Cupcake Kissin’ 52 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 52 – Alex Ankarr

Well, Sandy is charmed, anyhow. And Millie thinks they’re adorable. And the delivery boy just stands and laughs at him, unable to get over how much it’s hysterical that the recipient of his furry hand-crafted felty animals of love is a guy. Caspar isn’t quite so amused, but he tips the asshole anyway. It’s not his fault. Then he stands and examines his gifts, and they’re quite a sight.

Millie pulls at the teddy-bear, which is quite a disturbing sight, not that she can get it free from its companion. In Caspar’s hands is the – puma? Panther? – green-eyed and sleek and velvety. It’s hand-fasted with a ferocious little chain tie, by the paw, with the teddy-bear. (They are an odd couple.) The teddy is of the faux-worn and lovable kind, soft fawn thick fur and big blue eyes. It also sports a little pink apron. And what appears to be a pink hairnet.

Sandy has a cake – cinnamon and cherry, a new addition – stuffed in her mouth. It appears to be her method of avoiding expiring from laughter, as long as she doesn’t actually choke. She talks through it, anyway, though, and that part is pretty disgusting. ‘It’s you, Caspar!’ she squeals, pointing at the teddy, and grinning with crumbs everywhere.

Well, as if he hadn’t worked that out for himself. Nice to provide a laugh for everyone, though. When his phone goes off, he goes out the back to answer it, and it’s not the remotest surprise that it’s Mack.

Who sounds happy, and pleased. And something else. Intimate? His voice sounds as if he is smiling. It’s hard for Caspar to take. His chest feels very tight, his eyes are prickling stupidly. ‘So, tell me you like them.’ No greeting, then, no lead-up, no surprise or pretence. Caspar has the card that was attached in his hand, a little mangled and sweaty, and he only looks at it now. ‘Grrrr, may I chase you for furry cuddles? Mack xxx’ is what it says, and Caspar’s face screws up with a silent laugh. For a moment he’s gasping for breath, as quietly as he can manage it.

Well, he doesn’t think that Sam or Sara would have directly contravened any of the strict orders he gave them. But hints and meaningful musings can probably do a lot, he guesses. The bastards.

‘They’re, uh, very charming,’ he manages, as close to sober and calm as he can get it. ‘And the resemblance is amazing. I especially like the hairnet. It’s very flattering, how… furry the artist has rendered me.’

‘Cuddly,’ Mack replies smoothly. ‘The word is ‘cuddly’. So, tonight,’ he tangents off, and gets Caspar tangented off firmly too. ‘I was thinking maybe I’d take you out to dinner, we could talk over a lot of things, maybe you could bring your new furry friends and they can get to know each other better at the same time. What do you say?’

© 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: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 51 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 51 – Alex Ankarr

The first thing, then, the first thing – or maybe the second, because the flowers should count, Sam reckons so – is the fluffy toy. Or, indeed, are the fluffy toys, because they are plural.

Of course, Caspar isn’t dumb. He caught on pretty quick, when the evil idea first entered his two buddies – ex-buddies’ – heads. And of course he warned them off the notion, with explicit instructions that if they so much as even thought of doing anything so dumb as telling Mack to court Caspar, if he wanted to get anywhere with him, then he would – Well, he hadn’t gone into much detail, since he’d been too many sheets to the wind to really truly come up with anything creative enough to meet his own high standards. But they know him well enough by now, to interpret from glares and meaningful eyebrow twitches, he feels.

So there’s no way that Mack knows, knows about the unspoken passive-aggressive requirements that Caspar has specified, the fences and obstacles he’s erected in his mind, the hoops that simply must be jumped through, before he will even begin to consider that perhaps Mack has earned him, can deserve him. Perhaps he’s going a little far, but he feels remarkably stubborn.

What has he had, two and a half kisses and half a pound of flirtation and a little friendliness, one stoned afternoon? That’s not so much for a very handsome, famous celebrity to be so very sure of him. Unless he thinks that that description alone is enough to justify so much assurance. It’s not, though. Mack needs to know that it’s not.

