Whoa, don’t go there. I told you I’m not out and don’t plan to be for the foreseeable future.” Bobby’s lips thinned.
He is attractive. Keith kept pushing. “You don’t have to be out to fool around. Do you have any experience?” Keith asked obviously not accepting the fact that Bobby wouldn’t respond. He has as much as I to lose as I do if he gossiped. I don’t have a fuck buddy right now. He’s gorgeous; I better stay on topic if I want to get out of here whole.
“That’s none of your business. As I said before, I came to talk about Jason and Zach. However, for the record, yes, I do. I don’t spend all my time with Jason and Kitty.” Bobby bristled.
“Why not Jason? What’s wrong with him?” Keith asked his face, serious.
“Nothing’s wrong with Jason but ewwww…I’ve known Jason since I was seven. That would be like fucking my brother.” Bobby sat up, straightened his back and downed his second shot. I’m apparently not planning on driving.
“Do you think Jason has a crush on you or any of the other guys on your Ocean Township Champion Soccer Team of 2010?” Bobby was startled and not amused. Except for Jason and me, all the guys from 2010 are straight.
“You were listening to us the night we came to the club.” He tried to stare Keith down.
Keith shrugged. “It’s my joint. You had eleven guys at the table. I always watch large groups. I don’t want my place busted up. Answer the question.”
“No, he doesn’t. All the other guys are straight.” I’d swear to that. “Besides, like I said, Jason had no time to date.”
Keith leaned back on his barstool and laughed. “I wouldn’t be so sure…”
“About what?” Bobby was incredulous.
“About your so-called straight friends.”
“You’re kidding, who—never mind, I don’t want to know.” Bobby knew he sounded indignant, but he couldn’t even conceive how this might be true.
“There are other people besides you who aren’t out for various reasons.” Bobby watched as Keith nonchalantly sipped at his drink after dropping that bombshell.
“Who then?” Bobby peered at Keith daring him to name names.
“The kid with the limousine. I’ve seen him here more than once trying to chat someone up.”
“Reggie…you’ve got to be kidding.” Bobby was flabbergasted.
“Yes, he’s the one. He keeps trying to hit on one of my bartenders. I think it’s Mark. Mark shot him down because he thinks Reggie is a rich college boy just looking for a good time and has more money than sense. Mark wants a relationship not a guy who thinks he’s slumming.”
“Reggie’s not like that. He’s a good guy and has been a good friend to Jason. He’s pulled Jason out of a hole more than once. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. If Reggie made a pass after hiding all these years, he’s serious.”
“Maybe he’s sweet on Jason,” Keith mused as he poured himself another shot.
“I don’t think so. Isn’t that a bit too much for the middle of the day?” Bobby raised an eyebrow and looked pointedly at the open bottle.
“Are you my mother?” Keith asked with belligerence.
“No, but I don’t want to see you fall into a bottle because you’re lonely,” Bobby said with a sigh.
“How do you know I’m lonely?” Keith’s lips pursed.
“Because maybe like me, your best friend has found someone else to hang out with.” Bobby knowingly gazed into Keith’s eyes. “Maybe you had a crush on Zach.”
“No, not Zach, never Zach, we’re too much alike.” Keith protested as he capped the bottle and put it back on the top shelf. “You could always keep me company,” Keith teased, lips forming a smirk.
“Keep it in your pants. I came over here for Jason and Kitty’s sake.” If that were the case, I could have left after the first drink once he reassured me Zach was serious; I damn well better get out of here now. This man is too attractive and, therefore, dangerous to a continued stay in the closet. Bobby pushed his stool away from the bar and stood about to leave.
Keith put his hand on Bobby’s arm. “Stay, I always revert to a tease when I’m uncomfortable. You hit too close to home. Zach is the brother I never had, and I miss hanging out. Besides, I’m way too old for you.”
“You don’t look that old to me. You look damn fine. Just how much of an old man are you?” Bobby laughed. “You don’t look like you have one foot in the grave yet.” Bobby took a cocktail napkin from the pile on the bar and began to shred it.
“I’m um… thirty-six.” Keith hedged.
“I’m twenty-three,” Bobby told him, “not too bad of an age difference. Dad is thirteen years older than Mom.”
Keith’s eyes widened, evidently surprised. “You appear and speak as if you’re older than you are.”
“Old enough to make you want to run around the table to fuck me from the way you’re leering, but right now I have to play nice; you’re Jason’s beau’s best friend. The sounding older thing—I think it comes from having elderly parents and being an only child. No one ever talked down to me, so I had to learn to keep up. As far as my appearance is concerned, as Popeye said, ‘I am what I am.’”
“Don’t get me wrong, I think you look damn delectable, but I won’t go there, you’re too young.” Keith shook his head as if that bothered him.
Doesn’t seem to bother him if I’m still here bantering. Bobby lifted an eyebrow, having come to a decision. “Too young even for a little bit of fun? I’m only too young if you plan to get serious if you don’t…” Bobby shrugged his shoulders. “I’m open to suggestions.”
Bobby’s Old Man will be available from MLR Press on August 28th and
Amazon and All Romance shortly after that.