My Love is Your LovebyNightTempest©
Remy La Croix parked his snow mobile in front of Jackie's Diner, cutting the engine. He smiled catching sight of the decorations in the windows, while getting off his machine, and tucking his helmet under his arm. Jackie always went over the top whenever a holiday came around, Valentine's being no exception. Small metallic cupids graced the corner windows and hand-cut paper hearts lined the largest of the glass displays.
"Hey Sheriff," Le Roy called Remy out of his thoughts.
"Le Roy what in the hell are you doing over here tonight? You aren't sneaking out on that pretty little wife of yours are you?" Remy smirked, knowing full well Deputy Le Roy Hudson was as devoted to Georgia as the snow was to winter.
Le Roy rolled his large brown eyes, tucking a stray gold hair under his hood, "Gia sent me for some of Jackie's red velvet cake, said it wouldn't be a good night for me without it. And I will be having a good night, you feel me?"
Both men laughed hard, their breath smoking in the winter air. Remy giving the larger man a slap on the back, "Yeah I feel ya big guy."
"You got any plans tonight? Is there a special someone waiting at home?" Le Roy elbowed Remy in the side with waggled brows. Remy kept his smile plastered on, hiding the slight tug of loneliness inside.
"Nah, I wouldn't be having dinner here if I had some hot guy waiting for me at home," He winked, leading Le Roy out of the frigid outdoors and into the sweltering heat of the diner, with a chime of the front door.
"Well I'll keep my eyes peeled for ya..." Le Roy bellowed with a chuckle.
"Thanks buddy, but I think I'll do my own scouting," Remy chuckled. No way in hell was he having his straight married deputy trying to find him a husband.
Remy moved out the way for a couple trying to squeeze past them. The place was packed tonight, every red vinyl booth filled, and all the barstools taken by laughing, happy customers. He kept his frown from getting the best of him, grabbing a menu from the busy hostesses stand to look at take-out options.
"Aw hell," Le Roy muttered behind him, "Gia is gonna pitch a fit if she don't get that damn cake. From the looks of it, we'll be awhile." He plopped into a small chair next to Remy with a grunt, causing an audible groan from the plastic under his much larger ass.
Remy smiled, patting the big guy's shoulder, "Jackie will put her daughter on the cake priority list for sure."
"I hope so Remy, cause if she don't...Well I don't need to tell you..." Le Roy laid his massive body against the back of the chair in thought.
The Sheriff gave his deputy a knowing smile, turning to focus on the scene before him. The chime of the bell on the front door, the smell of fresh coffee, and the chatter of hungry people made him feel a little less alone. That's why he always ate at Jackie's. It was warm, inviting, and better than eating another dinner for one in front of the television.
He pulled his fur trimmed hood back when he caught sight of Jackie approaching. Her charcoal hair was tied up in a bun and her blue eyes sparkled like it was her sixteenth birthday. Jackie's thick cable knit sweater was patterned with red hearts, making Remy smile. The woman always did know how to dress for the occasion.
"How's my handsome Sheriff this evening?" The petite woman perched onto her tip toes, giving the sheriff a kiss on the cheek.
"I'm alright Miss J, how about yourself?" Remy's green eyes smiled.
"Oh my stars, tonight has been wonderful! Got this new kid working the back, and Lord is he a God send. Just came in yesterday looking for a job. I had no idea he was that good. Oh speaking of..." Jackie excitedly pulled a box from behind the hostess station.
The pink dessert box was wrapped with a red taffeta bow and Jackie held it out to Le Roy, "Chris made it special for you guys."
"Red velvet?" Le Roy eyed the box skeptically, knowing the consequences if it wasn't.
"Oh please child, like it would be anything else. Now take it and get, Gia isn't gonna wait all night," She shoved the box into his eager hands, giving him a kiss with a good squeeze around the waist.
"Thanks Mama J. I owe you one." Le Roy kissed her forehead, "Later boss." He winked at Remy and moved out the door like the place was ablaze.
"That boy...I swear..." Jackie shook her head with a smile. "Now where are we gonna put you?" Jackie peered around the diner, scouting for a free seat in which to put her favorite customer.
"Nah, Miss J, it's alright. I'll just get something to go, place is too packed to sit anywhere," Remy tried and was given a scowl.
"Nonsense, I think I know where you can put that butt of yours," She smiled, "Follow me..."
