Romantic novella, 35 000 words.
Expected publication: July 25 th 2018 by Beaten Track Publishing
“I could spend days listening to you talk about chocolate.”
Sex and chocolate are the two pleasures Michał enjoys most in life.
His sex life has been nonexistent for some time, though. After a particularly bad hookup, he keeps mostly to himself. That leaves chocolate. Luckily, he works surrounded by the most delicious, extravagant produce in Gothenburg. Beside his job at the chocolaterie, his main source of excitement is his online friend, Magnus, whom he stubbornly refuses to meet in person.
A customer turns up at the chocolaterie one day—tall, shy, and charming. He could be just the right man. If Michał can step out of his overly safe shell, there might be not only chocolate, but sex, too. Maybe chocolate-flavored sex. And if he’s lucky, maybe even love.
This book contains explicit scenes, adult language, and obscene amounts of chocolate.
The Fourth Beer
Misiu_Michaelson: It’s hopeless. I want him to leave.
13Magnific: Already? You’re not messaging me with him sitting next to you?
Misiu_Michaelson: No. I’m sitting on the toilet lid.
Misiu_Michaelson: He’s horrible. Don’t mock me. This one is worse than the guy with the ferret.
13Magnific: The ferret was kinda cool.
Misiu_Michaelson: You’re no help.
13Magnific: Just tell him to go home. You’re tired. It’s not going anywhere. Say you’ve discovered a suspicious looking red spot on your foreskin. That’ll make him run for sure.
13Magnific: Or! Tell him you have the winter vomiting disease. It worked the last time! 😛
Misiu_Michaelson: Argh. Maybe if I stay here long enough he’ll leave?
13Magnific: Michał, go out there and get rid of him. I’ll be waiting online. You can do it.
I didn’t want to go back there. I really very fucking much didn’t. Magnus had some valid ideas. Maybe if I tried doing loud gagging noises, the asswipe currently lounging in my living room would leave? Lars, my blind date number two in the past two months, was definitely not the type to come knocking on the bathroom door, asking if I needed help. Jerk. I had been pitifully hopeful earlier. He seemed okay through our texts—I like a guy who can spell. I had given up on online dating after an ugly scare a year ago, and supposedly, Lars was a good friend of Suzanne’s friend. The whole thing should have been okay at worst.
It wasn’t even remotely okay. I should have known when he sneered at me when I proposed ordering a dessert. He made a comment about metabolism slowing down with age, then he proceeded to give me a lecture on the ideal carb versus protein ratio in a diet after thirty, on how sugar was basically poison, and I might as well be smoking in front of him. That was after I’d told him I worked at a chocolaterie. I definitely should have left him at the pub after how he’d treated the bartender, but I was just too stunned. Lars was…vile.
C’mon, Michał, you can do it. You’re an adult, independent human being. C’mon. I stood up—I’d been hiding in my bathroom—slipped my phone into my pocket and washed my hands.
I returned to the living room and noticed the comedy show on my computer was paused. Lars The Sugar Nazi looked up from his phone.
“So, what now?” he asked, his mouth curved in a smile. I didn’t like his smile. In truth, I disliked that whole unnaturally tanned face of his. He had the color of Donald Trump after a week golfing. Including the obvious brightener spots under his flat eyes. I should have left him at the pub. I didn’t even invite him in. How come he ended up here? Oh yeah, three beers. The first for the nerves, the second to help with the stilted conversation, and the third to ease my disappointment. I’d had three strong beers—the magic limit that made all the boys seem fine, and the exact amount to make my skinny body feel a faint hangover tomorrow. How the hell had I come to the conclusion I was ready to date again? I was a mess.
“What do you mean?” I knew what he was asking. The carefully moisturized lips pouted. Now that I was almost sober again, I didn’t want to touch him. Not even with a two-meter-long pole while wearing rubber gloves. Yuck.
“I don’t want to watch the show, you know,” Lars said in a low voice, spreading his arms over the back of the couch. I could tell the impression he was going for was inviting and sultry. Instead, I was creeped out big time.
“Really? That’s a shame. I would love to see one more episode.” My voice was quiet but it didn’t waver. I took in a calming breath. Soon, he’ll be gone. Please, let him be gone.
He frowned, visibly taken aback.
“Are you kidding?” His mouth twitched, the unpleasant smirk fraying around the edges.
