Pairing: Spike/ Xander
Xander struggled in the inhumanly strong grip of the monster that
had grabbed him from the street. Twisting his head around to look at
his coming death, Xander could see alien angles in the twisted face and yellowed
eyes, and oh shit, fangs. What the hell? Vampires weren’t real,
Xander thought even as the beast drove fangs into his shoulder. The
agony of the bite quickly evaporated into the pain/pleasure feeling of pulling
a scab, and then Xander felt himself start to harden despite the fact that
he really didn’t have the blood to spare, but Xander Jr. demanded his share
even as Xander’s struggles started become more about driving back into that
bite. Then the mouth ripped away, tearing the skin where neck met shoulder
and blood flowed freely, some Xander’s but mostly the blood of the vampire
because Xander now knew that vampires were real, and wandering the streets
of L.A. And his mom worried about muggers, he thought as he slumped
to the ground as a black man pulled back his baseball bat for a second swing.
With a start, Xander woke in his bed. The sun shone through the streaked windows eliciting a groan from the dark haired boy. Rolling his nearly six feet of lean body over onto his side, Xander threw an arm over his eyes and cursed; he could have sworn he closed his drapes, but obviously not. And why was that old dream bothering him now? He’d gotten past all that. Pulling himself upright in his bed, he found his mother looking down at him with an ominous expression.
“Xander Harris,” she barked. Internally he groaned, but on the outside he just put on his most neutral expression and smiled with his big brown eyes wide. “What the hell were you up to last night?” she demanded with his jeans in her hands. Shit. In the dark, Xander hadn’t seen the large bloodstain on the knee.
“Nothing, mom. Gunn and Casey were horsing around and Gunn scraped up his knee, and I was down next to him, trying to help, and I must have gotten his blood on my jeans when I was down next to him—helping him.” Xander realized he was babbling, but he just couldn’t seem to stop. Damn, a simple answer would have been believable, but even he didn’t believe his Xander-babble. Obviously his mother didn’t either because she continued to stand there, unmoving, unsmiling, and definitely unconvinced.
“That Gunn is a gang leader if I have ever seen a gang leader, and I do not want you anywhere near that boy. When your father moved us to this god-forsaken city, I told him it was a mistake, but no. That man just had to have his way.”
“Mom, I’m eighteen and Gunn isn’t a gang leader and the whole thing with the jeans was an accident. I’ll wash them now,” Xander retorted as he got out of bed and pulled the jeans out of his mother’s hands as he started toward the bathroom. The last thing he needed was for his mother to start one of her diatribes against his father. Yes, the bastard had left the family after moving them to L.A., but in his defense, the man had believed all that crap about making it rich in real estate.
“I am still your mother, and I don’t want to outlive you. I’m calling your father.” Mrs. Harris beat Xander to the door and pushed him to the side as she left his room ahead of him. Xander yielded without complaint; he only rolled his eyes and continued toward the bathroom. What did she think dear old dad would do; the man never paid child support, he avoided visiting, and didn't even call except for holidays, and then the calls were short and generally painful.
Xander reached the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Was he really so unlovable that his father didn't even care? Nope, not going there. He just needed to get the blood out of his jeans as quickly as possible before he lost another pair. He could understand his mother’s concerns, but he didn’t think it would make her feel any better if he announced that the blood came from a vampire’s victim who he had tried to give CPR while Gunn and the “gang” dusted the vampire and his buddy. Nope. Not going there either. Xander gave his reflection a lop-sided smile. At this rate, most of his own brain was going to be off-limits. Of course, other people had been telling him that he and his brains weren't on talking terms for years now.
“Mom, I have stuff to do,” Xander yelled as he left he apartment to the sounds of her arguing with his father over the phone. He only hoped his mother assumed he had work as opposed to having to look for work—again. He wondered if there were any fast food places in L.A. that hadn’t fired him yet. Once out on the street, Xander made a beeline for the warehouse that Gunn, Casey, and a half a dozen others had commandeered, turning it from a boarded up storage room into a bunk-house slash command central. Xander slipped in the door unnoticed and sat on an old faded floral couch that Casey and Troy had brought home late one night after patrol.
“Xander,” Gunn finally acknowledged, flashing a smile. Xander smiled back with a soft, “Hey.” He knew that he didn’t truly fit. He wasn’t one of the “brothers,” he couldn’t fight off a pack of fledgling vampires single handed, and he hadn’t grown up in the neighborhood; however, Gunn’s friendliness made all that disappear. Deep down in his heart, Xander realized he had a bit of a crush on Gunn, but he would never tell the tall African-American that. He didn’t *think* Gunn would beat the crap out of him, but the others might, and Gunn would certainly never let him stick around after that conversation. Xander found himself with itching fingers. Damn it, he had already told himself that his growing awareness of men's bodies, their firm bodies, their firm, muscular bodies were 100% off limits. Why wouldn't his brain just do what he told it to?
“We’re heading out on a supply run, wanna come?” Gunn asked
“Uh, no thanks,” Xander quickly replied. The guys might call it a “supply run” or “collecting the vampire tax,” but the police called it shoplifting. Considering Xander’s ability to find trouble, he didn’t want to take that chance.
“Man, you cannot keep trying to work some shit job all day and then fight vamps at night,” Gunn insisted as he put down the stake he had been sharpening and walked over to the couch. “You’re going to get your sorry white ass killed doing this,” Gunn commented as he gently smacked Xander on the side of the head.
“Not really a problem right now,” Xander admitted wryly as he rubbed his eyes. From Gunn’s comment, he knew he must look like shit, but the stress of the fight and getting fired had made a good night’s sleep difficult.
“Oh man, not again.” Gunn sat next to Xander on the bed. After a long pause, Gunn sighed softly. “I know a guy who might have a job—he went to high school with us before I dropped out although I doubt you ever met him. He didn’t exactly come to class much,” Gunn said in a voice barely above a whisper, "not that I did either."
“Don’t put yourself out,” Xander quickly responded. “I don’t want your friend getting pissed with you because I call in sick or am too sore to lift some box.”
“That’s why you lost this last job?” Gunn asked quietly. Xander loved the fact that he got to see Gunn’s quiet side—the caring side of the man who usually spent his time beating the shit out of vampires and fighting off the gangs that tried to make this small slice of the LA inner city their own. No one could doubt that this territory was Gunn’s, and Xander thanked god that his parents had chosen this section of town.
“I dropped a crate of glasses,” Xander admitted. “Have you ever heard 60 glasses hitting a tile floor all at once?” he asked with a small smile. “Impressive. It sounded like someone had driven a car through the big window. Hell, two people jumped right out of their chairs.”
“Damn, you do know how to make an impression, don’t you?” Gunn gave Xander a second slap on the side of the head, and Xander found that he enjoyed even this limited physical connection to the large man. “I doubt T will want you dropping his glasses, but he’ll understand if you’re too sore to do your normal lifting,” Gunn continued.
