Septima Luna was the hottest club in the hottest side of the city. The club by the standards of any metropolis was small, 500 people comfortably any given day and a thousand in a Vienna sausages mini can attempt on holidays. However, that was all Chico, the six-foot-four owner, wanted to be happy. Expansion was unnecessary.
But Chico took very good care of his patrons. Three bars strategically located and ten bartenders per bar to handle the thirsty men looking for more than a Slurpee. Angel was one of the 30 bartenders of the club. Well, actually Angel was a bartender slash go-go boy slash escort.
Bartender during regular days. Go-go boy on holidays and (if taking a tinkle wasn’t an emergency) in his fifteen-minute breaks. Escort if the man was of his like, not because Angel needed the money but because after the debacle that brought him to the big city, he charged to keep his heart at bay and to avoid people thinking he was easy. He didn’t care if people thought he was a whore, the idea of profit would distract them enough to avoid too many questions.
“Why he has to do that?” Jack, a fellow bartender asked to no one in particular as Angel gyrated over the bar, while patrons cheered his progressions.
“Don’t be a sourpuss, girl. He likes the attention, besides that brings more customers and tips to our side of the club. Be grateful.”
Angel squatted a little for a patron to plant a tip in his short-shorts and to see who had vouched for him. Of course, it was Hugo.
Hugo rescued him from the metaphorical ditch where he was, after so many days in the big city without knowing anyone or a place to go. Angel had been assaulted, and with a black eye and torn clothes, people were scooting around him like he had the plague.
As tall and dark that Hugo was, Angel would have gladly paid with his body, since he didn’t have anything else to offer, after the second night he spent in Hugo’s flat. It was a spacious accommodation in a remodeled warehouse, and Hugo had opened it to Angel with open arms and a fridge full of delicious food.
Hugo just uttered several tsk and shook his head when he found Angel spread in his bed, saying, “I don’t have something else to repay your kindness.”
“That won’t be necessary. I’m flattered, though.” Hugo smiled, eyeing Angel in the way any normal red-blooded man would look at a hot guy spread on his bed, then turn to leave the room, saying like an afterthought over his shoulder. “I spoke with my boss, and you can start at the club tomorrow night, if you feel better.”
Two years later, they were still roommates, and Angel went to school during the day and shimmed his ass at the club during the nights. They had seen each other naked in the way brothers would see each other in an embarrassing moment, and nothing had happened between them.
Angel winked at Hugo, mouthing a “Thank you” and looking at his watch. The break was over and he jumped behind the bar and donned his red tank top again, after wiping the sweat covering his well-defined muscles with it.
He saw Jack quirk his mouth in a silent “Gross” and with all the mischievousness of the world Angel blow a kiss in Jack’s direction as soon as the man looked his way. A raspberry was the response from the blond bartender. Jack was a cute boy; if he weren’t a bitch Angel would totally hit that. Without charge, just to shut his mouth.
A couple of times, Angel had been tempted to investigate the origin of Jack’s animosity toward him but the right time had never truly come about.
When the time for the second break of the night arrived, his bladder made a number on him and he missed the opportunity to dance over the bar. Sometimes, as he danced between the glassware and beer bottles, Chico encouraged him to bring patrons up to dance with him. Close to his third break --around 3:00 a.m.--, his boss told him. “Pick the craziest looking guy by the bar and pull him up to dance with you, I need some pictures for the website.”
Septima Luna had go-go boys only on holidays, and one night bored to death, Angel climbed the bar and began dancing. The other bartenders were shocked for five seconds and when their bar started to fill up, they urged him to take his tank top off. But no one else followed the initiative; thus Angel was the only one allowed to do it now.
So, by the time Angel was dancing on the bar with the Tim Burton version of an emo-vampire, something that hadn’t happened in a long, long time came about. You know that story about Moses parting the Red Sea? Well, in the exact moment Angel gyrated his hips toward the entrance of the club and the fortunate crazy-of-the-night grinded behind him, he saw it.
The bodies contorting on the dance floor opened a gap that expanded by the silent command of the man moving the mass of dancers with the sheer force of his striking aura. The man looked at Angel, above the writhing bodies, and smiled.
His consciousness faltered and his boots slipped on the wet bar, the emo-vampire behind him caught him by the arms. “You okay?”
“Yeah, stepped on water, that’s all, thank you.” Angel gave the guy a sexy smirk. The guy winked an eye covered in black eye-shadow.
Angel zoomed in on the tall man again.
I mean, what the fuck? The man is wearing a fedora for crying out loud.
The waters kept receding as the man approached his bar, his break was about to finish and for some insane reason that he couldn’t begin to analyze in that second, he didn’t want to go back to serve drinks. He wanted to jump into the man’s arms.
I’ve heard of insta-lust before, but this is ridiculous.
Angel gave a resounding peck to this dance partner, helping the guy off the bar and wondering if the fangs in the wicked smile were real. As he composed himself and put back his tank top, one of the other bartenders approached the man with the silliest smile and adoring eyes Angel had never seen before.
Bitch, I saw him first.
Whoa, what was that?
