Mischief and Mattresses
Skyler stood very still in the middle of her department, wondering if she should call her supervisor.
"Sir, uhm? What are you...?"
"Waiting." The young man's eyes opened lazily, revealing a startling green.
"Waiting," Skyler repeated without inflection. She had returned to the display area from the storeroom to discover a slim...boy?...lying sprawled bonelessly on one of their queen sized sets, head thrown back over the edge. At least he wasn't passed out, which she had feared when she first saw him. But she still considered calling her supervisor. Minors weren't allowed in the store unaccompanied, and she knew from experience that males could get unaccountably weird with a saleswoman in the mattress department.
"Waiting for a second opinion," Jack expanded, smiling finally, rolling up on his elbows on the mattress.
The shock of black hair covered his eyes, so she couldn't tell if that was a proposition or not. Her laced shirtfront prevented her bending over to verify his expression, but his tone of voice hadn't been suggestive. "A...second opinion?"
What she had taken for an older teenager flashed her a grin that made him look maybe twelve. "Of course. If two people are going to share a bed, they should decide together on which one, don't you think?"
"Oh." She resisted the urge to ask him if he and his brother wouldn't prefer bunk beds. No need to be catty. But she couldn't let him stay here if he were a minor. It was still during school hours, and she'd gotten in trouble over a truant once before. "Well that's...understandable. But I'm afraid no one under eighteen is allowed in the store without an adult."
Jack raised his head to blink at her, startled, then shook his head. "Not a problem. I am eighteen."
"Got any ID?"
He just stared at her for a long moment, trying to decide if she were serious. She was. He shrugged. He pulled out his wallet and offered her an ID card he'd gotten while staying with the X-ers and got to watch her blush.
"Well, sir," she said briskly, handing back the card, "Have you found what you were looking for?"
Jack gave a little bounce on the bed and let her off the hook with a smile. "I'm not sure. This one's kind of soft. My second opinion's making a phone call. Mind if I wait?"
She shook her head. "Not at all. I'm Skyler. Please call me if you need anything." Jack rolled over again on the bed and the young woman went back to her work on a display a few rows over.
~Well, that was embarrassing.~ Of course, she had almost gotten fired when a girl fell asleep in the back corner of the floor and the cops found her. She'd been a runaway. And that guy really could have been anywhere from twelve to twenty, and he hadn't been wearing a wedding band. Not that that meant anything these days, but...
She was still in the process of convincing herself that she didn't feel silly when another customer came off the escalator and gained her full attention.
He was gorgeous. Thick golden hair that just begged to have fingers run through it. Eyes she could see the blue on from here. A light but well-defined build and a face that made her think of movie stars or maybe Gabriel...
She straightened her skirt, fluffed her hair and hurried out to meet him.
"Good day, sir, I'm Skyler." She offered him a manicured hand. "Can I help you find something?"
Zach looked down on the pretty young woman and gave her a smile he knew would make her day. "Not just yet. I plan on browsing for a while, all right?"
"Certainly," she replied, returning the smile in kind. "Whenever you need me, just call."
"Skyler. Right." Zach released her hand slowly and tried not to let the wickedness show in his eyes when her pulse jumped. She really was an attractive woman, athletic and well presented. But his eyes quickly found everything that he wanted in life. Flopped over a mattress in entirely the wrong section.
Zach hesitated, glancing around, but there was no one in sight. Even the saleswoman had momentarily disappeared. As Jack's eyes were opening in response to his presence Zach gave a quick leap and kissed him very, very thoroughly before rolling to simply lay beside him.
Jack rolled quickly onto his stomach and gave Zach a delighted look. "Now, love, it's not that I ever mind being unexpectedly seduced, but it would be much more fun in private..."
Zach chuckled and made to stand. "Then let's get a mattress and go home."
Remaining firmly where he was for modesty's sake Jack returned, "I like this one. Let's go." It was another minute before he allowed Zach to pull him up by the hand.
"Wrong size, wrong quality, and I think it's too soft." Zach pushed silky hair away from the fair skin and kissed the full lips once, briefly. "But if you want it, it's yours."
Jack had to laugh, despite the physical pang prompted by the teasing kiss. Apparently Zach hadn't realized yet just how much his slightest touch affected him. "I think it's too soft, too. But wasn't that a queen size we decided on?" He brushed fingertips down Zach's spine and was delighted with the little shiver he evoked. "Not that a full size would be bad. More cuddly."
"I got the king size." Zach caught the teasing hand and kissed that, too. "More play room." He led Jack over to the very back section. "Here, test roll some of these."
They wandered separately for a few minutes, until Zach called Jack over. "This one's great. What do you think?"
Jack collapsed face first over the other side. "Ooh, nice. I like."
"Good, we'll take it." Then he patted the spot next to him with a crooked smile. "Hey, you don't have to stay over there. I'm a psivamp. I don't bite."
Jack grinned at him without moving. "Yes you do. Very gently." That got Zach a half breath from blushing, and he laughed. "And unless you want to put on a show for that little saleswoman watching us so intently, I think I better stay out of reach."
Long fingers walked the mattress and slipped over the near shoulder. "But that might be fun."
Jack caught the fingers and kissed each one, individually. Then he gave Zach a surprisingly straight look. "I was being serious."
At that Zach did blush, pleased, but withdrew his hand. He remembered suddenly just what it was like to be eighteen. He glanced away and lowered his voice. "I'm sorry, Jack. I'm not trying to be a tease."
"You aren't." Jack protested instantly. "I'm just so in love with you..." Now he was blushing. "That I want to hold you all the time. It's just that, in public..."
Zach bounced up off the bed. "Well, that's easily remedied. Let's go."
"No, Zach. Zach." Jack shook his head. "You don't get many days off. You wanted to finish this today, let's finish it."
He obviously meant it, and Zach hesitated, undecided. At last he acquiesced, letting playful disappointment show.
Jack chuckled and Zach called in a low, directed voice, "Skyler? Can you help us now?"
The young woman came immediately with an order pad, wearing a strange expression that kept resolving itself into a split-second, face-splitting grin. Zach cast a tolerant look at Jack, wondering what he'd make of this. Some women just had a thing for gay men. Well, it was an improvement on nastiness.
"Found what you wanted?" she asked easily. She processed their order and arranged for next day delivery, all the while trying not to look at them, because every time she did that irrepressible grin would appear. Jack seemed utterly bemused, so Zach began playing the situation a little, putting a slight lisp to his speech and a slight feyness to his gestures.
By the time they were finished, Zach thought Jack was going to explode with repressed laughter. Enjoying himself, he added a final touch by way of leave taking.
"You've been just wonderful, Skyler. Not a blink at..." He put a light hand on Jack's waist, lowering his voice, "An alternative lifestyle. Thank you so much."
Skyler cast her eyes away, embarrassed by the appreciation, then gave them both a surprisingly serious look. "It doesn't bother me at all. Really."
As soon as they were down the escalator Zach was Zach again. "Well, that makes me ashamed of teasing her," he remarked dryly.
Jack nodded. "It should. She was sweet. But I got to see your lush impression, so it was in a good cause."
That got him an uncertain look, but he smiled with not-quite-innocence and Zach relaxed. "Well, some things are just for fun."
"Obviously. So now where?"
"Comforter. Sheets. Curtains. Maybe a few things to decorate."
Jack shook his head. "I never realized how much there is to do to put a place together."
"Yeah, well," Zach shrugged, unwilling to tell Jack how many weeks he usually spent outfitting his apartments. "Before we go any further, though, are you hungry? There's a Japanese place in the food court that's pretty good."
"Sounds great." As they made their way out to the mall again he asked, "And after the apartment stuff, is there anything else we need to do?"
"Depending on how long we take with that," Zach answered a little tiredly, "I'd like to hit a men's wear store and maybe get a hair cut. If you don't mind, that is?"
Jack caught his hand in a warm clasp. "Of course not. As long as you know that I already think you're perfect, and there's no possible improvement."
"Jack..." A moment of unexpected vulnerability in clear blue eyes.
Jack put a quick kiss on his lips, answering the look with a twinkle. "Didn't you say something about lunch...?"