WRONG TROUSERS (c) 2009 by Bryl R. Tyne
CHAPTER ONE (excerpt)
This was not happening, not tonight. Or so Josh wished.
He recognized the voice and winced, as if he’d forked one of his metal fillings. Beyond the line of club patrons, he confirmed his dilemma. Two streets south, a man dressed in grey sweats closed the distance.
“Josh! Hey J—Morgan!”
Josh abandoned his place in line and his boyfriend, and hurried to the vacant strip mall’s parking lot across the street.
“Dude, wait up!”
He could say he’d forgotten his ID. At least, that’s the story Mike would be privy. In the alcove of an out-of-business dry cleaner, Josh huddled.
“What’re you running from me for?” The young man braced himself on his knees.
Josh glared. His windbreaker catching on the building’s chipped paint, as he leaned.
“Come on, Josh. Here, I thought you’d be happy to see me.”
“What are you doing? Our meeting’s scheduled for tomorrow morning. Get the hell out of here before someone sees us together.”
“But, I don’t like carrying this much cash.” The man smacked a roll of bills into Josh’s palm. “Besides, Mr. G. insists on promptness. I hope this doesn’t affect our doing business. If you know what I mean.”
Josh stuffed the two grand deep inside his front pocket, as he massaged his temples between forefinger and thumb. It’d better be two—freaking—grand or this sonofabitch would pay for shorting him. As well as calling him out in public. Idiot. Josh rubbed his face.
Features shadowed by a large hood and hands inside his sweat pockets, the man bounced foot to foot like a hyperactive Chihuahua.
“You need to leave. Now.”
Mr. G’s lackey tilted his head, as if he misunderstood. Josh shoved past and crossed the street, hurrying to shift his ID from wallet to pocket.
“Where the fuck did you run off to?” Mike spun around; disrupting the conversation he’d seemed so enthralled.
Josh whipped out his license and waved the ID in his boyfriend’s face. “Left it in my car,” he said, feigning his best Lucille Ball dingbat moment. His grandfather’s blessing of pale yellow curls had always helped lessen confrontations...when he’d remembered to use it to his advantage.
“Dumbass.” Mike shook his head and rejoined his clique.
Except for the chill in the air, tonight promised to yield nothing different from the last one-hundred and thirty-three nights he’d tagged behind Mike. Josh tucked a stray ringlet behind his ear, as he stood from tying his sneaker. Thankful the line began its shuffle toward the club entrance.
* * * *
Josh snapped to his senses, as the bottle shattered on the floor behind the bar. “What’s your problem tonight?” Dustpan and broom in hand, Mr. McCarthy, the owner-bartender, rolled his eyes at Josh and began to sweep up the mess.
“Sorry. Could you get me another?” Josh grabbed the replacement straight out of McCarthy’s hand.
“Whoa, kid. Whatever it is can’t be that bad.”
Josh flashed him a mind-your-own-business glower, turned
his back to the bar, and took up eying the crowd.
Kid...Where in the hell had Mike disappeared to now? The back room with his buddies? The bathroom—again? Josh snorted. Sure as shit, come time to leave, Mike would show up looking for a warm body to bed. But tonight was full of surprises. Josh had had enough.
As the place dimmed, Josh slammed the empty on the bar and snatched up his jacket. With a heavier beat from the DJ, multicolored
spotlights roamed the polished floor. On his way toward the exit, two whoops and a chorus of cheers garnered his attention. He paused at the edge of the dance floor.
Was it wrong for a man to flaunt his size or that slight curve to the left? Josh didn’t think so. The pants appeared loose at the thighs. Maybe the definition came from the man’s position. Whichever, Josh didn’t care. He rested his weight to one side, enjoying the new drug.
Shoulders to the dance floor, the man humped the air before springing to his feet. What didn’t shake bumped, and what didn’t bump grinded. Unruly, carrot orange hair followed the man’s jerking head like an afterthought. His neon green Tshirt...that could go. But damn, if it didn’t cling to every layer of muscle strewn across the man’s upper body.
For an instant, their eyes met. He tossed Josh a crooked smile before spinning to touch the floor. To Josh, the man palmed his sides with purpose, as he crept upright, writhing his ass, just as surely, in Josh’s direction.
Hell, the energy exuded alone quickened Josh’s pulse. He adjusted the front of his pants, eying the bar. He’d order another round, if it were possible to make his way home in one piece afterward.
Forget it. Checking the glowing blue face of his watch, he stepped out onto the sidewalk, and slung on his jacket. He needed to sleep. He would too, after boxing his soon-to-be ex’s shit and hauling the load to the street....
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WRONG TROUSERS (c) 2009 Bryl R. Tyne