the questions. They were doing a good job so far. “Childhood pets?”
“Oh, I had a few. Started with two fish. But I may or may not have killed them…” Brandt offered him a sympathetic look. “Then I had a rabbit, Sammy. But he died when I was eleven. One of the worst days of my life. And finally, we had a German Shepherd called Saxon. He was like my best friend.”
Brandt smiled. “I love German Shepherds. Always wanted one. We only ever had cats when I was growing up, though. The three kids had one each. Mine was called Spock.”
“I didn’t know you liked Star Trek!” Benji smiled and tried to sit up a bit, instantly regretting it.
“Easy there.” Brandt scolded him before continuing. “But yeah, dude. I love that! Live long and prosper.” He did the Vulcan hand gesture causing Benji to laugh again. Maybe Brandt really was ‘the helper’ – managing to keep their spirits up. Suddenly, they heard a noise and some voices. “Hey, Benji. You hear that? They’re coming! Not long now.” He smiled at his friend who returned the gesture before his face went white with horror as there was another noise. Brandt looked up and saw another decent sized piece of ceiling fall down and he felt the sharp pain of it hitting his head. “Fuck!” his vision went blurry but he managed to fight the unconsciousness as he looked around, seeing a few more pieces of falling debris.
“Brandt!” he heard Benji yell. “Are you ok?”
“Yeah, I’m fine. I-” Brandt cut himself off when he saw another rather large piece of concrete falling. He could do nothing as it landed, with considerable force, on top of the one already pinning Benji down. “Benji!!!” he screamed as he watched his friend yell out in pain. He saw blood beginning to pool on the debris below the technician and when he looked up at his face, the same red liquid was dripping from his lips. Brandt saw Benji give him one last heart-breaking look before his eyes closed and the analyst wanted nothing more than to rush to his aid, however more falling debris caused his path to be blocked. He started rolling out of the way of the concrete and metal, but this only furthered him from Benji.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, he felt an excruciating pain in his stomach. Just before losing consciousness, he looked down to see a sharp piece of metal sticking out from where it was now impaled in his stomach.
Ethan and Jane heard shouts and looked up to see people running around. Stretchers were being prepared and the ambulances were ready. Ethan approached one of the fire-fighters – a different one this time.
“Hey, what’s happening?” he tugged on the man’s sleeve and he turned to respond.
“We’ve managed to get through but the ceiling looks like it’s close to collapsing. I think the guys have found some people in there.”
“Alive?” Jane probed, now standing beside Ethan.
“I’m afraid I’m not sure yet. Do you have people in there?”
“Yes. Two of our friends were in there when it collapsed.”
“I’ll see what I can find out. Stay he-” he was cut off by a yell from the hotel.
“We’ve found two!” Ethan and Jane’s hearts leapt, however soon broke when the team of workers continued.
“What condition are they in?”
“One’s severely injured. I’m afraid the second wasn’t as fortunate.”
“Oh God…” Jane’s stomach did flips. Two people. More than likely Brandt and Benji. But only one was alive…
“We don’t know for sure yet.” Ethan tried to give her hope, however his own hope was fading fast.
“We’re bringing out the casualty first. Male, Caucasian, mid to late thirties.” The two agents saw a stretcher being carried out and rushed forward to the barriers. As they strained to get a glimpse at the injured man, they saw brown hair.
“It’s Brandt…” Ethan recognised the face as they carried him into the ambulance. Neither knew how to feel; Brandt was alive and they were relieved at that thought, however…
“We’re coming out with the body now.” A voice came over the radio and shortly after, two men appeared carrying a body bag on a stretcher. A single tear fell from Ethan’s eye before he blinked a few times and approached the fire-fighter again.
“Do you have a description of the deceased?” he asked. “The casualty is one of our friends, but we need to know if that body is the other. Please.”
“I’ll find out for you.” He nodded and headed towards the men carrying the stretcher. As it was placed in the ambulance, Jane and Ethan lost sight of it, but they saw the men opening the bag. After a few moments of discussion, the fire-fighter came back and took a deep breath before beginning. “We got a male, Caucasian, mid to late thirties, black hair-”
“Black hair?” Ethan’s gaze shot up. “Definitely not blonde?”
“No, sir, the deceased has black hair. Does your friend have blonde hair?”
“Yes.” Jane felt herself sub-consciously gripping Ethan’s jacket. “Which means…”
“Guys!” the fire-fighter yelled to his co-workers. “Get yourselves back in there! We got another person trapped in there!” he turned back to the agents as the other men made their way back inside. “What can you tell me about your friend? So we know who we’re looking for.”
“Caucasian, mid thirties, blue eyes. His name is Benjamin Dunn. He was wearing a black leather jacket, a red shirt and jeans when we last saw him.” Jane had always been amazed at Ethan’s eye for detail.
“Thank you. We’ll do everything we can to get him out of there.” Ethan nodded as the fire-fighter turned and headed back to the hotel’s remains.
Brandt wasn’t quite sure what hurt more. His head, his leg or every single other part of his body. The feeling in his stomach was hard to describe as his senses slowly returned to him. He could hear a voice nearby saying his name. It sounded like Jane.