Caspar puts it out of his mind, though, when he examines the toys. Or rather, it’s driven out. If they’d been delivered at his apartment (and if only!) then he might still have had the presence of mind to be brooding. But no, they come to the bakery. And when he’s on the counter, too. Except he’s in the back having a chat and a laugh with Horace, when the shriek goes up.

© 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: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

What I’m reading now – Goodreads update

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I’m starting The Contortionist’s Handbook, by Craig Clevenger: I added this to the TBR and forgot that I’d already started on it years back, then abandoned it. I guess that counts as ‘currently reading’. The theme reminds me of Kate Millet’s ‘The Loony-Bin Trip‘ – the awareness that once you’re in the position of having to ‘prove’ sanity, or any other accusation/diagnosis with a circular argument – cf. alcoholism — then you’re pretty much fucked, that power is always going to be abused due to the nature of those who seek power in the first place.

Oh, The Loony-Bin Trip, what a wonderful book.  A bit eye-watering regarding sexual imagery, though – sissies might need a quiet lie-down and a stiff g’n’t.  Ride ’em, cowboy!

 

Image – tmolini https://www.flickr.com/photos/tmolini/ on Flickr via Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Cupcake Kissin’ 50 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 50 – Alex Ankarr

Sam is half-lying on as much of the couch as is available to him, finishing a pack of corn chips and stroking his (growing) beard. Sara is actually, seemingly, watching one identical vocal ‘talent’ after another slaughter a beautiful classic rock standard, so she deserves whatever it is that she has coming to her. But Sam at least is paying attention. He’s watching Caspar, a little warily, out of the corner of his eye. He’s still munching as he replies, but at least he does reply. ‘I don’t think he thinks you’re a slut, man,’ he offers. His gingery-fair brows are crunched together as if he’s actually thinking about it, and the opinion proffered has been carefully considered.

‘Oh, what do you know about it,’ Caspar retorts sullenly. And he slumps back down to a more conventional sitting position on the couch, face forward, and grabs what remains of the corn chips out of Sam’s hands. ‘All you know how to do is fake-date people, flirt till you almost get ’em fired and eat their chips. That’s what you know. And,’ he continues meanly, giving Sam a viciously cold eyeing, ‘you haven’t apologised nearly enough for any of it. Not enough to get any more chips, at least,’ he says. And he puts his glass down on the coffee-table, and lifts the packet up, tips his head back, funnels the chips into his own little-birdie waiting mouth.

‘I never fake-dated you!’ Sam protests, even though his attention is slipping back to the show, somewhat. (It’s a very tense moment, a real sing-off. Caspar hates that he knows what’s going on with it, knows contestants’ names.) ‘I dated you!’

‘To begin with,’ Sara mumbles. ‘Then we figured out that Mack liked him, and you kept on dating him as our in, so we might one day have a chance to rid ourselves of the great and fearsome Asshole Adam.’

Caspar punches her shoulder, just sharp enough so she knows he means it, and then the same for Sam. They make weak yowling wails of protest, but even now he doesn’t have even fifty per cent of their attention. ‘Nice to be useful,’ he says, ironically, bitterly.

‘He likes you, Caspar,’ Sara says, as if this was more than just pointlessly, finickingly reasonable, as if it was a pertinent fact and something he should take into account in his calculation on the matter. ‘What exactly are you complaining about? More to the point, what are you doing here with us – or, maybe, what are we doing here with you, when you could have Mack here instead? I bet you’d have more fun with Mack,’ she says, and her voice is the slyest dig. She reaches for the chocolate on the table, takes half of it for herself, and throws the rest at the two guys to fight over like junior lions in the pride, getting the leavings of the lioness.

‘Oh, sure, he likes me,’ Caspar mutters, at that. ‘He likes me, he’d like to fuck me, he’d like me on a string when he hasn’t got a proper boyfriend on the go, he hasn’t at any point indicated he wants to take a guy whose professional uniform includes pink and a hairnet on a date, to a restaurant, to a god-damn première – ‘

It doesn’t finish there, but his voice gets quieter and whinier, and also more garbled as he scarfs down the chocolate. (Sam gets bupkes. Sam only deserves bupkes.)

