This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
He had been there three times that week. Every day, at exactly 8 o'clock in the morning, he had walked through the door, ordered himself a drink, and sat down in the far corner of the coffee shop. He had bent over a computer screen, no doubt finishing a last minute assignment or something important. He had never acknowledged anyone else in the coffee shop, but his distant gazes were enough for Kurt Hummel.
The move to New York from Lima Ohio had been long over-due. Kurt had been looking forward to this for so long. Now that he was in the city, he was grateful for the time he wasn't unpacking, or based in the new restaurant he had worked his way into. His mornings in the coffee shop were a chance to take a step back and enjoy a few solid moments alone.
But something weird had happened from day one. A short, well-built man walked through the door. He had curly, uncontrollable hair. His eyebrows were thick, and he carried himself so tall and full of purpose, it made Kurt stare for longer than he realized.
The man had turned to face Kurt, after receiving the drink he ordered and smiled, noticing Kurt watching him. He then proceeded to his back corner, hid behind his laptop screen, and occasionally snuck glanced in Kurt's direction. When he got up to leave, he gave Kurt a quick nod, as Kurt offered half a smile in his direction.
The next two days passed in a similar fashion, and Kurt was almost tempted to introduce himself. If this was going to be routine, he had to know more about the mysterious stranger.
And then Thursday hit, and the stranger vanished. He never came through the door. His usual table in the back corner sat empty, and Kurt waited a little longer than he should have, just to see if he'd show up.
The same thing happened on Friday, and Kurt felt himself grow slightly irritated. Why had he missed the last two days? He seemed to be well known by the workers in the shop. Surely he was a regular customer.
"Are you okay?" his boyfriend asked sometime later that day. "You seem distracted. They sat on the couch together, Kurt curled up against his side, but they had barely spoken two words to each other since Kurt got home from work.
"Do I?" Kurt asked, glancing up from the book in his hand. "I'm sorry, long day at work." A long day of thinking about those hazel eyes. Why was he so intrigued by those eyes? He didn't even know the person behind them.
"I guess you probably don't want to start unpacking? We're going to have to finish sooner or later."
"I know, Dylan. I just don't think I have the energy tonight. We've been at it for days, and it's been such a long week," Kurt set his book down and sat up, leaning in toward his boyfriend. The chocolate brown eyes staring back at him called for sympathy, and Kurt leaned in, kissing him gently. "You're too eager. Just take one night to relax."
"I can't. There's so much to be done," Dylan pouted. He was always on the move. There was never time to sit still.
"I can think of one way to relax you," Kurt said, his fingers finding the top button of Dylan's shirt and unbuttoning it.
Pushing his hand away, Dylan said, "no, I don't want to."
It was Kurt's turn to pout and Dylan shook his head in protest. "I'm going to unpack, end of story." He rose from the couch and set to work, finding the nearest box and tearing through it.
"Fine, I'll find someone more entertaining than you," Kurt picked up his phone and scrolled through his contacts until he found the number he was looking for.
"Hey!" the soothing voice of Mercedes Jones came through the phone. "How are you?" It had been so long since they had seen each other. It was her visit to Lima for Christmas and that was months ago. Mercedes was the only person he kept in touch with after he graduated. Even then, she was so busy kicking her music career off the ground that she barely had time to talk these days.
"Tired. My boyfriend won't give me the night off from unpacking, so I'm feeling rebellious. Do you want to go out tonight?" Kurt said into the phone, waving off the annoyed look on Dylan's face.
"I'd love to. It's been forever since I've seen you, but I can't. It's date night for me and Sam. We made plans a while ago," she said apologetically. "Can we meet tomorrow?"
"Wanna grab some coffee in the morning?" Kurt asked hopefully. He was hoping he could see someone at the coffee shop. Taking Mercedes was simply an excuse to get out of the house on a Saturday.
"Okay, would nine work for you?" Mercedes asked.
"No," Kurt said too quickly. He quickly thought of an answer at the puzzled look he got from Dylan. "I mean, I've got somewhere to be tomorrow, and I kind of need to go early. Can we meet by eight?"
"I guess so. See you then," Mercedes hung up.
