This is part two of our new blog story, The Law of the Jungle. Part one can be found here.
If you are keeping up with the story, Blake is about to go and talk to the object of his affections. This section is from Henry's POV (said object).
Part three will be on H.L.'s blog next week. Enjoy!
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Trust one of Nancy’s friends to have a way to get them into the hottest club in town, but Henry sat there bored, waiting for Nancy and Frank return from the dance floor. Somehow being the designated driver also meant he was responsible for guarding the table. So here he was alone, drinking a Sprite and wondering how long before they could leave to go back to the dorms, order a pizza and watch a video on Netflix. Being a poor NYU student sometimes sucked, but going to school in the Big Apple beat one more minute in the small Nebraska town he’d grown up in.
Suddenly, a loud voice in his ear said, "New here?"
Henry turned around so abruptly he nearly fell off his stool. Straightening himself to an upright position, he looked up to face the stranger asking the question and quickly found himself staring into the most clear blue eyes he’d ever seen. For the first time in his life, since his ill-fated crush on the head cheerleader in his high school, Henry was speechless.
The other man must have taken pity on him, because he sat down on the stool next to his and with one hand flamboyantly produced a bottle of champagne and two glasses.
"Not a big talker, are you? That’s okay; I prefer the strong, silent types myself. Care for a drink?"
Henry had known since his last year of high school, after Jessica and he had broken up for the last time, that he was attracted to men as well as women. However, acting out on those impulses in small town, USA hadn’t seemed prudent, so he’d kept his bisexuality to himself and waited until he moved to New York for college life to explore them. However, except for a few drunken fumblings last semester, he’d limited his sexual exploits to the fairer sex.
Lost in his own thoughts, Henry couldn’t help the goofy grin that came across his face. This gorgeous man was trying to pick him up.
Not missing a beat, the stranger continued talking, "I'll take that expression to mean a yes," and with a flourish he opened the champagne and poured two glasses.
Henry accepted the drink and watched as his companion raised his in a toast, so he followed suit.
"To fortuitous meetings," Blake said and both of them drank the bubbling liquid.
After a few moments, Henry finally found his courage and his voice, "My name is Henry. Henry Kadison."
He watched as a sly smile graced the man's lips and he replied, “Blake.”
The name hung in the air, as Henry saw Blake look at him expectantly, as if waiting for a response.
Henry gasped, fumbling for his next response. Henry thought Blake was probably thinking of taking his champagne and leaving. He’d never been any good at flirting, and when Henry was really attracted to someone he turned into a stuttering, bumbling fool. Jessica had found it cute, but Henry didn’t think his farm fresh nervousness would wow this sophisticated and worldly man. Blake was so out of his league.
Henry later wondered if it was his own innate klutziness or Blake’s overt sexuality that made him accidentally spill the contents of his champagne glass over Blake’s silk shirt. How utterly mortifying. Stammering, Henry apologized, wiping at Blake’s now ruined shirt with a napkin. Henry sighed, knowing his chance with this beautiful man was also wrecked.
But to his astonishment, Blake just laughed at Henry’s attempts.
Blake’s mouth twitched with amusement as he said, “Henry, its fine. Really. Don’t have a heart attack. I have ten more shirts just like it upstairs in my office.”
“Seriously, Blake, you must think I’m an idiot. It’s just when I’m nervous, I lose control and-” he broke off then with an apology.
Blake answered indulgently. “Actually, I find it sweet. After all the fake and phony people in this town, it’s obvious you’re the genuine article, Henry Kadison. And I find that refreshing.”
When he spoke again his voice was warm. “Now if you’d like to make it up to me, maybe you’d follow me up to my office while I change and we could talk some more up there?”
Seeing the smoldering heat in Blake’s eyes, Henry knew the other man wanted to do a lot more than just talk. This was his opportunity to back out, as he had in the past, but for some reason tonight, this place, this man -- instead Henry nodded and followed Blake upstairs.
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