“I… I think our expectations were different from the start.” Oh boy, were they! “I want to watch one more episode and then go to sleep.” The word “sorry” was on my tongue again, but I swallowed it. I wouldn’t apologize. He was an arrogant ass. So no. I wouldn’t apologize for not sucking his dick.
He rolled his eyes. “You just made me waste three and a half hours of my day for nothing,” he snapped and stood up. I stepped back, my stomach immediately clenching. I was pretty sure he wasn’t the punching type, but I’d learned the hard way that you never know. Lena was supposed to be home soon. She’d call an ambulance to my beaten, bloody pulp of a body if necessary. The all too familiar fear creeped up my spine and squeezed my throat. I worried my heart palpitations would be visible through my shirt.
“I don’t think we’re compatible, sorry.” Why the fuck did I say sorry? It slipped out. He didn’t deserve a sorry. Gah!
Why would you apologize for what you choose to do with your own body? Magnus had written to me a few weeks ago.
“Fuck this!” Lars muttered, spun around, and in twenty seconds the door banged shut.
I sighed with relief as I sunk into the sofa. My heartbeat grew faster still, and my hands were clammy even though I’d just washed them. He wouldn’t have hit me. He wasn’t the type. Douchebag, definitely. But not violent. Even so, my fingers were trembling. I fisted and released my hands a couple of times. Shit.
A few years ago, I would have let Lars The Jerk blow me and fuck me, then I would have let him stay over, endured a nightmarish morning after, and been glad he was gone. Out of horniness, weird sense of obligation—because if they pay for your drink you’re expected to put out, right? And out of fear.
I didn’t know if it was my slender frame, or the fact that I sounded and looked younger than I was—too young if you ask me—I seemed to attract a certain type of man. At first, I liked it. I even used to enhance my boyish looks—the right hairstyle, a light makeup under my eyes, lip gloss… A regular princess.
I used to love the attention. I enjoyed strong bodies, rough mature features, and deep voices. And I admit, I used to have a thing for being held down or restrained—nothing too wild, only a scarf or even a large hand wrapped around my wrist would do. I felt taken care of and cherished in a massive embrace. Until one day, the embrace became too tight. I was lucky. He’d only knocked me around in his bedroom, and since he’d been too drunk to really hurt me, I had been able to leave. I’d spent two days in a hospital with a concussion and a broken wrist.
After that, I dealt with a different kind of fear. I stayed clear of clubs, hookup apps, and online dating. In fact, I hadn’t dated at all for some time. Over the past few months, the loneliness had got to me, though. I decided to venture out there again but only if I knew the guy, or knew someone who knew the guy. Lars should have felt safe. With his effeminate gestures, narrow shoulders, and preppy polo shirts, I couldn’t imagine him physically hurting me. Still, a part of me knew that to be prejudice. I never stopped being afraid.
13Magnific: He left?
13Magnific: How do you feel?
13Magnific: So, tell me, what was the fatal flaw of this one?
Misiu_Michaelson: Dessert hater who was rude to the restaurant staff.
Misiu_Michaelson: And he didn’t like Black Books.
13Magnific: Now THAT is a fatal flaw.
Misiu_Michaelson: He didn’t even smile. Not even a twitch of a lip. It was like watching comedy with my primary school minister. Except this one wanted to fuck me afterwards.
13Magnific: Yeah. Exactly like the minister.
Misiu_Michaelson: lol You’re horrible. Where’s your compassion?
13Magnific: Which episode were you watching?
Misiu_Michaelson: The one with Bernard inviting in the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
13Magnific: The accounting!
Misiu_Michaelson: When he makes the suit out of receipts! 😀 😀 😀
13Magnific: I’m sorry your evening was shit. But now you get to talk to me about Black Books! Yay!
13Magnific: Was that sarcasm? It’s hard to tell when you don’t look me in the eyes.
Misiu_Michaelson:Heh. Sorry. I just feel…blah. Another one bites the dust.
13Magnific:I’m sorry. You seem to be a magnet for jerks. How do you do it?
Misiu_Michaelson:It must be pheromones. It’s lucky you and I never met. We’d end up hating each other.
13Magnific:I could never hate you. :* And I’d love to meet you.
Misiu_Michaelson: How many times does a boy have to say no?
Misiu_Michaelson: There, there. When we open a new branch in Germany, you’ll be the first to know.
13Magnific: Are you really okay, honey?
Misiu_Michaelson: Yes. I just hate being afraid all the time.
13Magnific: I’m glad you’re careful.
Misiu_Michaelson: I’m fine.