#SuperShort

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Happy Friday everyone! Today is a very special day: it’s part 8 of Alan and Jon’s story. Also known as The End. One last peek into their lives before we leave them to their HEA. Because of course they will have a HEA. I have loved writing them, but it’s time to move on to something else.

Also, maybe I’ll take a break with the #SuperShorts for the rest of April, since I’m doing Camp NaNoWriMo and have to focus on my projects. I’m not saying it’s definitely going to happen, I’m just saying don’t be surprised if it does.

Have a great weekend everyone. I hope you enjoy Alan and Jon one final time 🙂

(Parts 123456, and 7 of Alan and Jon’s story if you need to get up to speed.)

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The rain woke me up. It hammered against the bedroom window so furiously I feared it would crack. I peeled one eye open to take in the weather mayhem outside. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought someone was up on the roof and poured buckets of water on my window, that’s how much it rained.

I scrunched my eyebrows together. What was wrong with the curtains? Was it the glum light from the outside giving them that weird color?

A bolt of lightning flashed outside, followed by a loud thunder crack, and I squeezed my eyes shut.

Crap. Rain and thunderstorm meant Jon wouldn’t do his early morning yoga on the porch and that the chances for me ogling his yummy butt while having my first cup of tea had just dropped to zero.

Double crap.

I sighed so deeply my lips made a sputtering sound on the exhale.

A hand slid over my middle and landed on my belly and I flinched. A gravely question followed, “What’s up with the sigh, honey?”

A warm body plastered itself against my back. My lips turned up in a smile and I relaxed.

Right. I didn’t need to mope over the rain. I had the man here in my bed.

I peeled open my eye again.

Strike that.

The man had me in his bed. That explained the curtains. And the only reason I had forgotten our first official sleep-over was that I wasn’t a morning person. That was my story and I was sticking to it.

I scooted back until I was so close another air molecule wouldn’t fit between us. “I was grumpy about the rain.” I lay my hand on top of his.

“Why?” Hot puffs of air from his breath tickled my skin and sent a shiver down my spine. He rubbed his nose up and down my neck, hooked his leg over my hip, and gave me a full body hug.

I sank into his embrace. The scent of warm, sleepy man surrounded me and quickly turned this into the best morning of my life.

“I like having you in my bed,” he mumbled and kissed my nape. My shoulder. My ear.

“I like having you in my life,” I replied.

He gasped. Then he climbed over me and lay down on the edge of the bed, facing me. He tugged the blanket up to the tips of our noses as I grabbed his side and pulled him closer. I shuddered as his broad chest touched mine.

His nose against mine. His hand on the small of my back.

I let my eyes drift closed. There in his arms, my brain was unusually quiet. Content. I could stay there forever. I lay my hand over his heart, his kind, loving heart beating so steadily against my palm.

“I love you, Jon.” The words slipped out on a sigh, but I didn’t regret them even for a second.

“You fucking better,” he grunted, leaned in and took my lips in a soft, tender kiss.

I was going to assume that was Jon-speak for I love you, too.

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#SuperShort

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Happy Friday everyone! Like I hinted about last week, here’s part 7 of Alan and Jon’s story. This week, I have a special treat for you: not only will you meet Alan here, but you’ll also be able to catch a glimpse of Alan somewhere else. In this episode, Alan has a little freak-out and calls his BFF Kyle.

Who’s Kyle, you might ask? Well, he’s one of the MCs in my dear friend and writing partner Kris T. Bethke‘s ongoing Flash Fiction story about Kyle and Asher. So this is a little cross-over between our worlds. Don’t you just love cross overs? 🙂 Maybe it’s also a teeny-tiny preview of what’s to come, because our first joint writing project is going great and we are so in love with our characters 🙂

I’ll post the direct link to her post as soon as she’s posted it. Until then you can click her name in the paragraph above and catch up on Kyle and Asher if you haven’t been following them like I have.

Update: here’s the link as promised.

I hope you enjoy Alan and Jon as much as I enjoy writing them. 🙂

(Parts 12345, and 6 of Alan and Jon’s story if you need to get up to speed.)

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“Hello?”

“Kyle?” I hissed out my best friend’s name as I hid behind a tree a couple houses away from Jon’s place. “Kyle, you there?”

“Alan? Why are you whispering?”

“Omigawd, omigawd, omigawd, I’m freaking out. I need you to tell me to stop being an idiot.” I grabbed the skinny tree with my hand, so I wouldn’t flap it like a full-blown drama queen.

“Okay. Stop being an idiot.”

Wow. That wasn’t helpful at all. Usually, Kyle could talk me down from any emergency—real or imagined—but not today. I groaned and leaned my forehead against the bark.

“What’s going on that you need to be reminded of this?” Kyle asked.

“I was on my way home from work and I saw him hugging another guy.”

“Who was hugging who?”

“Jon. Jon was hugging someone who wasn’t me. Right there on the street.” I pointed at the scene of the crime as if Kyle could see me. “He was blond and tall and hot as sin. But it didn’t mean anything, right? Jon isn’t the kind of guy who would do something like that, is he? He isn’t. I know he isn’t. Gaaah. Even if he would cheat on me, he wouldn’t do it literally in front of my house, right? Who would do that?” I knew I was blabbering, but I couldn’t seem to stop. “Besides, it wouldn’t technically be cheating because we haven’t said we’re exclusive. But I like him so much. He wouldn’t do that to me, right? I know he wouldn’t do that to me. But I can’t help it. I’m hiding behind a tree and I’m freaking out.” I drew a deep breath, getting ready for round two—or was it three?—of my harangue, but Kyle interrupted.

