"C'mon, let's go eat," he whispered, his hand sliding down my arm until he took mine gently. Still, despite all of his reassurances, I hesitated to go.
"Cayden, I don't know," I said slowly as he turned around to glance at me questioningly.
"Maybe you don't, but I do," he said with a small sigh. "Mike and Jess used to run this place all by themselves for the longest time. They hand pick those that they ask to work for them. The only time people get fired is if they do something to deserve it." I frowned a bit. At all of my previous jobs, calling in sick with my headaches was a good enough reason to fire me.
"And calling in sick so much isn't a reason?" I asked incredulously. I simply had trouble believing that this job was ithat/i much different from the other ones I had held.
"Not to them," he replied. "Especially since they hired you knowing you were prone to getting sick often. And if you hadn't noticed already they treat us as if we're family. So they worry about you when you call in, thus sending me over to check on you." I nodded a bit. It made a little bit of sense to me at any rate. I mean I had been looking for a job when this one was offered to me, but they hadn't had a sign in their window saying they were looking for extra help. I let Cayden pull me along until we were once more in the employee lounge, the overwhelming smell of the Chinese food making my mouth water a bit.
"Ah, you did get him to come!" Mike exclaimed, smiling broadly when he caught sight of me hiding behind Cayden's larger body. "How on Earth did you manage to do it?" I blushed furiously as the blonde glanced back at me with a devious smile before turning to Mike.
"I finally confessed," he said and Mike's eyes went wide with surprise.
"Should I assume that by the fact that you got Kieran in here that he returned those feelings?" Mike asked, trying to glance around Cayden's shoulder to see me. I nodded a little ducking my head so that my hood could partially cover the deep red blush I knew was painting my face. "Awesome. I must say it's about damn time." I wasn't sure if my blush could get any worse, but if it could, it did. He made it sound like he had known about Cayden's feelings for awhile now and that only made me that much more curious.
"C'mon, Kieran," Cayden said, a slight hint of embarrassment in his own voice as he tugged me further into the room. "What's your poison?" I blinked at him for several moments, not actually having an idea of what he was talking about. He seemed to catch on quickly to my confusion, a small frown tugging at the corners of his mouth. "When was the last time you had Chinese?" he asked and I had to look away.
"Probably... before my father left... So... More than twelve years?" I said hesitantly. I felt his hand leave mine and then both of his hands were on either side of my face.
"Relax, Kieran," he whispered, his mouth just inches from ear. "No one here is going to judge you, okay?" I nodded meekly and he pressed a kiss to my cheek. "Well, while it makes this more difficult, it also makes it easier. Do you prefer rice or noodles?" he asked, regaining his former chipper attitude rather quickly.
"Noodles," I mumbled and he smiled, beginning to sift through the box.
"Chicken, beef or shrimp?" he asked, beaming a smile over his shoulder at me. I paused a moment with that question, as I didn't really eat meat that wasn't canned very often.
"Um... beef?" I replied hesitantly and again his face lit up into a smile. If only he truly knew why I had hesitated, he probably wouldn't be smiling so much. Then again, he did make a small mention about what the inside of my kitchen looked like, so he probably already could guess why I hesitated in answering him. He turned around, handing me a small square container and a plastic fork.
"Here you go," he said grinning from ear to ear as I took the food from him. "Beef Lomein. Go sit and eat. I'm just going to grab mine and I'll be right there." I nodded a bit, shuffling towards a chair at the table where Mike was sitting, eating something that resembled chicken bit with an orange glaze on them.
"Relax, Kieran," Mike said as he caught me watching him. "You're part of the family and family takes care of each other." My eyes widened a bit in surprise as he confirmed what Cayden had told me earlier. They really did view us as members of their family.
"Thank you, Mike," I mumbled, looking down at the table as another blush came up to my cheeks. As Cayden sat down, I carefully opened the little box and fished out a small bite to avoid being further prompted to eat. It was more than enough that they could guess at my eating habits from how thin the parts of me I couldn't stop them from seeing were, but now Cayden had an even better idea of just how lacking my diet was.