And Sara nods, and actually turns her head to regard him thoughtfully. He has, however momentarily, one hundred percent of her attention. ‘Ohhhhhh,’ she says, as if she’s a rocket scientist who’s just discovered the secret of the universe. ‘You want him to court you.’

‘Damn right I want him to court me,’ Caspar mutters, chewing faster. ‘Or rather, more to the point, he’s not going to court me, and I’m damned if I’m going to put up with any less than being courted. I might have put up with being a casual lay two years back, five. But I’m not that guy any more. I’ve changed. I’ve grown. And I want more wine.’

But he doesn’t get to have more wine, or at least not immediately. Because Sara is holding it out of his reach, and Sam has sprung up and caught a hold of his shoulders, and they seek to frustrate him in his very moderate and simple desires. Because they are not good friends, and they have a habit of getting him into trouble, and how did he ever come to have awful friends like these, and why did he even let them over the threshold this evening anyway?

‘You know,’ Sara says, and her tone sounds philosophical, like she’s thinking hard. ‘That’s not really unreasonable. I mean, I don’t really think it’s necessary. I mean, I think he likes you. But why shouldn’t you be courted? Why shouldn’t you? Why shouldn’t Mack have to work for it a little for once?’

And Sam abruptly lets go of Caspar’s shoulders, and as Caspar collapses forward a little, he leans to pour a glass of wine, and stick it in Caspar’s hand. ‘Why shouldn’t he, you’re so right,’ he agrees. And both of them sound, frankly, a little bit malevolent. Even if not in Caspar’s direction.

And Caspar wonders if he maybe, just now, made some kind of a huge mistake.

***

© 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: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.

 

Cupcake Kissin’ 49 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 49 – Alex Ankarr

He does feel it behooves him at some point to try to be a little businesslike, and this moment is as good as any other. ‘So,’ he says, and clears his throat. ‘We’re still all on for the party, then?’ He figures he’d better get it established one way or another. Still, it seems as if –

‘What? Oh, yeah? Uh, why not?’ Mack only sounds puzzled, bewildered. ‘You’re sorting the furniture moves and the buff and polish for the dance-floor tomorrow, right? Sara said…’ His voice seems to constrict down the line, to go loud then soft. ‘I think Sam is organising that. So you should be meeting him to take a look at the surface and see what needs doing. Tomorrow? I guess you can talk to him sooner than that, though. It’s your call, you’re managing it.’ His voice is getting still quieter.

‘Oh, I’m not in any hurry to talk to him,’ Caspar says, sniffing. ‘I wish he hadn’t been such an asshole this morning. He’s the one who should be apologising.’ And maybe so should Caspar, Caspar thinks uneasily now. He’s the one who went along with Sam’s idiocy, after all. Too late to fret over it now, though.

‘Well,’ Mack says softly. ‘You’re not responsible for what your boyfriend does, any more than me,’ he points out. Which would be fair and valid, if true.

Caspar wonders a moment, whether to point it out. Then he finds he’s doing it anyway, so that’s all too late for that. His mouth’s open and the words just pop out unbidden. ‘Ah, I’m not seeing him any more. Actually. That was just… kidding around, this morning,’ he admits. Kidding around, and Sam playing stupid games, seeing if he could make you jealous, that’s the bit that Caspar is at least too smart to add.

Again he wonders if the call’s cut out, because the line goes entirely quiet. He’s just said, ‘Mack. Mack?’ when Mack talks over the top of him. And he can’t believe what he actually does get in response.

It’s way too fast, and it’s fast enough to be insulting. There’s really no mistaking the tone or the meaning, not here. ‘Okay, how about I come round?’ Mack asks. The words all run together and there’s a soft exhale mixed up amongst them, and hell no is the least that Caspar instinctively comes up with in response, and just as quickly shuts down on.

