My new character just made the scene: Here's Patrice!
Instead of listening, Arnie walked his fingers up Patrice’s spine. “Seriously, when you decide to come off your weird celibacy snit-fit, I would be pleased to bring you back into the sexual fold.”
“Arnie, one time was plenty with you and even that was a mistake.”
“You’re too cute when you act all huffy.”
“You won’t think me cute if I pull my blade and notch your big nose. Get your hands off of me!” Patrice slammed down the glass he polished and shot Arnie a death glare.
Arnie held up his hands and shook his head. “Man, you are too fucking touchy for your own good. In case you forgot, I co-own this place. I pay you to be here. I don’t pay you to threaten me.”
Harsh attitude from Arnie but deserved. Patrice bit his lower lip and scowled. “Look, I’m sorry, all right? Lately I’m not in the mood for intimacy with anyone.”
“In the mood for intimacy?” Arnie rubbed his palms together. He reminded Patrice of a villain from a silent film who loved threatening orphans. The porn moustache added to the illusion. “Well la-ti-dah, dearie, I ain’t offering intimacy; I’m offering a down and dirty fuck to readjust your sour personality somewhere back toward sweet.”
“The answer is no.”
Arnie’s mocking shrug answered Patrice. “Your loss, cranky cupcake.” He turned to fill a drink order.
The frown refused to leave Patrice’s face. Damn Arnie! Pushy bastard. He returned to polishing the glasses until he finished removing the worst spotting. He hardly planned to tell Arnie what happened to him when he examined a potential new conquest. This strange gagging sensation occurred, almost like Patrice had swallowed feathers. More of a serious throat tickle to the point of choking. He had suffered the weird sensation ever since Paul waltzed out of his life. Arnie was correct; Patrice had developed a nasty habit of hooking up with men who used him for a few months before dumping him like a used condom. Here he was at age twenty-five without one stable track record. That’s why the five months spent cavorting with Paul had dazzled him. He thought Paul would ask Patrice to accompany on his next assignment in Montreal.
No, just like Arnie had warned, Paul dumped him. What he never admitted to anyone was how Paul had laughed at him when Patrice succumbed to desperation and outright asked if Paul would take him along.
Fucking laughed at him like how could silly Patrice ever imagine Paul taking him along. The shocked Patrice had almost whipped out his switchblade and slashed the laughed off those thin lips. Hell, yeah, right. The furthest Patrice had gone with his blade was to threaten a few drunk assholes who didn’t understand the words, “get the fuck away from me or else.”
He reached under the bar and savored a long sip from the gin and tonic he hid down there. At least Arnie didn’t begrudge Patrice’s on the job sipping. The ice needed restocking. He might as well do his job before Arnie needled him for slacking.
One bag from the back should do the trick. Tonight the patrons drank more beer than mixed drinks. At least this past weekend had been hopping. He exited the bar and turned toward the back.
Arnie’s low, amused snort halted him. “Welllll look what the cat just drug in.”
Patrice turned, stared and froze. He swallowed. No tickle invaded his throat. A flash of long black hair, a form-fitting leather blazer and tight black trousers teased him. “Who the hell is he?”
“Not from around here, that’s damn obvious.” Another snort made Arnie sound like a constipated pig. “I bet he’s staying at Nate’s quaint bordello from Hell.”
“Shut up. I like Nate.”
A third snort irritated Patrice even more. “Great, dude, blow him for me. Wait, ah, our fashionable swan wants to eat. Lucky you. Act pleasant and you might even score a tip from him and, wow, it might be financial, not verbal.”
“Arnie, someday you’ll realize that no one in the world thinks you’re funny.”
This time Arnie scowled at Patrice in irritation. “Patrice, you oversensitive bitch, suck my big hard dick.”
“You wish, small balls. Too bad, the only thing big about you are those car door ears.” Before they escalated into another useless insult match, Patrice grabbed a menu and stalked across the café section. Mid-season Mondays sucked worse than a powerful Hoover. His tips were abysmal and the company only marginally better. He welcomed any opportunity to be away from Arnie’s constant yammering. The man was born to talk to himself.
Above all he wanted to see this man up close and personal. The shadowy café area didn’t provide enough light and beside, without his glasses, Patrice’s nearsightness killed important details. He had tried wearing contacts, but they gave him blinding headaches. While working he refused to wear glasses at Down Low. No way. His vanity claimed the glasses would lower his tip value which, in this place, was already in danger of sinking into the ground and digging a well. Worse, Arnie would never cease making fun of him.
He walked forward and swallowed again.
No choking tickle violated his throat. The man seemed involved in removing his blazer to carefully arrange the garment over the table’s empty chair. Each step forward brought details into clearer focus. Long black hair flowed down from a high widow’s peak to frame a pale, narrow face. Regal, yeah, that was the correct word to use here. The man acted as if he held court at the small table. Patrice admired his confidence.
He walked up and hesitated until the man glanced up from fussing at his vest.
Pale grey eyes widened in curiosity.
Patrice blinked in lust. Wait, did he see a weird glimmer of rainbow wings wink into focus above the man’s black hair?
No. How many gin and tonics had he sipped today? Fuck.
He opened his mouth to greet this fascinating man.
Something told him not to blow this chance.