Danny Marshall drops in on his favorite upscale gay bar, Frank’s Place, in hopes of finding Mr. Right or, if necessary, Mr. Right Now. With Christmas right around the corner, the place is nearly empty except for one man. Attractive by most standards but not Danny’s type, Danny decides what the hell and tries to score.
Even though the mysterious stranger isn't Danny's type, Danny finds himself falling for the man. But when the man disappears from the scene, Danny if left confused and frustrated.
Could this be the Mr. Right Danny has been searching for? Will Danny reconnect with the tall, handsome man? Can he discover the secret that caused the stranger to leave him hanging?
The guy had a full beard, well trimmed. There was a tuft of thick, dark hair curling out from under the crew neck of the T-shirt he wore under the flannel. He had a diamond stud in each ear. All things that were on Danny Marshall's 'not a plus list.'
"Nice to meet you, Al. I'm Danny. Can I sit down?"
"Sure, if you want."
Not going well, Danny mused. Oh well, let's see where this goes.
"Never saw you in here before."
"Come here often?"
"A couple times."
Okay, this is going nowhere fast.
While Danny tried to engage Al in conversation, he continued to check him out. He had stretched out again and crossed his legs. The bulge was even more impressive close up. Danny's own appendage appreciated the sight. His legs were muscular and it showed even through the jeans. He held his drink in his left hand. Danny checked it for a wedding band and found none. His right was in the pocket of his pants. His biceps and chest stretched the fabric of the shirt. Danny figured eighteen inch arms, forty-six inch chest. A little more muscular than he liked ‘em but nice nonetheless.
Al saw Danny looking at his crotch. Danny realized he'd been caught, and looked up at his face with a slight blush. Al didn't react one way or the other.
Danny looked into Al's eyes. They were deep dark pools of liquid. They held his. What was going on in them? They were sad, yet there was longing. Desire was in them as well as fear. Danny's heartbeat increased. Suddenly the things that weren’t on his plus list didn't seem to matter so much.
He realized he was staring at Al and said, " Nice earrings."
Holy shit! Real smooth, Marshall!
"Uh, yeah, er ... they were a gift from a friend," Al stammered.
Better not go there, thought Danny.
Danny continued to try different approaches to get Al to open up but nothing seemed to work. He reluctantly decided it was a lost cause but couldn't quite bring himself to break off the attempted connection. He was just going to excuse himself when:
"I owe you a drink, what are you drinking?"
Danny's heart leapt. Why had he reacted that way? "Vodka, water with lime, thanks."
As Al walked away, Danny was given another reason to lust after the man. His buns more than made up for the other shortcomings.
Returning to the table, Al asked, "I guess you're a regular here?"
Danny decided to break one of his own come on rules: never talk about yourself, show an interest in the target. For the next few minutes he talked about his work, Frank's Place, his interests.
"Well, that's enough about me. Tell me about you?"
"Nothin' much to tell. Work for New City Construction." He touched the brim of his hat indicating the insignia. "Site foreman. That's about it."
"You married?" Danny had to ask. It was pretty standard procedure here. "Got a boyfriend?"
Al's eyes flashed before returning to normal, only more guarded than before.
"Uh ... no." Al looked really uncomfortable. "Well, I better get going." He started to get up. “Nice to meet."
Before Danny could think what he was doing, he reached out and covered Al's hand with his.
"Hey, look, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be nosey. Please don't go."
Al relaxed back against the chair. "S'okay." The eyes pleaded with Danny as if something inside of the man was saying, Help me, set me free.
Danny removed his hand from Al's. Al was looking down at the table. He looked uncomfortable. "Really, I didn't mean to go where I had no business going ..." Danny started to say.
"Forget it, not your fault."
Something seemed to be stirring inside Danny that had little to do with the strong physical attraction he was now feeling for this man, overcoming all the aspects that he had hitherto considered unappealing, something that he didn't quite understand.
They sat for a long time in silence; neither one seemed to know what to do next. Frank came over with refills for their drinks. "On the house," he said, and winked at Danny.
The addition of a third drink to their systems relaxed them both and gave Danny the courage to suggest, “Play or pass?”
“What?” Al asked wrinkling his brow.
“Sorry, guess you don’t know the code. Let me try again. Would you like to spend sometime with me upstairs?”