His Berry Best Work
I can’t remember how long ago it was, but i’d been talking to @nekoabi about an idea and I promise I'd write it for her.. But I just refound that wip like two days ago. So anyway.. Here’s this after however long :P
Logince - berry/fruit picking
Roman walked up to the small store at the forefront of the farm. He’d called beforehand and gotten the go ahead, but he was still going to introduce himself and let them know he’d arrived, it was only polite. He knocked on the door as he pushed it open, calling out to announce his arrival.
His call was quickly answered by a sweet older woman who was stacking jars of jam on a display table. “Hello there! Welcome to Crofter’s Fields! How can I help you, sweetheart?”
Roman felt a little warmth build up in his chest at the sweet response. This woman just radiated sweet older woman energy. “Yes, ma’am. I’m Roman. Uh, Roman Prince. I called in yesterday and spoke with you?”
“Oh! You’re the young chef, the up and comer! I do remember speaking with you.” She smiled at him fondly, moving away from the table and wiping her hands down her little apron as she approached him. “You wanted to pick some fruit yourself from the farm, right?”
“Yes, ma’am. I’m working on some new recipes and I wanted to only use fruit I personally inspected myself, if that is alright with you.” Roman explained, reiterating what he’d said on the phone the previous day.
“Right, right. Well, my son is the overseer of the fields, he’ll be able to assist you. Let me go grab him and he can take you out.” She nodded, turning to head into the back room of the shop.
“Thank you!” Roman called after her, standing idly in the store as he waited. His eyes trailed over the items on display, all made from the fruit that the farm grew. There were several kinds of jam - peach, strawberry, grape... They even had his favorite, cherry. But jam wasn’t the only thing they sold, they had pie fillings, juices, candies, syrups, dried fruit... They even had non-food items as well. He smiled as he looked at the cute aprons with matching mitts and towels, sets of cups and tableware, even useful tools like pitters, slicers, and peelers.
It was all very nice, and he already knew the edible items were delicious. He’d been using their products in some of his cooking for a long while, but now he wanted to try and make his own. He was currently on a quest to make the perfect jam tarts, but he wanted to control every step of the process to ensure he knew every factor involved. Only the best fruit would do, of course.
“Roman!” The older woman called as she stepped back into the room and snapped his attention to her. “This is my son, Logan. He’ll take you from here.”
Roman’s eyes trailed from her over to the man behind her. When she’d said “her son” he had somewhat been expecting a teenager. But this man was.. A man. Probably right around his own age. He was tall and slender with eyes that seemed to pierce right through him, somehow both intense and enticing.
“Hello. As my mother stated, I’m Logan Crofter. I’ll be taking you out to the fields.” Logan bowed his head very slightly in greeting.
The chef’s heart rate had picked up, unsure how this man had so immediately made him smitten with only a look in his eye and a direct statement. “...Thank you. I’m Roman Prince, it’s lovely to meet you.” He introduced himself, mimicking the slight bow of the head.
“Here you go, you two! Have fun out there!” The woman piped back up as she produced two - frankly adorable little baskets for them to carry fruit in as they picked it. Logan took them from her and then nodded back the way they came, silently instructing Roman to follow after him. The young chef quickly did so, as Logan had already turned to go and he didn’t want to lose his guide.
Logan led him over to a golf cart, placing the baskets in the back and then sliding into the driver’s seat before turning back to look at Roman expectantly. He blinked and then quickly followed, sliding into the seat next to him. As soon as he was in, Logan had already begun driving. He was clearly pretty no nonsense. ..He was also clearly very pretty. But that thought could stay in Roman’s gay little mind for now.
“What would you like to pick first?” Logan asked, not turning his gaze from the small road that connected different areas of the expansive fields.
“I’d be happy to start with berries, if that’s no trouble. Really any sort.” He answered, turning to look at the handsome man to his side as subtly as possible.
