3/30/2015

Story Orgy Presents: Like a Wolf Part Eleven #mmromance #storyorgy #serial #blogstory




Welcome back and good morning all! 
Today is predicted to be absolutely gorgeous here in the countryside, and that means only one thing. It's going to be real hard to stay in this chair and focused on getting the work done that needs to be done today!  



Like A Wolf


Chapter Eleven
What was he supposed to do with that?

And what was he supposed to do with that? Robert eyed the soft white fabric swatch Bree held dubiously. “Are you serious?” Some sort of baby magic hovered in the atmosphere of the tiny house… he could smell it, softening the air, melting everyone who came in contact with it. Soft snuffling noises, delicate breaths, emanated from a cocoon of blue fluff nestled in a wicker basket bedecked with white ruffles.
“Trust me.” Leaning toward him, Bree nodded tightly, a smile fighting with her lips. “You’re going to want to put that on your shoulder. It’s only been a week, and I’ve already halved my wardrobe.” She indicated a darker spot on the shoulder of her green blouse with one hand. “It doesn’t wash out.” Her tone said she didn’t really mind the damage to her wardrobe. Robert imagined that the compensations far outweighed the negatives when it came to that fuzzy little blue bundle.
“If you say so.” He took the thing and let Bree show him how to drape it over his shoulder. She smelled of sweet baby powder and some sort of not unpleasant sourness. “Now can I hold him?” He glanced impatiently at the ruffle bedecked bassinet on the floor by Ruby’s rocking chair. “I promise. I won’t drop him.”
“I’m more worried about him barfing on your nice shirt.” Ruby smiled tiredly at him from the bentwood rocker. “Thanks for coming to see us. And I don’t know if I ever thought to thank you last week, when you drove me over to the hospital.”
“No thanks necessary. All I did was drive.” He sat on a small overstuffed sofa and held out his arms. Bree scooped little Reuben up and helped Robert arrange him on his shoulder. The sweet weight was so slight, he had to check in fear to see that he’d actually gotten the baby and not a handful of empty blanket while the baby slipped to the floor. “Hello, Reuben. I’m your Uncle Robbie.” He glanced apologetically at Ruby, surprising a tender smile on her face. “I hope you don’t mind. This is the first baby I’ve had any contact with…and it’s presumptuous, I know. I don’t have to be an uncle.” He hastily tacked the last part on as a tear trailed down Ruby’s cheek, glittering in the sunlight that poured over his shoulder from the open curtains.
“No. It’s perfect. I…and Reuben…would be thrilled for you to be his uncle.” Her lip quivered, then firmed into another of those tender smiles. This one was directed over his shoulder, and he turned his head to see Bree blushing under it. “We don’t have a lot of family here. Just Bree.”
Tires ground through the gravel drive and a horn tooted. A car door slammed and footsteps thumped up the walk.
Bree stiffened, glanced out the window behind Robbie. “That’s my ride.” she darted across the room and grabbed a white chef coat off the floor. “My boss.” She glanced sheepishly at Ruby. “I sort of promised him he could see the baby, I hope you don’t mind. He’s been so good about picking me up and all since my car broke down last weekend.”
“Of course I don’t mind.” Ruby cast a teasing glance at Robbie. “If you can coax Robbie to let go of him that is.”
The doorbell rang, and the baby cried, probably because Robbie had just caught a glimpse of an ornate H embroidered on the white linen jacket and tensed before he could control his reaction.
Bree darted from the room, and Robbie jumped from the sofa, leaning down to hand the baby back to his mother. “Here, you take him.” His hands were shaking, and he couldn’t tell why, except that he’d been waiting for a week for Hank to call and make good on that rain check he’d promised. “She works at Hungry?” Why be surprised? Of course Ruby the food editor and critic would have close ties and connections with the restaurants in town.
“Bree is my sous chef.” Hank’s voice rumbled from the doorway. “Hello Red, I didn’t expect to see you here.”
That’s what he said, but Robert recognized the lie for what it was. His car was parked in the drive, and short notice though it might have been, he’d had that much time to decide what to say and how to respond to Robert’s presence.
More time than Robbie had had anyway. “Hi Hank, I was just leaving. Got to take over at the diner.” He ducked his head before reason told him that, no, he didn’t owe this man any deference, or have any reason to hide from him. So he raised his chin defiantly, and met Hank’s gaze steadily. “But I wanted to come see my new man before I started the shift.”
Hank’s face froze. “He’s here? Your…” He shook his head, paling. “Bree, we need to get moving. I’ve got perishables in the truck for dinner.”
“Oh, I thought you’d stay a bit…” Bree seemed to catch the sudden shift in Hank’s mood. “I’m ready.” She crossed the small living room to brush a kiss on the baby’s forehead and another on a silent Ruby’s cheek. “I’ll be back later.”
Hank didn’t wait, he spun about and left, slamming the front door behind him.
“Hank!” Suddenly spurred into action, Robert smiled weakly at the startled women and quick stepped toward the door. “I’m going to see if I can catch him. We have…um…unfinished business.”
“Go on,” Bree waved. “He won’t leave without me, at least I hope he won’t.” She added as the car horn beeped several times in rapid succession.
