1,213 words. Male/Male. Contemporary Romance.
“Honey, I’m home!”
Eddie rolled his eyes and looked over his shoulder as Kyle, his cousin and roommate, came through the front door.
“Mm,” Kyle drew in a deep breath and walked into the kitchen. “I smell baking.”
He reached for one of the chocolate-chip biscuits resting in a plastic container. Eddie slapped his hand away.
“Not there. Take them from the airing rack.”
Kyle chuckled but pulled his hand away. “Oh, so these are for your beau.”
Eddie blushed. He pushed his glasses up his nose and focused on taking the last of the cookies off the oven tray.
“He’s not my anything,” Eddie muttered. “I’m just being a nice neighbour.”
“Uh huh,” Kyle said. “I don’t see you taking cookies over to the family two doors up.”
Eddie’s flush deepened. “Shut up, Kyle.”
“Awh, I’m just teasing, cuz.” Kyle wrapped an arm around Eddie’s shoulders, squeezing affectionately. “I’m sure Dean will appreciate all of your efforts. After all, you’re the only one on the street he actually cracks a smile for.”
Eddie gave up trying to hide how flustered he felt. Kyle knew he had it bad for their neighbour. Dean was tall, muscled, handsome, and sporting a full sleeve of tattoos. Eddie had always fallen for the bad boys. Only, Dean wasn’t a bad boy. He had his own house, he worked in construction. He was a man of few words, but he always thanked Eddie for the baked treats and offered that he come inside for coffee.
Dean was the best kind of manly goodness. Where as him? He was thin with thick glasses, and worn sneakers. He’d always been the shy, geeky guy hiding behind glasses, books and games. When he came out as gay, little had changed. He just happened to be drawn to the kind of men who could snap him in half like a twig.
They rarely wanted him back.
Dean, at least, liked his cookies.
“So when will you be visiting our neighbour?” Kyle asked.
Eddie shrugged absently, the motion jostling his cousin’s arm. “I thought he’d like them fresh from the oven.”
“Mm,” Kyle hummed again. “I saw his car in the driveway. I can finish packing this up. Why don’t you go give him something to smile about?”
Eddie hesitated, but the prospect of seeing Dean flash one of his small, happy grins was enough for Eddie to agree. Kyle removed his arm and Eddie put the lid on top of the container of cookies. Kyle gave him two thumbs up which Eddie chose to ignore. He stepped out the front door and made his way across their front yard to Dean’s.
He’d done this dozens of times over the last three months, but his heart still raced as he approached the man’s house. He stood on the porch, settling his nerves before pressing the doorbell. He didn’t wait more than a minute before the door opened.
Eddie’s mouth went dry. Dean was shirtless, his muscled, tattooed body on full display. Eddie wanted to trace every defined muscle and swirl of ink.
“Eddie,” Dean greeted.
Eddie snapped his eyes from Dean’s stomach to the man’s face. He knew his cheeks were flaming.
“I hope I’m not interrupting,” Eddie babbled. “I, uh, was just baking and I thought you might like some too. Construction work is tiring. And, I mean, uh, Kyle will eat some too. And so will I, but I made too many. As usual. Um.”
Dean’s lips twitched before forming the soft grin that Eddie spent boring workdays daydreaming about.
“Thanks,” Dean said. He stepped to the side. “How about you come in for a coffee?”
Eddie nodded dumbly and stepped inside. He walked the now familiar route to the kitchen and tried to ignore the sculpted half-naked body on display as Dean turned on the coffee machine.
“What kind are they?” He asked.
“Chocolate chip,” Eddie answered promptly.
Dean glanced over his shoulder. He smiled again. “My favourite.”
Eddie glanced away. He fiddled with the edge of the container. Dean had mentioned his love for chocolate chip cookies the last time Eddie had been over.
Could you have been any more obvious?
If Dean noticed, he didn’t make another comment. He grabbed two mugs and prepared Eddie’s coffee without needing to ask how he liked it. They’d done this so many times, that Eddie knew the six different types of mugs in Dean’s cupboard. He could probably operate the coffee machine too. He’d watched Dean handle it more than he could count.
They sat in silence, which wasn’t unusual. Dean was the strong and silent type. It made up for Eddie’s tendency to ramble.
When Dean placed the coffees down in front of them. Eddie thanked him and pulled off the lid of the cookies and pushed them towards Dean. The man was on the opposite side of the bench, leaning his elbows against the countertop.
When Dean bit into the cookie and closed his eyes, savouring the taste, Eddie hid his smile behind a sip of coffee. Eddie could spend all day sitting here with Dean. They didn’t need to say a word and he’d be happy, just basking in the other man’s presence.
Of course, today he also had the rare treat of seeing Dean without a shirt. He normally only saw that when Dean was mowing the lawn and he glimpsed him from the house. Now, Dean was in touching distance.
Would his skin be as warm as it looks? What would it be like to trace all of those beautiful tattoos?
Eddie was enjoying his daydream as he trailed his eyes over the man’s gorgeous physique. He wasn’t expecting Dean to break the quiet.
“Do you think it’s been enough coffees for me to kiss you?”
Eddie choked on his drink. He coughed and spluttered until Dean had to come around the counter to pat and rub his back. When he was able to breathe again and string his thoughts together, Eddie turned to the man with incredulity.
“What?” He demanded.
Dean smiled. “You’ve been giving me cookies for months. I’ve been giving you coffee. If you don’t want to kiss, we can have lunch instead.”
It was one of the longest sentences Eddie had ever heard Dean say, but it was a secondary to surprise to the context.
“You want to date me?” Eddie asked, his voice going a little high-pitched.
“Yes,” Dean said. “Don’t you want to date me?”
Eddie’s mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out. Dean started to pull back but Eddie hurriedly put down his coffee and reached for the man to stop him. His hands pressed against Dean’s chest, over his pecs.
He stared at the sight. It didn’t seem real.
“Eddie?” Dean asked.
“I want to date you,” Eddie blurted. “I want to kiss you. Oh, God. I want to kiss you. Do you know how many recipes I’ve downloaded just so I could come over here and-”
Normally, Dean listened to him babble. This time, Dean cut off him off with a kiss.
Eddie let out a soft sound and closed his eyes. He wrapped his arms around the man’s neck and kissed him back eagerly.
There certainly were perks to choosing actions over words.
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©2020 by Elizabeth Hollows. All Rights Reserved. This story is a work of fiction and is the author’s original work. Any resemblance to real people or locations is entirely coincidental. No part of this work may be used or reproduced without written consent from the author.