“Alan, babe, you really are an idiot.”

No. Nope, it didn’t help the second time either. “But…”

“No buts. Go there and talk to him. Don’t hide behind a tree. Don’t jump to conclusions based on what you think you saw. Don’t be like one of the Too Stupid To Live characters in your beloved romance novels that you always complain about. You know, the ones who run screaming after only hearing one side of a phone conversation.”

For the first time since Jon and Mr. Blond Hotness had walked into Jon’s house, I took my eyes off his door, turned around, and leaned my back against the tree. “Did you just accuse me of enacting The Big Misunderstanding?”

“If that’s what it’s called, then yes,” said Mr. Smug Best Friend.

“Crappity crap.”

“You can say that again. Now, march your ass over there and talk to him.”

And just like that, the panic bled away. “Thank you, Kyle. I knew there was a reason you’re my best friend.”

“You got that right. Go. Call me later and let me know what happened. Love you.”

“I will. Love you. Bye.”

I jammed my phone into my pocket, stepped away from the tree, and jogged the last few feet to Jon’s house. After a deep breath, I knocked.

I didn’t have to wait long before the door flew open.

Jon’s eyes lit up and his face broke out into a smile. “Alan! I’m happy to see you.” He reached out and grabbed my wrist with his strong fingers, hauling me flush to his body and wound his arms around my waist. He leaned in with his gaze zeroed in on my lips. My hands flew to his face, cupping his bearded cheeks.

His mouth was demanding on mine, his tongue invaded and dueled, and his breath turned ragged. His grip on my waist tightened, making my panicked fluttering heart race for a completely different reason than it had just moments before, and my dick twitch in my pants.

He ended the kiss far too soon and stared at me with hooded eyes. “I missed you,” he said.

Wow. I really was an idiot. I needed to buy Kyle a fucking present for his help.

I slid my hands down Jon’s neck, his clavicles, his chest, and rested them on his stomach. “I missed you, too.”

He waggled his eyebrows at me with a teasing smile. “I’m glad you decided to stop hiding behind the tree.”

My eyes rounded. “You saw me?”

“Oh, honey.” He leaned in and gave me a quick kiss. No tongue. I felt like pouting. “The Neighborhood Association just planted that tree. It’s a baby tree. Not even you are slender enough to be invisible behind it.”

I groaned and hid my face in his neck. His hands caressed my back, leaving trails of goosebumps in their wake. “I’m an idiot,” I muttered for the millionth time in ten minutes.

Jon kissed my temple. “Mhm.”

“Hey!” I gave him a light smack with my palm on his stomach. “You’re not supposed to agree.”

“Sorry,” he said, but the laughter in his voice told me he was anything but. I’d let him get away with it. This time. “Who were you talking to out there anyway?”

“My friend Kyle.”

“Ah. The BFF, right?”

“Yeah.” The mortification had abated and instead I was hypnotized by his scent.

“I really need to meet him one day soon.”

I looked up and met his gaze. His eyes were soft and fond as he looked at me, and my stomach jumped. “You want to meet Kyle?”

“Of course, I want to meet my boyfriend’s best friend. Why wouldn’t I?”

My breathing stuttered to a halt. Boyfriend. Did he say boyfriend? He said boyfriend, right?

“Breathe, honey.” Jon chuckled and kissed my nose.

I did. And I could swear the air felt different. It was the kind of air only someone with a boyfriend breathed.

Our moment was interrupted by a deafening yell from somewhere in the house. “Johnny! Where’d you go?”

“Coming!” Jon hollered back. To me, he said, “Speaking of meeting important people. Come meet my cousin Joe.”

Cousin?

Oh man. Kyle was going to laugh his ass off.

Who cared? I had a boyfriend.

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Happy weekend everyone.

#SuperShort

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Happy Friday everyone! I hope you like Alan and Jon, because you’ll get to meet them again today. This is part six, and it contains chicken soup and more medicines than you can possibly need. And here’s a virtual kiss to my friend Kris for coming up with that particular idea 😘😘

(Parts 1234, and 5 of Alan and Jon’s story if you need to get up to speed.)

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Was it possible to become addicted to someone after only a couple weeks?

I hadn’t seen Jon in forever—three days counted as forever, it did—and I suffered from severe snuggle withdrawals. He’d been away on a business trip and was expected home tonight. As soon as I was released from my prison, eh work, I was storming over there. I needed warm, strong Jon-hugs right this second. Preferably yesterday, dammit.

As six o’clock drew close, I got more and more restless. The contents of my screen blurred together, my gaze wandered, and I glanced at the time once every minute.

When my phone buzzed with a message, I did my special butt wiggle dance on my chair. I grabbed my phone and pulled up the text.

Home with a cold and fever. Gotta cancel. Miss u. xoxo

My smile turned into a frown and my fingers flew over my screen as I typed out a reply.

Oh no! I’m so sorry. Do you need anything?

