Hey guys!! Hope everyone is enjoying Across the Way so far! I'll try to update you with new chapters as much as possible. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com with any comments, questions or suggestions! I'm always open to suggestion on where to take the story, so don't be shy! Happy reading!
Across the Way
It was about 3 in the afternoon and the holiday crowd had let down. The rain that had been pouring down turned into snow and since it didn't snow often in this part of the valley and everyone was out playing in the parks and parking lots, leaving The Row surprisingly empty. Our scheduled appointments came in at their appointment times and we happily helped them, and our sales average as well. Shipment as well arrived right on time which left only myself and four others on the floor while everyone else helped unload the new furniture and accessories in the warehouse.
I kept myself posted at the front register near the door so I could keep an eye on everyone who walked in, but with this weather I doubted anyone wanted to shop for a fancy sofa. I had my back turned to the door at this moment as I was checking our inventory list when I heard the door open and the cold breeze make its way into the store. I looked over my shoulder to quickly say hello, however I stopped and maybe smiled a bit too much. It was him. He stood in the doorway, brushing the light dusting of snow off his jacket right onto our floor. I chuckled a bit at this and he noticed.
"Oh sorry about that Jackson, should have done this outside." He said apologetically.
"There's no need to apologize. Come on in, get out from the cold." I said as I made my way towards him.
"I-uh brought you this." The chiseled barista said, holding out a cup of coffee for me.
"Wow...um thank you. I could use a pick me up, as you can see, we're pretty dead right now."
"Yeah us too. They let me go early so I figured I'd come by and see what you have." He said as he walked over to a couch. He looked at it for a moment and sat down in the middle. "Wow this is pretty comfy. How much is this?"
"That right there is....$4000.00" I responded. The look on his face was priceless.
"You're telling me, that this couch is worth more than my car. You got anything more uh, Wal-Mart priced?" He said with that dammed smile. To that I turned around and threw him a pencil.
"There we go, it's on the house."
"Gee...thanks." He said sarcastically.
I walked over to where he was sitting and leaned up against a wall, with him and front entrance in my view. I kind tuned out to what he was saying to me because I was too focused on him, all of him. He looked like he could model, but he had this thing about him that attracted me to him even more. He could be plastered all over a billboard but he was also the boy next door. The more he spoke I finally caught on to what that "thing" was. He had an accent.
"You're not from here are you ?" I asked, interrupting him.
"Nope. Guess I can' hide it that well. Well if ya must know, I'm from Mississippi." He said with a bit more southern drawl than before. "I turn it on and off. Mostly off for work and what not. Ever since I been here I tried to lose it. Fit in and such."
"You shouldn't do that. It's pretty cool actually."
"Well thank you kindly." He said with a wink and more exaggerated accent.
We got to talking and I soon found out my barista's name was Brock Daniels. He was 23 and had been living in the area for about a year now. He was staying with his aunt and uncle nearby to visit at first, but he liked the area so much he decided to just stay. Brock recently got an apartment about 20 minutes away in a newer development. It's not too far from my house and I usually pass it on my late afternoon runs. He told me he is working part time at the coffee shop here and was thinking of enrolling into the Sheriff's Academy. I told him my oldest brother was a deputy, which peaked his interest so we talked about that a bit as well. Every now and then he would adjust his arms and with each adjustment his hoodie moved up slightly, but enough for me to get a glimpse of his "V". I shouldn't be staring, but I couldn't help it, hopefully he didn't notice me. He was very nice, well spoken, charming actually. Now that he was sitting before without distraction I got to study him a bit more. His skin was flawless, he had nice full lips that you couldn't help but want to kiss. His hair reminded me of someone in the military, high and tight with a nice fade. He had broad shoulders and what appeared to be really nice legs under those jeans of his. When I was talking about work I noticed he'd bite his bottom lip for a moment before he smiled, it was rather cute. Fuck what am I saying. It was really cute.
We'd been talking for about 15 minutes before I noticed the time. I looked down at my watch and sighed. I was going to be off in a few minutes but I didn't want to leave. I would have taken a seat next to him, but I couldn't work up the courage.
"Hey Brock, I'm getting off work soon so I got to cut our conversation short. Got to do some paper work before I leave."
"Oh no worries. Don't lemme keep ya. It was nice talking to you Jackson. I don't got many friends `round here, so it was nice."
"Yeah man, it was nice. Um anyways, I'll see around ?" I said sheepishly.
"Yup. You'll be seeing me around. Later Jackson." He said with a warm smile. However I noticed there seemed to be some disappointment in his eyes. Maybe I was reading too much into it. He got up and walked out of the store, giving me a wave through the window as I waved back.
