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Gingerbread

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Chapter One

Hux didn't know why he had chosen this profession. Having to wake up at 3:00 in the morning didn't appeal to him. But he supposed it was better than the plans his father'd had for him. Brendol Hux was career military. Like his father before him and his father before him. But Hux had a more sensitive soul, he assumed he'd gotten that from his mother. So, the violent world of the military never appealed to him. His mother had been a florist, but that didn't really appeal to him much either. He loved spending time in the kitchen though. The time he spent mixing and pouring always relaxed him. He thought it just made sense. The part about having to wake up early in the morning had never occurred to him. He'd much rather stay up all hours of the night and not get out of bed until at least afternoon, but he just sighed and rolled out from under the covers.
His coworker and best friend Phasma was already there when he arrived. He groggily walked in without a word and got straight to work.
"You seem awfully chipper this morning," Phasma said sarcastically.
Hux shrugged. "Just tired is all."
"You know what I think it is?" Hux waited for her answer as he busied himself with the coffee. "You need to get laid."
"Fuck you," Hux replied. This was Phama's answer to everything. If sex couldn't fix it, nothing could.
Phasma laughed. "But I'm not your type Love. Honestly, when was the last time you had a good shag?"
"None of your business," Hux answered, irritated they were discussing his sex life or lack thereof.
"Let's see," Phasma contemplated aloud. "There was that guy you were dating, like two years ago."
"Please do not bring him up," Hux nearly begged. "I don't want to think about him."
Knowing she had crossed a line, Phasma grew quiet. "My point is," she finally decided to continue, "there is something lacking in your life. And let's face it a harmless fling would do you some good."
"Well, maybe some of us don't want a casual thing or a one night stand," Hux argued. "I'm fine with celibacy for the time being, all right?"
Phasma shrugged and went back to her work.
Hux buried himself in his morning routine. He was pissed at Phasma now. He'd tried to get over DJ, even attempted a fling once or twice, but DJ had been such an important part of his life. He was even willing to come out formally to his father for him. But before he had, DJ had cheated on him. Hux had walked in on them.
"Hux, I'm so sorry," DJ said as he grabbed the last box of his things.
Hux still had tears in his eyes, but he was seething. "Just get the fuck out."
"Hux, please, it was a mistake," DJ said as he set down the box and reached for Hux. "I love you!"
"Really?" Hux asked angrily, moving away from DJ's embrace. "Is that why you decided to fuck some other guy?" Hux yelled through angry tears.
"Please Hux, I'm so sorry," DJ pleaded, now with tears of his own.
Hux took a deep breath, trying to calm himself as best he could. "I loved you DJ. I would have done anything for you. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I...I... Just get the Hell out."
Hux internally yelled at himself for reliving that memory. Though, he thought, he ought to curse Phasma for it. He shook his head and went back to work.
The day went by like any other. Nothing really different from any other day, until HE walked in. He was tall and dressed in all black. Not gothic per say, but nice, with skinny jeans and a long sleeved button up shirt he'd rolled the sleeves up to his elbows. He walked up to the counter and smiled.
"Um, uh, hi, uh, what can I get for you?" Hux managed to stammer out.
"A coffee and a chocolate chip muffin," he answered.
'God, his voice is sexy,' Hux thought to himself.
"Cream or sugar...or, anything?"
"No, just black is fine," he answered.
"Can I get your name?" Hux asked as he opened a marker to write on the cup.
"Ren," he answered simply.
"Interesting name," Hux replied.
Ren leaned a little closer with a mischievous smile. "You should hear my number."
Hux didn't know how to respond. Was this guy flirting with him?
Ren moved away from the counter and dug into his pocket for his wallet. "How much do I owe you?"
"Um, $3.50," Hux answered.
Ren handed him a ten. "Keep the change."
"That's a nice TIP," Phasma said coming up behind Hux.
Ren shrugged. "What can I say, he's cute." He winked as a took the coffee and bag with his muffin. "Later Gingerbread!" he called as he exited the small building. Hux was left there, staring at the now empty space this man had occupied for no more than five minutes.
"Um, you remember this morning when I said you need to get laid? I think you should definitely hop a ride on that train," Phasma said. "Even I'M turned on and he wasn't even flirting with me."
Hux finally broke his gaze away. "He wasn't flirting with me either. Dumb ass kid probably talks to everyone like that." Hux left the cash register and went to the back to work on more of their wares. Hux realised he was having a hard time catching his breath. Why should he be so shaken by this random encounter? It didn't matter, he was certain he would never see him again.

***

Tuesday was the next day. On Tuesdays, Hux ran the shop by himself. He was glad of it too. He adored Phasma dearly, but she could infuriate him so easily some times. He supposed that was because they were so close. They'd both come from families that pushed for military careers, but neither of them wanted that. They found a solace within each other as that their life experiences seemed to so closely mimic one another's. But, being as close as they were, they sometimes fought like siblings. Hux looked forward to his one day to run the shop alone.
He kept himself busy all morning, never really getting a chance to let his mind wander until HE walked in again.
Today Ren wore a v-neck, form fitting t-shirt and dark jeans. "Morning again Gingerbread!" he called out cheerfully.
Hux glared slightly. He'd been teased with that nickname in his childhood because of his red hair.
"I would ask that you kindly refrain from calling me that," Hux replied.
Ren smiled that quirky smile he'd thrown at Hux the day before. It sent chills down his spine. "What can I get you?"
"My usual," Ren answered.
"You come in here twice and you think you have a usual?"
Ren leaned closer and nearly whispered, "Sure, I think you remember me pretty well."
Hux did NOT want to play into this guy's game. "Sure, I think I remember you. Ben was it?"
Ren's smile fell. "It's Ren," he replied, almost angrily it seemed.
"My apologies, you just seem like every other college kid who walks in here."
"Oh I promise you, I'm one of a kind," Ren said, his smile back. "Black coffee and chocolate chip muffin, please. In case you forgot."
Hux put the muffin in a small bag and poured the coffee in a cup to go. "That'll be $3.50," Hux said non-chalantly.
Ren smiled, pulled his wallet out and handed him three ones and two quarters. He took his bag and coffee. "See you later Gingerbread," he said with a wink as he left.
Hux's head was swimming. He didn't know what to think. He texted Phasma 'He came back in today.' She seemed to reply almost immediately with 'Jump his bones!'
Hux rolled his eyes and put his phone away.

