“Why are we eating here?” Alec asked. “We could have eaten close to the station.”
“I, uh, I like this place.” Jace said, grinning.
Not long after they sat down, a cute brunet was standing by their table. He caught Jace’s eyes and blushed.
“Hi, I’m Simon and I’ll be your waiter.” He said, pushing his glasses up with his pen. “What can I get you?”
It wasn’t as if this was the first time he was seeing Simon. But every time he did, the air in his lungs disappeared and he couldn’t remember how to breathe.
If it wasn’t his hair, it was his clothes or his tattoos or his piercings. Today, he had rolled the sleeves of his shirt, showing off the tattoos on his forearms.
“Jace?” Alec called him and he blinked quickly.
“Uh, yeah...the usual, Simon. Thanks.” He said, trying not to stammer. He could feel his cheeks heat up and avoided looking at his best friend.
“I’ll be right back.” Simon said, winking at him and leaving.
“Him? Really?” Alec asked, his tone incredulous. Jace rolled his eyes and looked at him.
“What’s wrong with him?” Jace asked defensively. “He’s cute.”
“So what exactly is your plan?” Alec asked. “Come here and stare at him like some creep till he calls the police?”
“I am the police.” Jace smirked and Alec shook his head.
“Oh my God.” Alec took out his phone. “You are insane.”
Jace rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”
Simon came back a few minutes later and served them their food. “Enjoy your meal.” He said, before he left.
“I’m thinking of asking him out.” Jace said.
“No shit.” Alec said sarcastically.
“Be nice, you ass.” Jace said. “I really like him.”
“What do you know about him?” Alec said. “Why do you like him?”
Jace grinned. “Oh I know a lot. His name is Simon Lewis. He lives in Brooklyn. He’s 24 years old. Graduated from NYU a year ago. He sings at Hunters’ Moon and he’s hot.”
“I don’t want to know how you know all that.” Alec asked.
“Best you don’t ask.” Jace nodded, eating slowly. He had met Simon at the bar a few weeks ago, when he went out for Maia’s birthday. Simon had performed a song for Maia as a present. After watching him perform, Jace was hooked.
He wanted him.
“Can I get you anything else?” Simon asked as he came to clear the table and give them the bill.
“Just your number, thanks.” Jace said, smiling his winning smile. Alec groaned at the lame line. But Jace didn’t care because the Simon laughed.
“Nice try, blondie.” He said, his eyes dancing with amusement. “No seriously, my shift is almost over.”
“We’re fine, Simon.” Alec said. Simon smiled and left.
“You’re pathetic.” Alec said when Simon left. “Magnus is going to love this.”
“Of course he will.” Jace said dryly his eyes still on Simon as he walked away.
“Can we leave now?” Alec said taking his out his wallet to pay.
Jace looked over to the door Simon disappeared through. He sighed when Simon didn’t come out. “Yeah. Let’s go.”
Alec smiled. “It’s cute that you are interested in someone enough to waste taxpayers funds stalking them.”
“I’m not stalking him.” Jace said. “I haven’t been to his place.”
“But you know where he lives.” Alec said.
“Of course I do.” Jace said. “I’m not stupid.”
“Just a creep.”
“Should you be drinking while you’re on medication?” Maia asked him, when he joined her at the Hunters Moon. His left arm was in a sling.
“I’m not in pain.” Jace grumbled. He was in a bad mood. After getting shot a few weeks ago, he was currently on leave which was irritating. He was bored and cranky.
Plus he hadn’t seen Simon in a while.
The brunet had the power to cheer him up just with a smile.
He saw Maia shake her head at him. She was probably right about the medication and alcohol, but he was fine. His arm didn’t hurt as much anymore and a little alcohol didn’t hurt anyone.
As long as he didn’t overdo it.
“Oh my, what happened to your arm?” he heard a familiar voice ask.
He turned and saw Simon staring at him, a worried look in his eyes. “Hey, Simon…”
“Hey…Jake?” Simon said tentatively. Jace snorted.
“It’s Jace. J-A-C-E…” he said. “How are you?”
Simon smiled when he saw Jace was fine. “Seriously, what happened to your arm?”
Jace sighed. “Got injured at work.”
“Oh my…” Simon looked shocked. “Are you OK? Should you be drinking?”
Jace laughed and ignored Maia’s confused look. “I’m fine. Want to join us?”
“I’d love to, but I’m actually on a date…” Simon smiled sheepishly. It was then Jace saw the tall blond behind Simon scowling.
“Sorry. This is Jamie. Jamie, these are my friends, Maia and Jace.” Simon made introductions. The blond grunted and Simon rolled his eyes. “See you guys around.” He linked his arm around Jamie’s and pulled him away.
“What was that?” Maia asked when Simon left.
Jace shrugged. If Simon had stayed, the night would have been perfect, but no, he had to be on a date with Mr. Personality.
Maia snorted. “Mr. Personality? You are jealous.”
“What?” Jace looked at her in confusion. Then his eyes widened. “Did I say that out loud?”
“Yeah.” Maia said, grinning. “You like Simon. This is so good! I didn’t even know he was your type.”