“Understand as in…”
“As in I saved his ass from three vampires a while back. He’s in the know, so tell him you got your ass kicked covering my ass on patrol and he’ll cut you some slack. You go see him or you stop coming on patrol—I’m not going to have you turned because you’re too damn tired to do anyone any good. Course—the offer to let you stay here and do a bit of tax collecting with us—that offer’s still open.” Gunn finished.
“Um, the tax collecting thing? I’m thinking no. I’d get caught and you know it.” Xander mumbled as he tried very hard not to think about Gunn and Gunn's ass in the same sentence. In his mind, covering Gunn's ass took on whole new meanings.
“Most of the business owners don’t mind—they know what we do. And Luther won’t give you any trouble at all if you stay here,” Gunn nodded over toward the short, heavy set Luther who was currently restringing a crossbow. Every chance he could, Luther expressed his dislike for Gunn’s only white crew member.
“Yeah, I can handle Luther—well, okay, I can’t handle Luther, but I can ignore his random insults…and I don’t mean to suggest that what you’re doing isn’t legit, I mean you provide a real service to the neighborhood and I wouldn’t—”
“Xander, breathe,” Gunn finally ordered with a quiet laugh. “I’m not trying to back you into a corner. You stay here, you don’t—it’s your choice.”
“I just don’t want you to think…” Xander froze. How could he finish the sentence without sounding condescending? Most of him understood the system Gunn and his guys used, but another part of him really didn’t want to get involved in the less legal parts of the system. Part of him still believed stealing wrong, even if it allowed the guys the time to concentrate on vampire hunting, and the vampire activity had certainly increased recently. “I don’t mean to suggest…” Xander’s voice faded out again.
“Forget it, man. I don’t take it personally. You got more heart than any ten other guys I know, and I know you just aren’t comfortable with the way life is here. We do what we gotta do to take care of the neighborhood. That doesn’t mean you have to.” Gunn assured Xander with a small squeeze on his upper arm.
Xander felt his blood rushing to new zones: his face reddened and his groin tightened into a familiar knot that he hurried to cover by leaning forward to retie his sneaker. Of course leaning over didn’t help the problem, but at least he wouldn’t reveal his problem to Gunn. Xander just wished he could reach out his hand and run it down Gunn’s well developed leg, sliding it around to the inside of his thigh. ‘Oh, Xander,’ he thought to himself. ‘Xander you’d better just stop now or you’re going to have to retie this sneaker for the next week.’ Luckily Gunn didn’t seem to notice.
“I just don’t know if you want to work for T; we could find another place I suppose.” Now Gunn seemed to be nervous; Xander could see Gunn studying his fingernails with great interest. Anything capable of making Gunn nervous terrified Xander, but on the good side fear made the blood retreat from his cock. In fact, his balls seemed to be climbing back up into his body.
“Gunn?” he asked warily.
“He runs a club that might make you a little nervous—no offense, but you are a bit white-bread,” Gunn pointed out with a smile. He absent-mindedly ran his hand over his shaved head, a gesture Xander associated with eminent danger.
“White bread?” Xander asked. “The only people who think I’m white bread are standing in this room,” Xander sat up and gestured toward the nine young men engaged in various activities across the room. Casey and Luis battled it out on a Playstation set up on a plastic milk crate; Luther still fought with the broken crossbow, by the expression on his face, Xander guessed he was softly cursing. Fredrick, Lou, and Trey all slept on pallets laid out on the floor, catching some sleep after the previous night’s excitement. The same vampire that had caused the wound that bled all over Xander’s jeans had thrown Trey into a brick wall and his buddies had nearly killed Luther and Fredrick. In short, everyone was rather short-tempered and tired today. “If I hung out with anyone else, my whole vampire-bait act and front-line first aid performances would qualify as high-drama. It’s just compared to you guys that I end up looking white-breadish.”
“True ‘nough,” Gunn agreed, “but I still don’t know whether you want to be around T’s type of scene. He runs a club over near Glitters,” Gunn finished and Xander’s breath caught in his throat causing him to make a small strangled noise. Glitters sat at the center of gay island in the center of the club district. Gunn must have heard the noise because he quickly continued. “We can find you some other place, man, no need to choke.”
“No, it’s fine. If he’s willing to give me a chance with my employment record, I’ll give it a try. Gotta be better than scraping grease out of exhaust fans or washing dishes. I mean unless he wants me to clean out his exhaust fans. Cause I need the money, so I’ll take the job even if he does want me to clean the fans…or wash the dishes.” Xander stopped when he noticed Gunn was laughing. Xander-babble strikes again, revealing his nervousness but hopefully not its cause.
“Makes you that nervous, huh?” Gunn asked. “But you’re still gonna take the job—I’ll give you credit for having balls, and you just tell T that the guys have to lay off you or I’ll come down there and have a conversation with anyone who gives you a hard time,” Gunn promised. Xander sat on the odious couch in absolute shock. Within a matter of seconds, Gunn had given him an excuse to spend large amounts of time in exactly the place he wanted to be, and he had expressed the sort of protectiveness that Xander found incredibly sexy. He took a deep breath to try and counteract his body’s attempt to send all the blood to his crotch. He wished, for only the five millionth time, that Gunn had any interest in him at all. Of course, his luck held, and Gunn remained 110% straight, at least publicly. Who knows what Gunn did in private, but that's not the kind of relationship he wanted. He'd hid long enough, so when it was time for him to fall for some guy, he wanted to be obnoxiously public about it. God, fall for a guy, he was turning into a real girl. Next thing you know he was going to buy romance novels at the grocery story, Xander thought to himself.
Simple fact: he wanted permanence, someone who publicly acknowledged him. He wanted someone who found him so irresistible that he couldn’t keep his hands off. The real problem was that Xander knew just how resistible he could be. Gunn had this presence—this grace during a fight and strength that no one could resist. Luther had this whole dangerous thing going for him. A fight with a tall older vampire had left Luther with a long scar down his right cheek so that Xander tended to think of words like rakish and striking and daunting every time he saw the man. Casey had this quiet almost child-like charm that he often used to beguile half the females in LA all at the same time. Xander realized that he had nothing to offer compared to any one of these men. Even on patrol his job was to stay safely behind the others and help anyone who fell during the fight.
The first time he met these men, he had recently transferred to their high school, and he had foolishly gone out on a late night walk to avoid one more parental fight. Four of them had rescued him from a vampire attack that had left him seriously short on hemoglobin. Compared to them, he was weak, plain, and utterly white-bread, and despite his objection earlier, he suspected that he would have played second string no matter where he ended up. Maybe fate decided that it needed a comic relief to balance out all the heroes and Xander’s name had just come up.
“So, what’s the name of his place?” Xander finally asked, realizing that Gunn watched him with a curious expression. No doubt he had stood there zoning for long enough for Gunn to start worrying, but Xander wasn’t about to share his private thoughts with the man.
“It’s called Safari. It’s over by the Walgreen's on the corner. Go in and give him your name. I’ll call and make sure he knows who you are.”
