This is from my current work-in-progress, a male/male contemporary romance.
They were moving on to talking about tattoos, which was probably for the best. Rad already felt like enough of an idiot for saying he wanted Dorsey to be his friend. Of all the stupid, immature things that could have fallen out of his mouth, that pretty much topped the list.
Dorsey hadn’t seemed to mind, though. In fact, he’d almost looked happy about it, right up until he’d gotten upset. And Rad wasn’t sure, but he didn’t think that necessarily had to do with his mentioning friendship.
“I want a rainbow,” he blurted, hoping that focusing on the tattoo design would give them both a break from getting too serious.
Dorsey raised his eyebrows. “A rainbow?”
“For the tattoo.” Rad hesitated. He couldn’t tell what Dorsey’s opinion of the idea was. “It was my stage name. Rainbow. For the time I did drag. The other queens didn’t think it was a good name, but I liked it.”
“So you want a rainbow tat to remember that time?” Dorsey looked confused. “It sounded like things didn’t go so well for you.”
“They didn’t.” Rad took a deep breath. He’d already spilled enough of his guts to Dorsey, and he hated dumping out even more. But he’d meant it when he said Dorsey was easy to talk to, and it wasn’t as if he could talk about this to anyone else. Aside from Gram, who wouldn’t have understood, and Melanie, who would probably be upset, Rad had no one else to talk to.
“I was seeing this guy,” he said. “He was a lot older. He had a thing for younger guys and a thing for drag queens, because he used to be one. So he kind of decided we were in a relationship and he wanted me to do drag, which was fine with me because I wanted to do it.”
“Okay.” Dorsey dragged out the second syllable. “Basically, you had a guy trying to recapture his youth by fucking guys young enough to be his kid?”
The description caught Rad so much by surprise that he choked on nothing at all. Doubled over in a coughing fit, he tried to catch his breath. Dorsey was absolutely right. That was a perfect way to explain Abe.
And it sucked that Rad hadn’t realized it in time to salvage his heart and dignity. At least he’d gotten out when he had. Things could only have gotten worse if he’d stayed.
“Here.” Dorsey had come around the counter when Rad wasn’t paying attention. He held out a bottle of water. “I haven’t opened it yet, so you don’t have to worry about sharing germs with me.”
“Thanks.” Rad opened the bottle. The urge to say he hoped to share germs in a completely different way was almost overwhelming, but he managed to keep his mouth shut.
He sipped the water slowly so he wouldn’t trigger more coughing, and straightened up to look at Dorsey. The man wore a tight blue shirt that was, other than the color, exactly like the black one he’d worn the day before. His faded jeans fit just right, and Rad’s mouth watered as he thought about what was under those jeans.
For a second, his fantasy from that morning floated through his brain, and he started to get hard. Quickly he took another drink and turned away, hoping to hell Dorsey wouldn’t notice.