FREE READ: Protecting Charlie: The Beginning

Title: Protecting Charlie: The Beginning

by Jewls Winter
Status: Free read :)
www.awintertale.com

"You think I've always been a barista," Luke asked, grinning crookedly. It was the sunlight that tinted red to gold. Maybe it was the end of winter that made smiling easier, made the morning seem so easy, but he was pretty sure it was the cop who came to get his coffee. This cop wasn't just any cop either. He had Irish red hair and Luke was sure it hadn't been mixed with any blood, but that of the fairies. The man was beautiful. It could have been the dead of winter in Seattle and that slight, reluctant smile would have made fluttery shivers lift a person off the floor and the sun pour down. Luke grinned, caught up the shot of espresso and winked, "I have not
always been a good boy. I can be quite wicked."

"I don't think I believe you," Mark Thomas said, dressed politely in a dark gray suit, corporately polite for a Seattle detective. He leaned a little closer, just very slightly, so slight he might not even have been aware of it. "I thought all blonds were angels."

Jackie, the other barista, over shot the target cup, spilling milk on the counter. Luke ignored her, mischief sparking in green eyes. Jackie went to look for a towel in the back and it was late enough in the morning that there weren't people in line. That was good, because Luke wasn't sure he would have cared. "Yeah? I'm a suicide blond though. I'm no angel. I think you're an elf, you know? Do you think elves like movies?" Throat tight, Luke shook the whipped cream dispenser, he wondered why in the hell he was asking out a cop. Things had changed a lot. "Like, say this Friday?"

"I'm working Friday," Mark said, pulling his cell phone out, blue eyes flicking over whatever information was there.

For Luke Mark's reaction threatened spring with conversion to the Arctic.
"Yeah, well, we've just been talking like for the last year and I just, you know, didn't mean to get out of line."

Mark flipped his phone closed, red eyebrows drawing down a little. "No, it's not like that. I would like a movie. We have been talking a long time, and well, I hate to think of a cute boy like you being alone on a Friday, but I'd hate it more if you were out with someone else. I don't have any urgent cases right now. How about Saturday afternoon? I have to work that evening, but earlier in the day. Lunch and a movie?"

Luke rocked up on the balls of his feet, grinning stupidly. Mark wasn't like any cop Luke had ever known. He couldn't even see his handcuffs. Not that he didn't want to, but right circumstances were really important in that kind of stuff. "That sounds great. Say, maybe eleven?"

"You don't work or anything?" Mark asked, stirring his whipped cream into his coffee before capping it.

"Nope," Luke said, honestly not knowing. He'd get someone to cover him or make it up somehow. He was not going to be working at eleven o'clock on Saturday. "I'll be off."

After another moment where neither of them said anything, just kind of grinned at each other, Mark said, "I guess I should go." Sipping his coffee, he didn't make any progress towards the door. "Oh, let me give you my phone number!"

Luke blushed, wiping his hands and fumbling for a notepad. "Yeah. I'll give you mine too, and my email address. God, I think I know you so well, but I don't really know anything."

"Second thoughts?" Mark asked as he handed his business card over. "I don't know how bad of a boy you've been. Should I check for warrants?"

"No," Luke said, a little too enthusiastically. "There aren't any warrants out for me. Not even any traffic tickets. No second thoughts either, it's just, well," he said, voice mumbling off into nothing as he wrote out his email address, number, and name.

Luke shoved his thumbs into his jeans pockets, feeling shifty and guilty.
"Won't be a problem, you know, if I had a record?"

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