THE SMIRK’S UP By Jenny Tate
I was going insane. For the third time in the last hour, my fellow paramedic was smirking at me. I’d received the same look from Patterson, and then Kirkham and the captain. I’d look over and they’d look away, smirk disappearing so fast I really was questioning what I was seeing. Like that damn star in the night sky showing up in the corner of your eye, but when you look at it, poof. Nothing.
“Why is everyone looking at me so damn funny?” I growled, shouldering my duffle bag as we headed for our vehicles. Normally, I’m an easy-going guy but this was mucking up the Cloud 9 mojo filling me as our shift ended.
“Nothing.” Dianne was suddenly very occupied with finding her keys.
THERE. She did it again!! What the hell? Look, I adore the woman, I’d do anything for her but I was pricing industrial wood chippers in my head.
“You got plans for the break?” she asked finally, pointing her key fob towards her car.
Trying not to be disgruntled, I glanced at her as I tossed my gear into my backseat. Did she just…no. False alarm. Maybe. “Mostly staying at home.” My plans mostly involved Evan Mickowski, my boyfriend of a year, naked and us not leaving my condo. “Evan’s on break, so we’re spending it together.”
Despite the smirking business, I trusted her. She was one of the few here that knew I was gay AND that I was seeing a co-worker. Evan was one of our firefighters and we didn’t want it getting out that we were dating.
“How about you?”
“Sleep!” Dinah grinned, leaning back against her car. “Mike’s got Chance all weekend.”
“Nice,” I grinned, glancing over my shoulder. Seriously? “What, dammit?” I growled, looking down my body. “Is my fly open, is my junk crooked, what?”
An eyebrow went up but she said nothing. My lovely, educated teammate who was usually quite vocal said nothing. I eyed her suspiciously. Should I check the back of her neck? Throw some raw beef at her to see if she eats it?
“Nothing, Danny,” she reached out to give me a quick hug. “Have a good break, yeah?”
“You too.” Frowning, I climbed in my SUV and headed home.
Twenty minutes later, Evan, god love him, met me at the door in baked-bread scented air and a face-hugger kiss. “Hey baby,” he grinned, nipping my chin before letting my face go. Snagging my duffle bag, he stepped aside so I could come in. I’d just stepped past him when he laughed.
“Okay, what?” I groped my back, half turning as I did so. “Everyone at the house has been smirking at me like I’m an idiot and now you’re fucking laughing. Is there a sign on my back?”
Evan chuckled, motioning me to come closer. He was still smiling, those beautiful blue eyes twinkling at me. If he didn’t tell me what was so damn funny, I was buying a wood chipper, tonight.
“You packed your duffle in the dark, didn’t you?” He pressed against me, tugging my arms up so I’d raise them.
“Well, yeah,” I growled, arms going up. Maybe I just needed a beer. Or sex. That was a good plan. “You were sleeping.” For sexy boyfriend to stay over again, one did not wake sexy boyfriend at four in the morning. He tugged my t-shirt up and off carefully so it didn’t turn inside out. Giving it a shake, he held it up, the back facing me.
MICKOWSKI. Not Mitchell. His last name. Not mine. I groaned. For an hour, I’d sported another guy’s shirt. And those knuckleheads didn’t say a word.
I blinked. No. One. Said. Anything. It was my turn to smirk. I grabbed his hand and yanked him to me, free hand cupping his incredible ass. I definitely wasn’t thinking about wood chippers anymore.