Thank u, but I’m fine. Don’t want u 2 catch anything.

I wanted to object and to rush over there and smother him in care, but I didn’t want to scare him off. I needed to respect his wishes.

Sigh.

Deep, deep sigh.

After texting him a ‘get well soon’ message, I collected my things and left the office. Now that I didn’t have a warm embrace to hurry home to, I took a detour to the grocery store. Uninspired, I picked up the things I needed. Cereal. Fruit. Milk. Boring boring boring.

As I passed by the chicken, I was struck by an idea that erased the grumpiness from my face. I hustled through the aisles, threw the additional stuff I needed in my cart, made a detour to the drugstore, and rushed home to execute my plan.

A couple hours later, I sent a text to Jon.

I know you said not to come over, but I have something for you. Can I leave it on your porch?

I stood by my kitchen window, bouncing on my feet as if someone had attached a spring to them, and stared at his house, waiting for him to reply to my message. Maybe, I should just sneak over there and leave it outside his door and go back home. No, that would be a stupid idea if he was asleep and the neighborhood cat found it.

Oh shit. That was it. He was probably already asleep. Unless I woke him up with my text. Should I text him and apologize for disturbing him? Should I—

Buzz buzz.

I picked up my phone at warp speed and opened his reply.

Don’t b silly. Come over.

After shoving down the phone in my back pocket, I slung the stuffed tote bag over my shoulder, grabbed the huge pot, and made my way out. I kicked the door shut behind me, and when I was halfway across the street, Jon stepped out on the porch.

He was wrapped in a soft-looking knitted blanket, his eyes that usually sparkled with life were dull and glossy, and his cheeks were flushed.

“You should be in bed,” I called out to him with a scowl on my face. I increased my speed and soon I reached his side. “Get inside right this instant!”

“Someone wanted to give me something,” he said with a fond smile.

“I know. Someone—” I spit out the word in air-quotes, “clearly didn’t know what they were talking about. Get in.” I flicked my head to the open door.

I followed him inside, kicked off my shoes, and carried my things into the kitchen. He trailed after me.

“What is all this?” he asked.

After I’d put down everything, I turned to him. I touched my wrist against his forehead. He was warm. I frowned.

Jon chuckled. “What’s the prognosis, doctor Parsons? Will I live?”

“Shut up,” I muttered under my breath and started unpacking the contents of my bag. A huge box of tissues with lotion. NyQuil. Tylenol Cold for multiple symptoms. Tylenol cold+flu. Sudafed.

He was laughing at me now. “Did you buy the entire drug store?”

“No. I didn’t buy the hemorrhoid cream.”

A strangled sound behind me made me swirl around. He had covered his mouth with his palm, presumably to keep his merry laughter trapped inside. His eyes crinkled and his gaze was warm.

That look in his eyes…Wow. I shivered.

I reached out and removed his hand. Then I gently cupped his face and swept my thumbs across his cheekbones. “I made you chicken soup.”

His mouth fell open. “You made me chicken soup?”

“From scratch.” I nodded and brushed his sweaty hair away from his face. “It was my nana’s recipe. She used to make it when I was sick. It always made me feel better.”

“Oh, honey.”

My breath stuttered. I looked him right in the eye. “You called me honey.”

“I did.”

 I flung my arms around his neck and pulled him in for a hug.

“Don’t. You’ll get sick, too.”

“I don’t care. You called me honey.”

He wrapped his arms around my waist—finally, hallelujah!—and pulled me close.

“Thank you, honey.” He emphasized the endearment. “No one has ever made me soup when I was sick before.”

“Want some?” I should let go of him. I should fix him a bowl, make sure he took some medicine, and go back home so he could sleep.

“I’d love to.”

I buried my nose in the crook of his neck and inhaled before I reluctantly let go and stepped away. “I’ll get you some. Sit down.”

He grabbed my hand. “Will you stay and have soup with me? I really did miss you.”

My heart swelled in my chest and I had to swallow. “I’d love to. I missed you, too.”

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Happy weekend everyone.

#SuperShort

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Happy Friday everyone! It’s FlashFiction time, and time for part 5 of Alan and Jon’s story. Two weeks ago, Addison left me a few words in the comments of part 4…she’s got special permission to do so even if I don’t ask for them 🙂  And last week, I gave her three prompt words to use in the next flashfic and went about my day…until I was struck by an idea a couple hours later: what if I took the words I’d just given her and incorporated them in MY story, too? Use both the ones I’d gotten from her and the ones I gave her? After I decided I’d do it, I poked her and asked if she was up for some fun: that we both use all six words in our story this Friday and see what we could come up with.

She said yes, of course, which means both of us got stuck with phone, bed, and waffle (the words from Addison to me) and yoga, Yggdrasil and yoctosecond (the words from me to Addison).

Here’s what I came up with. And Here’s Addison’s post. It’s really funny and it made me giggle like a madwoman. And even though our stories are pretty different, they had one thing in common: perving on someone while in an interesting yoga pose 🙂  

(Parts 123, and 4 of Alan and Jon’s story if you need to get up to speed.)

