The Ginger and the Wolf
Kerry McBoyd © 2018
All Rights Reserved
“I don’t know about this, Val. I think we’ll be the oldest ones here.”
Val scanned the twenty-somethings milling around outside the club and shrugged. “I don’t think we look that old. I want a drink, and you need to get laid. You could clean in there!”
“The last thing I need is a clingy, barely legal twink calling me Daddy in bed. I already feel old; I don’t need someone else reminding me about it.” Scott ran a hand through his hair, conscious about any gray that might have been present.
“You’re thirty-four. You look great. And I know you need some stress relief from work. Why not take a virile young frat boy home?” She tugged at Scott’s arm. “Please. I need this. I haven’t been to a gay club in forever. I miss the drinks! The dancing! The eye candy! I feel like my vagina is going to grow shut from total lack of use, so I need the affirmation only sassy gay men can give. You’re always such a good time!”
One of his eyebrows quirked. “That sounds very reductive.” He looked down at their attire. His blue-and-white button-down had the sleeves rolled to his elbows and gray slacks. Val wore a tight purple dress. They were dressed more for date night than clubbing—which, given that they had just come from a recently well-reviewed Italian restaurant a couple of blocks away, made sense—and Scott felt that both their age and clothing gave away their un-hip demeanor.
Val tugged at his shirt. “I’ll be your wingwoman.”
Scott had to admit that she performed admirably in that capacity in years past. He sighed in resignation. “Fine.”
Val laughed and hugged him, then linked arms with him and practically dragged him to the bouncer.
Once inside, Scott remembered why he’d stopped going to clubs, gay or otherwise—the music was too loud, there were too many bodies stuffed into one place, and there seemed to be an increasing number of people who cared too much about taking the perfect club selfie (#squad #nofilter). He was certain he had never heard the bass-heavy song vibrating his organs before, and while he admitted to himself that the bartenders clad only in neon briefs helped ease his suffering by providing a target for him to home in on, Scott preferred the quiet ambiance of the Italian restaurant to the mass of humanity crowded before him.
Val pushed through the throngs to the bar, pulling Scott behind her, and flashed an impeccable smile at an equally impeccable specimen of man behind the bar. “Two vodka sours, please!” She turned to Scott and motioned at their bartender, who’d just turned around to show off a shapely ass hugged by neon purple. “Him?”
“No, Val, it’s okay. I don’t know if I even feel up to it.”
She poked him in the chest. “We are going to get some drinks and dance, and you are going to go home with someone, and if I can find a straight guy somewhere in here, then maybe I get to go home with someone too.”
The bartender placed their drinks in front of them, and Val handed him her card. “Keep the tab open. Thanks!” They took their drinks, and Val toasted Scott. “To not feeling old!”
“Just saying that makes us old!”
Val downed her glass in nearly one gulp; clearly, she thought alcohol was the fountain of youth. He merely sipped his. She leaned over the bar to flag the bartender down for another drink as Scott turned to survey the dance floor.
It all seemed to him like he was dropped in from another era. He knew that this was familiar, but it didn’t feel right. This scene was a young person’s game, and he no longer fit the bill. What did these children know of mortgages or 401(k) or how to donate to charity to have a better tax write-off at the end of the year? He was sure there were very few people he could relate to in the whole building, and certainly his friend next to him was angling to forget as much as she could about maternity leave and insurance as quickly as possible.
He thought about Val’s insistence on his sexual well-being. True, he hadn’t slept with anyone in a few weeks; work had taken care of that, and even though the workload was becoming more manageable, he didn’t feel like getting on an app to meet anyone to take care of that need. His hand and Pornhub served him well if he felt that he needed to take the edge off before heading to the office the following morning. Still, that didn’t stop him from picking out guys in the crowd he wouldn’t mind taking home.
A very young-looking man was out on the floor, dancing like no one was watching—but Scott was. He was hypnotized at the way he shook his head, his hips. He threw his arms in the air and didn’t seem to have a care in the world. It was mesmerizing, both because of the man’s attractiveness, and because Scott felt a stirring in his slacks. He downed more of his drink.
Another glass floated before Scott’s vision; Val wiggled it around. “Yoo-hoo! Here’s another one! You need to catch up!”
The unexpected arousal upon seeing the young man on the dance floor eased his apprehension at his situation; he clinked glasses with Val and also swallowed the new drink in one go.
Val slammed her empty glass on the bar and clutched Scott’s arm. “Let’s dance!”
He allowed himself to be led onto the dance floor, noting the glances from other men. Some undressed him with their eyes, but he didn’t want to meet their gazes; the alcohol was starting to work, and he wanted to locate the lithe dancer he saw earlier. There was no way to figure out where he was at the moment amongst all the people grinding away.
Val spun him to face her. “Come on! Don’t be shy!” She started dancing in a way that, at the most generous, could be described as “mom-like,” but her sheer enthusiasm garnered some whoops and a call of “Shake it, mama!”
Scott rolled his eyes but still smiled at his friend clearly having the fun she was seeking. He danced with her for a bit (the most generous description this time could be “uncle with two left feet”) before turning around to find himself face-to-face with the young man he had spied earlier.
He had red hair and fair skin, though flushed slightly from dancing. Wide blue eyes caught his, but Scott tore his gaze away to note plump lips. He didn’t look as young as Scott’s initial impression suggested—college age, surely, but maybe not yet drinking age. He wore a white-and-green tank, multicolored shorts, and a wristband that had to indicate he was at least twenty-one. A pang of embarrassment hit Scott, realizing the bartender had never carded him or Val based solely on their perceived ages.
But then the young man smiled. “Hi. Wanna dance?”
Without thinking, Scott replied, “Yeah.”
The man turned around and sensually ground his clothed ass against Scott’s crotch. Given Scott’s earlier poor dance routine, he was certain he was going to disappoint his partner. But deep within, something clicked: it was primal, instinctual, greedy. He gripped the narrow waist and pulled the man even closer into him. Scott was sure his dance partner could feel the growing bulge against him, and maybe it was too forward, but in that moment, Scott didn’t care. If the man wanted to dance, then that was what Scott was going to give. They were in sync, the man leaning into Scott and Scott boldly placing one hand on the man’s back to hold them together as their hips moved as one.
A loud cheer from Val broke the spell. Scott pulled away, and the man turned around, seemingly confused why he had stopped. Scott gestured at the bar, then at the doors leading to a quieter outdoors area, and asked loud enough to be heard over the music, “Can I buy you a drink?”
The young man smiled, grabbed Scott’s hand, and led him away from the crowd.