Jace rolled his eyes at his friend and reached for his drink, which was taken out of his reach…by Alec, who downed it. “You are not supposed to drink.”
“Too late.” Maia said. Jace scowled at her.
“What’s wrong with you?” Alec asked, sitting next to him.
“Simon’s on a date.” Maia said gleefully. “And Jace is jealous.”
“Ahh…” Alec smirked. “Sorry bro…”
“I’m not jealous.” Jace muttered.
Jace’s eyes widened when he saw a disheveled Simon sitting in the holding cell. His eyes were bloodshot and he had a dark bruise at the side of his face and a black eye.
“Why is Simon here?” he asked Alec.
“He and his boyfriend were brought in late last night.” Alec said. “Apparently they were fighting. Broke a neighbor’s window. Among other things.”
“Where’s the boyfriend?” Jace asked, watching Simon discreetly. The brunet was staring into space. His expression changed from anger to weariness and back to anger.
“He was bailed out this morning.”
“And he left him here?” Jace was suddenly furious. “Some boyfriend.”
Alec smirked. “On the plus side, the boyfriend is out of the way…you could, ah…”
“Shut up.” Jace said, his cheeks filling with heat. “Has anyone bailed him out?”
“He called his sister.” Alec said. “She’s around here somewhere, probably with Luke.”
Jace was already making his way to the cell. “You’re the last person I expected to find in here.”
Simon smiled a little. “You are a cop? I thought you were joking.”
Jace laughed. “Why would I lie about that?”
“Oh I dunno.” Simon said, standing up. “How’s the arm?”
Jace raised his arm. “Good as new.” He saw Simon look behind him and an expression of relief and…something else crossed his face. He turned and saw a girl talking to Luke.
“So, after all this, what do you say we go out for drinks sometime?” Jace said quickly. He saw Simon’s eyebrow arch before the brunet winced.
“Uh…” Simon sighed. “I don’t think so.”
“Simon...you’re free to go.” Luke said. “You should get those checked out.”
Simon smiled tightly. “Yeah, Luke. Thanks.” He turned to Jace. “See you around, blondie.”
Jace shook his head and walked back to his desk. Alec was watching him curiously.
“Well, what did he say?” Alec asked.
“About what?” Jace avoided looking at his friend. “What are you talking about?”
Alec looked at his friend wryly. “You are not as subtle as you like to think, Jace. Did he say he’d go out with you?”
“Wow, when did you become such a gossip?” Jace asked, rolling his eyes.
Alec scowled, then grinned. “He turned you down, didn’t he?”
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were stalking me.”
Jace grinned at the familiar voice behind him. He had run out of flour and sugar while he was stress baking at home. It was a little bit late but he’d decided to come out and get what he needed.
“How do I know you aren’t stalking me?” Jace asked, taking in Simon’s attire. The brunet was wearing black jeans and a red tshirt under a long leather jacket. His eyes glittered with amusement behind his glasses and he was chewing on a licorice vine.
He looked great. Jace tried not to think of what he must look like. He wore his flannel pajama bottoms and a white tee under his favorite purple jacket. His hair stood on end and he was sure he had flour in his hair.
“Good point.” Simon grinned. “What’s up?”
“Oh, nothing much.” Jace said. “Stress baking.”
“At,” Simon looked at his watch. “1AM in the morning?”
Jace felt his smile dim a little before he kicked it up a notch. “Yeah, stress baking, you know. Once it comes knocking, you gotta answer.”
“You could just smoke pot.” Simon said and his eyes widened. “Oh fuck me…”
“Really?” Jace asked, leering. Simon burst out laughing.
“You don’t quit, do you?” Simon asked.
Jace didn’t even pretend not to know what Simon meant. “Not in the least. Especially if it’s something I want.”
“Is that right?” Simon asked.
Jace nodded. “So, will you give me your number?”
Simon smiled and shook his head. “You have to try harder than that blondie.”
Jace suppressed the huff of frustration. “You are really stubborn, you know?”
“I’ve been told.” Simon grinned.
“One of these days, Simon.” Jace said and turned to pay for his purchases.
As he walked out of the store he felt Simon’s eyes on him. Well, that went well…
Besides, he did say he had to try harder.
“OK, this is getting really…you are pathetic.” Jace ignored his friend as he watched Simon at work. Today he wore a tight black tshirt and his tats were visible. They were on his arms and disappeared under the short sleeves of his shirt.
He looked good enough to eat.
He was flirting with some girls two tables away from them and Jace found himself clenching his jaw and fists. Hands off! He’s mine! He growled in his head.
“…ask him out and don’t take no for an answer.” Alec was saying.
“Huh?” he turned to look at his friend. “What was that?”
“You weren’t even listening to me, were you?” Alec asked, sighing frustrated.
“I was.” Jace said. “You want me to ask him out and not atke no for an answer.”
“”Oh. Yeah.” Alec blinked. “Do that.”
“He doesn’t even want to give me his number.” Jace said, wincing at the petulant tone in his voice. “He said I needed to try harder.”
“You mean you don’t have it?” Alec asked. “But you know everything else.”