I sighed and noticed my heart was beating faster than normal. I took a sip of the coffee he brought me, grabbed the paperwork I was going over and walked into my office to finish up. However I just stared at the papers before not really doing anything with them for I was replaying what had just happened in my head. I got myself back into work mode and finished up my paperwork. I said my goodbyes to the others and Karen, grabbed my coat and buttoned it up. As I walked outside, I noticed there was at least 2 feet of snow in the middle of The Row. However the maintenance workers had never had it snow here before so they had some trouble clearing the pathways. I pushed through the snow, getting the bottoms of my chinos wet as well as my oxfords. Oh well. I walked around back to the employee parking lot and noticed a small pick-up truck near my car and someone was cussing up a storm.
"SON OF A BITCH!!"
I ignored it for a moment and made my way to my BMW which was covered in snow, but luckily the parking lot had been cleared a few times so I didn't have to worry about getting out. As I got closer to my car, I noticed the man cussing in front of the Ford Ranger was in fact Brock ! This couldn't be. Someone's got to be fucking with me, I thought to myself. I picked up the paced and called out to him.
"Brock !! Hey is everything ok ?"
"Fuck no. My damn truck won't start. I left the dammed light on while I was in work. Drained my battery."
"Maybe I can give you a jump ? I got cables in my car." I said pointing to my car which was a few spots over.
"Wow. Nice ride, Um sure, let's see if that'll do anything."
I moved my car to the front of his, pulled out the cables and attached them to our vehicles. We tried for about ten minutes but it didn't matter. Brock was a bit upset with his truck dying on him. I stood there as he figured out what to do. He tried calling his aunt and uncle a few times but they didn't pick up. He called AAA but they wouldn't be able to get to him for at least another hour or so. He told me thanks for the help and he'd wait to get picked up, but I saw this as my chance.
"Brock, I could take you home if you want. It's on the way to my house."
" Ya sure bout that ? I don't want to trouble you."
"It wouldn't be any trouble at all. C'mon. Get what you need from your car and I'll take ya home."
"Alright then, thanks. Give me a moment. Go warm yourself up. I'll be there."
I grabbed the cables, closed the hood of my car and jumped right in. I cranked up the heat and turned the seat warmers on. Through the snow I could see Brock rummaging through his car. He grabbed another coat and a few thing, placing them in a small duffle bag before locking his truck up. He then quickly hopped into the passenger seat, tossing his things into the back seat. He thanked me again and again for the help and I told him it wouldn't be a problem. We made our way out of the shopping center and onto the main road. Now it would have taken us 15 minutes to get to Brocks apartment, but with the very rare snowfall, everyone turned into a complete retard when it came to driving. We passed a few accidents, mostly fender benders, nothing serious. We finally made it through the traffic and congested streets and pulled up to his place.
"Thanks a lot for the ride Jackson. It really means a lot to me." Brock said as he unbuckled his seat. He placed his hand on my headrest as he leaned back to grab his stuff. I got a whiff of him and he smelled of Old Spice. "Hey, you got any plans for the rest of the day?" Brock asked.
"Well I usually go on a run after work, but not in this weather." I replied.
"Very well then. Why don't ya stay for dinner. I can fix us up something, maybe have a beer or two. It's my way of saying thanks."
"Yeah sure, that sounds great actually. I could use a drink."
I pressed the START button shutting the engine off. I followed Brock up a flight of stairs and into his apartment. It was really nice actually. Had hardwood floors, good sized kitchen, two bedrooms, one bath. He gave me a tour of the place and it lacked furniture but it had the basics. He had a queen mattress on the floor, with a few boxes placed around acting as his drawers. He had a small folding table and plastic lawn chairs set up in the living room next to a small sofa, with a new Lazy boy right next to it. On the wall there was a nice 50 inch Samsung Smart TV that was hooked up to an X-Box ONE.
"Make yourself comfortable, I'm going to go change." Brock said as he turned the TV on for me. I took a seat on the couch, shrugged off my coat and kicked off my shoes. From where I was sitting I had a clear view of his bedroom, and he left the door wide open. I tried to keep my eys on the television screen but couldn't help but look out the corner of my eye. He pulled off his hoodie and undershirt in one swoop, revealing a really nice sculpted upper body. He had nice solid, firm pecs and a well-defined eight pack. His arms were massive, probably from working out. I'm sure he played football when he was younger because this guy was stacked. He slipped off his jeans, his legs were quite developed as well cause "bros don't let bros skip leg day." He was wearing dark green boxer briefs that not only showed off his nice firm ass, but what seemed to be a nice, large bulge. Fuck. I stopped eye fucking the guy and pulled out my phone to keep myself distracted. A moment later he came out in grey sweats and a white v neck.
"Here ya go. Get comfy." He said throwing me a pair of black sweats and a t-shirt. I said thank you and went into his room to change. I won' lie, getting out my clothes was a relief and glad I had some loose fitting clothes to throw on. Fuck, Brock was being really nice, very hospitable. As I pulled the red t-shirt over my head I got another whiff of him. Old Spice. I smiled to myself as I tightened the drawl strings on the sweat pants. I heard some clanking from the kitchen and found Brock was putting a pot of water onto the stove.
