February 9, 2010
Robin took another sip of his hot chocolate, curling his fingers around the paper mug in the hope of keeping his hands from freezing. He’d thought his gloves were in his pockets, but apparently not. The wind roared down the street, the tall buildings creating a tunnel of vicious proportions and even the three-sided enclosure at the bus stop provided little protection. Shifting back and forth to keep his blood circulating, he wondered how long it would be before the bus arrived.
Robin looked up and smiled at the only thing besides his drink that had any chance of warming him up on such a frigid day. He’d run into Darren one morning at this bus stop and had started walking the extra block ever since. The man was tall, broad-shouldered, dark-haired. Everything Robin wasn’t. He’d come to terms with being a short, skinny, redheaded twink in college, but that didn’t keep him from occasionally wishing he had the looks to attract a man like Darren. The other man was generous with his smiles, though, and his conversation, and that kept Robin coming back every morning at the same time.
“Morning,” Robin replied. “Cold today.”
Darren nodded. “And it’s only supposed to get colder as the day goes on. They’re predicting a foot of snow tonight.”
“Why did I want to live on the lake again?” Robin quipped.
“Because the breeze off the water is cool in the summer?” Darren suggested.
Robin scowled and took another sip of his hot chocolate, his tongue swiping away the foam that coated his upper lip.
“Where are your gloves?” Darren asked suddenly.
“I must have left them at home,” Robin said. “I thought they were in my pockets, but they aren’t.”
Darren frowned and moved closer to Robin’s side. “Here,” he offered. “Let me hold your drink so you can put your hands in your pockets at least. You’ll freeze your fingers off that way.”
“I’m okay,” Robin insisted, warmed by the concern. “The hot drink helps.”
Darren’s frown deepened as he pulled off his own gloves. “Then put these on and I’ll put my hands in my pockets. I can see your fingers turning pink from over here.”
Robin flushed, cursing his fair skin and freckles silently, sure his face looked like a tomato at the moment. To hide his embarrassment, he took another sip of hot chocolate. Before he could lick the foam away, Darren’s finger traced his lip. “You’ve got cream there,” he said softly.
Robin’s breath caught in his throat at the slow, sensual touch. He told himself it was just Darren being helpful, but he couldn’t stop the ray of hope when his finger lingered.
Then Darren’s face moved closer, head angling slightly, and their mouths touched. Robin gasped into the kiss, and Darren took advantage, his tongue darting out to lick the inner face of Robin’s lips. The kiss was as hot as Darren’s nose was cold against Robin’s cheek, but he didn’t mind. It was proof this wasn’t another dream.
“I knew it,” Darren whispered, his head lifting only enough to speak. “You’re even sweeter than the hot chocolate.”
Robin flushed again, eyes darting away, but Darren wouldn’t stand for it, catching Robin’s chin in his bare fingers and tipping his head back up until their eyes met again. “What time do you catch the bus home?” Darren asked.
“Five-thirty,” Robin replied. “Why?”
Darren smiled. “So I know what time to meet you tonight for dinner. And hopefully more kisses.”
Robin’s smile grew as well. “That thought will keep me warm all day.”