To his utter enjoyment, the man politely refused (shaking his head slowly) and pointed in Angel’s direction, mouthing “I want him.”
If you, for some bizarre reason, had the opportunity to watch a puppy drown, you would understand the expression of the bartender as he walked toward Angel and smacked him on the ass and growled, “Lucky whore.”
Instead of do a couple of somersaults, Angel steeled his body. This wasn’t right, he was oblivious to attraction and worked the needs of his body through paying customers to keep his feelings in the proverbial black box. A man paying wasn’t likely to take him seriously enough to think of something else than a quick fuck.
No, Angel was going to fight the tingling and all the fuzzy bullshit warring inside him.
He planted himself in front of the man and nodded as much business-like as his betraying body allowed him in that moment. Dammit, he was getting a fucking hard-on right there. Not easy to hide that in short-shorts.
“Are you an angel?”
Oh shit, that sounded too much like some galactic soap opera he knew of, and the quote on quote angel ended really fucked up.
“My name is Angel, but I’m the farthest thing from a cherub.”
“Cool, my name is Malachi. I’m an astronomer.”
The man’s voice was a caress and it surprised him how easily he heard the man with the booming music as background, “A teacher?”
That explained the fedora.
“No, a scientist,” the man said with a stunning smile.
“Huh. Ok. What can I get you?”
“What’s your favorite drink?’
Yeah, Angel knew that drill too.
“I don’t drink.”
The man, Malachi (Angel didn’t know why he felt compelled to use the man’s name) arched an eyebrow, “Problems with it in the past?”
“Nope, I just have better things to do with my liver. You like it stiff?”
Wrong choice of words.
“Is that an invitation?”
“A. Stiff. Drink,” Angel shook his head embarrassed without reason.
“Surprise me.” Malachi offered, using that disarming smile again.
Angel made the strongest cocktail of the house, The Sodomized Zombie, to get rid of the guy and save himself before he did something stupid. “Here we go.”
Malachi, the astronomer (in a fucking fedora), drank the toxic concoction as if it were tap water. He licked his lips as he finished.
The motion stirred something Angel wasn’t aware he had inside, lurking, waiting. Now, the fuzzy feelings were butterflies or praying mantis or swarming African bees. Who the Heck knew?
“Another,” Malachi beamed.
“You sure, you want another? That’s a very strong one.”
Malachi made a puzzled face, “Really? It didn’t seem strong to me.”
If Malachi hadn’t mentioned he was an astronomer, Angel would have thought he was an archeologist instead and could totally see him drinking scorching firewater with some lost tribe; not many people could handle The Sodomized Zombie like that and ask for another right away.
He made another and presented it to Malachi, but before he could draw his hand away from the glass, the astronomer featherly caressed his fingers, shocking Angel. It wasn’t the intimate gesture but all the reactions of his body to that slight touch. Even his nipples stood in alert after that.
“Tonight is the seventh moon.” Malachi commented after finishing the cocktail in two gulps.
“What’s that, some kind of newspaper horoscope mumbo-jumbo?”
“Nah, it’s just a good day to fall in love.”
“I thought you said astronomer not astrologer.”
“I’m a scientist, but I believe in love,” Malachi winked.
It undid Angel, but he recuperated quickly, “Really? Well, I charge, darling.”
“Fine with me, how much? Wait a second, what time do you finish here?”
“My shift ends at five, but I help with the cleaning afterwards.”
“I’ll wait for you.”
“I haven’t given you my price.”
“I’m sure you won’t find the need to charge me.”
“I charge upfront, darling.”
“Well, by the end of our date, you will give me the money back.”
“See the sign behind me? No. Refunds.”
“You’re funny; we’re going to have a great time.”
Angel quirked his mouth, “We’ll see.”
Malachi asked for another of the same. After that, he just turned around to watch the people mingling and flirting. Now and then, though, he would check on Angel as he moved about the bar.
Hugo watched Angel with the same face a friend would have when he saw you spending all your money in a slot machine hoping for the jackpot. For whatever the reason, customers kept them at opposite sides of the bar, so Angel didn’t have another option but to mouth, “I’m charging him.” Hugo’s arched eyebrow was Morse code for “Yeah, right.”
Closing time came. “Go, the hot man is waiting for you.” Hugo playfully patted Angel on the ass, then chanted in a very out-of-character singsong, “He’s waiting in a limo.”
How the Heck Hugo knew that? The sneaky bastard had been snooping. And that reinforced all the alarms already ringing amok inside Angel. Hugo rarely paid attention to the men around Angel.
The only solution here was to go outside and tell the man to fuck off. Nah, Angel couldn’t do that, Malachi had been a complete gentleman. Besides, he was stupidly easy on the eye. Angel changed to his street clothes and (with all the bugs in his stomach mimicking the Cirque du Soleil) went to confront the mysterious, fedora-wearing astronomer.
There was something about a white Hummer limousine that screamed anything but scientist, and when Angel was about to do a one eighty and run for his life, Malachi lifted the door and stepped out of the square monster, “Please, Angel.”
