God I’m way over my head with this. What was I thinking, letting Kimo and Aolani talk me into making the candles for mom’s birthday. I know next to nothing about this! Iukekini said to himself as he looked through the beginner’s guide. Just as he was about to give up in frustration, the most incredible specimen of man he’d ever laid eyes on called everyone’s attention to the front of the room and introduced himself as the candle making instructor. Iukekini couldn’t take his eyes off him, nor could he seem to catch his breath. The man was, for lack of a better word, stunning. Maybe I can get him to help me figure out this mess I’ve made. He pondered, wondering how to get the man’s attention without moving from his stool which would reveal a very prominent bulge in his pants that wasn’t there a few minutes ago.
Aaron wandered from table to table, greeting the customers, chatting a little with them about what they were making and answering any questions they had or offering suggestions on things like a simpler way to do what they wanted to do or how to make a certain color brighter without actually changing the shade. Conversations were easy and light until he came to Iukekini’s table where he found himself slightly tongue-tied. His head swam as he took in the sight of the man at the other side of the table. “H-hi, I’m Aaron. How are you doing today?” He held out his hand.
“Iukekini,” He responded, gripping Aaron’s hand, ignoring the tingles from the contact. “I’m not doing so well. I’m supposed to be making a candle for my mom’s birthday but I really don’t know what I’m doing. Everything is turning out to be a big mess.”
“How can I help?”
“Tell me what I did wrong. This” he held up a lump of wax “was supposed to look like this.” He pointed to a picture in a magazine.
Aaron studied the picture for a moment, then examined the lump of wax, then looked at the picture again. “It looks like you used the wrong type of wax. Let’s try something different.” A short time later, with Aaron’s help, Iukekini had several candles that looked almost exactly like the pictures in the magazine.
Iukekini threw his arms around Aaron. “God I don’t know how to even begin to thank you for all your help. There’s no way in hell I could have done this by myself. You’re a lifesaver.” He said, losing a couple of tears as he let Aaron go.
“It’s not a problem. That’s what I’m here for. If you’re interested, next Saturday I’ll be teaching a class on basic candle making at nine am in the classroom back there.” He pointed to the classroom. “You’re welcome to join us.”
“How much does it cost?”
“It’s twenty dollars. Everything is included, booklets, supplies, everything you need. It’s very limited seating, so you’ll need to make a reservation as soon as possible if you decide you want to attend.”
“Can I make the reservation now?”
“Sure. I just need your name and a way to contact you in case anything changes, which I doubt.” Iukekini wrote down the information and gave it to Aaron. “If you want, before you leave you can check out the classroom. The door is unlocked.”
“Thanks. Do I pay now or on Saturday?”
“Either works.” He noticed another customer trying to get his attention. Thank God. I need to get away from this guy before I do something completely unprofessional that might get me fired. He’s so hot! “If you will excuse me, another customer needs my help. It was nice meeting you, Iukekini. I’ll see you next Saturday.”
“I’ll be there. Thanks again for all your help, Aaron.” He quickly cleaned up his table, took a quick peek in the classroom, surprised to see a miniature version of the studio, then gawked at the portrait of Aaron. He’d seen the candle proudly displayed in the lobby, but had no idea that Aaron had made it. His heart practically leaped out of his chest. Man I wonder if he’s gay. I’d so love to go out with him. The more he stared at the portrait, the harder he fell for Aaron.
After answering the customer’s question regarding whether or not to use two or three wicks in the candle he was making, Aaron resumed going from table to table, thoroughly enjoying himself. This is more fun than I thought it would be. I wish I could do it more than once a week. I’d do it every night if I could.