“Thanks Gunn.” Xander stood up and just stood there for a minute, unsure of how to express his gratitude without expressing slightly less appropriate feelings. After all, Xander had no death wish, and lusting after Gunn in the middle of the crew would shortly lead to much Xander-beating, and he knew it. After a second or two, he turned and left the room without another word. Next stop: one serious mega-sized life change, or so he hoped. His life could use some changing.
When Xander pushed the door open, he
found himself speechless, which really amazed him given his propensity for
Xander-babble. However, faced with the interior of the club, even in
the harsh florescent lights the cleaning crew used before the club opened
for the evening, he couldn’t form thoughts much less form words.
The owner had obviously taken the whole “safari” theme farther than Xander could have ever imagined. The walls features murals of nearly naked “savage” men hunting lions with spears and European explorers leading expeditions in g-strings and those funny hats white men always wore in the Tarzan movies. Half walls with planters apparently at random created little nooks of privacy, and Xander found his mind instantly obsessed with what might happen in the shadows behind one of those half-walls. Of course, anything that happened there would be visible to anyone walking close enough to peak through the foliage or anyone standing at either of the open ends, but that made it even more exciting. The best view, however, had to come from the walkway that ran the length of one wall. The walkway was raised about three feet off the ground, and metal bars separated it from the main club. Xander wondered if security used the protected space to monitor the crowd, but the bars seemed a little too far apart to protect those inside the walkway. The tables and bar and chairs were all made of bamboo and had a definite “safari” feel complete with a grass awning over the bar. Xander realized that the décor was nothing less than tacky, but still, it had its appeal. While he was still standing there, open mouthed and silent, a young red-head walked up to him while wiping his hands on his apron.
“You Xander?” he asked without much enthusiasm.
“Yeah,” Xander finally turned away from the décor to look at the men who were even now cleaning the club and chatting in small groups. If he had expected a gay bar to be filled with sexy, irresistible men (which he had), he was in for a disappointment. Not one of the men did anything for Xander—they ranged from downright ordinary to borderline nasty. The blue haired man with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth and various unidentified stains decorating his sweat-marked t-shirt made Xander itch for a shower. Just being in the same room make him feel dirty.
“T says you’ll work the food runs.” The redhead announced indifferently and then began walking away without checking to see if Xander followed. “Screw up and your ass will be out that door before the night’s over, sweet cheeks,” he finished as he continued to walk away. Xander felt the familiar sinking feeling that always preceded an ugly reintroduction to unemployment.
“John, you mind your manners or you’ll be the one whose ass meets that door,” a thin black man announced as he came out one of the doors marked “Employees Only.”
“T” the red-head named John tilted his head toward his employer before turning and joining a group of table cleaners on the far side of the room.
“Hey, Xander. I’m T.” The man held out his hand and smile warmly as Xander stepped forward to shake his hand.
“Thanks for the job; I really need it,” Xander admitted.
“No problem. I owe Gunn so much that I’ll never pay him back. It’s more than just saving my ass, he protects that whole neighborhood and my family lives there. Course, I hear you have something to do with protecting that neighborhood too, so I figure I owe you whether or not Gunn called in a favor.”
“Nah, not me,” Xander hurried to correct T. “I just clean up after the guys and help the wounded limp off the battlefield.” Xander liked the fact that this man looked at him with respect, but he didn’t want to mislead him either. Xander knew he couldn’t hold his own in any fight, and if T thought he was a vampire fighter, the man might expect Xander to handle gay-bashers or drunken fights when Xander couldn’t even handle two little old ladies fighting over the last box of Depends.
“Hey, you go up against vampires when most of the world stays inside and pretends they don’t exist. Hell, even the few people who have survived vampire attacks pass them off as cultists or gothic muggers. You got nerve hanging with Gunn and that crew, and I don’t think Gunn would let you if he didn’t trust you at his back,” T continued as he used a warm hand on Xander’s shoulder to guide the young man into the back kitchens. Xander wanted to argue.
He wanted to point out that Gunn put up with him because Xander had nagged him into it. He wanted to describe how, after Gunn had saved him from the attack, he had followed the upperclassman after school to see what the “crew” did in those late nights. He wanted to explain that Gunn had finally let him join the crew only because he got tired of finding Xander playing vampire bait half a block down from the crew as he tried to follow them. Looking back on his sophomore self of four years earlier, Xander realized he’d been pathetic. Of course, now he was nearly 19, lived at home, couldn’t keep a job more than a month, and had to rely on his friends to save his life on a fairly regular basis since he tended to attract any vampire within a five mile radius. Yeah, he could safely say he hadn’t grown out of that whole pathetic stage yet.
“So, you have a paycheck here whether or not you can make work that day—got it?” T demanded. Xander took a minute before he could process that.
“Whoa, that’s not the kind of job I’m looking for,” he quickly assured the man as they navigated well lit stainless steel prep areas that were currently abandoned. “I don’t do the whole vampire tax thing,” Xander finished.
“Tough,” T told him with a smile. “I want to help out the cause and most of Gunn’s men won’t even come here to claim free drinks—not even before we open to the public. You have some serious homophobic vibes in that group.”
“Yeah, tell me about it,” Xander muttered. When a confused expression crossed T’s face, Xander found himself blushing. He silently cursed himself for the slip. T and Gunn talked, and he didn’t need his own orientation becoming a topic of discussion for Gunn and the crew.
“Well just don’t let the guys give you shit,” T continued as if he hadn’t heard Xander—which he clearly had. “Doing the food runs is light work compared to the other jobs, so there’s a bit of jealousy going on.”
“Yeah, as evidenced by the whole indifference and dislike thing. What is the job? I mean, exactly,” Xander asked.
“You’ll notice out there several tall tables—we set up free food on those to encourage people to stay and buy more drinks. Doing the food runs means keeping those tables full of nice, salty food that makes people want lots and lots of drinks.”
“That’s all I do?” Xander had expected T to offer him either get some completely disgusting job, like cleaning grease traps, or some totally embarrassing job like stripping. Yeah, like anyone would want him to strip—at least not anyone who didn’t want all the customers running away screaming.
“Yeah, that’s it. But there are a couple of different ways to do the job,” T confided as he began to pull boxes out of a walk in freezer. “My cook called in sick, so I’m pulling snack duty today,” he explained as he tore open a bag of potatoes and dumped them into a sink full of water.
“Let me help,” Xander offered as he took the potato scrubber out of T’s hand and began grabbing potatoes. “What exactly do you mean ‘different ways to do the job’?” he asked as he efficiently scrubbed each potato and dropped it on the side prep area where T grabbed it and started filling baking sheets.
“Well, you do the job dressed like that and you’re going to have to rely on my paycheck to pay your bills,” T offered with a smile and a wink. Xander stopped scrubbing in order to look at his boss in confusion.
“And I shouldn’t rely on your paycheck?” he asked totally confused.
“You certainly can,” T quickly assured him. “That’s fine, and Gunn said you probably just wanted the paycheck. In fact, maybe I should move you back to cooking,” he commented as he watched as Xander finished the last of the potatoes and pulled out a baking sheet of his own to lay out the potatoes for baking, “but with a few wardrobe changes you could make a nice profit doing the food runs.”