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With my phone in a tight grip, I stumbled into the kitchen, my eyes barely open. Six in the morning—it should be a crime to be awake at this ungodly hour. But early morning sunshine and the excited chirping of birds had disturbed my sleep, and after twisting and turning in bed for what felt like forever, I gave up. I threw my angriest glare at the birds, but it didn’t stop them. If anything, they got even louder.

So, tea. I needed tea. And maybe I could actually have something other than a granola bar for breakfast since I didn’t have to be at work for another three hours. Like bacon. Or waffles. Yeah, waffles would be good.

I filled the kettle with fresh, cold water and added tea leaves to the flowery pot that had been my grandma’s. While I waited for it to boil, I pulled up the text Jon had sent me yesterday after our date. I’d already read it a thousand times, but it made me ridiculously giddy so I couldn’t help myself.

Thnx 4 dinner. Had a gr8 time. Can’t wait to kiss spaghetti sauce off ur nose again. xoxo

A smile spread across my face and a happy sigh slipped out. Jon was…wonderful. Up until a few days ago, he’d only been a hot guy I couldn’t stop ogling, but after getting to know him a little better, I was smitten. Crushing hard. If I’d been an emoji, I would have hearts for eyes.

I rubbed my hand over my sleep messy hair. God. This thing between us…could turn serious in a heartbeat if I let it. “Cool your heels, Alan,” I muttered as I poured the hot water over the leaves. We’d only known each other for a couple days. It was way too early for… anything.

While the tea was steeping, I grabbed eggs and milk from the fridge and rummaged the pantry for the rest of the ingredients for waffles. After three minutes on the dot, I strained the tea and poured myself the first cup of the day.

I closed my eyes and inhaled the lovely aroma of bergamot. Nothing beat a great cup of Earl Grey in the morning. A couple sips later, I started to feel like a human being and not like some kind of monster risen from the dead. I opened my eyes again and looked out my kitchen window…and almost dropped my mug.

Jon. On his porch. Dressed in nothing but the tiniest pair of shorts I’d ever seen. Doing some kind of exercise. Yoga, maybe? He stretched his limbs, making the muscles play under his skin.

I gulped.

Blinked several times to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.

I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He moved with a fluidity and grace I hadn’t expected. With sweeping arms and straight back and head held high, he was beautiful. Absolutely breathtaking.

Mesmerized, I watched him grab his right foot with his right hand and lift it up and back at the same time as he extended his left arm forward. He held that pose for what seemed like forever and was steady as a rock. And even if I was too far away to notice if his muscles trembled, I would have bet money on that they didn’t. Smoothly, he put down the leg and repeated the pose on the other side. I was in awe. With my shitty balance, I would have been unable to hold that position for longer than a yoctosecond. Heh. Who was I kidding? I wouldn’t even have gotten my leg in that position.

And then he bent forward, hands touching the floor. Ass sticking up in the air.

Someone whimpered. Was it me, making that pathetic sound? Who the fuck cared?

Without a second thought, I spun on my heel and ran out of the house, wearing only my pajama pants. The tea sloshed down on my bare feet and forced me to slow down. When I reached his porch, I was calm.

Right.

His eyes were closed, and he hadn’t noticed me approaching. He had both feet planted on the ground, his arms stretched up and a serene look on his face. I probably shouldn’t disturb him.

“You’ve been holding out on me,” I blurted out and winced as soon as the words were out of my mouth.

His head jerked in my direction, and his eyes flew open, but he held the position. “Alan!”

“What are you doing?”

“Um, yoga?” He lowered his arms and bent forward again.

“Are you asking or telling?” I leaned my hip against the railing and took a big gulp of tea, my gaze never leaving him.

“Ha ha.” Slowly, he pulled himself up to standing and reached for the heavens again.

“So, what’s that pose called? Um…Yggdrasil?”

“What?” he chuckled and wobbled.

“Don’t all yoga poses have fancy names?”

He shook his head with a fond smile on his face. “Yeah, but…not…that’s just weird.”

I shrugged. “I wouldn’t know, I just took a wild guess.”

“You’ve never tried yoga?”

His question made me laugh. “Dude, I have no coordination whatsoever. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight.”

“You’re saying you’re afraid to try.” He waggled his eyebrows.

Oh, no, he didn’t.

I straightened my back. “I’m not afraid of anything.” That was such a lie, but I’d never been one to leave a thrown glove on the ground. Even if it was in my best interest.

He stepped close and his scent found its way into my nose, and I hummed. Warm hands cupped mine, and carefully he took the mug from me and put it down on the railing. Then he slid his hand up my arm and over my shoulder and didn’t stop until he rested it on my neck. I shivered.

“What are you doing up so early, anyway?” His voice was low and husky.

“I couldn’t sleep,” I murmured. “But now I realize it must have been the universe telling me I couldn’t miss this—” I gestured at him, “for the world.”

“Is that so?” He leaned forward and rested his cheek against mine.

Whoa.

“Up for a little yoga this morning, Alan?” His breath was hot in my ear and sent a quiver down my spine.

“Ummm…” Was I supposed to be able to think clearly with him this close? Did he expect an answer?

“We’ll start with something easy.”

He stepped back and grabbed my wrists and pulled me over to the mat while I was still under the spell of his slightly sweaty scent. I just wanted to bury my nose in the crook of his neck and inhale and lick and—

While I’d been lost in lustful thoughts, he’d positioned us, so I was in front of him. He stood close enough for me to feel his body heat, but not close enough to touch. Would he notice if I took a step back?