He kept his eyes closed.
No, five more minutes. He tried to speak, however it came out more like “Mmphmrrrmnnnsss”
“Welcome back.” that was Ethan’s voice. He opened his eyes and blinked a few times when the light almost blinded him. Why on earth did everything in hospitals have to be white? Were they trying to blind the patients? Once his eyes were adjusted, he saw Jane sitting next to him; her face was practically stained by the tears that had so obviously fallen. Standing at the foot of his bed was Ethan, looking wary yet still maintaining a strong stance.
Brandt looked down to see that his leg was now in a cast that ran from his foot to the top of his thigh. Great, that’s him rendered useless for the next few weeks. At least he could still be the helper. He could feel that there was a bandage wrapped around his waist, shielding the entry point of the metal that had since been removed from his stomach. He noticed numerous little cuts dotted across his hands and arms as he reached up to lift off his oxygen mask.
“Where’s… Benji…” his voice was breathy and groggy. Jane’s hand lifted up to replace the mask back onto his face.
“Get some more rest.” Ethan’s voice sounded. Brandt didn’t want to sleep, he wanted to find out about Benji, but the exhaustion was too overpowering.
The next time Brandt woke up, there was a strange man in the room talking to Ethan. He couldn’t make out what they were saying, however they stopped as soon as they noticed he was awake.
“Hello William. My name is Doctor Burke.”
Brandt removed the mask again and nodded. “Benji…” he managed, looking at Ethan for any indication of where their friend was. If they managed to get to him, they must have found Benji. “Where’s Benji?”
“William, you shouldn’t let yourself get too stressed, it will merely aggravate your injuries.” The doctor spoke. Why was no one answering his question?
“No… Where. Is. Benji?” he slowed his words down as if to make them clearer to understand. The doctor looked at Ethan before speaking again.
“I’ll leave you two alone for a moment.” He exited the room and Ethan approached the bed.
“Please, Ethan. Where is he?”
With a deep breath, Ethan began to speak. “He’s in surgery.”
“How bad is he?”
“Brandt, it’s not looking good… What happened in there? The fire-fighters wouldn’t tell us much.”
“Well, when I found him, he was stuck beneath this… huge piece of concrete…” Brandt felt sick as the image of Benji lying among the debris returned to his mind. “I tried to keep him conscious, keep him talking until help got there, but…” he paused as he tried to compose himself, the scene playing out in his head. “The ceiling began to collapse and…”
Ethan put his hand on Brandt shoulder as tears began to fall. He tried so hard not to let his emotions take over, but the images in his mind were so clear and Benji’s blood was so bright… “Hey, it’s ok.”
“I tried to get to him, but this piece of metal fell and…” he looked down at his stomach and closed his eyes, trying to stop himself from crying. “What did the doctor say?”
“Well, all he told me was that he had some serious damage to his lower body, massive amounts of blood loss, internal bleeding…” he drifted off, the words having an effect on both men. “But he said that if it hadn’t have been for you, Benji wouldn’t have lasted this long.”
Brandt nodded, unable to feel good about helping when Benji was still on the brink of death.
“You will let me know anything that happens won’t you?”
Brandt hadn’t planned on going back to sleep but it was only when he opened his eyes and saw the time that he realised he had. Looking around the room, he saw Jane asleep on a chair in the corner and Ethan sitting next to the bed. When he noticed Brandt was awake, he put his book down and smiled.
“How you doing?”
“I’ve been better.” Brandt shuffled in his spot in an attempt to be more comfortable however the opposite eventuated and he slid back down with a sigh. “How’s Benji?”
“Well, his injuries were extremely extensive, as I’m sure you already assumed. They were able to stop the bleeding – both internal and external – and hopefully should make a full recovery. The doctor said he’s lucky to still have the use of his legs, but he’s gonna have to be in a wheelchair for a while, just until they’re fully recovered.”
Brandt smiled slightly. “He’s not gonna be too happy about that.” His smile disappeared though when he saw Ethan’s solemn expression. “What?”
“Brandt… the doctor said that they lost him on the table. Twice.” Brandt understood what Ethan meant. They had come so close to losing him. The reality of this hit Brandt like a truck and he was glad that he was lying down; if he had been standing at that point, he probably would have collapsed.
“But he’s still with us…” Brandt’s voice came out as a whisper, more reassuring himself than speaking to Ethan. He cleared his throat before speaking again. “When did the doctor say we can see him?”
“Soon. He said he’ll come by when we can go in. Shouldn’t be too much longer.” As Brandt nodded, Jane began to stir.
“Morning, sunshine.” Brandt smiled at her, able to do so now that he knew Benji was ok.
“Hey…” her voice was still full of sleep and she blinked a few times as she let her eyes adjust before turning to Ethan. “Any word yet?” As if on cue, the doctor appeared at the doorway.
“I’m sure you’ll all be happy to know that Benjamin is awake now. You can go and see him if you like, however he is still under the effects of a sedative he was given earlier, so he may be drifting in and out of consciousness.”
Ethan nodded. “Thanks doc.”
