A comforting warmth enveloped Jeff Sterling as he entered his local coffee shop, the familiar wave of aromas buffeting his senses and clouding his focus. He inhaled deeply, feeling his lungs relax and stretch, waking up from the biting cold outside. A small content smile graced his face as he waited for his usual order; peppermint white chocolate mocha with extra cream and a double shot of espresso, and his mind started to unravel from the knots of a stressful day. When he was here the outside world ceased to matter, and he could finally just let go of it all and relax.
Slipping into one of the large chairs in the corner, he shrugged off his jacket and scarf before pulling his beanie hat off his head, quickly ruffling his striking blonde hair into some kind of order. It was the height of winter and there were some plus sides: snow, Christmas, ice hockey, Christmas, warm fires oh and, erm... Christmas! However it did mean he has to learn to handle the dreaded hat hair.
Sipping lightly from his mug, he let the near scalding coffee slip down his throat, warming all the way through his body. Peering over the mountain of whipped cream on top of his cup, Jeff looked around the coffee shop. There was the familiar low hum of conversation, occasionally peaking when someone laughed or one of the baristas dropped a mug, earning sarcastic cheers. Every now and again, the small bell hanging by the door would tinkle lightly, announcing the arrival of new patrons or sending off others. There was the usual crowd in the shop; a lone business man typing frantically on his laptop. Jeff guessed he was a lawyer, engaged to a pretty estate agent and lived in an apartment in the city (when he was bored, Jeff would create whole lives for these people). There was a group of women in the opposite corner, probably gossiping about so-and-so's marriage breaking down and whispering loads of "oh hasn't she put on weight!"'s. He grinned to himself when he saw two teenage boys sitting across from each other, hands clasped together, shooting each other coy glances. "So much like Klaine!" Jeff chuckled in his mind, reminiscing back to his years with the couple at McKinley High. His thoughts were interrupted when he heard a crystal clear voice addressing him.
"Erm, Hi. I think this is yours? You must have dropped it over there...". The dark haired man was holding out Jeff's wallet in his hand. The blonde's eyes wandered over the young man, taking in his defined arms and messy brown hair, falling over striking brown eyes set in a thick frame of dark lashes. It took Jeff a moment to realise he was just staring at the frankly gorgeous man in front of him.
"Oh erm, Thanks...?"
"Nick." The man replied, leaving his hand outstretched after Jeff had taken his wallet before Jeff shook it firmly.
"Jeff" He replied with a smile
"Well, Jeff, mind if I sit here?" Nick asked, indicating the empty seat opposite Jeff. The taller man shrugged and held his hand out towards the seat in offering. Nick smiled before sitting down and removing his outside clothes just as Jeff had earlier.
"This guy is adorable! Start talking to him. Flirt. Ask him out! God, he's probably not even gay... just do something!" Jeff's mind screamed at him. Little did he know that Nick's mind was having the exact same dilemma right now.
"So Jeff, what do you do?" Nick asked casually, hoping to start up a conversation with the blonde man opposite him.
"Me and a few friends have set up a dance academy." Jeff replied proudly.
"Wow, you're a dancer" Nick said, less a question, more an impressed statement.
"Yup, I'm a walking stereotype. I sing, dance, act..." Jeff trailed off
"What do you mean?" Nick enquired further
"I'm just your average gay kid from a small town in Ohio with big city dreams trying to fulfil them" Jeff replied, calming hoping Nick was okay with his sexuality. Jeff was out and proud, but he was still wary that some people weren't so open minded, even in New York.
"Well, I act and sing, and I'm a Westerville boy, born and raised, so I guess I'm the same as you too" Nick laughed
"As the fourth of July!" Nick chuckled, throwing a mind blowing smile Jeff's way.
"HE'S GAY!" Jeff's mind was grinning, and he was doing an internal dance that he was happy no one would ever see. "Okay Jeffster, be cool. Be smooth. Don't be a dork"
"So... you act?" He asked calmly.
"Yeah, nothing big at the moment," Nick said, leaning his chin on his hand, "I'm mostly just trailing round auditions trying to get any work I can."
"What kind of acting do you want to do?"
"Well obviously, broadways is the big dream, but TV and film are also pretty awesome. Right now I just want to land something so it doesn't seem like moving to the 'city of dreams' was all a complete waste of time and money" he sighed
"Don't worry, I bet your big break is just around the corner" Jeff smiled and then winked.
"Wait what! Winking? That wasn't part of the plan! Nice one Jeff, make him think your some kind of stalker. Good plan"
Nick giggled. Honest to god giggled, and Jeff was pretty sure it was the most adorable thing he had ever heard.
"Well, hopefully. I mean, since I was a little kid, I've always just wanted to be on the stage, up in front of an audience, the applause, the rush... I'm sure you understand with the dancing and all. Have you always wanted to teach?" Nick questioned
"Well, I wanted to try theatre too, but I gave up on that when I realised it was such a tough business. I guess I kinda wimped out... but teaching dance was always my back up plan, and I really do love it so it's not all that bad"
Nick could see the way Jeff's eyes sparkled when he spoke about dancing, his whole face lighting up as he sat straighter and held his head a little higher. He was passionate, and it was extremely endearing.
The two men talked for a little while longer about their work before Nick glanced at his watch.
"Crap, I have an audition soon, I have to go..." He said, trying not to display his disappointment at having to leave so soon.
"Jeff, this was really fun. I was wondering... God I never do anything like this, but... would you maybe like to go out for dinner with me tonight?" Nick asked
"Like on a date?" Jeff quizzed, trying not to sound too hopeful.
"On a date." Nick smiled sheepishly
"That'd be great!" Jeff's grin threatened to split off his face, and Nick's grew visibly.
"Awesome! Here's my number and I'll pick you up at... 8 O'clock?"
"8 O'clock." Jeff grinned. The two boys hugged goodbye and Nick briefly pressed his lips to Jeff's cheek, making him blush furiously before he left the coffee shop, looking back over his shoulder and meeting Jeff's eyes watching him, both boys blushing even more.
Jeff slumped back in his seat and sighed heavily through his smile.
"I don't know how you pulled that one off dude, but nice one"