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Cupcake Kissin’ 17 – Alex Ankarr
And Sandy picks a crumb off the counter with her finger, and sucks it off. For which Sophia slaps her hand, because hello, food hygiene! ‘No, dumb-ass,’ Sandy says sulkily. ‘The dungeon. Because whips and chains and Mack, that is a combo I could go for!’
It’s not really Caspar’s kind of scene, though, truth be told. But with Mack thrown into the mix, he just has to give a little pout of agreement, and say, ‘Me too. Maybe.’
And okay, after a week or so, Caspar’s viewing habits, during what discretionary time he does get, have been overhauled somewhat. They include streaming an entire season of Mack’s soap, and making some headway on the second. Which is totally going overboard, okay, he knows that, but it’s actually pretty good, and Mack himself is pretty damn amazing in it. And according to most critics, his acting chops are pretty impressive for a soap star, and he’s just bound to make the leap to Hollywood and major film offers some day soon.
And yes, all right, all right. Caspar is also reading the guy’s reviews, so sue him already. Only the good ones, though. The bad ones are starting to make him mad, which probably isn’t a good sign. Not that there are many. Mack is definitely the best actor in the show, as well as the acknowledged star of it. (Maybe Caspar is getting a little bit proprietorial, too. Oh hell.)
His favourite picture of Mack is now the desktop picture on his laptop. It’s really that that tips him off, that he might have a ridiculous celebrity crush. He takes it off again, because how embarrassing would it be for someone to casually tap a button on his computer and see that? Pretty god-damn embarrassing, that’s how much.
Sara shows up in the bakery a couple more times when he’s on duty behind the counter, and a few more, apparently, when he isn’t. (After an intensive period of counter-duty he begins to focus more on other things, like the bakery accounts and liaising with suppliers). He hears all about all of them, though, of course, via Sandy and even snotty Sophia, and the rest of the guys. He’s getting quite fond of them. They’re getting quite proprietorial about him, ironically enough. They know that he’s single, looking, ex-academic, from a broke background and suddenly in the money. (After a fashion.) ‘Our very own Cinderella,’ Sandy calls him. ‘Cinders in pink.’
That was the day he smushed a cake in her face, and she ate it, quite unoffended, still snickering at him.
So he hears every little detail, and what isn’t freely volunteered he sucks out of Sandy and the others by hook or by crook, sly and then blatant, because nobody’s fooling them. He knows that no, Mack’s order hasn’t changed a bit since he got back, although he sometimes augments it with a cheese and olive slice and a macadamia bar, or sunflower. That Sara herself gets a plain americano or an espresso, but not always. That Sara has mentioned him twice (twice!) more, one of them calling him ‘old blue-eyes’, and the other saying that Mack hadn’t exaggerated how flattering the pink uniform is on him.
He assumes she’s joking with that one. Although it would be kind of cute if she wasn’t. And flattering, even if completely a joke. At least it’s attention of a sort. At least Mack noticed.
Boy, he’s really getting kind of caught up in this. It’s probably just that he needs the stress relief. There’s work and the studying and the courses at the local community college, the complete change and shake-up of his life. It’s fun, but he’s pretty comprehensively scheduled.
He hears about Mack coming in again, twice, himself. (And somehow Caspar manages to miss both days, drat. Just his luck.) His source for both events is Sandy, so he doesn’t exactly know how reliable the account he gets is. He has a feeling he may need a whole butt-load of salt to take with it. According to her, Mack asked after him on the first visit. (And yeah – caramel-dark and macchiato, same old same old.) And seemed a little disappointed when Sandy told him Caspar was out at his college business practice course. (Caspar is inclined to snort out a, ‘Yeah, sure!’ to that. Subjective appraisal can account for a lot, and he thinks that may be especially true in Sandy’s case. Bless her little blonde bubble head, which he is getting quite fond of.) But, allegedly, Mack perked up quite a bit fairly quickly, and asked Sandy how she was getting on with the heinous old taskmaster, if he was so very draconian and awful.
Sandy doesn’t elaborate much beyond that – beyond pulling Caspar’s leg about just how very true that is, and how she needs a raise just to put up with having to work for a terrible boss like him. But he has a feeling that that particular conversation very, very quickly descended into a lot of badinage and silly flirting, and is almost glad that he wasn’t there to witness it.
He might have been a bit jealous.
Then there was the second visit. And Sandy says that Mack asked after him again. (Caspar doesn’t think she would bother fibbing about a simple fact like that. It’s nice to think of. Although it’s probably just because a guy in that outfit? Is memorable. Good impression or bad, you remember him all right, you look out for him.)
© 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.