Jensen flipped up the collar of his cashmere overcoat against the wind that made the January unbearable in New York City. The few steps from this company’s town car to his door were enough to make him shiver.
His doorman, James, held the door for him, greeting him with a nod. “Good evening, Mr. Ackles.”
“Evening, James,” Jensen replied, welcoming the warmth of the lobby. “How much longer is this cold supposed to last?”
“Through the weekend. Upper thirties on Monday.”
Jensen shivered. “Looks like I’m staying in this weekend. Stay warm, James.”
“Thank you, sir.” He nodded and then his face lit up as he remembered something. “Oh, Mr. Ackles, the new guy, Jared, is on this weekend. My wife and I are making use of that gift card you gave us for Christmas.”
Jensen glowed at the news. “Donohue’s? That’s fantastic, man. I hope you and Loretta have a great time.” Knowing his gift was being put to use wasn’t the only reason for Jensen’s radiance; the new doorman was gorgeous and friendly and on duty all weekend. He wondered how he could manage more time with him without it seeming obvious. Then, as if an answer to his prayer, he heard his name being called.
“Mr. Ackles!” Jensen turned to the concierge desk and found Jared smiling at him. “You have a delivery. Would you like me to carry it up for you?” He hoisted the case of wine onto the desk.
Jensen knew that was a common practice for the elderly residents of the building and he didn’t need the assistance. But, he thought, it would mean some one on one time with Jared.
“Uh, you don’t have to --”
“I don’t mind,” Jared replied with a smile so warm and friendly that Jensen forgot about the bitter January wind chills.
When the elevator doors closed, Jensen nodded to the small upholstered bench and asked, “Why don’t you put that down?”
“I’m not much of a wine drinker, but I’d never insult your choices.”
Jared’s reply was so deadpan, that it took Jensen a moment to realize the bad joke. He shook his head. “Dude.”
Jared grinned at the reaction. “Does anyone ever sit on the benches? I mean the elevator doesn’t take that long.”
“I don’t know. I had a particularly bad day once and collapsed onto it the moment the doors shut.”
“What happened?” Jared asked before wincing at his own prying. “Nevermind, sorry, you do not have to tell me.”
They were saved from any more awkwardness when the elevator pinged its arrival at Jensen’s door. Stepping aside to let Jared enter first, Jensen pointed to his kitchen. “Set that down over there.” He hung up his coat and placed his keys and phone on the small table in the foyer.
“Are you having a party this weekend?” Jared asked when he returned from the kitchen. “I don’t think I saw a guest list at the desk.”
“No. No party. Why? Oh, the wine. It’s not for a party. My mom enrolled me in some wine club as a Christmas gift. It’s her way of trying to sophisticate me. Personally, I prefer beer. How about you? Are you a wine drinker, Jared?”
He shrugged. “I don’t drink it often. Like maybe if I go someplace nice for dinner I’ll have some. Usually, I drink beer.” He stepped to the door. “If there’s nothing else, I should get back to the desk.”
“Right, of course. Have a good night, Jared.”
After returning to the lobby, Jared relieved James at the door. But before the other man left, Jared asked a question he’d been wondering about. “James, what does Mr. Ackles do that he can afford a penthouse apartment?”
James looked around. Gossiping about the residents or guests was frowned upon, but he could understand Jared’s interest. “You don’t recognize him?”
Jared shook his head, now more curious than before.
James lowered his voice. “He was a model. Then he acted for a bit. Currently, he runs his own production company.”
Jared was impressed. Jensen Ackles was only a few years older than him but had accomplished so much more.
At home that evening, Jared Googled Jensen Ackles + model. Most of the results showed Jensen with beautiful women draped on his arm. However, when Jared scrolled down the page, he found a few pictures of Jensen with blond hair and a clip from a soap opera. He remembered watching that show with his mom and older sister. He laughed at himself as he realized the man he has a crush on is the same guy he had a crush on in junior high. Jensen no longer had blonde hair and his voice was a lot deeper but he still had the most kissable looking mouth. “At least I’m loyal,” Jared admitted with a chuckle.
