Cupcake Kissin’ 11 – Alex Ankarr

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Cupcake Kissin’ 11 – Alex Ankarr

‘Oh hell, oh hell, I am not wearing that,’ is not the first thing out of his mouth, come Day One. That’s after the week’s grace he allows himself in the new apartment, steeling himself, and just taking a well-deserved break from all the stresses of the job search that’s now abandoned.

And when he rocks up at the emporium that is his new home, livelihood and habitual hanging-out spot, he’s not… massively impressed. Sure, it’s professionally presented, which was, up until now, his main concern. Auntie Gertie had had a lot of what appeared to be, frankly, hobby businesses. He’d been worried that this might have been one of them, and obviously so. But no, the place sure looks professional. It also looks very… pink. Pink and chrome, and a little bit gaudy, and maybe a tiny bit… kitsch.

But he can live with that.

In fact, if it’s bringing him in two grand per week – and going on past history, and current predictions, that’s not an un-doable figure – then he can definitely but definitely live with it.

He gets himself in there, introduces himself to a staff who have been primed to expect him, by the interim management put in place by Mayhewlinson. On today’s roster, they number Sophia, a sassy, buxom, cute and ferociously efficient assistant manager, Marvin, a tall, thin, humorous and slightly irritable baker, and the service assistant Sandy. One and all, they eye him with faint unease and good humour. And when Sophia shows him around the place, runs through procedures, takes down notes on his understanding of his legal duties in fulfilling Aunt Gertie’s basic minimum requirements, and then sits opposite him where he’s lounging in his new office chair, the big boss guy… she goes to find him the uniform that he’ll require for his minimum eight rota’d hours behind the counter per week.

It’s not all pink. It is, actually, mostly white, very chef-y and baker-y and hygienic. It’s a little bit pink, here and there. It’s a little bit girly. There’s a hair-net involved.

There’s a little cupcake hair-slide he’s supposed to wear in his hair, where it peeks out of his hairnet.

***

Four days in, and Caspar swears he can’t take it any more. Not the hairpin, not the overalls, and certainly not the prescribed greeting – from which it is not acceptable, as is pointed out to him in his aunt’s extensive notes, to deviate in any respect – of, ‘Welcome to the Honey Gummy Gertrude Bakery, what can I get you, cupcake?’

(He’s not too happy with the uniform, certainly. But it’s the greeting that’s really getting to him.) And he’s only rota’d for eight hours per week, he marvels! That’s as per Auntie Gertie’s stipulations, of course. There are some staff who are on the rota for as much as twenty hours face-time over the counter some weeks. He wonders how they stand it. He wonders how they don’t snap, and leather the next customer in the face with one of the pink-iced monstrosities, coating the bastard who’s fool enough to come in for his sugar fix with a faceful of icing and sugar-balls.

‘How do you stand it?’ he asks Sandy, his co-worker du jour, as they take a breather leaning against the back of the counter during a brief quiet period in the morning. ‘Doesn’t it drive you crazy? Do you even like cupcakes?’

‘Don’t have to like ’em to sell ’em,’ she points out sunnily, spritzing the counter with anti-bacterial and giving her hairnet a good tug. ‘You do get kind of tired of them after a while, though, even free. They are good cupcakes, though. Your auntie was proud of ’em. I never see you eat one, boss.’

And Caspar screws up his face. ‘Never have cared for sweet stuff much. Now, if it was a pizza parlour…’

‘I hear you,’ Sandy agrees. ‘Oh, wait, here comes caramel-dark with a macchiato guy. ‘ She gives him a thoughtful look, and there’s something sly in it. ‘Always the same order, and we’re out of damn caramel-dark choc, I can’t believe it. I’ll just run in back if you keep him talking. Keep him sweet, he’s a real sugar-fiend, he might stab you if he thinks we’re not gonna provide him with his fix!’ she calls as she runs, white-stockinged legs flying under her frilly apron. (The identical one to what Caspar is cursed with, right now. It’s not a flattering look. He flatters himself that he’s a reasonably attractive young guy, but this pinny is not a look that any amount of pretty face or well-packed musculature can combat. Nor is the hairnet.)

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: Lyn Whitfield on Flickr, public domain.

The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 3

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The Entomologist and NoSpiders-Man – 3

They’d nodded at each other in the mornings and evenings and in the utility room in the basement, the rare occasions Adam had spotted the smooth handsome newcomer, so far. He’d been biding his time. Waiting for the perfect moment.

