WARNING: This is a slash fiction (meaning boys who love boys) If you are offended by this, please don't read. This story also contains mature things such as abuse and rape, so if you are uneasy about these subjects, do not read this story (It's rated M for a reason).
I never expected that cold night a few weeks ago would be the night my whole world was tossed upside down. I never expected that cold night a few weeks ago would be the night my whole world was tossed upside down. I never expected to be stranded in the run-down areas of New York City at twelve in the morning. It might not sound very life-changing, because well, it's not. It was the Ol' Beanery Café. That café is the place where I first saw him. And I haven't been thinking straight since.
It was dark and cold, that night. I was riding home from a tiring day at the office. I work as an investment executive and having this high-paying job comes with costs. It's not unusual that I work from eight in the morning to as late as one in the morning. Today I was actually lucky to be getting out at around eleven. However all my luck ran out when my driver suddenly pulled over to the side of the road.
"I'm sorry, sir, but we're experience some engine trouble." My tall, bony driver said. He looked frightened of me, and he had reason to. I am not the most amiable man.
I nodded, obviously put-off by this sudden declaration. Grabbing my umbrella that sitting beside me, I kicked open the door and grimaced at the sensation of rain on my clothes. It was just my bloody luck for it to start raining out of nowhere.
My driver was still worried about his well-being and quickly got out as well.
"Sir, there's a café just across the street. It's open late, so you can stay there until I get this engine up and running again."
I barely gave him a nod before starting my quick walk across the street. While I was walking I started looking around. The area was dark, barely lit by the few decrepit and dated street-lights. The buildings were old and appeared to be rotting. Garbage littered the ground and graffiti was splattered across every bare piece of wood and brick present. I could see slumped figures of homeless people and a few prostitutes down the street, running to get out of the rain. It all made me sick and I really didn't want to enter the café. However, I have always hated rain and I especially hate what it does to my chocolate colored locks of hair. I cannot stand when my hair gets frizzy.
Upon approaching the door, I held back. It was different from the surrounding buildings. It was old, yes, but not run-down. It looked warm and inviting, the lights inside glowing behind the soft looking curtains that were drawn. It smelled good too, like southern cooking. It still puzzles me why they call Ol' Beanery a café when it's really a small restaurant.
I quickly entered when the rain started hitting me harder, desperate to be warm again. Too my surprise the room was filled with about ten people. There was a fireplace off on one side of the room with a fire burning brightly inside. The room was filled with tables and chairs that each had a kerosene lamp on top. Up front there was a bar like desk with all kinds of different coffee's displayed. There were two waiters bustling around filling peoples mugs with drinks with cheery smiles on there faces. I instantly felt out of my element. I approached the bar tentatively, and waited a few seconds before a tall and plump woman came out from inside the back room which I presumed was a kitchen.
"How ya doin', Sir." She said to me, her accent thick and cheerful. She smiled at me, brushing away one of her blonde curls and then rubbing her hands on her apron.
I tried to smile back, but opted for a nod instead when I found it very difficult to do. As I said before, I'm not a very amiable man. "Hello, can I order a cup of coffee?"
"Sure thing." She said, the word 'thing' sounding like 'thyaang'. "What kind of Joe would you like?"
"Um…" I glanced at the menu on the wall and blanched. It had about twenty or so different types of coffee. None of them looked familiar. "I'm not sure…do you know what's good?"
"Hmm, well I don't drink Joe much myself, so I'll be right back. Haley there in the back is the best with picking flavors."
I nodded once again, and leaned against the desk as she went in the back. I took the time to look at the other people in the room. Some looked fairly decent in my opinion, but most looked poor. It makes me very uncomfortable being around people not of my same social-status. I've been rich all my life and will continue to be so till the day I die. I personally don't care if I come of as snooty and rude. Everyone else I know is the same as me. It's a way of life, you know?
"Haley says to try the Vanilla Cinnamon Spice. Does it sound alright to you?" She asked, grabbing a mug from a rack on the side of the bar. I nodded once again. I have a thing for Cinnamon and Vanilla and I was surprised that I hadn't seen that on the list. I looked over at the menu once again and the woman chuckled.
"Don't bother lookin' hun, it's not there. It's Haley's special."
