Sid Shmorgenheigen (shmorgenheigen) wrote,
Sid Shmorgenheigen

Maybe This Town Isn't So Bad, Chapter 1

Title: Maybe This Town Isn't So Bad
Author: shmorgenheigen
Chapter: One
Rating: PG-13
Pairing: Pierre/David
Word Count: 5770
Summary: After coming out of the closet to his friends in Canada and getting disowned by them, Pierre Bouvier moves to a hick town in the states to escape. Life is dull and grim for the twenty-one year old Canadian until he meets David Desrosiers, a young man who could change it all for the better.
Disclaimer: Don't know, don't own, didn't happen!
Author's Note: So! Yay! I'm starting on the remake! I'm super stoked. :)

“Thanks, have a good morning,” a tall, attractive young man said as he waved goodbye to the customer he was helping, a woman in a light blue car. He walked slowly across the lot of the gas station, his hands tucked in his pockets to protect them from the cold December air, and slowly he made his way inside the small store that was adjoined to the gas station where he worked. As he stepped inside, the warmth of the building made his cheeks flush and his eyes water slightly, but he simply took a slow, deep breath and made his way to the cashier’s counter. “Here’s twenty bucks for pump eleven,” he said softly as he handed a crumpled up twenty dollar bill to the cashier — a woman named Wendy in her mid thirties.

“Thanks, Pierre,” Wendy said, offering the younger man a sweet smile, which he returned with half the enthusiasm. “Why don’t you get yourself a cup of coffee?” she offered kindly. “I’m about to dump the old pots and make fresh ones, anyway.”

Pierre smiled and nodded before heading over to pour himself a cup of the coffee that she’d offered. Wendy was a mother of three teenagers and it was obvious in the way she took care of everybody. Pierre found himself needing her affection from time to time, especially as the weeks stretched into months without seeing his own mother, a woman whom he missed very dearly. As Pierre stood there, adding a small amount of creamer to his coffee, it dawned on him that he hadn’t so much as talked to his mother — or his father, for that matter — in two weeks, and it had been almost six months since he’d seen them. What, with starting his new life in America, the days just seemed to slip into each other, and before he knew it, he had been away from his home in Canada for almost half a year. He shook his head slowly to himself as a feeling of sadness welled inside his chest, and he forced himself to go back outside, knowing the cold would help keep him alert, and be a good median for keeping his emotions under control. With another deep breath, he pushed open the door and walked slowly back to the middle of the island, coming to a stop at the end of a pump in the middle.

How had Pierre Bouvier, a twenty-one year old Canadian man, come to live in the United States of America? Though he could remember the details perfectly, Pierre could hardly even tell himself why he’d thought it would be a good idea. It had all started when he was eighteen, at the tail end of his senior year in high school. Pierre had known for years that he was gay, though he’d never once confided that information in a single soul. How would his friends take the news? Would they accept him for being him, just the way he was? Or would they be disgusted and never talk to him again? The uncertainty in those questions was what kept his tongue bound for years while he suffered in silence, caged inside his own world of stifled identity.

There had come a breaking point, however, when the secret couldn’t stay inside any longer. As Pierre looked down at the Styrofoam cup of coffee in his hand, he could recall that day perfectly. It had been a warm day at the end of May, sitting behind the school with his best friend, Sebastien Lefebvre, as the two enjoyed their free period together before lunch. Pierre had thought that if anyone would understand, it would have been Sebastien. He felt his stomach squirm as Sebastien laid back next to him in the grass, smiling serenely up at the sky and talking about nothing in particular. He glanced over at Sebastien, who glanced back, offering a soft smile, and Pierre simply couldn’t stop himself any longer.

As he leaned closer and pressed his lips timidly against his best friend’s, there was a brief moment in time when he could have sworn his friend kissed him back. Pierre had felt trapped in that moment, as if time and space had stopped around them and they were left in perfect stillness. At the time, he had believed that he was in love with his best friend of thirteen years, and maybe he truly had been. When Pierre thought back on it, even to that day he felt a nervous squirm in his chest and knew that he wouldn’t have done it any differently were he given the option of replaying it all again. That moment with his best friend — that moment that felt as if it lasted for hours, but merely lasted a number or short seconds — was still absolutely perfect in Pierre’s memory; the perfect flurry of feelings from the perfect best friend.

It was not, however, perfect. Before he could even tell himself how it had happened, Sebastien was up and moving away from him, his eyes wide and his cheeks tinted a shocking shade of pink. “What the fuck are you doing?” Sebastien had screamed at him, as still, he moved further away.