While we ate, Cayden and Mike talked. It really did seem like the two of them had a really good relationship despite the fact that Mike was technically our boss. It just further emphasized the kind of people they both were. Never before had I come across anyone who was as friendly and open as these two seemed to be with each other and even with me as they continuously tried to drag me into the conversation. I'd respond when I had to, but otherwise I just remained silent, listening and watching as I took slow bites of the delicious noodles, beef and vegetables.
When Mike was done, he retreated from the room with the excuse of going to relieve Jessica from having to run the counter. For a few minutes Cayden and I sat in silence, both eating, but then I set my carton on the table. He stared at the carton for a long moment before he turned to me, a soft small on his face. I offered him a weak smile, but I was really too full to do more than that.
"Was it no good?" he asked concerned and I shook my head quickly, my eyes going wide.
"No, no! It was delicious and I am quite grateful!" I insisted raising my hands defensively. He raised an eyebrow at me before leaning forward to peer into the container.
"You barely made a dent in it, Kieran," he said, sliding a questioning glance my way. I frowned and looked away. It wasn't my fault that I had such a small stomach. It had been trained well to survive on only the minimal amount of fuel.
"I'm full, really," I mumbled, unable to look up at him. I felt his fingertips under my chin, gently turning me to face him.
"Are you?" he asked, not so much questioning my honesty, but being sure that I truly was satisfied. I nodded a little, giving him a soft pleading look. I really couldn't eat anything else. "I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, but I had kind of hoped that you could put more down when the opportunity presented itself." I let his fingertips draw me closer until I was mere inches from him. I felt my heartbeat quicken as my breath drew up short from how close we were.
"Cay-" I started to question, but was cut off before I could even finish getting his name out by his lips crushed against mine. I squeaked in surprise, but otherwise didn't protest, even returning the kiss to the best of my ability. Slowly the kiss deepened, his lips prying mine apart as his tongue found it's way into my mouth. I wasn't so naive that I didn't know why his tongue was in my mouth, but I really had no idea how to react to it. I guess I needn't have known, as instinct took over again when the wet muscle began to massage my own. I caught myself moaning softly into the deep kiss, blushing at the sound.
"Kieran..." he breathed, his lips moving slowly along my jaw as we both fought to regain our breath. "Come home with me when your shift ends, please?" I balked slightly and started to pull away from him. He just tightened his grip and pulled me so that I was sitting in his lap. "I'm not going to molest you, Kieran. I just want to know more about you. The whos and the whys and the whats. And I have this feeling that you won't tell me about them while we are here." I stared at him for a long moment, trying to gauge how serious he was in that he only wanted to get to know me better.
"Okay," I murmured, blushing slightly as I felt something that wasn't Cayden's leg poking me in the thigh. "But only to talk." He smiled and nodded, burying his face in the side of my neck. I had to admit that it felt good to have another person's body heat against my skin and I did wonder a bit what it might feel like to be fully encompassed in such warmth, but Cayden still scared me a bit. I didn't know how serious he was about having feelings for me or if he could handle being around for my headaches. Everyone else that I had ever encountered couldn't go six months before they gave up on trying to deal with me. I was worried that Cayden might very well be just like everyone else.
"Well, now aren't you two just so cute together!" Jess's boisterous voice exclaimed from the doorway of the lounge. I squeaked in surprise and terror as I whipped around so fast I tore myself from Cayden's grip. I landed on the floor with a thud, groaning as it wasn't all that nice on a bony ass. "I'm so sorry, Kieran!" Jess said, running over to offer me a hand up. I bit my lips as I blushed deeply. "I didn't expect to find you two in such a position and I wasn't thinking when I blurted out how cute you were! Please forgive me, Kieran!"
"What? I don't get an apology?" Cayden asked, casting a mock glare at our boss's wife. She turned her head to him, sticking her tongue out before turning back to me and smoothing down my hair until I flinched away.
"You aren't as easily surprised as Kieran is," she said, sighing softly as I still flinched away from her. "Are you alright?" she asked, focusing back on me. I nodded a little, before slipping from the room. I'd had about as much embarrassment as I could stand for one evening. I quickly made my way back into the store room, shutting off the light and resuming my previous job of checking in the new books.