My guard was going down.
Over the course of the week, I tried to keep my distance from Mr. Stone but it was not as easy as I thought it would be. He wasn't kidding when he said he would be more hands-on than Mr. West. The man dropped by at least two departments every day. He'd walk around and observe and critique and even help out individuals. I was wired beyond belief when he had come over to me the first time on Tuesday. But he kept a completely professional attitude and I relaxed ever so slightly. My bruised shin was a constant reminder but even that was fading, now it was just this ugly greenish yellow.
I saw him more over the next few days as I was still taking over for Samantha. I never realized just how much she had to communicate with the CEO, although I did have my suspicions that Mr. West was nowhere near as involved as Mr. Stone.
Well whatever. It was finally Friday and only twenty minutes until I got to go home, relax, and then get ready for my date with Tim and Carson. I was actually looking forward to the night. I had been talking with Tim over the week and he did not annoy me, which was a plus. There are few people I can socialize with that don't get on my nerves after a certain amount of time.
Now, it's not like we've become the closest of phone buddies, but we'll chat for a couple minutes here and there and I have learned that he is not a NEET but an editor for a magazine that distributes comics and he doesn't have to go to work until noon-ish, the lucky bastard. But he did say he had a lot of late nights so it made up for waking up so late in the day.
He was older than me by three years as well, which I never would have guessed until he told me flat out. He honestly looked like a college freshman. He could have even passed for a high schooler. Although, I had only seen him in the dark under flashing neon lights so maybe he looked older under better lighting.
I quickly went through the finalizations the Absolute Evac group made for their idea one last time. I had already gone over it about six or seven times since they handed it in this morning, but I just wanted to be extra careful. I did not want Samantha or Mr. Stone to have to clean up any messes I make and this was a big project.
I had to hand in the proposal to Mr. Stone so he could give the all clear and then I'd have to scan and send it over to Samantha. I couldn't wait for Samantha to come back. We were even planning on throwing her a little 'welcome back/congratulations on becoming a mother' party.
I sighed and rubbed my face, gathering up the material and double checking I had everything before I got up from my desk.
"Wait, Jack, could you come over here and help me for a second?" Jade called out.
"What's up?" I asked, making my way over to her and looking over her shoulder at what she was working on. Gretel was with her as well.
"We can't decide which looks better," Jade said, gesturing to the two similar drawings on the computer screen. "We need another opinion."
I let my eyes drift between the two images, focusing on the differences. One subtly directed the eye to the product while the other was a bit more eye catching.
"I'm gonna have to say the one to the left. Our goal is to catch people's eyes and that one does it. I mean the other one does direct you to the product, but if it's not drawing attention it's not exactly doing its job, right?"
The two nodded and I took that as my cue to leave.
"Well, I gotta get these to Mr. Stone and then Samantha and then I am going to enjoy the weekend."
"Thanks, Jack. See you Monday," they bid me farewell as I walked to the elevator.
I yawned walking down the now pretty familiar hallway and waved to Carson as I approached him.
"He's in the middle of a video chat right now. He'll be done in five or so minutes," Carson said.
I nodded and walked around to sit on his desk but still face him.
"You coming over straight after work?" I asked.
He nodded, "She'll no doubt be staking out my apartment. Thank god she and mom don't know where you live or I'd have nowhere to hide."
"If they knew where I lived, I'd be getting those How to Become Straight so-called help books every week or door-to-door heterosexuality salesmen," I snorted. "You are so lucky that you're half straight. Sure they ignore the part where you like dicks too, but at least you were never sent to one of those straight camps or something. Do you remember the flyers your mother and sister sent to my parents?"
Carson grimaced, "I am still really sorry about that. I don't even want to know where they found those institutions."
"Institutions? Did you see what those torture camps did to gays? They used shock therapy. That's illegal!"
Before Carson could reply, the phone beeped and he picked it up quick as lightning making me raise my brows in surprise. I mean I knew he was real fast at picking up the phone on the job but seeing it in action was something else.
Carson spoke on the phone for a bit, informing the caller that Mr. Stone was in a meeting and that Carson would take a message. He wrote down the name of the person and a time on an almost empty pad of yellow sticky notes and then placing the note on this little wall he had stuck to the desk that was kind of like a mini bulletin board. It was covered in various colored sticky notes – I think he had a color coding system – and pinned up pieces of paper.
Carson put the phone down and stretched, yawning as he asked, "So when're we meeting Tom again?"
I rolled my eyes, "Eight. And his name is Tim."
"Whatever, same difference," Carson waved his hand in my direction. It was funny how he was horrible with names yet he's been the secretary to the company's CEO for almost five years.
I continued to chat with Carson until Carson's eyes widened and he pushed me off his desk.