“Seb, man, I can explain,” Pierre had told him as he pushed himself from the ground and walked closer to him again.

“No! Why the fuck did you just do that?!” Sebastien frantically demanded.

“Because! I just couldn’t hold it in anymore,” Pierre explained breathlessly.

Pierre could recall with painful detail the way Sebastien had shaken his head frantically at Pierre, the way he had continued to back away from him, as if he was afraid to catch some disease from him, as if he was afraid that the gay would rub off and infect him. “What are you? Gay?!” Sebastien hurtled at him with fear stricken eyes.

Pierre hesitated for several long seconds, before slowly he nodded, feeling a lump rising in his throat and tears stinging in his eyes as his best friend’s hysteria only grew at that confession. “Seb… I’m not any different,” he whispered weakly. “I’m the same person… I’m still Pierre.” Sebastien was shaking his head again at Pierre, his arms wrapping insecurely around his own stomach as the reality of what his friend was crashed over him. Though as Sebastien continued to stare at Pierre, Pierre could have sworn he gave him a look. What that look was, in that moment Pierre couldn’t be sure, though as he thought back on it, he realized that it very likely could have been understanding. His best friend had watched him through sad, tear filled eyes, and though Pierre couldn’t see it at the time, he thought the Sebastien in his memory looked as if he wanted to tell Pierre something, maybe to give in and left himself accept Pierre for who he was. And as Pierre lifted his cup of eight-hour-old coffee to his lips to take a slow drink, he saw Sebastien letting out a shaky breath and opening his mouth to say something — maybe to tell him it was okay? That look on his best friend’s face didn’t look angry, as it initially had, though fear was still splashed vividly across his features.

As Pierre closed his eyes and leaned his back against the cold metal of the gas pump, he saw another boy walking up to them on that sunny day behind the school, the boy that was perhaps the second most important person to him in the world: Patrick Langlois. Pierre and Sebastien had met Patrick in the eighth grade, and since that moment, the three had been practically inseparable. It was rare to find one without the other two, or two without the one, though they, of course, had their moments of solitude. The fact that Patrick was approaching them casually meant that lunch had started. Pat couldn’t have picked a worse time to find the two if he tried.

As he approached, it became obvious to him immediately that something was wrong between his two best friends. “What’s going on?” he had asked cautiously, his eyes flickering between Pierre and Sebastien, who both had tears swimming in their eyes.

“He just kissed me!” Sebastien said quickly, and just that like, that look that could have been understanding or acceptance was wiped from his features, replaced again with frantic anger.

“What?!” Patrick yelled, his eyes popping and his mouth hanging open.

Pierre cringed and looked away, forcing his attention down to the grass beneath his feet. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, as two large tears found their way from his eyes and slid slowly down his flushed cheeks.

“Holy fuck! You’re serious?!” Patrick yelled, looking from one to the other nervously.

“Yes!” Sebastien yelled in response.

“Dude! Since when are you a faggot?!” Patrick threw at Pierre, causing Pierre to look slowly up at his friend. He could have handled the yelling, he could have even handled one or both of them hitting him, but to be called a faggot? Pierre’s face contorted in pain and he cried harder, this being the only way he knew to respond. In that moment he wanted to take it all back, but there was no turning away from what he’d brought upon himself. Helplessly, Pierre started to move toward his friends, wanting to force them to see that he hadn’t changed, that he was still their friend, that he was still a good person. As Patrick took several large steps back and shook his head, Pierre felt himself breaking further. “Dude, don’t fucking come near me,” Patrick spat at him. “You’re sick.” He shook his head slowly, staring at Pierre with cold hatred, before turning to Sebastien. “Come on, let’s go,” he muttered, before starting to walk away.

Sebastien and Pierre stared at each other for what felt like an eternity, and as Pierre thought back on it, what he’d taken for cold indifference, he actually saw as a mask of anger shielding his pain from Pierre. “Seb…” Pierre breathed as he took several more steps toward his friend.

Sebastien watched him approach, before looking at Patrick’s retreating back. He shook his head and started to walk backwards, following after his other friend and shaking his head slowly. “Fuck off,” Sebastien muttered, before turning his back to Pierre and walking away.

