“Pour me another,” Michael Waters shouted from the end of the bar where he had been drinking heavily all night. Several of his co-workers were contributing to his increasing state of intoxication. When the bartender, Asher Burkhart, didn’t rush over to fill up his empty glass, Michael yelled even louder, “Hey, dude, we need some attention over here!”
Elegant music played in the background. Glasses clinked, people laughed, everyone was having a good time, until Michael started to raise his voice. Even after the sour glances shot in his direction, Michael continued his fuming rant.
Asher looked up from the mojito he was mixing and shook his head. Michael and his buddies were partying hard tonight. Usually their group came in after work and knocked back a few drinks before heading home for the weekend, but this time was different. Tonight, it was a non-stop river of rum, vodka, and gin. The more they drank, the more obnoxious they got.
Michael was attractive; however, he was also an arrogant asshole who knew he was good looking and used it to his advantage in every one of life’s opportunities either in business, his personal life or just weaseling his way with another drink. It was the cardinal rule of bartending, know your customers, and Asher had been working here long enough to know most of these people’s dirty little secrets.
Two tall skinny blonds had noticed the amount of money and alcohol these guys were tossing around and decided to join the party. While one girl nipped at Michael’s earlobe, the other rubbed her mini-skirt-clad hips along his thigh.
“Not tonight, Michael, you’ve had enough.” Asher called over to him.
The happy-drunk look slid off Michael’s cute face. “Fucking prick!” Michael had a loud mouth on him too, but he’d never actually gotten himself kicked out of Chapel Chase before. Tonight might be the exception. “Get your god damn ass over here and pour me another drink. We’re celebrating my big promotion today.”
Swaying a little and slurring his words, Michael glared at Asher casually strolling along the narrow space behind the bar. Asher took his time which only made Michael’s face flush red with anger. Wiping down a glass with the corner of a thick white towel draped over his shoulder, Asher gave a slight grin as he stepped closer.
“Why don’t you go home and sleep it off?” Even with the upscale clientele of the business district, Chapel Chase had its share of belligerent drunks.
Asher refusing to serve another drink had Michael shaking with rage. “Where the fuck is Ziggy?” The guy’s glassy red eyes darted around, looking for Asher’s co-worker.
“Ziggy isn’t going to help you and he’s not my boss, either,” Asher chuckled to hide his building frustration, yet his handsome smile never faltered, “If I say that you’ve had enough to drink, then you’ve had enough. It’s getting late and we’ll be closing soon, so why don’t you and your friends just call it a night?”
The girls were starting to lose interest now that Michael’s alcohol flow had been cut off. It only took them a second to notice that his well-dressed co-workers were still semi-sober and probably had enough cash in their pockets to buy a good time.
Asher looked up in time to watch Michael’s “Business Bunnies” slip away with the man’s friends. He shook his head. Around this part of town, Asher saw plenty of BB’s lurking around. They were girls who thought that soliciting upscale businessmen, one day they might pull off a “Pretty Woman,” but who were they kidding? A whore by any other name is still a whore!
Chuckling to himself, Asher made his way back down the bar.
“Well isn’t this fucking priceless? Did you learn those lousy people skills of yours in bartender school? Run that smart mouth of yours while hiding behind the bar but--”
Asher had heard enough. He bit at the inside of his cheek to keep from going off on Michael. “Thanks for stopping by tonight, Mike. You come back again, once you’ve sobered up.”
Stumbling to the door in a huff, Michael glared back at his friends getting snuggly with his business bunnies.
As much as Asher was glad to see him go, he was pissed that he’d served that douchebag for hours and now he’d be stiffed on his tip. It was the bar’s policy to always start running a tab with a credit card that the bartenders kept on file and at the end of the night, the customers signed the receipt and added in a tip. Asher had been after the owner, Jimmy, to change the policy to include an automatic gratuity for totals over a hundred dollars, but he never did. Michael’s charges well exceeded that amount, but tonight, Asher put up with his shit for free.