“Did Gunn warn you that I was a little dense? Cause I can’t make any sense outta what you’re saying,” Xander gave one of his small patented ‘Don’t expect me to understand *that*’ looks that had once worked so well to keep teachers from asking him questions in class.
“The food runners often get tips,” T said as he grabbed both trays of potatoes and slipped them into the preheated oven. “But those baggy pants just sort of scream ‘don’t look at me’ and that shirt…” T sighed. “That shirt is an offense against Hawaiian people everywhere. Really, how can you wear that without getting mugged?” T waved in the general direction of Xander’s shirt, and Xander looked down. The orange and yellow flowers on the green background were a little bright, but Xander liked the bright, vivid colors. In a city neighborhood where dirt brown and smog gray were the two standard colors, he loved his bright and cheerful wardrobe. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Goodwill carried this type of clothing, and he definitely couldn’t afford to shop any place but a used clothing store.
So the shirt and the décor—not a match?” Xander guessed. He wasn’t sure what he should do since he only had a couple of solid colored shirts, but then maybe he should just stay in the kitchen. He opened his mouth to make that offer, but T cut him off.
“I don’t care what you wear—you can prance around in swim trunks or a Santa suit, makes no difference to me. However, you’ll get more in tips if you give the customers something to look at—not that you aren’t a looker in even those clothes,” T finished. Xander just silently stared at his tall, thin boss as his brain tried to process that last piece of information.
“You mean people would actually give me tips for bring out free food?” Xander finally formed the question just as T pulled down an entire stack of bowls and put them on the counter. He heard a snort behind him, and when he turned, he had to put a hand on the cold steel counter just to keep his balance. The man who was currently walking through the kitchens could easily qualify as a god. His long, thick, dark hair flowed in waves past his shoulders, and his dark eyes shone with intelligence and a teasing sparkle. His features showed either Hispanic or Native American influence, and he had an exotic face that was only emphasized by a spiral tattoo on his temple.
Of course Xander Jr. certainly couldn’t ignore the body if the tightening of the jeans was anything to go by. The man’s shirt hung open and Xander could see clearly defined abdominal muscles that twitched in unison. The arms below the sleeves flexed, but the man was not an overly muscled monster—no his muscles suggested those of a runner or soccer player, not the heavy, slow muscles of a body builder. By the time Xander pulled his eyes back up to the exotically beautiful face, he could see amusement written all over the slightly upturned lips and single raised eyebrow.
“New guy?” the god asked T.
“Xander,” T nodded his head toward Xander as he separated the bowls and pulled out a giant bag of peanuts which he began to ration using a large ice scoop.
“Xander,” the god offered his hand. “I’m Charlie, and you can get a lot in tips if you’re willing to give up that awful shirt,” Charlie confirmed as he closed his hand around Xander’s outstretched digits. Without thinking, Xander had come out from behind the prep table to shake Charlie’s hand, but now he realized how exposed he truly was with Xander Jr.’s unmistakable interest and Charlie no more that a few inches away. For one second, Charlie’s eyes flashed downward toward the unmistakable interest straining the seams of Xander’s jeans, and then he looked right into Xander’s eyes and gave a slow wink. “T, can you spare Xander long enough for me to get him a decent shirt, at least?” Charlie asked without taking his eyes off Xander.
“Figured you’d take an interest. Just keep your hands to yourself…unless you have an invite,” T added that last part after just the briefest hesitation. Xander realized that his carefully constructed heterosexual facade, complete with hateful ex-girlfriends who wanted him dead, was truly crumbling.
“Come on, I have something you can borrow,” Charlie offered as his hand closed in on Xander’s upper arm in a tight grip. Xander felt his cock jerk in his jeans, and he shifted his hips as he walked and tried to give the uncooperative organ more room. He just thanked god that he was wearing fairly loose jeans because otherwise he might have damaged himself.
“Um, do you have an employee bathroom around here?” Xander asked, trying to keep his voice neutral, but he doubted that he did because Charlie’s expression turned even more amused. Charlie nodded toward a hallway where, Xander assumed, he would find a bathroom, but for one moment Xander didn’t think Charlie was going to let him go. The large hand remained solidly attached to his arm, and Xander wasn’t sure exactly how to handle the situation. Xander Jr. had a suggestion or two, but before Xander could come to any conclusions, Charlie released his arm, and he darted toward the bathroom with as much speed as possible without looking like an utter fool. The gentle chuckle behind him made Xander wonder whether he had succeeded, but when the bathroom door came into sight, he could no longer find the energy to care.
Xander pushed the door open and found himself in a completely unremarkable bathroom that could have been the employee bathroom in any number of fast-food places where he had worked. Piles of toilet paper and boxes of cleaners sat stacked against one wall and the room had the strange stale smell that came from a lack of air circulation, but the only thing Xander cared about was the fact that it had only one toilet, so he could lock the door and have the entire closet-sized room to himself. He did so quickly and unfastened his jeans, allowing his erection to emerge with a happy sigh.
The organ was already turning red, tiny drops of white liquid gathering at the tip before slowly rolling down his cock. Xander reached a hand down and gently stroked the vein on the underside, enjoying the sensation for a brief moment, but he realized that he didn’t have much time before providing Charlie with entirely too much entertainment, so he closed his hand around the shaft and began a more aggressive stroking, thrusting his hips up on each stroke and struggling to remain silent since Charlie was probably leaning right outside the door. Xander closed his eyes and rested on shoulder against the cool white tile and he stroked faster, his fist closing slightly to give him more friction, more stimulation even as the precum dripped down between his hand and his cock providing lubrication for his ever-more desperate thrusts.
With his eyes closed, Xander first imagined Gunn’s large hand closing around his cock, Gunn’s other hand going to Xander’s chest where his fingers splayed out and pressed Xander back against the wall of the basement room even while the other crew members watched and realized that Gunn chose *him*. He imagined coming all over Gunn’s hand as Luther watched with undisguised jealousy. That fantasy quickly dissolved into one starring Charlie: a fantasy where Charlie used some unknown key and walked into the bathroom finding Xander jerking off. Charlie would slip in behind Xander and encircle his waist with one arm while his other reached around to grab hold of Xander’s cock and pump it in time with Xander’s thrusts, Xander’s back pressed up against Charlie’s front, feeling Charlie’s own erection as proof of his interest.
However, when Xander felt his balls tighten and his leg muscles stiffen, his mind was strangely blank. No fantasy filled the last few seconds before his body reached climax and poured itself out into the toilet with an erratic splashing sound. Xander braced himself with one arm against the sink as he allowed his cock to slowly return to normal size before trying to pee. Xander closed his eyes and wondered how he was supposed to open the door and face Charlie after that. He had no illusions about fooling Charlie; Charlie knew exactly why he needed the bathroom, and he had probably gone to tell all the other employees just how pathetic the new guy truly was. But Xander knew that he needed the money and the job, no matter how much grief the other guys gave him. He had survived humiliation before, and he would again. Hell, humiliation was his normal state of existence. With a sigh, Xander tucked himself in, zipped up his pants, and turned to face his imminent disgrace.