Pierre saw the world swim before his eyes before falling to the ground, his hands tangling in the short grass and pulling hard on it as tears poured in torrents down his cheeks. He had never felt so low; he’d never felt so insignificant; he’d never felt so alone. That was the last he’d spoken to either of his two best friends, and though he avoided them in classes and in the halls during their last three weeks in high school together, Pierre could hear them laughing at him as he passed, could hear them abusing him for the whole school to hear. By the time graduation had come around, everyone in the school knew that Pierre was gay, and though most of them didn’t care, there was still an intimidating amount of people yelling insults at him in the halls, stuffing used condoms in the slits of his locker, and other horrid things that still, to that day, amazed him were possible of teenagers. Someone had even gone so far as to write ‘God made AIDS to kill the gays’ on his locker. To say the least, by the end of those three weeks, Pierre wanted to die.

And even after he’d graduated, the hate continued. He continuously got emails or messages sent to his face book, sending him deranged images or else quotes from the bible. After deleting his face book and changing his email address, Pierre allowed himself to be cut off from anyone and everyone. How was he supposed to trust anyone anymore? How could he open up and say, ‘hey, this is me,’ without worrying about the constant backlash? He wanted nothing more than to move away, to escape, but his parents were insistent that he should try to solve his problems at home, rather than letting them chase him away, though it seemed that no matter how long he gave it, he just couldn’t escape the pain. Perhaps he could have dealt with it with Sebastien by his side, but his mind continued to replay that look on his ex-best friend’s face, and Pierre knew that there was nothing left for him there.

Eventually Pierre’s dad had arranged for Pierre to go live with his brother — Pierre’s uncle Martin. The only problem was Pierre’s uncle wasn’t a Canadian resident. He lived in a tiny town in Oregon called Junction City, a town with a population of 5,031 people. Coming from a city with a population of 1,620,698 people, the idea of living in a town so small took Pierre some getting used to. Pierre agreed to go live with his uncle, though it took him several years to save up enough money to move and obtain a work visa so he would be legally allowed to work and live in America. He didn’t want to be an illegal immigrant, after all. And though three years had passed since Pierre had come out to his friends and lost them forever, he still felt an immense sense of security when he packed his bags in mid-June and left, not sure if or when he would ever go back. He’d lived with his uncle for a short amount of months, taking up space in his house only for as long as it took him to find an apartment of his own and a job — pumping gas, and how bizarre that Oregon was the only place in the world where one couldn’t legally pump their own gas. Since then, he’d been living independently, though his life consisted of nothing but work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep. More often than not, he found himself thinking that the solitude only made him feel worse, not better.

Pierre cleared his throat and blinked his eyes rapidly as he let those memories fade from his mind. He hadn’t actually allowed himself to think of life in Canada for a few weeks, not since the last time he contacted his parents over the phone. Perhaps that was one of the reasons his calls home were coming less and less frequently the longer he stayed in America. All he wanted to do was forget, and contacting the place he was trying to leave behind only brought painful memories up again. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly, watching as it left his lips in a thick fog. The combination of his wonderful trip down memory lane and the appearance of smoke leaving his lips gave him a very strong urge for something he’d been telling himself very unsuccessfully to quit. Taking the walkie-talkie out of his pocket, he held it in front of his lips and pushed the call button. “Hey, Alan?”

“This isn’t Alan… it’s Steve…” Alan’s voice replied through the two-way radio.

Pierre grinned and rolled his eyes. “Okay, Steve. What are you doing?”

“Stocking the cooler. Why? What’s up?”

“I need a smoke. Will you watch the island?” Pierre asked softly.

“Yeah, I’ll be out in a second.”

“Thanks, man,” Pierre replied. He moved to put the walkie-talkie back in his pocket, when someone else began to speak to him through it.

“Smoking’s bad for you, Pierre,” Wendy’s voice came through the speaker.

Pierre smiled and rolled his eyes. “Yes, ma,” he replied sweetly, calling her by the nickname he had given her. It seemed only fitting to him that she should be called ‘ma’.

“As long as you know,” she told him matter-of-factly.

Pierre smiled wider and turned to look at the store window, where he could see her smiling at him from inside. He nodded and waved before putting the radio back in his pocket and walking slowly back to the side of the store. He nodded at Alan as he walked out onto the island, and without another word, Pierre slipped around the side of the building and pulled out a pack of cigarettes and his lighter. As he held the cigarette to his lips and lit it, inhaling deeply as he did, Pierre didn’t know if there was anything he wanted more in that moment. And though he knew he shouldn’t have, Pierre let his mind wander to his childhood and his adolescence in Canada, thinking of all of the good things that he and Sebastien had ever done together, and even some of the stupid fights they’d gotten into.

