Lusting Over Lasagna
by Sammy Girl
Disclaimer: Not mine, never were, never will be.
Author's Note: This fic is a direct sequel to Musing Over Google. Betaed by Deb.
Feedback: Yes please.
Back to: Musing Over Google
He said yes! Think, say something, you're the one who started this. It's too early for lunch - isn't it? Damn it's nearly twelve, I could have sworn we'd only been here an hour or so. Time doesn't fly when you're bored out of your skull so I must have been doing a mite more Ezra watching than I thought. He's still waiting for a response.
"Great, it's... um, let's get squared away here and then head out."
What the hell were you thinking, the Trevi? Why did you suggest that place? Okay, it makes sense, but not yet. Why didn't you suggest the Lookout for God's sake? It's a nice place, great mountain views, fancy food, lots of suits doing power lunches with their clients; no one would look at us twice. Or the Crystal Tower, right here in the city, more great views, French food - I know he likes that stuff, he's always taking Maude to that fancy place down town. But no, you have to go and suggest a mom and pop place where they have tiles on the tables instead of cloths and pasta pictures on the wall! The food is amazing, so he can't complain about that - but it's the Trevi! What was I thinking?
You have to wonder mind you, how the hell does a little family run Italian restaurant way out there, get to be a trendy gay eating place? It's small, old fashioned, no music - of course the guys who go there aren't the youngest, mostly dress pretty conservative, like me I guess.
Calm down, think. You said it 'cause that's where you take all your male dates. Do you what Ezra to be more than just a friend - yes, oh God yes! Do you want to spend your time with him pretending to be something you're not? No, you don't do that with strangers, why the hell would you do it with someone who actually knows you for God's sake? When Ezra invites you out we can go someplace fancy, some place he likes and.... Whoa! Hold up there boy! 'When Ezra invites you out?' Shit, getting a bit ahead of yourself aren't you? Let's just see how one lunch goes.
"I'm going to the... the rest room, I'll see you downstairs?"
"Oh, right, sure."
He looks so cool, totally calm, how can he be so casual about it? Who are you kidding Ezra P Standish, he's being casual about it because to him it's nothing special. Made it, any one in here? No, thank God. Look at you Ezra, you're pathetic, so he looks at you, so what? You've been working together for two years, why shouldn't you go out to lunch? We do it all the time - except... I don't know, there was just the hint of something in his eyes. Damn those eyes of his will be the undoing of me. How can a man with hair that dark have blue eyes? And not any old blue, oh no, dark blue, like sapphires - of for the love of Mike, you sound like a Hallmark movie!
Okay, now or never, lunch with Buck, alone.
This is nice, a real Italian place, how come I've never heard of this place? The pasta pictures are... charming. And this must be the owner.
"Buck! Now why didn't you tell Mamma you were coming?"
"Sort of last minute thing, we got the day off - unexpectedly."
"Oh yes, who is this?"
"Mrs. Conti this is my friend Ezra Standish, we work together?"
She has to be the archetypal Italian mother. Short, dark, plump and loud, no doubt the salt of the earth. Clearly this is a regular haunt of Buck's and as usual he has every female around eating out of his hand.
"Mrs. Conti? Shame on you Buck Wilmington, you know everyone calls me Mamma."
"Sorry. You got a table for us?"
"Of course, over here."
I'll just slip in this side, where I can see the door. Hope Buck isn't as paranoid as me - no he's slipping in opposite. These tables are rather narrow, which is nice, because he's a lot closer than in most places I know. Let's take a look at the menu, hope the food is as good as the smell coming from the kitchen. Who's this? Two men, mid thirties, one in an expensive suit, short hair, second a little taller, longer hair, still in a suit, but not as smart. They know Mamma Conti too, judging from the greeting. Why is Buck looking at me like that?
"What would you like?"
You, oh what would I like to eat. "I'm not sure, what do you recommend?"
"Mamma's lasagna is the best you ever tasted."
"Well I bow to your superior knowledge, lasagna it is."
"Wine or beer?"
"What are you having?"
"Coke, I'm driving."
"Never let it be said I'd leave a friend drinking alone, I'll join you."
Buck's ordering, and here come some new customers, two men, casually dressed, early forties, no threat. Buck's looking at me again; he's got that quiet amused look on his face.
Come on Ezra, it can't take much longer to work it out. You've been checking out every new arrival. I was counting on your paranoia and you didn't disappoint, those green eyes take in everything, so why haven't you noticed yet? Come on Ezra look around you, tell me I've got this right. Yes Ez that's my knee brushing against yours, I know the table is narrow but I could keep out of your way if I wanted to.
Oh to hell with this, when all else fails use the patented Wilmington method to find out what the other party is thinking - ask. Damn here comes the food. Hope he likes it. How can you not? It's food from heaven. Damn I need a drink; my mouth feels like cotton wool. Ezra's got the food on his fork, he's got it in the air, but he's frozen. Has he done it, has he worked it out?
"All the clientele in this establishment are male."
"And you come here often?"
"Not often, but regularly."
About six or seven times a year I think. Come on Ez, ask, say something else.
"Buck, why did you bring me to this place?"
"Because I like you."
"I really, really like you."
"I didn't think you... walked on the other side of the street."
"I walk down the middle of the street, I haven't chosen a side. You?"
"I, that is I... this side."
"I thought so - I'd like to take a stroll with you, see where it leads."
"I'd like that too."
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