Xander opened the door to find the hallway empty. Okay, this was a new torture technique, but Xander had to appreciate its effectiveness. If Charlie had been waiting with a few evil comments or if half the staff had been waiting with smug expressions, he would have at least known what to expect. The whole not knowing what to expect actually sent his stomach into loops faster than anything Charlie and his buddies could have done. Xander wandered back toward where he left Charlie in the connecting hall. Several other men zipped down the hall, and given their general cuteness—at least in Xander’s opinion—Xander assumed that these men, like Charlie, worked up front.
“Move it or lose it, cutie,” one brunette kindly ordered with a gentle shove to one side as Xander paused in the maze of corridors, unsure where to find Charlie.
“Where’s Charlie?” Xander blurted before the brunette could leave.
“Charlie? The headliners use the last room,” the man waved toward the end of the hall before he opened a door where three or four men were changing. Xander turned his face before he could get a look at something that he shouldn’t, even if he desperately wanted to look.
Following the hall to the end, he knocked on the last door even as he wondered what a headliner was. Almost immediately, Xander heard Charlie’s voice sing out, “For god’s sake just come in…it’s not like half the city hasn’t seen it.” Xander pushed the door open and thanked god he had stopped and taken care of his problem. If he hadn’t, the sight in front of him would have left him coming in his jeans, something he hadn’t done since he was fourteen and his two best friends talked him into playing doctor.
Charlie dressed, or rather didn’t dress, to fit with the safari theme in the main room. He had a leather loin cloth strapped across his hips, and as he adjusted the front flap so that it covered most of his private parts, Xander could see that he sported a healthy erection currently trapped within the confines of leather straps that looped around his balls and the base of his cock, forcing them away from his body. Xander’s own cock twitched in sympathy—that looked decidedly uncomfortable. Charlie just continued to adjust his small cloth so that when he dropped it, his genitals were visible only in small glances as he walked.
Xander wasn’t even sure how the man could walk with his balls forced so far from his body, but Charlie still moved with quiet grace that just screamed sexy. Around Charlie’s upper body, looped so that it went from his left shoulder to his right waistline, a long bull whip drew attention to his beautifully cut stomach, chest, and back muscles, and the finishing touch was a pair of sandals that were nothing more than leather straps wound around first his feet and then up his legs in a crisscross pattern. Xander had never seen anything so sexy in his entire life. What’s more, he never expected to ever be so turned on ever again. He was realizing that despite his earlier side trip, Xander Jr. was quickly becoming a problem again. In fact, Xander didn’t even hear Charlie until the man had raised his voice with an amused snort.
“Earth to Xander, care to join us?” Charlie asked.
“Huh?” Xander really couldn’t find enough higher brain activity to manage more than the one syllable.
“Red or purple?” Charlie said in a tone that made it clear he had asked the question before.
“Huh?” Xander repeated stupidly despite the two shirts that Charlie held up on their hangers. This time Charlie didn’t just snort, he laughed outright—a large deep laugh that made Xander blush all the way down to his toes.
“Red, I think,” Charlie said as he pulled a red silk shirt off a hanger. "It'll look nice with those deep brown eyes of yours. You do have the look, don't you,” Charlie continued as he tossed the shirt at Xander.
“I don’t think I can wear this,” Xander objected as he held the shirt, which probably cost more than he typically made in a week.
“Sure you can—it’s left over from when I did food runs. It has a couple of stains, but in the dark no one will notice.”
“It’s yours?” Xander asked, imagining Charlie wearing the beautiful red silk. “I mean, I doubt it’ll fit me,” he quickly added.
“Xander, we're built pretty similar. You have some nice upper body development, and the silk will really show it nicely. And if you want tips, you need to show off a little,” Charlie confided as he pulled his hair back into a leather thong at the nape of his neck. “Course we need to find you some other pants. Mine might be a little big, so I’m going to pop down and ask Mike if he has a pair you can borrow.”
“What’s wrong with my pants?” Xander shouted through the open door as Charlie disappeared down the hall. Xander didn’t have long to wait before Charlie reappeared with a pair of black jeans that seemed far too small for Xander to fit into.
“What’s wrong is that you’re going to lose most of your tips in pants that loose,” Charlie commented as he tossed the jeans to Xander. “Now hurry up and change. The club opens soon.” Without another word, Charlie left, pulling the door closed behind him. Xander stared at the closed door and then at the unfamiliar clothing still held in his hands. The shirt he could handle, and he quickly shed his bright Hawaiian print, dropping it on a plastic chair sitting in the corner of the small dressing room. As the red silk slipped over his skin, he understood women’s obsession with silk underwear. The smooth fabric slid over his skin making every nerve feel alive. The pants, which had landed on the seat of the same plastic chair with his discard shirt, required more thought. Xander didn’t know whether he was ready to parade around in pants that left nothing to the imagination, especially when Xander Jr. was acting up, but he felt strangely reluctant to disappoint Charlie. Oh well, he could always change back later if he looked too stupid. Xander quickly slipped off his jeans before he could change his mind and slipped the black jeans on.
"Oh, and lose the underwear—the lines of it will show through the jeans," Charlie's voice floated through the door. From the tone, Charlie must have shouted the words, but Xander could barely hear them, meaning—and at this Xander really blushed—Charlie had just told him to go commando loud enough for the entire staff to hear him. Xander slipped the black jeans back down and shucked off his underwear.
With a small curse, he pulled up the stiff fabric and tucked himself in before buttoning up the button-fly, an act which caused no small amount of discomfort as Xander Jr. struggled to reach full size. Shit, he hadn't ever been able to recover this fast. Looking in the slightly warped mirror hanging on the back of the door, Xander faced a person he didn’t know. The red silk made his normally unremarkable upper body look moderately developed, and the black jeans followed every curve. He pushed his fingers through his thick, wavy brown hair wishing it were either long enough to tie back or short enough to not curl up and get in his eyes.
“You ready?” Xander heard Charlie call as he reappeared in the room without even knocking—of course, it was actually his dressing room, but still.
“If you explain the tips comment,” Xander retorted sharply feeling slightly foolish and embarrassed.
“Whoa—you clean up nice,” Charlie commented with appreciation as he took in the new and improved Xander. Charlie took a step back and looked Xander up and down. “Very nice.”
“Um, yeah,” Xander just mumbled. “So, are you going to explain the comment?”
“How do you think the customers give you tips?” Charlie asked with a small tilt of his head.
“Don’t they usually put the money in a glass or jar?” Xander asked as he tried to pull at his jeans enough to give his cock room. As Charlie had reentered the room, Xander Jr. had reasserted himself in the now much tighter confines of the black jeans.
