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Texas Hold 'Em
Zac parked in front of his second-storey garage apartment and turned off the ignition. He hated running late, even when it wasn't his fault. He jumped out of his four-year-old Jeep Wrangler and grabbed the gym bag beside him.
He wasn't surprised to find his friend Marco sitting on the top step. "Sorry," Zac said, stepping around Marco to unlock the door. "The team bus had a flat on the way home from Santa Cruz."
"No problem," Marco returned, standing. "Kent has me working way up north. I hoped you'd take pity on me and let me shower the stink off here instead of going all the way home."
Zac glanced over his shoulder at the filthy brick layer, and stepped inside his apartment. "As long as you promise to scrub the tub out when you're done. Last time I let you take a shower, I could've grown potatoes in there afterward."
Marco snorted. "Okey dokey, country boy." Marco started to walk towards the bathroom, but stopped. "Hey, uh, don't suppose I could borrow a pair of shorts or sweats or something?"
Zac rolled his eyes and tossed his keys on the table. A quick glance at the clock told him the rest of the guys would be there any minute. "Bottom drawer, but cinch up tight this time, will ya? I'd rather not spend all evening looking at the top of your bush."
Marco chuckled. "You love my sexy bush, and you know it." Marco gave Zac an air kiss and strolled away.
After cleaning up his breakfast dishes and wiping down the counter, Zac retreated to his bedroom. A quick change into a pair of faded red sweats and a Forty-Niners T-shirt and he was ready for poker night.
He heard the front door open and shut and knew it had to be Bobby. His oldest friend in the bay area, Bobby Quinn always made himself at home, no matter where he was. "Hey," Zac greeted as he walked into the kitchen.
Bobby already had his head stuck in the fridge. "Got anything to eat? The charter ran long and the snobs I took out didn't even offer their leftovers."
"Cookies, top shelf." Zac opened the storage closet and pulled out two of the extra dining chairs. "Should I put the leaf in the table? Seemed kinda crowded last time."
Bobby tried to answer around a mouthful of chocolate wafer cookies, spraying crumbs all over Zac's clean kitchen floor. Bobby grinned and swallowed. "Sorry, dude. Yeah. I'd like a little more elbow room."
Zac pointed towards the crumbs. "Clean those up, you pig." He opened the storage door once more and lifted out the heavy oak table leaf. He hadn't purchased much when he moved to California from Idaho, but as soon as he started the bi-weekly poker night with his friends, he'd gone out and bought a dining room set big enough to accommodate the six of them. Of course the set didn't match anything else he had, and it was too big for the small apartment, but he made it work. "Hey, see if I have any chips in the cupboard."
With the leaf in place, Zac arranged the chairs accordingly. He loved poker night. Hell, he loved his friends, even if some of them were a slovenly bunch.
"Half a bag of barbecue and some green onion," Bobby said, turning his nose up.
"Shit." Zac picked up the phone and called Kent.
"Baker," Kent answered.
"Hey, can you do me a big one and stop and get a couple bags of chips, maybe a bag of pretzels?" Zac asked.
"Sure. I was gonna stop and pick up some more beer anyway. Trey never brings enough, and Angelo only brings that flavoured pussy beer." Zac chuckled. "I'd have never put Angelo and the word pussy in the same sentence. Besides, it's just Mexican beer. He puts the lime in it, it doesn't come that way."
"Whatever," Kent drawled. "I'll be there in twenty, as long as the traffic gods are smiling on me."
Zac hung up the phone and turned back to Bobby. "I guess I'm not a very good host this week. I'll call and order some pizza later."
Bobby finished off the cookies in his hand and opened a bottle of water. "Serves them right. They should be bringing stuff. It's not fair for you to always fork over the cash to feed us."
Zac leaned his hip against the table and crossed his arms. "Yeah? And what did you bring?" He softened the question with a wry grin.
"My sparkling personality, and this smokin' hot bod," Bobby answered. "What more could a night with a bunch of queers need?"
"A nine-inch dick?"
Bobby grabbed his basket and snorted. "Got one of those right here."
Zac started laughing. "Yeah, sure."
Bobby started to unbutton his jeans. "Want me to prove it?"
Zac held up his hand. "No. I may not have had a date in a while, but I don't need you waving your willy around."
Bobby shrugged. "Your loss." He wandered out of the kitchen into the living room and flopped down on Zac's worn red couch.
"Turn on the news," Zac instructed, walking into the room. "They should have highlights from the game."
Bobby did so. "Sorry, forgot to ask. You guys win?"
"Of course," Zac said, puffing just a tad. His team was undefeated, and Zac had high hopes of making it all the way to the state championship.
The door opened and Trey walked in, carrying a case of beer. "Could I get a little help?"
Zac stood and easily lifted the beer out of his friend's hands. Trey was a fantastic guy but strong he wasn't. With a law degree in his hip pocket, Trey had decided to go against his family and become a teacher, much to his father's disapproval.
Zac took the beer into the kitchen and set it on the counter. Getting into the freezer, he pulled out the bag of ice he'd remembered to buy a couple of days earlier and carried it to the sink. After filling the sink with ice and bottles, he returned to the living room carrying four beers. He passed them out, eyeing Marco as he handed one over. "You clean the tub?"
"Yes, Mom," Marco answered. "I even hung up the towel."