(Cass Part 10… continues from here)
Luka stood outside the door of the apartment, his mind racing. What had just happened? Had he been so caught up in his work that he had missed the glaring signs that his lover, the women he thought of as his life partner, wasn’t happy? But Cass going for a run in the evenings wasn’t a new thing, it hadn’t coincided with the spate of extra work he had been doing from home. Which meant it had to be the man, ‘X’.
He paced a few steps from the door and realised he was barefoot. He couldn’t go back inside! None of the clubs or bars in the building would serve him but on the groundfloor of the Night Life building was a Starbucks that he hoped had a no shoes, no problem motto. Thankfully the elevator was empty so he didn’t need to make polite conversation with anyone before the doors opened and he headed for the familiar storefront.
The lobby was busy as usual thanks to the fact that all of the businesses were open 24 hours. There were people in club wear heading for the escalators that would take them to the upper public levels, there were tourists with cameras, wide eyed and lost. Then there were the people like him, just looking for a late night caffeine fix. He threaded through the people loitering outside and was meters from the entrance when he realised his shoes weren’t the only thing he’d left home without. He also had no money, no card, nothing to buy the coffee he was suddenly desperate for with.
He stopped in his tracks and let out a soft “Oof,” when a body collided with his.
Luka turned to see a tall dark haired man rubbing his shoulder. “You stopped so suddenly, sorry,” the man repeated as Luka shrugged.
“My fault. I wasn’t thinking. Are you hurt?” He gave the man a quick once over taking in the black boots and jeans and dark green hoodie. He was almost as tall as Luka and wider across the shoulder.
“I was going to ask the same thing.” The man smiled, a flash of white teeth showing through his neatly trimmed stubble. “You look upset?”
“A fight with my girlfriend,” Luka admitted and smiled back. “I walked out without my wallet… so much for coffee.”
“Coffee? I’m surprised you’re not looking for something stronger.”
“Wallet wasn’t the only thing I left behind.” Luka looked down and the man did too.
He laughed and said, “Must have been some fight? Let me buy you that coffee.”
“A disagreement really,” Luka replied as he fell into step with the other man. “I don’t need the coffee, I’ll just go back up.”
“You live in the building then?”
The man shook his head. “On my way home. Came in for a coffee and hit… a brick wall.” He smirked at Luka and gave him a once over as they stopped just inside the door. “Why don’t you grab a seat and I’ll get…?”
Luka hadn’t missed the once over or the hint of lust in the strangers eyes plus, he could taste it in the air. He was an incubus vampire; he could and did feed off emotions and right now he was enjoying what he felt. “Caramel latte,” he requested.
“Wont be long.”
Luka took a seat at a table towards the side of the room away from the other occupied tables. It wasn’t busy and in no time at all a tall cup was set before him.
“Grazie amico,” Luka said with a smile before he tore open two sugar packets to add to the cup. He took a sip and sighed happily. “I have a wicked sweet tooth,” he said at the raised brow of his companion.
“Should I have bought you a cookie also?”
Luka laughed. “No. This is perfect. Thank you…?” his voice trailed off, his question obvious.
“Thank you Zavier.”
Luka hid his grin at the game they were playing behind his coffee. It had been a long time since he had flirted with anyone. He and Cass… no, he wouldn’t think about that now. He took a sip before giving his name. “Luka.”
Zavier nodded and sipped his own drink then set the cup down and mirrored Luka’s move with the sugar. He took another sip and gave a satisfied sigh at the result. “So Luka, do you want to talk about the disagreement? I can either be an objective outsider or I can be totally ‘she’s a bitch’ your choice?”
“No, she isn’t a bitch. We’re ah…” Luka looked down into his drink and bit his bottom lip as he considered his next words. He looked up to find Zavier staring at him intently as he breathed in the lust that hung heavily between them. “Exploring our relationship.”
“As in you have an open relationship?” Zavier asked evenly.
Luka shrugged. “We’ve played with others in the past but always as a couple. But now…” he trailed off, not wanting to say out loud that he might not be enough for Cass.
After a minute of silence Zavier guessed, “Now you want to try things not as a couple?”
Luka sighed, if only it were that. “She’s met someone.”
“Ah. So are you um… looking to meet someone too then?”
Luka frowned. “To be honest I’m not sure.” He shrugged mentally to himself, not sure why he was willing to discuss this with Zavier. “I thought we were happy as we were, that we’d left that behind us. But she… well apparently we haven’t.”
“Are you angry at her?”
“At her?” Luka repeated surprised. “No. I was angry at myself that I hadn’t realised…” he trailed off and shook his head. “I need to tell her,” he said with a glance into his cup.
“Of course,” Zavier agreed as he finished his drink and stood up.
“Thank you again. For the drink and the talk.” Luka rose from his seat and held out his hand.
“Anytime,” Zavier grinned as he grasped Luka’s hand. “Though maybe next time you’ll remember your shoes and I’ll buy you a real drink.”
“Next time I’ll buy you a real drink and dessert. Caprice has some incredible items on their menu,” he said, naming the dessert bar upstairs.
“Sounds good.” Zavier stepped away from the table and turned to go.
Luka watched him take a couple of steps then called after him. “Zavier, same time tomorrow?”
Zavier pivoted and walked backwards a few steps. “Sure. Meet me in the lobby?”
Luka nodded. “See you then.”