“Give it up, Xander,” Charlie laughed as he saw what Xander was attempting to do. “You’ll get more tips that way. But to answer your question, no, there are no jars. Your tips will end up down your pants, which is why you don’t want to wear loose pants.”
“Shit,” Xander swore, partly from the idea of getting that kind of attention and partly because the thought had sent enough blood straight to his cock to make the jeans a torture device.
“Oh yeah, that’s how to get the tips,” Charlie laughed as he slipped his hand down to cup Xander’s crotch. “Keep that up and you’ll take over my hours on the walkway.” Without another word, Charlie turned and left the room, leaving Xander to try and figure out how to walk. “Better hurry up and get T to show you the ropes before the club opens,” Xander heard Charlie shout from half way down the hall. For a moment, Xander stood in the small private dressing room staring at his old jeans. If he walked out of the room dressed like this, he might as well admit to everyone in the club that he was gay. A straight man might work at a gay club, but he certainly wouldn’t go out on the floor dressed like a rent boy—a rent boy with an erection making walking impossible and straining the seams of his jeans. It would be like telling the whole world he was gay.
He had heart palpitations at the thought of telling Gunn or his parents, but telling stranger—he could live with that. Maybe he could even use it as a trial run—a practice coming out party. With more confidence in his walk than in his heart, Xander walked out of the small dressing room, closing the door behind him. The kitchen where he left T preparing snacks lay at the end of the hall, so he walked down the length of the hall where a few open doors revealed small groups of men preparing for work—most of them changing into the zebra print pants and white, open vests that functioned as a uniform. When no one made any disparaging remarks by the end of the hall, Xander began to believe that he didn’t look completely stupid. However, T’s comment nearly sent him running back for his own baggy and nondescript clothing.
“Holy shit, what the hell did he do to you?” T asked as he froze, his hand still full of shredded cheddar cheese suspended above the waiting potato skins.
“I can change back,” Xander quickly offered as he began backing toward the waiting hallway.
“The hell you can. That thick curly hair and big puppy eyes paired with that red silk—shit, I’m going to have more people looking at you than the dancers.” Xander stood with his mouth open, trying to figure out what he missed because at first glance the comment seemed complimentary, overly complimentary. In Xander’s experience, any compliments based on appearance simply provided the warm-up act for later humiliation. A small but emotionally scarring incident in 11th grade had tattooed that fact into his brain. However, T continued without commenting on Xander’s silence or his suspicious expression.
“Damn I had no idea you were such a cutie under those atrocious clothes. You must have been a swimmer,” T talked on as his hand resumed the job of preparing snacks. “As soon as I can get you to give up the slouch and put a little swing into those hips, I’m going to get you on that walkway—maybe dress you up like a lion with that think hair of yours, any chance you could let it grow out some?” Xander opened his mouth to comment on the question and the unlikeliness of anyone paying to see him as nearly naked as Charlie had been, but T continued his train of thought without giving Xander even a chance to jump in. Xander realized that even his Xander-babble was helpless in the face of T who continued his monologue even as he slipped one tray of potatoes out of the oven and another into.
“Your biggest problem tonight is going to be getting the food to the stations. Each of the food stations has a soft yellow light above it, and it’s easy to see with the dance lights on, but the customers are going to descend on you like a flock of vultures. And here I thought you were going to have a chance to work your way into the job slowly.” Here T inserted a snort that sounded suspiciously like Charlie’s. “Don’t let customers push you too far. If they get too grabby-feely, look for one of the black vested bouncers. Give them a nod and they’ll pull you out.
"Don’t let customers pull you into a private corner or pull you to these rooms back here,” at this point T nodded to the rooms off the hallway Xander had just walked. “Lots of the regulars come back here, but you are so not ready for that, boy.” T winked at Xander, and Xander didn’t have to ask him what went on in those rooms. Xander felt his heart jump, and not in the way the sent Xander, Jr. to happy land. The thought of illegal prostitution or of having to fight off overly amorous men frightened Xander, and T must have recognized the expression.
“Don’t worry, I run a clean club and the only thing that goes on around here is love between consenting adults. I just don’t want you doing something you aren’t ready for because you didn’t stop and think. Besides, Gunn will tear this place apart if something happens to you, so you keep those bouncers in sight. I’ll tell them to keep an eye on you for the next week or so until you get your feet under you.”
“Grab a tray,” T ordered as he picked up a tray stacked high with peanut bowls and gestured towards the others that waited on the table. Xander picked up the one with some sort of fried bread and hurried to follow the thin man out into the main club. Xander wondered just how much caffeine T consumed in a day because he had never met anyone who so clearly needed to cut back.
“Uh, T?” he asked as they approached a narrow pillar that had a chest high counter running around it. “How are they going to know I work here?” Xander asked as he realized that nearly all of the other employees wore uniforms. Everyone had the zebra pants but while most of the men wore white vests that exposed their chests, a fair number of the larger men wore the closed black vests.
“Simple, you’re going to have the tray in your hands. Not all the employees wear uniforms, the walkway dancers change into street clothes after they dance and mingle with the customers. It’s a chance for them to pick up a few extra tips,” T explained as he gestured toward the walkway Xander had earlier assumed would protect security. The thought of Charlie dancing behind the bars send Xander’s cock through another round of torture in the tight jeans.
“And this is legal?” Xander asked dubiously.
“If the guys had sex for money or had sex on the dance floor, no. But they’re just talking to customers, and if a few want to slip a hand with a few dollars down their pants, that legal as long as the guys aren’t dancing at the time the customers are touching. Usually the dancers help with the food running because it really will be difficult keeping up with all the food stations, but just remember, you put the food out too fast and I just have to give more away, so don’t break your neck keeping the moochers in free peanuts and pizza bread,” T explained with a nod toward Xander’s breadsticks as both men dropped off a bowl of food at the pillar and walked on to the next one.
“T, I just don’t…” Xander stopped, unsure how he could finish the sentence. He didn’t want to work there—no, actually he wanted to very much. He didn’t think he belonged there—definitely, but he had pushed his way in where he lacked qualifications before. He didn’t know how to do this—definitely again. He couldn’t even say the word “gay” out loud, and he was about to let gay men touch him for money. Xander couldn’t process any of the possible options before T cut him off by answer without waiting for the rest.
“I know. Do what you can, what you want. When you need to leave, give me a head’s up in the kitchen and I’ll have one of the bartenders fill in or just have the dancers take the food. It’s fine darlin’, you’ll be fine.” With this final comment, T gave Xander’s arm a pat and took the tray since they had laid out the food on the last pillar-counter. “Carlos, meet Xander,” he called to a black-vest, and with that T disappeared before Xander could say another word.
“Hey Xander, you need anything, you give me a stare, and I’ll get right to you, okay?” Carlos commented as he gave Xander a smile that made Xander relax. Carlos was old enough to be Xander’s father if Xander was any judge of age, but his body looked fit enough to break Xander’s real father in two. Comforting combination. “You get the rest of the food out ‘cause the fun is about to start,” Carlos added as he jerked a thumb toward the entrance. The club had obviously opened because the first few customers had started wandering in through the doors in pairs and small groups. The light instantly dimmed, and Xander made an ungraceful dash for the kitchen.
