It was six o’clock in the morning. My usual time to be awake. I noticed that Harry was still asleep, and so I carefully and quietly got dressed. He always looked so sweet asleep. I gently got out of bed, so I wouldn’t wake him, and got dressed. I quickly grabbed the keys to my car, and drove to the Double R diner for a couple cups of coffee and donuts. A couple of bear claws and powdered doughnuts. He always loved having a bear claw doughnut with his coffee in the morning. I set his coffee and doughnuts on a tray, and carefully walked it up the stairs, making sure that I wouldn’t spill a drop. I woke Harry up with a few light kisses. He finally woke up, and I looked deep into those beautiful brown eyes of his. I knew today wasn’t going to be an easy day for him. We were going to tell Albert that we were together, and I knew that would make Harry very nervous. I tried my best to be as relaxed as humanly possible.
“Good morning, darling.”
“Good morning, my love. I brought you your favorites.”
“Dale, you shouldn’t have.” Harry kissed my cheek, and bit into his bear claw.
I sat beside him on the bed, and ran a hand through his bedhead. I always loved playing with his hair, and Harry always found it to be comforting.
“I don’t think that I’ve ever really told you this before, but I really adore you, Dale. Everything about you never fails to amaze me. I love you, Dale.”
“I love you too, Harry. I never told you this either, but you are a wonderful human being. I am so fascinated by you.”
“Honest and truly. I’m in awe of you.”
“Yes?” Harry then pulled me into a hug, and stroked my back.
“Can we stay like this?”
“I’d love to, but you never know when we'll be called into work. For now, though, we can.”
I kissed Harry. It was soft and slow, but meaningful to the both of us. I could tell by the way that we both ran out of breath, but didn’t want to pull away. We finally pulled away from one another, but not without bumping noses. We both chuckled, and went back to the way we were before. This time, however, I wrapped my arm around Harry’s shoulder, and pulled him into me. Harry placed his head onto me, and I continued to run a hand through his hair. As Harry finished up his breakfast and coffee, I watched him get out of bed, and get ready for the day.
“Should I shave?”
“Please do. I hate feeling your scruff on my skin. It just feels very prickly, unsettling, and it makes my face itch in return.”
“I’ll shave it off for you, no worries. I didn’t know that you hated it that much.”
“It’s not that I hate it, it just gives me problems when you don’t shave.”
“Sensory issues, Dale?”
“Yes! That’s the term.”
“I think I get it now. I’ll try to remember to shave every morning.”
“I’ll always be here to remind you. Besides. A clean shaven sheriff is a happy sheriff.”
“That he is indeed.”
I could hear him lathering up his face with shaving soap, so I decided to wait for him at the bottom of the stairs. As he started walking down the stairs, I decided to finish up my coffee. As he reached the bottom three steps, I soon regretted my decision.
“You okay, Dale?”
“Yes, it’s just that, you look, wow.”
“Thank you, Dale.”
“Of course, my dear. Shall we get headed to the precinct?”
I grabbed the keys to Harry’s car, and handed them to him. I then followed him out the door.
I felt Harry put his hand on my knee. This is how I knew he was nervous about something. Harry would always try and have me near him during an anxiety attack. He was like a child and I was his teddy bear.
“Are you all right, Harry?”
“A little nervous. How is Albert going to feel about us being together?”
“We don't have to tell anyone that you’re not comfortable with. I promise.”
“Still. If we don’t, it feels like we’re keeping a secret.”
“Harry, I promise that most of the town knows, but we’ll be okay, I swear.”
“But what if we’re not?”
“As long as we’re together, anything’s possible.”
“I suppose you’re right. I’m just nervous, that’s all.”
“I know, and I understand. Everything will be okay, I promise.”
“Thank you, Dale. I really needed to hear that.”
“Of course, Harry. Remember, we’re here for each other.”
“You’re right. I could just be overreacting.”
“You’re not, this is a normal human response to high stressful situations.”
“Thanks for understanding, Dale.”
“Of course. If it gets too bad, open the car window and let the scent of the road and Douglas firs fill your lungs. That’s what helps me at times. Of course, I know that things that help one person to calm down don't always work on other people, but it’s always worth a shot.”
Harry let out a small laugh, and turned to me.
