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Due to the awesome of all the Zach and Chris sightings recently, I was reminded by the fact that I have yet to post my fic. So, I'm going to go ahead and do just that before I forget (again). BTW, this fic is complete. Two more parts will be posted. :)

Title: Accidental Shirt Stealer
Author: [livejournal.com profile] calidearie
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: sexual situations, Christopher pining, voyeur!chris, Zachary/OMC, poor attempt at humor, fluff, fluff, fluff
POV: Chris
Summary: Chris didn't mean to fall in love. But now that he is in love, what's a romantic to do?
Disclaimer: Not real. No profit has been gained from this. I only own the OC characters, anyone who is not Zach or Chris.
Beta: None for this part. Sorry!
Author Notes: Sequel to Deserving. Thank you for all the kind reviews and support to continue. All the lovely comments fed the muse and now there is more!



ccc

Part 3

Lunch had been an interesting event. Zach had been entertaining as always. Amanda had been engaging. And Julie had turned out to be quite the storyteller.

Chris couldn’t remember the last time he had so much fun with a group of people. He didn’t do well in groups. He preferred solitude over company. It was rare for him to find someone he was truly comfortable with to share his everyday activities with. Chris wouldn’t admit it, but he knew that not being able to let people in was the reason his past relationships with his significant others didn’t work.

Chris looked over at Zach, who was currently asking Julie whether she wanted dessert here at the restaurant, or if she wanted to get ice cream while they walked to the park. Walking to the park had been Julie’s idea, and no one would have been able to turn her down even if they wanted to. Julie’s eyes lit up at Zach’s suggestion of ice cream and the way she looked at Zach made it seem as if he was her hero.

Chris smiled as they argued animatedly over what was the best flavor of ice cream.

“Once one of them gets started it’ll never end, you know?”

Chris turned his attention to the woman seated to his left. “I bet. Zach will never let up. In fact, we still have ongoing arguments that has lasted since we first met.” Chris laughed.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” Amanda said, sotto voce.

Chris leaned in, eager to hear any secret.

“Zach will let up, the secret is just making it seem like he’s not.” Amanda smiled.

“Seem like it’s not?” Chris repeated.

Amanda nodded.

Chris smiled. It wasn’t so much a secret, but Chris understood why Amanda made it seem like it was when he turned to his right and saw that Zach was looking at him with curious eyes.

“Mommy, are you telling secrets?” Julie laughed.

“I’ll tell you later, sweetheart.” Amanda grinned and Chris noticed how her eyes flickered to Zach, who smiled and winked at her before turning back to Julie.

“Aww now that isn’t fair. You’ll tell me the secret, won’t you, Jewels?” Zach asked, playfully.

Julie laughed. “Maybe.”

“Hey, if you tell Zach it won’t be a secret. I think we should be able to keep our secret if you get to keep the one you guys shared yesterday,” Chris said.

Julie’s eyes grew wide and smiled. “I’ll keep it secret, I won’t tell Uncle Zach.”

“Hey.” Zach put on a sad face in favor of playing along.

“Okay, I think it’s time for ice cream,” Amanda announced, diverting Julie’s attention.

“Yeah!” Julie exclaimed.

And even Zach couldn’t hide his excitement from showing through his mock pout when ice cream was mentioned. Chris smiled at the thought, which led him to other thoughts of how much he was learning about Zach. So caught up in his thoughts, he almost missed Amanda excusing herself and Jewels from the table to use the restroom before they leave..

Amanda had patted Zach’s shoulder as she passed by.

Chris cleared his throat when Zach met his gaze.

“Trying to lure Jewels to your side, are you?”

“Whatever do you mean?” Chris smiled.

“As an actor I thought you’d be better at acting nonchalant.”

Chris rolled his eyes. “Whatever, say what you want, but just remember after having lunch with your two lovely friends, I have enough ammo against you to last me a lifetime.”

Zach narrowed his eyes. “None of the stories they regaled you with could be considered as incriminating. Actually, you know what I think?” Zach’s voice dropped an octave, his voice sounding rough and velvety smooth at the same time.

Chris felt as if Zach had cast out a line and he had been caught on the hook. He leaned in closer, not being able to resist being reeled in. “No, but you’re gonna tell me?”

Zach smirked. “I think after all that’s been shared today, the only thing you can get out of it is the idea that I’m even more lovable than you thought possible.”

Chris opened his mouth, his mind going a mile a minute that he couldn’t focus on what he could even say to that.

“In fact, after the day is over and you’re back at your place you’ll have at least two thoughts.” Zach held up a finger. “One: ‘damn, that Zach is one fucking lovable son of a bitch.’” Zach held up a second finger to join the first. “Two: ‘Shit, would I have thought that Zach is a lovable son of a bitch if Zach didn’t mention it?’”

Chris felt like his cheeks were on fire. He swallowed audibly, trying to think of a comeback, hoping that when he opens his mouth again a comeback would just come naturally. And that’s when the thought hit him, Zach was only messing with him. He leaned back in his chair, hoping that his pause wasn’t too telling. “You fucker, that’s complete shit.”

Zach chuckled. “Hey, call it what you want, but I’m sure that you’ll be thinking it tonight.”

And with that Amanda and Julie joined them again at the table.

Zach stood up easily with a smirk still on his face as he allowed the ladies to pass and motioned for him to pass as well before following them out the door.

ccc

When Zach stopped in front of his house, Chris felt his stomach drop. He didn’t want the day to end. But nightfall descended, and Amanda and Julie had to go home.

