**A Valentine’s Day prompt this week! Evan thinks the box of sweets is from his work BFF to cheer him up after a recent breakup…but is it? Enjoy!**
Evan wasn’t really big on celebrating Valentine’s Day himself, but he enjoyed all the red and pink decorations, and he liked seeing couples in love. All that gave him hope that one day he would find the same. He’d take hope wherever he could find it these days. Since Christmas, since that moment when Lou had walked out, he’d had little hope.
Evan shook his head and resumed his walk. Sure, after the fact he’d realized how much better off he was without Lou. It hadn’t been as amazing as he thought it had. But it had taken it quite a while to get to this point, because he’d been certain Lou was it. His forever. And now he was thirty-seven and alone again.
That was more than a little depressing, and even more so when he thought about his age in conjunction. Evan knew from a young age he was the settling down type. In all his fantasies, he had imagined being settled long before now. But that hadn’t happened. Reality was different.
It had taken a lot of tears, soul searching, and one ritual burning, but he was okay now. Most of the time anyway. Evan pushed it all aside as he got to his corner cubicle. He had the office luncheon to look forward to later, and the quiet chatter that filled the floor seemed happy and upbeat. It was a good day, and Evan resolutely refused to let those morose thoughts ruin the mood.
The dark mood that threatened abruptly vanished when Evan got to his desk. Because right there in the center of his previously spotless desk was a red, heart shaped box. The satin bow was a nice touch. No card, but Evan didn’t need one. He knew who the present was from. A grin stretched his mouth, and he lifted the lid to sample one of the smooth, milk chocolate confections inside. He gave a tiny moan as it melted on his tongue, then slid his jacket off and hung it up.
“Whatcha got there?” Joanie’s melodic voice sounded behind Evan, and he turned as his smile grew. He burst out laughing when he saw his work best friend wearing a headband with heart-topped antennae.
“Like you don’t know.” He leaned down and kissed her cheek. “Thanks, Joanie B. The chocolates made my day.”
She glanced at the desk, and then back up at Evan’s face. “I didn’t get them for you.”
“Yeah, right.” Evan chuckled as he sat.
“Evan.” Joanie stared right at him. “I’m telling you. I didn’t. I made the red velvet cupcakes you like for the potluck because I knew they would cheer you up. But the candy is not from me.”
Evan sat up straighter and really studied her. Joanie was the greatest friend, and he wouldn’t put it past her to do something exactly like this. She would think it was the best way to cheer him up. But Joanie also didn’t lie, and she was very serious. It took a second for everything to process. Just about the time Evan decided she was telling the truth was the moment Joanie figured out what was going on.
“There’s no card or note?” Joanie’s eyes lit up as he shook his head, and her voice dropped. “You have a secret admirer!”
Rolling his eyes, Evan shooed her away. “I don’t. Stop it. I’m sure there’s an explanation. I can’t be the only one who got one.”
Joanie opened her mouth but Evan shut it down with another firm dismissive motion.
“Go to work,” he told her.
It was three hours later when the heart antennae appeared over the top of the cubicle wall seconds before Joanie’s beaming face.
“No one else got one. I checked. You have a secret admirer.”
“Go away,” Evan said, purposefully ignoring her sing-song voice. She frowned before she disappeared again.
Once she was gone, Evan let himself grin. Someone liked him enough to leave him chocolates. He wouldn’t go so far as to think he actually had a secret admirer. But it was nice to think of nonetheless.
The smile stayed on his face the rest of the day.
It was after six before Evan finally finished what he was working on and was able to pack up for the day. He went through the methodical process of shutting down his computers and putting away his things. He snapped off his desk lamp, and then stood to shrug on his jacket. His eyes fell on the now half empty heart.
That had really made his day.
After a moment’s debate, Evan decided he was taking the chocolates home. He’d been going to lock them in the drawer and have more again tomorrow. But he thought he’d rather have them this evening with a glass of wine, remembering the feeling he had when he saw them. He tucked them into his messenger bag, slung it over his shoulder, and headed out.
At the elevators, Evan ran into Lucas, one of the managers in a neighboring department. Evan admired Lucas’s confident, take charge attitude. He also enjoyed the way the man filled out a suit, and the bright smile he always gave Evan. Lucas was definitely the stuff Evan was happy to fantasize about.
The elevator arrived before they could do much more than exchange greetings. Lucas stepped back and allowed Evan to enter first, and Evan hit the button for the bottom floor. Lucas offered him a small smile, little more than a smirk.
“How did you enjoy your chocolate?”
Evan gave a tiny moan of happiness. “They are unbelievably good. I…wait. How did you know about that? Did Joanie ask everybody in the whole company?”
Lucas shook his head, and his grin grew heated. “No. But I was hoping you would enjoy them when I picked them out.”
Evan opened his mouth to speak, but he couldn’t manage to make a single sound. It’d been a gift from Lucas? How was that possible?
The elevator dinged, and Lucas stepped into Evan’s space, putting a hand on the small of his back and steering him out into the garage. Evan could smell Lucas, the hint of spice and fabric starch, and he nearly moaned at the heat the man was giving off.
“How about dinner? I have reservations. And I can tell you all about how I’ve been plotting this for weeks. Ever since I heard you were no longer with your boyfriend and I could see you were healing.” Lucas leaned down, and skimmed his nose against Evan’s cheek, making him shudder. “And you can tell me if you want to pursue this after dinner?”
Evan swallowed, smiled, and nodded. This was already turning out to be one of the most romantic Valentine’s Day Evan had ever had. And the promise in Lucas’s voice, and the heat in his eyes, assured Evan it was about to get even better.