Jian Yi liked the night shift at the gas station.
For long stretches of hours not a single person came through the doors, out of the dark, into the florescent glow. He twirled slowly on the tall seat behind the counter, phone held up in one hand, eyes on the screen, and the other delivering a blue sucker to his mouth. That was another reason he liked the night shift. No one gave him shit for sampling the candy.
The door chimed, swooshing open.
Jian Yi didn’t look up but stuck his boot out to stop the twirling of his seat when he was facing forward again. He liked this shift more than others, but he still kind of hated his job. It was boring. He had been doing it for too long. He needed something else. Maybe, after payday, he’d take off this month. Just gas up his car and leave. Drive until he was out of gas and then figure things out from there.
He felt eyes on him and flicked his gaze up from his phone.
A redhead was standing there, staring back at him with one pierced eyebrow lifted impatiently.
Jian Yi pocketed his phone, rolling the lollipop from one side of his mouth to the other.
The redhead was hot, in that moody way. Jian Yi had always liked moody.
The redhead nudged his chin up and gave the name of the cigarette brand he wanted from the dispenser above the counter.
Jian Yi nodded, reaching up and pulling out a pack. Before he could put it down on the counter, the redhead had taken a gun from his pocket and pointed it coolly at him. “All of them,” he said just as flatly as before the gun came out—like it wasn’t really important.
Jian Yi liked the night shift at the gas station—when no one pointed a gun at him. He frowned around his lollipop and used both hands to pull stacks of packs down, putting them on the counter. “Want me to bag these or are you going to fill your pockets?”
The redhead actually smiled then, small like he was trying not to but couldn’t help himself. He nodded once and Jian Yi pulled a plastic bag from behind the counter and filled it. “That’s a big addiction you got there…” he commented.
“Well, might as well stock up,” the redhead countered. “Through the cash in too.”
Jian Yi blinked at him and then slowly reached up and took the candy out of his mouth, waving the little blue orb toward the register. “You mean that cash?”
The redhead went back to scowling. “Don’t get cute. Just fucking do it.”
Jian Yi hummed like it was a hard decision. Really, he didn’t care about the cash. It wasn’t like it was his money. But if he put the cash in the bag, the redhead would leave. “Or what?”
The redhead raised his eyebrow again. “You do see the gun, right?”
“You’re going to shoot me?”
“That is the idea, yeah…”
Jian Yi considered it but just couldn’t imagine the redhead actually doing it. Maybe he was overconfident in his own likeability, but he was already certain the redhead liked him too much to pull the trigger. But he finally nodded and sidestepped to the register, tapping a the keys and popping the drawer. He pulled out the cash in wrinkly bundles and took his time stuffing them into the plastic bag. “Where are you heading with all this loot?” Jian Yi asked.
The redhead snorted, watching his every move. “You don’t really think I’m going to tell you that, do you?”
Jian Yi shrugged and held out the bag like he would to any other customer, only this one wasn’t full of soda and chips. The redhead reached out to take it, their hands meeting, but Jian Yi didn’t let go. Instead he grabbed the other man by the wrist and jerked him forward, bumping him into the counter. Jian Yi leaned in to meet him, ignoring the barrel of the gun now pressed up against his sternum and curling his other hand around the back of the stranger’s neck. He kissed him, and not in some sweet way but tongue first, full of want and passion and damn if the redhead didn’t kiss him back, using teeth against his lip like punishment.
Jian Yi was certain right then that if the redhead pulled the trigger, it would be the perfect way to die.
Mo Guan Shan sucked the artificial raspberry flavor from the other man’s tongue and then bit into his lip, suddenly wanting to leave a mark. They didn’t part until they both tasted blood, staring at one another for long seconds. “Fuck, you’re insane…” he said aloud, still holding that gun between them.
The blond smiled a little and shrugged, like he’d just been complimented.
He nodded, like he understood—both what he meant and what it was like to feel crazy and okay with it. He licked his lip, blood and candy, and took a step back, leaving the bag on the counter between them. He lowered the gun. He’d never even taken the safety off. He stuffed it back into his pocket. “Grab the money,” he snapped before turning for the door.
The blond followed him out of the gas station, the plastic bag of cigarettes and cash swinging from his fingers. “My name’s Jian Yi.”
“Mo Guan Shan,” he gave his name back, crossing the lit parking lot for the dark edge where he’d left his car.
The blond, Jian Yi, walked around to the passenger side, flashing him a smile over the hood of the car. “Is this going to be some Bonnie and Clyde shit?”
Mo tried not to smile, but that was turning out to be impossible around this guy. “You better hope not…Didn’t that end bad for them?”
Jian Yi snorted like he was misremembering things and slid into the passenger seat. When Mo got in and turned on the engine, the blond countered. “It had to have gone great—I mean, we know their names, right?”
Mo bit back a laugh, reaching out fast to grab Jian Yi by the front of his shirt, wrinkling and stretching the material when he dragged him roughly forward almost into his lap. He kissed him again, a part of him sure it wouldn’t be as electric as that first time when he’d been surprised at the counter. Maybe it had just been the unexpectedness of it. Maybe he could push this blond out, like a sane person, and drive away without him. But as soon as their lips met again, as soon as the blond sucked at his bottom lip with a rumble like a growl, Mo knew it hadn’t been momentarily insanity. This was the real thing. The big crazy. He broke the kiss by shoving Jian Yi away just as forcefully as he’d pulled him in, groaning and hitting the gas, driving out of the parking lot and onto the road.
Jian Yi grinned from his seat, thumbing their spit from the corner of his mouth and watching Mo the whole time. “Fuck, you’re insane,” he mimicked his words from before.
Mo sped down the street and hit the highway. He wasn’t sure where he was going—he never was—but suddenly he was pretty excited about it.