It made him sad to think about how things had been, but at the same time, he felt kind of happy to think of a time when he hadn’t been weighed down by depression, although it had definitely gotten easier to think about over three and a half years. There was a time when he thought of his destroyed friendships on a daily basis. Now he only thought about it every so often, and the stab in his chest was really much more of an annoying weight. He knew he was getting over it, and that one day it might not even phase him anymore. He hoped that would be the case, at least.

It took Pierre only about five minutes to finish his cigarette, and that was because he was smoking it slowly. As he blew out his final chest full of smoke, he rubbed the butt out on the bottom of his shoe and tossed the cigarette in the ash tray, before making his way slowly back onto the island. Alan nodded at him as he approached him and Pierre offered a friendly smile. “Thanks again, man,” Pierre said with a nod. “I really fuckin’ needed that.”

“Yeah, no problem,” Alan responded with a shrug, before returning to the store to finish his stocking duties. For the most part, Pierre liked Alan. He was a fifty-four year old man with a shock of white hair on the top of his head and a big white beard. Sure, Alan could tend to have an off-color sense of humor and was a bit of a dirty, old pervert, but that was how all of Pierre’s gas attendant co-workers were. For the most part, the gas attendants were men and the cashiers were women, though there were two male cashiers who traded off the graveyard shift, from eleven o’clock at night to seven o’clock in the morning, and there was a female gas attendant — Rachael — who worked Saturday and Sunday mornings with Pierre. Pierre liked to work with her the most, as she was the closest person to his age, though she was only seventeen years old and was still in high school.

And though he may not have had the most glamorous job, it was a job, and that was something to be thankful for. The days started to mix together, however, and before he knew it weeks had flown by, because his schedule was consistent. Pierre worked the same schedule every week: Seven o’clock in the morning to three o’clock in the afternoon, Wednesday through Sunday. Pierre worked every Saturday and Sunday, and he supposed that it might have bugged him more if he actually had friends to do things with on the weekends, but in the six months that Pierre had lived in Junction City, he’d made a grand total of zero friends. That was what he had wanted, wasn’t it? To move to a place where no one knew his name or anything about him? Sure, he hadn’t necessarily intended for things to stay that way, but after realizing the mentality of the good, church-going people of Junction City, he realized it wouldn’t be safe for him to be openly gay. It seemed ironic to him that he had been trying to escape from a slightly homophobic community, and ended up living in an entirely homophobic community. He had contemplated moving to Eugene, which was a much larger, much prettier, much more liberal city only fifteen minutes away, but the whole hassle of moving paired with trying to find another job just didn’t make it quite worth it to him; what was really the importance in his happiness, anyway?

It did grow tiring after a while, however, to always have to lie to his co-workers about the most insignificant details of his life, because as much as he may have liked his co-workers, there wasn’t a doubt in his mind that they wouldn’t like him anymore if they knew of his sexual preferences. The only two that knew were Wendy and Rachael, and Pierre had sworn them both to secrecy. At first he deeply regretted telling them, wondering if he could actually trust them with his biggest secret, but the two proved to be trustworthy, and in the end it was nice having at least two people who knew him and weren’t disgusted by him.

Pierre was pulled out of his thoughts as two cars pulled into the station at the same time, and instantly he was back into work mode. He forced that fake smile back onto his face and made sure to speak to the customers in a bright, friendly voice, offering to wash their windows and even pretending to find their jokes funny and their problems interesting. Hours of pretending to care got tedious; spending all day pretending to be anything but what he was — lost in an indifferent depression — left him feeling exhausted by the end of the day. By the end of his shift, Pierre was normally so beaten down that he went home and went straight to sleep, regardless of the fact that it was generally only five minutes after three in the afternoon when he got there.

As Pierre watched the clock, seeing that he was only five minutes from the sweet comfort of his bed, his attention was drawn back to the island as a girl in a white sedan pulled up. He hitched that fake smile back onto his face and approached her, smiling and nodding as she spoke to him. He could tell she was interested in him from the way she made eye contact with him and the way she played with her hair. Pierre was friendly back almost to the point of flirting. That was what brought customers back in, after all. People just enjoyed being flirted with and Pierre was exceptionally good at doing it; what, with his soft brown hair, his deep brown eyes and his dazzlingly beautiful smile. Sure, he looked a little goofy in his work uniform, but it really could have been worse: a short sleeved, light blue button up that had to be tucked in, although he was allowed to wear jeans and tennis shoes, and more often than not — as he had done that morning, in fact — he wore a dark grey heenie and a grey hoodie underneath his work shirt.

