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It was the annual Masked Ball at Torque, the hottest gay bar in the Detroit area, and every gay man in the state would be making his way to downtown Ferndale to partake in the debauchery they would have normally shied away from. Not only was I included in that group, I often felt like this party had been created just for me.
So much of my life was about rules, regulations and protocol that there never seemed to be any room for fun. True, I had chosen to join the Army at eighteen, I had decided to become a bounty hunter, I had agreed to become a federal marshal after an early Army retirement, and I had let obligations force me to grow up faster than I would have liked. At twenty-nine, my life was more structured than I had ever thought it would be.
But the night of the Masked Ball, those responsibilities melted away. The minute my black satin mask slipped over my face, I was no longer Mitch Baine, federal marshal and bounty hunter extraordinaire. I became Mitch Baine, wanton homosexual sex god. At least, in my head, I did. In all honesty, most years, I ended up just standing at the bar and drinking a ton of beer then calling a cab and passing out on my couch. Alone. But sex god sounded so much better.
I swore to myself as I swiped the last line of black across my eyes, this time, I would meet some hot young thing at the party. I pulled the mask over my face, admiring the contrast of the blue iris set against the kohl makeup I would never admit to wearing, even just this once a year. I was determined this year would be my year. I would be the life of the ball.
I gave myself one last glance in the mirror. I wore a black, button-down shirt, a pair of dark blue jeans,and Cat boots. I slid the mask up so it sat on top of my head, not wanting to frighten anyone on my way to the club. It would put a serious dent in the evening if I got pulled over during my ten minute drive to the biggest party of the year.
I ran down the stairs and climbed into my brand new Mustang convertible. It had been a present to myself after taking out a particularly nasty vampire three months earlier. The government was nice enough to send bonuses to the hunters who ended up in the hospital. Since my hospital stay had lasted almost a month before they'd been sure I wasn't going to turn into a beastie, I'd gotten a pretty nice check in the mail. I'd immediately turned the large monetary donation into a large, fast, shiny black car. The lifestyle didn't always suck.
I drove the short distance to the club, parked in the closest parking tower and set the alarm on my car. I had made sure to empty everything out since I would most likely not be able to drive home, and I hated to leave the car overnight if there were weapons in it. The Feds frowned on their marshals losing government issued toys. Go figure.
The line for the ball was wrapped around the block. I skirted it and called out to my friend, Chuck, who was working the door. After we did the guy-hug thing, he reached up and snapped my mask over my face for me. I smiled as he moved aside, letting me in the door with much protest from the onlookers. I was a regular at Torque and never waited in line.
The music was so deafening, it was like walking into a physical wall inside the club. I looked around at all of the great masks, as I walked through the room, shaking hands with strangers and friends masquerading as strangers. I made my way to the bar, buying an overpriced beer and turning to watch the crowd.
The masks got more elaborate every year. And many people had opted for costumes as well. Rather than looking like a Halloween party, the effect was beautiful. An artistic collection of men in various stages of dress and undress, dancing in time to the music, with feather boas and sequined masks flowing around them. It was amazing.
I was halfway through my second beer when I realised I was doing exactly what I'd sworn I wouldn't. I drained the bottle and made my way to the dance floor. There would be no wallflowering for me. I pushed my way towards the centre of the floor, heading for the opposite side, but I was grabbed around the middle and pulled into a throng of sweaty men.
No one was really dancing with anyone. It was more just group movement. We all jumped and swayed with the thumpa-thumpa of the bass to a song I didn't recognise. It didn't matter, nothing but being there mattered right then.
I turned, swinging in an exaggerated motion as the song changed, and bumped into a man dressed all in white. From hair to shoes, he glowed in the overhead black lights. His mask was simple nylon, plain and as pristine white as the rest of him. Even his skin had a translucent quality that gleamed. My mind screamed 'vampire' while my cock twitched in its own reaction to the sight of him. Even with the mask on, I could tell he was gorgeous.
He smiled, and I was relieved to see that his fangs weren't extended. If he'd been too young to control himself, or too hungry, I would have walked away immediately. I probably should have anyway, but he was just so cute. Against my better judgment, or any judgment at all really, I smiled back.
He crept closer, wrapping his arms over my shoulders and dancing with me. He was the same height as me and close enough that, even in the black light, I could tell his eyes were not a normal colour. I strained to make out the colour, but I just couldn't figure it out. He must have confused my interest in his eyes as interest in him because he leaned forward, kissing me on the lips. It was quick, just a short peck, then he pulled back. I was more sorry than I would like to admit when he leaned away, but I was proud of myself for not attacking him where he stood. Good to know those two beers hadn't completely gone to my head.
He grabbed my hand as the music changed again, leading me towards the bar--which was great because I needed seven or eight more drinks. I signalled to the bartender who brought over two bottles. I reached for my wallet, but the blond had already dropped money on the bar. He smiled at me as he raised the bottle to his lips. His blood-red, pouty lips. I watched him swallow, watched the muscles in his throat move with the action. I wanted to lick that skin. I wanted to feel that flesh move under my mouth.
I picked up my own bottle, draining half of it before setting it back on the bar. I was way too attracted to him. Even if I was looking for a little rule breaking, I hadn't planned on hooking up with a vampire at the party. As a federal bounty hunter, I was supposed to have limits or, at least, standards.
The blond moved towards me until there was barely a breath of room between our faces. But he didn't close the distance. He waited for me to do it. I looked into his eyes, watching them widen slightly in apparent surprise as if he couldn't believe I would be so bold as to meet a vampire's gaze. I felt a small trickle of power, like static electricity on my arms, and knew he was trying to capture me with his eyes. I don't think he meant me any harm. It was probably just curiosity on his part, wondering if I even realised what he was. Luckily for me, I'm immune to vampire powers. His eyes were beautiful but normal to me.
I leaned towards him, closing the small space between us and kissed him. He placed his hands on either side of my face, holding me in place while he ravaged my mouth with his tongue. Our bodies shifted until my back was against the bar, and he was pressed fully against my front. His erection ground against mine, and I knew I had to have him. It didn't matter what he was anymore. The questions were gone at the feel of him hard against me. I wanted to fuck him so bad I was aching with the need for it.
I grabbed his hand, pulling him towards the back of the club. The VIP section, which was really just a curtained-off section of the large room, would be closed for the night. No one important would want to blow their chance at anonymity by announcing their status.