Here is a brand-new free read. Be sure to check out the original prompt and the other responses here. Enjoy!
A Walk in the Park
Music blared in Cal’s ears as he ran down the path. It was a beautiful Saturday morning in his humble town of Jacobsburg, sunny and just the right temperature for a run. Cal didn’t run as much as he used to since he was working full-time at the bank, but it was something he still enjoyed to do.
Cal was about halfway through his run when a black blur suddenly darted in front of Cal’s feet. Dodging to the side, Cal started to slow down, narrowly missing the blur.
Annoyed, Cal turned to see what ruined his run. It was a dog, black and small. It looked like a mutt, but Cal had to admit that he was adorable with a bright red ball stuck in his mouth.
“Sorry,” Cal heard through his headphones. Taking the buds out of his ears, Cal turned to face whoever was speaking to him.
Cal’s breath caught as he caught a glimpse of the man running towards the adorable dog. The man was tall, with hinting of toned bronze muscles gleaming under his T-shirt and gym shorts. His brown hair was a little long, but it only made him look younger and much more attractive in Cal’s eyes.
“Hey, are you okay,” the cute guy said.
Cal shook his head, trying to snap out of his preoccupation. “Oh, yeah. Sorry.”
“It’s okay. I was a little worried that you got hurt when Sparky here got away from me.”
“Yeah, my dog,” the man clarified as he ruffled the fur on Sparky’s head. “He’s usually really good about staying with me, even when we play fetch, but he’s a little ADHD. Gets distracted easy.”
Cal couldn’t help but laugh at that. “No. I wasn’t hurt by your ADHD dog.”
The man smiled back. “Good. I’m glad. Oh, I’m Neal, by the way.”
“Calvin. But everyone calls me Cal.”
Neal stood up and shook hands with him. “Nice to meet you.”
There was an awkward moment of silence as the two men stared at each other. Cal watched Neal shuffle his feet, as if he were waiting for something. Maybe Cal wasn’t the only one attracted here. After all, he did offer his name. Well, there was only one way to find out.
“Hey, um. I’m sorry if I’m out of line here,” Cal started, happy that he didn’t sound too nervous. “But would you like to go grab a coffee or something?”
Neal’s smile was as bright as the sun. “Yes. I would like that very much. There’s a café down the street with some outdoor tables. That way Sparky can come with no problems. As long as you’re good with that.”
“Absolutely,” Cal agreed, bending down to pat the dog on the head. He got a happy bark and a tail wag for his efforts.
“I think he likes you.”
“Well, that’s good. Because I like him too. I like his owner too.”
Neal blushed. “Shall we go get that coffee?”
Neal pulled a leash out of his pocket, clipping it to Sparky’s bright red collar, before coming and standing next to Cal.
“I am reading this right. This is a date, right?”
“I hope so.”
Neal blushed again. “Good. Although I have to admit that when I got Sparky from the shelter two months ago I never would have thought that he would get me dates. I just wanted someone to come home to at the end of the work day.”
“Well, who knows? Maybe Sparky just helped you find a human you can come home to at the end of the day.”
“Aren’t you rushing things? We haven’t even had coffee yet.”
“True. But you never know where the path will lead.”
Scruffy let out a bark in agreement. Cal and Neal laughed as they headed down the walkway to a bright-looking future.