Because. Because Caspar had in no way meant that simple bit of information as a booty call, because perish the thought. He is not that guy, he is not so easy, so easily had. But he doesn’t think he’s in any way mistaken in thinking that Mack is taking it as one. ‘If I come around to your place?’ Mack presses on. He doesn’t seem to catch any tone in the echoing silence, only to assume that Caspar hasn’t caught either his words or his meaning. ‘We could talk,’ he adds, and to Caspar it’s a clear afterthought. ‘I think we have things to talk about at this point. You know?’

And Caspar swallows, and it feels like swallowing down on bile, because he needs to breathe steady and be pleasant. ‘Maybe not,’ he says, and is glad it comes out calm. ‘But feel free to text me or email me anything you need to, about the party. We’re still on for the party, right?’

‘What? Oh, sure,’ Mack says, with a slight hesitation and sudden speed, like he’s been wrong-footed and is busy trying to work out where they are in the conversation. ‘But about that talk, we should definitely – ‘

‘Okay then,’ Caspar says determinedly, making like he hasn’t heard a word, steam-rollering right over whatever further persuasions Mack might have up his sleeve. (Because you never know. Caspar might just be weak enough, stupid enough to listen to them, even now.) ‘I guess I’ll see you when I’m doing the last-minute arrangements at your place before the big event, then! Or in the bakery some time!’

It’s easy to ring off. It’s less easy to sit and stare at his phone after he’s shut it down, to look at it and feel his heart pounding with, well, with anger. And with regret, maybe. He likes Mack, he really likes Mack, he still likes Mack. More than he should, almost certainly. But he is not that guy, who can be had so easily, who stands and waits in the wings. His life, his body, his company is worth something more than that, now.

***

An hour into the evening and the second bottle is some way emptied, and both Sara and Sam have come around to hang out and discuss matters of importance with him. It may not be the greatest idea – they are the worst sort of friends to have around when you are in the mood to rant and to whine and to engage in a pity-party, the kind who will only encourage you and egg you on – but it’s too late now anyhow. He’s hanging over the back of the sofa – because Sam has some terrible, ridiculous talent show on the screen, and Caspar can’t bear it and is making a grand show of refusing to watch it – and ranting some more.

‘So then,’ he says, flinging a hand out, the hand holding his glass so that he almost spills a few beautiful scarlet drops, ‘he thinks that, hey, he’s got rid of Adam – however long that’s going to last’ – and Caspar isn’t counting on it being more than about ten minutes, given that Adam is apparently the perfect boyfriend with total parental approval – ‘and he wants to know if he can come around. Because, hey, neither of us currently have anything like a significant other, so why not fuck, huh? Because I am clearly the go-to person in his life for that kind of thing! Which has to make me wonder, what the hell kind of a signal am I giving out? Tell me, S1 and S2, do I have a slut vibe or something? Because I have to say, if so then it’s deeply misleading.’ He sighs heavily, and puts a hand to his heart. ‘If I was giving off a nun vibe at the moment, then it would be a lot more accurate.’

© 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.

Cupcake Kissin’ 48 – Alex Ankarr free online gay romance serial

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Cupcake Kissin’ 48 – Alex Ankarr

Right now, if Mack’s furious at him (and how can he not be?) and if he’s fired, he doesn’t want to know. He’ll take care of business, he’ll get himself home, and then he’ll deal with the ticking bomb that is his phone, and everything that numerous people are going to have to say to him.

He keeps waiting for a text or a call from Mack – to yell at him, to fire him, whatever it might be – and wonders if he could key himself up to pick up when it comes. It doesn’t come, though.

It doesn’t come until he actually gets home, when he’s working through his texts and missed calls, lounging in his kitchen and eating crappy noodles like he still can’t afford anything else. (He could afford to eat pretty much whatever he liked, now – within reason – but he has scant free time, and is hardly in the mood to go out to eat.) Sara has sent him five strictly business texts, and one which merely reads ‘OMG too funny tell Adam off some more! Wish i’d been there‘. It’s good to know she’s not mad with him, but it’s hardly informative about possible consequences.

