Rory Murphy is so close to being a professor, he can't sit still. As the last summer of his student career begins, he lands an interview with a prestigious school overseas -- only to bomb it with a silly mistake. His successful ex won't talk to him anymore. And his childhood lisp, the one that he did grueling hours of speech therapy to remove, now seems to come back at the most inopportune moments, like a fun game of trivia where he can't even say the right answers anymore. Utterly defeated, Rory thinks that his life -- at least his love life -- might just be over. When a bartender named Taggart Floros offers him a drink and midnight camaraderie, Rory wonders if he was wrong about everything not going as he first planned.
Taggart Floros is trying to take life as easy as he can. When he's not working at the campus bar run by his cousin, he's volunteering at an animal shelter, or boning up on his random trivia knowledge, like micro-brews of the region, 1980s movies, or famous gangsters. Rory catches his eye right away, mostly because he does not quite seem to understand just how smart and cute he really is.
As the two fall more in love, Taggart should be feeling on top of the world. But his troubled past, and the main reason why Taggart has given up his own dreams of being a high school teacher, still haunt him. Deep down, Taggart fears it won't be long before someone makes all the connections, and his last secret is revealed.
This song was perfect. This song was ... Taggart grabbed Rory’s hand.
“Come on,” he said. “Just give it a shot.”
The two of them left the bar and headed to the centre of The Green Room, where most of the dancing was occurring. All the regular tables and chairs had been placed against the wall to make room for a dance floor. Taggart recognized the four Crocodile Dundee women in the centre, grinding against one another while also tilting their hats. There were two people dressed as Madonna also dancing together, and two men dressed as David Bowie doing the same. There were heterosexual couples spaced out at the edges as well, but it seemed to be the queer crowd taking centre stage. Taggart’s heart rate tripled with excitement. This was going to be great. This was going to be wonderful.
He put Rory’s hand on his hip. He locked eyes with him under the low lights. By the time Michael Hutchinson was singing, they were swaying together. “See?” Taggart said, whispering into Rory’s ear. “Not that hard at all.”
Rory visibly swallowed and nodded. Their hips collided once again and they both shuddered. The song gave them the courage to continue, and whatever was not provided by their own desire, the limited alcohol consumption helped along. Soon, no space existed between their bodies. As the song’s lyrics built to an overwhelming whine, Rory melted in his hands. Their lips met with a new force; not just a quick peck to steal away a moment, but something that could spawn all night.
By the time the song was over, they were both red faced from making out. The heat between them had grown. Taggart couldn’t help himself and pressed hips against Rory, and then met his mouth again. Rory kissed back with surprising force. He placed his hands on Taggart’s neck and anchored him in place. When the next song came on, “When Doves Cry” by Prince, Rory continued to kiss him feverishly even as Taggart tried to sway to the music.
“This has been fun,” Taggart said, once he broke away from the kiss. He was weak in his knees. The dancing area was too hot, and while he was still afraid they were too new for this, he could not deny his own attraction any longer. “Do you want to get out of here?”
Rory could only nod. Taggart slid his hands down his back and stopped just before his jeans. “Do you?”
Rory nodded, but Taggart kissed him until he said it aloud. A second passed between their kiss and Rory’s nod, but it felt like eternity. “Yes. Yes I do. My place?”