**The ever delicious prompt for today: irritation. Enjoy!**
Cole took one look at his desk, dropped his bag to the floor, and cursed. Well, silently cursed, as he was in the office and the sorts of words he wanted to say would definitely get him in trouble. For the third day in a row, his pen holder was on the wrong side of his desk. The mouse pad was turned the wrong way. The phone was moved, the chair was lowered, his monitor was off center, and his stapler and tape dispenser were set askew.
He grumbled, trying to keep it quiet. Three days these childish pranks had been been going on. Now he had to spend time–time he should be working–straightening his desk just so he could work. He knew if he made a big deal about it, then the jerk or jerks would had done this would feel as if they succeeded. Cole didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of knowing they got to him,. But frankly, it was more than a little irritating.
Once his desk was set to rights, he logged in and began working. It was only an hour, when the columns of numbers were starting to swim before his eyes, that he realized he hadn’t gotten his usual coffee from the break room. Too distracted by finding his desk messed with, he’d forgotten to make a cup. That rankled even more. Whoever had done this was messing with his entire day now. Aggravated, he grabbed his favorite mug and went to get his much needed caffeine.
Cole jerked his head around to see Mason loitering by the coffee pot. Cole tried not to scowl. Mason always seemed to be well put together. More than that, he had a relaxed and jovial attitude that Cole found irksome. Everyone in the office adored Mason. Cole couldn’t say that he disliked the man, but he didn’t find him as charming as everyone else seemed to.
“Yes. I’m fine,” Cole snapped.
“You sure?” Mason gave a slow blink, and then a small smile. “You seem kind of…irritated.”
“I’m sure.” Cole would not admit that he was beyond irritated. Instead, he poured himself a mug of coffee and all but stomped from the break room.
With sufficient caffeine flowing in his system, Cole was able to focus. Before too long, he was so absorbed in his work he’d all but forgotten about his the state of his desk when he’d arrived. At twelve-thirty precisely, he clocked out for lunch and headed down to the cafeteria to eat his turkey sandwich on whole wheat. Then he headed back upstairs.
To find a purplish colored smoothie sitting on his desk, conscientiously placed on a napkin so the condensation from the plastic glass didn’t mar his desk top. Cole glanced around, but no one was paying him any attention. he sat at his desk, and noticed the note propped up against the side of his cup.
It’s blueberry-strawberry-banana. Supposed to be good for energy.
Odd, but Cole took a cautious sip anyway. It was delicious. And Cole had to admit, a few hours later, he didn’t hit the late afternoon slump he usually did.
Six o’clock rolled around faster than normal. Cole was surprised when he heard his coworkers calling out their goodbyes. He started shutting down his computer and packing up, already dreading what state his desk would be in when he arrived in the morning. Perhaps he should put everything away in the drawers and lock them?
“I’m sorry I messed with your stuff.”
Cole spun around to see Mason standing in his cubicle entrance, a look of sincere remorse on his pretty face. Cole shook his head, then narrowed his eyes.
“You did it?”
Mason nodded and dropped his gaze. He took a deep breath and looked back up. “I was trying to get your attention.”
“That seems…rather childish, yes?” The words were out of Cole’s mouth and he racked his brain for a way to diminish the accusation, but Mason was already nodding.
“Yes. Definitely. But every time I try to talk to you, you blow me off. I was getting desperate.” Mason offered him a hint of a grin. “I’m sorry though. I didn’t think about how it would piss you off. That really wasn’t nice of me.”
“No,” Cole agreed. He sighed, and shouldered his bag. “But if you wanted my attention, you could have just said ‘Hey, Cole, want to meet me for a drink sometime?’ That would have worked rather well.”
Mason bit his lip, and his smile grew. He pushed an errant lock of hair out of his eyes. “Hey, Cole. Want to meet me for a drink sometime?”
Cole had always found Mason attractive, but Cole never thought Mason would be interested in a somewhat staid introvert like himself. Clearly, he’d been wrong. And what was the harm in a drink? If it didn’t work out, they could part ways.
“Does Friday work for you?”
Mason’s wide grin was all the answer Cole needed.