“You uh... you want to come in for coffee?” The question was out before he could stop himself. Chris flinched at the word coffee, couldn’t he have offered beer instead? That would have probably made it sound less desperate.

Zach chuckled. “Since when do you make coffee yourself, Mr. Lamill?”
“Since you gave me that fucking nickname, Mr. Vanilla-Ice-Cream-With-Rainbow-Sprinkles.”

Zack rolled his eyes. Comfortable silence fell between the two. After some minutes passed, Zach sighed. Their eyes somehow met in the darkness before he cleared his throat. “I can’t take you up on your offer, Chris.”

Chris dropped his gaze and nodded as he unbuckled his seat belt. “Yeah, sure. Okay then.” Chris wasn’t about to make the answer be anything more than what it was. He was just turning him down for coffee. That was all.

“Chris?”

Chris looked up at the hushed sound that was barely a whisper.

“Just... Just not tonight. I would, you know, just for the sake of being able to watch you make coffee.”

“Yeah?”

“Of course. I hate turning down an opportunity to make fun of you, but I have to get home to Noah and Harold. They’re plotting ways to kill me slowly for leaving them as long as I have, I’m sure.”

Chris grinned. “You can’t give me a break, can you? For all you know, I have mad skills at making coffee.”

“I’ll give you a break when you stop making it too easy. And just so you know, you suck at making nicknames, you know?”

“Yeah, yeah. Well, you just suck for making the poor vendor hunt for more sprinkles in the backroom--”

“Hey, think of all the poor kids out there who may have really really wanted rainbow sprinkles but settled on chocolate sprinkles just because nobody asked if there was more in the backroom.”

Chris laughed. “Ah, well, how very nice of you to think of the poor kids.”

“Thank you, Chris. It’s nice to be acknowledged every once in a while.” Zach grinned.

Chris smiled as he shook his head and opened the car door.

When he got out of the car, he expected Zach to drive off once he hit the sidewalk. But he was still there as he made his way to his porch. And he was still there as he fumbled for his keys. And Zach was still there even after he made a final wave before stepping into his home and closing the door behind him. Chris leaned on the door and waited for any sounds of Zach’s departure. And when a lengthy moment passed, Chris turned on the light and was about to open the door again when he heard Zach finally drive off. Chris smiled at the thought that Zach had stayed until he was safely inside.

As he was getting ready for bed, he couldn’t stop himself from rehashing the day’s events.

He remembered how warm he felt when Julie insisted that he call her Jewels because that’s what everyone called her. And how good he felt when she pulled him into a hug before they left for home.

He remembered when he felt even warmer when his eyes had drifted up to see that Zach had been watching him. Zach looked startled for a moment before an easy smile quirked his lips and he turned his gaze away to look at Amanda.

Amanda. Thinking of Amanda was a bit confusing. She felt like the friend he never had in high school. She was smart. Beautiful. She didn’t really have anything in common with any of his exes, but he could see himself falling in love with her. Chris sighed as he recalled his passing conversation with Zach, who was the one who implanted the idea in his mind.

‘So, Amanda, she’s a mother, obviously, but she’s still your type, isn’t she? Tall. Brown hair. More to it than that, she’s not only beautiful--’

‘Besides being a mother, smart and actually having a personality, I’d say she was my usual type. Why?’

‘Okay, ouch on behalf of all your previous girlfriends.’ Zach laughed. “I was wondering... She’s doing more than well on her own, but--’

‘Wait, before you get any further, two things: One: There’s a reason why all my previous girlfriends are previous girlfriends. They put me through hell. Two: It’s beginning to sound like you’re about to offer to set us up and that--just don’t, okay?’

‘Okay, wow, okay. I just, you know. You’re a great guy, Chris. And Amanda, she’s great, too. I just thought two great people could be great together.’ Zach finished, lamely.

The whole conversation had been totally out of character for Zach that Chris had wondered if perhaps he and Amanda were more than just friends once.

‘She is great, Zach. More than great. And Julie, she’s awesome.’ Chris had been surprised at the temptation of just telling Zach how he felt. He had wanted to tell him that he couldn’t consider being with anyone else, especially when he was falling (if he hadn’t already fallen) in love with someone else. Chris had bit his lip. ‘I just...’

Zach had chuckled. ‘It’s okay, Chris. Forget I mentioned anything, okay?’

Chris shook his head as if he could physically shake the memory from his mind. He stared into the mirror. Chris realized that that was the first time that Zach had mentioned any of his past girlfriends, even if it was in general. Chris wondered if he would have even thought of Amanda by way of considering her as his type if Zach hadn’t mentioned it.

Chris smirked as he recalled Zach’s earlier comment about how he would think that he was more loveable than he thought possible, and if he would have thought it at all if he had not mentioned it.

Of course, Zach, was right. How could he not think it now? It was bound to happen. The stories that Amanda and Jewels had shared had only served to make Zach seem all the more endearing.

He smiled as he recalled Amanda telling him about the times when Zach would help Jewels get ready for preschool. And she had laughingly told him that he wouldn’t believe what Zach let her wear to school. Stripes. Colors everywhere. And more stripes paired with polka dots. Zach had defended himself, saying that one shouldn’t hinder creativity. Jewels had helpfully added that it was creative like the times when Zach helped her dress up her dolls as well.

Chris laughed. He had to admit, Zach really was fucking lovable.

TBC
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