Castle Roland

One Day Maybe

by Mark C


Chapter 10

Published: 20 Apr 15

One Day Maybe
by Mark C.

Authors Note: This story is copyrighted by the author, and no part of it may be copied, linked to, or used in any way without the express written permission of the author. This is a work of fiction, and the characters, places, and events are not real. They exist only in the mind of the author. Any resemblance to real persons, places or events is unintentional.

It's amazing what love does to a person. The different mix of brain chemicals released when one's in love changes everything for the lucky person, and I was proof. The morning sun seemed brighter and the yellow glow warmed my apartment faster than yesterday. And speaking of yesterday, it was dull and dreary compared to the sharp, radiant day today. My cereal tasted as if it had been made exclusively for my taste buds and the traffic, horrible yesterday and in reality also today, was so-not-an-issue to me with my love-besotted brain. The city pulsed with life and wonder as I pulled into work's parking lot and I could not wait to see James.

A "Hiya Ben!" greeted me as Janice looked up from her computer, giving me a long perusal. She had the morning system checks underway apparently. "How was dinner last night? Did you have a good time?"

"It was just fine." I responded, trying to keep my voice even and my face from being too readable. Of course I failed miserably. I would never be a world champion poker player since if I ever drew a winning hand, the entire table would know it and promptly fold.

"Fine, huh?" She cocked her head at me and continued on. "I think "fine" isn't the word you mean. You're acting as if you just won the lottery and your face is in danger of cracking wide open. I can do these system checks in my sleep, so pull up a chair while I continue and tell your best female co-worker all about it before you explode."

"Umm, you're the only female co-worker in my department," I pointed out, proud that my logical brain was not totally reduced to mush by love.

"Pish, just a minor detail." She waved off my feeble logical declaration with her hand, patted the chair next to her and commanded, "Sit and spill."

I was caught but good, and I knew it. So with a sigh, I sat down, "We had a marvelous time, Janice! The food and wine were excellent and of course the company even better. We learned so much about each other and neither of us wanted the evening to end. It was so difficult to say goodnight to him."

"Wow, I'm glad it turned out so well. I wondered a couple of times last night how it was going, though I figured it would all be good. The looks you give each other here is a dead giveaway every time."

I blushed, hoping I had not been so obvious. "Just concern for a new co-worker doing well is all."

She actually snorted, and knowing her so well, I figured she would worm it out of me slowly - so to end the inquisition, I told her, "Yes, I'm in love. Breathe a word to anyone and I'll delete you from the system!"

"Oh, Ben, that's great! Beyond great!" She hugged me and then asked, "And what about James?"

"I'm sure he feels the same but neither of us have said anything to the other."

"Men! Why is it so hard to say what they feel?

"Because we really only recently met and don't..." I was interrupted by the sight of James approaching the area, a huge smile threatening to permanently distort his face if left there too long. My heart quivered when I realized he was smiling at me, and I knew my legs would not support me if I tried to stand and greet him. All I could do was to grin foolishly and admire this person who had completely changed my world.

Janice realized I was momentarily brain dead, so she greeted James. "Another day, another dollar! Welcome back for more good times. Ben here was just telling me you two had a good dinner."

"I'll say we did. The soufflés were marvelous - as well as the company." James responded, looking directly at me, his blue eyes locked on mine, and I could feel what he was telling me via his intense gaze with my entire body.

Janice nudged my shoulder saying, "Well, James, kick this guy out of the chair and while I test your knowledge on the remaining system checks, you can tell me about the souffl├ęs."

Her nudge started my brain working again and I was able to stand and withdraw to my desk without tripping or other mishap, leaving James to relate last night's events. As much as I wanted to hear what he said, I knew I had to get to work and leave them alone in privacy.

Though I was not close enough to hear what was being said, several times I did hear laughter and it sang in my soul. Everything was right with the world when James was laughing.

A little while later, the morning routine over, James walked up to my desk and asked, "I'm heading for the coffee room, would you like anything?"

"Some hot chocolate sounds good right about now. I've had enough coffee. Thanks!"

"One Theobroma cacao coming up."

My inquisitive look made him laugh and he explained, "It's the scientific name for chocolate. Means 'Food of the gods'."

As he walked away, all I could think was how much I wanted to kiss his entire naked body and taste what I felt was the real 'Food of the gods' in this world.

He returned a few minutes later, with two cups in his hands and set down the cup with the chocolate on my desk. "I wanted to thank you again for such a fantastic evening, Ben, and to let you know I had a hard time getting to sleep since all I could think about was you."

I had a hard time resisting the urge to jump up and plant a huge kiss on those lips I now thought of as mine and replied, "We both had the same issue then, because thoughts of you replaced counting sheep and I was wide awake for hours."

He looked so adorable as he blushed slightly, and my heart danced in my chest, light and loose with love. He then looked around quickly and seeing we were alone momentarily, took my hand, looked at me and said, "I want to tell you something, so can we meet tonight?"

I was sure I would need medical attention for my halted heart but somehow it started beating again. "I would meet you anytime, anywhere, James. I think you know why, too."

He nodded with a grin and answered, "My place at 7 then. Don't be late, I'll be a mess at 7:01 otherwise."

"You got it," was all I managed to get out as he left. What was he going to tell me? Was it what I hoped for with every fiber of my being? Could I be so lucky as to find love?

The rest of the morning went by slowly and although I was sure there was a big sign on my forehead reading, "I love James", no one seemed to see it and everyone acted like it was a just another regular day.

Then just before noon, my world turned to shit. The reason was a phone call to James from the other side of the country and it snatched the joy in my world and replaced it with despair.

I saw James stand up at his desk and his face was white and had this unreadable expression on it, but I knew it was not a good one. He approached my desk, his body tight and angry and his kind features were replaced with stark ones.

"You can cancel tonight, Mr. Carmichael. And I will be looking for another position in the company or even better yet, with another company."

"James, what's wrong?" I cried out, what he said slowly sinking in and making a hollow in my stomach. His dead face totally scared me and I wanted that look gone from it.

"OK, we'll play it your way then, you snake. I just got a call from a friend working at the Boston subsidiary and he told me Seth's partner, Tom, is leaving Seth after Seth bragged to everyone about how you couldn't keep your hands off him while he was out here, even though you knew he was married. You and Seth were the final straw for Tom, who's tired of Seth's wandering. I know and like Tom, and now to find out it was you and Seth...." He couldn't continue, the pain and hurt stopping him from any further words.

I would have done anything to wipe the pain from his face and as I moved toward him, he backed away and said, "Don't talk to me, Ben." and then turned and walked off.

From sheer joy and new-found love to absolute hell in less than a minute.

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