A couple of apples, some bread, a chunk of that nice cheddar that melted so well when he made grilled cheese… what else had he stopped for again?
The plastic basket felt awkward as it swung on his arm but Brian didn’t think he’d have the energy to wrangle one of the carts through the store. Especially as he always seemed to get the one with the wonky wheel.
A quick hit and run. That’s all he was here for. Not the rattle, rattle, rattle of the wonky-wheeled cart up and down every aisle. Not that that wasn’t fun in its own way when he was just aimlessly wandering and looking at things to add to his shopping wish list.
Oh yeah, creamer. Tomorrow morning’s coffee would absolutely suck if he forgot to get creamer. He really should have written all this down. Brian brushed past a man looking at the fruit, turning so he didn’t hit the man with the basket. Hmm, that was nice cologne.
The overhead fluorescents were bright, the light given off stark and harsh against the high ceiling. Brian closed his eyes for a quick second and groaned as he tried to remember exactly why he’d thought it such a good idea to stop off for a few groceries on his way home.
He was tired. More than tired, actually, if you added up the total number of hours he’d just worked without a break. There had been a lot of stress lately at the small IT firm he worked for, and via the trickle-down theory, a lot of stress on Brian. You might not have ever have thought there was such a thing as a website emergency. Before Brian had taken this job he sure hadn’t.
Now it seemed like there was nothing but one emergency right after another.
Take today, or actually yesterday, when the point-of-sale page for one of their main clients went down. It meant umpteen lost dollars for the client and that in turn meant umpteen lost dollars for the firm.
That all translated to long hours for him until he got it fixed. Brian rubbed his hand across his red-rimmed eyes and let himself imagine the joy of sinking into his bed and falling asleep knowing there wasn’t an alarm set.
Not that that happened very often. But once he got his few groceries and made it through the checkout, he would be on his way home for three glorious days of no alarms and no work. Yeehaw.
Ooh, Brian paused. Maybe a treat for Dwayne. To make up for not having been home. Furry fake mice or nummy treats. Which would be better for his unforgiving baby?
Knowing Dwayne, both.
Of course, the furry fake mice were on the absolute other side of the mega-store from the nummy cat treats. A major downer, having to hike the distance equivalent to crossing a small continent, as beat as he was. But the place was open twenty-four hours and as advertised, you could get damn near anything within the walls of the giant box with only one stop, and when your schedule was as erratic as his was, that was important.
“Ouch!” Brian winced as his braid caught on one of the store’s endcap displays. Damn, that hurt.
Oh yeah, he needed more hair bands. Despite the embarrassing amount of cat toys that littered their small apartment, Dwayne insisted in thinking that the small rubber bands Brian used on his braid made the best toys and hid them all over the house.
When he was done playing hockey with them on the kitchen floor, of course.
Brian once again thought that just maybe he needed someone in his life other than an overweight, foul-tempered tomcat. That and he really needed to clean out underneath the stove to retrieve the latest escapees from Dwayne’s games. Oh wait, the thought train had taken off on him again. Creamer, Brian told himself firmly. Furry mice, nummy treats and hair bands.
Luckily the store was pretty deserted at this hour of the morning. Even so, there was just something weird about walking through the cosmetic aisles. Not quite as weird as having to wander though the feminine hygiene row to get to the personal lubricant and such, but weird nonetheless.
There was some guy kneeling down at one end of the row looking at the assortment of hairbrushes and combs, but Brian was so tired he just wandered past without taking a good look.
That wasn’t a good sign – if he was too tired to even take a look, did that mean he was getting old? Maybe he was giving up? Focus, Brian told himself sternly. Hair bands. Of course, there had to be the selection from hell to wade through. Hairbrushes, alligator clips, barrettes. Rubber bands. There they were, all the way at the other end of row.
All-righty then. Time to search through all the madcap assortment of colors and sizes and cartoon characters to find some nice plain, black, fabric bands. Way too much stimulation for his brain to cope with this morning.
Why did it have to be so hard? If he really thought about it, he might say it reminded him of searching through the condom display looking for one particular favorite brand.
Not that he’d done any of that lately, either.
Maybe he should just give up and cut his hair. Brian set his basket on the floor and reached behind to finger the long, dark braid that hung down to his waist. He had been stuck in a bit of a rut lately. Both fashion and otherwise.
There was a nice aroma in the aisle, something kind of familiar, the scent teasing at his nose and Brian looked around to see if there were any perfume displays. No. So where was that intriguing scent coming from? There was nothing here but him and the guy at the end of the row.
Brian picked up a package of rubber bands and casually looked over at the man still debating over the selection of hairbrushes. Now that was interesting. Not only the pleasing cologne, but the guy was wearing a suit. A nice, expensive suit at that.
He’d been a waiter at an upscale restaurant a few years back, a way to pay for his IT degree, and even from this distance, Brian could tell from the color and drape that the light wool had cost a pretty penny. And the guy was just kneeling in the middle of the row, uncaring of the dust and wear. Some people’s kids.
Brian decided to take a look at some of the alligator clips in the middle of the long row. He did use them to pull his hair up on top of his head sometimes when he needed a quick shower and couldn’t be bothered with combing out his hair. The fact the little action moved him closer to the man in the nice suit had nothing to do with his decision. Nothing at all.
It wasn’t that having moved closer to the kneeling man, Brian could smell the cologne even better. It wasn’t even that from what he could see the man had a trim figure and a nice full head of blond hair. No, it was definitely his hands.
Hands that were calmly and sensuously stroking over the brush in his hand like… like… like Brian wished those hands were touching him. Oh, to be those bristles, the curved wood of the handle.
Brian forgot that his basket was still down by the hair bands; he forgot he was in the middle of the twenty-four hour mega-store. He stood there in a flushed daze and watched as the stranger carefully and slowly felt up the hairbrushes in his search for the perfect one.
And boy, judging by the tent in Brian’s thankfully baggy cargo pants, was it getting him hot. Brian wiggled slightly, trying to adjust himself without being too obvious. Although what he really wanted to do was push the heel of his hand down on his unruly dick and tell it to behave.
It wasn’t so much that he was tired, even though he was that. It wasn’t even the incongruity of the image before him that was so absorbing. It was the care; the thorough and purposeful way the man was running his long and elegant fingers over the brush in his hands.
Like it was the only thing in his world. The only thing that mattered.
Like Brian would love to have someone treat him.
When the man held the hairbrush in one hand and moved his wrist to feel the weight and balance of the brush, Brian’s brain was filled with all sorts of nasty, wishful images that he just knew were going to feature prominently in his next jack-off session.
When the man grasped the handle firmly and let the back of brush hit his other palm with a solid smack, Brian bit his lip to keep from whimpering out loud as he imagined the sound that would make on his own ass, the pink flush that would rise up on his bare skin and the deepening mark it would leave behind.
Nasty, wishful images indeed.
Apparently the brush in his hand met all the stranger’s requirements as well as Brian’s, and he stood effortlessly upright. As he turned his gaze caught Brian, who was unable to do anything but stand there like a drooling deer in the headlights. With a hard-on.
Brian couldn’t help the blush that swept over him, pinking his neck and cheeks with painful color.
He was so busted.