Patty sat on the counter, kicking his feet as he watched Ben mix the cookie dough.
“How much flour?”
“You already put the flower in.”
Ben raised an eyebrow at him. “I think I’d remember that.”
Patty pointed at the measuring cups, the one and half cups still dusted with flour.
Patty giggled. “It’s okay, you’re just tired.”
“No shit. The walls in this building are thinner than paper, and my neighbors have weird, loud sex at all hours.”
Patty cringed. “Can’t wait to hear that. You should have even weirder, even louder sex to get back at them.”
“With who? The cookies? Pass me the dough baller.”
Patty rolled his eyes, handing him the metal contraption. “Obviously not. That’d be too weird. I dunno, it was just a suggestion.”
“Hmm. Are you just going to help me at all or are you just gonna sit there?”
“I preheated the oven! And I’m gonna make the popcorn!”
“Wow, so helpful.”
“Somebody’s in a sassy mood today.”
“Shut up,” Ben said, sliding the tray of dough balls into the oven.
“Make me,” Patty said, expecting to get a handful of flour thrown at him, or to be chased around the apartment until Ben either hug-tackled him or one or both of them started wheezing, whichever came first.
Instead, Ben, who had just turned to face Patty, stared at him for what felt like several minutes, but was truly only a second before they both leaned in. Ben cupped Patty’s cheek with a goop-covered hand, and placed the other (which was only really covered in flour) on the small of his back, while Patty looped his arms around Ben’s neck.
Ben’s lips were chapped to the point where they stung from the movement, and Patty’s cherry-menthol lip balm made them tingle, but he’d be damned if he was going to back out now, he’d been waiting for this moment since the day they’d met.
When they broke apart, Patty was flushed deep red and breathing hard.
Ben smiled. “You’ve got something on your face.”
Patty reached up and scraped the smear of cookie dough off of his face. Half jokingly, he brought his fingers up to his mouth in an attempt to lick them off sexily.
Ben stifled a laugh, grabbing a dish rag. “Missed a spot.”
Patty leaned into his touch, wrapping his legs around Ben’s waist. “Kiss me again?”
Ben pressed a butterfly kiss to his nose.
“I figured you might like to take this somewhere more comfortable.”
“Point taken,” Patty said, slipping off the counter and following Ben to the living room, where they’d set up the pillow fort. Ben’s laptop sat in the corner, a pile of DVDs stacked on top of it.
Ben pulled Patty into his lap and once again pressed their lips together. One of Patty’s hands found its way to Ben’s hair, and Ben held his waist, working his hand under Patty’s sweater.
Ben’s rough hands on his back made Patty shiver, and when they pulled apart, doe-eyed and dizzy, he rested his head on Ben’s shoulder and drew in a few deep breaths.
“I love you, you know. Not just in the friend way. I’ve loved you for a long time,” Ben said, brushing Patty’s hair out of his eyes.
“I was always too scared to say how I felt.”
“It’s okay. I was, too.”
And maybe, later that night, Ben’s neighbor got a taste of his own medicine.