"Ah, okay." I said, sitting down on one of the bar stools. I studied the woman for a few seconds before deciding to ask her a few questions about this odd place.
"So…why are you guys open so late?" I asked, fiddling with my watch. I'm not very good with making conversation and it always makes me nervous.
"Ah well, we cater to lots of busy people. People who work late to support their families and such. Most of the folks here are on the breaks from work."
"Really?" I said glancing around. Some of these people looked homeless or downright poor. They couldn't possibly have jobs.
"Yessir, but some of em' don't have homes as you might've seen." She said, lowering her voice to barely above a whisper. "Haley treats em' to coffee once a week. He's such a tender-soul."
"He?" I asked puzzled. I'd never heard of Haley as a name for a boy.
The woman chuckled and grabbed the now full mug of prepared coffee. "I'm gonna take this back for him to fix up special. It'll be right out in a minute." She said cheerily as she exited the main room.
I looked down at my watch and sighed, it was so late. I pulled out my cell-phone and dialed my drivers number, hoping to hear that the engine was fixed.
"Hello Sir." he said over the line, his voice sounding tired.
"Michael, is the car fixed yet?" I asked, my voice coming off rude and annoyed as usual. I always sound like that, even when I really wasn't upset.
"I'm sorry Sir, but I've had to call a tow truck. I'll have to contact a taxi to come pick you up. It'll be about an hour Sir."
I sighed in annoyance, shutting my cell-phone off without another word to the man. It was then that I noticed my cup of coffee sitting in front of me and the presence of another person. I looked up and gasped, which is not something I usually do.
The person in front of me was nothing short of a beauty. She, or he, I couldn't figure out the gender, was very short and had long vibrant red hair that curled at the ends. The person had deep chocolate eyes that seemed as if they were smiling. A light spray of freckles dotted across the person's small slightly upturned nose that I instantly found very cute. The person's hair was pulled back into a loose pony tail yet some of the locks of hair curled around his or hers small smiling face. This person so pretty yet so ordinary immediately had me itching to ask for their number.
"How ya doing?" The person asked, immediately throwing me off with the sound of his or hers deep voice. Now I knew that it had to be a boy.
"Um…good." I said, recovering myself and putting on my strict business face.
"Good, good." He said, leaning against the bar. He was so short that it seemed like he was hanging onto the bar rather than leaning against it. "I'm Haley, I hope you like the Joe it's my favorite." He said in his deep southern accent.
"Oh um…" I started, picking up the mug and taking a great sip, forgetting that the coffee was smoking hot. I grimaced and coughed before I set the mug back down. "I-it's great." I said, rubbing my tongue against the roof of my mouth in attempts to cool it.
Haley frowned at me and pulled at a lock of his hair. "Don't seem like it."
"No really, it's great." I said, straightening up in my seat. "I burned my tongue." I admitted, feeling stupid for doing such a childish thing.
"Ah, okay. Sorry 'bout that." He said, chuckling. I gave a small smile, feeling relieved that he thought nothing of it.
"So, what brings ya here? I've never seen you here before." He said, giving me a smile. Before I could stop myself I smiled back. It felt weird, and I didn't like it.
"My limo broke down across the street, my driver's trying to fix it and I'm trying to stay out of the rain."
"That's a stinker." He muttered, picking up a dish rag and washing the bottom ledge of the bar. "Well you're welcome to stay here as long as you like."
"Don't you guys close?" I asked, taking a careful sip of the coffee. It really was good, nice and sweet.
"Yeah, but we stay open later on some days. This'll be one of them."
"So what are you, a business agent or somethin'?" He asked after a minute.
"I'm an investment executive." I corrected, taking another sip. "I work long hours."
He nodded and chuckled. "Yeah so do I." Stepping out from the behind the bar he walked over to a group of men that were leaving and waved as they stepped out.
"See ya'll later. Don't stay out there in the rain tonight, 'kay." He said cheerfully. The men muttered something back but I couldn't make it out. I then looked around and noticed I was the only one left.
"That woman told me you gave them coffee." I said as he returned. "Why the heck would you do that?"
Haley laughed softly and leaned against the bar again, "Well you know my mamma raised me to always think of those below me." He started putting a few dishes in a stack. "Even though I ain't rich myself, it's still good to give. It keeps you humble."