With no other choice, as Miss J didn't take no for an answer, Remy followed behind Jackie, nodding to folks he knew as he passed them. His brows went up as Jackie came to a stop in front of a booth. Sitting there was a man so engrossed over his phone, that he had not a care in the world that two people were standing there staring at him openly.
Remy didn't want him to look up either. He too was engrossed, but not over a phone. The man before him was as beautiful as they came. He was a little clean cut for Remy's normal tastes, but he had something about him, that was just too good to look away. The stranger was slender, but not skinny, having obvious muscles working under his grey thermal tee. His hair was cut shorter, with a little length on top and shaded a sandy brown. Darker brows gave way to a profile of darker brown eyes, and Remy was lost at the sight before him.
"Excuse me sir?" Jackie cooed in her smoothest tone. The man looked up with a start, shifting his eyes between the two of them.
"Um yes?" He cleared his throat, placing the phone screen down onto the white plastic table.
"I'm Jackie and this is Sheriff Remy La Croix," Jackie gestured at Remy.
"I'm sorry, am I in trouble or something?" He looked at Remy, obviously startled. His voice was like silk across Remy's skin and he shifted to his other foot under the guy's surprised gaze.
"Oh heaven's no child. I'm so sorry to bother you, but seeing as we have a full house and you have this big ole' booth to yourself...Well I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing with the Sheriff here. He don't bite, I promise," Jackie smiled sweetly and the man looked Remy over once more.
Remy stayed perfectly still as the man in the booth raked his gaze over his body. Did he like what he saw, Remy thought, God he hoped so.
"Sure. That's alright," The stranger gestured to the seat across from him and Remy slid into the booth.
"Well that was nice of you honey. Thanks for helping us out there," Jackie gave the man a squeeze on the shoulder.
"No problem." The man smiled and Remy felt his dick harden under his jeans. Where was this coming from? Never had Remy La Croix been attracted to someone so suddenly in his entire life. Maybe it was that smile, with those pearly white teeth, and supple rosy lips that would look amazing wrapped around his....ah shit.
Jackie winked at Remy and went to fetch his usual black coffee. "I'm Finn by the way," The man offered a hand across the table.
"Nice to meet you Finn," Remy returned the hand with his own. A shiver stretched over his skin as they made contact for the first time. Finn's hand was warm, with fingers that fit perfectly into Remy's larger palm.
"Sheriff huh? That's sure to be a big job," Finn smirked, checking his phone once more.
"Not really, this is a small town and folks keep quiet most of the time," Remy managed, his sweaty palms gripping his thighs. "Uh, so what do you do Finn?"
"Nothing at the moment, I just moved here from Chicago," He replied never looking away from his device.
"That's quite a change. Why in the hell did you come to Bermont?" Remy leaned forward, his head starting to speculate the many possibilities to Finn's true identity. As a cop, it was always in his experience that when people didn't look you in the eye and offered evasive answers...something was not right.
Finn looked up this time and Remy saw something close to sadness flicker behind those chocolate eyes. "My grandmother passed away a little over a month ago. She left me her cottage over on Green's Road and I figured it was time for a change anyways. So here I am," He murmured. Remy felt his heartstrings tugged.
"I'm real sorry Finn. I didn't mean to upset you." Remy offered and Finn smiled slightly.
"No, it's okay. It's just a little fresh that's all. Maybe you knew her? Maiva Caldwell?"
"Ah she was your Gran Mama? That woman made the best lemon bars in the entire universe," Remy smiled. "I used to take her to church when the snow got too bad. No way was she about to drive with her vision being like it was."
"That was nice of you," Finn was staring directly into Remy's eyes. There was a connection here, Remy thought. A spine tingling one if you asked him.
"It was nothing. She helped me out once in a while too. I mean that's what small towns are for, helping each other out," Remy drawled, trying to get past the duel pools of milk chocolate looking through him.
Jackie chose that moment to place a cup of coffee in front of the Sherriff, bringing a refill for Finn, "You boys know what you want yet? Or do you need another minute?" She smiled, looking from Remy to Finn, with that meddling twinkle in her eye.
"I'll have the usual Miss J," Remy grinned.
"Boy, I swear to the heavens above...one day you will turn into a chicken pot pie," Jackie laughed, clapping her paper pad against her thigh.
"Is it that good?" Finn looked at Remy curiously, a killer smile gracing his lips.
