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Cupcake Kissin’ 42 – Alex Ankarr
That glint in Sam’s eyes does not bode well, though. Not well at all, for Caspar. ‘Yeah? Knew it. Called it. Well, Sara did, but she’s my reporting supervisor so I come right under her.’ (There’s a little additional gleam in his eyes as he says this, and Caspar takes it under advisement, to think about and consider later. He’s much too busy with his own apprehension right this minute.) He’s right to be apprehensive, because Sam is no way finished, no how. ‘Knew he was into you. Talks about you too much, right? We’ve got the rest of the crew making trips to the bakery all hours, every chance they get. Which is a belly laugh considering you’re hardly there lately, but they keep trying. Not like me and Sara are complaining, because normally we’d be the ones copping the job, having to trek out for god-damn macchiato and caramel choc and every other damn thing everyone else wants. You know how damn sick I am of the sight of cupcakes? No disrespect, man.’ He strokes at his handsomely furry chin, and his agreeable light eyes twinkle at Caspar.
‘Don’t diss the cupcakes,’ Caspar warns him, but it sounds absent and automatic, because it is. He knows that’s not the end of it.
That isn’t the end of it. He has a nasty feeling it’s only the beginning, when Sam leans in to him a little, and hisses out, grinning, ‘He likes you. And you – I can tell – like him. So he needs a little prod to commit, to court you properly? To take you seriously instead of just jonesing for your ass? How about I give you a little help there? Well, me and Sara,’ he adds, in the voice of one wanting to be completely fair and honest about his intentions. ‘Yeah, me and Sara.’ And Caspar groans. He feels pretty much as if everything he’d ever feared is just about to descend upon him.
And it all began by simply inheriting an innocent little cupcake business. Damn Aunt Gertie.
It isn’t as if he agrees to Sam’s vague, nebulous, nefarious scheming – quite the reverse. (Sam, his charming, surprising, unscrupulous non-boyfriend. How innocent and pleasant he had seemed, to begin with. Trouble is, he actually is. As well as everything else that he turns out to be, that’s the misfortune.) His admonitions and refusals and warnings are explicitly clear at the time – may even involve a fair bit of chest-poking and hissing and threats of consequences if Sam does anything whatsoever to further his declared and dubious ends.
But it kind of turns out that he doesn’t need to. Or maybe it turns out that way. Caspar finds it hard to decide.
He gets up in the morning and things are kind of normal. A two-hour shift at the bakery prepping the bread and cake-mix is ahead. (He’s working shorter and shorter hours behind the counter or on bakery shift generally, which is covered, it turns out, in the terms of his bequest, when he’s working on a project for a client.) There are text messages on his phone from Sara, but lately there are always text messages on his phone from Sara. There are also text messages – a couple – from Mack. For which much the same goes, but in tone they are altogether different. (Sara’s – friendly, peremptory, and largely business related. When personal, they do mention Mack, but largely in order to complain of him. Mack’s mention business only to refer to queries originating from Caspar. And then they veer off, with darkly vague allusions to regrets and non-specific enquiries about how Caspar is, exactly. Caspar wonders how rough he’s feeling, after the indulgence yesterday. He doesn’t feel too great himself).
There’s also a reference to ‘hoping he likes them.’ Caspar wonders if Mack is always so cryptic – as his texts often are – or if it’s specifically something about his communications with Caspar. Caspar shakes his head, and decides they’ll deal with it when he calls Mack. Once he’s at work. After he’s had breakfast.
So he’s scrambling eggs when he gets beeped by the concierge to see if he wants to let a delivery guy up, with a package. The concierge seems mildly amused.
It’s flowers, when it arrives, and it’s no mean amount of them either. Some sort of lilies, living rather than cut, and dwarfing the guy and making his path unclear, his feet unsteady. Caspar figures he’s having a rough start to the day, and tips him to a reasonable degree.
And when he gets them perched on his kitchen work surface, brushing into everything and knocking a couple of condiment cellars over, he has a feeling. The feeling proves completely correct, because yes, the note is from Mack. ‘I’m sorry and don’t be mad,’ it reads. ‘You still like me, right? Yeah, you totally still like me.’
No signature, but that is but definitely Mack’s handwriting, Caspar knows it by now from notes left in his apartment regarding all of the party arrangements. Caspar grins to himself, and if he had to be honest about it with anyone, he’d admit that he feels a little bit warm about Mack bothering to make the gesture. (Small as it is, for a loaded famous guy who in fact was completely out of line, and sure enough really should apologise to Caspar a little more formally than that. Yeah, yeah, Caspar kissed him back and all of that – under pressure of surprise and, well, lethal attractiveness. But he was still the kissee, not the kisser. And Mack was the one really misbehaving. Mack is the one with an Adam. Caspar doesn’t even really have a Sam, not at this point. Not except as a buddy, and perhaps, he feels uneasily, as an uninvited partner in crime.)
Sam is still that much, at least, though. Which is perhaps why Caspar is on the phone to him, later the same afternoon, trying to calm him down and shut him up. ‘Flowers,’ Sam is mumbling, because he has passed the screeching and laughing stage a few minutes ago. ‘He sent you flowers. Oh our dear deluded boss-man, what is he up to?’
© 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.