***

Wednesday was Phasma's day to run the shop by herself. Hux didn't care to not be there himself, but it was the schedule they'd agreed on when they opened. Hux still did work for the shop on his days off though, going through financials and other necessary paperwork. The one thing he did look forward to on his days off was getting to sleep in. He enjoyed lazy mornings just lounging in bed until he decided it was time to get up.
He and Phasma still texted each other all day of course. Hux laughed to himself thinking perhaps they both had a rather unhealthy dependent relationship with each other.
Phasma had been there for him since he could remember. Though he never had officially, she was the first person he'd ever come out to. It was like, she just knew and she was right, so there was no reason to deny it or throw it out there to let her know.
As Hux was rolling out of bed, he got his first text from Phasma that day 'Your boyfriend just came in asking about you. He seemed disappointed you had the day off.'
Hux's breaths started to come in short. How could this kid get to him without him even being there? He tossed his phone on the bed and rubbed at his eyes. Hux realized he'd gotten hard just thinking about him.
"For fucks sake!" he yelled aloud. What had gotten into him? It wasn't as though he couldn't look at attractive men without getting a hard on. But this guy was different. Ren was blatantly seeking him out. Why? Hux didn't see himself as unattractive, but he definitely didn't see himself as desirable either. Maybe this was all just a game to this kid? Like he just wanted to see how much of a rise he could manage to get out of Hux. At this point, he was getting quite a rise out of him. Hux told himself he'd take care of it in the shower.

***

Hux didn't know why he was nervous as he opened the bakery the next morning. He knew he was anticipating his new friend coming in. He wanted to see him and didn't at the same time.
"Something troubling you Hux?" Phasma asked, noticing his anxiety.
"What? No, I'm fine," he answered as he he tossed a batch of chocolate chip muffins in the oven.
"Thinking about Ren?" she encouraged.
"Will you shut up about him? I don't care whether or not he comes through that door today, all right? He's...he's, just a guy," Hux quietly finished.
"Uh-huh," Phasma said, "just a guy you're prepping freshly made muffins for." She quickly went out on to the floor before Hux could say anything in return. He knew she was right, but he hated that she was. He was excited to see him, but it bothered him immensely. He hadn't been this excited over a man since DJ. He kicked himself mentally for thinking about him. Even after two years he could still get to him. Ren didn't seem anything like DJ anyway. Where DJ had been subtle, Ren was more in your face. Ren was smooth where DJ was just as awkward as Hux was. Hux glowered at himself. Why was he even comparing the two? He still hated DJ and didn't want to think about him and as far as Ren went...well, he didn't even know him. Hux waited in anticipation all day for Ren to come in, but he never showed. Hux couldn't help feeling disappointed. Then he cursed at himself for feeling that way. What did this kid mean to him? Nothing! So what should he care if he came in or not? Though Hux realised he was craving the attention from Ren. He wasn't sure if it was Ren's attention in particular he wanted or attention from a man in general. Hux decided not to think about him for the rest of the day.

***

Friday mornings always seemed to be the busiest for some reason. There was just something about Fridays that excited people. For so many it was the last day of the work week, and who wouldn't get excited about that? Hux and Phasma were so busy that morning, he didn't even have time to think about Ren.
"What can I get started for you?" Hux asked absent mindedly to the next customer in line without even looking up.
"And a good morning to you too Gingerbread."
He looked up and saw Ren. Some how, he still took his breath away.
"Good morning," he replied as casually as he could, though he was certain he failed. "Your usual this morning?"
"Ah, you remembered?!" Ren said excitedly.
"It's not that difficult of an order and you're pretty easy to remember."
Ren shrugged as he dug into his pocket for his wallet. "So you have plans for your weekend?" Ren asked coolly as he handed his money to Hux.
Hux shook his head. "Not really. You?" he hoped Ren had finally given up on whatever game he was playing.
"I didn't before, but I do now," Ren answered as he took his change and his coffee and bag. "I'm taking you out."
"What?" Hux was confused.
"I'll pick you up here at six. Don't be late. See you Gingerbread!" he called as he walked out.
Hux stood there dumbfounded. Did that really just happen? Did this guy just say he was taking Hux out? And without his permission? The audacity! The presumption! Who did he think he was?! And yet, Hux was impressed and very turned on.
"Sounds like you'll be having yourself a fun night," the next customer in line said, breaking Hux out of his thoughts.
Hux laughed. "I guess we'll see."

***

Hux paced the floor, waiting for Ren to show. He worried it was all a big joke. But he hoped it wasn't.
"Sit down," Phasma instructed. "You're making me nervous."
"I can't sit down! I'm too nervous to sit." He kept pacing. "What if he doesn't show? Or he shows just so he can laugh that I was so 'obedient' to a complete stranger? I don't even know anything about him! His name is Ren, that's about all I know."
"Hux," Phasma said kindly as she grabbed his hand. He stopped pacing. "It's all right to be nervous. Just breath, what happens, happens. All right?"
Hux nodded. He knew Phasma was right. There was no reason to fret. Worrying wouldn't change the outcome either way.