Now it's time for part two. I hope all of you who asked for a bakery setting are happy...
Kyle seemed to consider for a moment, and then he shrugged. “Okay. Thanks.” He took his mug and donut and wandered over to the table nearest the counter.
A quick glance at the clock told Cory what he wanted to know. He rounded the counter, throwing a smile over his shoulder at Kyle as he strode across the floor to the door. “Closing time. I don’t want any stragglers coming in.” He turned the lock and flipped the sign from “Open” to “Closed.”
“Other than me, you mean?”
Cory winked. “You’re not a straggler. You’re a loyal regular.”
Kyle laughed. “You don’t have to butter me up. The donuts alone would keep me coming back.” He bit into the donut, closing his eyes in exaggerated bliss.
Cory stopped and stared, transfixed by Kyle’s expression. A bit of glaze lingered on Kyle’s lips, and Cory wondered if he could make that blissful look stay by licking it off. Not that he would ever do such a thing, of course. Kyle was a customer. Not to mention several years older, and probably straight.
Even so, he found himself walking over to the table. He surprised himself by sitting down—next to Kyle, not across from him. What was he doing? He should get up and get back to work, but that would look dumb after he’d just come over here. To cover his sudden nervous confusion, Cory asked, “Do you like working at the hospital?”
Kyle looked up from his coffee, his big eyes serious. “Most of the time. Sometimes, like tonight, it’s tough.” Apparently oblivious to Cory’s discomfort, he took another bite of his donut.
Kyle’s tongue swiped across his lower lip to catch a stray bit of glaze. Cory tried not to stare, but he couldn’t help it. Even Kyle’s throat working as he took a gulp of his coffee was sexy.
At last Kyle finished his donut. He looked at his sticky fingers for a moment, and then he laughed and started to lick the sugar off them. Cory thought he would die right then and there.
“Need any help with that?”
Oh, shit. He couldn’t possibly have said that out loud.
Kyle froze, his wide eyes telling Cory he had indeed spoken his thoughts.
Shit, shit, shit. For a long, awkward moment, neither of them said a word. Cory felt heat creeping up his face. “Wow. That was dumb, even for me.” He cringed, wishing the ground would open up and swallow him. “I’m sorry. Sometimes my mouth gets ahead of my brain.”
He started to stand, but Kyle’s next words stopped him. “Are you taking back your offer?”
“Wh…what?” Cory gaped at the other man, certain he couldn’t have heard what he thought he had.
Kyle leaned forward until they were only inches apart. “You asked me if I need any help. Well, I do.” He held out his still-messy hand. “You wouldn’t want a loyal regular to be disappointed in your service, would you?”
“No, of course not.” Cory scanned Kyle’s face for any sign the man was joking. He saw none. An almost giddy feeling filled him at Kyle’s intent expression. He could hardly believe Kyle might want him too.
Trying not to grin like a fool, he caught Kyle’s wrist. “Let me just take care of this for you, then.”
TO BE CONTINUED...
Don't you just love a cliff-hanger? Muahahahaaaaaa!
Part three will be posted on February 6.
Double or Nothing, coming soon to Cobblestone Press!