“Concentrate, Alan,” he said with his voice full of laughter.

“Huh?”

“Just try Downward Facing Dog. It’ll give me a reason to stare at your butt.”

“You don’t need a reason for that.” I moved back, and my breath stuttered as his chest touched my back.

“Hey. You’re not playing fair,” he said and pressed his body closer to mine. His palms slid around my waist until his strong arms encircled me completely. I sighed and leaned my head back on his shoulder. My eyes drifted closed and everything except Jon faded into the background. His chest rose and fell against my back and slowly our breathing synchronized. My belly filled with butterflies as his thumbs drew circles on my skin. I rested my hands on top of his, needing to feel connected to him.

Far too soon a door slammed somewhere and disturbed our moment of tranquility. I heaved out a disappointed sigh.

“I know,” he mumbled.

“This was the best morning I’ve ever had.”

“Me too.”

I twisted in his embrace, flung my arms around his neck, and buried my face in his shoulder. His hands rested just above the waistband of my sleep pants, blazing against my skin. “Can we do this again?” I asked.

“You can always join me for yoga tomorrow.” His hands slid a little lower.

Damn him for taking advantage of me while I was powerless. I pressed a kiss to his neck. “Okay.”

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Happy weekend everyone.

#SuperShort

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Happy Friday everyone! It’s FlashFiction time, and also time for part 4 of Alan and Jon’s story. Addison left me a couple words two weeks ago, and I’ve incorporated them in the story. The words are insulated and imagine. (However, I took some liberties with the word imagine, but I figure it’s allowed 😊 ) Someone also wanted to see a kiss between the guys…and I may or may not have obliged! 😊

Here are parts 12, and 3 if you need to get up to speed.

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I stood in my designated spying-on-my-hot-neighbor spot, maybe a little less hidden behind the curtain this morning. Ever since Jon had pressed a chaste kiss on my cheek yesterday, said goodnight, and gone home, I’d debated with myself whether to perv on him as usual. I’d almost decided not to when my phone had vibrated with a text.

CU tmrw. No need to hide. xo

So, there I was. Bouncing on the balls of my feet. Gnawing on the knuckle of my right index finger with eyes flitting between my watch and his door.

He was late. He was never late; usually, I could set my watch after him, so what took him so long today? Yesterday, he’d said he would have to run twice the distance to make up for all the sweets he’d eaten, but that had been a joke, hadn’t it? I wouldn’t know, I wasn’t a work-out kind of person.

I peeked around the curtain, sighed, and stepped into sight. “It’s not like he doesn’t know I’m here,” I muttered and checked the time for the hundredth time. Five minutes late. What if…what if he’d changed his mind? Realized when he got home that I was kind of a geek—kind of, who was I kidding?—who didn’t know when to shut up, and decided he didn’t want to see me again? What if he’d snuck out the back-door or gone to work at the buttcrack of dawn to avoid me?

“Oh em gee, Alan!” I resisted smacking my forehead for being stupid and gripped the counter. How long should I wait for him to show up? When would it cross the line into creep-territory? Or would the only thing I’d see if I waited long enough, be a U-Haul truck, picking up all his things?

I sighed. My imagination was crazier than ever this morning. But maybe it was time to come to terms with the fact there wouldn’t be a Jon-sighting today? I’d better get ready for work. Too bad, my days always felt a little easier after I’d gotten a good look at his chest and all that glorious sk—

Jon’s door flew open and he stepped out and a happy whooping sound escaped my mouth.

But dammit, he was dressed!

He looked right at me as he kicked the door closed, jumped off the porch, and sauntered across the street. His hips swung from side to side and I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Was he trying to drive me crazy?

As he came closer he held up two insulated cups and nodded at my door. I got the message, raced through the house, and opened it. Calmly. At least that’s what I told myself.

“Good morning. I come bearing gifts,” he said.

“Why are you wearing a shirt?” As soon as the words were out of my mouth I stiffened. My eyes widened, and I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole. Being boiled to death in magma didn’t seem like the world’s worst idea right now. What the hell was wrong with me?

Jon stumbled but managed to keep himself on his feet. He stared at me for a second with a surprised look on his face before bursting out in a booming laughter. “You’re so cute I can’t stand it.” He shook his head, took the last few steps, and jumped up and joined me on the porch. After a moments’ hesitation, he leaned in and gave me a quick peck on the cheek.

My hand flew up and covered the spot he’d kissed. My skin buzzed, and a shiver ran down my spine. Whoa.

He held out one of the cups to me.

“Eh, I—”

“It’s tea.”

“You brought me tea?”

“Yes,” he said. “I remember that you don’t like coffee.”

I took the offered beverage, unscrewed the lid, and inhaled, happily humming as the scent of sun-ripened strawberries reached my nose. After a sip, I stepped closer to him. The back of my hand brushed against his, and he caught it and weaved our fingers together.

“I can’t stay long,” he said.

“I know.” I had his morning routine memorized after all.

“But I didn’t want to wait to see you.” The words were barely audible, and he averted his eyes.