And here it was, their meet-cute. It wasn’t remotely how Adam had imagined it, though. Not sans his slickest new duds, sans towel, sans a shred or scrap of clothing to cover him. Damp and flushed and sweaty, in fact, gasping for breath with the slam of the door still echoing through the hallway. And with his hand over his masculine parts, no sang-froid whatsoever.  (Like a kid whose swimming trunks had come off when he surged up out of the pool, and gave the hotel swimmers and sunbathers a laugh. He half-expected a catcall, a whistle, a round of mocking applause.)

 

 

 

© Alex Ankarr 2017, all rights reserved.  Including the stellar artwork, don’t go stealing my spidey, peoples.

 

YAY!  3rd installment of my bug-hunter/bug-phobic gay romance, here it is!

yarn nerds

Random – I’ve now become fixated with Youtube vids combining maths with knitting.  Of which there are hundreds!  Wouldn’t credit it, would you?

Isn’t it fascinating?  I don’t even know how I got started, it was just completely random – you know it’s so easy to go on a click-frenzy and wind up somewhere completely different from where you started.  I don’t even knit!  (Well, not much.  And my crocheting is worse than that.)  And my maths is well rusty.

But to justify the amount of time this new fixation is swallowing up, I’m absolutely going to have to make my next two MCs a knitting nerd and a mathematician.  How else am I ever going to make use of this colossal amount of unplanned ‘research’?

What unexpected destination has chance and whimsy taken you to lately?

What I’ve read – Goodreads review

17122993126_419f67e2ac_oLureLure by Tarynn Kerr

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Interesting ideas on fairy generation, nice relationship development between the MCs although a bit one-sided and hard to understand from the male MC’s point of view. Not a very good editing job, unfortunately. Constant tense issues that really should have been ironed out before publication, and other grammatical and punctuation problems too. Also ‘deplore’ used instead of ‘implore’ at one point, which gave a very odd flow to the character’s speech. Also dubious use of ‘literally’ at one point, an absolute last straw for me.

Still a nice story, though, and deserves a second edition with more rigorous quality control and better presentation.  Lovely cover though.

View all my reviews

 

Image Harrison Cady, public domain.

Cupcake Kissin’ 10 – Alex Ankarr

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Cupcake Kissin’ 10 – Alex Ankarr

It takes Caspar some little while to adjust, to be quite honest. He’s not completely thrilled with his old Aunt Gertie. And he spends one extra weekend, beyond what he’d had planned, in his hotel. Mostly he spends it ordering pizza, drinking beer, and fulminating a bit about the cracked old broad who shared a womb with his Gramma. But after a while, he acclimatizes to the news, and accepts the inevitable. Does he want the income from some god-damn cupcake bakery? You can bet your hide he does, especially as it’s evidently, by all accounts, a juicy, thriving, profitable little going concern.

Does he also want to fulfil the terms and conditions that go along with getting it? Hell no. But it seems like there’s no ifs, ands or buts about having to do exactly that. So he’s going to have to buckle up and hep to it, make up his mind to his fate.

He’s going to have to work in a cupcake bakery. He only hopes to God the uniform’s flattering.

Of course he’d intended to leave town, go back to Winnipeg where he has his apartment and resume his search for work appropriate to his studies. But it’s only the place where he did his graduate work, not exactly his home town, so there’s no heart-wrenching involved when he makes the call to break his lease. Mayhewlinson loans him an advance. It’s sufficient to put a deposit on a rental apartment here in L.A. – nothing fancy, he’s not anticipating that income until he finds out exactly what he’s letting himself in for. It covers paying a couple of buddies to go into his Winnipeg place and pack up, pays for having his stuff moved, will support him in his ambition of continuing to eat and clothe himself and buy a paper and a latte every morning for the next couple of months.

And then he’s on his own. Caspar, and his cupcake bakery. Oh hell, it’s not quite what he’d imagined doing with the next couple of years of his life. On the other hand, it isn’t as if he has much going on otherwise. His job search has been pretty fruitless, and he could certainly do with a financial sure thing. His engineering skills and qualifications aren’t going anywhere, even if he doesn’t put them to professional use for a while. He’s just going to pick up a whole new skill-set, that’s all. One involving flour, and whisks, and, er – toppings, he thinks they’re called. Silver sugar balls. Whatever, the hell. He really has very little to lose.

 

© Copyright Alex Ankarr 2014

No unauthorised reproductions allowed. All rights reserved to the author. No inspirations for characters drawn from real-life individuals, no resemblance to real individuals intended.

Photo credit: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.