"Hell yea," Remy grinned, wanting nothing more than to rub his self all over that grinning body.
"I'll have the same then, oh and thanks for the refill," Finn nodded.
"Nothing to it baby, I'll be back in a jiff," Jackie winked, disappearing swiftly into the crowd of people.
The two men sat in silence for a few moments. Remy played with the edge of his napkin, twirling the ends between his fingers, and trying to come up with something to say. He glanced through his lashes, watching Finn play on his phone once more and feeling like he was more of a nuisance to the man than anything.
"So, um what did you do back in Chicago?" Remy looked up, attempting to make the first move.
Finn glanced at Remy with a distracted expression, "Sorry what?"
"Must be real important, whatever's on there," The Sheriff pointed to the phone, making Finn squirm.
"Are you always this nosy?" Finn cocked a brow.
~~~ In the Kitchen~~~
"Orders up," The newest cook shouted, pushing another jiffy ready meal through the window.
Chris grinned at the dishwasher, who had been watching him all night long. Guess the guy had never seen real skills in the kitchen before. Chris shook his head and started mixing up batter in a large ceramic bowl. It had been a while since he'd graced one of these rural small towns with his presence, making his work tonight feel all the more special.
'Chris' as he was known during his day jobs, was not really all that met the eye. No, his curly blonde locks and big blue eyes had another identity entirely. He started to hum as set down the batter and started to stir a pot of chili on the burner, feeling those eyes on his back yet again.
"Hey Don, why don't you take ten, those dishes can wait a few minutes. Take a break man," Chris called over his shoulder, already knowing about a beautiful red headed woman out back just waiting for company.
"Uh, yeah...that sounds good," Don replied gently, picking up a pack of smokes from the top shelf.
Chris heard the other man walk towards the back, muttering 'something strange about that guy' under his breath. Don had no idea, Chris grinned. The blonde set to work again, snatching another paper slip from the window, and pulling two already made pot pies from the fridge, to set them in the preheated oven.
He smiled as he closed his eyes, feeling for the people they belonged to. Images came to his head, and he chuckled as he found yet another perfect match. This is why he loved small towns. So much love in the air, it made his job real easy.
Finn was so nervous sitting across from the Sherriff. So much so, he felt the sweat building over his skin. In all his days, never had he seen a more beautiful man. Remy was taller, bigger, and more handsome than his normal taste, but there was something about him that pulled Finn to him.
He concentrated on his phone to make his body calm a little, but the images on the screen were more upsetting than calming. Joel's smiling face looked back at him, mocking Finn none too subtly. Next to his ex-boyfriend was Joel's new fiancé Jacob, the Latin God he had met at the gym. The happy couple was pictured holding each other in front of a stunning tropical backdrop and Finn was on the verge of tears. He took a deep breath remembering that night.
He was so excited, the candles were lit, and a soft jazz cd was on in the background. Finn fluffed another pillow and with a giggle straightened the silly little cupid centerpiece on the table. He had worked all day cooking and cleaning, so that when Joel got home he would be in for one hell of a surprise.
Finn glanced at the clock, biting his lip because Joel would be home any minute. He looked in the mirror one more time and chuckled. The little cupid outfit that he had bought at the sex shop downtown looked good on his slight figure, the small loin cloth fitting perfectly, and hanging sensually off his hips. Finn adjusted the little wings on his back and rubbed in some more oil over his chest. Joel would not be able to resist him. It had been a while since they had been together and Finn was almost to the point of begging, but he had a feeling that tonight Joel would be more than up for it.
He gasped in delight as keys could be heard in the lock and the door opened. Finn raised a brow from his hiding spot behind the corner as Joel left his coat on and looked from side to side before shutting the door. Joel always took his coat off and tossed his keys on the side table when he got home. Finn also noticed, furrowing his brow, that Joel wasn't wearing his usual scrubs. Joel was always so tired after wor,k that he never even bothered changing before he left the hospital.
His suspicious thoughts continued as Joel walked over to the set up table and groaned, shaking his head, and blowing out the candles. Finn's heart started to race and he wanted to just cry right there. Joel wasn't even going to give him a chance tonight, leaving him high and dry once again. A tear slipped down his cheek as he saw his boyfriend go to the front coat closet and pull out a rolling suitcase.
Finn couldn't take it anymore, something was wrong, very wrong, "Joel?" He stepped out from the shelter of the wall, forgetting about his sultry outfit.