He was such a delightful mix of cocky and shy and it made my knees week. I wanted to get to know this man. I wanted to learn everything about him and find out if this chemistry that sizzled behind us could be something more.

And I wanted to kiss him. I freed my hand from his grip, turned to him, and cupped his cheek. “Thank you for the tea. I love strawberry.”

“Yeah?” He leaned into my touch.

I nodded. I usually wasn’t this brave, but the unexpected vulnerability he displayed gave me courage. My gaze moved to his mouth. It called out to me, craved my attention. “Can I kiss you?”

Jon’s Adam’s apple bobbed. “Yes.”

I took my time. Stroked my thumb over his lower lip. Bumped his nose with mine. Rubbed my cheek against his and shivered under the scruffiness.

“Alan,” he complained.

Leaning my forehead against his, I slid my hand down to the back of his neck. He shivered under my touch and I squeezed lightly.

When his eyes fell closed, I ghosted my mouth over his. Once. Twice. The third time, I lingered. His lips tasted of coffee, but somehow I liked the flavor on him. After a few seconds, I pulled back. He groaned and hid his face in the crook of my neck.

“Was that okay?” I asked.

“More than.”

“Good.”

“But I have to go.”

“I know.”

He kissed my neck and I gasped. “Can I see you tonight?” he asked and straightened.

A smile bloomed on my face. It seems I didn’t have to worry about the U-Haul emptying his place. Fantastic! “I’ll cook us dinner.”

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Happy weekend everyone.

#SuperShort

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I know that today isn’t Friday. Don’t worry, I haven’t hit my head and mixed up the days. But I wrote a Valentine’s Day story about two characters you know by now, and it seemed silly not to post it on actual V-day. Right?

So without further ado, here’s the story about Lenny and JJ’s Valentine’s Day. And as you hopefully know by know, Lenny and JJ first showed up in my holiday story The Christmas Day Date. We’ve also met them another time, on New Year’s Eve.

I hope you enjoy, and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone…if you celebrate it. Happy Wednesday if you don’t! 🙂

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The Valentine’s Day Date

I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked so different and yet the same. My hair was slicked back from my face, gathered in a neat bun at the back of my head, and my stubble was more closely shaved than usual. My eyelid was as droopy as ever, but for once I didn’t care about that. Instead, I focused on what I wore.

A suit.

I, Lenny Painter, wore a suit.

I’d found it in a second-hand store the other day and been attracted to it immediately. It was in great shape and of excellent quality, but because it was outdated—the seventies called and wanted their fashion back—it hadn’t set me back more than twenty bucks. It was charcoal gray with low-slung, bellbottom pants and a tight-fitting coat. Underneath, I wore a light blue shirt, and if the color had reminded me of JJ’s eyes when I’d seen it in the store, I was the only one who knew.

Technically the suit should have been a disaster on me. But somehow it worked wonders for my body; it made the slight pout of my stomach disappear and clung to all the right places. My legs looked like they went on for miles, and more than once I’d turned my back to the mirror, stood on my toes, and admired the way my ass looked in the pants. I had a hard time believing it could look that tight and…hot.

I looked…good enough…for the evening. I hoped JJ would think so, too.

My phone beeped as I walked out of the bathroom.

Have a great night. Remember what I’ve taught you and you’ll be fine. I’ll bring my phone everywhere until you give me the all clear. The message was followed by a winky-face emoji.

A smile broke out on my face. Ella. How the fuck had I been so lucky to meet her that day in early January when I’d gone to my first AA meeting? When she’d stood to talk, wearing a patch over her left eye, and had introduced herself with her best pirate imitation, the entire room had burst out laughing. The eye thing had made me feel weirdly connected to her and after working up my courage by drinking three cups of the crappy coffee they served, I’d approached her.

We’d hit it off like a house on fire, and at first, I’d been surprised. But I figured sometimes even a washed-up ex-drunk like me had to be lucky and for once fate had picked the right moment for me.

K. Can’t thank u enough, I wrote back before stuffing the phone into my pocket. Stopping at the front door for a second before heading out, I took a deep breath and held it in my lungs. I counted to thirty before letting it out again, straightened my shoulders, and just like that, I was ready.

I locked the door behind me and took a couple quick steps across the hall. Without hesitation, I knocked but didn’t have to wait before the door flew open and revealed a worried-looking JJ.

His hand flew to his throat as he saw me and he dragged his gaze up and down my body, leaving tingles in its wake. I fingered the hem of my jacket, trying my hardest not to fidget as the seconds dragged out into what felt like hours, and doubt niggled in the back of my mind.

“Wow, Lenny,” he whispered. Finally. “You look…” He didn’t finish what he was gonna say. Instead, he stepped into my space, cupped my cheeks with careful fingers, and looked straight into my eyes. “Wow,” he repeated. Then he leaned in and stole my breath with a scorching kiss.

His lips were soft yet demanding against mine. His fingers danced along my jaw as he scraped his fingernails in my stubble. The worry disappeared out of my head as his tongue begged to be let into my mouth. I opened willingly to him and couldn’t help humming into his mouth. I grabbed his hip and squeezed as warmth spread in my tummy and my pants grew tight.

A whimper escaped me when he ended the kiss, but he didn’t move away. His breath tickled my cheek and he pressed his pelvis against me. I gulped down the air as his hardness pressed against mine.

