Chapter 3 - 2017 Top Ten Gay Romance

“I already knew you were beautiful, but that just confirmed it.” He touched my hand, then looked me directly in the eye. “Would you maybe want to go out to dinner with me tonight?”

“Yes.” The word was out of my mouth before I even thought about it. Chase’s trademark grin blinded me.

“Awesome. It won’t be anything too fancy, not like you’re used to, I’m sure, but I know a great place. I’ll be back at, like, six? Does that work?” Chase was already moving toward the door. “I’ll pick you up, okay, Eli?”

I nodded, a little dazed. The click of the door sounded a moment later and still I sat, staring into space. I wasn’t exactly sure what had happened. It took me a minute to realize I’d made a date with the handsome prince who had rescued me on the stairs.

I shook myself and hopped off the stool, barely registering the twinge of pain in my foot. I had just under two hours to kill before I’d see Chase again. And the idea had me positively giddy. 2

I was a slightly suspicious of the diner to where Chase had brought us. The outside was rundown, derelict even, but I gamely followed him out of the car and let him lead me inside. The glass door boasted a scrawled name, Michelle’s, and stepping over the threshold transported me to a different place.

Not an overly large space, everything was done in dark teal, muted lime, and dark wood with chrome accents. It was warm and homey, the smells emanating from the kitchen made my mouth water, and I felt instantly at ease. Chase noticed the way I was staring, trying to take it all in, and he grinned.

A woman with long, dark hair and a radiant smile peeked out from around the door, and Chase lifted his hand in a wave. Her grin grew impossibly wider, her eyes crinkling at the sides, and she waved back.

l, Chase. I’ll be

chelle,” he

the small of my back and steered me toward a table tucked in the corner. Only two

, and skimmed my fingers along his arm before I sat. He squeezed my shoulder, then walked around the table to take his own seat. “Weekend

,” I agreed, once a

l glasses of water. She set them down, then gave her att

e, this is Eli. He lives in my building. Or really, I live in his. Any

fail to notice the assessing once-over she gave me. But I wasn’t concerned about it, and took th

answering my unspoken question. “I’ll give you a few minutes to look

e decipher his expression. Wonder and awe and a little bit of lust maybe? All good things to see on a date. I was sure my expression looked much the same. I wanted to take his hand, which was ridiculous, b

aze to the menu, though I didn’t real

was warm and d

gaze. But Chase, of cours

wistfully. “So good. There’s, like, mozzarella cheese or something in t

d put the same expression on his face, and I had to shift position to make a little more ro