I nod, not really seeing the point in giving away what you've worked hard to earn. "Where are you from?" I asked, changing the subject.
"Alabama." He stated. "The dirty, dirty south." He finished with a laugh.
I nodded. I'd never been to Alabama before and was curious as to why he was here, so I asked him. "What brings you here?" I asked, finishing my coffee and wanting more.
At this question Haley's beautiful eyes turned down and he sighed. "Bad choices brought me here. Bad choices and a need to get away. I haven't been home in five years, left when I was fourteen."
"You were young." I said, frowning when I realized how much younger he was than me. I should've gotten that from his appearance, but I was too blinded by his beauty. As corny as that sounds. Him being only 19 made my 26 year old self feel old.
"Yeah I was, but I needed out…badly." He said with a small smile. "You could say it was teenage angst or something." He finished softly.
I looked at him and sighed. I'd never felt so attracted to someone in my life. I was already in love with his smile and his laugh. He was just so…intriguing. Yet I couldn't picture myself with him. What would my company think? Gay and a lover of the poor? No that would never work.
"What about you? You don't sound like you're from around here." Haley said, breaking me out of my thoughts.
"Yes um, I'm actually from Washington. But I lived most of my childhood in London."
"Ah, I could tell a bit of British accent there. Not so much, but it's there." He said with a smile. "I like it."
I immediately flushed and turned my head to the side so he couldn't see. "Yeah." I said awkwardly. He only smiled again and glanced at the clock. He bit his lip and looked worried for a brief second before turning back to me.
"Something wrong?" I asked.
"No, it's just late that's all." He said running a hand through his long pony-tail. I was amazed at how long his hair was. In a pony-tail it reached down to his waist. I felt myself dying to touch his hair that looked so soft and supple.
"Can't you go home…?" I asked.
Haley giggled and smiled at me once again. His smile was so soft and inviting. "I can't until all the customers leave."
"Oh well..." I said flushing. "My driver should only be about fifteen more minutes." I said, glancing at the wall and noticing in surprise that we'd been talking for forty-five minutes.
"Don't fret yourself, its fine." He said, trying to sound cheerful. But I knew something was bothering him.
"What are you missing your favorite TV show or something?" I asked jokingly.
Haley laughed and waved his hand. "If I could afford to watch television, maybe. But no, my…husband…gets upset when I get home late."
I could literally feel my heart dropping at this. I knew I would've never dated this man, let alone any man. Yet hearing these words made me upset, even mad.
"You're…married?" I asked slowly.
Haley sighed and rubbed his arm as if nervous. "I shouldn't have brought that up…" He said, gathering a few mugs into his arms. "I'm gonna put these away, I'll be right back."
I nodded and looked into my empty mug of coffee. Married? How was that possible? Gay marriage wasn't permitted in New York. He could've been married in Massachusetts, but what was the likelihood of that?
Just as he was coming back into the room my cell-phone started ringing. "One second." I said to him as I picked up the phone. "Hello?" I muttered.
"Sir, your taxi is here." My driver said nervously.
"Alright." I said hanging up and sighing in annoyance and a bit of sadness. I wanted to stay and talk to this beautiful and intriguing character.
"Leaving?" he asked softly.
"Yeah, my taxi's here." I said standing up and pulling on my coat.
"It was nice talkin' to you." He said, smiling before coming out from behind the bar and outstretching his hand. "I never got your name."
I shook his hand and willed myself to pull away before it got awkward. His hand was so soft and small; it felt like a child's hand.
"Jackson." I said. "Jackson Edwards."
"Haley Woods." He answered cheerfully. "Hopefully I'll see you around sometime, if not, it was nice to meet you."
"I…" I started to tell him that I would see him around but decided against it. "Nice meeting you." I said, before turning away from him and walking towards the door.
I told myself on the drive home that I would forget about him. That'd I'd move on and find a nice girl to settle down with. And I really thought I'd forget his face by the next day. But I didn't. So here I am, three weeks later and the beautiful red-head still on my mind.
I don't know why I can't forget him. I've never liked poor people or thought them anything important. But this one…he's different. I like him. And that upsets me. I don't like this feeling. Not one bit.