Simple delicacies like donuts and coffee can bring two people together no matter what their differences; it can make for a very satisfying experience. But deceit can turn those experiences sour.
In these two stories, Cupid shoots his arrows at four men, drawing them to one another through chance encounters that instantly grow into something more.
Time To Make The Donuts
Christopher Wettlon has inherited his grandfather’s Donuts to Go shop. He’s young, educated, and pretty well off, but still something is missing from his life.
Enter Andre Bentley, who seems to have everything going for him. Little does Christopher know Andre is out for more than his fresh, strawberry creams.
The two men are getting along well until Chris confronts Andre about his job. Can Andre ‘work’ himself back into Chris’s good graces?
Smooth Like Latte
Brendan Walsh is committed to working for his irrational, homophobic dad who has threatened to disown him if he comes out gay to the world. Pretending to be someone he isn’t weighs him down. This puts Brendan on edge and alert at all times, leaving little to no time for him to build a steady relationship with anyone.
Davori “Latte” Jenkins is a happy go lucky barista working in the Walsh building. Born and raised in North Carolina, Latte possesses extremely good looks and charms the pants off anyone in his path using his Southern boy attitude.
When Brendan visits the shop Latte works in, they’re immediately drawn to one another. Latte makes him a caramel latte with something extra.
Because Brendan isn’t out of the closet, they keep their thoughts and flirtations private. Once they start dating, Brendan gets the courage to come out publicly and the relationship goes into overdrive. Still, Latte desires something more to define their relationship.
The premise for these stories was really interesting and I was excited to read it. Sadly these two stories didn’t live up to their potential. The emotions weren’t there or they felt like they were just going through the motions. The characters in the first story had great potential but the story needed fleshing out a bit more so they could have felt more real and showed more emotion. I was disappointed by the betrayal in the first story and how it wound up being resolved. It felt very forced and contrived. There were some inconsistencies in the second story that were hard to overlook. Then how the coming out was handled wasn’t realistic for how the story was set up. Ultimately the stories need some things that just weren’t there to make them more enjoyable.
Jesse, Chris’s right-hand woman, smacked him on the shoulder. “Yo, dude, you look like you haven’t slept in weeks.”
“Well, thanks,” he frowned. “I’m still being bombarded by calls from that place to get me to sell. They won’t quit. Didn’t they get the message?”
“Apparently not. They been callin’ ya at home?”
“No, on the cell and all because that one girl that used to work here got employed by them. I suppose the powers that be thought they’d be able to pick up some secrets or learn something new about me, or the restaurant. Didn’t they know I brainwash my former workers,” Chris laughed.
“You wish. You just don’t share anything important, which is smart. Now me on the other hand—” She cocked an eyebrow. “I could be an asset to someone if they swayed me to leave.”
Christopher stopped immediately and glared at her. “You’d never.”
She drew up her lips. Within seconds, she guffawed and smacked him on the back pretty hard. “Babe, no. I’m just messing wicha. I’d never leave your side. I told you the day Jayson died I’d help you run the place till we couldn’t do it anymore, and I meant it. You know I’m a rebel at heart. I couldn’t go anywhere and work for “the man” and feel comfortable. I ain’t wearing no suit and tie for nobody.”
Christopher choked a little from the slap and let out a small sigh of relief. He didn’t know what he’d do without Jesse if she left. Good thing she always had such a good sense of humor, and because he liked her as his second-in-command, he vowed never to piss her off if he could help it. They’d had run-ins a couple of times over various decisions, but he knew most of the time the two of them would come to an agreement in the end.
“Well, I’m glad about that.” He straightened his tie and shrugged his shoulders. “I need you here, Jess. Most days, I’m not sure what I’d do without your intellect.”
She blushed. “Aw, Chris, I swear if I didn’t like women and you didn’t like men, we’d be a match made in heaven, right?”
“Aw, sweets, c’mon, perk up a little bit, will ya? How about an arm wrestle for old times?”
“No, naw, that’s o−”
“Come on, babes. Let me see if that gym membership is doing you any good.”
Chris eyed her and sighed. It would make his day if he could finally beat Jessie in an arm wrestling match.
“Oh all right, fine.” Chris leaned down on the counter and waited for Jessie to grip his hand.
She did so immediately with a smirky grin. “All right, ready?”
“Yeah.” Chris gritted his teeth and narrowed his eyes, waiting for the signal to go. He inhaled sharply, willing himself to win.
Jessie gripped his hand tighter and pushed.
Chris held his own, grimacing with every move. His hand felt like it was going through a meat grinder, but he refused to give up easily.
“You’re there, almost there, yep… uhh!” Without too much effort, Jessie slammed Chris’s hand down on the counter.
Chris exhaled, shrugging his shoulders. “So much for that extra time I’ve been spending in the gym.”
Jessie slapped his arm. “Aw, boss, you’re a lot better than when you first re-opened this place. Remember I used to do it in a lot less time four years ago.”
“Yeah, and Uncle Jayson would root you on, too. The old coot.” Chris laughed, thinking about the man who practically raised him. Uncle Jayson had given him the shop and his apartment when he died. Chris couldn’t have been more grateful for those, meaning he already had a job and a place to live when he finished college.
After losing his parents at such a young age, Chris’s only parental unit was his Uncle Jayson Wettlon and his Aunt Myrna. If it weren’t for them, he might’ve ended up being a child in the disorganized adoption system.
“Yeah, he was a wonderful guy. I sure miss him, but hey, I gained a brand new boss who I like just as much.” She winked.
“Well, thanks for that, I think.” Chris spun on his heel. “Let’s get out there to help Wanda, Geoff, and Perry with the breakfast rush. I’m sure they’re running around like crazy.”
“Yeah, I suppose we should stop pussyfooting around. No offense, boss.”
“None taken.” Chris shoved the kitchen door open. The minute he did, Wanda walked past him with several bags of donuts in her hand.
“Let me help you with that.” Chris grabbed six of them and started calling out names. “Cynthia, Sherry, Tabatha.”
All three women walked up in a line and grabbed their orders.
“Thank you for coming to Donuts to Go. You have a great day.” Chris smiled at all three and continued to call out more names. As he did, several more people made their way through the entrance, filing in the single line behind the ropes. Others asked Laura, the hostess, for a spot to sit to have coffee along with their pastries.
After handing out the rest of the bags, Chris couldn’t help but beam with pride, looking at the amount of foot traffic Donuts to Go dealt with every day. Chris had inherited this business when he graduated from University of Illinois with his bachelor’s in business administration. Despite all the hard work along with sleepless nights needed to run it, he’d kept the place going just as his uncle had wanted him to.
“Chris, hey, man. You good?” Geoff slapped his shoulder.
“Yeah, I am.” Chris nodded at the man and grinned. “Just thinking how great everything is right now.”
“Cool, man. You looked like you were in deep thought for a minute there.”
Chris turned back around and grabbed more bags from Wanda. “I was, Geoff. With everything so good, I was thinking where the heck do I go from here?”
RAWIYA is the more sensual erotica writer in the BLRawiya duo. She loves multiracial characters who overcome obstacles other than race. Sweet, sassy, and spicy would be the best way to describe her work. Happily married mother of two, loves music, computers, and travel.