Samantha’s first week at Jane Tompkins Advertising was slightly less glamorous than she had imagined. She was finding that a junior ad exec was simply a fancy name for slave girl. She swore she spent more time running errands and doing crap jobs for the senior execs than actually working on any ad campaigns.
At a quarter of five on Friday afternoon, Sam’s boss stuck his head in her office, “Listen, I hate to do this to you, but I really need a favor.”
It was almost nine when she finally left her office. She walked down the hall and boarded the elevator. In the car with her stood a tall drink of water. She would guess him to be in his early thirties. He had blond hair, smartly styled and piercing blue eyes. She smiled at him and pressed the button for the main floor.
“You work at Jane Tompkins Advertising, don’t you?” he asked, smiling at her.
“Yes. How did you know?”
“It’s on the file folder you’re carrying. I’m Jason. I work for Emerory & Pearson, the law firm on the floor above you.” He extended his hand.
“Nice to meet you. I’ve seen you in the building a few times. Did you just start?”
“Yeah, I started Monday.”
He nodded. “So how did your first week go?”
“Fine,” she said.
“No, actually it was awful,” she said with a laugh.
“First weeks usually are. I know mine was.”
“How long have you worked for…?”
“Emerory & Pearson. Three years.”
“And it got better?”
He smiled. “Well, some weeks.”
The elevator dinged and the doors opened onto the main floor. “Listen, there’s a deli just around the corner and I’m going to guess you haven’t had dinner yet. Let me buy you a sandwich,” he suggested.
A sandwich with a gorgeous blond sounded better than grabbing a stale hotdog on the way to the subway. “Okay, thank you. That would be lovely.”
* * * * * *
Toby made it through his first week at the architectural firm of Douglas O’Donnell and Associates. He was one of thirty new engineers that had been hired, all fresh out of various colleges and ready to change the world. The company made no secret of the fact they planned to let at least fifty percent of the new recruits go within the first year. It was about as cutthroat as Toby had ever seen. He understood their motives, even if he didn’t appreciate them.
His emails and phone calls with Seth and Sam were what got him through. He would come out of a tough meeting to find an encouraging voice mail from New York, or he would get home at the end of the day and sit in his dank apartment laughing at some silly email Seth had passed on. If Seth and Sam believed in him, well, who was he to argue?
“So any hot engineers at DOA?” Seth asked. He had taken to calling Douglas O’Donnell and Associates, DOA; something Toby found mildly amusing.
“A couple but no one pings my gaydar.”
“Toby, your gaydar has never been worth a shit,” Seth said laughing.
“How about Hewlett-Packard?” Seth was in the marketing department of the company known for its printers.
“I have my eyes on a few,” Seth admitted. “But Austin’s a big city. My mamma always told me not to shit where I eat, or fuck where I work.”
Toby rolled his eyes, “Yeah, like you’ve ever worried about that.”
“So, seriously, are you meeting lots of hot guys out there?”
“You better not be shitting me either. Seriously, you’ve been going out?” Seth worried that Toby would hole up in his apartment without someone there to drag him out.
“A few times. And yeah, I’ve been doing okay.”
Seth laughed. “Go Toby. I knew you’d be fine.”
“Have you talked to Sam?” Toby asked.
“A couple of times. She seems pretty busy. How about you?”
“I called her Wednesday, and yeah, she seemed stressed over her job.”
“We’re all stressed over our jobs right now. It’ll pass.”
“So, speaking of stress… I think I’m going to go out and relieve some.”
Toby smiled. It was good to know some things never changed.
* * * * * *
Seth had had an unbelievably busy week. He started his new job at Hewlett-Packard on Monday, took possession of his apartment the same day during his lunch break. He had spent the rest of the week juggling the demands of his job while getting his belongings delivered and unpacked.
Finally it was the weekend and he could kick back and relax. He decided to go back to The Forum. The Rainbow Cattle Club had been a little too country for him.
