Piece of Cake

Chapter One – Part Two: Clingy Obsessions for Comic Books and Hugs

(Mitchell's P.O.V.)

The bell above the door jingled and I looked up from the book I was reading, casting a quick glance at the clock before turning toward who had just come into the bookstore. I smiled when I saw the familiar sight of bleach blonde hair half hidden under a dark blue beanie hat with tassels, and I looked back down at my book. He was right on time.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him walk over to the comic book shelf and start going through all of them. I knew what he was looking for and knowing that he wouldn't find it, I tried my best to keep a straight face as a frustrated expression came across his face. It was hard to do though; he looked even cuter than he was when he was frustrated.

Finally, after going through all of the comics three times, he looked up at me with wide eyes. I continued to pretend that I was still reading my book and hadn't noticed him yet.

"…Mitchie…" Taylor said, almost whining.

"Hmmm?" I asked as I closed my book and set it down on the counter before looking up at him. He gave me a slightly anxious look.

"Did the next issue of Hallowed come?"

"Yeah," I told him, idly playing with a pen that was on the counter.

"Did they get put out on the shelves yet or are they still in the backroom?" Taylor asked.

I fought the urge to giggle. "Maria put them out this morning."

"Oh…." he cast a longing look over at the shelf again. "So…they all sold out, didn't they?"

"Yeah," I said, making my voice sound sympathetic as I reached for my bag by my feet. Taylor gave a sad sigh and hung his head.

"Well, that…that really sucks," he said.

Deciding that it was time to stop teasing him, I pulled out the comic book from my bag and placed it down in front of him. Taylor's head cocked to the side then he looked up at me with wide eyes as he picked it up. I smiled.

"Don't worry. I saved you one," I told him, walking out from behind the counter, picking up the box of books I needed to stack. He was still staring at me, holding the comic book, as I made my way over to one of the bookshelves. I started placing the books on the shelf, unable to keep the grin off my face when I heard Taylor walking over to me.

"Thanks Mitchie," he said, draping his arms over my shoulders and hugging me from behind.

I smiled and leaned into him. "No problem. I know how obsessed you are with that comic. And I remember the last time you missed an issue. You were depressed for a whole week."

"I am not obsessed!" Taylor said as he stopped hugging me. I frowned a little and looked over my shoulder at him. He was looking at me with narrowed eyes. "And I wasn't depressed either. Just very…upset."

"Yeah. Okay," I said sarcastically, laughing when he pouted. Shaking my head at him slightly, I went back to stacking the books on the shelves. Taylor wrapped his arms around my waist a moment later, resting his chin on top of my head. I resisted the urge I had to sigh contently.

"When're you able to leave here?" he asked me after a minute or two.

"Five-ish," I answered, trying to move down the aisle with him still latched to me. He laughed a little when I shuffled over a bit, practically dragging him, then let go of me so I could move properly. Once I was where I needed to be, with the box of books at my feet, though, his arms were back around my stomach.

This was one of the things about Taylor not many people who really didn't know him understood. He was a very clingy and affectionate person. There probably wasn't a full fifteen minutes I went without him touching me in someway whenever I was with him. Either he had to be hugging me or he had to stand so close to me that some part of him was brushing against me. And I was pretty sure that the reason for him being so touchy feely was because of…

Well, this was just a theory, and I was no psychologist, but I was almost positive he craved physical affection because he had never really gotten much as a child.

Taylor was a foster kid. When he was six, social services had taken him away from his parents. Both his mother and father had been drug addicts, and from the last he had heard of them, his mother had overdosed on cocaine and his father was somewhere in California. That had been two years ago, though. He didn't know what his father was doing now, and he had told me that he honestly couldn't care less. In fact, Taylor had said that it didn't ever matter to him if his father was dead because he could barely remember him anyway, which he thought was a good thing.

I felt really bad for him. I knew the whole story about what had happened to him; he had told me about a month ago and I found it all really sad. Over the past ten years he had been in seven different foster homes, the one he was currently in being his eighth and the best so far, as he put it.