Then there’s just the single one from Sam, sent just after their swiftly curtailed call, which reads, ‘okay will do what I can, talking to Mack when I get a chance okay. S x.’ Caspar feels a little bad about his harshness with the guy, but Sam needs to rein it in and think about what he’s doing sometimes, so he doesn’t feel all that bad really.

Still, there’s nothing from Mack, which could be good or bad. But he’s staring at his inbox, right then, and that’s when his phone begins to vibrate with a call. And that’s from Mack.

Caspar doesn’t give himself time to think about it, because he’d only chicken out, let it go to voice-mail, procrastinate on an answer and torture himself about it forever. That is the worst possible thing, he’s not going to do that.

He mans up, because he has to, and presses to take the call. He can’t quite manage to actually speak when he does, though. After one half of a split second, Mack speaks, sounding thrown a little off-kilter by the silence. ‘…Caspar? … Is that you?’

Caspar thinks to himself that panicked heavy breathing isn’t going to get him through this. So he allows himself one more slow inhale, and then says, ‘Yes. Here. Um, what did you want to say to me, Mack?’

Let it not be that I’m fired, he thinks. That I’m an asshole. That I’m a fired asshole.

That is not what Mack says, in any case. His voice, even, doesn’t sound quite as Caspar was expecting. ‘So. You and Sam, I guess that was pretty funny this morning,’ he says, eventually. Although he doesn’t really sound as if he thinks it’s funny. He sounds a little strained if anything. ‘I’m sorry that Adam was rude to you, I hate it when he does that. I’ve had some words with him. I don’t think you should be having any trouble with him again.’

Caspar supposes that that’s nice to hear, if possibly somewhat unlikely. He can’t imagine anything restraining Adam’s malice for long. After the level of dread he’s been experiencing, it feels like a bizarre anti-climax to have Mack with his sense of humour still in operation, Mack apologising. (Really, what is he apologising for, anyway?) ‘It wasn’t your fault,’ he offers, because it’s true, and he doesn’t believe in accepting apologies under false pretexts and on unsound grounds. ‘If your boyfriend wants to go around calling people ‘service staff” he adds, and winces. ‘It’s on him, not on you.’

‘I suppose.’ The line goes quiet for a moment, and Caspar wonders if they’ve lost connection. He lowers the phone a moment to look at the bars, and when he lifts it again Mack is saying, ‘Not any more.’

‘What?’ Caspar says. He feels so dumb missing something that way, like Gertie, who wasn’t so much incapable of navigating around modern tech, as utterly contemptuous of the finer points, and inclined to delegate them to others completely.

‘I broke up with Adam,’ Mack says, clearly repeating himself, saying it louder and slower and a little bit harsher than really necessary, as in the way of someone who was self-conscious about saying it the first time round, even.

Oh. Oh. Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, well. Caspar is taken aback, and that seems reasonable to him. Also a little stuck for a response. ‘Oh, good,’ hardly seems appropriate. ‘Sorry about that,’ is what he comes up with instead, although he isn’t, not really. Adam is an asshole, and Mack – actually Mack is a little bit of an asshole, too, in some ways, Caspar thinks. But not in Adam’s league of assholery, and also kind of nice when he wants to be. And someone who clearly does like Caspar, always a huge point in anyone’s favour, as far as Caspar is concerned.

‘Thank you, I suppose,’ Mack says, quite softly. ‘But I’m not, so I guess you don’t need to be.’

Caspar would really, honestly, like to know a lot more about this. Stuff like how, and why, and when, and… Yeah, he’d like to go into it in a whole lot more depth. But he can’t think of any justification. He’s friendly with Mack, certainly, by this point, but he’s not quite sure that it constitutes being actually friends, yet. Mack’s a client, who likes to flirt and tease him, and has an asshole boyfriend who – Oh, no. Scratch that last part. Well, all to the good, anyhow.

© 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: duncan johnston under Creative Commons licence modified for book cover use.