“You look stunning,” he whispered.

“Yeah?”

“Oh, yes.” He ran his hand down my arm and wove his fingers with mine. Then he took a step back. “What’s going on? Why are we dressed up?” he asked.

“I…” I squeezed his hand and cleared my throat. I’d calmed down enough to register what he was wearing and forgot whatever it was I was going to say as.

I couldn’t take my eyes off him. His pinstriped suit, light gray shirt, and lavender tie made him look more gorgeous than ever. He was pink around his lips as if my stubble had rasped his sensitive skin, and the sight made my dick press harder against my zipper. Shit. He’d be sexy in an oil-stained coverall, but like this, he was magnificent.

Swallowing hard, I leaned in and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “I’m takin’ you out on a date,” I said.

“Out?” he squeaked.

His surprise wasn’t unexpected. We’d spent lots of time together these last weeks, but all of it had been in either of our apartments. Mostly in his home, where we’d cooked, cuddled on the couch in front of a movie, or made love for hours and hours. We’d never gone anywhere outside our building together. That was changing tonight. “Yeah,” I answered simply.

“Okay.” His eyes were full of questions, but as usual, he didn’t ask them. Instead, he grabbed his keys and followed me to my car. Patient. Wating for me to be ready to tell him at my own speed. He really was fucking perfect.

Except for early in the morning before coffee. He was a terrible grump before coffee.

We drove in silence, but I could feel his eyes on me the entire ride. He rested his hand on my thigh and drew small circles with his fingers. Occasionally, he squeezed. At a traffic light, I put my hand over his as we waited for it to turn green. That simple touch made my entire body buzz with electricity.

When I pulled up in front of the restaurant—Nonna Giulia’s because his favorite food was Italian—he gasped and opened his mouth to speak, but was interrupted by the valet.

He didn’t say a word until I’d handed over the keys and we were alone. “What are we doing here?” he asked in a faint voice full of worry.

“Havin’ dinner.” I smiled at him, hoping it looked confident. I felt confident. Sort of. If my dry mouth didn’t count.

“But…” He stepped closer and spoke close to my ear as if he wanted to make sure no one could hear what he said. “They serve…alcohol here.”

I brushed a speck of dust from his lapel and made sure his tie was straight. “I know.”

“But…how?”

I stopped fiddling and took his hands in mine. Looked him straight in the eye. “I want to take you out on a real date. Like normal people do on Valentine’s day. I wanna be someone you can be proud of.” My voice quavered, but I kept going. “I have Ella on speed dial and she’d only let me go if I promised to call her if the shit hits the fan.” I squeezed his hands quickly before I let them go and fished out my phone. After pulling up Ella’s message I gave it to him so he could read it.

His gaze flitted between my phone and my face before he stuffed it back into my pocket. “I’d be perfectly fine to have our date at home.” He tugged on my hand as if he wanted to lead me away from the restaurant. “Please, let’s go home.” He pulled harder.

“Julius.” My pleading tone stilled his movements and I slid my hand around his neck. Standing so close our noses almost touched, I spoke in a hushed voice. “You have no idea how much I appreciate you lookin’ out for me.” My other hand found its way under his jacket and I rested it on his slim waist. “How fuckin’ lucky I feel that you wanna be with me. You mean so much to me. I don’t wanna be a stupid coward and risk losin’ you. I need to get over my issues…and not just for you, but…for me?”

I hoped he’d get it. Heck, I don’t even know if I did, but Ella had drilled into my thick skull that I needed to do this for myself and not for someone else. My talk of how gorgeous my boyfriend was hadn’t swayed her one bit.

He nodded and a cautious smile spread on his narrow face. We stood so close I could see a smudge on his glasses. A happy sparkle in his eyes. “I have conditions,” he said.

“Name them.”

He held up an index finger. “One. I don’t drink.”

I chuckled. “Only you would set rules for yourself.”

His smile widened. “Shut up.” He smacked a kiss on my lips. “Number two.” He held up another finger and his face grew serious. “You tell me the second you feel anxious and we’re out of here.”

I pulled back my hand from his waist and rubbed my droopy eyelid. Of course, he’d understood completely. How could I have thought otherwise? “Yeah, okay.” Tears burned in my throat and I had to swallow to keep them from erupting. “Anything else?”

He pulled me close, flush to his body, until we touched from chest to knees. “One more thing.”

“Anything, Julius. I’d do anythin’ for you.”

“I want a kiss before dinner.”

I happily obliged.

#SuperShort

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Until a couple hours ago, I thought there wouldn’t be a #SuperShort this Friday either. I’ve had a terrible week; my dad has been very sick and spent several nights in the ICU. For a while, I thought I’d have to jump on a plane and fly to Sweden and see him, in case he wouldn’t…you know. I’ve been so worried and unable to focus on anything. But now he’s actually feeling better and will most likely be released from the hospital this weekend, and suddenly my mind started working again.

So here it is. A little later than usual – to be honest it’s actually Saturday here in Malaysia (it’s a few minutes after midnight) – but better late than never, right?

I’ve used the words that was left to me in the comments two weeks ago: cherry – cupcake – poppycock – bloodshed, and written part 3 of Alan and Jon’s story.

Here are parts 1 and 2 if you need to get up to speed.

