I have no idea where this came from, but I got an idea today involving Charlie, one of the characters in my last Friday Flash Fiction story, and the coffee cart boy Ulysses mentions. It's very rough, but I wanted to get the idea on paper, at least, so here it is.
There's nothing graphic here by any stretch of the imagination, but this story does involve homosexual men flirting with each other. If that is not your cup of tea, then you should probably quit reading now...
Here is "Three O'Clock"
Charlie knew he was bouncing with impatience while he waited for the elevator door to open, but he couldn’t force himself to stop. Three o’clock – the very best time of day. Coffee and flirting and maybe an invitation for more if he played his cards right.
The doors opened at last, revealing the coffee cart in the lobby and the handsome barista who operated it. Everything about Mark appealed to Charlie, from the dark spiky hair and lean, slender body to the eyebrow ring and sweet, almost shy smile that Charlie swore Mark saved just for him.
Mark had looked up as soon as the bell dinged the elevator’s arrival, as used to the routine as Charlie by now. Three o’clock. Early enough for Charlie to beat most of the afternoon rush of caffeine hunters, and close enough to the end of Mark’s shift that he was free to talk and play. Charlie admired the snug fit of Mark’s black button down shirt as he approached the cart, his eyes travelling slowly up and down, soaking in every detail. His grin broadened when Mark acknowledged his perusal with a light blush.
“Hey, you,” Mark greeted Charlie. “Triple soy sugar free vanilla latte?”
“Yes, please,” Charlie beamed. He ordered the same thing every day, but it still gave him a little thrill each time Mark remembered his order.
“Anything else?” Mark asked, eyes lowering so he could peek up at Charlie through his eyelashes.
Charlie opened his mouth to reply, but found he had no air to speak or breathe with. Tearing his gaze away from the heat in the sapphire gaze that Mark was careful to keep mostly turned away from him, Charlie managed a low laugh. “Don’t tempt me.”
Oh. Oh, that was a happy smile stretching Mark’s face at Charlie’s words. Damn. Charlie knew he was staring at Mark, completely ensnared by the sight of him steaming soy milk and preparing espresso shots and smiling, but he could not look away. He heard himself babbling on, covering his fascination with too many words, but Mark was used to that by now, too. Mark answered back when he could get a word in edgewise, the movement of his throat jostling the heavy chain that rested along his collar bone.
There, just above the chain was the dark smudge of a hickey. How on earth had Charlie missed that before? It wasn’t all that large, but it was almost black, edged with red where teeth had worried the flesh, too.
Hot. Even as Charlie mourned the lost opportunity for more than a flirtation with Mark, his body reacted to the sight of the bruise with undeniable enthusiasm. He wanted to touch it, taste it, in the worst way. Mark might even let him, but the person who’d claimed him would almost certainly object.
“Are you going to introduce me to your friend, boy?” came a low rumble from behind Charlie.
Mark’s smile had always been bright and intimate for Charlie, but now he positively glowed. “Oh, yes, Master,” he breathed. “This is Charlie. Charlie, this is Master Byron.”
Charlie had noticed the chain around Mark’s neck, of course, but he’d never realized it was actually a collar. How had he missed that?
With a shake of his head, Charlie brought himself back to the moment and clasped the hand that Mark’s master had extended. It was huge, warm and strong. The arm attached to it was sized to match, thick muscles rippling under the skin as Charlie’s gaze travelled upwards to meet Master Byron’s eyes.
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