Dreamy Dylan

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#31 Tenfold Tension

Like I expected, Silas and Kian rapidly become good friends. Kian even invites him over to the house a few times, but they usually hang out at Silas’ place or go to a bar for beers or something. I’m happy for Kian that he’s finally got someone to talk to, someone who accepts him and likes being around him. I’m not too fond of Silas, though.

I blame Aston for that. I ran into him at the bakery, and I made him tell me all about the person Silas Edwards. Turns out that once upon a time, Annabel and Silas were in a relationship. She thought it was serious, but he held off on moving in together. Eventually he broke up with her, saying he didn’t ever want to get married, and he couldn’t give her what she wanted.

Two months later, he got married to a bimbo named Bambi. Annabel got forced out of his department at the law firm, where she worked as a paralegal. She got stuck handling divorces, even though she specialized in mergers and acquisitions. Fucking asshole.

Five years later, he divorced Bambi, and made Annabel handle it. She had to fight her own sister in that court battle. In the end, they worked together to win for Silas, because Bambi almost broke up Chloe and her husband. They actually separated for a while, as a result of Cooper cheating on Chloe all throughout her pregnancy, but they ended up back together. Apparently Chloe is a bit of a bitch, close to impossible to live with, and she realized that she shared the blame of their relationship imploding.

Aston doesn’t hold a grudge against Silas, but he’s not fond of him either. Silas treated Annabel horribly, but he did own up to that in the end. He was miserable at his job, just like Annabel was, and when she and Chloe started their own firm, he eventually managed to get a job with them. He will never be a name partner like Kian will be in a year, but he’s respected in his field. He’s also considered a shark, and when it comes to women, he has a reputation for sleeping with ones that are taken. It’s no surprise he’s in his mid-forties and not married, no kids, no steady girlfriend.

Anyone who would treat Annabel Johnson the way Silas did can’t be that good a man. Aston worships the ground she walks on, and he should. She’s a devoted wife, an incredible mother, and a driven career woman. She’s one of those women who does it all, and looks great while doing it. Silas was an idiot to pass up on having her for a wife. His loss, Aston’s gain.

On top of the whole asshole to Annabel thing, I find Silas a little… dull. I can’t help it. He’s not my type of guy. He finds himself very interesting, tells long tales of his court battles, and toots his own horn a lot. Kian likes him, though, and I’m glad he finally has a friend. He’s got work buddies now too, often going out to lunch with Kyle. The three guys often meet up with Cooper. Aston says he’s lonely sometimes too, because Chloe tends to work late a lot. Their marriage is still going strong after they fixed the way it imploded with the whole Bambi thing, but every relationship has its struggles.

Of course I encourage Kian to hang out with the guys. He’s more relaxed these days, more himself. He gained a little weight, looking healthier than he did a couple of weeks ago. He’s always coming home with stories about his friends, work, colleagues. The stories are just so goddamn boring. I fake a laugh each time, but seriously, how long do I have to endure this?

Luckily, there is also good news. Tracy gets pregnant again, for the third time. She and Thom are very excited, and they agree that this will be their last kid, so they are trying to enjoy every second of her pregnancy. She’s not that far along yet, so she’s in that miserable nauseous phase with lots of exhaustion, but she doesn’t seem to mind. She’s truly glowing.

Liv and James have their first baby on Christmas Eve, a beautiful little girl called Aurora. She’s cute as a button, and I fall in love with her the moment I get to hold her for the first time. One day, I’d love to have a kid of my own. A cute little baby. In my mind, it’s a girl. A cute little thing that looks up to me like her hero. I think I’ll make a fun dad.

Of course, this means that Andre is swamped at the bakery when the new year starts. With Liv out for the count for a while – although James has to force her to take it easy and not go back to work too soon – the management all comes down to him. Sandra takes care of the baking side of things, along with two interns from culinary school. He also hired a girl to help out with the coffee shop.

Thom is focused on Tracy right now, and we don’t have any big clients at the moment, so I spend a lot of time helping Andre out. Things have gone back to normal again. They did the day after our strange… vibe. I was scared they wouldn’t, but the moment I walked into the coffee shop the day after our little incident, I knew everything was fine. He was kind and funny as always, and we bantered like there was no tomorrow. No weirdness. It was a one-off thing, fueled by both of our insecurities.

“I wanna make foam art,” I tell Andre after pouring coffee and taking orders for two hours straight. It’s almost closing time, and no one is waiting to order. “Teach me!”

“Sure,” he replies with a smile. “Grab that pitcher over there and fill it with milk.”

I do as I’m told, submerging the heating wand or whatever it’s called in the milk to get it to the right degree of hotness. Andre watches closely, explaining how big bubbles are bad, and we want to see only small ones. Once the milk is hot, he takes the pitcher from me and shows me how to pour it into the cup so that in the end, there’s the shape of a heart in the cup.

“Now you do it.” He hands me the pitcher again. “I’ll make the coffee, you heat the milk.”

I do as I’m told, buzzing with excitement. “Okay, I can do this.”

Turns out I can’t. It’s just a white blob. Not even close to a heart.

“Ugh, I’ll try again.” And I do, three times, but no luck.

“Here, let me show you.” Andre stands behind me when I’m ready to go again, and he puts his hand over mine to show me how to pour. I focus, following his every move. He’s quite close, but I pretend not to notice.

“Perfect,” he murmurs. “The circle is perfect, so now pull through the middle…” He grabs my hand tighter, moving it so that finally, the foam is showing a heart. “See, just like that. You did it!”

I put down the pitcher and the cup of coffee, causing his hands to move to my arms. He could step back now, but he doesn’t. I don’t move either, staying perfectly still. It feels awfully good to have his hands on me. Dangerously good. Fuck, I should move away from him.

“I want to try again,” I breathe. “Will you help?”

“Of course.”

I try again, with him giving me instructions. I’m doing just fine, but right when I’m close to making the heart perfect, I fuck up. I don’t consciously decide to make it into a weird blob, but I don’t feel too bad about it either. This means he’ll touch me again. I know I should stop this, but I don’t think I can.

There we go…

“Nice and easy,” he murmurs, his body close to mine. “You’re doing great.”

I shiver from feeling his breath on my neck, his hands on my skin, and… Fucking hell, he’s close. He’s not completely pressed up against my back, but he’s also not keeping much distance between us.

“Perfect.” Andre moves his hands up my arms, his finger leaving a trail of sparks all over my skin.

Just like last time, he doesn’t step away when I put down the pitcher and the cup with the perfect heart. This time, I don’t break the spell. Instead, I lean back against him, letting out a deep, shuddering breath. His fingers move up and down my arms, and while there is nothing sensual about the gesture perse, it feels utterly erotic. So does the way his breath catches right next to my ear, and how he moves closer, trapping me between him and the counter.

“Can I order a cup of coffee?” a deep, familiar voice asks. “Or are you too busy courting each other?”

We jump apart to see Ivan standing in front of us, a small smirk on his face.

“Sure, coffee,” Andre says in a hoarse voice. “Erm… yes… we make that here.”

Ivan laughs. “No shit. This is a coffee shop. You own it. Get your head out of the gutter, Dre.”

Good advice, for both of us. I pull myself back together, and move to the other side of the counter. “You don’t need me anymore, do you?”

“No, sure, go,” he replies without looking at me.

“Bye Dylan,” Ivan says with unveiled amusement.

“Bye,” I mutter, rushing out of the bakery so fast I almost forget my bag and coat.

That was… Fuck. That was not smart on my part. The tension is back, tenfold, and I don’t think it will dissipate as easily as it did last time.

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