There’s a package waiting for him on his apartment step when he gets home, two-day shipping from New York. He rips it open as soon as he gets into his apartment because his master cylinder was supposed to come in a week ago and he wants to make sure it’s in as good condition as the seller said it was before he takes it over to his dads. He slides the bubble wrapped package out of the box and stares in confusion at Underwater Dogs by Seth Casteel.
He drops the book on his counter and looks into the box like maybe his master cylinder is hiding in there somewhere. Instead, he finds a small card that just says The dog on page 86 looks exactly like Ace! and when he looks at the front of the box he sees that the package is addressed to Danny Williams. It doesn’t take much to figure out Williams must be the previous tenant and that Matthew Williams didn’t get the memo he moved.
He gets Williams’ forwarding address from the super and decides that, since it’s on the way to his dad’s anyway, he’ll save the eight dollars on mailing it and drop it off in person.
The address leads him to a nice single story house with a big tree out front and a Camaro parked in the driveway and when he knocks on the door he can hear movement on the other side. The sound of running is his only warning before the door flies open and a little girl is yelling that she want’s to spend the night. The girl snaps her mouth shut as soon as she realizes that he’s not whoever she was expecting and they stare at each other in shock until a man walks up and pushes the girl away from the door.
“Monkey, go pack up your stuff,” the guy says before turning his attention to him, “Can I help you?”
“Are you Danny Williams?” The guy’s posture stiffens so he takes that as a yes, “You used to live in my apartment, I got your address from the super. You got a package.” He holds out the box and Williams takes it gingerly, still looking suspicious of him.
“And what? You just figured you hand deliver it for me?” He’s got an accent that Steve can’t quite place but the look in hs eyes in familiar, he’s seen it in his dad’s eyes for the past thirty years when he’s trying to puzzle out a case.
“I was headed to my dad’s and your house is on the way,” he explains and Williams’ does seem to relax a little.
“Well, thanks,” he waves the package and starts to close the door before stopping, “What was your name?”
“Thanks for dropping this off, Steve, ”Williams nods thanks again and this time he does close the door.
It’s a week before another package arrives on his steps. He opens it again without looking only instead of a replacement blinker, a bag of Death Wish Coffee slides into his hand followed by a card. Ma’s mad you missed your Skype call with them. Maybe this will keep you awake long enough to talk to your parents. P.S. she says you’re her least favorite son now is written on it and a quick check of the address reveals that once again he’s received a package for Danny Williams.
He decides to drop the package off again since he doesn’t have anything else to do. This time when he knocks, it’s Danny who opens the door. He looks surprised before he looks down and notices the UPS box in his hand.
“What did he send now?” he mutters to himself and Steve hands the box over. “Thanks. Again,” Danny says, then after a pause, “Hey, can I ask a favor?”
“Depends on what it is I guess.”
“I need a taste tester,” Danny says like that means something, “My daughter’s school is doing a bake sale and all the parents are making things. Her mother can’t cook a desert to save her life so now it’s my job to make a hundred cookies of a recipe I’ve never done before- and what school assigns families which cookies to make for a bake sale- and I have no idea if the things are good or not. It’ll take two seconds, I promise.”
Danny talks a mile a minute, his hands saying just as much as his mouth, and he finds himself agreeing before he realizes it. Danny gives him a brilliant smile and leads him into the kitchen where there are piles and piles of cookies on the counter.
Somehow, ‘It’ll take two seconds’ turns into two hours of talking and eating the cookies that aren’t deemed worthy of a fourth-grade bake sale.
Two weeks later he gets a package of shark socks and when he drops them off he ends up talking for an hour before Danny says he has to go into work.
Three more days pass when a box with a light up tie is delivered to him. He ends up having leftovers with Danny and watching on Die Hard.
Three days after he sees Danny, another box addressed to him shows up on Steve’s doorstep. He knows that he shouldn’t open it but curiosity gets the better of him, he doesn’t think Danny will mind too much. This time Matt has sent a bottle of Sex Panther cologne with a note that says Heard you were interested in someone.
He wishes he hadn’t opened the box.
The entire drive to Danny’s he tells himself not to be jealous, that Danny can like whoever he wants and that he doesn’t even know if Danny would be interested in him like that. It doesn’t make him feel any better. For the first time, it feels awkward when he goes to drop off one of the packages at Danny’s. If Danny can tell he doesn’t comment on it, just invites him in like normal and asks if he wants a beer.
Several beers later, when it’s dark and they’re talking about something that Steve can’t remember because all he can think about it that stupid package, he decides to do something about the nagging feeling in his stomach. He sets his beer down next to Danny’s on the coffee table and leans in close and Danny stops talking immediately. They’re close enough that he can smell the last remnants of Danny’s cologne, his normal woodsy one not Sex Panther, and can see flecks of gold in Danny’s eyes. He’s never noticed that before.
“Steve?” Danny asks and he realizes that he’s just been staring at Danny, taking in all the fine details of his face that he never noticed before.
“Go out with me.” It comes out low, almost a whisper, and then he leans closer to finally kiss Danny. When Danny doesn’t respond, he pulls away ready to apologize but Danny cuts him off.
“It’s about time you caught on, I’ve been asking Matt to send packages to your place for weeks now,” then Danny kisses him and he doesn’t have time to think about Danny having his brother ‘accidentally’ sending packages to his address because Danny’s pushing him down onto the couch and deepening the kiss.
The day after his and Danny’s first date a box shows up on his doorstep, priority mail from New York. It’s sent from Matt but addressed to him so he tears into it, reading a card that says It’s about time, I’m going broke paying for shipping before turning the present over to see the title The Gay Kama Sutra staring at him in bright red print.
What should I do about the people saying that me being 1/4 Japanese doesn't matter because I look white
You are what you answer to. Bi-racial, Japanese, white, human, metaphor for a grander power, secret dog, underwater ghost, God, man, woman, a wisp of hair. Be what you are, because all of what you are matters.
A few years ago, award-winning animal photographer Seth Casteel became an overnight sensation when his photos of dogs underwater went viral. What followed was a book deal that resulted in the New York Times best-seller Underwater Dogs.
Casteel’s new book, out Sept. 16, is possibly the only thing cuter thanUnderwater Dogs:Underwater Puppies.
Casteel on the logistics of photographing puppies underwater
I’m wearing a dog costume so that the dogs can feel like I’m one of the pack. … Just kidding. … I usually just wear a wet suit just in case. You know, if you spend 12 hours in a pool with a bunch of dogs, inevitably you’re going to get scratched up a little bit. So I do wear a wet suit. But I just hold my breath — that’s about it. I’m underwater sometimes just a few seconds, sometimes 30 seconds, 60 seconds. But I have my wet suit on. I bring the toys. I bring the fun. And we just have a blast.