Standing there sipping his second drink Seth saw an Adonis walk by. He was tall, lean and blond, all things Seth admired in a man. He watched the guy stride up to the bar to order a drink, it was time for Seth to make his move.
“Hey,” he said sliding up beside the blond.
The guy glanced his way and nodded, then turned back to the barkeep.
That wasn’t the reaction Seth had been looking for. “Can I buy you a drink?”
“No thanks, I got it.”
Seth nodded. “I just moved to town and I’m still learning my way around.” It was lame, he knew, but he had to try something to get this man’s attention.
The blond smiled then turned to Seth. “Listen, I’m sure you’re a nice enough guy and all but really, I’m not interested.”
Seth nodded. “Maybe you should be.”
“Yeah? Maybe so, but I’m still taking a pass.” The blond picked up his drink and walked away.
Seth watched him go and sighed. Being rejected was not something he was used to.
“Hey,” a voice said from behind. Seth turned to see a sleek Latino eyeing him.
“Hey,” he replied. Things were looking better.
“Sure,” Seth said smiling. What the hell? While this guy wasn’t as pretty as the one he had been after, he wasn’t bad at all. “Let’s see how you move on the dance floor.”
* * * * * *
It was Friday night and Toby had survived his first week in a job, in a new city. He decided he’d take a page from Seth’s book and go out tonight. Who knew? Maybe he’d meet some one that would change his life.
Toby took a shower, put on his hottest club clothes and walked back down to the Castro district. This time he decided to try a club called Mary’s. Walking in he looked around to see a huge raised dance floor in the center of the room. Circling around it were the usual tables and chairs. Along the back wall a massive bar stretching the full length of the club. Toby made his way through the crowd to one end of the bar.
He ordered his drink and began scanning the crowd. Again he wished Sam and Seth were with him. Back in Green Bay they would watch the crowd, making snide comments about the various patrons.
Toby caught the eye of a dark haired beauty standing a few barstools away. “Hey,” the guy said after walking over to where Toby stood. “I’m Chase.” He offered his hand.
“Toby.” Toby smiled and shook the offered hand. Maybe it was better without Seth here. Back in Green Bay all the pretty boys flocked to him, Toby always seemed to disappear in his shadow. “Wanna dance?”
“Sure,” Chase said and downed his drink. Toby did the same and the two men made their way out to the crowded dance floor. As they began moving their bodies with the beat Toby thought of one of Seth’s favorite sayings, ‘if he can move on the dance floor then take him home and see if he can bring those moves to the bed.’ Chase could definitely move on the dance floor.
* * * * * *
Over a cup of soup and a sandwich, Samantha learned that Jason had moved to New York from Atlanta just over three years ago. He was single, saying that his job left too little time for him to meet anyone. After their plates were empty and their conversation starting to lag, Jason insisted on sending Sam home in a cab. “It’s too late for you to ride the subway,” he argued and reached into his wallet to pull out his business card. Turning it over he jotted his home number and handed it to her. “Now, you’re not alone in the city. You have yourself a friend. Call me if you need anything.”
She smiled. “Thank you, Jason.”
“Can I call you sometime?”
“I’d like that,” she said and wrote her number down for him.
She smiled to herself on the cab ride home, maybe New York would live up to her expectations after all.
When she got to her apartment she decided to draw a warm bath and sip on a glass of wine while soaking in the bubbles. She wondered how her boys were doing. She could imagine them, each out on the town in their own cities.
* * * * * *
Seth danced with Latino boy, as he would from now on be known in Seth’s mind. While the guy had some decent moves there was nothing going on to make Seth interested in more than one night.
“Does this place have a back room?” he leaned in asking his dancing partner.
“Oh yeah,” the dark haired man smiled and took Seth’s hand, leading him through the crowd and into a dark room that smelled of sex and sweat.
Seth leaned against the wall as his Latino trick slid down onto his knees and undid Seth’s pants. He pulled out Seth’s dick and slid it into his warm wet mouth. Seth let his eyes drift closed and his body take over.
