There’s a gumball machine outside O Club, one of those old-fashioned ones where the gumball drops into a little drawer that you pull out. Maverick’s never seen anyone use the thing; it’s ancient, and the gum in there’s probably ancient, too. And then one day he’s leaving and Ice is leaving with him, and Ice stops and sticks a nickel in the thing.
“You’re probably going to catch a disease from that hundred-year-old piece of crap,” Maverick says, his nose scrunching.
Ice just smiles, that humorless shark grin he has, all teeth, and pops the gumball in his mouth. It’s a pink one, and most guys that would probably bother, but not Ice. And it’s not because he’s, you know; it’s because he knows he’s the best, he’s sure of it, and so he doesn’t give a shit what anyone else thinks of him.
It’s one of his finer points, Maverick thinks.
Ice blows a bubble, this obscenely pink, round thing ballooning out of Ice’s mouth. And all it does is bring attention to Ice’s mouth, which is obscene-looking, anyway. Maverick’s mouth goes dry, and he walks faster.
Ice has longer legs, though, and he catches up without even looking like he’s hurrying. The bubble pops and the gum disappears back into his mouth, and he laughs, seeing the blush coming up on Maverick’s cheeks.
“Somethin’ bothering you, Mitchell?”
Maverick grunts and straddles his bike.
“Fuck you,” he growls.
Ice just grins. “Oh, I intend to.”
And then he leans in and kisses him, and he tastes so, so sweet.