"Hope ya like spaghetti. It's my momma's." He said not looking back.
"Sounds good dude. And hey, thanks a lot." I said as I leaned against the wall in the kitchen. He turned around and smiled at me before getting back to cooking. " Is there anything I can do to help ?"
"Nah, you helped plenty. Sit down and relax. Grab a beer from the fridge if ya want."
I obliged and grabbed myself a Coor's from the bridge and plopped myself down onto the sofa. I switched to the news for a moment, the did some channel surfing before landing on an episode of Cops.
"Ah fuck I love this show, keep it on!" Brock said as he was cooking.
"I figured you'd like this show. I do too. I have it recorded." I said followed with a laugh.
"Me too dude, me too."
About 30 minutes later another episode of Cops came on and at that moment, Brock brought me a plate of spaghetti and another beer. We ate and talked in between shows. I learned that he in fact not only played football in high school but he wrestled too. We talked about sports for a bit, told him about my forte into some sports but how it never really panned out.
"So then Jackson, what sort of shit ya good at then?"
"Well.." I said clearing my throat. " I uh, I sing." I said quietly.
"No shit!! That's awesome. I wish I could sing. My momma sings, has a nice voice, but I didn't inherit it. So did ya do choir and stuff ?"
"I did actually. I did it all through high school and even was in a few musicals too." I said rather proudly.
"Sing something. I wanna see if ya good or not." He said. I would have protested, but the way he smiled at me, I had to honor his wish. I took a sip of beer, took a deep breath and then.
"Rearview crosses, railroad ties. Oh, Hail Mary's, Friday nights. Heartbeat baby, low-beam light. God, I miss when, you were mine. Back when that song was a song I could sing along without thinkin of you every time it came on. Every beat, every line, every word, every time. When a road was a road I could roll on through without wishin that empty seat was you. Money was gas, dreams were dust. Love was fast and we were us. Shotgun sunset, a cool mint kiss. Backseat promise, breaking it. Floorboard feeling, county lines. God I miss when, you were mine. Back when that song was a song I could sing along without thinkin of you every time it came on. Every beat, every line, every word, every time. When a road was a road I could roll on through without wishin that empty seat was you. Money was gas, dreams were dust. Love was fast and we were us..."
"Holy shit boy. You got a dammed good set of pipes on you. I was thinking you'd sing some Justin Timberlake, maybe some Bruno Mars, but you got some country in ya!! There's a story behind that song huh? Can't sing a song like that as good as you did without life experience..."
"Yeah, there's a story. But I'll tell ya another time..." I said looking at the floor, thinking of what happened.
"Ah shit. Sorry bout that buddy. Didn't mean to pry. But you're really good, like really good." Brock said warmly looking right into my eyes.
"Thanks, I like to think I am. I love singing really."
"I'm sure everyone else loves it too."
We ate some more and continued to watch Cops after I sang. Once we were done, he gather our plates and empty beer bottles and took them to the kitchen. He grabbed me another beer, himself one too, and rather than sitting back in the lazy boy, he took a seat on the couch. Now this couch is pretty small, might as well be a love seat, but hey I wasn't complaining. He sat down next to me, his knee brushing up against mine. I though he was going to move over a bit, but he just left it there. I looked over at him while I sipped on my beer and noticed he was doing the same, But he had been staring at me for a bit."
"What?" I asked with a smile.
"Nuthin. You just remind me of sumbody."
"Is that a good thing ?"
"Sorta. Kinda. No. Well maybe. Yes. Fuck."
I just laughed at his response, spitting out a bit of beer.
"Hey don't be getting my place all dirty now. I barely got enough shit in here as it is." He said nudging me in the arm.
We went back to watch TV then ended up playing some Forza on his X-Box One. Two hours and a couple more beers later we ended up watching a movie on Netflix. We decided on watching a series called House of Cards. We watched about three episodes and then I noticed the time. It was nearly midnight and there was no way in hell I was going home, and Brock wasn't going to let me. He told me I could stay the night and I just said thanks. We continued watching TV and my eyes started to get heavy, I could barely keep them open. I fell fast asleep.
I woke up in the middle of the night, the TV was still on, but it was paused to the menu screen. I found my head resting on something soft but firm. At first I thought it was a pillow, but I quickly realized that Brock and I had intertwined ourselves on his sofa. We were spread out on the small couch, him under me, and my leg wrapped around his, my head on his chest and one his arms wrapped around me. There was a blanket too that I recalled seeing in his bedroom. He was fast asleep, his chest rising up with each breath. I should have moved, but I didn't want to wake him and honestly, I didn't want to get up. It felt nice being up against him like this. It was nice. It felt...it felt nice. I put my head back on his chest to which he stirred a bit but didn't wake up. I kept my eyes open just for a moment before closing them and falling asleep with Brock...
Alright everybody!! Hoped you enjoyed this chapter of Across the Way. Again feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments or suggestions. What do you think should happen the morning after? Let me know what y'all think!!