When Michael walked into Chapel Chase on Friday night, Asher already had a drink ready for him. Sliding it across the counter, Michael made his way to an empty spot at the end of the bar. It didn’t take long for the crowd to grow to standing room only.
It was a typical Friday night. Laughter filled the air as dozens of men and women blew off steam and stress from another busy workweek before heading home to start their weekend. When the business district shut down, the night came to life. The last rays of the summer sun hit the windows lining the front of the restaurant, creating an amazing display of iridescent shimmers that lit up the bar.
Several guys from Johnson & Ashcroft joined Michael at the bar where he was nursing a fresh drink. They huddled around him before ordering a round of drinks for the newcomers. Asher caught snips of their lively conversation as the men recounted a humorous event that happened at their office earlier in the day. The words, ‘tits,’ and ‘thong’ had Asher shaking his head when he placed their drinks on the bar top. Michael’s cute cheeks were flushed red from his co-workers’ playful teasing.
“Straight boys,” Ziggy murmured low enough for only Asher to hear.
When Asher rolled his eyes and turned to punch Ziggy’s arm, he heard a familiar voice calling his name.
“Asssher, my man,” Ian shouted over the roar of the crowd.
Ian was one of Asher’s oldest friends. The two of them, along with Paul Ryman, meet in grade school and became best friends. Pouring an apple Martini, Asher waited for him to push his way to the front of the bar.
“You should have gone with us,” Ian’s blue eyes sparkle with excitement. “Paul was amazing. The entire team was so fucking unbelievable. You should have seen them--”
Asher abruptly cut him off, “I still watched the game, Ian!”
Ian took a long sip of his drink, eyeing his friend over the rim of the glass. “It’s not the same, Ash. I can’t believe you passed up front row Saber tickets to sit at home watching the game on television.” It was obvious that Ian was not part of the business class that haunted Chapel Chase. From his thick black-framed glasses and his nerdy tweed jacket complete with leather patches on the elbows, Ian didn’t blend with the other urbane customers. Landing a coveted position as a history teacher at Landon Academy right out of college, Ian only came to the business district to see Asher.
“I’m glad that you and Milo had a good time.” The muscles flexed in Asher’s jaw as he forced a smile. He quickly scanned the crowd looking for Ian’s boyfriend. Milo and Ian were polar opposites. They were both tall and thin, but that was where all similarities ended. Milo’s jet black hair, dark smoldering eyes, and brown satiny skin was a stark contrast to Ian’s creamy pale flesh. Ian wore his short blond hair in a spiky mess trying to connect with his students, but he still wasn’t as sophisticated as his art dealer boyfriend.
“He’ll be here soon,” Ian said as Asher’s eyes continued searching for Milo.
“I’m still amazed that Milo hasn’t dumped your dorky ass--”
“I happen to love this tight little ass,” Milo said with a heavy English accent, stepping from the crowd and placing both of his hands on either side of Ian’s waist, rubbing his hips against the back of his boyfriend.
“Hey, Milo,” Asher said and poured a second apple Martini.
Ian spun in Milo’s arms, greeting his boyfriend with a kiss. They drew a few stares from the conservative crowd, but neither man held back any passion.
“Jesus, Ian, get a room!” Ziggy shouted from the far end of the bar.
Asher suddenly glanced over in Michael’s direction. He had been so preoccupied with chatting with his friends that he forgot about the man sitting just a few feet away; thankfully, Michael Waters was also deep in conversation with his own friends. Michael slapped his hand on his leg and laughed at something one of his co-workers said.
“Oh, who’s he?” Ian asked, following the direction of Asher’s stare.
Ziggy joined in the playful banter making Asher very thankful that little could be heard over the roar of the crowd. “He’s Asher’s new straight boyfriend,” Ziggy told Ian and Milo.
“So, is he the reason you blew off our double date last month?” Milo asked.
Asher frowned. “You know I don’t do blind dates--”
“Look at those sexy dimples,” Ian cooed overtop of Asher’s protest, “They’re deep enough to stick my--”
“Hey!” Asher barked at his friends.
Ian giggled and faked a look of innocence. “What?” He teased, “I was going to say thumbs. Those dimples could swallow my thumbs completely.” Ian finished with a wink.
Asher frowned. “Okay, I know he’s handsome, but everyone please stop staring at Michael Waters.” Just as the words spilled pasted Asher’s lips the crowd went silent. It was one of those awkward moments, when a person shouts to be heard over the crowd and suddenly, everyone stops talking all at once. The silence was deafening. You could have heard a pin drop as Asher’s voice echoed his last words.
Michael’s head snapped up when he heard his name. The number of co-workers surrounding the man had dwindled and the last two guys remaining were in the process of telling him goodnight. As they headed towards the exit, one of the guys gave Asher a curious glance. Asher hoped that it was only his imagination as he watched the man walk towards the door, but he swore that there was a knowing gleam in the guy’s eyes.
“Hey, did I hear someone say my name?” When Asher looked back, Michael was sitting on the barstool beside Ian. Asher gasped at the gorgeous man being so close.
Milo extended his hand to Michael and introduced himself. Ian watched Asher’s face and smirked when he a bright shade of pink suddenly tinged his best friend’s cheeks.
“We were just telling Asher about the Sabers’ game last night.” Milo added.