Nobody probably would have ever have guessed that he was a foster kid after being around him, though. I knew that thought hadn't even crossed my mind until he had told me two weeks after hanging out with him. I had been completely surprised when he had too, because, not to be stereotypical, but Taylor definitely didn't act like I thought someone would after spending so much time in foster care. And I knew for a fact that it had been rough for him in several of the homes he had been too. He had confided in me about several incidents that had happened to him in those that I didn't want to think about.

But even considering those things, Taylor didn't seem to let them faze him. In fact, he was probably one of the most optimistic and happiest people I had ever met.

Back to him being clingy, though.

Taylor was usually like that with most of his friends—who were, for the majority, girls—but he was exceedingly so with me. I was the only one he'd hang off of and hug no matter where we were, which would often lead to a lot of people—and I meant a lot of people—to think we were together.

But we weren't together, much to my frustration.

I wanted to be, though, because Taylor was just so cute, funny, nice, and great to be around. So much so, that even in just a few weeks of knowing him, I had developed a crush on him. And I wasn't exactly certain, but I was pretty sure that he liked me back too. At least, I gathered as much from the difference in the way he acted towards me compared to his other friends. What other reason was there for him to be hugging me like he was now?

I couldn't come up with any, but I still wished I knew for sure so I could ask him out. This totally unsubtle flirting between him and me that was getting us absolutely nowhere was starting to get on my nerves.

Taylor sighed and tightened his grip around my waist. "What did your mom say about Christmas?" he asked and I smiled.

"She said you could spend it with us."

"Great!" he said excitedly, his enthusiasm making me smile even wider. Then there was a brief silence between us, and when Taylor started speaking again, he sounded a little nervous. "Um…you haven't already gotten me something, have you?"

"Yeah. I did," I told him as I looked over my shoulder at him. I raised an eyebrow at him. "Why?"

"Well…" he began, refusing to look me in the eye, and I noticed there was a slightly mischievously glint in his. "How are you sure you got me what I wanted?"

"Taylor…I'm pretty sure you're going to love what I got you." I said flatly. "But I'll humor you. What do you want me to get you for Christmas?"

Taylor grinned. "I want you to give me a ki—"

"Mitchell?" Maria's voice interrupted, making Taylor scowl in the direction it had come from. I just laughed a bit and pulled free of his arms.

"Yeah?" I called out as I walked back to the front of the bookstore.

"Are you almost done putting those books on the shelves?" she asked, coming out of the backroom and I nodded at her.


"Okay. Then you can leave after you're done," Marie told me. Her gaze then flickered to a spot behind me and she smiled. "Hey, Taylor."

"Hello," he said politely as he came up to my side. He draped an arm over my shoulder then began steering me back towards the bookshelves. "C'mon Mitch. You should be stacking books so we can leave."

"Right," I said slowly, giving him a strange look as he brought me back to the box of books. And I swore that Maria was laughing at us—me—from the front of the store. It kind of made me want to shrug Taylor off of me, but then he hugged me around the shoulders again. He nuzzled his face into the side of my head and I forgot about everything except how his breath on my ear was causing goosebumps to rise up all over my body.

"Mitchie…Hurry up," Taylor said quietly, right next to my ear, and I shivered. It brought me back to reality, though, and I picked up a book, giving him a mock glare.

"I would. But it's kind of hard to do when you keep distracting me. Not to mention, it's difficult to move with you clinging to me." I told him, not really meaning it. He knew that too since he just grinned at me, not saying anything, and then nuzzled his face back into my hair. I resisted the urge I had to sigh exasperatedly.

He was really killing me.

I wanted this to be longer...but there's no way to do that. *sigh* Oh, well. I got my point across with this and I'm completely satisfied anyway. So yeah. I hope you are too. :D

Mitch has also developed as a character. Once again, it has been three months. And I just love Taylor and I know there isn't much to show of him in here. But I know what's going to happen in future chapters, so...*grins*

Hope you like it! Please review.