“Come back in after, would you?” Ruby asked. “I never got the chance to tell you why I stopped by the diner last week, other than you know, to cadge a ride to the hospital and practically give birth in your dining room.”
“Oh, okay.” He glanced impatiently at the window. Hank was sitting behind the wheel of the truck, watching the front door with an intent, dark expression.
***
His heart leaped when the door opened, because he knew…without the shadow of a doubt, that it wasn’t Bree who had exited the house. Get out. Meet him half way. Suiting action to thought, Hank turned off the truck engine and jumped out of the cab.
“Red—”
“Hank—”
Their voices clashed in the afternoon sun, and Hank fell silent, gesturing for Red to go ahead. His eyes followed the glint of sunlight sparkling on auburn hair, noted the trimmer figure, the sparkle in his eyes. “You look good,” he blurted, despite having indicated that Red should speak first.
“Um…thanks.” Red blushed, an innocent, honest reaction that charmed Hank as it always had. “I…just wanted to ask…You never called.” He finally stopped moving, and stood looking up at Hank with an open, troubled expression. “Last week, you said we’d get together and talk. Then…Did I miss your call?”
“No. I just realized how silly I was being.”
“About what?” Red tossed his head, sending the auburn hair flying.
“Manny Dyer ate dinner in my restaurant.” Hank tried to recapture some of the excitement he’d felt that night, before he’d found out about Red’s new love. Red’s brows knit together, and a frown tugged his lips. “See? I told you. Not as big a deal as it seemed at the time.”
“Oh no, it’s a big deal all right. Did he like your food? Because I’m pretty sure he hated mine.” Red shook his head, and his smile dimmed just the slightest bit.
“That’s not possible. Your food is amazing. You’re amazing.” Without consciously choosing to do so, Hank reached out and brushed auburn hair off Red’s brow. Oh shit. That wasn’t right. He glanced quickly at the open window to the living room, expecting to see a jealous boyfriend, but instead caught only the serene image of Ruby, gazing worshipfully down at her newborn as she rocked slowly in the bentwood chair. He snatched his hand back. “Sorry, um…I didn’t mean to.”
Red reached for his hand, held it in a warm, tight grip. “That’s okay. Really, Hank. It’s not a big deal. And I don’t care if Manny Dyer hated every bite…the few of them he took…of my macaroni and cheese.”
“Ruby said to tell you she needs to talk to you about that.” Bree stepped out of the house, and sauntered toward them. “Sorry, Boss. I tried to give you some time to mend your fences, but…" She shrugged elegantly. “Well, I saw the prep list you emailed after the market this morning, and we’d better get moving or we won’t be ready for opening.”
Hank tugged his hand out of Red’s grip, reluctance to leave warring with gratitude at what felt like a rescue. “Sorry Red, got to go. Maybe…” Why couldn’t he just get in the truck and drive off?
His gaze was drawn to Red’s mouth, watching his lips move soundlessly for a second or two before words followed. “Can I come over after work? Please, Hank? We really need to talk.”
He didn’t know if he’d agreed or not, all he really felt was a numbing desire to trace those plump lips with his tongue…to taste the sweetness that was Red one more time. A stirring south of his belt buckle had little to do with it, though he doubted he’d ever set eyes on Red without wanting him. For the most part, he wanted the taste of Red on his tongue, even though he knew that taste wouldn’t erase, or even ease the craving that tormented his soul.
“Boss?”
Shaking off the fog of wants, Hank realized he was in the truck, driving toward the restaurant on autopilot with Bree beside him. “Yeah?” His voice came out thick and his throat felt clogged with emotion. He cleared it, hoping for clarity.
“You realize that kid worships the ground you walk on?”
Wouldn’t that be nice? “I don’t think so. He was telling me all about his amazing new boyfriend just a week ago.”
That shut Bree up. Not that she was talkative. Hank stiffened his spine, adjusted the seat position unnecessarily, and glared straight ahead through narrowed eyes. God save him from well-meaning friends.
Pain exploded in his shoulder, not debilitating, but enough to make him flinch and swerve out of his lane. A sudden series of honking horns and a burst of adrenaline cleared the last of the fog from Hank’s brain. “What the fuck, Bree? I thought you wanted to live to see that baby go to college?”
“I do. And so does Robert Redding.”
Hank focused on driving for a minute. “What the fuck does that mean?”
“It means that I have a great deal of respect for you as a chef. As an employer you’re marginal--”
“Hey! I told you, I’m looking into a benefits program! It’s not all that easy to find programs that are friendly to same sex couples, you know.”
“Ruby doesn’t need my insurance.” Bree slashed the air with a peremptory hand. “That’s not what I mean. This spontaneous cooking thing is great—but it doesn’t allow any of the rest of the staff to have any creative input, which is difficult for those of us who are trained chefs. But that is so not the point.”
“Get to the point then,” He growled, scowling at the glare of the sun on the windshield.
“He doesn’t have a new boyfriend, unless that boyfriend’s name is Reuben.”




TO BE CONTINUED 

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2 comments:

  1. Zipped through it to get to the end, then went back and reread slowly to absorb it all. So good.

    ReplyDelete
  2. AHHHHH!! Get. Them. Back. Together. NOW!!!! (PS: Love it, btw).

    ReplyDelete

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