"Where are you going tomorrow?" Dylan asked, suspiciously, pulling a stack of books out of a box and setting them on the shelf. "I thought we'd spend some time together tomorrow."
"I picked up an extra shift at the diner tomorrow," he lied. "They're really swamped this week, and they needed an extra pair of hands, so I offered. With the rent around here, we could use some extra shifts."
"I guess so," Dylan stepped closer to Kurt and placed his hands on his hips. "I guess that means I can get more unpacking done tomorrow. We can have a little time together tonight." His smile widened and he forcefully kissed Kurt.
Surprised, Kurt's arms wrapped around his shoulders and he said, "good, we haven't spent enough time together since we've been here." He grabbed Dylan's hand and pulled him toward the bedroom.
"Are you looking for something?" Mercedes asked the next morning, as Kurt's eyes shifted toward the door as the bell rang.
"Huh? Oh, no," Kurt shook his head. He quickly took a sip from his cup. The swift motion caused him to dribble coffee down his front, leaving a small stain on his white scarf. He picked up a napkin and began dabbing at it.
The bell rang again, and he froze, his napkin still in hand.
Mercedes turned around and spotted the man Kurt was staring at. "Do you know him or something?" she asked.
"Uh, no," Kurt quickly dabbed at his scarf again to make his action look less awkward. He watched the man pay for his drink and turn toward his usual table. He froze when he saw Kurt and their eyes met. Kurt tried to smile, but he felt so nervous, his mouth simply gave an odd twitch. The man quickly turned from the counter, glanced at his table, and headed for the door.
When he took off down the sidewalk, Mercedes asked, "what was that about?"
"I'm about to find out," Kurt asked, jumping from his seat. He whipped the door open and tore off down the sidewalk after the man. "Hey, wait!" he called desperately. He had to know who this stranger was. He had already disappeared on him once. What if he did again?
The man turned around and stopped in his tracks. "Yes?" he said awkwardly, when Kurt paused in front of him, clutching the stitch in his side.
I... um...' he suddenly realized he had no idea what to say to the man.
Raised eyebrows, the man turned to go and Kurt said, "No, wait."
"You know, I might have somewhere to be," he said, annoyed.
"Might?" Kurt asked at the odd statement.
"I'm just saying, you wanted to say something, so say it. You don't know what kind of hurry I'm in," the man shrugged.
"Except I know that a couple days this week you had plenty of time to dawdle in the morning," Kurt said stupidly. He wished he hadn't said that at all. It made him sound like a stalker.
"Fair point. What can I do for you?" the man asked, his expression more relaxed..
" I just... felt like you didn't have intentions of leaving at first. I... wanted to make sure i didn't do something to offend you. You seemed to leave in a sudden hurry," he said. Kurt felt his cheeks grow hot. This guy probably thought he was crazy.
To Kurt's horror, he gave a soft chuckle, "I've never even spoken to you in my life. Why would you offend me?"
"I don't know," Kurt answered lamely.
The man nodded, "I'll make you a deal. Are you going to be there Monday?"
"The coffee shop," he laughed.
"I'll buy your drink for you," he said. "Don't thank me. You don't even have to talk to me. We can sit on opposite sides of the shop like we always do. Just let me buy your drink," he said, taking a sip out of the drink currently in his hand.
"Why?" Kurt asked, startled.
"Because if you're going to be in there as often as I am, we might as well get used to each other. We don't have to talk. I just don't want you to feel guilty every time I don't hang around."
"Sorry about that," Kurt said. He felt so stupid. Why did he feel like he did something wrong? This man had every right to leave when he wanted. Kurt was foolish to run after him. It was just those eyes...
I'll see you around... I'm sorry, what's your name?" he asked suddenly.
"K-kurt," he stuttered, pulling his gaze away from those eyes. They were so damn mesmerizing.
"My name's Blaine," he held out his free hand and Kurt shook it. "I'll see you later, Kurt." He turned on his heel and headed down the sidewalk without a glance back..
Kurt watched Blaine until he blended with the rest of the crowd. He glanced down at his hand and smiled. He had been really uncertain about coming to New York. The idea of starting over, making new friends, and having everything be so different seemed scary. But at least there was Blaine. It was only a drink, but the generous thought from a stranger seemed so promising for a bright start.
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