“Just one more stop,” David begged the moment he saw a booth full of sweet treats, drawn to it like a moth to a flame. They were walking toward the exit of the Elmdale Fall Fair, but that could wait a few more minutes.
Patrick chuckled, shooing David away. David dropped a kiss on Patrick’s rosy cheek before he vanished into the crowd toward his destination.
Not that he was hungry, but the temptation of a yummy caramel apple outweighed the need to get his husband home and to bed at this very moment.
When David returned a little while later, he found his husband waiting on a park bench, meeting his gaze with his signature upside smile that was just for David. He’d never tire of the way Patrick looked at him. David sat down next to him, handing Patrick one of David’s delectable purchases. “I will not be sharing, so I got you one, too.”
“I should’ve known,” Patrick said, grinning.
David unwrapped his treat immediately and glanced at Patrick whose eyes remained focused on him.
“What?” David asked, with likely a guilty grin across his face, his hands flailing in the air.
“You’re going to eat this now?”
“Yes, that’s correct.” David nodded. “You shouldn’t sound surprised.”
They had consumed ten times their weight in calories, so it wasn’t unreasonable for Patrick to be so gobsmacked David was still eating, but David was defenseless against a good caramel apple.
David took a bite, delighted by the apple’s tang and the sweetness of the caramel sticky on his lips. He turned toward Patrick’s honey brown eyes and fond smile.
Patrick cupped David’s chin, nudging it forward until their lips met in a soft, chaste kiss.
“Yum,” Patrick whispered.
“You need to try this!” David gestured toward Patrick’s apple.
Patrick didn’t answer, instead, he leaned over, stealing a bite of David’s apple.
Patrick smirked as he kissed David again, but this time David captured not only a taste of caramel but remnants of salt from the french fries they had shared earlier.
By the time they got home, David expected that the sweet flavor would’ve faded from Patrick’s lips, but it didn’t and it also didn’t help that Patrick ate his apple as soon as they got home. David wanted to taste Patrick’s sweet lips, but Patrick insisted on finishing his apple. A role reversal, except when David tried to sneak a bite, Patrick held it away.
“I thought we didn’t share snacks?” Patrick shrugged his shoulders, the troll that he was.
“I believe that I don’t share snacks.” David pointed to himself, reminding Patrick that he was the one who didn’t want to share.
“Maybe I don’t want to share my apple?” Patrick said, taking a bite of his apple with a slight shoulder shrug.
“Maybe I just want my mouth on you?” David purred, sliding into Patrick’s space, nosing along Patrick’s jawline, nipping at his earlobe.
That was all it took for Patrick to drop the apple on the coffee table and pull his husband onto his lap for a bruising kiss.
A smile crossed his face as he unpacked his purchases thinking back to their night at the Elmdale Fair and the events that unfolded once they got home. It was a late night and one David was interested in repeating.
David wanted more of those caramel kisses, leaving him very determined to succeed at today’s task.
Since caramel and Givenchy didn’t mix, David slipped an apron over his undershirt.
David pulled up an email from his beloved mother-in-law containing a recipe that she used to make for Patrick when he was younger. She offered to let him FaceTime with her to go over the recipes and techniques, but David politely declined. He wanted to do this on his own. The recipe seemed easy enough.
Before skewering the apples, David took out a cookie sheet and then precisely measured the caramel liquid mixture into a small saucepan, gave the mixture a few stirs and secured the lid on top of the saucepan, becoming suddenly very aware he drank too much coffee this morning and walked into the bathroom.
“Oh My God!” David exclaimed as he walked into the kitchen a few moments later, studying globs of the sweet concoction all over the stovetop. David turned off the stove as his hand brushed over a boiling glob of colored sugar. “Fuuuuccckkk!” David yelled, watching his finger take on a crimson shade. He ran over to the sink to find the cold water brought him minimal relief.
His mother-in-law’s words echoed in his ears.
Keep a bowl of ice water nearby just in case you burn yourself.
Securing his finger in the cold water, he picked up a glass with his free hand, letting a couple of ice cubes drop into the glass from the ice dispenser attached to the refrigerator. Once he filled the glass, David sunk his finger into the very cold glass, giving him immediate relief.
David thought about calling it quits. He contemplated finding someone who could deliver caramel apples directly to his door, but then he thought about some of Patrick’s botched-up dinners, recalling how they were still perfect simply because Patrick made them. HIs husband would appreciate David’s attempt even if it was an epic fail.
Fortunately, David bought large quantities of the ingredients called for because if there was something he learned from Patrick Brewer, it was to always be prepared. That gorgeous man was turning David into a regular boy-scout and David couldn’t hate it if he tried.
He started preparing the liquid mixture again. He stirred the mixture repeatedly, leaving it uncovered this time.
Just as he was ready to slide the candy thermometer into the saucepan on the stovetop, his phone buzzed.
Today 11:25 AM
We’re out of body milk. A group of ladies are asking when it’ll be in stock.
Um, I wasn’t due to reorder. Did we run out early?
Don’t worry about it. Enjoy your day off. I’ll call Lisa to reorder!
I need to order more moisturizer also.
Did we run out of that too?
Just this morning. Everyone’s skin is drying up between the cooler weather and allergy season.
Look at you, understanding the need to moisturize.
My sexy husband taught me everything I know.
He sounds pretty special!
He’s simply the best!
Love you, babe!
Love you more!
Third time's a charm, right?
In a matter of minutes, David cleaned the pot and pulled up his recipe again.
He followed the recipe to the letter this time, pouring, mixing, and constantly stirring. He felt like one of the amateur bakers on the Great Canadian Baking Show, trying to get everything just right because this time he would.
When David slid his wood spoon along the smooth and creamy mixture, he knew his concentration had paid off. David slid the candy thermometer into the mixture and it read a perfect 250 degrees F.
He carefully dipped the apples into the sauce and set them down on the cookie sheet exactly three inches apart. As a finishing touch after remembering the taste of salted french fries combined with caramel apple on Patrick’s lips at the fair, he sprinkled sea salt across the top of each apple to complete his project.
Satisfied with the results, David retreated to his very comfortable couch for an afternoon nap.
David sat up to greet Patrick, suspicious that he may have already snuck in a bite of his surprise. Moving in for a kiss instantly confirmed his hunch.
“What do you think?” Patrick asked, a Cheshire cat grin spilling across his pink lips.
If his husband wasn’t so adorable, he’d be more annoyed that Patrick didn’t wait for him.
“About?” David inquired with feigned ignorance.
“The lip balm.”
“The lip what?” David raised an eyebrow.
“Jodi brought in a new order of lip balms and asked me to sample this new caramel flavor.”
“Oh! In that case I’ll need another taste.”
Patrick smirked, sitting down on the edge of the couch and pressing a soft kiss to his husband’s eager mouth.
Whether or not they carried this flavor in the store, David would gladly buy several jars of caramel lip balm to savor it on Patrick year-round.
“Mmm... Yum,” David whispered. “I like this one for you.”
Patrick lit up at the compliment.
“Did you make those delicious-looking apples in the kitchen?” Patrick asked, rubbing David’s thigh and pointing toward the kitchen with his free hand.
“I did indeed.” David nodded, not thinking about caramel apples as Patrick’s hand crept up his leg.
“Would you be willing to share one?” Patrick asked coyly.
David tucked a grin off to the side. “Only if I can kiss the caramel off of you.”
“Sounds fair to me,” Patrick mumbled as he pressed another kiss to David’s lips.