He’d come in at about 11 pm just as the café was closing.
“Sorry, we’re closing,” she’d said, automatically.
“Gao on! It’s not quite 11 yet!”
“Well, the coffee machine’s been shut down.” She stared at him blandly.
He bowed. “O esteemed princess! Howzabout a cup of grayn tay, then all you’ll have to do is rinse out the cup afterwards? And we c’n have a sip of this!” He reached inside his jacket and removed a small bottle of brandy.
“Where’d you get that?” she exclaimed. As soon as she’d spoken, she thought how silly she was. He’d prolly bought it at a bottle shop. There was one down the road, open until 10. Or he’d bought it earlier, the day before perhaps. Why should he have obtained it lately?
“I pinched it,” he said calmly.
“Nex’ door. I work there.”
“Are you gay?” She cursed herself for letting the question slip out. Just because The Lord Grey was a gay pub.
“Who wants to knaow?” he asked, drily, withdrawing a little.
“Why,” she said, suddenly feeling oddly happy, “The Countess Esmeralda at your service. Come this way, Prince Charming. Green tea on its way.”
She made some for him and herself, and sat down opposite him.
“The answer’s ‘yes’,” he said.
“Yes I’m gay. And you?”
“Oh. No. I don’t know. My best friend’s gay. But I prefer men, I think.” She thought of her father and wondered. But then, her mother hadn’t exactly been an icon for womanhood.
“That’s what I feel too,” he said, grinning.
Episodes 1 to 260 (without pictures, 10 episodes per chapter