Friday, January 9, 2015

Free Fiction: Misunderstood Hotness, Part 3

Dylon rubbed his hands together, considered the tray, and then hefted it safely. "Grab those paper plates? Time to have cake!"

Mason dutifully gathered the plates, plastic forks, and napkins. He followed Dylan out into the main room where the cake was deposited safely on the main table. Maggie emerged from the crowd of friends to help him. She collected the items from Mason.

"Happy Birthday," Mason said and gave her a soft kiss on the cheek.

"Thank you, darlin'," Maggie said. "You shouldn't be such a stranger, you know. Come for dinner this week."

"I will, thanks," Mason said.

Maggie returned to Dylan, who now had the candles lit. With a sweeping gesture, he started the crowd singing. Maggie beamed under the gaiety and attention. As the last few warbled notes faded, she blew out the candles and everyone clapped.

A crest of envy flowed over Mason, for the love Dylan and Maggie had together and for the happy moment they were sharing with friends. As Maggie blew out her birthday candles he closed his eyes and add his own wish into the curl of candle smoke. Perhaps it could follow on the coattails of Maggie's and be granted as well.

Then, Mason refocused on the party. There was cake to be eaten and friends to catch up with.

The party lasted well into the evening and it wasn't until nearly bedtime that the last few stragglers gulped down the dregs of coffee and waved goodbye.

"I'm stuffed and exhausted." Maggie groaned and patted her abdomen as she flopped down on the sofa. "Next year, let's go back to the quiet candle-lit dinner."

"All will be as you wish," Dylan called out. He toted an armful of coffee mugs to the kitchen. "But it was nice to do a real party just once!" he called out.

Maggie raised an eyebrow at Mason and moved to get up, but Mason waved her down. "It's still your birthday. Let Dylan and I handle this." He dug the remote out from between the cushions and handed it to her. "You relax."

"I like being the birthday girl," Maggie said. She melted back into the sofa and aimed the remote at the television.

Mason gathered up used napkins and plates and brought them to the kitchen. "This really isn't that bad. A sedate birthday party compared to the raves you used to throw back when you were a bachelor."

"You threw raves?" asked a man and Mason startled. He hadn't realized someone else was in the room. The man stood at the kitchen sink, washing some of the more delicate items that couldn't go into the dishwasher.

"Way back when Mason and I were in college together," Dylan said. He eyed the dishwasher and then moved out several pieces and replaced them in more tightly, creating room for even a few more dishes. "I'm way more sedate now that I'm married and working full time. Promise!" Dylan flashed a grin at Mason. "Mason, meet my co-worker Lloyd."

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