The tug to his cock was stronger than if Malachi had actually had his fist around it, more like an octopus tugging at cock, legs, arms and neck. Angel was so fucked up, he felt like going to his knees and sob. What was this man doing to him?
“Please, Angel,” Malachi repeated, taking Angel’s hand. “It’s not even about sex, just let me buy you breakfast.”
“It’s too early for breakfast.” He knew he sounded more childish than a kid with a freshly scrapped knee did.
Malachi chuckled softly, “Well, It’s Sunday, you rather go to church?”
Snorting, as his defenses wore thin, Angel murmured, “You aren’t seriously inviting me to church.”
“I’ll take you wherever you wish to go.” Malachi interlaced their fingers, and it felt so right, so perfect.
“Breakfast it’s alright,” Angel drew his hand off Malachi’s.
“Excellent, we can buy it on the way and eat at the beach. What do you think?” Malachi beamed with that disarming smile, making the invaders in Angel’s stomach do somersaults and cartwheels.
“I like that idea very much.” As Angel entered the limo he blurted, “You aren’t tricking me into an orgy, are you?” The space was so large it was ridiculous.
“No it’s just you and me.”
Drive-thru magic was bestowed upon them, and they were on their way to Una Beach. Malachi was simply holding Angel’s hand and humming to himself, and (strangely enough) Angel was content with the unobtrusive atmosphere.
However, Angel wanted to know more about the astronomer, who now sans fedora sported an incredibly appealing shaved head. The perfect shape was turning on all kinds of fantasies in Angel’s head and he needed to talk before he did something stupid. “Where do you do your astronomy thing?”
Yeah, like that question didn’t sound stupid. Astronomy thing? What?
“I work at the observatory of Mount Pumpernickel.” Malachi offered without patronizing him. “Oh, here we are.”
The limousine stopped, and Malachi lifted the door facing the ocean. If they lifted both doors, it would look like the simple bird of a child’s painting.
The sun was already up, but the beach was blessedly deserted. The saline breeze tickled Angel’s nose, making him scrunch it.
Malachi chuckled softly beside him, stealing a peck, even with his hands fully busy. “You’re adorable.”
Well, that was definitively new territory. Angel had been called sexy, hot, smoking and every other frisky endearment in the book but never adorable. The silent fact that it touched him deeply than previous words didn’t go unnoticed. Being all awry as he was, he was only able to come with the sappiest response in the history of first encounters, “I like your shaved head.”
This in turn, brought color to Malachi’s pale, pale cheeks, even his nicely shaped ears turned slightly red. Then Angel realized that a head was a head after all, and maybe Malachi understood it as innuendo. One way or another, all that redness told him that he wasn’t alone in his confusion.
“You know, I’m not really hungry.” Malachi commented leaving most of his breakfast untouched. “But having all the beach for us makes me want to swim, would you like to swim with me?”
Angel wasn’t hungry either and maybe the cold water of the morning ocean would deflate the hard-on and the little monsters having a bacchanal in his stomach. He said “Yeah” with more enthusiasm that the situation deserved but he decided to stop overthinking and let himself go. What was wrong with enjoying a nice moment with a nice man? “Oh, but we don’t have towels.”
“We do,” Malachi moved deeper into the limo and retrieved pristine white towels from a compartment.
Knowing that those towels weren’t meant for swimmers, images of he and Malachi doing whoopee flashed in front of him.
Cold water, pronto.
Malachi undressed swiftly, ending in silk black boxers. The muscles and the roughed contours of the astronomer’s body were mouthwatering and left Angel with a throbbing ache. Once again, everything in the man spoke of anything but a scientist. One with such a built definition couldn’t really spend that many hours researching the stars.
Snapping out of his awe when he felt the taste of salt on his tongue, Angel stripped hastily. Now the flaming pink brief didn’t seem the good idea it was when he exited the club. They weren’t at a nude beach so he had to make do with the skimpy underwear.
As they stepped out of the limo, Angel noticed for the first time their chauffeur, a little old man that in another life must have been a prestidigitator by the way he was manipulating his croissant and cigarette.
Then Angel paid attention to the necklace Malachi wore.
I’ve never seen a Star of David within a circle before, hold on. One, two, three… that’s not a Star of David it's a pentagram.
“Are you a devil worshiper, mister?” Angel tried to joke but sounded solemn instead.
“No,” Malachi rubbed the pendant between two fingers and continued, “Oh, this confuses people sometimes. See, it’s pointing up, just a sign of the goddess. When you find a pentagram pointing down is a calling for dark things.”
“You said the goddess? The longer I stay around you the less I believe you’re a scientist. Science and Religion are supposed to be at odds.”
“And yet there are scientists in the Vatican. Anyway, I’m not Catholic but Pagan, and we don’t have a problem with enlightenment. The God and the Goddess encourage knowledge and wisdom.”
“I don’t know if be scared or fascinated.”
“I encourage you to be fascinated.” Malachi murmured huskily, kissed Angel softly on the cheek and offered his hand. “Come on, the ocean calls.”
They ran together to the welcoming waves like raucous children.
Angel couldn’t wait to discover all the secrets of Malachi.
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY