It’s the fountain pens that capture Valentin’s attention on the morning commute, not the perfectly imperfect man who spends his train rides using them. Not his pinstriped suits, his chin-length hair, or his perpetually raised eyebrow. But one morning when the man strikes up a written conversation, Valentin gives up all pretense. It’s not just the pens. It’s the man. Runar.
The conversations continue, and the men get to know each other better, sharing secrets they've never told another soul. The connection is powerful, growing stronger with every encounter, every scribbled conversation, every scorching look. But can secrets shared on a train be enough to build a forever?
That purple ink. I can’t get over it. So far, he’s only used black or blue ink, serious colors to go with a serious-looking man, making his handwriting almost ominous. But the purple ink softens the sharp edges of his writing -- turning the angry-looking slashes into swoops and swirls -- and of the man himself.
I grab my phone off the table and tap out a question. What’s up with the purple ink?
He draws a big question mark on the paper, but his quirked eyebrow already asked the question.
It seems so ... bubbly. You don’t give me a bubbly impression, so it surprised me.
Ink can be bubbly? The corners of his mouth twitch, as though he’s holding back a smile.
Today’s pen is as sleek as a samurai sword. Your usual black slashes would be more in style.
His eyes crinkle. You’re keeping track of my pens?
I nod. You haven’t used the same one twice since I started sitting across from you.
My admission -- revealing that I’ve watched him every day for weeks -- could’ve, should’ve, made him wary of me. Scared him even. But nothing in his demeanor suggests that’s the case. Instead, he relaxes back into his seat, crossing his legs over the knees, brushing out invisible wrinkles of his already immaculate suit, smirking as he catches my gaze following his every movement. He wiggles his foot, smirk widening as he gets the desired effect of my complete attention.
I tear my gaze away to ask him another question. How many fountain pens do you own?
He slides his calf down his shin, slowly. When his foot hits the floor, he lets his knees fall open and his hands land on his thighs. He might as well have drawn a huge arrow pointing at his dick and written LOOK THIS WAY! with his irresistible purple ink.
So I oblige him. I look at his long legs, his powerful thighs that not even the fabric of his pants can hide. And I look at his bulge, embraced and emboldened by pinstripes. Tantalizing, promising hidden wonders, making me want to fall on my knees and bury my face in the V of his legs and inhale him. Ingest him.
I run a trembling hand through my hair and let my eyes wander up his body and meet his gaze.
He leans forward to pick up the pen, his eyes never leaving me. More than fifty, he writes without looking, his words veering off the lines. I have to read it three times before understanding.
Oh right. Fountain pens.
Why that many?
I inherited my grandfather’s collection. He always said that a true gentleman needs a pen for every occasion.
And is bright purple ink a suitable color for a true gentleman?
Who said I was a gentleman? His dark eyes burn into me, threatening to set me on fire, and I grab my coffee and drink down a huge gulp to stop myself from licking my lips or doing something equally embarrassing.
My mistake, I type on my phone when I’m sure my hands won’t tremble.
I’m glad I picked the purple. Caught your attention.
I want to write everything about you catches my attention, but instead, I take another drink of coffee, our gazes locked over the rim of the paper cup, clashing, vying for dominance, and when Runar shifts on his seat and smooths his pant legs with trembling hands, I can barely stop myself from making a victorious fist bump in the air, happy I’m not the only one affected by whatever’s going on between us.
Do you have other interesting ink colors?
You’ll just have to stick around and see.