The prompts are:
find a creative way to use a salad - doesn't have to be eaten
or the alternative prompts:
moonlight, cotton, Mr. Ed
"Play it again..."
"He/she had a certain fondness for...."
Kentucky Derby, English toffee, silence
Loved Surprises-by Lily Sawyer
“Hey Tom.” Tom wished his co-workers would leave him alone long enough that he could finish organizing the hoses on the back of the fire truck. After each run, someone was responsible for putting them neatly back into order, and it was his turn to do it.
Jack Hill was one of those guys who made friends easily. He had a calm, cool demeanor that came in handy around the firehouse.
“Do you have any big plans for the weekend?” They both had the weekend off. Jack was married to his high school sweetheart and had two daughters. After he and Ben became a couple, Tom was determined he wasn’t going to hide in the closet; his fellow firefighters weren’t going to assume he had a girl in his life. He told them at the get-go that he had a fellow named Ben at home that was the love of his life. Sure there were a few guys that weren’t thrilled but overall the majority was fine with it. And Tom was happy Jack was one of them.
“Saturday’s Ben’s birthday, so I have some special plans. I’m taking him to Mr. Ed.”
“The bistro over by the lake?”
“Yeah, that’s the place. Ben loves dining lakeside, then we’ll take a moonlight stroll by the water, and we’ll catch a movie and cap our evening off at the English Toffee.”
“I’ve wanted to take Maria there—she’s a chocoholic.
“Ben’s the same way—he has a fondness for chocolate too. Everything there’s homemade.”
“Best coffee, chocolate, pastries. They’ve got it all.”
“Hey, why don’t you and Maria join us?”
“You sure? I mean we don’t want to intrude on your birthday celebration.”
“Nonsense, Ben would love you guys to join us. I’ll just change the reservations at Mr. Ed’s from two to four people.”
“Let me call Maria and see what she says.”
“Sure, get back to me later.” Tom whistled a happy tune. He had a good life, good friends and a man he loved to bits in his life.
Laughter echoed in the English Toffee; the group had had a wonderful dinner, then seen a movie, a comedy that the critics raved about. They rehashed the cinema experience, enjoying their time together.
“This is great, babe. Thank you guys for doing this for my birthday, this has been incredible.” Ben’s smile lit up the room; Tom would do anything to keep that smile on that man’s face forever.
“It’s not over yet.”
“What do you mean?”
“Happy birthday to you,” he, Jack, and Maria sang as the waitress brought out a chocolate mousse cake with dark chocolate icing with the words “Happy Birthday Ben” written in blue and a red rose made of butter cream in one corner, two lit candles on top. “Happy birthday to you, happy birthday dearBen, happy birthday to you.”
“Oh my goodness, this is amazing.” Ben beamed from ear to ear. He made a wish and blew out the candles. The waitress took the cake back and cut it up into slices and gave the biggest piece to Ben.
“Do you like it?” Tom couldn’t contain his excitement.
“It’s delicious! You know how much I love chocolate.”
“Well, you’re not the only one,” Maria said between bites of cake.
“I’ll have to keep that in mind for your birthday hon,” Jack said. “I keep trying to outdo myself every year.”
“Well, you did live dangerously when you gave me that chocolate heart.”
“Oh I remember.”
“Chocolate heart?” Tom knew there was a story behind that.
“Yeah, tell us about it.” Ben asked them.
“I wanted to do something special for Maria when I proposed. I gave her a chocolate heart. It was hollow in the middle and I hid the engagement ring inside.”
“That sounds romantic.”
“It was almost the shortest proposal on history—I almost ate my ring.”
“I stopped her before she could choke on it.”
The laughter filled the restaurant again.
“Well, I can say that Ben was pretty straightforward when he got around to asking me. But I have to say he scared the shit out of me.”
“Why, how did he propose?” Maria couldn’t contain her curiosity.
“He made a special dinner and started acting funny. I kept thinking I did something wrong, that he couldn’t stand being with a firefighter anymore and was breaking up with me.”
“How could I ever leave someone like you, Tom?” Ben’s fingers found his and wrapped around them.
“I just never thought you were proposing to me. He got down on one knee and professed his love and asked me.”
“Aw, so romantic. Sweet and to the point.” Maria was giddy with happiness. “So have you set a date?”
“No, not yet. We don’t even know where yet. It’s a shame we can’t marry here in Pennsylvania.”
“It’s a shame that gay marriage isn’t legal by now in all the states.” Jack’s comment warmed Tom’s heart. Happy that his best friend was so supportive, he only wished more people on the job and in this country felt the same way.
“How about in New York or DC?”
“How about Vermont? You know how much I don’t care for the city.” Ben was a country boy through and through.
“Okay, Vermont it is.”
“Oh, this is exciting.” Maria was practically bursting out of her chair. “How about I help arrange everything?”
“You know how to do stuff like that?” Tom couldn’t remember Jack ever telling him his wife was a party planner.
“My sister is a wedding planner, I’m sure she’d be glad to help.”
Tom turned to his partner; they hadn’t talked about when they were getting married. Maybe this was the push they needed.
“Do you have a date in mind, Ben?”
“July 4th—I want to see fireworks.”
MA Church m/m
MC Houle m/m
Sara York m/m
Julie Lynn Hayes m/m