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But I Can't Help Falling In Love With You.

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Curt Mega is pulled out of his day-dream by the dainty jingle of the bell on the front door that alerts them when customers come in. 

Curt pushes himself up from where he was leaning on the counter and straightens his back, plastering his customer service smile on his face. It’s a slow day, so his co-worker Angela took her lunch break a bit early, leaving Curt to both make the coffee and man the register. 

Meaning Curt is the only one here to see the most attractive man Curt has even seen walk up to the counter.

The man is tall, taller than Curt, most of that height coming from his legs, and he moves silently. You can tell, despite his slender frame, that he’s strong. When Curt’s gaze continues its journey up the man’s body, he notices that the skin on his face is slightly tanned. He has long, dark hair that Curt wants to reach out and run his fingers through. It’s slicked back and comes to an end just below the man’s chin, which is the slightest bit crooked.

He approaches the counter, eyes focused downwards at a phone in his hand. He comes to a stop, and his eyes flick up to Curt. 

“Good morning! What can I get started for you?” Curt says in a chipper voice automatically. He feels like he could get lost in this stranger’s chocolatey brown eyes. 

“Yes, hello.” Oh fuck, he’s British. His smooth voice paired with the posh sounding accent makes Curt’s knees go a bit weak. “Can I get a large latte with two extra shots of espresso, please?” Wow, this guy must really want to stay awake.

“Sure, hot or iced?” There is most certainly a correct answer to this question, and Curt desperately hopes this man gets it right.

“Hot.” Perfect.

Curt rings the drink in. He can feel the British man’s eyes still on him, and he doesn’t know if he’s watching to make sure Curt rings in the drink properly, or if he’s watching Curt. 

“That will be $8.05.” The British man elegantly raises an eyebrow, and how the fuck does one raise an eyebrow elegantly? It’s a fucking eyebrow! 

“I don’t mean to seem rude, but just down the road at Starbucks, this drink usually totals under eight dollars.” Oh great, he’s going to be one of those customers. Pity too, Curt was going to flirt with him. 

“Yeah, their prices are a bit cheaper, but they’re a big corporation, we’re a little locally-owned shop. Besides, their coffee is shit.” Curt tries his hardest to keep his cheery voice going, but he’s sure it slips. He’ll probably get scolded again for swearing in front of a guest, but at this moment, he doesn’t really care. He thought he was going to get to flirt with a hot, British guy and maybe get to exchange numbers, and now he’s just disappointed. 

Curt is fully expecting the man to get irritated, either over the higher price or Curt’s language. He expects that he’ll demand Curt match the price, and when he won’t he’ll demand to speak to the manager, who is Curt. It’ll probably end with this guy storming out, screaming about how he’ll never come back here again. 

Instead, the man laughs. Not just a polite chuckle, but a full out laugh, tilting his head back and everything. 

“I suppose you’re right. Here.” He holds out a credit card to Curt, who dutifully takes it and swipes it. Maybe, Curt can still flirt with this guy. He hands the card back with a genuine smile. 

“Can I have a name for the order?” They’re the only two people in the store. Curt doesn’t technically have to ask for the name. But he’s a good employee and follows all of his duties all of the time. 

And he’s curious. 

“Owen.” 

“Owen. Got it. It will be out in just a minute.” Curt busies himself with making the drink, trying to hide how big his smile is. He spies out of the corner of his eye that the man, Owen, takes a seat at the table in the window, pulling his phone back out. Curt almost gets distracted by the way the sunlight streams in, the sunbeams dancing in his hair, lighting Owen up from behind. If Curt was religious, he’d almost say Owen looks like an angel. 

A latte isn’t hard to make, so it takes Curt no time at all. He’s good with foam art. He’s really good, the best in this coffee shop. He writes his phone number in the foam and slides the cup over to Owen, leaving the lid off. 

“One latte with two extra shots of espresso for Owen.” Curt calls out. Owen comes over to the counter and takes the drink, downing it without even looking at it. Curt feels like an arrow was just shot through his chest. Damn it. 

“This is, I think this is the best coffee I’ve had in a long time.” Owen half moans, and Curt can’t think about that right now. 

“Well, I’m glad you like it.” 

Owen pulls his card back out and hands it to Curt. 

“Can I get five more of these?” Curt’s eyes widen at that. Five more? 

“Uh, sure.” He quickly rings in the drinks and swipes Owen’s card again. All thoughts of flirting go out of Curt’s head as he set to make all of the drinks. Again, they aren’t hard to make, but having to do five at once is a bit much. 

He gets the drinks out, Owen drinks them all, thanks Curt, drops six $ 20’s in the tip jar, and leaves. 

Curt can’t help but feel disappointed, Owen is hot, tall, British, and a good tipper, and Curt didn’t even get his number. Still, he just made $120 off of 6 drinks. Well, $60 once he splits it with Angela, but still, not a bad day. 


Curt has the afternoon shift the next day, and when he gets there, he immediately sees Owen sitting in one of the armchairs in the back. He drops his bag behind the counter, and Blake, another Barestia, grabs his arm.

“Curt, do you know that guy? He came in like an hour and a half ago asking for you and has been sitting there ever since.” Blake sounds vaguely concerned for Curt, which is touching. 

“Kinda, he came in yesterday and left a really generous tip.” Curt shrugs. He looks back over towards Owen, who is now looking at him. They make eye contact for a moment before Curt feels himself begin to blush and looks away. “Hey, you don’t mind if I…” 

“Go ahead, man. I’ll keep an eye out to make sure he doesn’t try to kill you or whatever.” The two of them fistbump, and Blake goes to help a guest who just walked in. Curt walks over to Owen, who hasn’t moved from his seat in the back of the store.

“Hi. Owen, right?” Curt doesn’t want to come across as creepy, but he doesn’t want Owen to think he forgot him either. 

“That’s right.” Owen nods. “I was thinking last night that you have me at a disadvantage. You know my name, but I don’t know yours.” 

Owen was thinking about him? Wait, does that mean…

“Curt.” He burst out, speaking louder than he intended. The guest who Blake was helping glances back at them before turning back to whatever she was doing. “My name is Curt.” 

God, could he be any more awkward? Owen’s smile grows.

“Well, Curt, I should very much like to take you out, if you’d like.” 

Yes! Yes, Curt would like very much. 

“Oh. Sure, that sounds nice.” Curt has to play it cool. He doesn’t want to scare him off by seeming overly excited. 

“Wonderfull! How about I take you to dinner after your shift tonight?” 

“Sounds like a plan.” 

Owen gets to his feet and holds a hand out. Hesitantly, Curt places his hand in it. He doesn’t think Owen is going to hurt him, but he’s worried that he misunderstood Owen’s gesture. 

Curt is assured that he didn’t when Owen brings Curt’s hand up to his mouth and kisses the back of it. 

“I will see you tonight then.” Thankfully Owen doesn’t seem to be waiting for Curt to reply because he wouldn’t be able to if he could. Owen quickly leaves, and Curt is stuck in the same place, heart-pounding and breathing heavy. 

Oh god. He has a date. Tonight. With Owen. 

“Curt? I could really use some help.” Blake gets Curt’s attention. During his short conversation with Owen, a bit of a line had formed. Curt quickly gets behind the counter and begins making drinks as Blake takes orders. 



When Curt is locking up the Coffee shop that night, Owen is there waiting for him. Curt forces himself to focus on making sure the door is locked tight, using the few seconds it buys him to force his heart to calm down. Once he can no longer use the door as an excuse not to look at Owen, Curt does just that. He turns, an excited smile on his face. Owen smiles back at Curt and holds his right arm out, offering it to Curt. 

“Are you ready to go, love?” Curt’s heart flutters at the use of the pet name as well as the charming gesture. He nods, not trusting his voice, and takes the offered arm. 

They walk down the streets of Herndon arm in arm, Curt listening to Owen talk about all the lovely things that they pass. It seems this man knows more about Curt’s city than he does.

They quickly come to a very quaint, very expensive restaurant that Curt is very much underdressed for, him still being in his barista uniform and all. Curt is about to voice his concerns when Owen ushers him inside. The British man walks confidently walks up to the host stand. 

“Hello, I have a reservation for two. It should be under the name Carson, Owen Carson.” Curt just now realizes that he didn’t know Owen’s last name until that very second. The hostess looks at them for a moment, her eyes resting on Curt for a long moment, clearly judging him. Her eyes flick down to the tablet in front of her.

“Right this way, Mr.Carson.” She leads the two of them to the back, sitting them at a very intimate table. Owen lets go of Curt’s arms and pulls out the chair for him. Once Curt sits, he pushes it in, his breath brushing against Curt’s ear and sending a shiver down his spine. 

The dinner goes by in a blur. Owen sips bourbon, his eyes never leaving Curt’s face for more than a moment. Curt sticks to water, he’s waiting for the question that he’s sure will come, but it never does. 

Owen orders for both of them. Curt can’t remember what the dish is called, but whatever it is is delicious. The two of them laugh, they talk, they flirt, Owen’s foot brushing up Curt’s leg once or twice. 

“Were the two of you thinking about any desserts this evening?” Their waiter asks as he clears their dinner plates away. Owen doesn’t look up at him, his eyes firmly locked on Curt. 

“Not this evening. I have my eye set on something else.” Curt squirms in his seat, cheeks flushing a brilliant red. They leave quickly, Owen leaving a pile of cash on the table. 

They barely make it outside before they can’t fight it anymore. Curt is pulled into the ally behind the restaurant. 



When they’re done, Owen helps Curt make sure he doesn’t look like he just got mugged. Owen presses a kiss against Curt’s cheek chastely, like he hadn’t just had his tongue down Curt’s throat. 

“I had a wonderful evening.” Owen tells him. 

“So did I. I’d really like to do this again sometime.” Curt really hopes he’s not being too forward.

“Let me see your phone.” Owen holds out his hand, and Curt doesn’t hesitate to give him what he’s asking for. As soon as he does, he realizes he’ll probably need to unlock- “Now you have my number. Call me or send me a text, and we can set up a second date.” Curt must have unlocked his phone without realizing it. Weird. 

“I will.” Curt promises. Owen offers to walk him back to the coffee house, and Curt lets him. Once there, Owen gives him a goodbye hug, and Curt rests his forehead against Owen’s chest. This feels right. He feels like this is where he belongs. That thought should scare him, he just met this man yesterday, but it doesn’t.