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With gentle fingers, I plucked the rose from his hand. “You brought me a flower?”

His cheeks grew even redder and took on the color of cherries. “Um, yeah?”

“Thank you.” I smiled at him, I could practically feel myself beaming like the sun. “It’s beautiful!”

He stepped into the house. “You, uh, like it?”

I nodded eagerly. “No one’s ever bought me flowers before.” I shut the door behind him and led him into the kitchen. I gestured for him to sit at the breakfast bar as I rummaged through my cupboards for something to put the flower in. Finally, I chose a tall glass and after pouring some water into it, I put it on the counter. “I thought we could have a cup of tea. And cheesecake.”

“Oh man,” he groaned.

“You don’t like cheesecake?”

“I love cheesecake. But I had cupcakes for lunch, so I’m gonna have to run double my usual distance tomorrow or I’ll get fat.” He patted his stomach that was flat and enticing and so far from fat it wasn’t funny.

That’s what you’ve been doing before strutting around half naked outside, driving me crazy?” I blurted out and Jon burst out laughing. A booming sound that filled my kitchen with loud happiness.

Shit shit shit, did I just say that? I flipped the switch on the tea kettle and tried to act as if I wasn’t the biggest idiot on earth, but my cheeks flamed hotter than the sun.

“Sooooo, I drive you crazy?” He waggled his eyebrows, crossed his hands behind his neck and leaned backward. His shirt slipped up a little and revealed just a sliver of skin, but it was enough to make my throat dry up. His cocky grin from that morning made a comeback.

I covered my eyes with my hand, not trusting myself to stop staring at him unless I made it impossible to look. “Cupcakes for lunch, huh?” I asked in a desperate attempt to change the subject. “What’s the occasion?” I removed the hand and straightened.

He took mercy on me and backed off the teasing. “One of my coworkers had a baby. She came to the office to show him off today and she brought cupcakes with baby-blue icing.”

“How very gender normative of her.” I poured the hot water into the cups, put them on the breakfast bar, and stepped over to the fridge to retrieve the cheesecake.

“If you ask me, that kind of stuff a load of poppycock.”

I looked over the fridge door with a raised eyebrow. “Poppycock? Really? I would have pegged you more for a ‘crap’ kind of guy.” I added a smile to show him I was joking.

“That should teach you to stereotype people.” He returned my smile. “Besides, I like the sound of the word.”

After putting everything out and helping him pick a tea, I joined him. “Was it a cute baby?” I groaned internally. Why had I asked that? As if I cared about a baby I would probably never meet.

Jon shrugged. “Eh, it was a baby. But the way the women fawned over him, you’d think he was the new Messiah or something.” He blew on his cup before taking a small sip. A content hum slipped out and he drank some more.

“Yeah, women tend to do that.” Seriously, Alan George White, change the subject already. Stop talking about babies! But my brain refused to cooperate; it was probably too overwhelmed by being in the same room as Jon the Hot Neighbor.

I snuck a glance at him. Damn, he was fine, even fully clothed. His shirt didn’t leave much to the imagination, but maybe that was because I’d seen him without it so many times? I wanted to reach out and touch him. Run my hand over his chest and down his stomach and—

“You’re right about that. For a moment, I feared for the little guy. I was seriously afraid they’d start clawing each other’s eyes out over whose turn it was to hold him next. I’m thinking the boss wouldn’t have been too happy over the bloodshed.”

Huh? What was he talking about? Oh right. “Why are we still talking about babies, Jon?” My voice was hoarse and told the story about where my mind had been.

He put down his cup and inched his stool closer to me. “I don’t know.” I couldn’t take my eyes off his hand resting on the countertop. He had long, thick fingers with tufts of hair on the knuckles. I bet those hands would feel glorious as they explored my body.

“Are your mind in the gutter again?” His amusement was obvious, but it didn’t feel like he was teasing me.

“Uh-huh.”

“I’ve never met anyone with such an expressive face as yours. You must have been terrible at keeping secrets when you were a kid.”

“You have no idea.” Hesitantly, I reached out my hand and rested my fingers on top of his. He was warm and his skin was softer than it looked.

Jon moved even closer. “You’re too cute for your own good.”

“And you’re hot.” Seriously. Someone needed to duct tape my mouth shut.

He turned his hand over and entwined our fingers. “I’m glad you think so.” He took a deep breath. “Does that mean you wanna go on another date with me?”

My gaze flew to his face. His eyes were earnest, but his mouth was set in an uncertain smile. The juxtaposition of the cockiness and the nervousness he displayed fascinated me. I would have thought that it would be one or the other, but he was a lovely mixture of both.

“I’d love to,” I answered.

He smiled at me, and we picked up our mugs and drank our tea in a companionable silence. When my cup was empty, I rested my head on his shoulder. “You’re nothing like I thought you’d be,” I murmured.

“Is that a good or a bad thing?”

“It’s a very good thing.”

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Next week, I’m doing things a little differently. The #SuperShort will be posted on Wednesday – Valentine’s Day – instead of Friday and it won’t feature Alan and Jon, but a couple other guys you’ll recognize if you’re a frequent visitor to my blog. But if you’re really lucky, Alan and Jon might come back. No promises though 🙂

Happy weekend everyone.