Tuesday Tickle: No Idea What to Call this Story

This is my Christmas story, about two guys who work for a video game company, and the perfect, or nearly perfect Christmas, one of them tries to give the other. They’re cute, ordinary guys, who happen to be madly in love. It’s weird–I like the Everyday Joe so much more than the superhero, Navy SEAL, leader of an Interplanetary Expeditionary Force kind of guy.

Here’s the first few lines of this story, which is still nameless, because I suck at titles. When I finally have to come up with something, I’ll let you know. First draft warning, as always, is in place.

Shawn opened the door to Rob’s apartment building, the keys Rob had given him on the six-month anniversary of their first date jingling loudly as he twisted them back and forth, trying to hit the sweet spot of the worn lock. A scratchy click heralded success and the bottom of the door made a harsh scraping sound as he yanked it open.

Once again, he wondered if he shouldn’t invite Rob to live with him. It was still early days, only ten months along, but they hardly spent any time apart anyway. And there was so much to love about Rob: his sensitivity, his sweetness, how his geekiness fit so perfectly with Shawn’s. How surprisingly hot he was in bed and how the cuddle afterwards was sometimes the best part. It wasn’t hard to make the mental leap from frequent sleepovers to waking up to Rob’s brown eyes every morning. He should ask him.

But not today. It was too soon. He’d scare Rob off if he came on that strong.

The smells of all the different breakfasts being cooked in all the different apartments mingled in the stairwell as he climbed up to the third floor. He sniffed—bacon, for sure. Sausages? Maybe. Eggs. Eggos. Toast. It was always an adventure coming over to Rob’s—he never knew what the place would smell like, or who he might meet in the hallway.

Like the guy in the dirty wifebeater dragging a bag of garbage into the stairwell as Shawn reached Rob’s floor. The stench of rotten food preceded him by a good yard or so, which gave Shawn enough warning to take a quick breath and hold it as the man went by, the bag bumping gently on the stairs as he passed. They nodded to each other, and Shawn hoped his face wasn’t turning red as his lungs immediately demanded to know why he’d stopped supplying their preferred foodstuff.

About the author: Kate Lowell

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