“Actually, they do. Whenever you’re not around, which is rare, they remind me of you. It’s a very comforting feeling.”
I smiled, and put my hand over his. Harry seemed to have relaxed by then.
“Everything. From always being there for me to helping me to relax. I really appreciate it.”
“You’re very welcome, Harry. However, I’m always going to be there for you. Even when I’m not, I am.”
Harry smiled at me as we pulled into the parking lot of the precinct.
“Well, here goes nothing.”
“You really think Albert’s going to be here?”
“According to Lucy, he’s supposed to be.”
“That makes sense.”
Speaking of Lucy, she greeted us at the front door.
“Good morning, gentlemen.”
“Good morning, Lucy. Any calls?”
“Not a single one. Then again, it is rather early.”
We both nodded, and headed to Harry’s office. Lucy stopped Harry, though.
“Harry, here’s that card that you wanted to give Albert. I’m very glad that you found someone who makes you very happy. It’s like how Andy and I view each other.”
“Thank you, Lucy. I’m glad that I could help out with setting you up with Andy. You two were meant for each other.”
“Thanks again, Harry. Good luck! Albert should be here within the next ten to fifteen minutes.”
“Thank you, Lucy.”
“Of course! Talk soon, Harry.”
Harry followed me back to his office, and took his spot at his desk. He was still very fidgety, and on the verge of an anxiety attack, so I decided to help him out a bit.
“Close your eyes. What are five things around you?”
“My mug, my desk, my hat, my coat, and my seat.”
“What are four things that you can touch?”
“The leather on my seat, the flannel on the inside of my coat, and the oak of my desk.”
“What are three things that you can hear?”
“The sound of my footsteps on the floor, the fan, and Lucy’s typewriter.”
“What are two things that you can smell?”
“Coffee and pine.”
“What’s one thing that you can taste?”
“The bear claw from earlier.”
“Open your eyes. Do you feel any better?”
“A lot. What happened?”
“You were on the verge of an anxiety attack. It’s okay, and you’re okay. That’s what really matters.”
“Where did you learn how to do that?”
Lucy called, and told us that Albert was on his way in. Harry leaned back, closed his eyes, and took a deep breath. I decided to put my hand over his. There was a knock at the door, and I allowed Albert in.
“You two wanted to see me?”
“I, I mean we, did.”
Harry turned to me, and pulled me closer by the waist.
“You see Albert, Dale and I, well, uh…”
“We’re dating each other, Albert.”
“Okay, and a fork was spotted in the kitchen.”
Harry looked at Albert in disbelief.
“You’re okay with this?”
“Harry, I knew you two were infatuated with one another. You never looked at anyone the same way that you looked at Dale. Especially when he wore that black suit. Your eyes were practically glued onto Dale. I’m just glad to hear that you’re not leaving, or dying.”
“Thank you, Albert. I’m sorry to have made a big deal about all of this.”
“It’s okay, Harry. Not a lot of people would’ve reacted that same way. You’re using what you know, and what you’re used to.”
Harry handed Albert the card, and looked up at me.
“If you break Harry’s heart, I will break every single bone in your entire body. Do I make myself clear?”
“Yes, sir. I wouldn’t dream of hurting Harry, though. I love him too much to harm him.”
“Be good to Dale. He means a lot of good. Especially with what he's done here.”
“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”
“Of course. Does Lucy know about the two of you?”
“What about Andy?”
“He was the first to know, sir.”
“Okay. Thank you for trusting me with this knowledge. I promise I won’t tell anyone that you don’t want me to.”
“Thank you, Albert. That means a lot to the both of us. Right Dale?”
“All right. Well, if that’s all that you two wanted to tell me, I’ll be on my way out.”
“Thank you for understanding, Albert.”
“Of course. As long as no one gets hurt, that is without that intention, I’ll be on my way. Bye fellas.”
We waved our goodbye’s, and Harry slumped back into his chair.
“Are you alright, Harry?”
“I will be.”
Harry walked over to where I was, and put his head on my shoulders. I proceeded to run a hand through his curls, and smiled.
With that, I kissed him softly, but sincerely.
“Hopefully, tomorrow won’t be so stressful.”
“It won’t, I promise.”
“Thank you, Dale.”
“Of course, Harry.”
With that, we both decided to get to work. This time, not only as work partners, but lovers as well.