Pierre walked back around to the driver side window, smiling sweetly at the girl as he handed her a receipt. As he started to walk away, however, she caught his attention again. “Are you doing anything tonight?” she asked with a soft smile.

Pierre’s smile faltered and his cheeks flushed pink as he tried to think of an excuse on the spot. “Oh, uh… I, uhh… You seem like a nice girl and I’m flattered and all… but I have a girlfriend,” he lied softly.

“Oh, umm… okay,” she said awkwardly. “I was just gonna say you should come out to the bar tonight, but I wouldn’t wanna step on your girlfriend’s toes or anything…”

Pierre opened his mouth to apologize, but was saved the trouble when a man pulled up to the pump behind her in a small red truck. He glanced at it quickly, before muttering, “Umm… have a nice day,” and walking determinately away. A little less flirting back next time, he told himself sternly as he approached the window of the small red truck. “Hi, how’s it going?” he asked mechanically, forcing himself to forget the awkwardness he’d just endured. He only had to fake it for a few more minutes, after all.

“Great,” the man muttered, his face turned down to his lap as he searched in his wallet, probably for a credit card. Pierre watched him carefully, feeling irritated the longer it took for this man to look up at him. His face was shielded by a curtain of sleek, shiny, black hair, and Pierre thought his style of dressing was a little bit different than anyone he’d ever seen in Junction City before. His skin tight green t-shirt was very revealing, and his black jeans seemed as if they were painted on, not that they were actually made of fabric. “How are you?” The man asked in return, and Pierre found his irritation dwindling with him, regardless of how long he was taking to find his card; it just wasn’t very often that people actually returned the question.

“I’m good,” Pierre lied softly. “What can I get for you?” he added mechanically.

And then he looked up. Pierre’s eyes widened involuntarily while he watched the sun dancing off of the man’s smooth sheet of beautiful black hair as he turned his head up and flipped his hair out of his face in the same movement. “Twenty five regular,” the man spoke, and suddenly Pierre heard his voice differently; suddenly it sounded so much more melodic to his ears. Pierre didn’t mean to stare; he simply got stuck in the man’s deep hazel eyes which stood out against his black eyeliner, and how could he tear his eyes away from that beaming grin that was so perfectly accented with a silver lip ring in the center? And that lip ring was so beautifully coordinated with a similar loop in his nose, something which Pierre had never seen a man pull off so well. His entire appearance seemed to be topped off by two silver loops in each earlobe. There was just something about this man and his piercings; it was as if he sparkled, and not in the fake vampire way, but in a way that made him impeccably beautiful without even trying.

The man in front of him arched a delicate eyebrow and smiled at Pierre skeptically, and it suddenly occurred to Pierre that he had been staring. “Wait, what?” Pierre asked breathlessly as he blinked several times, trying to bring himself back to Earth.

He thought there was almost a suggestive tone to the way this man leaned against the door of his truck and smirked at him. “Twenty five? Regular?” he repeated skeptically, his arm still extended toward Pierre with his card clutched delicately in his hand.

“Right, sorry,” Pierre muttered quickly as he took the card and gave an awkward laugh. “It’s been a long day,” he threw in as a casual excuse, before walking quickly around his truck, presetting the pump for twenty five dollars and sliding the card. His mind was screaming at him for being so stupid as he popped open the gas door and unscrewed the cap, turning around only when he heard a soft beeping, telling him the card had been approved for the transaction. He shook his head slowly at himself as he placed the nozzle in the car and started the gas pumping. “Don’t be so obvious,” he told himself firmly, before taking a deep breath and heading back to the driver side window. “Here ya go,” Pierre said softly as he handed the man his card back, and though he’d told himself not to act like a complete idiot, he felt himself getting caught in the man’s stare again.

“So it’s been a long day, eh?” The man asked, his voice tinted with intrigue.

Pierre gave a soft laugh and nodded his head, forcing himself to look down as he responded. “Oh yeah… I’m ready to go home,” he muttered quietly.

“Do you get to go home soon?” The man continued, resting his arm against the inside of the door of his truck and leaning his face in his hand as he stared up at Pierre, a coy smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

“Three o’clock,” Pierre replied with a nod.

The man smiled at Pierre and glanced at the clock on his car radio. “That was two minutes ago,” he pointed out calmly.