"Oww, what the fuck, Carson?" I grimaced in pain. I had landed flat on my ass and my tail bone was throbbing something awful.
"I didn't quite peg you to be the clumsy type."
I froze at the voice and understood why Carson had pushed me off the desk. Still, he could have just said something rather than make me injure my ass. I needed my ass. It was a good ass.
I got to my feet and shot a glare to Carson before turning around and pasting a sheepish grin on my face for Mr. Stone, "Not my week really."
He chuckled and then looked away from me at Carson, "Carson, you can head home for the weekend."
Carson nodded, "Thank you, sir, but before I go," he glanced at his mini bulletin board, "Mr. Taylor Siedell from Alpha Constructions tried to contact you. He requested you call back before Monday, preferably between noon and five."
"Got it, thank you, Carson. Was there something you needed, Jack?"
"Uh, yeah, yes, sir. I just wanted to ask if you could go over the finalized plans for the video game ad. If you approve them, I'm going to scan and send them over to Samantha."
Mr. Stone cocked his head towards his door, "Come in and have a seat."
I nodded and followed him into his office. He sat at his desk and I handed over the file before taking a seat in front of his desk.
He went over the papers silently, betraying no emotion and I grew nervous. Had I missed something? Was my judgement not good enough? Where did I mess up?
I didn't notice my leg was bouncing until Mr. Stone asked, "Are you alright, Jack?"
I pressed my hand down on my knee, stilling the leg as I scratched the back of my neck with my other hand, "Yeah. Nervous, that's all."
"You don't need to be nervous, Jack. Honestly, you're doing a great job and these plans are fine." He got up from his chair and I did the same. "You can go home, I'll send these to Samantha for you."
"Are you sure?" I asked, hesitant.
Mr. Stone had walked around to me by then and clapped my shoulder, turning me towards the door and leading me to it, "Certain. Any plans for the weekend?"
"A little work maybe and I'm going drinking with a couple friends," I answered.
"A night of drinking, definitely something I would be looking forward to," Mr. Stone sighed wistfully. "If I can finish off some work, I'll definitely being doing so."
I didn't know what to say. Throughout the week, bar that first day, Mr. Stone and I had only spoken to each other about work. I had no idea how to reply to casual conversation and I was still quite suspicious and wary of him trying to get in my pants.
"Well, I'll see you Monday then, Mr. Stone. Have a nice weekend," I said once I stepped out of his office.
"You too, Jack. Bye, Carson," Mr. Stone said, raising his hand in a slight wave before disappearing back into his office.
I let out a sigh I hadn't realized I was holding and turned to Carson. "Let's go home," I said. "You've got your car, yeah?"
"Of course I do," Carson scoffed as we walked to the elevator. I pressed the button to my floor as I listened to Carson rant about me not having a car for the millionth time. I just didn't like to drive, was that such a big deal? Besides, all the places I ever had to go to were within walking distance, and if it wasn't I always had public transportation or Carson.
We got to my floor and I quickly packed my things, bidding my floor mates a good weekend, rejecting an invitation to a party on the other side of town, and leaving the building with Carson.
When we reached my apartment building, I laughed as Carson looked around at every corner and jumped at every sound.
"Chill, man, she doesn't know where I live," I snickered.
He glared at me but didn't respond, instead rushing to the elevator and smashing the call button until the metal doors slid open. He jumped in at the speed of light and urged me to hurry my ass up.
It was only once we were in my apartment that Carson finally relaxed, flopping onto my couch with a low groan.
"Want anything?" I asked, unbuttoning my shirt, dropping my bag onto the coffee table and kicking off my shoes as I made my way to my kitchen.
Carson made an incomprehensible grumble so I grabbed a can of beer for each of us from the fridge.
"When should we head out?" Carson asked after gulping down half his can.
I checked my watch. "In about two hours or so. I want to get there early so we can grab a booth or something."
Just then, Carson's phone started to ring. He was one of those people that set certain ringtones for certain people. He had a default one, one for me, one for other friends, one for Mr. West (though now it's probably for Mr. Stone), one for office calls, and one for his family. The family ringtone was going off.
"If you don't answer it, they won't stop calling," I pointed out when Carson groaned and tried to burrow into my couch, making no move to pull his phone from his pocket.
He groaned aloud again and dug into his back pocket, pulling out his phone and tossing it my way. "Pretend you're a fuck or a crazy ex or a jealous stand."
I rolled my eyes but answered the call that was from his sister, pinching my nose and adopting a Scottish accent I had practiced endlessly back in high school when I was obsessing over this transfer student from Edinburgh, "Yes?"
Clara hesitated before asking suspiciously, "Who are you?"
I snorted, "I should be asking you that. Are you Carson's little side bird?"
"Bird? What? I'm his sister! Who. Are. You? And why do you have my brother's phone?"
"He left it here last night."
"Well get it back to him!"
"He's coming over soon. I'll give it to him then. I'll be giving him a lot of things tonight," I smirked when Clara gasped in horror as she understood my double meaning and it was incredibly difficult to keep up the façade and not burst into laughter. Carson was shaking on my couch, hand over his mouth to keep his laughter under wraps.
"Stop corrupting my brother, you sick homosexual! He is going to go out with a lovely friend of mine who is pure and innocent and a faithful follower of God."
At least she didn't call me a fag. That was one positive thing about Carson's family. They never used that word. They preferred heathen, homosexual, misguided soul, corrupting Satan follower, etc. But of course, dear, innocent Carson Jones could do no wrong and he was the victim in the context of homosexuality. I mean, I'm glad he was not physically or verbally abused by his family but I've seen how tired and drained he is after having to deal with them. Just because they don't aim their hatred and disgust for the not hetero directly at him doesn't mean he isn't affected.
"Look, love, if you're done, I have a delicious piece of a man to please until the wee hours of tomorrow morning. Also, Carson won't be getting his phone back any time soon. Good bye." I hung up before she could rant at me and rejected the call she sent not five seconds later.
The obvious solution would be to turn his phone off, but Carson's phone was like his iPad. It was deeply interwoven with his life and he couldn't afford to shut it off. He even kept it on while he was flying, though on airplane mode. The only time his phone was ever completely off was when the battery was dead, during which time he would be running around like a chicken with its head cut off. He was worse than a stereotypical teenaged girl.
"Seriously, Car, why don't you just block them?" I asked. Getting a new number would be too much work considering all the people he'd have to inform of the change.
Carson sighed, "I don't know. I mean, what if something really important happens? Like their house burns down, or someone dies, or…"
"Your dad comes back," I finished for him quietly.
To avoid the impending silence and a depressed Carson, I grabbed his arm and pulled him up, dragging him to my bedroom.
I flashed him a grin, "There is no way we are going to a club with you dressed like a secretary."
Carson rolled his eyes, "I am a secretary, idiot."
"But they don't know that! C'mon, you haven't fattened up and I haven't bought new clothes in like two years so things should still fit."
I pushed Carson straight into the en-suite telling him to take a shower while I grabbed him something to wear that did not make him look thirty years older than his twenty-seven.
I was kidding of course. Carson was incredibly attractive, not my type with his black hair and brown eyes and slightly intimidating build, but attractive nonetheless. Many employees atVendi have had their eye on him at some point or another and whenever the two of us go out drinking he was never without offers for a great time.
College was even worse, especially that first year. He had the bad boy thing going on from high school back then before we got internships at Vendi and the girls were crazy for him. At least he wasn't an asshole roommate and we came to an agreement to have only one day a month where we could kick the other out for a night of lust.
As the shower ran, I went through my closet to pick out something for the both of us to wear. Jeans and a t-shirt seemed good enough but I grabbed a button down that I was pretty sure wasn't even mine and threw them on the bed, waiting for Carson to finish up so I could wash away the day.
"I knew you stole my shirt," Carson said as soon as he got out of my bathroom and cast a glance at the pile of clothes on my bed. It was probably the button down.
"Is it stealing if I didn't have the conscious thought to take it and never return it?" I replied. "I didn't even know I had it or that it was yours. Besides, I bet you've got some of my clothes at your place. Just look for anything that is stylish and it's probably mine."
I ran into the bathroom before Carson could comment. Truth was, I had very shitty clothes, barely a handful that could be worn to somewhere of relatively high class. It was not my fault I hated shopping and only did so when I was in dire need of new clothes. Back before I stopped growing, I would wear my clothes until they were almost three sizes too small for me. Now I wore them until they were literally falling apart at the seams.
I showered neither quickly nor slowly and got out within a half hour. Carson was watching TV and had left me the t-shirt and slightly more worn jeans.
I checked the time and walked into the living room, calling out, "Want anything to eat? We're probably just gonna drink over there."
"What do you have?" Carson asked without letting his eyes drift from the TV. He was watching the news, again. Why would you watch something so depressing constantly?
"Cereal," I replied, making my way to the kitchen. I opened the fridge to see if there was anything else and relayed, "Leftover lasagna that I think is more than a week old, apples, a brown banana, packaged ham slices – oh, a carrot, haven't seen one of those in a while – strawberry jam, and a box of grapes."
I heard Carson walk behind me and sigh, "How the hell do you survive on your own? Seriously, get a boyfriend that knows how to cook. Or get married already."
I snorted, standing up and closing the fridge, "Me? Married? Like that'll ever happen. Besides, like you're one to talk, Car. You haven't had a boy or girlfriend in years. And we've got time, we're only twenty-seven."
"I was dating that one girl a couple months ago," he said, going to my cupboards to see if there was anything salvageable enough to make a decent meal.
"Cindy?" I tried to recall with a frown.
Carson shrugged, "Don't remember. I think that's why she broke up with me."
I rolled my eyes. I swear, Carson was hopeless. Absolutely hopeless. It took him almost a year to get my name and I was his fucking roommate!
"That's it, we're grabbing McDonald's after drinking," Carson declared. "And then I am forcing you on a grocery shopping trip tomorrow afternoon. As your best friend I have to make sure you don't starve to death."
I didn't bother trying to argue and simply nodded, leading Carson out to the living room where we spent the next hour or so arguing over what to watch on TV before heading out.
"So what's this place called again?" Carson asked as we walked. He wanted to take his car but it was like two blocks away.
"Hung," I replied.
"Isn't that where Mr. Stone…" Carson trailed off.
"Yeah, but I mean, how bad can my luck be that he decides to go there tonight? Besides, he said he was busy." Even as I tried to sound optimistic, I couldn't help but think that I had jinxed myself.
We arrived at Hung and grabbed a booth a little distance away from the dance floor. It wasn't too far away and we had a pretty good view of the entire club so it would be relatively easy to spot Tim when he arrived.
"I'll get us some drinks. You know what he likes?" Carson asked.
I shrugged, "You can't go wrong with beer."
Carson left and I sat at the table, eyes roaming the club. It was a bit busy, filled with teenagers and college students, I noted. Carson and I were almost out of place. There were a few older men and women though, eyeing up the younger ones. This place was perfect if you were looking for a cute little twink or had a thing for potential jailbait.
"Hey there, handsome."
Speaking of jailbait, I looked to the side to see a girl that was definitely not eighteen smiling down at me. She didn't bother to be covert in how she trailed her eyes up and down my body, lust and hunger shining clear as day despite the neon lighting of the club.
"I'm gay," I replied immediately. "And I like not being charged with statutory rape."
"I'm nineteen," she insisted. "Like, in college and everything."
I rolled my eyes, "Even if you weren't lying, and badly I might add, I'm still gay and you still lack the parts I'm interested in. Seriously, kid, don't ruin yours or someone else's life just because you want sex. And I'm going to sound a little sexist, but you are a girl. You've got to be more careful seeing as you are at risk of pregnancy and I doubt you want to be pregnant at sixteen or fifteen or however old you actually are. Go home before you do something you regret."
The girl scoffed and stomped away from me with a last remark that I even though I was older I wasn't her father and couldn't tell her what to do. Well thank god I'm not her father. That would have meant impregnating a woman. And I don't like children. Besides, if she thinks I could be her father, why the hell did she try to pick me up? I get that some people have a 'daddy' kink but I will take no part in that.
"What was that about?" Carson asked as he arrived with three bottles of bud light.
"An underage chick with a daddy kink tried to pick me up," I replied, grabbing one of the bottles and taking a swig.
"You always attract the weird ones," Carson chucked. "And jailbait. It's like you're a jailbait and weirdo magnet."
"I never asked to be a jailbait and weirdo magnet," I whined. "Okay, weirdos I'm somewhat okay with, some kinks I find hot. But jailbait can stay the hell away."
"Hey, maybe Tom's some kind of weirdo. Unless he's jailbait, or both."
"Tim is not a weirdo and he's older than us. Said he was thirty." I did not tell Carson that he looked like he was twenty at best. He'd see for himself and then probably demand to see some ID to check if Tim was being honest. Although, I really couldn't picture him lying. He seemed too innocent and honest, he was too cute to be a liar.
…Okay, so maybe I should check to see if he's been telling the truth although it's not like I'm going to have sex with him or anything. I am allowed to have a younger friend, there's no law against that.
"Hey, I think I see him," I said, pointing towards a lanky man that was looking around the club hesitantly near the entrance. "I'll go get him. Stay here and you better not be almost having sex with someone when we get back."
Carson rolled his eyes but nodded, grumbling about how he was not a nympho and that if anyone was a nympho it was I.
I ignored him and headed over to Tim who honestly looked like a lost puppy. All he was missing was the floppy ears and tail.
"Tim!" I called out when I wasn't too far away and he hadn't seen me yet. He still couldn't hear me and it looked like he was having a bit of trouble. Some really buff guy in way too tight clothes was towering over him. He had a beefy hand clamped down on Tim's shoulder and it didn't look like Tim wanted it there.
"Baby, there you are," I called out once I was closer to the two, wrapping my arms around Tim's waist from behind and placing a kiss on his cheek. Before I pulled away I whispered, "Follow my lead."