Joel's eyes widened, looking him up and down, before sighing and clutching the suitcase closer to his person, "I was going to leave you a voicemail. I had hoped to avoid all of this," His tone was flat and dry.
"Avoid what exactly?" Finn quivered and sucked in a sharp breath.
"Just listen to me Finn," Joel rubbed his face with his free hand, "Things between us aren't great. You and I both know that and it's come to the point where we're drifting apart, going our separate ways."
"Joel you can't be serious. I try to be with you every night and you're too tired or not up for it or some other excuse. As for going separate ways, what are you talking about? I always do what you want to do or hang out with your friends. I support your career, I moved in with you, and now I don't understand where this is coming from," Finn started to cry. Joel made no move to comfort him.
"Maybe what I should have said is that I'm going down a different road, a road that doesn't include you," Joel looked him straight on, his voice even, void of emotion. Finn's mouth gaped open, his eyes were wet, and he sputtered for a response. Joel was leaving him.
"I've met someone else and it feels right. I'm sorry about all this Finn, but I just can't live a lie anymore, I love him and I have for some time now. I wish that you wouldn't have been here, so this would've been easier on both of us, but what's done is done. I wish you the best Finn, I really do." He started towards the door; the sound of his suitcase against the hardwood was like a knife ripping into Finn's gut.
"Why?" Finn sobbed.
"Because he's who I'm meant to be with. You should really focus on finding someone who loves you like he loves me," Joel flicked his green eyes to Finn one last time, "My sister will be here on Tuesday to grab my things and give you the key." Joel looked over the condo one more time, "Good bye Finn."
With that, he rolled his suitcase out the door and shut it behind him. Finn couldn't speak, move, or think, he was in shock. The numb feeling waned and the anger rose. Finn wiped his tears on the back of his hand and ripped the wings from his back with a scream. He continued by throwing everything on the beautifully set table across the room, reveling in the shatter of glass, and the ruins of his cooking.
He came upon the silly cupid centerpiece and spent the next hour, ripping it into teeny tiny pieces.
Finn shivered and irritably glanced at the familiar cupid that was taped to the wall next to him. It had all become too much after that night, living in the big city, and being so alone with only his sick Mother to provide him with any encouragement. So when the lawyer had produced Gran's will to Finn, granting him full ownership of the cottage, he jumped at the chance for a new life. Now here he sat, in a room full of happy couples, on the day he hated the most, mourning all over again.
A mumble came from the man across from him, startling him from his darkened thoughts, "Sorry what?"
"Must be real important, whatever's on there," Remy pointed to his phone.
"Are you always this nosy?" Finn shot back, trying to hide his overwhelming urge to confess his depression to this stranger, too anyone.
"I'm a cop. It's what I do..." Remy chuckled, obviously not deterred by Finn's blatant attitude.
Finn studied the man before him, taking in the clear green eyes, and dark stubble around his jaw. Remy's messy black hair ran to his chin in a rugged back woods male kind of way, and it suited him, furthering Finn's strange attraction to the man. Finn couldn't help but run his eyes over full lips as they parted, taking in a sip of coffee. The Sheriff's tongue darted out and wet his bottom lip, placing his cup back on the table.
This man was sex personified, and Finn shifted in his seat, discretely adjusting his bulge. He hadn't been in this town five minutes, and here he was lusting after the town's lone ranger, who was most likely straight and had a hot girlfriend waiting for him at home. Then again, why would an attached man be out dining solo on Valentine's Day?
"Right," Finn finally replied, noticing the grin on Remy's face. Was he gay, or was he just being nice, Finn wondered.
"You hear about the storm coming in tonight?" Remy asked casually and Finn watched his lips move once more.
"Uh huh," He managed then cleared his throat, averting his eyes to his own coffee, not knowing anything about a storm.
"Gonna be something brutal. You got the heat turned up in that place yet? Don't want you to freeze on your first night here," The Sheriff replied.
"How did you know this was my first night?" Finn asked curiously.
"For starters, if it wasn't, you'd be wearing something a little warmer," Remy gestured to the leather jacket next to Finn, "Secondly, no one who has been to Jackie's more than once wears a frown like that. Lastly, I noticed all the folks looking and whispering your way, meaning their curious. You don't last twenty four hours without playing twenty questions with the locals. If they knew ya, they wouldn't be so interested."