Grumbling as he totaled out Michael’s bill, Asher was glad when Ziggy shouted for last call. The final ten minute countdown began. Being in the business district, most of the customers had already headed home, but a few stragglers wandered over to the bar when the restaurant closed at eleven, since the bar remained open an hour longer.
The waitresses busied themselves with wiping down the tables before flipping the chairs over while Asher and Ziggy closed up the bar. Nights when they worked together, everything got cleaned up and put away in half the time.
Asher smiled when he noticed the time on his watch. Other bartenders he knew were just getting busy about now, but in a few minutes he would be heading home. Even with the crap that Michael Waters pulled this evening, Asher still made a killing tonight. That was one good thing about working in the business district; everyone had money and they loved to show it.
“Hey Ash, you heading uptown and going clubbing with us tonight?” Victoria gave him her sexiest grin while undoing her silky black necktie that was part of their mandatory uniform, seductively sliding the long material back and forth across her neck. The four top buttons of her black blouse were open, showing a generous portion of cleavage. She tried her hardest to entice him, but no matter how much she tried, Asher was never going to see the waitress as anyone more than a friend.
Uptown would be filled with people at this time of night. Expensive hotels, exclusive restaurants, and hard to get into clubs drew a younger crowd with few responsibilities and lots of mommy and daddy’s money.
“Not tonight, babe,” He said. Victoria immediately pouted and stomped her black athletic shoe on the floor, making Asher laugh. “You’re so cute when you’re mad,” He teased her, “Then toss in that totally sexy men’s outfit you’re wearing right now and you’re every dyke’s wet dream.”
The look of shock that flashed across the beautiful waitress’ face had Asher laughing so hard tears laced his light brown eyelashes. She let out a mock cry of outrage as he wiped the back of his hands over his eyes.
“Come on, Aaaash,” Victoria drew out his name in a high-pitched, nasally whine.
Shaking his head, Asher finished putting away the last few things behind the bar. “I think I’m going to head home and finish watching the rest of the game from the other night.”
Victoria’s mouth pulled down into a scowl. “But don’t you already know who won?”
“So? Where’s the fun in that?”
Asher shot her a mischievous grin, “I know how pornos are going to end too, but that still doesn’t stop me from enjoying the action until the final score, now, does it?”
All of the girls at Chapel Chase have hit on Asher more times than he could count. They never saw him go out on dates, he didn’t talk about any girlfriends, and he wasn’t swayed by any of their advances. It didn’t take a business degree to figure out why Asher wasn’t interested.
“Go have fun, Vicky.” Asher told her when they stepped out into the warm night. The sky was clear, but the city lights always hampered the summer sky. Glancing up out of habit, Asher wished he could see the stars that dotted the night. For late June the air wasn’t as balmy as it should have been.
After a quick goodbye, Victoria ran to catch a cab while Asher headed south towards the subway. The business district was usually quiet at this time of night. Asher enjoyed the night and strolled along, lost in his own thoughts. He still passed a person or two, but the evenings were nothing compared to the packed sidewalks during the day, men and women rushing around in power suits, armed with briefcases and Blackberries, ready to take over the universe.
Asher chuckled to himself. Reaching the next block, he glanced down at his watch, checking the time. Trains ran on a skeleton schedule after nine o’clock, so if he ran he might catch the C15 and avoid a long wait.
Picking up his pace, Asher’s long legs moved him along quickly. He was just about to round the corner of the next block when he came tumbling down to the pavement. “Holy shit!” Asher cried out as his feet tangled together and his palms scraped the sidewalk at the same time his knees bounced off the hard concrete.
Something…or more like someone was lying on the sidewalk. It was Michael Waters. The man let out a yelp when Asher fell over his limp body. The guy was still in walking mode when Asher cut him off earlier. Either Michael’s friends snuck him a few more drinks for the road or he contributed to his intoxicated state with a pharmaceutical alternative; either way, Michael was passed out now.
