Well fuck it all to the high heavens.
Marc glanced at his watch for the fifth time in as many minutes and saw he was still late. He sped up until he all but ran down the street, the pedal of the bike he pushed along with him, almost making him trip. Of all the days to get a flat tyre.
He’d met Sam a month ago and hadn’t invited Sam to his house yet because Marc wasn’t sure how his lover would react to his housemate.
Two days ago Sam had called and mentioned a new restaurant he’d like to try out. Before he’d thought about it Marc had uttered the words he’d regretted ever since.
“I haven’t been there yet but it’s just around the corner from where I live.”
“Really?” Sam had sounded delighted. “That’s great. I’ll meet you at your place and we’ll head over together.”
Marc had swallowed the ‘no’ on his lips, and they’d agreed to meet at his place at five. He checked the time again and saw he was now thirty minutes late. Sam wouldn’t have waited outside this long. It no longer mattered how Sam might have felt about his little secret. Sam was probably pissed off enough never to want to see Marc again, which would mean he’d never find out about Brutus either.
He parked his bike in its allotted space in the hall and slowly made his way up the stairs, no longer in a hurry to get home now he faced a lonely evening and probably equally lonely future.
He cursed under his breath as Caroline, his elderly neighbour, called his name before he could open his door, and turned to face her.
“I hope you don’t mind but when I came home with my shopping I met this charming young man outside. He told me he was waiting for you and helped me with my bags. I used my key to let him in to your apartment. That’s okay, isn’t it?
Hope and fear battled for dominance in Marc. Sam hadn’t left. But if he was here, inside, he would have met Brutus, the dog Caroline minded for Marc while he worked.
“It’s fine Caroline, thank you.”
He sighed and opened the door, mentally preparing himself to face ridicule. He got sniggers and double takes from strangers when he walked Brutus. What would Sam think of Marc owning the least manly dog known to mankind?
“See, I told you he wouldn’t let us down.” Sam’s voice was filled with tenderness. Relief flooded Marc as he walked towards the man he’d fallen for, holding the dog Mark had rescued a year ago.
“This little man,” Sam smiled at Marc, “is almost as cute as his owner.”
Marc rested his head against Sam’s shoulder and closed his eyes. They would be okay. He hadn’t been wrong. Sam was exactly the man Marc had hoped he would be.
This picture was selected by Brigham Vaughn and, as always, more flashes based on the same photo can be found in the Monday Flash Fic Group on Facebook.