I read extra slowly so the chapters would last me Only I was confused by the quick change from foreplay to post-coital shower; perhaps a few asterisks would help there to indicate the scene change.
Otherwise extremely hot and sweet, please keep 'em coming.
Luna awoke to the smell of bacon and coffee. She fished her phone from where it had fallen under Hunter’s spacious guest bed.
She knew Hunter was an early riser - he’d have to be, to run a cafe - but this was intense. On a normal day, Luna wouldn’t even be up for another two hours or so.
A low howl made her sit bolt upright. What kind of terrible alarm did Hunter set? The sudden bash of a tree branch against the guest room window made Luna realize this wasn’t an alarm - it was a storm.
She’d casually referred to the snow last night as a blizzard, but only now realized how wrong she’d been.
The harbor, the lights of which she’d admired last night, was completely whited out from view. She put a finger to the window. Even double insulated, it was freezing to the touch.
She pulled Hunter’s sweatshirt tighter around her and headed downstairs.
Hunter was bending over a cast iron skillet, wearing flannel pants and an oversized long sleeved T-shirt. His hair was messy and he was wearing glasses instead of his usual contacts. He looked perfectly disheveled and adorably intimate.
Luna paused in the kitchen doorway for a moment, smiling to herself. What would it be like to be able to come downstairs to Hunter every morning?
Hunter grabbed a pair of tongs from a drawer and began placing pieces of bacon on a paper towel. They sizzled for a few moments after he pulled them from the heat.
“Morning, handsome,” Luna purred.
Hunter looked over, surprised.
“Hey,” he smiled. “I hope I didn’t wake you up. I was just making some breakfast before I went to close the shop.”
“Don’t you mean open the shop?”
Hunter laughed. “Look outside - no way am I making people risk their lives to pour coffee. The good people of the North End will just need to pull out the Keurig today. But I have to make sure everything perishable is put away, and put a sign on the door for the people who can’t be bothered to check online.”
“So like a snow day?”
Hunter winked. “Exactly. This is probably your first one, eh?”
“Oh, I’m sure I’ll have to come in to work regardless.”
“I wouldn’t count on it. Do you want some toast and bacon?”
“Yes to both, please.”
They ate at the stools by Hunter’s kitchen island. She was pleased to see that he slathered his toast in a good amount of jam and butter and poured several seconds’ worth of half and half into his coffee.
“If you want to come down with me to the shop, I can drop you off at your place,” Hunter offered as he picked up his fifth piece of bacon. “I was going to swing back later this morning, but if you’re already up…”
Luna nodded. “That’d be great, thanks. I like being up early. It’ll give me time to get a good workout in.”
Hunter put a hand to his stomach. “Just thinking of working out after breakfast makes me queasy.”
“It’s nice as long as you aren’t doing backflips or anything.”
“I’ll go ahead and take your word for it.”
After breakfast, Luna shimmied back into her jeans and top from the night before. She kept Hunter’s sweatshirt on as an extra layer of warmth.
Hunter gave her a thick knit scarf, a knit hat, and a pair of industrial looking gloves to go over her more fashionable ones before they headed out into the cold.
“Negative forty, so you’ll want to bundle up,” he cautioned.
“Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit?”
“Fun fact - it’s the same in both.”
Luna felt her jaw drop from under her.
Outside was a blast of the coldest air Luna had ever felt in her life. The kind so freezing it almost began to burn. Snow whipped dangerously from every direction.
“Are you going to be all right driving in this?” she asked Hunter as she pulled herself up into his Jeep.
“It’s only a few blocks, and the Grand Cherokee was built for snow.” Hunter tapped the steering wheel proudly. Luna wasn’t reassured.
They drove at a snail’s pace, everything around them encased in white. She wouldn’t have realized they even made it to the coffee shop were it not for the bright lights of her complex across the street.
