Doug leaned over the counter of the deserted staff restaurant and groaned.
“Guy could die of caffeine withdrawal here,” he grumbled into the empty air. He glanced at his watch: it was nearly three p.m. “Not my fault I’m late for lunch.” For him, it had been another one of those mornings. First, a visiting client had taken exception to Doug’s sense of humour and his collection of topical and far from tasteful jokes, to the extent they’d threatened to withdraw their account. Doug thought it all unnecessarily provocative, but then, apparently, those were exactly the words the client had used about him.
Then, one of the new girls on Reception had opened Doug’s post by mistake and found his latest copy of a promotional, personal accessories magazine. He’d explained at some length that he’d mixed up the addresses between his personal mail and the stationery catalogue, but that seemed of little interest to the company medical officer who was now treating the young receptionist for choking on her bagel.
Finally, just after midday, when Doug offered to keep out of the way for a couple of hours and organise the filing for the team, the copier broke. He’d barely touched it, he’d swear to that. But when he tried helpfully to fix it – by levering off the front panels with a kitchen knife – he’d been forcibly removed from the copier room. Someone was weeping over the fused electronics in the background as he left.
Talk about over-reaction. He smirked at the memory, with some pride. It had taken four other staff to take him down.
A warm hand on his shoulder made him start, but when it slipped inside his collar and began to caress his throat he sighed with pleasure. “Beckett.”
“If it were anyone else, I’d expect you to break their wrist,” his lover murmured. Doug nuzzled back into the caress, knowing how much Beckett liked that. “You’re after a coffee?”
“Easier to get the elixir of everlasting life.” Doug braced his arms on the counter top and vaulted over into the kitchen area. “I’ll make my own cup, damn it.” He peered at the coffee machine and poked halfheartedly at the switches. “How does it work?”
Beckett walked around the end of the counter to join him. Doug crouched down farther, peering at the filters and buttons at the front of the machine and making sure his trousers stretched really tightly across his arse and the muscles of his thighs. Beckett liked watching him, he knew that. Doug had shrugged off his jacket and dress shirt today as usual, but had on a respectable T-shirt, at least by his standards. It was too short, though, and rode up his back, exposing the trail of his spine under the skin.
He heard Beckett suck in a breath behind him.
Doug recalled how Beckett’s mouth had traced that trail of taut skin the night before. He knew how he tasted on Beckett’s lips: wet and salty. His body stiffened with the memories of the late, dark hours before sleep: a groan, a tight, slow entry, an arched back. And laughter, both happy and astonished. Doug never tired of hearing Beckett’s laughter, of inspiring it. He was depressed by how many people only knew Work-Beckett. He thought it his personal crusade to help the guy lighten up. And damn it, with strategies far sweeter than that crude scribbling he’d seen on the restroom wall last month.
Beckett gave a soft groan.
Doug looked back up at him. Despite Beckett’s touch having been gentle, Doug could see a look in his lover’s eyes that was less than happy. “How was your appraisal with the director?”
“Not good.” Beckett looked serious, no laughter in sight today. “You know they shut down the elevator for the rest of the day? Sterilised it on the basis of nothing more than a hysterical report from that moron in Human Resources.”
“Yeah. That kind of bad haircut shouldn’t be allowed.”
Beckett rolled his eyes. “There’s a petition circulating on floors ten to fourteen, where they had to take the stairs all day, asking for the culprit to be lynched. With full coverage on the company webcam. And I’m on a second management warning.”
“I ruined a good pair of boxers,” Doug protested. He stood up, his eyes narrowing as he remembered the warm, sticky feeling of satisfaction. “I suffered as well.” He glanced at Beckett, unsure whether the joke would be enough to cheer him up. His humour hadn’t been flavour of the day anywhere so far.
Beckett just stared back. Doug felt a prickle of anticipation creep across the back of his neck.
“Maybe it’s payback time.” Beckett stepped forward and Doug backed away, his arse nudging up against the kitchen units. “So, how much do you want it?”
That death glare thing and the husky words tugged at Doug’s nerves like a deliberate hand on his groin. Beckett – damn him! – could always do that. “Huh?”
“The coffee. How much do you want it?”
Doug frowned. He watched the rise and fall of Beckett’s quickening breath under his clothing. Slowly, Beckett grasped the hem of his sweater and peeled it up over his head. Doug gaped at the sight of the T-shirt underneath.
“I borrowed one of yours,” Beckett said.
I’m the one you gotta blow to get a drink around here.
Doug started to laugh.
Beckett’s expression was unmoving. “You know what to do.”
“Here?” Doug looked around warily. It was an empty room, the lunchtime staffers were taking their break, but he knew the cleaners came in after the lunch session. He couldn’t remember whether that was at three or half past.
“You want it,” Beckett said, shrugging. “Don’t you?” He stepped back and hitched himself up to sit on the counter. At his back was the main restaurant; ahead, he faced Doug. He slipped his hand slowly up under his T-shirt, creasing up the “blow” and the “here” so they nestled together. Like a request – or maybe a demand. His eyes grew darker, heavy lidded.
Fuck. Doug watched Beckett’s fingers under the cloth, probably teasing a nipple. Or both. A bead of sweat ran down the middle of his back. Maybe his guy didn’t need Doug’s personal crusade to lighten up as much as he thought. His groin felt tight and hot, and he suspected he was in serious danger of spoiling another pair of boxers. “You mean coffee?”
Beckett shrugged again. “Hot. Wet. Stimulating. You love the taste. What does it sound like to you?” He smiled the sly, knowing smile that Doug often saw in the darkness of their bedroom. Beckett put his hands back down on his knees and spread his legs farther apart. “Though you never asked for it in a cup before.”
Doug barely recognised the sound of his own voice as the whimper escaped. He dropped to his knees on the cold linoleum floor, head on a level with Beckett’s lap. As Beckett leaned back, bracing himself, Doug slipped down the zip of Beckett’s trousers with eager fingers. His lover’s accompanying sigh sounded just as keen.
Doug nosed at the bulge there, nudging the hard column of Beckett’s cock, excited by the way it jerked to attention for him. His tongue darted out and licked at the damp patch on the briefs. Sweet. Then he pushed down the fabric and lifted out the heavy flesh. He took a deep breath. The canteen was a cool room, full of chrome fittings and softly humming equipment. The thick shaft that rested on his tongue was hot in contrast. He licked with long, strong strokes, flicking his tongue over the slit, slicking the skin around it with saliva as he moved up and down.
When Beckett gave a quiet grunt and gripped Doug’s hair more tightly, Doug knew it was time. He always knew. Hungrily he sucked the cock into his mouth, as fully and deeply as he could. His cheeks hollowed and his lips held it tight inside. He hummed at the back of his throat and the vibration shuddered possessively along the vein.
Beckett moaned once, more loudly, then his head went back and his hips thrust forward. A burst of hot, rich liquid spewed into Doug’s mouth. Doug kept sucking until Beckett’s legs stopped shaking, then he sat back and licked around his lips to catch any threads that had escaped.
Beckett straightened up and gazed down at him. There was a soft, gentle smile on his lips. “Did I hear you say you missed lunch?”
Doug grinned and shook his head. He was pleased to see most of the tension had drained out of Beckett’s face. “I found some other snack. Much tastier. But I’d murder a coffee.” He knew his voice was hoarse and his heartbeat was still racing. “I can’t work the damned machine. Must be broken.”
“Pathetic addiction, coffee.” Beckett fastened his trousers and lowered himself gingerly from the counter.
“Yeah.” Doug couldn’t help grinning. “Other addictions are far sweeter.” When Beckett glanced down at him again, Doug could see his lover’s eyes soften. Damn it, Doug suspected the look in his own eyes would be just as sappy.
As Beckett bent over to peer at the coffee machine, Doug thought he could hear voices in the corridor outside. Looked like the cleaners were on their way. Belatedly, he remembered he was supposed to have reported to Facilities Management to explain his skewed approach to copier maintenance. He’d probably missed the appointment some time ago. His mind ran through a lively selection of excuses for his continued absence from the department. Then he looked up at Beckett, savouring the man’s flushed, satisfied face, and he decided he couldn’t care less.
“Look, here.” Beckett reached over to the coffee machine’s plug in the wall and flicked up the switch. An orange light sparked into life and a harsh gurgle came from the depths of the pot. “You only needed to switch it on.”
Doug – still on his knees – opened his mouth to reply. He never got the chance. There was a sudden flash from the coffee machine display, the gurgling sputtered to a stop, and a dense spray of dark, stale coffee granules burst out over Beckett’s legs and feet. The smell of burning cable wafted up from the back of the machine, and a trail of smoke curled up the wall. In the corridor outside the restaurant, an alarm began to wail, and there was the sound of running footsteps and shouts. He looked over at Beckett, who had his face in his hands.
Doug sighed. By the time he struggled to his feet, the water from the sprinklers had burst into life and started to shower his shoulders.
Follow the story from the beginning:
“Lunch, did you say?” Doug raised his eyebrows. He grinned broadly and licked his lips. “Like, now?”
Beckett coughed as if he knew Doug wasn’t just referring to a cheese and pickle sandwich…
Just before Beckett was nudged back up against the side of the elevator car, he caught sight of his lover and colleague’s T-shirt. His gut gave a familiar churn and his mouth dried.