Xander had expected to last about fifteen minutes.
Five hours later, he found himself still navigating the crowd with his tray
full of both empty bowls needing refilling and full bowls he was trying to
get over to the far food stations. Currently, three middle-aged men
with nice suits and strong breath prevented him from making any progress.
Xander just knew that Carlos hovered near, but he intentionally avoided eye
contact. After five hours at the job, Xander knew good tippers when
he saw them.
“I haven’t seen you before,” the tallest man commented from behind, slipping an arm around Xander’s waist. Normally Xander would have felt compelled to push the stranger off, but he had discovered that the tray made that impossible. After sending a nearly full tray of pizza bread to the floor, he had discovered that his only two escape moves were twisting his body and making eye contact with Carlos. Luckily, the subsequent scramble on all fours to recover the ruined food before anyone fell on it led to a number of interesting gropes and so many tips that Xander had to go to the restroom, fish the money out of his pants, and have Carlos hang on to it for him. This time Xander twisted. As he moved, tall guy’s hand went from Xander’s bare stomach, where it had found its way under his shirt, to Xander’s bare hip by sliding into the already too tight jeans. The man’s hand wedged in prevented Xander from twisting to the right, so he tried to twist back to the left when suit number two moved in. This one reminded Xander of Screech from “Saved by the Bell,” but his voice sounded lawyer-smooth, even drunk.
“I would have remembered you,” he confided in a stage whisper loud enough for his friends to hear. Screech-clone then grabbed Xander’s waist band and pulled Xander into his own body, tall guy still attached at the hip. Xander might have made eye contact with Carlos, only he felt the paper slide in with the man’s fingers. For the first time in months, Xander realized that he was going to have enough money that his mother wouldn’t have to take any overtime shifts to pay for the rent. He just smiled and held the tray to one side.
“First night here,” he agreed as suit number three moved in on the only open side. The man reached his hand up and put his palm on Xander’s cheek in the most intimate gesture Xander had ever shared with a man. Pulling Xander’s face toward his, suit #3 leaned in and kissed Xander—not a tender kiss, but a commanding kiss. His tongue reached out and slipped under Xander’s upper lip, pulling it out far enough for the man’s teeth to close over it firmly enough to earn a gasp from Xander. At the open invitation, the man’s tongue quickly moved into Xander’s mouth and suit #3’s hand slipped behind Xander’s head to keep him immobile as the suit explored Xander’s mouth even as Xander’s body remained trapped between the two friends. After a couple of minutes, the man pulled back and held up a twenty dollar bill.
“Very nice,” he commented as he slipped the bill in the front of Xander’s jeans so far down that the paper brushed the top of Xander’s cock. Xander looked up to see Carlos obviously perched to descend on the trio, but Xander intentionally broke eye contact, giving Carlos no reason to interfere. When suit #3 had deposited his money, he left his hand beneath Xander’s jeans, his splayed fingers stretching across Xander lower stomach scant centimeters from Xander’s now painfully enlarged cock. This gave Screech-clone a chance to let go of Xander’s jeans without risking Xander’s escape.
“My turn,” he announced as he placed his hands on either side of Xander’s face and pulled Xander’s head to his own. This time Xander knew what to expect, and he opened his mouth before the lip bite could be repeated. “Eager,” Screech-clone approvingly mumbled before covering Xander’s lips with his own. This time Xander felt the suction almost immediately, and the invading tongue worked at prying his own tongue out of Xander’s mouth and into Screech-clone’s. Xander complied and used his tongue to explore the other’s mouth, to find the unfamiliar tastes. Where normally Xander tasted gum and lemonade and sweetness in the kiss of a girl, this kiss tasted of alcohol and lust and a faint trace of cigarette.
Before Xander could finish cataloguing the differences, the man’s teeth closed even as the suction continued. Xander tried to withdraw his head, but a hand latched on to the back of his head and pulled him forward. He tried to pull back his tongue, but the teeth tightened and Xander froze. He supposed he could drop the tray, but he didn’t want to have to scramble for far messier potato skins with the dance floor this crowded. As soon as Xander froze, the man’s teeth eased up, and Xander felt the other man’s tongue stroking along the underside of his tongue in rhythm with a stroking that now began on his left nipple.
Xander relaxed, but then a nail raked his nipple, and he groaned as his body sent so much blood to his cock that it closed the distance between it and suit #3’s fingertips. When Xander felt the head of his cock nudge the warm finger, he groaned into the mouth that still held his tongue captive and still stroked it. “Nice hardly seems adequate,” Screech clone commented as he finally released Xander’s mouth. Suit #3 reluctantly withdrew his hand, and Screech-clone held up his twenty dollars. Xander held still as the hand with the money disappeared down the front of Xander’s jeans. This time, the hand didn’t stop until it had pushed the money between Xander’s cock and his lower stomach, allowing Screech-clone to run his finger down half the length of Xander Jr., who twitched approvingly.
With a glance over his shoulder toward the black-vested bouncer, Screech-clone pulled his hand out until he once again had a firm hold on the front of Xander’s waist band. Suit #3 now closed his own fist around the left side of Xander’s waistband, leaving him unable to move at all, especially since he still held his tray between the two men.
Xander now turned his attention to tall guy who had kept his hand inserted beneath Xander’s jeans and on Xander’s right hip the entire time. Obviously the other two weren’t going to let go until the third got his kiss. Xander watched the dark-haired man over his shoulder, waiting to see how he would react. After several seconds of no one moving, Xander began to squirm, but he really couldn’t move much with all three men holding him. “Uh, food getting cold here,” Xander finally pointed out as he raised the tray slightly.
“Let’s take this somewhere private,” tall man suggested and nodded at the other two. All three of them began maneuvering Xander toward one of the semi-private tables shielded by a half-wall planter. Xander felt himself being bodily pushed, and he planted both feet as firmly as possible.
“No!” he commanded as he looked around for Carlos. Before he could make eye contact, tall man pulled his head back around with a palm on his cheek.
“I promise to make you cry with pleasure,” he purred.
“And I said no. Either let me go right now, or you’re going to find yourself tossed out on your ass.” Xander insisted with more vehemence than he really felt. Of course, it didn't help that Xander Jr. kept insisting that this was exactly what he wanted.
“Playing cock-tease?” Screech-clone asked with a sneer.
“You started the game, you did the teasing. I’m just running food. Let me go now,” Xander hotly returned even though he couldn't turn to face Screech-clone with the tall man's hands holding his head captive. He was surprised when the men instantly complied, but when he turned, he saw that Carlos had obviously spotted the problem because he had moved up to stand directly behind Xander. His narrowed eyes and clenched fists convinced the three suits far more than Xander’s words. Unfortunately, Carlos’ rock hard body also made a perfect target for the tray as Xander swung around. When his tray met the side of Carlos’ body, the bowls of potato skins slid wildly and then careened off the edge of the tray onto the bouncer’s black and white pants and then onto the wood floor.