“I’m gonna go for a quick run,” she said to Hunter, kissing him lightly on the cheek. “Let me know when you’re done in there, and I’ll let you into my place if you want to hang out for a bit before I go to work.”
“Believe me, Luna, no one is asking you to go into work in this.”
Crossing the street was an ordeal. Every inch of Luna’s skin hurt, even under her clothes. She was certain the inside of her nostrils were frozen solid. The warm air that greeted her as she swiped her key card into her building’s expansive lobby was somehow even more painful on her icy skin.
Back in her own apartment, Luna wasted no time changing into a pair of leggings and a sports bra before dashing to the top floor of her building, where the treadmill had mercifully been repaired. It was just after five o’clock and she was pleased to see the gym was largely deserted save for a few weightlifters.
For the first time since moving to Halifax, she cursed her elegant rooftop gym’s harbor view. She wished it were facing Hunter’s coffee shop instead.
She cranked the speed up mercilessly on the treadmill, thinking through her night with Hunter. They were a thing now, right? They had to be.
Part of Luna felt guilty, moving on to a new guy so quickly after the demise of her relationship with Blake.
No, that’s not right, she chided herself, pushing the incline on the treadmill just a bit farther. Enough so her legs really began to burn.
When are you going to meet another guy like Hunter? Hold on to him now, for as long as you can.
Luna was a bit depressed at the last part that had popped into her mind - for as long as you can.
But it was true, wasn’t it? She’d never had a truly successful relationship.
And as the common factor in all of them, Luna began to worry there might be something wrong with her.
At five-forty five, Luna was drenched in sweat but slightly less anxious. She turned her treadmill to the cool down setting just as her phone buzzed with a text from Hunter.
She smiled to herself, even at that bland message. Hunter’s name on her screen always made her tingle a bit. And he was going to see her apartment - a brief panic washed over Luna as she realized she hadn’t even checked if it was clean.
A few minutes later, she was in the lobby watching Hunter make his way slowly across the street. His broad body encased in a bulky jacket made him look almost boulderlike.
She unlocked the door, wincing as a burst of cold air made its way inside. She was an idiot for not changing out of her workout clothes.
On the other hand, Hunter’s appreciative glance at her leggings and sports bra combination made her shiveringly grateful that she hadn’t put on something more sensible.
“I didn’t have a chance to clean my place, sorry if it’s a wreck,” she stammered to Hunter as they entered her elevator. Normally she took the stairs to her fifth floor unit, but there was no need to force Hunter to do the same.
As much as Hunter detested the building where Luna lived, he was eager to see her home. The inside was pretentious and modern, all metal and slate. Just as he feared. Not a hint of the character of the homes they’d bulldozed to build the place.
He followed Luna down a hallway filled with black and white photographs of some of Halifax’s most famous landmarks, though taken at such ridiculous angles as to be unrecognizable.
Luna waved a key card in front of one of the doors, and he heard the automatic click of a lock. She pushed the door in, and waved Hunter inside.
Luna let out a breath as she realized her house didn’t look nearly as bad as she feared. The clothes she’d worn last night were on a heap on the floor, her bed was unmade, and an unwashed coffee mug sat on the counter of her kitchen. Her hair and makeup accessories were strewn about the bathroom, but in all it didn’t look terrible - just lived in.
Hunter looked around appreciatively. It was one of those loft-style places: developer speak for a 900-square-foot studio. Usually Hunter couldn’t stand apartments like this, but everything about the loft had a touch of Luna in it.
Despite having only recently moved, Luna’s apartment had its own unique style. Pretty, abstract art prints hung on the walls and soft looking, colorful rugs lined the floor. A small bookshelf was stuffed to the brim with those entrepreneurship titles tech types always seemed to be reading, coupled with a few theoretical volumes on computer science. An eclectic collection of lamps poured even more light into the loft than came in through the nearly floor to ceiling windows.
Hunter gingerly removed his shoes in the hallway and walked toward one of the windows. Luna felt herself blush furiously as she watched him register just how much of his shop she could see into from her apartment.
“Nice view,” he said with a crooked grin.
“Depends who’s working,” Luna winked, hoping to sound playful rather than creepy.
Luna’s phone buzzed again. 6:03 and it was a text from her boss. She’d need to bring up a discussion about boundaries, apparently.
The message, however, brightened her spirits. Know it’s early - figured you’d be up. Take a look outside. Do what you can from home today, see you in the office when the roads clear up tomorrow.
Luna punched the air with her fist. “Snow day!”
“See? What’d I tell you?”
Luna threw her arms around Hunter enthusiastically. She was warm and smelled like sweat. Hunter felt his groin twitch.
“Do you mind if I hop in the shower? Make yourself at home.”
Hunter shook his head. “Not at all, I’ll get some coffee going.”
Hunter busied himself boiling water for Luna’s French press as he heard the cascade of water from the shower. His eyes drifted to the dim lights of his closed shop across the street, barely visible through the wind and snow.
He wondered how often Luna lay on her bed looking into his shop. Or sat on her couch looking past her television into his shop. Or ate dinner at her little farmhouse style table looking into his shop.
He felt himself blush a bit as he realized that when it was clear out she could see everything - every extra pastry he ate behind the register, every time he scrolled through her instagram - if she wanted.
He poured the boiling water into the press, and opened her fridge for some milk. He was glad she drank whole milk at home too, and it wasn’t just something she did to make him feel more at ease in her presence.
Luna came out in a towel, smelling like fruit. Hunter realized he’d never seen her fully without makeup before. She looked young - more like a teenager than a woman who was almost thirty - but somehow even more intimidating.
He’d hoped, for the sake of his own anxiety, that Luna’s extraordinary looks were at least partially due to her skills at hair and makeup. No such luck. She was as terrifyingly beautiful as ever, if slightly paler and more innocent looking.
She made no attempt to put on more clothes as she took the cup of coffee from Hunter and sat at her table, gesturing at him to follow.
He lowered himself gingerly onto one of her antiquey-looking chairs, praying it wouldn’t creak or collapse under his weight.
“You know, do you mind if we sit on the couch instead? I want to watch the weather,” Luna suggested in a too-casual tone.
Hunter felt himself redden. Clearly she thought he was too fat for her chairs and was trying to save him the embarrassment of destroying one. Half of him coursed with shame, while the other felt strangely aroused.
What if he did break one of her chairs? Would she be horrified? Turned on?
Luna curled her legs under herself on the couch, patting the space next to her. Hunter lowered himself with more confidence onto the couch.
He reached for a throw blanket to cover his thick belly rolls, the way he always had since he was a kid. Luna looked at him sideways.
“If you’re cold, I can turn up the heat.”
“Oh no, it’s all right. I’m fine like this.”
He looked at Luna with her wet hair and her towel. “Aren’t you cold?”
Luna grinned mischievously. “A bit, but I think I know how to fix that.” She lifted the blanket up and curled up next to Hunter, one hand resting on his belly.
Hunter had to admit it was nice to have her so close next to him, a hand on his body, clearly enjoying the experience. The weather report predicted the blizzard to continue for another twelve hours.
“Well, that settles it.” Luna announced to no one in particular. Hunter blinked at her.
“You can’t go home while it’s like this. We’re lucky we didn’t skid out on the way here. I have food, I have Netflix, I have...other ideas for entertainment. Why don’t you ride out the storm with me?”
@Unbasher - I appreciate the feedback on this and the last chapter! I’m the first to admit I hate editing even when I get paid for it, so I rarely if ever edit the things I write recreationally. You’ve given me some good ideas going forward!
I feel bad for updating just to say “no updates”, but my personal computer met a bitter end (RIP) and I suspect writing BHM romance/erotica on my work computer would get me a one way ticket to the unemployment office. However, new computer is en route, so there should be more updates soon!