Bryan walked up to the table as if it was any other table in the restaurant.
“Everything alright for you guys today? Anything I can get you from the bar?”
Shawn turned and smiled, blushing a deep crimson. Aaron said everything was fine and that he would head up to the bar for a Corona in a bit.
Bryan turned back to Shawn, “Did you need anything else Shawn? he asked normally but said under his breath, “like me.” Aaron head snapped around to look at Bryan and told him that he had said it out loud or at least louder than he had intended. Shawn didn’t appear to have heard Bryan’s addendum.
Aaron excused himself from the table to use the restroom and Bryan took the chance to sit down and try to have a brief talk with Shawn. As he turned to find the restroom, Aaron took a quick view back and saw the nervous dread on Bryan’s face. “I don’t know what happened between those two but Bryan sure is smitten by Shawn.” he chuckled to himself as he set off to the bathroom.
Back at the table, Shawn was stumbling trying to figure what to say to Bryan and saw that Bryan was doing the same. It was Bryan that broke the silence.
“Hey Shawn, I didn’t mean to run your boyfriend off.” Bryan said shyly.
Shawn burst out laughing, “Aaron? Boyfriend?” Shawn gasped for air, “Aaron is one of my best friends and not my boyfriend. He came in and saw me sitting here and joined me.”
“Oh!” Bryan said a bit too cheerfully as he thought to himself, “Jesus, Why don’t you man up and find your balls?”
Shawn gave a big grin, “You seemed happy to hear that.”
Bryan stammered, he felt as trapped a roped calf, “Well, I … you know Shawn”
“What should I know?”
Bryan swallowed hard, “Shawn, I really enjoyed our date yesterday. It’s the first time that I’ve actually asked someone out in many years. There was something about you…”
Shawn cut him off, “Bryan, I’ve not been able to take my mind off of you. I’d never been taken on a date before. It was just random hookups with guys I met. With my work schedule, I told myself that I want to date and it was too much hassle…”
Bryan’s face dropped uncontrollably and he looked like he was about to cry, “Shawn, I …” stammered but stopped when he heard how emotional he sounded.
“Bryan, I also had never been asked on a date. If I got asked for anything, it was for romp in the hay for the night. Nothing more, no further contact. You on the other hand. You treated me like a gentleman and you were a gentleman yourself.”
“No Shawn, I was pushy in getting you to go out with me and I assumed that you’d want to do all the things I had thought about. I didn’t ask you what you wanted to do.” Bryan gushed. His fear and apprehension was getting the better of him and it was starting to show.
Shawn could help but laugh, “Bryan, you were spontaneous and fun. I’ve lived my life structured and with everything planned out. Even those hookups were planned for, I’d decide that in a week or two I’d go out on a Saturday night and get some action. Spontaneity has never been a strong point for me.”
“Well, you’re the first person I’ve asked out or hooked up with in a few years. The last time I did, his wife found us and it was the end of my rodeo career. I’ve been too scared to open myself up since then, yet I jumped in with both feet when I saw you. I don’t know why or how I overcame my fear, but I did. And I’d do it again.”
Shawn reached across the table and took Bryan’s hand. “You just have to ask again I guess.” he said with a big smile on his face, “But looking at the bar, you’ve got a few patrons waiting for you.”
“Nah, I’m just in doing inventory…” Bryan trailed off as Aaron returned.
Bryan nodded at Aaron, his hand automatically reaching up to tip his hat as he scooted around the table and pushed Shawn deeper into the booth.
Aaron sat down and couldn’t control the big mischievous smile on his face, “I’m not interrupting anything am I?” as he slid into the booth.
“Nope, not at all. I was just about to ask Shawn if he’d like to go out for a second date.” Bryan said with a beaming smile.
Shawn blushed his usual deep crimson and just giggled, “Hell yes, Rowdy, I would!”
Aaron’s eyebrow cocked at ‘Rowdy’.
Bryan saw it, “My nickname is Rowdy from when I was a rodeo rider. I was always causing trouble and taking on difficult bulls. When another rider’s wife caught me with her husband, word spread and the nickname took on a life of its own. Not a good one though.”
Aaron nodded and his smile faded, “You said you were a rider.”
“Yeah, I’ve not ridden in almost a decade now.”
Aaron, being a quick study of people, did the math and realized that Shawn was the first guy in 10 years that he had been with. “Wow. Shawn’s one lucky guy. Then again, so is Bryan. Shawn’s a keeper in the rough.”
Aaron put out his hand, “I”m Aaron, one of Shawn’s friends.”
Shawn quickly added, “One of my best friends who’s always looking out for me.”
Bryan took Aaron’s hand and shook it firmly causing Aaron to flinch a bit from the intensity of the grip.
Aaron thought about giving Bryan his ‘don’t fuck with my friend’ speech but something told him that in this case, it would be more humorous than anything else.
Other authors flashing this week include: