I’m working on a new M/M short story for a Valentine’s Day anthology. Here’s a little excerpt from the beginning.
I dropped to the floor behind the counter as a tinny bell jangled through the small shop. The reason for my panic strolled in out of my sweaty, highly awkward teenage memories to fondle the begonias. Probably. I could only take a quick peek through baskets of scissors to savor the pressed navy trousers cupping his legs.
Tan Nguyen, the hottest guy to ever attend Carmel Cove high school in two hundred years strolled into the tiny flower shop where I worked. Just walked right in as if the sight of his chiseled, sky-high cheekbones weren’t guaranteed to give me an instant heart attack. And if that didn’t finish me off, those rich chocolate eyes sweeping across mine would be a double brain aneurysm with strawberries on top.
Oh shit, that voice. How did I forget that voice? Full bodied like a cello back when he was star of the track team and I changed in the showers so no one would see my skinny legs. Now, age gave him a delectable gravel that hummed with an electric spark I wanted to feel strike every nerve of my body. Which would probably be another death at his hands.
“Uh, Jack?” A garish pink croc toe knocked into me and I glared up at the face of my bemused coworker Lauri. Red ribbon circled her arms and up to her elbows as we were both fighting the oncoming horde that was Valentine’s Day.
And she just revealed that I was hiding to Tan. This required every four letter word in English! Swallowing down the pile of curses that’d get my mouth washed out with Tide, I muttered to the floor, “Yep. It’s all good back here.”
Slowly, I rose to my feet, wiping my hands along the ugly green apron that boxed in my skinny body. Pivoted away from the gorgeous customer, I focused on Lauri instead. Her face was in full laugh-at-me mode, a finger rising to accuse me of falling to my stomach out of nowhere.
“Doesn’t look like any possums got in,” I babbled, the smile I forced on turning to a terrified grit. Possums? What the hell was I talking about? “But we should watch them anyway. They sure do love to…smell flowers.”
Mother of God, stop talking!
Some other creature born out of a life of customer service inhabited my babbling meat sack, turning me towards Tan. What brain matter remained after the simultaneous stroke and heart attack whimpered that he was in a suit tailored to a perfect v. Without a tie…and he left the top two buttons undone. Dead. Fully gone. Jack Dawson is no more.
At least Lauri could bring a nice peace lily to my funeral.
“How can I help you?” the last remnants of my gray matter asked.
When Tan smiled warmly, my gritting lips flopped upward in the stupidest grin of my life. It was a wonder I didn’t collapse a chin to my hand and sigh. Don’t do that. Don’t even entertain the idea of doing that!