Patrick hovered outside of Cathy’s Ice Cream Parlour, eyeing up his crush through the window. Even though the weather was freezing, the place was packed. He stood on the tips of his toes to spot Wade through the throng. Ah, there he was. With blond hair, blue eyes and a smile that could sell toothpaste to the toothless, Patrick had been drooling over him at every opportunity for nearly a month.
The bell above the door jingled and Patrick stepped out of the way of a gaggle of giggling girls.
“I can’t believe you asked him out,” the first girl said. “I’d never dare.”
“I can’t believe he’s gay,” a second girl replied. “What a waste!”
Patrick’s ears pricked up at the conversation. They weren’t necessarily talking about the object of his affection. They were probably gossiping about someone else. There were plenty of other blokes in the Parlour they could be talking about. It might even be someone else entirely.
The girls passed out of earshot, and Patrick turned back to the window. Although the place was still busy and crowded, the queue had thinned out and Wade was without a customer needing his attention.
Patrick toyed with the idea of going inside and striking up a conversation, hopefully one that consisted of a little more than ordering an ice cream and confirming whether or not he wanted sprinkles on it. There was just one problem; he was sick to death of ice cream. The thought of having his fourth for the week, and it was only Thursday, just turned his stomach.
The bell over the door rang again as a couple holding hands went inside.
Patrick couldn’t stand outside all day. He had to either get in there and make a move before the place closed or go home and do something more productive.
Resolving to find something on the menu that wasn’t ice cream, Patrick pushed open the door and walked up to the counter. The couple in front of him took their Banana Splits and found a table, leaving him the next in line.
“Hi. What can I get you?”
“Er, what do you have that doesn’t include ice cream?”
Wade blinked as though he hadn’t heard him correctly. Then he grinned widely. “You do remember this is an Ice Cream Parlour, right?”
Patrick’s face heated up. “Yeah, I just fancied something different for a change. You can only eat so much ice cream in a week.”
“Yeah, and this is, what, your third visit this week?”
Patrick ducked his head as he mumbled his reply. “Fourth. You weren’t working on Tuesday.” He couldn’t believe he’d said that out loud. Wade would think he was some sort of stalker. Only, Wade didn’t seem to mind his idiotic comment. He was laughing quietly.
Wade leaned across the counter and lowered his voice to a whisper. “How about a donut?”
Patrick looked up at the menu board on the wall behind the counter. “I don’t see them up there. Do you sell them?”
“Not exactly, but I’ve got some out back if you want one. On the house.”
Patrick nodded. “Okay, a donut and a coffee please.”
Wade served him, charging him only for the coffee, and Patrick went to one of the vacant tables to eat his treat.
The minutes until closing time ticked away and the other customers gradually filtered out into the chilly evening air. He should be going too, but he’d come this far, surely he could pluck up the courage to take the next step?
At five minutes to closing time, Patrick was the only customer left. The donut had gone and what was left of the coffee was lukewarm at best.
“Was it good?”
Patrick looked up as Wade sat down opposite him and pointed to the empty plate. “Delicious, thanks.”
“Glad it didn’t go to waste. You can only get them in a pack of six and by the time you’ve eaten half of them, the rest are stale. One of the hazards of living alone.”
“You mean it was one of your own?”
“Well, yeah. That’s why I couldn’t charge you for it. It was just out of my shopping bag. They are one of my guilty pleasures.”
Wade licked his upper lip. “Donuts and ice cream, though not together.”
“I guess it must be hazardous working here, then.”
“Just a bit. They say if you work in a sweet shop, you lose the taste for candy. I thought working here might have a similar result. It didn’t.”
Patrick laughed along with Wade, and when Wade went to lock the front door, he didn’t give any indication he wanted Patrick to leave.
“You want to go get something to eat?” Wade asked. “I’ve got to clear up and switch everything off, but it won’t take me long.”
Patrick nodded. “That’d be great. I’ll help you finish up here if you like.”
“You don’t have to do that.”
“I know, but the sooner you finish up here, the sooner our date can start, right?” Patrick held his breath as he waited for Wade to contradict him, to tell him it wasn’t a date, and that Patrick had misunderstood his intention. The denial never came.
