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Cupcake Kissin’ 19 – Alex Ankarr
It seems to make Mack as uncomfortable as he is, though. (Caspar isn’t entirely sure that Sandy heard it in the first place. But when she puts down Mack’s drink – or slams it down, with a few stray drops hitting Caspar in the face – he gets quite enough of a hint.) Mack gives Caspar a smile that doesn’t alleviate the sudden crinkle between his brows, as Caspar wraps and boxes his cake. The smile he gets back is no doubt a bit tight and perfunctory.
‘And anything I can get for your friend?’ he asks, careful to make it as sweet as sugar, looking the guy – or asshole, mileage may of course vary – in the face, but yet not in the eye, something he’s mastered with people he truly dislikes over the years.
‘Not for me,’ the guy says dismissively. ‘I don’t know how you can live on this crap, Mack. No wonder you have to spend so much time in the gym. You eat like a kid, all this sugar and caffeine all the time. Do you know how bad it is for you? At least don’t eat the cake before we go grab something real to eat, honey.’ And he pats at Mack’s hair, and Caspar would bristle at that, if he had any right to. (Maybe he bristles a little bit anyway.)
Mack seems rather still at this monologue, or harangue, you might call it. And he looks Caspar dead in the eye as he speaks. ‘You know, people, I really appreciate what great service you guys always give. As well as great cake and coffee, too! You are the best, I want you to know that.’
And maybe Caspar feels his smile soften a bit, become a trace more genuine, as Mack pays up, and leaves a sly (massive) tip, stuck between the register and the display cabinets. (He’s not quite as crafty about it as he thinks he is. But it’s certainly appreciated, all the same.)
As they leave, though, his ‘buddy’ – or boyfriend, Caspar is left with little option but to suppose, damn his narrow scheming eyes – just can’t drop it, after what was clearly a rebuff and disassociation from his rudeness, on Mack’s part. He is apparently simply obliged to make another nasty remark, as if the first one wasn’t quite enough, thanks.
And it’s audible, too, as they leave the bakery, though whether that’s deliberate or not, Caspar would find it hard to say. Although he thinks he has a fair idea, just the same. ‘Can we not go back there again, babe? Frankly I didn’t like the attitude. And that cake looks pretty rank. You know you can get better elsewhere, right? I know you’ve got a weakness for the pretty blue-collar service type, but you’ve got to get a handle on it and remember you’re dating at your own level, now, honey.’
That’s as much as they get, that’s audible, anyway, and then the door bangs and they’re gone. Caspar doesn’t get to hear Mack’s reaction, just sees him – stiffen a little, as his ‘friend’ insinuates an arm around his waist, walking to the car. And slide his shades on, and that’s it, the last Caspar can see, because the doorbell goes and there are new customers. And service staff are slaves to their customers, business is business, and Caspar knows the routine and the lingo by now.
He settles down his temper – for later, maybe – and gets serving. Nothing else for it, right? Time to put his silly crush on the back-burner, and get on with the really important parts of his life.
Although he guesses it does confirm one thing, which he hadn’t been quite certain of, up until now. This is what he muses, stuck in a nice hot salts-laden bath that evening, to ease his aching service-person’s feet. (Apart from the odd opportunity to mix with the likes of Mack, and a few other favourite customers, and the rest of the staff who are now his bros and his buddies, pretty much. Even Sophia.)
Because there are more than hints, online and elsewhere in print rags, about Mack Langot being possibly bisexual. More than hints, because about eighteen months back, in a national magazine, Mack had flat out stated it as a fact, and moreover as a no-big-deal kind of a fact, in a slightly bored and irritated manner.
So that’s that, question solved as far as that goes. Or so it seems. Except practically every story and picture available, no matter where he looks – and in every online discussion forum there’s confirmation, and eager debates – seems to confirm another issue. Because no matter his theoretical orientation, it seems as if Mack Langot only ever, or practically ever, dates females. Or as far as is a matter of public record. So what’s that about, huh? (And Caspar has to wonder – or at least, was wondering prior to that second visit to the bakery on one of Caspar’s days on duty – if Mack’s announced bisexuality is a matter of more theory than practice. Or even, perhaps, merely a matter of fashion, and proving himself a rebel, an outsider, a fearless challenger of each and every social convention. Or, alternatively, very hungry for publicity and column inches. It’s an ignoble thought. But he thinks it just the same.)
Now, of course, he’s all the more embarrassed to have been proven wrong, because it seems like Mack is a man of his word. And kind of happy, because… well, just because. It makes his daydreams seem that little bit more substantial, maybe. And also, kind of not happy, just because, yeah, maybe it’s good that Mack is actually bi. But on the other hand, that has only been proved by the other unalterable fact that he is dating a huge asshole. (Well. Caspar is entitled to his opinion, he feels.)
© 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.