I was half way up the stairs when I heard my phone go off in my ear. The female voice read over my ear buds. “Message from Zane Kennedy. There is this little place around the corner that has good pie”.
I stopped at the top of the stairs and looked down. Did he follow me off the train? I was still a good run from the apartment and I really wasn’t in the mood to run, but I was dragging and the cold air was invigorating. I could do it but I’d probably pay for it.
I tapped out a response.
To Zane: Do you even have room enough to eat anything else?
I saw a familiar figure walking up the stairs. He was looking down at his phone as he passed in front of me. “You might trip if you don’t look up.”
He looked at me with a start but it went away with a smirk. “Yeah. I might trip over those big feet in my way.”
I grinned at him. “Pie huh?”
“There is always room for pie.” Zane said. I bit my bottom lip and nodded.
We walked in silence two block and into a diner that boasted “Best Pie” on the door. Zane lead the way to a booth and sat down facing the door. I pulled into the bench across from him and smiled as I pulled off my wool hat and ran my fingers through my hair and felt all the strands sticking to it. so much for taming it. I groaned. “I hate this fucking weather.”
A woman in a bright pink apron came to the table and looked at us. “What can I getcha boys?”
Zane smiled. “I’ll take apple pie.”
“Can I get coffee? And I’ll take any pumpkin pie if it’s still in season.”
“It is until after the New Year.” She turned to Zane with a smile. “Anything to drink?”
“Just water.” Our waitress left and he looked at me, “You planning on staying awake?”
I sighed. “I have to study a little before I go to bed.”
“What are you studying for?” Zane asked.
“You want to know specifics or what I’m going to school for?” I asked. I was never very good at small talk.
“How bout both?”
“Specifically. I have an Italian test in the morning and an hour or two in between before I take my Culinary Chem final. I’m not worried about either but Chem needs a lot more studying than Italian.”
“So you are studying to be a chef. Aren’t you already one?”
I nodded. “Technically I could get away with being a self taught chef. I’ve been cooking since I was 6 but it looks better to some masters if you have the schooling to go with it. It’s not the degree, it’s the techniques they want you to learn so you can break the rules.”
The waitress in the pink apron brought over my coffee and Zane’s water and our pie. “Can I get you boys anything else?”
“No ma’am, I think we are good.” I said and gave her a good smile.
She walked off to her other patrons and I watched her move. She was trying to draw our attention. I shook my head. “She either thinks we are on a date and it’s wrong, or she thinks she has a chance with one or both of us.”
Zane turned to look at our waitress. “She wasn’t flirting.”
“No. But she walked away like she wanted us to watch.”
“Do you want to find out which one?” Zane smirked and I couldn’t help but grin back at him. I wanted to stare into his eyes. I forced myself to look down at my plate, but he taped his fork to his plate and it drew my attention to it and I followed his forkful of apple pie to his mouth and I knew I was staring at his lips. His tongue licking the sugar and cinamon from them… Fuck!
I looked down at my plate and took a forkful of the filling. It was my favorite pie, but not all pie was created equal. Babbo didn’t make anything traditional for the holidays. I loved turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. But that wasn’t what we had. Neither of my fathers were born in the states. And neither of them really cared about the traditions. Babbo usually opened early on Thanksgiving and he served up his version of turkey and stuffing and cranberry sauce. He even had his version of pumpkin but it was in a pie. He cooked it more like squash. Don’t get me wrong it’s all great and I didn’t really know what I was missing until I went to a friends house one Thanksgiving break cause Babbo and Dad went to Spain. Dad’s grandmother passed and there was something about Dad in the will.
“Did you want to find out which one?” Zane asked again. Shit I’d not answered his question.
“Sorry, your lips distracted me.”
He chuckled. “I noticed. Then you got lost in thought.”
“I was just thinking about holiday traditions.” I looked up at Zane and into his baby blues. Fuck I could look at them all day. I didn’t look away this time as I brought the fork to my mouth. I almost spit it out but swallowed instead then pushed the plate away. Yeah not exactly what I wanted.
“Not good?” Zane asked.
“I’m a culinary snob.” I grinned at him.
“I’ve never had the pumpkin, not a fan myself.” He took a forkful of the apple pie filling and held it out for me. “Try the apple.”
This was awefully romantic. I bit my bottom lip as I thought about it. Thought about why he’d do this. But I closed my eyes and leaned forward and closed my lips around Zane’s fork with apple pie filling. I can’t say it was the best I had ever had, but it wasn’t bad. I chewed slowly savoring the experience. It was more than just the food. I didn’t do the date thing. And this felt very much like something you’d do at the end of a date.
“Maybe the sign should read ‘Best apple pie’.” I grinned at him.
“You think you could do better?”
“Is that a challenge?” I asked.
Zane laughed. “Take it how you want. Coffee at least passable?”
“It’s hot, it’s caffinated and it passes for coffee.” I grinned. “I really should get going. I really need to study and I’m sure you have to get ready for something.”
I pulled out my wallet and left a few bucks on the table. “You need to let me cook for you sometime. Distraction free. Tonight’s wasn’t my best work.” Then I slid out of my booth bench and stood up.
“That wasn’t your best work? Finn would have licked his plate clean if he wasn’t sitting in a posh restaurant. And Drew took all the leftovers. Man eats like a bird. I think he is just taking it home for his wife since she can’t come to the meetings anymore.”
“You have my number now.” I said with a smile and leaned down and whispered in Zane’s ear. “I would very much like to see you again Zane Kennedy.” I brushed my lips against his cheek and took a deep breath of his skin.
Zane turned into my lingering and his lips brushed against mine and the only thing runing through my mind was kissing him. But he pulled back just a little and it drew my attention to his baby blues again. I bit my bottom lip as he whispered, “Can’t let her think she has a chance with you.” My breath caught but I forced myself to stand up and walk away. Fuck I wanted him. And that was a bad thing in that moment. I didn’t want a fuck and leave. It was the hardest fucking thing turning and walking away but I did it. I was proud of that moment.
Zane called out, “Hey, Pretty boy.” I turned around and grinned at him trying very hard to hid my feelings as I kept walking backwards. “I’ll see you around.” he said.
I tipped an imaginary hat at him and gave him my best flourishing bow and blew him a kiss. “Bet your blue eyes you will.” We saw each other everywhere. There was no denying that fact. And I knew I wasn’t going to be getting any studying done once I got home. Even a short run in this cold weather wasn’t going to fix the hard on in my pants.