“Was it?” Pierre asked as he looked again at the man in front of him. It was as if he had forgotten how beautiful he was — or maybe it just wasn’t something that one could ever get used to — because when Pierre looked at him again, he felt his heart stop beating in his chest and he stared nervously at him, his eyes slightly wider than they might perhaps be on a normal day, the apples of his cheeks a soft, pink color. The man smiled sweetly at him and nodded. Pierre was slightly unnerved by the way this man never took his eyes off of him; he’d simply been staring at him and smiling the entire time! “Oh well,” Pierre said with a shrug. “I guess that makes you my last customer of the day,” he continued, and though he was managing to make meaningless small talk, Pierre couldn’t force himself to not sound nervous.

“Lucky you,” the man responded with a twitch of his eyebrow and a smirk that could almost be called devilish. Pierre swallowed hard and flashed him a nervous smile, hating, and yet loving, all of the different ways the man could mean that. Was it just Pierre, or was this man flirting with him? “Getting off at three, that’s not too bad,” the man continued casually, all traces of his previous look gone from his features now.

“Yeah, it’s kinda nice having the rest of the day free,” Pierre agreed, glad that he could breathe a little bit more freely again.

“I bet your girlfriend appreciates you always being home for dinner,” the man added, and maybe Pierre was crazy, but it didn’t seem like a simple statement; it seemed like he was putting that sentence out there for Pierre to either confirm or deny, as if he was trying to figure out if, one, he was single, and two, he was with a woman. Maybe Pierre was simply stretching because he legitimately wanted this man to be interested in him.

When normally he lied, Pierre found himself speaking the truth to this man, hoping that his wishes would come true. “I don’t have a girlfriend,” he said softly, his smile a mixture of seriousness and apprehension.

And again, the man was flashing him a suggestive smirk. “Lucky you,” he said again, his voice low and almost sensual. Pierre stared at the man with a dazed expression on his face, his breath coming out in shallow puffs of fog through his barely parted lips. He was stunned absolutely speechless. Okay, now Pierre knew this man was flirting with him. After several long seconds, the man smiled wider at him and leaned a little bit closer to him through the window. “I, uh… I think I’m finished,” he said softly, but not impolitely.

Pierre started and looked quickly at the pump over the top of the small red truck. “Oh! Right! Sorry!” he muttered quickly, before speed-walking around to the pump and hanging it up. “Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!” he scolded himself in a whisper as he screwed the gas cap back on, grabbed the receipt from the machine, and walked quickly back to the man’s driver side window. “Sorry about that, I’m, uh… I’m just ready to go home,” he explained nervously as he held his hand out to the man, holding the receipt.

“Don’t worry about it,” the man told him with a soft smile as he took his receipt and placed it aside. “You’re entertaining to talk to,” he added with a nod.

Pierre gave a soft laugh and shrugged his shoulders. “I try,” he said nonchalantly.

The man started his truck and looked down at his lap for a moment, seemingly trying to decide if he was going to say something or not. When he looked back up, he had a determined smirk on his lips. He ran his tongue once over his lip ring before pulling it into his mouth and biting down gently on it as he stared into Pierre’s eyes. Pierre, however, was not returning his eye contact. His gaze was stuck on the man’s lips, and there was nothing he could do to hide it. When he saw the man’s lips break into a wide smile and heard him give a soft laugh, Pierre’s cheeks flushed and he forced himself to look back up at the man’s gorgeous hazel eyes. “You’re pretty nice to look at, too,” the man told him, causing Pierre to instantly flush bright red. The man gave him one last smile before saying, “Have a good day,” and driving away, leaving Pierre standing in his wake, staring after his truck as it pulled out of the lot and disappeared down the town’s only main road.

“Dude, what are you still doing here?” the night shift gas attendant — Bill — asked as he walked up to Pierre on the island. When Pierre continued to stare after the man who was now gone entirely from his life, Bill blinked and patted Pierre on the shoulder a few times. “You okay, man?”

Pierre snapped himself back to reality and looked over at his co-worker, a man who was in his late twenties. “Yeah… sorry, I’m just spacey today,” he muttered.

“Apparently! You were supposed to leave five minutes ago!” Bill told him with a laugh. “Get the hell outta here!”

Pierre smiled and nodded his head as he started to walk back to the store. “Alright, I’m goin’, I’m goin’,” he muttered with a wave. As soon as his back was turned, he allowed that smile to fade from his lips as his mind wandered back to the encounter he’d just shared with quite possibly the most gorgeous man he’d ever met. And as he clocked out and headed down the street toward his apartment, which was only a two minute walk from work, he thought to himself that he didn’t think he had never hoped more that a customer would return to the station.

God, I hope he comes back…

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