Drawings and Designs
by M.A. Church
Jay strolled past glass display case after display case, his attention on the sparkly gems inside. Thankfully the place was empty. He hated shopping surrounded by people. It tended to make him uncomfortable.
Diamonds flashed in an array of colors and metals gleamed as he walked past them. The shimmery, icy glow of the stones captivated him. So dazzling and enchanting… just like the one who held his heart. His lips lifted, a small smile crossing his face at the thought of his mate. Now there was one who could out-dazzle the most expensive rock.
And speaking of rocks…. He glanced at the never-ending pieces of jewelry. It was almost too much—especially since he didn’t know he wanted, just that he’d know when he saw it. So far he hadn’t seen it.
But he had an idea. Oh yes, he did.
A flash caught his eye. He stopped and glanced down at the brown stones, his hand resting on the glass case. The delicate filigree that graced the rings in this section was pretty, but not what he needed.
He checked out the rest of that particular display case, and then stopped, stunned. There. God, that was it! He’d found what he’d been looking for, and it was indeed perfect. The color reminded him of his mate’s eyes—they were such an exquisite chocolate brown. Their two year anniversary was today, and Jay wanted something special. So what if he’d waited until the last minute.
“Good afternoon and welcome to Drawings and Designs. I’m Ashley. Can I help you with anything? Anything at all?”
Jay glanced at the sales clerk on the other side of the display case. He’d caught the light, playful tone. Was the clerk flirting with him? Sun-kissed brown hair, dark brown eyes… and a five o’clock shadow. Not exactly what most folks think of when they hear the name “Ashley’.
Jay tapped the case. “The stone in these rings. What are they called again? I can never remember.”
“Oh, those are chocolate diamonds, sir,” Ashley said. “The term “Chocolate Diamond” is simply a marketing phrase coined by the jewelry manufacturer Le Vian. Chocolate diamonds are a type of brown, or cognac-colored diamond. But it’s very romantic too, don’t you think? Makes me think of strawberries, melted chocolate, and… whipped cream. ”
“Yes, perfect.” Good God, he is flirting with me. No one ever flirts with me. Thanks to a car wreck when he was ten, he had a long scar on the left side of his face that ran from his temple to his chin. It tended to draw attention, to say the least, and not always the good kind. But… the EMT had worked tirelessly and he’d saved his life. Jay knew then what he wanted to do with his life. Thirty years later he was one of the best surgeons on the country.
“I think… I think I might have just found what I’ve been looking for.”
“Excellent!” The clerk gestured at the silver-tone and chocolate diamond ring on Jay’s left hand. His voice dropped to a purr. “Very pretty. I assume since you’re wearing a ring you have a perky wife at home, mmm?”
Jay hiked an eyebrow at the other man. Yup, definitely flirting. “Well, I have a perky husband at home.”
“Reeeealy? What a lucky guy he must be.” Ashley moved a bit closer and licked his lips.
“I’m the lucky one. Now, I’d like to see that bracelet over there.”
“Of course, sir.”
Jay walked the length of the case and stopped at what caught his eye earlier. It was a dark chocolate brown leather bracelet with antiqued silver-tone barrel-shaped spacer beads. The spacer beads had inlaid chocolate diamonds. The bracelet had a gunmetal curb link chain, spring rings, and lobster claw clasp. Very masculine. The chocolate diamonds against the brown leather would make his husband drool.
“A very lovely bracelet.” Ashley opened the case and lifted the bracelet out. “I’ve been eyeing it since it came in two days ago. It’s a, um…” Ashley hummed with pleasure as he held the piece of jewelry. “Yeah, it’s a smoking hawt design.”
Jay froze. Then his lips twitched. He struggled not to grin, but failed miserably when Ashley snorted.
“Good grief, babe, how long have you been practicing that?” Jay rolled his eyes and took the bracelet from Ashley. “Smoking hot design? Really?”
Ashley smirked as he handed the bracelet over. “Hey, what you do expect with a last name like Design, Dr. Jay Design?”
“I’d expect someone with the last name of Drawing to cut me a little slack.” Jay shook his head as Ashley just hooted. He pulled the price tag off the bracelet. “Okay, arm out, Ash. I want to see what this thing that you’ve been dropping hints over looks like on you.”
“Didn’t think you caught them.”
“I might be tired when I get home, but I notice everything about you. Even the not-so-subtle hints you dropped about a certain anniversary gift and our store.” Jay tested the bracelet to make sure it was closed, then kissed Ashley’s palm. “It’s beautiful, as are you. Happy Anniversary.”
Ashley leaned over the glass counter and kissed Jay back. “Happy Anniversary. And you’re the beautiful one. Oh yes you are. Don’t you shake your head at me. You are.” Ashley stole another light kiss then leaned back. “Let me close up, and I’ll be ready to go.”
“Sounds good. I have reservations for us at your favorite restaurant.”
“Can’t wait.” Ashley started to hurry off, and then stopped. “Oh. Also, I have your gift at home.”
Jay bounded on his toes, delighted. “Do tell. Is it bigger than a bread box?” Hey, he could drop hints with the best of them too. There was this antique doctor’s bag on Ebay he wanted…
“It might be.” Ashley threw a wink over his shoulder.