Jensen stared enviously at his best friend’s/business partner’s bouquet of roses. He wasn’t jealous of Danneel or her husband, but he wanted to make someone light up the way she did when those flowers arrived. And he wanted that someone to be Jared.
“Those are beautiful,” he said quietly trying to hide his self-pity.
Danneel beamed. “Thanks. Riley spoils me. He made romantic plans for the whole weekend.”
“Then I promise I won’t keep you long, but the bank needs these numbers first thing Monday.”
“Jen, I know you wouldn’t make me be here if it wasn’t urgent,” she assured him. “But tell me you have plans. Tell me you are asking the cute doorman out again.”
Jensen shook his head. “No plans and he shot me down twice. I can’t ask again. I’d look desperate.”
Danneel crossed her arms and put on her best serious expression. “You know those times don’t count. He thought the Knicks tickets were a gift and you didn’t correct him.”
“I know. He just looked so excited to be able to take his dad to a game. I couldn’t dump all over that by saying ‘Oh hey I know your dad’s in town and you only see him once a year so how about you blow him off and go to a Knicks game with me.’ And the second time proved he’s not interested.”
“No. I was there, remember? You ask him to the opening of Carnivore on the day he decides to become a vegan?! Anyone would have trouble coming up with a plan B with the curveball he sent you.”
“His veganism only lasted a week,” Jensen told her. “He gave in after Reggie bought meatball subs for the guys.”
Smiling fondly, Jensen shook his head. “Jared did tell me that he read the review of Carnivore in the Times.”
“See!” Danneel’s voice raised in excitement. “That proves he regrets turning you down.”
“I don’t know, Dani. How am I supposed to ask him out? He probably already has plans. A guy like that --”
“Is what everyone says about you,” she explained. “Everyone thinks you’re a playboy but you sit home every weekend. You know his work schedule, right? When is his shift over tomorrow?”
“Uh, well, he’s filling in for James so he’ll be done at seven.”
“Perfect. At the end of his shift, I’ll drop by and have him escort me to your apartment. You provide the food, beverage, and sex.”
“What’s the worst that can happen?” She didn’t wait for his answer. “He politely declines, leaves and you’ll have two dinners.”
“He’s the doorman to my building! I see him every day. It’ll be mortifying.”
Danneel waved off his dramatics. “You do not see him every day. And it could lead to hot elevator sex.”
Jensen sighed. What was that old saying? The third time’s the charm? But with his luck, it would be three strikes and out. “Dani, are you sure it won’t interrupt your plans with Riley?”
“Our reservations aren’t until eight so I’ll have plenty of time to drop by. Make sure you have dinner ready for him, and I’ll get him there.”
“Okay, but if this doesn’t work, I’m moving.”
“You are such a drama queen.”
On Valentine’s evening, at two minutes to seven, Danneel Harris-Smith's husband dropped her at Jensen’s building with a dozen long-stemmed red roses and drove around the block. For a moment she thought her plan was ruined because another man was at the door, but then she saw Jared at the concierge desk. “Jared?” she tapped him on his shoulder.
He turned and took in the roses and her stunning hair and make-up and his heart sank. Jensen Ackles’ partner must be more than just a business partner. “Good evening, Ms. Harris. How can I help you?”
“Would you be available to take me up to Jensen’s apartment? I don’t have my key card with me.”
As they rode up to Jensen’s penthouse, Danneel asked, “So, do you have any plans for the night?” She could save Jensen from any undue embarrassment if Jared was doing something.
“No. Just heading back to Brooklyn. No class tomorrow so I get to sleep late.”
Danneel smiled as the elevator sounded their arrival. “Here,” she handed the roses to Jared. “These are for you.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” she cheered as she pushed him into Jensen’s apartment and the elevator door slid shut.
Stunned, Jared just stood there staring at the door in silence until he heard Jensen. “Hi, Jared.” He spun around to find Jensen ducking his head and scratching the back of his neck. “Uh, would you like to have dinner with me?”
