GENRE: Gay Erotic Romance
LENGTH: 11,170 words
Henry Kato is in a really bad mood. One of his rude, annoying, and mildly offensive co-workers has been bugging him for weeks about the upcoming office party. To get him off his back, Henry enlists the help of his best friend Luke to go with him as his plus one.
What Henry doesn't expect is for Luke to blurt out that they're engaged. Which they're most decidedly not. Even if Henry wishes it were true.
Do they have what it takes to convince everyone the engagement is real? Or will they burn up in smoke before the night even gets started?
Note: may contain sexually explicit scenes of a homoerotic nature.
Henry was in a bad mood. He'd been in a bad mood all day since Blaine had been up his ass about the stupid party. So Henry was not in the mood to laugh. He really wasn't, but damn it all, Luke's goofy smile and completely filthy remark had gone and made him laugh.
"Ew." He scoffed. "You're gross, Luke." Henry chuckled softly. His best friend's humor had always been on the dirty side. "And no. He's been bugging me about my RSVP."
"Why?" Luke reached out and brushed his thumb over Henry's cheek. Wiping something -- probably flour -- off, and Henry's heart thudded pleasantly like it always did when Luke touched him. "Did you check off the wrong box or something?"
A hard lump formed in Henry's throat. Totally unnecessary and completely ridiculous. This wasn't really a big deal. He could've told Luke weeks ago. When he first sent in his RSVP.
"Uh, no. Well ... maybe?" Henry shook his head. "Blaine's been bugging me about my ... plus one."
Taking a sip of his soda, Luke's eyebrows pulled in.
"Oh," he said when he lowered the can. Luke cleared his throat before strolling back over to the table where the first batch of cupcakes were still cooling. He plopped down and picked one up to start frosting it, even though the frosting started to melt a few seconds after he smeared it on. "Did you, uh, ask Ashely to go with you or something?"
Henry watched Luke for a second as his friend paid extra close attention to the cupcake with frosting melting into it. That made sense for Luke to assume. The party was at the end of the week. Obviously, if Henry intended on taking someone he would've asked them way in advance. Ashely would be a good choice. Henry's been friends with her almost as long as he'd been friends with Luke. But Henry had something else in mind.
"Um ... no."
He wasn't sure why this made him so damn nervous. Asking his best friend to come with him to the office holiday party really shouldn't be a big deal. It wasn't like they'd never gone to a party together. Not a work event, but still.
"Oh." Luke flicked his gaze up at him. "Then, who're you going with?"
Before answering that, Henry started mixing another bowl of batter. Just for something to keep himself occupied with even though he was pretty sure the twenty-four he'd already made would be enough.
"Well, I, uh, I thought maybe you might wanna come with me?"
The noise of the mixer probably drowned out the actual question since Henry turned it on right when he got to the point.
"What?" Luke shouted over the mixer. "What'd you say?"
Henry finished with the mixer before turning the thing off. He popped out one of the blades and handed it to Luke, who took it with a dopey grin on his face. Eager to lick up the batter still on it. Not that Henry could really make fun of him since he popped out the other one to do the same.
"I thought maybe you'd come with me," Henry repeated. Kept his eyes on the batter he licked up instead of Luke. Especially since Luke didn't answer right away.
"Me?" Luke chuckled. "Really?" He smiled at Henry. Big and wide with sparkles in his eyes. "You want lil ol' me as your plus one?"
The nerves that had been dancing through Henry's stomach disappeared. Just like that. Luke's easy and playful nature always calmed Henry down. No wonder Henry was so in love with him.
"Yeah, yeah," Henry grumbled. "Calm your tits. You wanna come or not?"
"I dunno, kid." Luke, who derived great humor over the fact that he was a whole three days older, gave him a long, drawn out shrug. "Where is this shindig?"
Like that actually mattered to him. Henry snorted and flicked some batter at his face as he poured it into the tray.
"That country club on Stewart Ave, dork. If you must know."
Luke snickered as he wiped the batter from his face. "Really? That snazzy place?"
"Yup. They really go all out."
Standing, Luke laughed as he finally shed his jacket. Under it, he wore a rag of a T-shirt all splattered with paint. So were his dirty jeans and work boots. That's what happened when one lived with a professional painter. Henry could only hope that Luke remembered to wrap his rollers up today since he constantly left them to soak on the hallway carpet.
"You sure you wanna go with this slob?" Luke joked. "To a nice place like that?"
Henry smirked. "You clean up real good, Stabile. Remember the prom?"
He did. Oh boy, did Henry remember the prom. Kinda hard to forget the day he realized he was head over heels in love with his best friend. Henry thought being a country apart while they each went to different colleges would fix that. Turned out, three thousand miles away from Luke Stabile wasn't far enough away to get over those feelings.
"That was almost ten years ago." Luke eyed him playfully. "I've put on a suit since then!"
"Once. Five years ago, for Carter's graduation party."
Huffing, Luke took a huge bite of the cupcake he started frosting earlier. Just that one bite had almost half of it in his mouth and he still chewed when he answered.
"I guess I gotta put it back on again, huh?"
Stomach fluttering excitedly, Henry tried to keep this huge smile under control.
"Does that mean you'll come with me?"
"Yeah." Luke gave him a shrug. "If I get to have most of the cupcakes."