Tim relaxed in my grip and turned to smile at me, "H-hey." It seemed I was right about the buff guy making unwelcomed advances. Tim was practically dripping in relief.
I let my gaze drift to Mr. Beef and raised a brow, "Hey. Is there a problem?"
The guy scowled at me and stormed off, muttering something – probably curses at me – under his breath.
I quickly directed Tim to the booth Carson and I had secured, only letting my arm drop from around Tim's waist once we had reached the booth safely.
"Sorry about that, I figured it would have been the easiest and less violent way to get him to leave you alone," I said to Tim as I slid in the booth opposite Carson.
Tim sat down next to me and rubbed the back of his neck as his cheeks colored, "No, no, you saved me there. I had no idea how to get him to leave me alone though I really should have something figured out by now…"
I raised a brow in question and Tim flushed even more.
"Stuff like that happens a lot to me. I always end up needing to be saved by someone."
I shrugged, "Well, you're pretty goddamn adorable so I can understand. Who wouldn't want a piece of you?"
Tim's eyes widened and he turned completely red. He gaped at me before diverting his attention to his lap.
I chuckled, "It's true, man. Right, Carson?"
I looked over to my best friend and I doubted he had heard a single word spoken since I returned with Tim. He was staring at Tim like the man next to me was some sort of ethereal angel of sensuality or something.
"Carson?" I tried again, reaching over to wave my hand in his face. "Wake up, buddy."
Carson finally snapped out of it and blinked. Probably the first time since seeing Tim.
"Uh," he oh so eloquently replied.
I rolled my eyes, "Well, I guess I need to get introductions out of the way since Carson here seems to have forgotten how to speak. Tim, this is my best friend Carson. Carson, this is Tim, the guy I was telling you about."
"It's nice to meet you," Tim said with a small smile.
Carson blinked and nodded slowly.
It took an incredible amount of willpower to not burst out laughing. My best friend was completely and utterly tongue-tied!
Tim seemed a bit uncomfortable and fidgeted in his seat, not knowing what to do with his hands.
"This one's for you," I said, grabbing the only untouched bottle of beer and handing it to the timid man next to me.
"Thanks," he said quietly. Just as he was about to take his first sip, a ringtone went off. Tim grimaced, "Sorry, but that would be work. I'll be right back."
Tim set the bottle down and slid out of the booth, reaching into his pocket for his phone and rushing off to find somewhere quiet.
"Jack!" Carson hissed.
"And he speaks!" I exclaimed mockingly with a flourish of my hands.
"Not the time. That's Tom? Why the fuck didn't you tell me he was the most fucking adorable thing on the planet?!"
I grinned, "Does Carson Jones have a crush? And his name is Tim. I not O."
"It is not a crush," Carson defended. "He's just the most adorable little thing I have ever seen with the softest looking lips and biggest brown eyes and, fuck, did you see his face all red?"
I laughed, "Carson, you've got it bad and you have literally not even said a word to him. He probably thinks you're some kind of silent creeper with the way you've been staring at him and not saying a word."
"I was taken by surprise," he grumbled. "He's single, right?"
I shrugged, "Probably, considering he tried to pick me up Sunday."
Carson frowned, "Are you his type? Fuck. I look nothing like you."
I laughed, Carson was honestly worried about Tim not being interested in him. The last time he was like this was when he fell head first into a lust-crush with this girl back in college. Long story short, they got together then she cheated on him and they split and I doubt he even remembers her. He never remembered her name during the time either so that might have been part of the catalyst of that break up.
"Look, Car, get to know him but don't hurt him, yeah? I actually do like talking to him and if you hurt him, he's not gonna want to do anything with me afterwards. And try, just try to remember his name? Or just avoid using his name in a sentence until you learn it."
Carson didn't have time to respond as Tim had returned.
"Sorry about that, it was a work call," he said.
"Don't worry about it," Carson said, making Tim stare at him in surprise. "And I'm sorry for not being very social. You took me by surprise but let me properly introduce myself. I'm Carson Jones and you are beyond cute."
And normal Carson was back. Or, normal Carson who was interested in someone, anyway. The man pulled out all the stops when he was pursuing an attraction.
Tim flushed and stuttered, barely managing out, "Uh... I, um, th-thank you?"
Carson chuckled and smirked playfully, "Don't I get your name?"
I rolled my eyes as Tim's stuttering took on a whole new level and Carson was just eating it all up with his eyes. I thought this was supposed to be my date.
Carson immediately set off on questioning the poor man. Age, hometown, education, job, sexuality, relationship status, the basics. Poor Tim looked like a rabbit being cornered by a wolf. The wolf being Carson of course.
Still, even though Tim was obviously really nervous, he didn't seem afraid. It was more like he had no idea how to handle Carson's undivided attention but he wasn't adverse to it. He was smiling, a permanent rosy blush decorating his cheeks and ears, some seeping down his neck and under his white shirt.
