LENGTH: 6,832 words
This story is included in the anthology, Shorts
Ah, the luxury of a smoke break. For some, it is the opportunity to get away from the routine of the workplace. For others, a chance to refuel on the nicotine a cigarette provides. And for others? Well, it could be a chance to become easily addicted.
When Trevor meets a sexy co-worker on his smoke break, he’s hesitant to take him up on his offer of getting together after work. But Zack isn’t just some guy in sales, and sparks fly when Trevor finally makes it to Zack’s office …
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"That's bad for your health," a man said as he approached Trevor's bench.
In reply, Trevor countered, "I didn't know the Surgeon General was in town."
Not used to company as he stole a quick nicotine fix outside the office where he worked, Trevor didn't look up immediately. Instead, he took a drag on his cigarette to get it lit, flicked off his lighter, took a deep breath to fill his lungs with acrid smoke, and held it until he felt his body relax. Then he squinted into the sun, but didn't recognize the guy. Someone in sales, maybe, or one of the admen upstairs. Trevor worked in customer care and had only been with the firm for a month or so. He could count on one hand the number of people he knew in the whole building, and none of them worked higher than the third floor. "Trevor Pritchett," he said, holding out a hand to the stranger. "And you are?"
"Zack Jackson," the man said, taking Trevor's hand in a firm grip. He had nice eyes, despite the way the skin crinkled in the corners when he smiled. With his pale twill pants, open-toe sandals, and salmon-colored polo shirt unbuttoned to show off a fine gold necklace against smooth, tanned skin, Zack looked more at home on a yacht than in the office. The dark mop of unruly hair on top of his head seemed to have a mind of its own in the faint summer breeze. Zack shook Trevor's hand as he sat down beside him on the bench. "Nasty habit," he said before letting go.
With a grin, Trevor admitted, "I'm trying to quit."
"Really?" Zack laughed. "I couldn't tell."
He didn't wave away the smoke from Trevor's cigarette, and the fact that he even bothered to sit suggested a level of tolerance, so Trevor gestured to the pack of cigarettes between them. "You want a smoke?"
Zack shook his head, then ran a hand through his hair to push it back from his eyes. "I quit a few months ago." Leaning closer to Trevor, he lowered his voice and added, "I'll just sit here and breathe you in for a bit, if you don't mind." At the look on Trevor's face, Zack laughed again. "I meant your smoke. Don't worry, I'm not hitting on you yet."
That yet snagged in Trevor's mind like a thorn. Suddenly he had the overwhelming urge to blow his next puff into Zack's face, just purse his lips and stare into those dark eyes as the smoke curled from his mouth to waft against that tan skin. Where the hell did that come from? With deliberate care, Trevor turned away to exhale. His voice shook slightly as he pointed out, "They say second-hand smoke is worse."
"Who are you," Zack teased, "the Surgeon General?"