“Yeah, well…” Jace ducked his head. “I thought it would be more…that it would mean more if he gave it to me himself.”
“And they say romance is dead.” Alec said, grinning. “You are not a very good stalker.”
“What do you know about stalking?” Jace asked, rolling his eyes.
“I knew everything about Magnus two days after I met him.” Alec said. “Like everything. The internet is a wonderful thing.”
“What?” jace glared at his friend. “And you gave me a hard time about…you couldn’t even talk to Magnus until he talked to you first.”
“Shut up.” Alec said, but he was smiling. “This is about you being a little bitch and treating Simon like he’s some girl. He’s not. Tell him what you want and see what happens.”
“Like Magnus did?” Jace asked, thinking. That could work.
“Yeah. Just like Magnus did.”
“What if it doesn’t work?” Jace asked. It would royally suck if after everything, Simon wouldn’t want him.
“Then it doesn’t work.” Alec said, impatiently. “At least you’d know and stop pining. It’s getting sad.”
“If it isn’t my favorite stalker.” Simon said, standing next to Jace. “Hey, blondie…”
“It’s Jace.” Jace muttered.
“What?” Simon asked.
“My name is Jace.” Jace said scowling. “Not blondie…” Suddenly he was pissed. He took in a deep breath.
“Oh.” Simon blinked. “I know your name. Maia’s my friend too, remember?”
“Then why…?” Jace shook his head. “Never mind.”
Simon was staring at him strangely. “Are you OK? You seem…”
“I’m fine.” Jace said.
“OK. Do you need anything else?” Simon asked, smiling at them.
“Actually…” Jace started and he felt a sharp pain in his shin when Alec kicked him. “I’d like to talk to you about…when do you get off work?”
Simon arched an eyebrow. “At six. What do you want to talk about?”
“You’ll see…” Jace said. Then he stood up. “Alec, pay the man. I’ll be in the car.”
As he walked out, he heard Simon ask Alec. “Did I do something?”
Simon heart skipped a beat when he saw the familiar figure leaning against his car as he stepped out of the restaurant.
“Hey.” Simon said softly. His palms were suddenly sweaty and his heart was racing.
Jace looked up and smiled at him. “Hey.”
Simon forced himself to stand in front of Jace without shaking. In his mind, he was freaking out. What did he want to talk to him about.
Their game had gone on for a while. Jace would flirt and ask for his number and Simon would say no and they would laugh and then do it again.
It was all in good fun.
Simon wasn’t exactly sure why he didn’t want to let Jace get closer to him. He remembered the first time he saw the blond, at Maia’s party all those months ago. He was instantly attracted to him but he had been with fucking Jamie and he wasn’t the type to cheat on his boyfriend, even if his boyfriend was a lying, cheating and abusive asshole.
“I looked you up, you know.” Jace started. “After we met at Maia’s party.”
“Oh?” Simon smiled. “So I was right. You were stalking me.”
Jace smiled slightly. “Yeah, well…”
Simon could see Jace was nervous and somehow that calmed him down. “Was that what you wanted to tell me?”
Jace scowled at him. “I thought you were the most beautiful guy I had ever seen and that is saying a lot ‘cos I have only had one guy ex and he dumped me to be a fucking model. He was pretty enough, but you…you took my breath away. I made up my mind to make sure I found a way to make you mine…or at least get you to go one a date with me.”
Simon’s heart started up again, but for a completely different reason.
“I don’t know what it is about you, but I like you. Like a lot. I was obsessed. So I looked you up. I knew almost everything about you. Except your phone number. I felt it would mean more if you gave it to me yourself. That-That it would be more…that if you gave your number, it meant you liked me a little…”
I do like you.
Simon wanted to say that but Jace was still talking.
“After several attempts at getting your number, I was just about to give up. Like, the only reason you refused to give me your number was ‘cos you didn’t like me and you were just playing with me.”
“Yeah, pathetic.” Jace laughed a bitter tinge in it. “Alec said to just tell you how I feel and whatever happens, happens…so here it is: I really, really, really like you, Simon. Like, I could see myself falling in love with you someday. I want to go out with you, get to know you. I want to know what it feels like to kiss you, I want to wake up next to you at 2AM in the morning and wake you up with my stress baking. I want you.”
Simon’s mind went over everything Jace said. He knew he was staring at the blond like an idiot. “Oh…wow.”
“Can I have your phone number now?” Jace asked, smiling uncertainly. He was still leaning against the car, his legs crossed at the ankles and his hands in the pockets of his jacket.
“I, uh, I think I want yours.” Simon breathed. He laughed at the relieved grin on Jace’s face.
“Dude, that was…nobody has ever…I mean, that fucking speech.” Simon shook his head. “So you really like me?”
Jace nodded. “Really, really, really like you.”
“And you want me.” Simon grinned. Jace pushed himself off the car and was standing in front of him.
“Like you wouldn’t believe.”
Simon leaned forward, his hands reaching for Jace’s face. He stood on his toes and kissed the corner of Jace’s mouth and then kissed him full on his lips. He felt the rush of air as Jace sighed.
When he pulled back, Jace was grinning widely. Simon patted his cheek.