I'm using one of the photo prompts
“Farmer’s market? In April?” Tom couldn’t believe when Ben suggested they go to a farmer’s market. “You do realize that April Fool’s day was yesterday, right?”
“Ha, ha. Yes I know that, Tom. I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes. There is a farmer’s market in Reading that is opening up this month, instead of the usual May openings that most of them have.”
“Oh, well, it’s raining out. Who’s going to stand in the rain looking for veggies and fruits?”
“It’s inside an old factory. So can you come up with another excuse we can’t go?” Ben stood in front of Tom, who was sitting on the living room couch, watching TV.
“Time away from TV and…” Tom grabbed his hand and pulled Ben onto his lap “And this.” He kissed him.
“Um, uh, yeah.” Ben got off his lap and pulled Tom to his feet and turned off the TV in one fell swoop. “Come on, Romeo, let’s get out of the house for a while and then we’ll come back for some lovin’ time.”
They got their coats on, and Tom followed his husband to Ben’s , then they drove off to Reading. They loved living in the quiet, small town just outside Lancaster proper, so coming to a bigger city like Reading was a nice change of pace.
“There’s a place to park right there.” They were lucky they found a spot close to the building. They both brought umbrellas.
“Look at the wonderful cucumbers and potatoes.” Ben got excited, like a kid in a candy store; he picked the veggies up and put them into a bag that he’d pulled off a nearby hook. “I have a great idea for a vegetable casserole.”
“Mm, I love your casserole.” Tom was a good cook. Jjust ask his fellow firefighters—they all looked forward to when it was his turn to cook. But he didn’t hold a candle to Ben’s home cooking.
“Aw, look at the fags shopping, isn’t that cute?” A burly man with tattoos, the kind that looked like a biker type dude, was standing in front of them making cracks.
“I think you better keep your mouth shut,” Tom muttered as he and Ben walked by him.
“What did you just say to me, fag?” The homophobe grabbed Tom by the arm and whipped him around.
“Tom, let’s just go, I don’t want any trouble.” Ben tried to diffuse the situation.
“Yeah, you better listen to the little woman. Go on home.” The guy was about to say something else, until he met Tom’s fist.
“You shut the fuck up, you asshole!” Tom clocked the guy. He fell on his behind.
“Let’s get out of here.” Ben was scared there was going to be a riot.
“Hold on, guys.” A blond-haired man, who’d been standing at the booth next to where the altercation took place, approached them. “I’m Frank Hill, I’m an off-duty officer. I saw the whole thing.” He showed them his badge.
“Yeah, officer, arrest them.I think he broke my nose,” the biker yelled.
“Officer we were just minding our business and he started the trouble.”
They heard a siren, and two uniformed officers came over. By this time, a crowd had formed.
“Okay, what happened.” The two officers recognized Frank, and there was a discussion.
“Okay, you’re under arrest.”
Tom was about to put his hands out, but instead of arresting him the officers arrested the biker man.
“What? What the hell are you arresting me for? He started it.”
“You were the one who was looking for trouble,” Frank told the biker man. “You’re being arrested for a hate crime.”
“Officer, I don’t want to press charges,” Tom said
“What?” Frank said.
“I don’t want any more trouble.” Tom started to walk away with Ben.
“Hey, how come you’re letting me go?’ the biker man asked.
“Because I don’t want to create more problems for myself and my husband. I just hope you’ll learn that hate is a waste of time. We should accept each other for what we are. We’re all different, that’swhat makes the world go around.”
“I’m sorry for what I said,” the guy said.
“You have a name?” Ben asked him.
“I’m Pete Wilson. I own the bike store on Seventh Street.”
A few hours later, they returned home, and Ben had put together his vegetable casserole. They hadn’t spoken much about the incident they had earlier in the day.
“I love you, Tom,” Ben blurted out as they sat on the couch in the living room. Ben had set a timer so his casserole wouldn’t burn.
“I love you too, Ben, I know I shouldn’t have hit that guy. I should have just left it alone, but when he insulted you the way he did, I couldn’t help myself.”
“I know, I would have done the same thing if he said anything about you, I wish the haters would stop hating. We should love one another, not hate.”
“Well, things are getting better. One day maybe everyone will realize it’s more important about what’s on the inside and not what’s on the outside that counts.”
“I hope everyone will get the message.” They sat on the couch, snuggling until the timer went off, and then they sat at the kitchen counter eating the veggie casserole Ben had made.
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