Logan only gave him a silent nod, driving them down the path and turning to take them to the correct section of orchard. He didn’t announce anything when they arrived, simply parking the cart and slipping out to grab the baskets from the back. Roman was quick to follow, he was catching on fairly quickly to the way that Logan operated.
He was wordlessly handed a basket and the two of them began to walk a ways down the row - thankfully Roman knew plenty about all of what it was he was looking for, because Logan certainly didn’t seem like he planned to explain it. He was happy to find a particularly lovely selection of strawberries, stopping to choose some with a discerning eye. Logan had also stopped to pick a few things, the two of them working silently and independently.
Roman did not enjoy either of these facts, especially as he found his gaze wandering from his task to look at the field overseer multiple times. There had to be a way to talk to him, he just needed to figure out just the right thing to say. Something clever or witty or impressive..
“...Are you not really into the whole.. Farm thing?” He said, ever eloquent. Just so smooth.
Logan’s eyes flicked to catch his gaze, his eyebrow arching above the frame of his glasses. “Why do you ask that?”
Roman gestured toward him vaguely. While the chef had come to the farm in an open flannel over an undershirt and a pair of jeans, Logan was wearing a full on polo and tie. And he really couldn’t imagine those wingtip shoes were meant to be out here. “Because you’re dressed like a teacher.”
The bespectacled one looked down, looking over himself for a moment before looking back to his task at hand. “This is my parents’ farm, I simply have begun to assist them as they’ve gotten older. I’m much more inclined toward indoor work, but I don’t have any issue with helping them.”
“Aw! You’re such a sweetheart! What a good son, I'm sure they’re really thankful for the help.” Roman smiled, looking at him fondly, noticing the ever so slight falter of Logan’s hand as he heard how he was being complimented. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but the chef swore he might have seen the slightest darkening to Logan’s cheeks.
Whether he did or didn’t, it seemed that Logan didn’t know how to respond exactly, and had decided to focus on his task once again. Roman kept picking his berries until he felt he had enough strawberries for what it was he wanted to work on, and he brought his gaze back to Logan.
“I’m good on these, I think. Do you have cherries by chance?” Roman asked.
“Yes. If you just go straight t-” He began to answer, but the chef interrupted him before he could stop himself.
“Ah, sorry.. I don’t do anything straight.” He joked.
Logan blinked, his eyebrow raising once again.
“Sorry. Uh, it was a gay joke. You know.. I’ve never done anything straight in my life?” Roman laughed a bit in spite of himself and his awkwardness before he gestured the way that Logan had started to direct him. “Just this way?”
“...Yes, that way.” He responded. Roman was much more confident that he saw a little blush in those cheeks before he turned to walk down the path a bit, but he definitely missed the eyes studying his back as he went.
The two of them kept this up for a good chunk of the day, Roman doing his best to make small talk with the cutie showing him around. He was even pretty sure it was going well, Logan seeming more willing to speak with him for longer periods as the day went on.
Eventually Roman had to turn to him, his basket full to bursting. “Thank you so much for this today, I was able to find plenty of amazing stuff and I appreciate you showing me around and keeping me company.”
“..Of course, it was no trouble. I presume you already worked out this arrangement with my mother?” Logan responded.
“Yep! We’re all squared away.” Roman nodded.
“Alright then, I'll escort you back to the storefront.”
They rode together fairly quietly, Roman not quite sure what to do about this cute little almost date. It hadn’t been one, but had this been planned to be a date, it would have been adorable. He was trying to decide what it was he was going to do about this.. Should he ask him out? Or for his number? That wouldn’t be so hard, he could just ask. Asking questions was easy. He was great at this.
“...Hey, Logan?” He began.
“Yes?” He answered, not taking his eyes off the path.
“I was just wondering, uh… What’s your favorite kind of fruit?” Roman, you damn chicken.
“...I’m not a fan of overly sweet things, to be honest. So I find any of the more tart fruits to be preferable.” He said, gesturing vaguely to the back of the cart where their fruit baskets sat. “Blackberries for example.”
