Brewing Affections

Mitchell Rice swiped through the endless faces of men; After hours of swiping, they were all starting to look the same. Pouty lips, shiny abs, and shots of them holding their bulges through their boxer briefs. They barely even wrote anything in their profiles. It was all ‘here for a good time, not a long time’ or some Drake quote. 

 

Now Mitchell wasn’t an idiot, the chances of finding a husband on Grindr were quite slim. Half of these assholes didn’t even bother to put their faces in their pics, so writing a bio of actual substance was out of the question. 

 

Tossing his phone to the side, Mitchell checked the clock and noticed that it was time to start getting ready. After a quick shower, he threw on navy blue slacks and a white button-up with blue stripes. After slipping on navy blue dress shoes and grabbing his messenger bag, he headed out the door. 

 

Mitch’s New York City condo was around the corner from his office, so it never made sense to him to drive to work. Plus it was so much easier to snag coffee on foot than in a car. So after grabbing himself a black iced coffee, and a French Vanilla iced coffee for the man that usually sat across from him, even though he didn’t deserve one, Mitchell thanked Alison, the barista, and headed out the door. 

 

Continuing his commute, he rounded the corner and made his way to the building and spotted his boss and CEO of the entire publishing firm, Russell Iced, also making his way into the building.

 

Holding the door, Mitchell allowed Russell to walk in first. The six-foot man offered a bright smile and a mouthed thank you, as he entered the cool building, phone pressed to his ear. 

 

“Yes Mr. Vinson, I understand your frustrations,” Russell said as he walked through the lobby. 

 

Following behind him, Mitch made his way to the elevator where Russell stood. 

 

In the midst of what sounded like a very heated, but still professional, debate, Russell must have forgotten to press the button. So, quietly and as slowly as possible, Mitch reached around Russell and pressed the button. 

 

As Mitchell leaned in he caught a whiff of his boss’ sea breeze cologne. Russell smelt like a cool summer night. 

 

Not wanting to seem weird or invade the man’s personal space too much, Mitchell pulled back just as the doors of the elevator opened. 

 

As they entered the elevator Russell pointed to one of the coffee cups and cocked an eyebrow. 

 

Russell wasn’t the fetch me a drink kind of boss. He actually allotted time with his schedule to go and get his own coffee, but he never had time to get real coffee. He mostly drank whatever crap was in the break room. 

 

The coffee Mitchell drank was high quality, obsessed over by coffee connoisseurs. 

 

Not wanting to give up his desk mate’s coffee, Mitchell gave his boss his own cup, a simple black coffee with sugar.  

 

Normally Mitchell couldn’t stand black coffee, but whatever beansThe House of Joe’s uses was heavenly; And to disrupt the taste with anything seemed blasphemous to Mitchell. 

 

Handing the cup over Russell tipped his head as if to bow to the other man. 

 

Then as the elevator dinged, they both stepped off and Russell headed to his office while Mitchell went to deliver the other cup to his desk mate, Devin. 

 

“Where’s your coffee?” Devin asked after taking a heavy drink from his. 

 

“Gave it to the boss. He needs it more than I do.” Mitchell explained. 

 

“Oh no.  Don’t tell me your simping over the boss too.” Devin groaned. 

 

It was no secret that many of the women in their office had it bad for Russell. In the afternoon, When it was time for Russell’s third cup of the day, the women in the office would practically fight one another just to be the one to make the coffee run. 

 

“Please Devin, I have a little more self-respect than that. Besides I’m 

pretty sure Russell’s straight.” Mitchell pointed out. 

 

Devin scoffed. 

 

“I’m pretty sure the boys in the copy room would heavily disagree.”

Devin said with a  laughed. 

 

Mitchell laughed along with him. Before shaking his head and powering up their computers. 

 

Then for the next few hours, they began work; sending and replying to emails as well as reading over their notes from last week’s meeting. 

 

Reaching a natural stopping point in his workflow, Mitchell checked the time; they were halfway through the day, and he was fening for another cup. Drumming his fingers on the desk, he looked up at Devin. 

 

“In the mood for another coffee?” Mitchell asked. 

 

Devin shook his head. 

 

“I’ve still got a page and a half of emails I gotta reply to.” Devin said. 