“Dinner. Have you eaten? Would you like to join me?”
Jared took a tentative step forward as his brain slowly processed what was happening. “What about Ms. Harris?”
“She’s having dinner with her husband and won’t be joining us.”
“But her flowers.”
“Those are yours,” Jensen explained, nodding at the roses. “Read the card.”
“‘To Jared, Be My Valentine? Jensen’.” Jared blinked at him. “You want me to be your Valentine?”
“Yes. It’s stupid, I know, but I kind of fail at asking you out every time I try. So Danneel thought if I --”
“Yes,” Jared said, cutting him off. “Yes, I would love to have dinner with you and I’ll absolutely be your Valentine.”
Jensen’s smile lit up the room. “Great, well, hang your coat there and come in. Dinner is ready. I hope you’re hungry. We’re having steak and lobster tail with roasted vegetables.”
“Sounds amazing and it smells delicious.” Jared hung up his coat and followed Jensen into the main room.
Floor to ceiling windows blanketed one wall showing off the incredible view of Manhattan. The rest of the room was lit by candlelight.
“There’s a vase on the table for your flowers,” Jensen said. “Take a seat. I’ll bring dinner right out.”
Jared set the roses in the vase but then crossed the room to appreciate the breathtaking view. “The Empire State Building is all lit up in red,” Jared called over his shoulder.
“Yeah, I love when they change the lights.”
Jared turned to find Jensen standing by the table waiting for him. “I can’t believe you did all this for me. I certainly don’t remember you ever asking me out because I promise I would have said ‘yes’.”
Jensen smiled. “It only matters that you said yes tonight.” He raised his glass in a toast. “Thanks for being my Valentine.”
Jared raised his glass. “Thanks for asking.”
After dinner, Jared helped Jensen clear the table. He felt unsure what to do when Jensen asked, “Would you like to stay and maybe watch a movie?”
Jared checked his watch. The last train to Brooklyn left at eleven. Depending on how long the movie was he’d have to run to the station. Jensen frowned at the gesture; Jared obviously wanted to leave.
“I’d love to, but if the movie runs long, I won’t have a chance at a kiss goodnight so can I have one now?”
Jensen started to smile. “You want a kiss goodnight before the end of the date.”
Jared stepped closer. “I guess it’s just a kiss, not a goodnight kiss.”
Jensen crowded into Jared’s space, not touching him, but only leaving millimeters of room between them. “It would be a first kiss and a Valentine’s kiss.”
“Is that a yes?” Jared breathed against Jensen’s lips.
Jensen responded by pressing his lips to Jared’s.
Jared wasn’t one to fuck on a first date but Jensen was … perfect. The first kiss melted into first everything and Jared found himself waking up in the best bed he had ever slept in. Jensen appeared, fully dressed, with a cup of coffee in his hand. “Good morning. I didn’t want to wake you but I have an early appointment with the bank.”
“The bank is closed. It’s President’s Day,” Jared said without thinking.
Shocked, Jensen set down his coffee mug and checked his phone. He covered his mouth with his hand and sat on the bed. “Oh my god. I’m off by a week. I made Dani work on a Saturday when my meeting isn’t until next week. She is going to kill me.”
Jared sat up and put his arm around Jensen. He nuzzled his neck and kissed his cheek. “If she hadn’t worked, you wouldn’t have made our Valentine plans. I think it was worth it.”
Jensen turned to kiss him properly. “You’re right. And since you have the day off, why don’t we spend it together.”
Jared worked on loosening Jensen’s tie. “We could watch that movie we never got around to last night,” he suggested between kisses.
“Mmm, I still have that chocolate dessert from last night if you’re hungry,” Jensen said, unbuttoning his dress shirt and tossing it on the floor. He stood, hands on his belt in a rush to get naked and join Jared in bed.
Jared stared up at him, eyes dark with lust. “That’s not what I want to eat right now.” His hands tug on Jensen’s pants until they slide down his legs and he stepped out of them. Jared grabbed Jensen’s hands and pulled him into bed.