Roman hummed in response, thinking. ...Mostly thinking about what a coward he was, but still. That did mean that they arrived back to the shop with no further conversation, along with neither of them acknowledging the split second they spent looking at one another before they slid from the cart and grabbed their baskets.
Logan walked him to the backdoor, gesturing him ahead. “Here you are. I hope you found what it was you were looking for.”
“...I’d definitely say that I did, thank you, Logan.” Roman said with a smile.
The serious man nodded in response before turning to walk along the back of the store and head to a different building, Roman watching for a moment before slipping into the shop.
“Hello there, sweetheart! I hope you found everything you needed!” The older woman greeted him upon coming back inside.
“Yes, ma’am. Thank you again. ...And please let Logan know again as well, I really appreciated him escorting me.” Roman responded, a warm smile spreading across his face.
She looked over the young chef before her for a long moment, Roman feeling her gaze taking him in in a completely new way than she had before. It went on long enough for him to speak up once again. “...Is there a problem, ma’am?”
A fond look grew across her face as she brought her eyes back to his. “Not at all. But I would like to give you something before you leave. Could you wait just a moment?”
She made her way behind the counter, opening a drawer and flipping through a few things until she pulled out what appeared to be a large notecard. Her eyes skimmed it before she looked up again and made her way back to the young chef. “I know you probably have a much fancier method than mine.. But here, I think you should have this. Now, on your way, sweetheart.” She said, smiling as she put the card in his hand and then softly pushed him out the front door.
That was a strange interaction.. But it wasn’t until he was outside once again that he looked at what she’d given him. It was a recipe card, with a recipe hand written out on it. The name of the dish was written along the top.
Logan’s Favorite Jam Linzer Cookies
Roman’s eyes widened as he took in what he’d been given. ...That sly old fox. He slipped the recipe card into the basket he still held, making his way to his car.
It took roughly two weeks before the young chef made his way back to the farm, bringing back the basket that he’d been loaned when he had visited the first time. He’d worn some of his older jeans, old tennis shoes, a plain red shirt that he had a million of.. Part of him was screaming at him for dressing this way, but he knew he needed to.
Upon slipping inside the store, he lucked out. There was both Logan and his mother, only one of them looking surprised to see him again.
“Aw, welcome back, sweetheart! Isn’t this a nice surprise!” She greeted him warmly.
“Thank you, ma’am. ...I did want to return this basket.” He gestured with it, walking purposefully up to the serious man and placing it in his hands before turning back to the older woman. “And.. I’m here to help. Please, point me towards what I could do.”
That had both of them surprised, but she recovered much more quickly than her son. “..That’s so kind of you! I honestly really could use a strong young man like you to help me out with a few things..” She nodded him out the back door, the young chef following her with a smile and leaving Logan there in the shop, confused.
It was only then that he looked down into the basket he’d been handed, seeing that sitting in the bottom was a blue cloth, clearly covering something. He placed the basket on the counter so he could investigate the contents, moving the fabric aside to see a batch of… He knew his mother’s linzer cookies anywhere. However, they were filled with a dark, nearly purple jam that he didn’t recognize as one that his mother made.
To the side of them were a couple jars full of what was clearly the same jam. He couldn’t help his curiosity, taking a cookie to try with one hand, while he picked up the jar with the other. He’d already taken a bite of the absolutely delicious treat by the time he noticed a tag tied to the neck of the jar.
Logan’s Berry Jam - Blackberry & Pomegranate
He blinked, chewing and realizing that Roman had made this.. Just from his little comment he’d made? It was absolutely spectacular, he’d never had a jam that so specifically catered to his tastes.
It was only then that he flipped the tag over to find what was clearly Roman’s phone number and his cheeks immediately darkened to what he assumed was nearly as dark as the jam in his treat.
...He should probably go find Roman, seeing that as he had this recipe and now he was offering his services to help his parents, his mother was probably already planning their wedding. Logan only managed one step toward the back door before he paused, turning back to the basket and grabbing another cookie for the journey. ...Or maybe it was two.
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