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TITLE: How Sweet It Is

AUTHOR: Leto Armitage, 2023

PUBLISHER: Libertalia Press


TAGS: Libertalia Press, Libertalia Tales: First Love, Resilience Writers, Yaoi, Boys’ Love, Gay Fiction, LGBTQ+, M+M, Short Stories, Uplit, Gamers, Popular Culture, Self-Discovery, Feel-Good Reads

“I’m good at the most unforgivable thing. I mean sucking cock is something you can brag about in some company, but me? I’m good at ledgers. No one wants to talk about ledgers. I’m a non-entity without a story to share.”


After COVID, life becomes as dull as his ledgers for forensic accountant Rudolph Hemingway. He has no boyfriend, no sense of taste, and no Playable Character charisma. He doesn’t even have a story to tell until a chance meeting over a cupcake leads him on a wild goose chase to reconnect with the handsome stranger.

In his search for Mr. Perfect, Rudy-with-a-long-u puts his forensic skills to good use, scouring the area for clues and returning to the same spot in the park every day hoping to bump into him again. Sharing his cupcakes, and telling random strangers about the search, Rudy inadvertently becomes something of a local legend with a newfound taste for life. His new old Korean bestie, Sook, even sets him up for a date with her gamer nephew.

How Sweet It Is is a quirky, uplifting tale about one man’s quest for love, taste and the meaning of life.


Have you read this book? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


“So, my friend Kylie says she doesn’t trust anyone who doesn’t masturbate.”

“What?!” The man sitting next to me on the bench where I was taking my lunch turned. The sun was shining over the park and a light breeze tousled the branches. He was about six foot with brown hair and blue eyes, and he wore jeans and a white button-up shirt. The dark brown leather shoes matched his hair perfectly. He wasn’t muscular or pretty—if anything he was ordinary.

“She says everyone gets irrational if they don’t get laid.” I spread my hands in explanation. “It is statistically improbable to get laid more than once a week, and men are worse than women if they get backed up. So, masturbation is critical to staying sane.”

“Uh, and you are? I just sat down to eat my sandwich.”

“Morgan’s Deli, right?” I pointed at his Reuben wrapper.


“I figured I could be real.”


“Deli bros.” I held up my own wax-paper-wrapped sandwich which mirrored his.

He looked around. “Maybe I should find another bench.”

“Nah, I’m only chatting, sorry if I’m being weird.” The old metal of the bench was uncomfortable but the curvature fit my leaning back perfectly.

“It’s okay,” he said, taking another bite.

“I’m just enjoying the world not being cut through a diamond.”


“I was sick for a while. Covid. I had this room and this window. It had four sections with two that pushed up over the others. Does a window have to open? Maybe two then. It was a rectangle that took up half the hole in the wall, but I saw it as this lopsided diamond.”

“Sorry, you were sick. I got it too, but not really bad.”

“That’s when my cocksucker boyfriend left me. He told me he couldn’t deal with my constantly being sick anymore.”

The man nodded. “So, that’s why he’s a cocksucker?”

“No, that’s why he’s an asshole. He is a cocksucker because he was good at it. It’s a term of endearment. It was the only thing I liked about him really.” The fellow laughed and I adjusted my glasses and looked at him. “Anyone ever told you that? That you’re good at something you can’t advertise?”

“No, I’ve never sucked dick so I’ve never been told that or anything like it I think.” He chuckled.

“I’m good at the most unforgivable thing. I mean sucking cock is something you can brag about in some company, but me?” I took another bite of my flavorless pastrami on rye. “I’m good at ledgers. No one wants to talk about ledgers. I’m a non-entity without a story to share.”

“What’s so bad about ledgers?” He took out a cupcake from a half-dozen box.

“To most people, everything. To me they’re awesome. I’m a forensic accountant for the police. I’ve done the whole training thing, have a badge and even carry a gun sometimes if I’m on site. But most of the time, it’s just me and the spreadsheets.” I shrugged.

The fellow grinned. “So, why tell me all this? You always sit here and brain-dump on strangers.”

“I never have before.” I wrapped up the barely touched sandwich. “Will I again? I don’t know. Maybe you’re the first of a long list of future strangers I will regale with my eccentric behavior.”

“I’m honored,” he said, bowing his head.

“I just felt like I could talk to you.” I said, looking out over the grass.

“Why?” He turned to look directly at me, his arm resting on the back of the bench.

I thought about it. “Because you’re perfect”

His eyes widened. “What?”

“I’m not saying you’re handsome, or rugged, or whatever. You just look perfect, like how a tree can be an aesthetically perfect tree.”

“I’m not a model.”

“No, but models, no matter how beautiful, have imperfections. I watched you walk and sit down. You’re perfect. At least right now, on this day, at this time. I decided when you said ‘Hi’.” And it was true. His nose was a bit small. His eyes were a flat, dull blue. His skin was a bit pale and looked like it could use some moisturizer. But he was perfect.

“And then you shared that thing your friend said.”


He opened the box again and put a cupcake next to me on the bench. “If I’m perfect I should share these and get back to work on time.” He stood up, said “Take care,” and left.

I sat watching the grass, a gentle bending in the wind, and enjoyed the sun. That was totally unlike me, but it felt right. I was good at my job, but for most of my life I had lived for a series of boyfriends who wandered off at some point. And for food I could no longer enjoy. Maybe I wasn’t interesting enough to have a real lover.

I picked up the cupcake. I used to love them, the perfect little treat, but since getting Covid I was boyless and tasteless. This one was brown, so probably some kind of chocolate. Even if he had to run off, I had just met a perfect man on a beautiful day. Maybe I could become more interesting?


© 2023 Leto Armitage


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