Carson noticed this as well.
"So, when you flush, how far does it go exactly?" Carson asked, eyes trailing down Tim's face to as far as he could see of Tim's torso.
Tim furrowed his brows cutely in confusion, "Pardon?"
"I mean," Carson said, gesturing to Tim. "I can see your ears and face completely colored, as well as your neck, but I was wondering how far that blush can spread. I'd love to see if I could get every inch of your skin that pretty, pretty pink hue."
That 'pretty, pretty, pink hue' shot up a couple twenty shades and Tim was rendered completely incapable of comprehensible speech. Carson shot me a quick look and I knew that was my cue to leave the rabbit and wolf alone.
"I'm gonna go grab us some more drinks," I said, awkwardly getting past a frozen and stammering Tim and making my way to the bar.
"Scotch on the rocks, please," I told the bartender, the same one from Sunday night, as I took a seat at one of the black barstools.
"What about your friends?" she asked, as she poured a glass.
I shrugged, looking over my shoulder at them. Carson had moved over to cage Tim in the booth and although Tim was still red as a berry, he did not look afraid or wary. "I'm not fond of being a third wheel and I got the look from my buddy."
The bartender laughed, "Oh, I know what you mean. I don't doubt you'll find someone tonight though. You are quite the looker."
I took the glass and cocked a shoulder as I sipped the cold drink, "I'm not really looking."
Just before she left me to deal with another customer, she said, "Well, some people definitely are."
I cast a furtive glance around to see what she was talking about and noticed that a couple people were indeed looking. But I wasn't all that interested so I just resumed nursing my drink and paid them no mind. I wasn't sure if Carson would be successful in his pursuit tonight. If he was, he and Tim would spend the night at a hotel, but if he wasn't, then Carson was coming home with me as he was giving his sister a wide berth.
I decided to take as long as possible with my drink. I wasn't in the mood to get drunk.
I sat with my back against the bar countertop, elbows resting behind me and my glass in my hand, occasionally making a trip to my lips. I was sucking on an ice cube, enjoying the coolness it provided and letting it melt down in size until I could crush it between my teeth.
I was looking with my eyes but not my mind. I had slipped into a state of partial awareness where I felt as if I was a spectre, an observer, disconnected from my surroundings and watching from another plane of reality. It was one of my favorite states of mind. The only drawbacks were that I completely lost any sense of time, I could be in that state from a couple minutes to a couple hours, and that when I was brought back down from this self-imposed high by an outside force, it was highly disorientating and my initial reaction is to yelp and attempt to defend myself as my brain believes I was being attacked.
Which is what happened when someone placed their hand on my shoulder.
"Holy shit!" I cried out and then groaned. I had jumped and inadvertently banged my back and elbows into the countertop behind me which resulted in me spilling my drink over myself. I think this club hates me.
Familiar chuckling met my ears once my heart rate slowed down and I wasn't drowning in the sound of my heart pounding in my ears along with whatever music was blasting from the strategically placed speakers.
"M-Mr. Stone?!" I exclaimed. How long had he been sitting next to me?
"Hello, Jack. I've been trying to get your attention for almost twenty minutes now."
I frowned and looked away from him to check on Carson and Tim. They were still sitting at the booth but Carson now had an arm wrapped around Tim's shoulders and was in the middle of kissing up his neck. Tim was still the poster child for strawberries.
I blinked and shook my head, trying to get my bearings.
"Are you alright?" Mr. Stone asked.
I nodded slowly, "Yeah… Give me a minute."
I set my glass down on the counter and got to my feet, needing firm ground to help me organize my thoughts and to, well, get me grounded. I looked down at my now soaked pants. At least my jeans were almost pitch black so the crotch stain wasn't too obvious. I still smelled of strong alcohol though and I did not find the stickiness pleasant.
"My offer from Sunday still stands you know," Mr. Stone said, eyeing the wetness at the hem of my shirt and top of my pants.
I groaned and rubbed my face, "Mr. Stone, I thought we came to an understanding on that topic."
"What topic?" he questioned, an amused lilt coloring his tone. I peeked through my fingers still on my face and saw him resting an elbow on the counter, his chin in his hand and a small little smirk playing at his lips. He had switched out his work clothes for a pair of jeans and a button down with the sleeves rolled up and three buttons undone to show some chest and golden chest hair.
"The one where you wanted to get into my pants," I deadpanned.
"That's not all I want to get into," he mused. "Would you like another drink?"
"No thank you," I said and turned away from him. I tried not to run as I made my way back to Carson and Tim. Being a third wheel and getting the stink eye from Carson was much preferred over sitting around with Mr. Stone who apparently had not gotten over this stupid idea of having sex with me.
As flattering as it is that he's so persistent, I do not want to get into an office affair. He's my boss for crying out loud! Everyone's boss at Vendi.
As soon as I slipped into the booth, sitting opposite Carson and Tim, Tim tried to get Carson to stop mauling his neck by pushing at Carson's chest.
"C-Carson," Tim tried. He kept glancing at me but couldn't hold my gaze for longer than a second before drowning deeper in mortification.
"Oi, Car, save some for later," I said, smirking when Carson finally unlatched his lips from Tim's neck and scowled at me.
"Why are you back?" he asked grumpily, sitting back against the seat and pulling Tim with him.
I rolled my eyes, "As much as I just love being the third wheel to a date that was originally mine, I needed to get away from our boss."
"Mr. Stone?" Carson asked, frowning as he looked around. "Oh, wow. He's staring right at us."
I groaned and sunk back into the seat, "I thought he was going to leave me alone."
"Who's Mr. Stone?" Tim asked from under Carson's arm. He had stopped trying to get away and was curled up against Carson's side, although he was still quite red.
"Our new boss," I sighed. "Remember that guy who made me spill my drink on me on Sunday?"
"That would be him."
Tim stayed silent, processing it before slowly saying, "Well… that's quite the coincidence."
"Yeah, so I'm going to be hiding out here until he or we leave, unless you guys are gonna be ditching me."
Carson smirked but Tim was quick to say, "W-we, I mean, no, I'm going home alone."
I raised a brow in surprise while Carson snapped his head to look at Tim with a slack jawed expression.
Tim hunched in on himself, awkwardly enough pressing closer to Carson, as he stumbled, "I, uh, I mean… I like you, Carson, you're really nice," I had to hold back my laughter at that, "but, I, uh, you see… I'm not a one-night stand person… so…"
"Didn't you try to pick me up on Sunday?" I questioned.
Tim rubbed the back of his neck, "Y-yeah… but, I was just trying to get out of my comfort zone but I'm really glad that you didn't come home with me, not that I wouldn't want to sleep with you, er, I…" Tim groaned in embarrassment and ducked his face into the nearest convenient surface, which happened to be Carson's neck.
I couldn't help the laughter that escaped me that time. He was so cute!
Carson thought so too. "Goddammit, how can someone older than me be so adorable?"
"This is why I don't like going out… I always embarrass myself," Tim said, his voice muffled by Carson's neck as the older man had yet to retract himself from Carson's body.
Carson and I laughed and I watched in amusement as Carson stroked his hand down Tim's back. The big guy never usually went for the cute little twinks, he always felt like he would accidentally break them or something, but he was absolutely smitten by Tim, more than before I had left them alone. Made me wonder what exactly they had been talking about.
I looked away from the couple that had already forgotten about me, conversing with one another, or rather, Carson was trying to convince Tim to stop hiding. I honestly think he was making matters worse because he was saying how he wanted to see Tim's 'cute little nose' or 'kissable, pouty lips' or 'adorably wide brown eyes' all of which were followed by some kind of sexual promise or fantasy. I think Tim might become the first documented case of explosion from intense blushing. His clothes would have caught on fire had that been physically possible.
My eyes roamed the club, resolutely avoiding the bar area. They landed on a man that was rocking some kind of dance punk look that I remembered from my high school days. I may have been guilty of partaking in that particular fad…
The man was dancing with a girl who was dressed like his polar opposite. His fanned, green mohawk; skintight, ripped, black jeans with slashes of neon; studded leather vest; and numerous metal paraphernalia hanging off his body and clothes clashed with the blond haired girl in a simple white dress.
I watched them dance together and nodded my head when the man looked up and caught my gaze. He grinned and nodded his head in return, silently asking me to join. I glanced at the girl who had her back to him, his hands on her hips and raised a brow. He shrugged and jerked his head once more.
"You two enjoy yourselves, though not too much. I don't want to bail you two out of jail because you were having sex in public. I'm going to go dance."
I left the two who didn't even notice my departure and walked towards Mr. Dance Punk.
"So, what's your case?" I asked, slipping my hands onto his hips as I stepped behind him.
He dropped his head back to rest on my shoulder, raising a pierced brow.
"It seems I attract either jailbait or weirdos, or both. I'm hoping you are neither."
The guy laughed, letting go of the blond and turning around to wrap his arms around my neck.
"I'm twenty-four, no worries there and I've got my driver's license if you want proof. And the only kink I've got is bondage."
I pressed our groins together, my hands slipping up under his vest. "Bondage, huh? Never tried that before."
I was about to respond but hands grabbed onto my hips and I was pulled from Mr. Dance Punk.