Michael’s eyes lit up. “You guys went to the game last night? That’s so cool. The Sabers’ seven to six upset was amazing. It had me on the edge of my seat all night.”
Asher grabbed Michael’s empty glass and refilled his coke. He was aware of Michael watching his hands move quickly through the motions, and waited for the guy to object when he didn’t pour any rum into his drink, but Michael just nodded his head.
“It was even better live, you should have seen it, Ash,” Milo gushed over the exciting game.
The sides of Asher’s nostrils flared. Long deep breaths calmed his anger, but it didn’t relieve his pain. He had already explained to Ian a dozen times why he couldn’t go to the game. Tired of biting his tongue, Asher glared at his friends. Just as he opened his mouth to berate them for trying to make him feel bad for not splurging on the game with them, Michael’s icy voice sliced through the tension.
“I think taking a trip to Turtle Island is a hell of a lot better way to blow a wad of cash instead of spending it on a frivolous baseball game!”
Neither Ian nor Milo hid the surprised looks on their faces. “You know about Turtle Island?” Ian questioned Michael.
Ziggy tilted his head, trying to eavesdrop on the conversation.
When Michael nodded his head a lock of brown hair fell across his forehead. “Yes, and I know how important this trip would have been to Allison, too.”
Ian’s mouth fell open. Asher bristled at the sound of his sister’s name. He never talked about Allison; well, he usually didn’t, until now.
“Last call!” Ziggy shouted, breaking the silence. Asher was glad for the interruption. Most of the customers had already left, but there were a few who placed one last order before heading home.
“Alright boys, that’s last call, so what can I get you?” Asher buried his feelings deep inside and put on a professional face. This was his job; if he was going to lose control, it wasn’t going to be at Chapel Chase, and most definitely not in front of Michael Waters.
“How about an explanation--”
“Nope,” Asher talked overtop of Ian, “That’s not on the menu. Do you want another Appletini for the road or are you guys ready to go?” Ian glared at Asher, who spoke even louder, intentionally drowning out the rest of Ian’s words.
Milo handed a couple of bills to Asher, then twirled Ian around on the barstool. “C’mon babe, it’s time to go.” Ian didn’t look happy, but he let his boyfriend lead him towards the exit.
“I’ll be calling you later!” Ian shouted over his shoulder as they reached the door.
Michael watched with a blank expression on his face. “What was that about?” He asked.
Asher debated telling him the truth, but instead he shrugged his shoulders and stared at his cloth as he wiped down the countertop. “It was nothing, Ian just had too much to drink that’s all.”
“Do you want another drink before I close up?” Ziggy asked Michael as he finished the rest of his soda.
“No, I’m good.” Michael said as he pushed away from the bar. He got up and brushed the wrinkles out of his designer suit. “I’ll see you at the game on Sunday,” Michael shouted to Asher who was now scrubbing behind the bar.
“Asher’s working Sunday,” Ziggy’s words stopped Michael before he left the bar. He turned on his heels and glanced at Asher.
“Shit, man, I forgot!” Asher rolled his light brown eyes. “I’m covering the lunch shift on Sunday.” Chapel Chase closes early on Sundays, but he would never make the two o’clock basketball game at Piperton.
Michael shook his head and smiled, “First Phillip and now you, maybe this week’s game just wasn’t meant to happen?”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you later.” Michael said as he strolled out of the bar.
Asher stood there watching him go. The man didn’t sound upset about the news; in fact, he sounded kind of happy about missing the game.
The early morning breeze was still cool. Once the sun had reached the horizon, the temperatures would steadily rise, but right now, in the precious hour of the false dawn, it was splendid. The city was still quiet at this time.
Asher had slept with the windows open, letting the balmy air trapped in the high ceilings of his apartment circulate with the crisp evening air. Living on the fourth floor was nice, since he was one level higher than the surrounding buildings, so he could walk around naked without worrying about his neighbors seeing him.
Most people who worked nights in a bar would still be sound asleep at this hour, but every time Asher closed his eyes, they were filled with visions of Michael Waters. It was all Ian’s fault for teasing him about his new friendship with Michael, which caused a rebound effect that morphed innocent thoughts about Michael into hot steamy images of Ian and Milo having sex. Not that Asher has ever actually witnessed them in the act, but he had seen both of them naked before which led to a fantasy or two about the sharp contrast of their delectable bodies.
“Fuck!” Asher grumbled to himself as he walked to the refrigerator, opened it and stood in front with his erection bouncing before him. “Maybe this will get you to calm down.” Talking to his penis, Asher grabbed a cold bottle of beer from the fridge and ran the slick icy glass along the swollen flesh of his cock. Asher hissed. He clenched his teeth and held his breath as he did the same thing to the other side of his shaft.
It was only a temporary fix because within minutes, his erection was stirring back to life. Asher needed a distraction to keep his mind off men…all men. Deciding on a cold shower, Asher got a fresh towel out of the linen closet. Just as he closed the door to the bathroom, his cell phone rang from somewhere in his apartment.
“Who the hell could be calling me this early on a Saturday morning?” Scrambling to find the phone before it stopped ringing; he found it on top of the dresser beside his bed. It only took a second to flip it over and see Michael Waters’ name displayed on the screen.
Anyone want to place a bet on what Michael is calling for? Soooooo, what do you think? I have so many ideas spinning around my head for what's coming next. I hope your ready for what's going to come