"Hide me, quick!" Sebastian said with a laugh as he dove into the passenger seat of Logan's car. He slammed the door behind him and ducked down below the level of the window, peering up over the edge of the door as though something was chasing him.
"What?" Logan said, staring in bewilderment at his friend.
Sebastian sighed, turning his head to glare at Logan from his crouched position. "Drive, man!" He flapped an arm in Logan's direction. "Go! Go!"
"What's going on now?" Logan said as he put the car into drive and moved away from the curb at a reasonable pace for the quiet residential street.
"You'd make a terrible getaway driver," Sebastian informed him, straightening up in his seat and looking at him like a normal person.
"Put your seatbelt on," Logan said, trying to stare at the road instead of at Sebastian's beautiful face. His cheeks were pink with running through the cold, and he was still laughing as he berated Logan for his lack of imagination. Even the thick navy hat pulled down over his ears didn't distract from the fine, handsome lines of his face and the brilliance of his smile.
"You don't wear seatbelts in a getaway car," Sebastian said, clicking his into place with a dramatic sigh of resignation.
"And who, exactly, are you running from this time?" Logan said drily.
"Oh, my mom wants to talk about introducing me to some Alphas again." Sebastian waved airily. "I had to get out of there pronto."
"How terrible for you," Logan said solemnly. He'd figured it must be something like that. Sebastian had had a flair for the dramatic since they were little kids, and a tendency to want to go his own way – which was inevitably in a direction away from the traditions of his parents – for just as long.
"It's the absolute worst," Sebastian agreed. "Where are we going, by the way?"
"You called me," Logan reminded him. "We're going..." He peered at the road in front of them. "North."
Sebastian made a thoughtful face. "Ice cream, then?"
"We'll sit inside!" Sebastian said. "C'mon, Logan. Be a bro. I need something nice after listening to my mother talk about the duties of an Omega for the billionth time."
"Well, maybe she thinks it's not sticking," Logan said with a grin, but he slid the car smoothly across lanes, heading for their favorite ice cream shop.
"She's the one who brought me up," Sebastian said smugly.
"Yeah, but you're the one who literally ran away every time she tried to make you into a perfect Omega," Logan replied.
Sebastian groaned. "Well, wouldn't you?"
"It's different for Alphas." Logan shrugged.
"Also, your parents have actually kept up with the times." Sebastian hunched down sullenly in his seat. Logan left him to it, concentrating on the road ahead. He didn't usually drive this way in the winter, and it surprised him how different the route looked with snowbanks piled up along both sides of the road, the signs ahead looking as though they'd simply been balanced on a heap of snow, their poles completely covered.
The ice cream shop, however, looked much the same as usual, aside from some leftover Christmas lights that still blinked cheerfully around the big front window, and the pile of snow off to the side in the carefully plowed parking lot. Usually in the summer, there'd be people sitting outside, but all those tables and chairs were packed away for the season, only a few cars dotting the normally-crowded parking lot.
"You're the best, Logan," Sebastian said as they pulled into a parking space, coming out of his sulk in an instant at the prospect of sugar.
"And don't you forget it," Logan told him.
Sebastian looked shocked and appalled, which meant less than nothing. "I would never!" he said with a level of drama more appropriate to a teen than someone who was nearly twenty-two, and flounced into the store. He was still looking over the bank of flavors with inappropriate intensity when Logan came in behind him at a more moderate pace.
Raising a hand in greeting to the worker behind the counter, Logan said, "Hey, Aiden."
Aiden nodded back. "Hey, man. Haven't seen you in a while."
"Surprised you're even open now," Logan admitted.
"We keep it going," Aiden said with a grin. "Got those Christmas flavors for the season."
Sebastian perked up at that, lifting his head to stare at Aiden. "Ooh! Like what?"
Aiden squinted at the freezer case. "Candy cane, eggnog, maybe snickerdoodle today? We had fruitcake, and gingersnap last week, but those sold out."
"I want all three," Sebastian said eagerly.
Logan laughed, coming up behind him to take his own look at the flavors in the case. "You aren't tired of Christmas yet?" he said, amused. "Weren't you just complaining yesterday that you were still eating your way through mountains of leftovers."
"But none of those were ice cream," Sebastian said, looking at him pityingly. "What are you getting?" He took his ice cream from Aiden and smiled at him expectantly.
"Strawberry," Logan decided.
"You're so boring," Sebastian informed him, and departed to sit down with his mountain of odd flavors. Logan shot him a dirty look, received his own dessert, and went to pay for both of them. When he pulled out his wallet without a word, Aiden kind of gave him a look, but Logan just shrugged. Sebastian had always been exactly this kind of spoiled brat. Plus Logan was weak for those big blue eyes. Besides, Seb could be generous in his own way. He'd give you the shirt off his back: he just never remembered to carry cash when he was in the middle of one of his moods.
"You have to try this!" Sebastian said as Logan sat down at the table. "This is great!"
"I've had enough egg nog to last me until next December," Logan protested.
"But not in ice cream form!" Sebastian shoved the flat plastic spoon in Logan's direction. "Go on."
Logan sighed, leaned forward, and allowed Sebastian to feed him the cold, creamy spoonful. Definitely egg nog. Unmistakably so.
"See?" Sebastian said excitedly.
"It's fine." Logan shrugged, and dipped his own spoon into his mound of melting pink.
Sebastian laughed. "Fine, fine. Whatever, man."
They sat there for a few minutes, eating in tandem; not quite silent as Sebastian hummed softly along to the radio and Logan couldn't help but make pleased noises over the flavor of his ice cream, but without saying too much.
"So," Logan said finally. "Did you want to talk?"
"Talk?" Sebastian said, his eyes wide and surprised.
"About your mother?" Logan prompted him. It would probably be the same story that he'd heard a million times, but the least he could do for a friend was to listen to it again.
"No, no, don't worry about!" Sebastian grinned widely. "I just needed a ride out of there, honest."
"So you're using me for my car?" Logan said drily.
"Absolutely." Sebastian looked like a total mess with ice cream on his lower lip and his hair fuzzed out around his head like a halo from the static charge of his hat. Logan couldn't stop looking at him anyway.