Dave kept glancing at Hank as they walked down the sidewalk.
I wanna hold his hand, but I don’t know if he’s ready for that kind of public display.
I could just take his hand. He wouldn’t mind that, would he?
Again, I don’t know if he’s ready for us to go all PDA.
“Mick hated public displays of affection.” He hadn’t meant to say it out loud, but the words just slipped on out.
Hank turned his head and watched a family of four cross the street. “Do you miss him?”
“You seem to.” Hank cleared his throat. “You seem to talk about him a lot.”
“Well…” Dave didn’t know what to say beyond that one word.
“I don’t know how or why you’d miss him. That flea-bitten varmint. But I guess you two were together. You had. You had a…a…”
“Haaank?” Dave’s heart unhinged from its spot in his chest and was all ready to plummet. “What are you trying to say?”
Hank stopped walking.
Dave followed suit. “Haank?”
“It’s hard for me, okay? I’ve never been in a relationship like this before. I’ve never been the second guy.” He finally looked back at him. “If you’re just using me to get over your break-up or as some sort of revenge thing or—”
Dave put his hand over Hank’s mouth. “Stop stop stop. I think I know where this is going and I don’t like it. Hank, listen to me. I am not pining for Mick. That last day he and I were together, he made his feelings for me super clear. And that was it. I don’t love him anymore. How could I when he didn’t even love me?”
He uncovered Hank’s mouth. “How could I still love someone who was so tremendously unromantic and unkind? How could I still love Mick when I have you?”
Hank took a step forward as if he were going to kiss Dave. He stopped. Uncertainty clouded his features.
“Hank. I love you.”
“Then, why don’t you ever hold my hand when we’re out in public?”
“What? I thought you wouldn’t want me to.”
A smile overcame Hank’s uncertainty. “Dave, I am not Mick.” He held out his hand.
Dave eagerly took it.
Hank’s smile grew. “I love you too.” He kissed Dave’s hand.
Dave’s romance-loving heart nearly exploded.
“Are you hungry? I know a place that makes great ice cream cones.”
“Do they sell freezies there?”
Hank tilted his head. “What’s a freezie?”
“It’s like a snow cone, but even better.” Dave’s expression brightened. “The strawberry ones are the best. The lime ones are the worst. They taste like Pine Sol.”
Hank laughed. “I’ll keep that in mind. Come on. Let’s check it out.”
Dave held on to his hand. “Okay!”