The week seemed to drag on and on until at last Saturday came. Aaron found himself waking up early, a bundle of nervous energy. He did the three S’s (shit, shower and shave), dressed, grabbed a quick breakfast at the chow hall and soon found himself at Candle Crafts. He let himself in, locked the door behind him and disarmed the alarm system. He glanced at the clock. Shit! I still have two hours before the class starts. He went into the studio and looked around. The cleaning crew did a good job, but he noticed several molds sitting on a table. He looked at the pegboard wall where the molds were stored and noticed that some of the more commonly used molds were higher up on the wall than the less commonly used ones. He decided that since there were no labels on the hooks saying which molds went where he’d rearrange them. He slid several tables over and pulled all of the molds off the wall and sorted them, putting all of the seasonal ones together, then the common everyday ones together then put them back in the wall in sections, writing down the number of each type of mold. He would talk with Grace later about adding more if, over the course of a few months, he noted any of a particular type being unavailable because they were all in use. He straightened the tables back up and went into the classroom to get ready for the class. Looking at the list Grace had left on his desk, he had a full class, which brought a smile to his face. Laying out the booklets he had made on the basics of candle making on each table, he stood at the door waiting to greet his students. As they entered the classroom he happily said to himself now the fun begins.
As the morning flew by Aaron was very pleased with the way the class went. There was only one bump in the road. From time to time he found himself having some difficulty in concentrating whenever his gaze fell upon one of the attendees, the really hot native Hawaiian guy Iukekini that he had helped a few nights prior. It was with a sense of relief that he called for the class to break for lunch. I really have to get a grip before the hands-on portion this afternoon. He said to himself. The afternoon session was definitely going to be up close and personal. As he sat at his desk eating lunch he pondered the situation. There was no way to avoid getting close to Iukekini during the hands-on; he just had to make sure to not get too close. Finishing his lunch, he wandered from table to table, laying out the kits he had put together for the afternoon session just as the attendees were returning. When Iukekini walked through the door, he and Aaron locked eyes briefly. Aaron felt his heart rate rise and he knew he was in trouble.
“Okay, everyone, this afternoon we’re going to put into practice what we covered this morning. In front of you is everything you need to make your first candle.” With that introduction, he explained what everyone was to do and wandered from table to table checking everyone’s progress, correcting any mistakes that were being made and giving advice where needed. By the time he got to Iukekini’s table, Iukekini had finished his candle, but was having difficulty in removing it from the mold.
“Did you coat the mold with mold release first?”
“Yes I did, but apparently I either didn’t do it right or didn’t use enough of it.” Iukekini responded in a voice that made Aaron’s heart skip a beat. He was pushing hard on the candle with his thumbs, but it refused to come out of the mold.
“Here, let me see if I can get it out.” As Aaron took the candle from Iukekini, he was almost knocked on his ass from the electric shock that coursed through his body and went straight to his dick from the contact when their hands touched. Immediately his dick began to harden. Holy fuck! What the hell was that? Shit! It’s a damned good thing I’m wearing dark dress pants. Hopefully nobody will notice my hard-on. Talk about no self-control! Aaron you fucking asshole, you could get fired for this! He berated himself. Fortunately, nobody noticed, except the one person who had hoped to see such a reaction. While Aaron bent over the table slightly, which happened to be in the last row, Iukekini turned on his stool to block the view of the person sitting at the table next to him. He reached under the table and lightly brushed his fingertips across Aaron’s erection before gripping it. Startled, Aaron gave the candle such a hard push that it flew out of the mold and landed on the table that was in the front of the room, breaking into several chunks and startling Cameron and Mitch, who decided to check out the class and provide moral support to Aaron. He looked at Iukekini who simply nodded, a silent understanding passed between them. It finally dawned on Aaron that Iukekini was gay and that he wanted him. He looked at Iukekini sheepishly. “I’m so sorry I broke your candle. If you’d like, I’ll get you the stuff to make another one when we’re finished.” He said, embarrassed.
“I’d like that, but to be honest with you, I really didn’t like the way it turned out.” Aaron wondered if he meant before or after the candle went flying across the room. As if reading his thoughts, Iukekini continued. “The color came out wrong and I forgot to add the scent.” He stared deep into Aaron’s eyes.