Between the two of them, they cleaned the tables in no time and then made a start on the washing up in kitchen at the back. As they worked through the stack of pots they chatted easily.
“What?” Wade tossed his dish cloth into the sink and turned to Patrick. “You don’t even like ice cream?”
Patrick shifted uneasily. “Not really.”
“How is that even possible?”
“I don’t know. I just don’t particularly like the stuff.”
“You must have been eating the wrong sort,” Wade teased. “Have you ever ordered anything here apart from the plain old three scoops of vanilla with sprinkles?”
Wade stepped away from the sink and grabbed a towel. He dried his hands as he went across the room to the freezer. “Let me see…”
“Isn’t that stealing?” Patrick asked as Wade grabbed a spoon and a container of ice cream.
“The boss lets the staff help themselves as long as we don’t take the piss and clear her out.”
“You think force-feeding me ice cream will make me like it?”
“It’s just a little taste test to see if we can find your flavour. Raspberry ripple? Nah. Double chocolate chip. Nope. How about mint chocolate chip?” Wade crooked his finger.
Patrick shook his head, put down the towel, and went to join Wade at the freezer. “Okay, let’s try it.”
“You could try to sound a little more enthusiastic. I bet if it was smothered over a guy’s chest you’d lap it up in under a minute, no matter what the flavour.”
Patrick’s jaw dropped as the image of licking ice cream from Wade’s chest flashed through his mind.
“Ah, I see you like that idea.”
Wade laughed. “I wouldn’t normally suggest this on a first date, especially when we’ve not made it to the date part yet, but are you up for a little fun?”
Patrick’s mouth was watering—over bloody ice cream!—as he nodded mutely.
Wade put down the ice cream and spoon while he took off his apron and shirt, tossing them onto the table. He then hopped onto a high stool and picked up the ice cream and spoon again. “I think this is going to get messy.”
“It looks too frozen to melt.”
“Are you saying I’m not hot enough?” Wade teased.
“No… I…” Patrick watched as Wade scooped a spoonful of ice cream out of the tub and rubbed it down the centre of his chest, leaving a thin green line of quickly melting ice cream.
“Would you like some ice cream?” Wade asked.
Patrick watched the ice cream dribble down the smooth, pale chest. Suddenly, he was craving ice cream like he never had before. The melting treat was heading towards the waistband of Wade’s trousers. Leaning forward, his gaze flickered between the ice cream and Wade’s gaze. Wade nodded once and Patrick ducked down to lick up the minty ice cream. His tongue traced its way up Wade’s chest, gathering up every drop.
When it was all cleaned up, Patrick stood back and licked his lips.
“We’re not done yet,” Wade said as he scooped up a second spoon and brought it to his left nipple, smearing it all over the brown nub.
This time, Patrick didn’t hesitate. He licked at the ice cream, his tongue flicking at the hardening nipple until it was completely clean, hard and pointed. The temptation was too much for him, and he bit it lightly.
“Oh fuck!” Wade gasped and dropped the spoon and tub to the floor. “This was a bad idea.”
Patrick jumped back. “I’m sorry. I got carried away.”
Wade shook his head and pulled him back roughly. “You just carry on with what you were doing. The bad idea was not waiting until I could get you home.”
Wade didn’t let him say anything else. He pulled him into a hard kiss that sent Patrick’s heart racing and his cock rising.
When the kiss ended, he staggered back against the table.
“Can I tempt you with some more ice cream?” Wade asked as he gestured to his lap. Patrick could see the hard line of his erection and, just as Wade intended, he pictured himself lapping up ice cream from the other man’s cock.
“Oh yeah,” Patrick replied as he bent down to pick up the tub and spoon once more.
Wade gave him a mock innocent look. “I thought you didn’t like ice cream?”
“I think I’m acquiring a taste for it when it comes with certain extras.”
“And what extras would those be? Sprinkles? Syrup?”
Patrick shook his head. “You.”
Adventures in Self-Publishing
Romance Lives Forever