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Cupcake Kissin’ 37 – Alex Ankarr
‘Not so much,’ Mack agrees. ‘Every single time, not so much. At this point, it’s pretty clear, too. Guys are fine for fooling around with, but they want me to bring a girl home and make babies eventually.’
Caspar shrugs. ‘It’s more enligg… enlick… It’s more than parents used to concede a generation ago,’ he points out.
‘True,’ Mack says, and looks like he’s chewing something over, like Caspar has given him food for thought. ‘Anyway. The thing is, it’s different with Adam.’
If he wasn’t a little bit high, then that would probably sting Caspar a little bit. In fact, even though he is a little bit high, it stings anyway. But after all, it’s no business of his, and Mack likes whomever he likes (and so do his parents). If Caspar thinks their tastes run in some strange channels, then it’s nothing to them. He could perfectly well zone out and let his thoughts run on at this point, and he’d rather prefer to. But he has some vague awareness that there’s a social propriety here to be observed. ‘It’s different?’ he echoes, and feels like he’s done his bit, here.
‘Yeah,’ Mack says, his brow knotting together like he’s trying to do calculus in his head. ‘They like him. I mean, they really like him, a lot.’
Caspar screws his face up, face turned away from Mack as he, too, curls up in a tight little ball on the bed. Then he bounces up and down a little, then he starts laughing and abruptly stops. Mack might ask him why he’s screwing his face up… Or at least why he’s bouncing around. That won’t do. And he abruptly stops himself from replying, ‘Well, that’s a mystery,’ too, so that’s one mercy at least. Instead he says, and congratulates himself on unerring diplomacy, ‘Well, that’s good, right?’
Then he keels over backwards, and he’s lying flat down again. He tries to remember if he has any further engagements for the day, but Mack speaking distracts him, and he has to jerk his neck around to get a good look at the fella. ‘Is it?’ Mack says, and he sounds doubtful. ‘I suppose it is.’
And Caspar tries to work out this problem, solve the equation. If Mack’s parents don’t usually like him having a boyfriend, and they don’t normally like the boyfriends, but they like this particular boyfriend… Then how can that be bad? He’s an engineer. He should totally be empowered and fully able to work this out for himself without being told. It’s not calculus or imaginary numbers.
And, because he’s pretty damn smart and he has a doctorate in engineering, for Christ’s sake, he manages to make the puzzle slot into place. The triumph as it fits in the hole is amazing. ‘You don’t like Adam,’ he says, in wonder. It’s so simple, and it’s really obvious. It’s amazing that it’s never occurred to him before. Why on earth would Mack like Adam? Nobody else seems to like Adam much, because Adam is pretty awful, and Mack is nice. Well, fairly nice, in some ways. It hadn’t made sense before, because it simply didn’t make sense.
Mack appears to take a bit of time to think about it and ponder, then his tone is a touch defensive in reply. ‘That’s putting it a bit strongly,’ he says. And Caspar laughs.
‘So you mildly dislike him?’ he asks. ‘That doesn’t seem much better.’ It’s irresistibly amusing that Mack is arguing with him about the exact degree of his dislike of Adam.
But Mack turns a little mulish, perhaps at being laughed at. ‘It’s a big deal, having someone that your parents like,’ he points out, a little sulky. And Caspar sobers up a bit – as far as he’s able – and stops laughing, because it’s probably true. Though it makes him a little sad, now his own parents aren’t around, to be proud and happy about anyone he’s with any more. Mack looks a little bit hesitant, before adding, ‘You might think – well, they’re a little bit – ah, I don’t want to call it snobby. My parents, I mean.’
It sounds like a momentous admission, certainly one that he seems dubious about making. So Caspar heaves himself around on the bed, turns and rests his chin on his knees so he can look at Mack as he speaks, pay proper attention. It’s probably a mistake. Really, the less time he spends actively gazing at Mack, the better, as a general rule. If he’s not looking at him, then he’s not being reminded of what he looks like.
On screen, Mack is chiselled, leading-man handsome, hard-edged and a little bit intimidating. That’s how they light him, how they shoot him, and it fits with the ruthless, asshole character he plays. But here, lying on his own bed with a trace of sunlight flitting across his face, and a contemplative expression in his faraway eyes – that look so much darker in this light – he looks softer, younger. Gentler. More lovable.
Really, Caspar thinks, it’s just because he’s a little high. His emotional control will return to normal after this. And with Mack looking this way, too, how can he be expected to remain coldly indifferent? He clears his throat, and his head swims a little. ‘Why would I think that?’ he asks.
Mack chews his lip at this, searching for an answer in a brain gone loose and trippy and foggy. ‘They – he’s what they like. They like things about him. That he’s a professor. And… his family’s rich. Back in New York. So… They’d still prefer a girl,’ he adds, hastily. ‘But he’s the first guy they’ve not… absolutely detested. So it makes a difference.’
© 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.