anything about flowers?”
Milo turned back toward him, a slow smile spreading across his face. “Yeah, tons.”
“I can’t pay you much, at least not at first,” Will said finally.
“I’m okay with that,” Milo replied.
“When can you start?”
Milo stared at him, mouth slightly agape. “Seriously? Just like that?”
“I need all the help I can get.”
“Wow, thanks… uh….”
Milo reached out to shake. His hand was strong and warm, and Will couldn’t help the twinge of something he felt as their palms slid together.
“Thank you, Will,” Milo said, the sincerity heavy in his words.
Will let his hand drop to his side as the awkwardness set in. It was a spur of the moment decision, and he’d never hired anyone before. He’d ever expected to hire anyone. He knew nothing about having an employee or what the protocol was for starting a new job. Sure, he’d been on the other end of the transaction, but he desperately wanted not to sound like an idiot. His back was against the wall, though.
“Do you have a few minutes?” Will asked.
“Okay. You don’t have a jacket,” Will noted. “Why don’t you wait here, I’ll go grab us a couple of coffees, and we can iron out the details? If everything sounds all right to you, I’d like you to start as soon as possible.”
Will grinned. “Tomorrow’s perfect.”
“Morning, Simon,” Will said as he walked into the coffee shop down the block. He’d become quite the regular since acquiring Bloom Box—coffee being the one staple in his diet that kept him sane.
“Morning,” Simon replied.
“Is Aaron in today?”
“Nah, he’s out running errands.”
“Too bad. Tell him I say hi,” Will said. “Could I get a couple of lattes to go, please?”
Simon’s eyebrows lifted. “Two?”
“Yes, please.” Will didn’t elaborate, but he could feel his cheeks heat. It was stupid. There was nothing remotely untoward about sharing a cup of coffee with his new potential employee. Strictly business, but there was a strange tingling in his belly at the thought. He pushed it aside and concentrated on keeping his expression neutral.
“You got it,” Simon said, turning to make Will’s drinks.
When he was finished, Simon rang up his total, Will paid, then thanked Simon before walking the short distance back to the shop.
Over the next hour, Will and Milo sipped lattes and discussed the details of Milo’s employment. By the time Milo left, Will was feeling lighter than he had in weeks. It seemed as though by magic or miracle, Milo had shown up at precisely the right time, and even more wondrous was the fact that their needs seemed to dovetail perfectly.
Will locked the door behind Milo as he left, the sky dark with clouds, even with weeks of summer left. Checking to make sure everything was secure, Will walked back through the shop and through the door to the back. He ignored the mounds of boxes stacked along each side of the room, the encumbrance they represented weighing a little less heavily on his shoulders.
He reached the second-floor landing and stepped through the door into a space that was never meant to function as an apartment but had become his home since the split. He’d sold the house he’d bought to be his home with Spencer the same week he’d learned of Spencer’s indiscretions. This was smaller, more cramped, but easier too. There were fewer memories here, and in the two months since Spencer left, Will was grateful for that. There’d been no holidays or birthdays here, no celebrations or quiet intimate moments. It was just four walls and a ceiling, above a shop that had been meant to be his gift to his partner.
The morning found Will feeling brighter than he had in a long time. Knowing Milo would be there soon gave Will the push he needed to sit up and throw the covers back. He showered, then dressed, and before long he was downstairs staring at
Chavoret Jaruboon, Pornchai Sereemongkonpol