 

“But could you get me a cup?” He asked. 

 

Mitchell nodded before rising from his chair. Then, as he made his way to the elevator, he ran into Russell. 

 

“Mitchell, I was just thinking about you.” Said the other man as he 

 

made his way over. 

 

The elevator dinged as the doors opened up. 

 

“That coffee was absolutely heavenly. Where’d you get it?” Russell asked as the men stepped onto the elevator. 

 

“The House of Joe’s. I’m actually on my way to get another cup now. Care to join me?” The other man asked.

 

Russell smiled.

 

“I’d love to.” He said.

 

After a fairly quick ride to the bottom floor, the men emerged from the building.

 

Russell then proceeded to make a right, heading for the parking lot when Mitchell grabbed his arm.

 

“No, it’s faster on foot.” Mitchell said as he lightly tugged Russell in the opposite direction.

 

Russell nodded, allowing Mitchell to lead the way. Somehow, as they began walking, Mitchell’s hand had fallen from Russell’s bicep and into his hand. With their fingers interlaced, Russell allowed the other man to pull him down the busy streets of New York City. They made it about a block before passing by a group of man, one of which quite roughly and intentionally, bumped into Russell.

 

“Fucking fags.” The man said as his buddies laughed.

 

Mitchell went sheet white as he ripped his hand from Russell’s as if he’d just been burned. 

 

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t even realize- I.” Mitchell shook his head, clearly shaken by the interaction. 

 

Russell wrapped an arm around Mitchell’s waist, holding him firmly into his side.

 

“Fuck those guys, you’re alright.” Russell said, looking over at Mitchell.

 

Mitchell nodded and the men continued walking, Russell’s arm never leaving Mitchell’s waist. 

 

The men made it to the coffee shop where they proceeded to wait in the long line outside.

 

“I’m sorry.” Russell said, unwinding himself from the other man.

 

Mitchell frowned.

 

“Sorry for what?” Mitchell asked.

 

“Invading your personal space the way I did. It was inappropriate of me.” Russell said.

 

The line inched forward as Mitchel shook his head.

 

“It’s fine.” Mitchell said.

 

This time Russell shook his head. 

 

“No, it was wrong of me and I have to learn to keep my feelings in check.” Russell said.

 

Feelings? Mitchell couldn’t believe his ears.

 

“You, you have feelings? For me?” Mitchell asked, staring at the other man wide-eyed.

 

Before Russell could respond the barista called out to them, breaking their moment.

 

In true Russell fashion, he snapped into professional mode and ordered three of the same coffees they’d gotten earlier. 

 

“Tell Devin I’m sorry about stealing his coffee.”Russell said as he handed Mitchell two of the three cups.

 

The men made their way out of the coffee shop with Mitchell still a little stunned at Russell’s words.

 

“Mitch, I understand there’s a big power imbalance here and the last thing I want to do is put you in an uncomfy position. If you don’t feel the same that’s fine. I can even make some changes to my schedule so that we-” 

 

Mitchell quickly turned to the other man, cutting him off with a kiss. Russell tasted like peppermints and coffee, a combination that Mitchell was thoroughly enjoying.

 

“Can we talk about this a little more later? Like maybe over dinner?” Mitchell smiled and pecked Russell again.

 

“Sure, just name the time and the place.” Russell said. 

 

Mitchell thought to say ‘I’ll text you’ when he realized he didn’t have his boss’s number.

 

“I’ll email you?” Mitchell said, cringing at the words.

 

Russell laughed before reaching a hand into Mitchell’s pocket and grabbing his phone.

 

“How about you call me instead.” Russell said, typing his number into his phone.

 

All Mitchell could do was nod as the other man slipped the phone back into Mitchell’s pocket. They then made their way back into the office and for the rest of the day all Russell could think about was that number practically causing his phone to burn a hole through his slacks.  

 


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Cephinise Modestin

I once told my mom I wanted to be God.... she wasn’t happy about that. I don’t think God was either, cause I got electrocuted a few hours later. Coincidence? I think not. So I gave that up on that dream and decided to go with a much safer career path... Being a writer. I build worlds, put people in those worlds, and most importantly, I tell stories of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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