His surprised face morphed into one of amusement as he registered who was behind me. He raised his hands in surrender, grinning, "Hey, man, didn't know he was taken. Although it seems the incite jealousy approach works wonders. I'll leave you two alone now."
Mr. Dance Punk chuckled as he turned around and went back to the blond who had moved onto dancing with another girl.
I was frowning, wondering who had grabbed me. I tried to turn around, but their grip was strong and their hands moved from my waist to lock just above my crotch, pulling me into a hard, muscular chest and keeping me in place. My ass was right at their groin and I could feel evidence of arousal. They shifted behind me, lips pressing against my neck in a soft caress that made me close my eyes. Goddamn my sensitive neck! The only other place more sensitive, bar my dick, was the back of my ears and… and he found that spot too.
"What the hell is your type exactly?"
My eyes shot open as I recognized the voice. Mr. Stone!
I tried to pull away but all that happened was me tripping, and then Mr. Stone grabbing me again, this time swiveling my body around so that we were pressed chest to chest. Fuck my life.
"Mr. Stone, seriously, can't you just take no for an answer?" I grumbled. I placed my hands onto his chest in an attempt to create some space between us. It was another vain attempt.
"What is it exactly that you don't like about me? I just can't figure it out," he said, ignoring me.
I rolled my eyes and scowled, "Oh I don't know. You're stubborn, persistent, can't take no for an answer, conceited, my boss." I was probably going to get fired now but at that point I was just too annoyed to care. I even added, "And you're blond."
He frowned, "What's wrong with being blond?"
I shrugged, "I've got a thing for brunets. And brown, green, or hazel eyes. Blue eyes are a huge turn off. And you're too muscular. Your blond haired, blue-eyed, overly muscular combination reminds me of the jocks back in school, really unattractive."
"You never fantasized about jocks?"
"I was more into the music kids. Talented fingers on their hands. Now, if you'll excuse me, I was dancing with a hot dance punk man with green hair."
I grabbed onto Mr. Stone's hands and forcefully pried them off of my hips, turning my back to him and walking away. I found Mr. Dance Punk who asked about my apparent boyfriend.
"He's not my boyfriend. He's a stubborn bastard who doesn't understand the word no," I corrected with a scowl. I just wanted to relax and have a little fun, was that too much to ask for?
Mr. Dance Punk laughed and placed his hands on my hips while mine slid to his neck. "And I'm getting a yes? That other guy was pretty hot. Tall, blond, blue eyed, and he definitely has some cash on hand."
"Not my type," I shrugged. And, I repeat, he's my freaking boss. "By the way, what's your name? I can't keep calling you Mr. Dance Punk for the remainder of the night or tomorrow morning if we share a morning after."
"Lesley," he said with a chuckle. "And no, I'm not pulling your leg. And what should I call you, Mr. Cutie?"
I deadpanned, "Mr. Cutie? Really? Couldn't I have been Mr. Sexy or something? I am not cute. Mr. Dance Punk was so much better."
He rolled his eyes and crushed our hips together, still swaying although now the action resembled grinding a whole lot more and I was not complaining.
"Name please, Mr. Cutie."
"Jack," I answered, casting him a fake little glare, and then groaned when his hands fell from my hips to palm my ass, pushing us even closer together and increasing that delicious yet teasing friction down below.
Lesley ducked his head down and mouthed at my ear, whispering, "So, can I take you home tonight? I live down a block, we can get there in like ten minutes."
I pulled away from him for a bit to cast a glance at Carson and Tim. They were still sitting together and making out rather heavily and I wondered if Tim was going to change his mind about going home alone.
I looked back to Lesley and nodded with grin, "Let's get out of here but I gotta inform my friends. I'll meet you outside."
Lesley grinned back at me and removed his hands from my ass, waving as he made his way out of the club and I went to Carson and Tim.
"Hey, so I'm going to go get laid. Do not disturb and all that, bye!" I didn't wait to hear their response and rushed out of the club, catching sight of Lesley almost straight away. He grabbed my wrist and pulled me along, making me tease him for his apparent eagerness. He just rolled his eyes and lightly popped me on my ass.
The walk to his apartment took almost an hour instead of just ten minutes. We may have taken a detour to grab ice cream and then made out in an alley before our lust driven bodies finally got to his place and we lost our clothes as we tumbled into his bedroom.
A/N: Heyyo. So I thought I'd share a little fun fact about Lesley. He wasn't supposed to exist. I was on a research stint (I do those sometimes on random stuff that will never be of any use to me such as Welsh grammar and pronunciation) and ran across the picture below (I edited it to give the dude green hair, but yeah) and got hit with this headcannon and Lesley was born. This happens a lot to me. Tim was supposed to be this creepy lecher that Cole was supposed to save Jack from but, well, you've read what happened to that Tim. I like how things've turned out though so whatever. Laters!