If A Broken Glass Is the Worst Part of Your Day, You’re Probably Having A Better Day Than You Think
“Fuckdammit,” Odin said, as the glass broke next to his feet.
He sighed, carefully stepping back from the glass fragments. Some of them crunched under his boot, but that was why he wore boots when he was working. Well, also because it was cold, but mostly because if he didn’t, he’d be stepping on broken glass all day.
Though in his defence, Odin countered as he reached for the broom, he’d only broken one glass this week. Well, two now, but only one before today. And the week was four days old, so he was doing pretty well for himself.
He heard footsteps on the stairs and looked up, pre-emptively embarrassed before he even saw who was coming down. The only people at the inn were Murph and his dads, who’d been staying at the Trapper’s Hunt for just under two months now, waiting for spring so they could build their house, and making every day torture for Odin. He was used to nobody being in his uncle and aunt’s inn, first of all, and especially to nobody hot being there.
But Murph was really hot, like in a way that was really unfair because normal people weren’t hot like that, and he’d been living in the place where Odin worked and also occasionally slept for two months and sometimes he didn’t have a shirt on, and sometimes he was sweaty, and sometimes he smiled or laughed, and sometimes he even talked to Odin or said his name, and what the hell was Odin supposed to do when that happened?
Odin still hadn’t quite figured out the answer to that, but he knew for damn sure that it wasn’t talking to Murph, since that inevitably ended with him doing something stupid or embarrassing. So instead, Odin turned and headed towards the kitchen, where he’d pretend he was cooking lunch. Or, since it was almost lunchtime, he could actually cook lunch, he thought. Usually Uncle Oscar did that, but he and Aunt Tina were out at a meeting of the town council, even though they were too important to be on the town council. Odin had assured them he could look after the inn while they were gone, since he worked here and all, and making lunch was the most important part of running an inn, so he should make lunch.
As he turned around, Odin tripped over the broom and went sprawling face-first to the ground. “Ow,” he complained from the ground. At least he’d fallen away from the glass instead of onto it.
“Oh my God,” Murph said, from afar, because of course that’s who it was, it couldn’t be one of his dads who Odin didn’t dream about. “Odin, are you okay?”
Odin sighed, pressing his forehead against the floor in the hopes that he’d sink through it. “I’m fine!” he said. “I was just licking the floor.”
Licking the floor? Was that supposed to be funny?
“Okay,” said Murph, clearer now, above Odin. Odin could practically picture him leaning on the bar, shirt dipping open as he peered over. “Why?”
“Uncle Oscar always says he wants the floors so clean you can eat off them,” Odin said, figuring he may as well commit to whatever bullshit he’d started. “So I’m just making sure I got them clean enough when I mopped earlier. Lunch will be ready in a bit.”
“Right…is that broken glass? Are you okay?”
“Totally fine,” Odin promised. “The glass and me had an argument, is all. It ended in a draw, by the way.”
Murph came around the bar, crouched in front of Odin, which, when Odin looked up, meant he was looking at Murph right in the crotch, which made Odin’s crotch go Hi!
At least Murph had clothes on. The other day Odin had walked into the bath and found him there and he’d been very naked, like all the way naked with no clothes on at all, and Odin had had to go stuff snow down the front of his pants so he didn’t go back to work with a boner the size of his dick making his pants tent out.
Odin looked higher to Murph’s face, which was really unfortunate because Murph had a square jaw that framed a wide mouth with adorably crooked teeth and a good nose between high cheekbones underneath sparkling blue eyes that were only bearable to look at thanks to the red-blonde hair falling in them, and Odin often got distracted looking at him and forgot that he wasn’t supposed to stare. “Hi,” he said.
“Hi,” said Murph. “Here, let me help you up, okay?”
“O-okay,” said Odin, and held out his hand, and Murph pulled him to his feet and he was so fucking strong, he could probably lift Odin right off his feet and right to that loft his family was building. “Hi,” said Odin, once he was on his feet.
“Hi,” said Murph. “Do you want me to clean up that glass for you?”
“No,” Odin said, picking up the broom with some difficulty, then holding it in front of himself when he realized his pants were still betraying him. He wished he could run home to take care of his dick, but at this time of day he had no way of knowing whether Pierre was there or not. “No, I’m good, thanks. You should just go sit down. I’ll clean this up and then go make lunch.”
“Are you sure you don’t want any help?”
“No,” Odin insisted, shaking his head. “I’ve got it, really.”
“Okay,” Murph said in a sigh, no doubt thinking Odin was weird, which he already no doubt thought. “It’s, uh, just me for now. My dads will be down later, but they’re busy. Can you make something for them and leave it aside?”
“Sure,” Odin said, sweeping the glass now. “That’s not a problem.” Murph’s dads were probably having sex, he thought. No wonder Murph had come down.
“Thanks. I think they’d forget to eat if I didn’t remind them. Not that I can complain, we all get so into it when we’re going at it…”
Odin dropped the dustpan. “What?”
“The house, I mean. We were talking about the floorplan,” Murph said. “I swear, they want to build a whole mansion. I left them to it, because whatever, they’ve wanted a house for a million years.”
“Didn’t you guys have a house where you lived before?” Odin asked. He’d never asked where Murph and his family were from. It was probably some huge, awesome city like the capital or Merket or something, where there were exciting adventures and knights and wizards everywhere and stuff.
Murph made a face, though. “No. We’ve never really stayed in one place for long before. We had an apartment in a town outside White Cape for a year, but that was the closest we came.”
Oh. “Sorry,” Odin muttered, bending over to scoop up the glass in the dustpan. He’d thought it was a normal thing to ask. White Cape was an awesome big city, though, and Murph had lived closer to it than Odin had ever been to anything cool in Great Scar.
“It’s fine, it’s just my life,” Murph said. “It’s why we’re all so excited to finally live somewhere. We really like Great Scar a lot. It’s a beautiful town with beautiful people…uh, I mean good people. The people are nice. We like the people.”
Odin smiled. “Yeah, the people are pretty good.” He wondered who Murph thought was pretty. Maybe Darla, or Simone? “I’m glad to have you guys here, too.”
“You are?” Murph asked. He looked surprised. “I, uh, kind of figured you didn’t like us much.”
“What? No, I like you a lot, I think you’re the best!” Odin blurted. Why did Murph think that? He’d been trying to be so friendly and stuff!
Wait, he shouldn’t have said that just now. “Oh,” Murph said, blinking again. “Well…I like you a lot too, Odin.”
Odin nodded. Right, this was bad. He’d made this so weird and awkward, shit. He dumped the glass in the trash. “I should go make lunch,” he said, darting into the kitchen, where he leaned on the counter, shaking all over. Shit. “Shit.”
What was wrong with him? He should be able to have a stupid conversation with a hot boy without acting like a complete idiot. He and Murph could probably be great friends if Odin would just stop fantasizing about him for two horny seconds and talk to him like a normal fucking person.
He could do that. He’d had crushes before and he’d been able to be cool about it. He could do this.
Okay, Odin was going to make lunch—sandwiches, he thought, those were hard to ruin—and bring it out to Murph and he’d sit down at the table and they’d talk about normal stuff and maybe he’d even help Murph get a date with whichever girl he was into, and…
Odin jumped, nicking his finger with the bread knife. “Ah!”
“Oh, shit,” said Murph, coming into the kitchen. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.” He took Odin’s hand, inspecting it. “You’re bleeding.”
Odin looked away so he didn’t have to see the touch, even if he could feel it with his full body. “It’s just a cut. I didn’t bleed in the food this time.”
“I’m more worried about whether you’re okay than the bread,” Murph said, looking at the cut. “It’s not deep. I feel like I freaked you out out there and I felt kind of bad, so…”
Odin shook his head, pulling his hand back. “No, I’m fine. It’s just, uh.”
“Uh?” Murph prompted, when several seconds had passed without Odin having thought of anything.
Shit. “It’s just that I have this boner and I really wish I had some snow to shove down my pants, you know?”
Oh. Why had he said that?
“Oh. Do you…” Murph looked down, which made the boner worse, then looked back up. “Want me to do the bread here while you go get some snow?”
Odin nodded, in actual physical pain from how much he hated everything right now.
“Okay, well, I’ll take the knife, and…”
He was interrupted by a bell that made Odin stop hanging on his words for once.
The bell hung over Great Scar’s meeting hall, and was only rung when the town was in danger. Nothing exciting ever happened here, so the only time Odin had ever heard it before, he’d been a little boy and there’d been a fire that had forced an evacuation for a day, and they’d rung the bell to make everyone gather in the same place.
Murph just looked confused, but that was just because he didn’t know to be scared. “What’s wrong?” Murph asked. “You look…”
“We have to go,” said Odin, heart hammering. “To the meeting hall.” His parents would be there, with Pierre and Phoebe. Hopefully. If they weren’t, Odin didn’t know what he’d do. What was happening? Was it another fire, or something else? Was his family okay?
Murph’s voice brought him back. “That’s Great Scar’s alarm bell,” he explained, taking Murph’s wrist and pulling him to the door. For once, the idea that they were touching didn’t freak him out, because he was too worried to be horny. “Something’s really wrong.”