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Steven walked into the Blue Saloon, looking around.
It looked like a pub, not a nightclub or a Roman bath. There was wood flooring and brick walls, a long bar, beer on tap, and classic rock playing on the sound system. He snorted to himself as he headed to the bar and grabbed himself a stool. When had he become old enough that the good music was called classic?
Not his usual watering hole, the Blue Saloon felt comfortable, and the admiring looks he could feel thrown his way didn't hurt. The bartender was busy at the other end of the bar, which was fine; it gave him a chance to do some admiring of his own. Like the man a few stools down. Now there was someone just his type: short, built, glasses. Steven didn't always go for the full beard and mustachioed, but he didn't dislike facial hair.
Oh, nice blue eyes ... Smiling, he moved over.
The man looked over at him once, then twice, then again, almost like they'd met. Then the man looked back into his beer glass, shoulders hunched a little.
"You a shy one, honey?"
"I've been accused of it a time or two. Yeah." Rough voice--husky, deep, it sent shivers down his spine.
Oh, God, he could listen to that voice read a phonebook. "Well, I can work with shy. Can I buy you a drink?"
Those blue eyes met his, looking completely shocked and surprised. "Me? You want to buy me a drink?"
Steven chuckled. "Is that so surprising?" There was something about this guy ... more than just being his type.
"Yeah. Yeah, I guess so."
"It is?" He had to wonder if this guy didn't want to get picked up or if he wasn't the guy's type. He took another look. God, there was something so familiar ... "Havewe met?"
Those amazing eyes went wide, and then the guy took a deep breath. "What're you drinkin', man?"
Oh, maybe he was one of those guys who liked to do the buying. Steven could work with that, too. "Well, I usually have a martini..." This wasn't really a martini type place, though.
"Okay. Jack, get the man a dirty martini and give me a double shot of JD." A twenty was passed over by scarred, wrinkled hands.
He touched one hand, fingertips sliding over the marked skin. Fascinating. "Thank you."
The guy went still, took a breath. "Not a problem, man. I haven't seen you in here before."
"It's my first time here. It's nice and warm, friendly." He smiled and took a sip of the martini that had been put down in front of him. "You knew the bartender's name, so I assume you're a regular?"
"Yeah. Yeah, I'm in here a lot."
"You seem so familiar. Are you sure we haven't met?"
"Well, man. If we had and you didn't remember me, that would suck."
"It would. I can't imagine forgetting you." Still, those eyes were so familiar it almost hurt.
"Yeah. Well. What brought you into this place tonight?" Those scarred hands smoothed the tight T-shirt down, the motion sexy as fuck.
"Maybe it was fate," he murmured, flirting like crazy and taking another sip of his martini to keep from reaching out to touch the hard belly.
"I doubt it. You come in with someone, man?"
"No, I'm not with anyone." He hadn't been with anyone for a long time. Oh, he'd had sex, fuck buddies, but no one special, not since ... He sighed. "Not for a long time."
"What happened? He leave you?" Why did the guy sound so ... tense?
"No." He shook his head, the pain always surprising him, at how it could be so immediate even after all these years. He took a deep breath and let it go as best he could. "No, he died."
"Oh. That sucks, man." The man stood, cracked his neck. "See you."
"What? Hey, come on. I thought we were having a good time here." He was attracted to this guy. Really.
"Penny, man. I'm not in the mood. I'm sorry you lost your feller, but, shit. You don't remember my fucking name. I'm not having a good time." The guy just walked away, grabbing a hat off the bar as he went.
The nickname sliced right through him. Penny. No one had called him that since ... shit, that's who this guy reminded him off.
Posted July 11, 2010
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Posted February 22, 2010
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