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"Tense" - Stranger Things, Harringrove (2022)


Harrington scrubbed viciously at the buffed counter top. Failing to hear the creaking steps of leather boots entering the shop, it was only when steel shoe tips came into view, that the startled ice cream peddler flung his cloth aside to greet his newest customer.


Oh, for ๐˜ง๐˜ถ๐˜ค๐˜ฌโ€™๐˜ด ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ.

Icy blue eyes, golden ringlets and a shit-eating grin. Sure enough, Billy ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜ฎ๐˜ฏ Hargrove was standing before him. A black leather jacket hung off his broad frame, a tight white shirt clinging to his body underneath. Acid wash denim jeans wrapped his legs and fed into the steel-toed leather boots that had invaded Steveโ€™s angry little cloud.

โ€œโ€” ๐˜“๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด?โ€ Billy finished Steveโ€™s greeting mockingly. Fuck. Evidently, heโ€™d heard Steveโ€™s flirtatious attempts. Excellent. More fuel for Hargroveโ€™s unending fire.

Before Steve could stammer out a retort, Billy was speaking again, white teeth flashing across the counter in a smug smirk.

โ€œHarrington, thatโ€™s just ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ค, man. You canโ€™t even win these bitches over with free ice cream, huhโ€”?โ€

โ€œItโ€™s better than whatever youโ€™re offering, buddy.โ€ Yeah, thatโ€™s it, Steve. ๐˜Ž๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅโ€™๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ฎ.

A taunting laugh escaped Billyโ€™s lips before he leant one elbow on the squeaky-clean counter between them. He smelled like cigarettes and leather, and Steve ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ how that made his stomach jump.

โ€œAnd how would you know what Iโ€™m offeringโ€”?โ€ The question lingered in the air, punctuated by Billyโ€™s tongue flicking out to lick his lips. Was heโ€ฆ doing this on ๐˜ฑ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ?

It took a long moment before Steve realised heโ€™d failed to calculate a comeback. Instead, heโ€™d been staring at Billyโ€™s mouth. Whyโ€”? ๐˜ž๐˜ฉ๐˜บโ€”!? Flustered, smothering his nerves with false bravado, Harrington tensed up and stammered for a retort.

โ€œYou spending your Saturday following me, Billy? Got nothinโ€™ better tโ€™do? Not enough โ€˜๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ดโ€™ in Starcourt Mall for you?โ€

โ€œI only see one ๐˜ฃ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ค๐˜ฉ in here, Harrington.โ€

This ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™›๐™ช๐™˜๐™ ๐™š๐™ง.



Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2022:

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