“Can I go too?” Brandt asked, hoping that they wouldn’t stop him. Ethan looked across at him, knowing full well that if anyone tried to stop him, he would literally pull out his IV drip and find Benji himself.
“Of course, just let me get you a wheelchair.” The doctor smiled and merely moments after disappearing, he returned with exactly that. Once the trio had helped Brandt into the chair, Ethan grabbed the stand with the drip and wheeled it alongside as Jane pushed Brandt towards Benji’s room. When they entered, they saw their friend in the bed, his eyes closed. He had a white bandage covering the gash on his forehead and it was only now that Brandt was able to see other small abrasions scattered across his cheeks and neck. His arms looked much like Brandt’s own, also showing multiple scratches and bruises.
“Benjamin?” the doctor approached the bed and coaxed him to open his eyes, which he promptly did.
“Mmmmm?” the groggy response was quiet yet Brandt was relieved to hear it.
“You’ve got some visitors.” At that, Benji’s gaze shot to the door and he displayed one of those famous Benji grins. Despite fatigue and pain showing in his face, it was still the smile that they all knew and loved, and clearly just as infectious as the three agents smiled back.
“Hey guys.” he watched them enter and eyed up Brandt in the wheelchair. “They got you in one of those, have they?” Brandt nodded and scoffed, not wanting to mention that Benji was going to be held hostage by one for the next God knows how long.
“How are you feeling?” Jane asked.
“Like a building fell on me.” Benji saw at their stern looks and rolled his eyes. “Too soon, I get it.” Brandt wanted to yell at him, let him know that he almost died and that he shouldn’t make a joke out of it, however deep down he knew that this was Benji’s way of getting through tough times. Benji looked across at Brandt again. “How are you?”
“Healing.” He smiled, relieved that they had both made it out alive. They may not have been unscathed, however the wounds would slowly disappear and they would be able to move on.
“Brandt….” Benji began, his face adopting a more serious appearance. “You saved my life. I don’t really remember much from when we were in there, but I do remember your constant nagging for me to stay awake. If you hadn’t been there, I don’t know what would have happened. Thank you.”
“Well, I am the helper.” He smiled, reaching up and grabbing Benji’s hand. “You’re welcome.” Benji returned the smile before letting his head flop back onto the pillow. Brandt watched as his eyes closed again and saw his friend slip back into a deep sleep, a smile still painted on his face.
“Benji, what are you doing?” Brandt rushed to his friend’s side after noticing that he was trying to stand up without the aid of his crutches.
“It’s ok, Brandt, I got this.” Benji tried to wave his hands away.
“Benji, I really don’t think that this is a good idea.” It had been several months since the pair were released from the hospital; Brandt’s leg was now fully healed, yet his stomach still didn’t feel quite right. Benji, on the other hand, was out of his wheelchair and had been on crutches for a while, now that he was beginning to get full mobility back in his legs. A few times, Brandt had noticed Benji trying to do things without them, but he would stop his friend before he caused himself any damage. This time, however, Benji was more than determined.
“Just let me try, ok? I’m never gonna get used to walking again if I don’t practice.” Brandt held up his hands in defeat, yet kept them close by as he saw Benji wobble a bit on his feet. With a smile created from a mixture of shock and pride, he watched as his friend lifted his left foot and placed it on the floor in front of him. The right one went next, causing a grin to resonate from Benji’s face. “Told ya!” he exclaimed before the smiled disappeared. “Alright… helper… be helper, ‘k?” his hands searched the air for purchase as he began to fall, but Brandt was there in a heartbeat and caught him before he hit the floor.
“That was fantastic, Benji, but I think that’s enough superhero antics for one day, ok?” he placed Benji back into his chair and the technician landed with a huff.
“I just feel so useless. I should be out there doing all the fun stuff. You’re meant to be the helper, not me.” He sulked slightly, leaving Brandt to bite back a laugh. He was right though, now that Brandt was virtually healed, he was able to go back in the field, but Benji was relegated to being, quite literally, the helper. He hadn’t been too pleased about it.
“You’ve not got that much longer left though. I mean, rehab’s going well, isn’t it?” Brandt knelt down next to Benji’s chair as he spoke.
“Well, yeah, but it’s just that, you know, you guys are off having a blast on missions and I’m stuck here. Like a prisoner in my own home.”
“Oh, Benji stop being so melodramatic.” Brandt scoffed standing back up to walk into Benji’s kitchen. The three other agents took turns in checking on Benji, but Brandt – feeling more responsible for the younger man – opted to take more ‘shifts’. Reaching the fridge, he grabbed a beer for himself and a cranberry juice for Benji. He saw Benji’s face drop even more when he handed him the beverage.
“Man, this is so unfair, I can’t even have a bloody beer.” He took a sip from the drink and sighed.
“Ok, how does this sound? I promise you that the first day you can have a beer again, I’ll take you to a pub and buy all the rounds.”
“Oh yes please-“
“If…”Brandt interrupted Benji’s celebrations. “And only if, you promise not to whine about lack of alcohol in the meantime.” He could practically see Benji’s brain ticking over as he weighed up his options.
“Fine.” When he replied, Brandt held up his beer and Benji tapped his glass against it. “I’m holding you to that.”