Sybron Adell is forty-one and comfortable with his life, mostly. He has eye candy in the luscious form of his neighbor Finn and a job that is stable. Of course, there's always a thorn to be found, and that's Rio Jachetta, Sybron's boss. They're good friends, but sometimes, Rio pushes the limits. Just for fun.
And then Rio goes too far, with a merger and lost jobs being the least of Sybron's worries. Rio's cavalier attitude is not appreciated by Sybron, who is adept at pouring coffee on thousand-dollar suits, when necessary.
If Rio wants to fix things, he may have to overcome his natural arrogance and think of others for a change, in order to save his friendship with Sybron. Heaven alone knows if it will work, especially if he wants more.
Finn's behavior became borderline ludicrous as the days went by. The one-liners, flirting, longer than necessary skin to skin contact when I handed him his cup of un-caffeinated whatever in the mornings. The man had never paid much notice to me in the past, and now he was all up in my grill. All I ever gave him in return was a "thank you for your business" comment. Nothing more. It frustrated him, I could tell.
He'd even started hanging out at the coffeehouse in the evenings. He and his buddies would scope out a corner and they would be loud and boisterous, all the attention on Finn as he strutted and flexed and preened. I was too busy to care.
One such evening, Rio came in the front door, dressed in a dark blue polo shirt and grey slacks -- the most relaxed I'd seen him, to date. He was the second person in line, and I almost rang up a customer's no-foam-half-caf monstrosity for twice the amount.
"Why are you in line?" I asked stupidly when he stood before me. "Why are you even here this early? You usually stop by much later in the evenings."
He just grinned. "Maybe I wanted to see your grouchy face while you interacted with the customers. I could be evaluating your performance in real time. Ever thought of that?" No, and that didn't really help anything.
"Whatever." At that moment, someone in Finn's group yelled and jumped away from the table, a wet spot -- likely quite hot -- on his once-white shirt.
"Fuck," the victim said and he shoved Finn, who shoved him back. Suddenly, both men were swearing and fists were flying, drawing a curious and mildly horrified crowd. Before a brawl could ensue, I gestured to one of the baristas to take over from me and headed over there to stop them before it got worse.
Rio was right beside me as we pulled the men apart -- I used that term loosely since they were acting like toddlers -- and ushered the entire party outside, to the heightened interest and bloodlust of the onlookers.
Hands on my hips, my trademark glare in place, I said, "Behavior such as this will not be tolerated in this establishment. You are adults. Act like it." I gestured with my head toward the street. "Get lost, and don't come back until you learn some manners." Sheepish looks and murmurs of apology abounded as everyone left, except for Finn, who was scowling and hadn't budged one-sixteenth of an inch.
"What's the big deal? We were just horsing around. You sound like some old dude with a stick up his ass. Lighten up, man." Was it fair of me to note that Finn was kind of a moron?
"For your information, I am an old dude with a stick up my butt." The snicker beside me from Rio, who I didn't realize had followed me outside, wasn't helping. I elbowed him in the stomach.
"Whatever, man." And just like that, Finn's smile appeared again as he stepped in a little too close to me. It was as if the incident hadn't taken place. "So, when are you going out with me?" See? Delusional. And now, Rio was outright cackling. I kicked his ankle, hard, and I'd had just about enough.
"You know, Finn, as hot as you think you are, and yes, it's true, you are pretty fine, nothing on this planet could ever induce me to go on a date with an overgrown child with the temper tantrums of an ape. Move along and find someone your own age and temperament, maybe eighteen-year-olds? I'll be sitting on my stick. And loving it.