They emerged from the back room ten minutes later, “You want another drink?” the trick asked Seth.
“No, I think I’m good. I’ve had a hell of a week and I’m really beat.”
The guy eyed him knowing he was getting the brush off and resenting Seth for wasting his time. “After all that? Now you’re going to say you’re not interested?”
“If I hadn’t been interested none of that would have happened, but I was only looking for a little fun, not a fucking relationship,” Seth huffed back.
“Whatever,” Latino boy said and stormed off.
Seth stood by the bar and scanned the room until he saw his Adonis out on the dance floor. Their eyes met for an instant then the blond turned his attention back to the man in his arms. Seth sighed and decided he had had enough fun for one night and headed back to his apartment.
* * * * * *
“I don’t live too far from here,” Chase leaned in and whispered in Toby’s ear. “Wanna blow this joint and go enjoy each other?”
Toby thought it over for all of three seconds. “Yeah.”
Chase led him out the bar and down the street. His apartment was in a run down building six blocks away. “It’s not all that nice, but the rent is cheap.”
“I can relate to that,” Toby said looking around the dump. It was very much like the apartment he had. “Where do you work?”
“I’m a clerk for a law firm downtown. It’s not bad money, but this town is so expensive and I like to have cash for other things, if you know what I mean.” He walked over to the fridge and pulled out two beers.
“Yeah,” Toby agreed, not really sure what Chase was alluding to. “I just moved here from Wisconsin.” He took one of the beers and they sat down on the sofa.
“Wisconsin? No shit? Wow, that’s a long way from here. What brought you to the coast?”
“A job. I got hired on at Douglas O’Donnell and Associates.”
“Yeah? What’s that?”
“An architectural firm.”
“Ah, so do you like crystal?”
“Huh?” The question caught Toby off guard.
“Crystal? Meth? You ever done it?” Chase asked.
Seth had on occasion been known to do a few recreational drugs, but Toby had never tried more than a little weed.
“Ah man, you’ll love it. It makes sex awesome.” Chase pulled out a box from under the sofa. “It’s even better when you smoke it but I didn’t have time to cook it up so we’ll have to snort it.”
Toby hesitated, he really had never been interested in experimenting with drugs or maybe it was more that he was afraid. Maybe just once he’d do something daring. “Okay, but not very much, okay?”
“Yeah, sure. This shit is pretty good.” Chase lined up a trail of white powder on a mirror then handed Toby the mirror with a straw cut in half.
“How do I do this?” Toby asked.
“Oh,” Chase said taking back the mirror. “I’ll do this one and show you.” He snorted half the line up one nostril then moved the straw and snorted the rest up the other one. His eyes closed as he pinched his nose shut and leaned his head back. “Wow,” he sighed opening his eyes. “Okay?”
Toby nodded. Chase picked up the razor blade back up and spread out another line then handed the mirror and straw back to Toby.
Toby’s hand shook a little as he held the straw to his nose. He inhaled the powder and felt a slight burn as it traveled up his nose then down the back of his throat. He moved the straw to the other nostril and finished off the line.
The effects were instant. He felt alive, euphoric like he was someone for the first time in his life. The main character, not just lurking in the shadows watching the others have fun.
He opened his eyes and looked at Chase. “Wow,” he said with a chuckle.
“Yeah?” Chase smiled. “Fucking awesome, isn’t it?”
“Oh, yeah.” Toby leaned over and captured Chase in a kiss. Suddenly he was filled with confidence, ‘this must be what it feels like to be Seth’ he thought. He began running his hands up and down Chase’s back, pulling at cloth.
“Let’s go over to the bed,” Chase said.
“Okay,” Toby said.
As they moved over to the bed Toby’s mind wandered to Seth; wondering what who was spending his Friday with. He was sure Seth would be impressed if he could see Chase. ‘Way to go,’ Seth would have said. ‘Way to go, Toby.’Next Chapter Previous Chapter