“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” Asher shouted to the empty sidewalk. As a bartender, he knew that he could be responsible for Michael in this condition, even though he was still lucid when Asher had pulled the plug on his drinking back at the bar, it didn’t matter, since Michael was unconscious now.
Asher rolled Michael over and did a quick inspection. His eyes and lips looked slightly swollen, but he wasn’t battered or attacked. Nope, Michael’s deteriorated state was completely of his own doing.
Headlights flashed from further up the street. Asher noticed the taxi’s in-service light was on and ran to the edge of the road to flag him down. When the car pulled over to the sidewalk, he opened the backdoor and leaned inside. “Thanks man, give me a second to get my friend.”
Closing his eyes and saying a silent prayer, Asher hoped the driver wouldn’t speed off when he saw the current state that Michael was in.
“Come on, Mikie, it’s time to go home,” Asher said as he pulled Michael into a sitting position before using his legs as leverage to hoist the guy onto his wobbly feet.
Michael’s blurry eyes fluttered for a second. “Heeeey, I know you,” Michael’s alcohol-laced breath blew against Asher’s cheek as he spoke. “You’re that asshole from the bar. You wouldn’t pour me another drink!”
Walking Michael over to the waiting cab, Asher fished Michael’s wallet out of his jacket pocket. Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard to maneuver his body around. They both stood about the same height, but where Asher’s frame was compact with long lean muscle, Michael was much broader with more of the bulky physique of a football player.
Once Michael was secured inside the car, Asher made his way around to the cabbie’s window. When he didn’t immediately join Michael in the back seat, the driver started protesting. “No, no, no, no!” The driver rambled and shook his head. “You’re not dumping your friend on me. Get in or get his drunk ass out of my cab.”
Instead of climbing inside, Asher flipped open Michael’s wallet and pulled out his driver’s license and a fifty dollar bill before turning his attention back to the angry cabbie.
Asher grinned, remembering the first time he had carded Michael Waters at the bar. He was surprised to find out the guy was actually thirty-one years old; Asher had originally thought that they were closer in age, but five years wasn’t that big of an age gap. Michael’s cute face and big dimples made him look a lot younger than he was.
It was easy to memorize Michael’s birthday, since it was exactly one month and one day before Asher’s, yet when he had checked out his identification before, he had never bothered to look at his address. Stalking obnoxious straight guys wasn’t his idea of fun.
Handing both the license and the money over to the driver, Asher stepped closer to the cab and tried to look intimidating. “Listen, here’s fifty bucks. Take my friend to up to Barton Street and you can keep the change.”
The cabbie’s dark eyes lit up. Barton was only a few blocks north of here; since there wouldn’t be any traffic at this time of night, he could have Michael out of his cab and have a big fat tip in his pocket in a matter of minutes. “Alright, but your friend better not puke in my cab,” he warned.
Opening the back door to tuck Michael’s wallet back in his pocket, Asher had to bite on his bottom lip to keep from grinning. Michael was curled up on the back seat sound asleep. Asher brushed his fingers over the dark brown hair that barely reached Michael’s ears. Suddenly feeling protective of the passed out man, Asher added, “And make sure he gets inside. Don’t just roll him out on the street in front of the building.”
“Jesus, man, do you want me to wipe his ass too?”
Asher chuckled and shook his head, “Just make sure he gets home safe.” Slamming the door the cab quickly pulled away. He glanced down at his watch and frowned. Not only had he missed the C15, but the next train as well. His tired shoulders slumped as he slowly stepped back on to the sidewalk to make his way towards the subway to wait.
Thanks for checking out my new story. Let me know what you think. I really think this is my best story yet. It will be about 30 chapters (of which I've already written 20 soooo there is plenty more where this came from )
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Without further ado......... I present "Pour Me Another"