Sweeter Than Honey (MM)
Bradley Kim is just trying to make the time without his boyfriend Lance go by faster when he takes on an additional article for his small town newspaper. But the moment he meets Shay Wilton, amateur beekeeper, it's definitely not the honey that catches his eye.
Bradley is lonely, and Shay is everything Lance is not -- passionate, fun, and kind -- and soon Bradley's interview becomes something more intimate as Shay gives him a hands-on experience with the honey extraction.
Turning down Shay's advances shouldn't be so difficult, but Bradley won't let temptation lead him to cheating. Too bad Lance doesn't have similar scruples, and after a fiery revelation, Bradley finds himself suddenly single, with nothing standing between him and a certain beekeeper who might just be sweeter than honey.
“So would you like me more if I’m wise?” asked Shay, and Bradley glanced up, just a little, to see him grinning. He wasn’t embarrassed at all. Bradley swallowed, set his pencil down, and met his eye.
“It’s not going to affect the article, if that’s what you’re wondering. I do a good job regardless of whether I like the person I’m interviewing.”
“I wasn’t worried about that,” said Shay, and Bradley tried not to squirm in his chair. “Sucks, though, that you got stuck with my story on a Friday evening.”
“It’s fine. I didn’t have anything else going on.” Bradley needed to steer the conversation back to the honey business or he needed to leave. “Any future plans? Expansion, maybe?”
“Tonight? My plans changed when you showed up.”
Bradley pushed his chair back but didn’t stand. This was going too far, which was a shame. While he’d liked his time here -- and he definitely liked Shay -- he needed to end up back in his own bed tonight. Alone. At a decent hour.
“I meant for your business. But really -- do you make a move on every guy or just the ones who show interest in your hobby?”
He’d hoped confronting it head on would get Shay to back off, but instead he leaned forward on the table, swallowing up the distance Bradley had put between them when he’d backed up. He could swear the temperature in the house had risen now, too, and his heart pounded hard in his chest.
“You think I didn’t notice how tight your pants got?” asked Shay, and Bradley’s breath caught. “How you get awkward whenever I push you a little? It’s cute. Not often I’m so instantaneously compatible with someone.” He lowered his voice to a whisper. “I won’t tell your boss.”
Bradley licked his lips, mouth dry. The shower hadn’t helped him calm down at all, and now here he was, in Shay’s house, flirting with him when he should be conducting an interview. It was late and the end of a long, unsatisfying week, and he really should get home before he did anything he’d regret. He’d reached the point where he had to leave now or he wouldn’t leave until the morning. He stood.
“That’s not it, and thanks,” he said, the words tumbling out in a mess as he grabbed up his pencil, pad, and bag of sticky work clothes. At least his tie was safe in his car. Shay got to his feet, hurt in his eyes, as Bradley moved toward the door.
“You don’t like me.”
Bradley almost laughed. He turned back at the door, Shay so close he was clearly hoping Bradley would relent, lean in for a kiss. See where it led.
“That’s not it either. Best interview I’ve had. But I have to get home.” Bradley hesitated. “My boyfriend’s expecting a call.”
Shay leaned away from him with a sigh and ran a hand through his hair.
“Figures. You’re too good-looking to be single.”
“I could say the same about --”
“Don’t,” said Shay. “Thanks for the piece in the paper. Glad you’re writing it. ‘Night.”
He didn’t walk Bradley out to his car, which was probably for the best, even if Bradley was secretly disappointed about it.