At eight in the morning on a week day the Second Cup was as full as any other coffee shop in the city. Tony joined the line at the counter, weighing his options and glancing out the big front window now and again, hoping the rain wasn't going to start before he got to work.
He wasn't in the mood to arrive at his temp job all soggy, but as the lady in front of him ordered her vanilla mocha and moved to the side, he heard a crack of thunder and then the whoosh of a sudden, hard rain. "Damn," he said under his breath, looking at the window as it became streaked with water.
"Can I help you, sir?"
Tony sighed and nodded. "Morning, Jenny." He found a smile for the girl at the counter and she focused on his face, smiling back. "The usual, I guess." It was always the same, even if he did spend his time in line debating other flavors.
"You got it," she said, punching a few keys on the register. She took his money and passed him the change, then made sure that his order was getting extra whipped cream. "You might want to grab a table and wait this out," she added as he stepped aside.
"You know it," he agreed, getting three sugars to add to his hot chocolate. Sadly, it didn't look like there were many to be had. He kept watch, picked up his drink when it was put in front of him, and finally went to a table with an empty chair and a familiar face. "Do you mind if I sit with you a bit?" he asked, knowing that the man was a morning regular like himself.
Thick lashes rose, revealing warm brown eyes, and the guy closed the book he was reading and nodded. "Go ahead. It's really coming down, isn't it?"
"It's a mess," Tony agreed, sitting down. "I hope it lets up soon; I don't want to be late any more than I want to be soaked, you know?"
"Yeah, I hear you." The guy smiled, face lighting right up, and held out his hand. "Brendan."
"Tony." He smiled back and shook Brendan's hand. "I see you almost every morning. Coffee and a muffin. Work nearby?" He liked the way Brendan's smile made him look, happy and sincere. It took a lot to be so cheerful in the rain, although being in and dry probably helped.
Brendan nodded. "Nice to meet you, Tony. And yeah, I work at Friends of the Earth, over on Albert Street. You?"
"Right now I'm doing reception work and accounts payable for a little company around the corner on Lisgar." Tony shrugged one shoulder and added the sugar to his already sweet hot chocolate. "It pays the rent. Friends of the Earth sounds cool; what do you do there?"
"My official title is Junior Program Officer, but I kind of do a little bit of everything. I run a few of the programs, brainstorm up new ones with the rest of the staff, help out with fundraising, answer the phones. We all sort of pitch in." Brendan nodded at his hot chocolate. "You like things sweet, eh?"
Tony grinned and stirred in the whipped cream a bit. "Just seem to need a hit of sugar in the morning. Once this is in me, I'm pretty good for the rest of day. But yeah, I'm a fan of sweet. Salty is good, too." He winked at Brandon and admired his eyes, noting the flecks of gold. "You? Salty or sweet?" Was it too early in the morning to flirt?