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Cupcake Kissin’ 45 – Alex Ankarr
No, no he doesn’t. It’s not the right word, and Caspar doesn’t really want to use the right word, not even to himself, because the right word is grim. And since he’s not the heroine of a regency romance, he doesn’t pretend to be uncomprehending and puzzled about why, really, Mack would look grim right here and now. He can only think of two reasons, really. One, that they’re in his chair, he and Sam, and he’s territorial and pissed off about it.
And that would be an extremely reasonable response, that’s what Caspar thinks. It is his chair, after all. And Sam is Mack’s assistant’s assistant, and Caspar is… well, currently, if you’re looking strictly at his actual functionality in this scenario, he’s the cupcake delivery guy onset.
Wooh, and considering how he’s getting used to thinking about himself – as a business owner, as a project planner, as someone developing skills and competencies in the food service and production industry… As well as someone who is finally, after a long penurious college career spent acquiring a whole different set of skills, making a very comfortable living that enables him to eat something that isn’t noodles on a daily basis. (On the basis of every meal, for that matter. He certainly got tired of noodles during his doctorate. He also doesn’t need to eat cupcakes, but what the hell, Honey Bunny cupcakes are the best, and everyone knows it.)
But here and now, the program’s baked goods delivery person does not have the kind of status that would make it at all appropriate for him to be planting his ass on Mack’s chair. Not when Mack is the god-damn star of the whole show. And glowering at him, right now, every bit as moodily as he’s ever done in character as a bad-ass bounty hunter who loves ’em, leaves ’em and delivers ’em hog-tied to the forces of the law.
Caspar has watched a lot of the show. Even lately, he hasn’t given up the habit, and habit seems about the right word for it. He wouldn’t admit to being addicted, even now, perhaps. But whether he’s working the appropriate number of steps or not, he’s not going to risk the shakes and the jonesing that missing an episode seems to bring on.
Anyway. So that covers half of the possible reasons why Mack’s glowering at him like he’s a porridge-stealing thief. And the other is that Sam’s dumb-ass scheme has a root of truth and utility to it. And that it’s maybe working, too.
Still, Caspar has his principles, and his deeply held, deeply rooted beliefs. He doesn’t believe in manipulating people. (He doesn’t believe in behaving like some dumb-ass heroine who heaves her bosom in a scanty bodice). On the other hand, here’s Mack. Looking frankly too hot to be legally loose, and making eye contact with Caspar that’s searing enough to cook a steak like a laser at a distance of fifty yards.
He does have his principles. He does, though he struggles to pull them up from the depths of his subconscious right now, to make himself do the moral and the upright and the not idiotically asinine and fatuously ‘romantic’ thing. He’s going to pull himself up off Sam’s knee, the great fat-head, and have a pleasant apologetic little chit-chat with Mack and get the hell out of here…
Right about never. Even though he’s got a grip on the arms of the chair, is right about ready to go with that plan and put it into action, he never does, because the will to get it done dies in him, has his arms going lax and his will to get the hell off Sam’s muscular and relatively comfortable thighs dying in him too.
It’s not just Mack who’s seen them, up close, that’s the thing. Over on the other side of the studio – and looking to be pontificating to a little huddle of admiring acolytes, or as if he has been up until that moment – is Adam. (Adam, of course. Probably driving Sara crazy, wherever she is right now. And plenty of other folks, allegedly.)
But Adam is arrested mid-lecture, as his eyes fix on them. On Sam, and on Caspar, and on Mack. Maybe on Mack most of all. And that’s all it takes. He springs into action, and he’s heading towards them without breaking into a run. Without quite breaking into a run, but it’s a damn close-run thing. (Not everything is wireless in this modern age, turns out. The set is still littered with cables and wires and god-knows-what, Caspar certainly doesn’t despite his less specialised engineering background. Adam might break his neck. Caspar’s heart bleeds.)
Yeah, Adam is worried, he can tell. And Caspar feels a smug, warm little coil of satisfaction burn up in his gut and heat it through.
It’s very wrong, he knows it’s very wrong, and it’s shameful, that he lets it affect his actions. But, on the other hand, fuck it. Adam is awful, and Caspar can’t quite get past his thing for Mack, and…
Maybe he’s a dumb-ass rom-com heroine after all. In any case he stops trying to get out of Sam’s grasp, and settles in quite comfortably. Everyone else can see the collision waiting to happen, too. There’s an indrawn breath from Cara’s direction, and slight snickers from the two other cast guys, DeLontyne and Merrian. And the general vibe about them, and everyone else in the immediate vicinity, is one that suggests a widespread desire for popcorn, and maybe three-dee, the better to enhance their viewing pleasure in the imminent spectacle. Yeah, it’s a show, in itself, and everyone’s settling down to enjoy it.
And it only takes moments, but those moments seem to expand long enough that Caspar feels, open-mouthed and gaping and with a tight expanding feeling in his chest cavity, as if Adam might never actually arrive on this side of the studio. But it’s illusory, and he does, and then suddenly there he is.
© 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.