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  from A new type of love (Working title) by Morgan Locking

Chapter 1
The Stag and Dog cafe

As soon as the first term of the New Year started at Reading University the Stag and Dog cafe was never empty. Forever full of faces old and new coming. Everyone who came through the doors all greeted with the same lopsided grin of the shaggy-haired barista. Whose grey eyes always sparkled with a mystery which made all the girls in the village weak at the knees.

No stranger to the first week rush of fresher’s the cafe was armed an prepared with the team of best friends who stood ready for the day. The sign on the rustic wooden door flipped from closed to open the two baristas and the not so enthusiastic friend. Who had been roped into helping for the day began preparing the finishing touches.

'Jagger will you get your bloody arse into gear it won't be long until the customers actually start turning up' Seth the owner of the Stag and Dog cafe shouted teasingly. While the shaggy-haired man ran his long fingers through his black locks before throwing it into a top knot.

'You mean you hired me to actually do work and not to just stand here looking pretty?' Jagger says with a look of mock horror spreading across his face.

'I'm afraid so pretty boy your devilishly handsome good looks do not work on me'

'I suppose I better get some work done then'

'I'd get behind that counter before Tom practically drools on those chocolate muffins if I was you' Seth says indicating to the short pudgy man who stood hanging over the baked goods.

 Jagger walked back around the counter shoving his friend away from the freshly baked goods the first customer of the day walked in.

'Good morning welcome to the Stag and Dog how can I help you today?'

'One large black coffee to go' Grunted an overweight middle-aged man not bothering to look up from his phone.

Rolling his eyes as the customer was clearly not bothered to even return the morning greeting from his serve.r Jagger set to work. The coffee machine sprang to life as its buttons were pressed and levers were pulled until the steaming hot black liquid bubbled. Before it began to pour into the awaiting cup. Which was then placed on to the counter in front of the businessman.

'3.60' Jagger drawled the friendliness of his tone diminishing. As the customer fished in his pocket for change. Which he then proceeded to drop onto the counter next to the coffee ignoring Jagger’s outstretched hand.

'Have a good day' the barista called sarcastically after the businessman who simply left without uttering another word coffee in hand.

Seth was holding in a laugh as Jagger's face looked as if he wanted to call thee rude customer every name under the sun. Instead he simply raised his hands in a sign of surrender and strolled back through the swinging doors into the kitchen.

'Is he always this dramatic at work?' Tom questions curiously from the end of the counter.

'Yep, especially when he needs a fag break' Seth says popping the 'P' as he pushes his round-framed glasses back up his olive-skinned nose.

After a dramatic exit, Jagger saunters back into the cafe with a much more relaxed smile on his face. Just in time to see one of his regular customers Mrs Fig trying to carry her tray of tea and biscuits while pulling along her little shopping trolley with a great effort for the small frail women. 'Let me get that for you' He says his pace quicking as he extends his hand to take the tray which is gratefully given to him.

'Thank you Jagger dear my arms aren't as strong as they once were' Mrs. Fig says smiling warmly. While the mans muscled tattooed arms placed the tray on her regular table that she sat in every Wednesday after her purple rinse.

'Your welcome Mrs. Fig, enjoy your tea'

'Oh stop it now Mrs. Fig was my mother in law you can call me Enid' The old women say's as she draws the hot drink to her lips.

 Jagger simply smiles as he goes back around the counter. Were he playfully smacks Seth over the head who is yet again smirking at his friend.

'Always the ladies man' Seth comments as he begins to wipe down the wooden countertop,

'Speaking of ladies how did last night’s date go?' Tom asks as he begins to wipe down a dirty table while Seth made a gagging noise and pretends to wretch at the question.

'Just put it this way I think we need thicker walls in the flat'

'That bad?' Tom asks not knowing if he wants to know the answer or not.

Jagger shudders slightly at the memories of the night before pass through his mind.

Tom raises his eyebrows at his friend as the mugs he was balancing in his hands begin to tremble as he walked.

'Okay she had a nice pretty face, the ass on her was perfect and a great shag but way to clingy' Jagger says laughing. At the fact the girl had already tried to text him five times in the last hour. Little did the poor girl know that she was nothing more than a one night stand. Simply another name to add to the list of girls who he had slept with.

A small cough draws their attention back to the opposite side of the counter. Where a sandy-haired man dressed in an oversized beige sweater which hung loosely on his skinny frame stood. His cheeks flushed pink from interrupting a rather inappropriate conversation.

'Sorry to interrupt' The man says his voice so soft-spoken that Jagger almost had to strain to hear as he finally turns to look at him and take in what he looked like.

There was no denying he was good looking but not in the confident self-assured way Jagger was because there aren't many people who are as self-assured as he could be. The customer was different and it was something the barista could not put his finger on. But yet another small cough drew the barista away from his own thoughts.

'I'm so sorry how can I help you today?'

'May I please have one large hot chocolate with cream please?' the sandy-haired man replies looking up from his shoes for the first time.

'Sure, are you wanting that to take away or drink in?'

'Drink in please'

'No worries pal that will just be two minutes and in the meantime that will be 3.75'

Jagger flashes a smile at the young man as he pulls out a battered black leather wallet. That had clearly seen better days but as the man's cheeks still lit a light pink color. The barista couldn't help but chuckle at the second-hand embarrassment of the stranger.

The sandy-haired man let the oversized sleeve fall over his hands as he waited for his drink before he wrapped one arm around himself letting his hand rest on his elbow. His eyes averting away into the distance watching people pass by the shop in a whole world of their own.

As he worked Jagger couldn’t...

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