“No problem. I’ll get you some more wax and color dye.” He hurried away, as much to get the necessary supplies as to break away from Iukekini’s intense gaze. Wow. There’s no doubt as to what he wants. He thought, shaking his head to clear his mind. I kinda want that too, but I don’t know if I can give him what he wants. His thoughts turned back to the gentle love he made with Clark the night before Clark shipped out for Germany. He battled with his emotions and his body’s reaction to the memory, pretending to search for the supplies he needed. Once he regained control of his rebellious body, he returned to Iukekini’s table and gave him the wax. “Why don’t you start the wax melting while I finished up with the rest of the class? Shortly only the two of them remained.
“I appreciate you staying after and letting me redo this candle. I planned to give it to my sister for Christmas.”
“Not a problem. I’m happy to help.” They finished quickly and this time Iukekini was pleased with the results.
“Wow. It turned out better than I’d hoped. To think I was scared shitless about trying this. It seems much simpler than I thought it would be.”
“This is just a basic pillar. There are other types that can be more complicated.”
“I really appreciate your help, Aaron. I couldn’t have done it without you. How about I take you to dinner and maybe a drink or two afterwards as a thank-you?”
“Yes, you could have done it, and dinner isn’t necessary.”
“But I want to.”
“Okay.” He acquiesced. “Let me finish cleaning up and I’ll meet you up front.”
“Sure. What do I owe you for the extra wax and stuff?”
“Nothing, supplies are including in the cost of the course. Besides, I’m the one who broke the candle.”
“Well, I kinda made that happen.” Iukekini grinned, his eyes twinkling. With a great deal of difficulty, Aaron resisted grabbing him and sucking the air out of his lungs. “See you in a few.” He left so that Aaron could finish getting the classroom back in order and lock up.
A few minutes later, Aaron joined Iukekini. “So where are we headed for dinner?”
“I was thinking either The Steak House or the Surf -N- Turf Palace. Do you have a preference?”
“I’ve never been to either restaurant, so I’ll let you pick.”
“Okay, let’s head for The Steak House. Do you know where that is?”
“No, so I’ll follow you.” Aaron replied as he headed towards his car. Twenty minutes later they were inside the restaurant waiting to be seated. He looked around and noticed a gay pride rainbow flag hanging on the wall next to the Hawaii state flag and the US flag. He started to get nervous, which did not go unnoticed by Iukekini.
“Relax, Aaron. It’s okay. Look around at the customers and you’ll see a lot of military. The flag doesn’t mean it’s a gays-only restaurant. It just means that gays are welcome here.”
As he did so, he realized the truth in what Iukekini was telling him and he began to relax. In short order they were seated at the table studying the menu, their drink orders already served. By the time their salads were delivered he was completely relaxed and started to enjoy himself. Conversation flowed easily between the two men as they enjoyed their wonderful, incredibly tender steaks. Over coffee, the conversation turned to each other’s jobs.
“What do you do in the military?” Iukekini asked, as the waitress refilled his cup.
“I’m a senior Firefighter over at Hickham.”
“No shit, for real?” Aaron nodded. “I’m a Firefighter also with the Honolulu Fire Department out of Ladder Company 7.”
“Wow! That’s awesomely awesome.” He responded enthusiastically, and they were off, the entire conversation devoted to firefighting with each of them having something significant to contribute to the conversation. Each knew things the other didn’t. By the end of their meal they were deep in plans to talk with their respective supervisors about joint training sessions. They left the restaurant and started walking to a nearby nightclub. Aaron couldn’t shake the feeling that he was being followed but he was enjoying himself too much to give much credence to the feeling. He grabbed Iukekini’s hand and raised both their arms above their heads, hands joined. “FIREFIGHTERS UNITED!!!!!!!” He shouted exuberantly. As he was lowering their arms and just before he let go of Iukekini’s hand, someone jumped out in front of them and took their picture.
“What the hell, man!” Iukekini exclaimed.
Aaron’s face turned as white as a ghost as he recognized the photographer.
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