“Shit,” Xander cursed as he instantly dropped to his knees and started grabbing bowls and now cold potato skins off the floor. Carlos stood stunned for a moment, but when the three suits hurriedly backed away, he looked down and assessed the damage.
“Are you sure you’re not doing this for tips?” Carlos asked as he checked out his grease stained pants and the men who now eyed Xander as he knelt on the floor scrambling to grab the scattered food.
“Hardee-har-har. Go on, get changed. They aren’t going to give me any more grief,” Xander told Carlos as he spotted the three suits disappearing into the dancing men on the floor. Carlos turned and nodded to one of the other bouncers to take up Xander watching before he left the floor. Xander sighed. Why did everyone think he needed a body guard?
“You look good on your knees, luv,” came a British voice, and Xander looked up into stunning blue eyes within a beautiful angular face that made Xander want to reach up and touch it. Of course, since his hands were covered in potato goo, that might not be the best move.
“Don't expect to ever see the sight again,” he dryly snarked back instead. That earned him a short barking laugh. However the laugh disappeared immediately as another customer came up behind Xander to join in the fun.
Xander figured he was about to endure another round of grab the new guy’s ass, but the British man stepped forward so that his boots were inches from Xander face and snapped, “Back off, git. Go find your own.” To Xander’s amazement, the other man practically stumbled as he backed away with his hands held up in a mock surrender. Xander leaned back on his knees and looked up at blue eyes in confusion. The man didn’t look particularly threatening: the long, black leather duster and bleached hair and black fingernails certainly suggested a certain willingness to break the rules, but the man’s build was almost painfully thin, and his fingers were long and delicate—hardly the sort to send another man running in fear.
Xander was still trying to figure out why this man seemed so different when Mr. Blue Eyes crouched down on the balls of his feet, practically bouncing with energy. With a movement too quick to follow, he snatched the tray from Xander’s finders and grandly waved with his free hand. “Go on, grab it up ‘fore the great unwashed here fall on their arses.” Xander hurried to do just that, dropping the ruined and mashed treats into bowls and depositing those on the tray Blue Eyes held for him. Every time Xander turned to chase another bit of food, he expected the grope and the dirty dollar bill finding its way into his jeans; however, blue eyes just hunched down, still bouncing on the balls of his feet, with an almost predatory smile on his face.
Xander dropped the last of the bowls on the tray and pulled the small towel out to wipe his hands before dropping it back on the tray. When he then reached out to take the tray from the blue eyed man, the man whipped the tray behind his back with a smirk.
"What are ya prepared to pay for this, mate? After all, I don't do kind acts—expect to be paid for my services," the blonde leered. Xander groaned at the same time that Xander Jr. twitched and grew. The blonde's eyes widened, almost as if he knew, but Xander refused to be intimidated. He had faced off against vampires and monsters, he wasn't going to back down to a Goth reject bar fly.
"Since the tray is mine, I don't expect to pay anything," Xander said, straightening up and standing over the still crouching stranger. When Blue Eyes also stood up, Xander sighed in relief when he saw that the lanky stranger stood a good inch shorter than him. At least he wouldn't have to ask the bouncer for a rescue…this time. "In fact," he continued as Blue Eyes ran his gaze up and down Xander's body. "In Fact," he repeated louder when it became clear that Blue Eyes wasn't listening. This time, those stunning blue eyes settled on his face with the eyebrows raised in a look of both curiosity and amusement. "You cost me quite a few tips scaring off the customers like that," Xander pointed out with a head nod toward the crowd behind him.
"So, you do the whole crawlin' thing for money, do ya?" Blue Eyes asked with the corners of his mouth twitching into an even wider smile.
"It's not like….I just dropped the ….You’re twisting my words, and it doesn't change the fact that you're still scaring off the tipping customers AND keeping me from doing my job." Xander felt a moment of pride that he had managed to recover from the moment of babble. Of course, with those brilliant blue eyes staring at him as if they could see right through him, babbling in some form was inevitable. Xander Jr. valiantly tried to break through the denim of his jeans, and Xander watched as Blue Eyes' nose widened in an almost feral sniff. Damn, the man could even inhale sexy.
"Not stopping anything," Blue Eyes insisted. "You pay up and I'll be on my way, mate." Blue Eyes slowly winked at Xander who stood there silently trembling.
"I don't…If you don't leave, I'll get the bouncer. One look to him, and you'll find yourself thrown right out of here 'cause T doesn't take any shit from the customers. And this whole refusing to give me the tray shit, that is definitively giving me shit, and he won't take that," Xander gasped in one breath as Blue Eyes walked toward him. Xander unconsciously backed up until he found himself backed up against one of the half walls with his back toward the caged runway.
"What bouncer?" Blue Eyes inquired quietly. Xander looked around in a panic and realized that the black-vested guardian had disappeared, leaving Xander backed against the wall with Blue Eyes a matter of inches away from him, the tray still held behind his back. Without a word, blue eyes set the tray down precariously on the half wall, the edge of the planter making it tilt dangerously.
"So, payment now," Blue Eyes demanded in his English accent as he slowly put a hand on either side of Xander, resting them on the half wall and leaning in toward Xander who had suddenly frozen. Xander felt his stomach tingle in a way that it never did with Charlie or even Gunn. He could feel his balls draw up in preparation, and he drew a deep breath, trying to calm himself before he embarrassed himself in front of the whole club, or at least the two or three men actually paying attention to their little drama.
"What payment?" Xander squeaked in an attempt to maintain his manly dignity. Okay, the squeaking part probably ruined the whole dignity thing, but he still wasn't going to play along. At least, he didn't plan to until he felt the hand descend on his arm. The long fingers grasped his arm much more tightly than he had expected, and he could feel the fingers through the cool silk.
"Red, my favorite color," Blue Eyes whispered as he moved in toward Xander, leaning his body against Xander's slightly larger frame. His second hand moved in toward Xander's neck, slipping in under the silk, and caressing the junction of his neck and shoulder. When cool, slim fingers pressed into the skin of Xander's scar, Xander felt his whole body shudder in pleasure. "Oh yeah, knew I was right about you," Blue Eyes whispered as he lowered his mouth to Xander's and aggressively invaded with a strong tongue that tasted of whiskey and metal and cigarettes.
Xander felt himself moan into the mouth as he lost all control of his body. Blue Eyes ravished his mouth, caressed his scar, and slowly leaned his hip into Xander's erection. He could take no more, and he gave a small scream and came for the second time that night. Hoping that the rest of the crowd hadn't noticed since his scream had been muffled by Blue Eyes' mouth over his, he stood there with his eyes closed, semen soaking into his jeans, and Blue Eyes' hand still on his arm, holding him motionless with the single gesture. Xander's legs trembled and struggled to hold up his weight, but eventually Xander opened his eyes and found Blue Eyes still grinning. "You tell Cassidy that Spike did that to you," Blue Eyes commanded as he ran a finger down the now damp crotch of the jeans.
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