When video game designer Brett Bett attends a New Year's Eve party, he reunites with friends and foes. Happily single with no intention of discovering a "possible" boyfriend, Brett meets the private party's handsome bartender, Nevin McBane. The attraction between them is immediate.
Through an assortment of party games, the two become quite acquainted with each other. Numerous drinks are shared, histories of their pasts are learned, and dancing becomes necessary.
Frankly, Brett thinks he’s met a great guy, a charmer. Someone he can maybe fall for. As midnight approaches and the clock counts down to the New Year, Brett must make a decision. Does he want to go home with Nevin after the party, or stay single and unencumbered?
I move up to the bar and meet the charming ginger, ask for a Kamikaze, and his name. Too charming. Too handsome. Totally my type because of his football frame.
He nods, semi-winks at me, and begins to prepare my drink, half filling a cocktail glass with ice. "It's only fair that I ask what your name is."
"Not everything's fair in life," I chortle.
He studies me, squints -- thick black hair, tiny nose, six-two, muscular with broad shoulders, 210 pounds, lucky green eyes -- and maybe likes what he sees. "How old are you, Mr. Nameless?"
"Same." He pours vodka over the ice and adds some triple sec and lime juice. Nevin stirs the drink and garnishes it with a slice of lime. He places it on a square napkin in front of me, winks at me again. "Enjoy, stranger ... whatever your name is, stud."
I can't stop looking at his six-one frame of constructed muscles, studying him as if he is a newfound planet in the universe. He has dimples and dotted freckles over the bridge of his nose. His eyes are a soft green, providing me with luck when I easily fall into them, and his eyebrows are bushy, orange caterpillars. His chest is as wide as the flat: massive shoulders, rounded pecs, and hard nipples. And his abdominal area is flat, rippled, drawing most of my attention away from his dreamy, misty green eyes.
There's an obvious connection between our two worlds; an attraction that is drawn from light flirting. I think how our bodies can glide together under the sheets, bringing in the New Year. I'm not out to get laid, though, at least not tonight. Truth is, sometimes I just want to get to know a guy, begin to understand his layers, absorb him, and build a friendship. If sleeping with the guy comes later, then good for me. One night stands aren't my thing. Life with men isn't a game for me. Never has been. Never will be. I take the gentlemen I meet for their worth, unable to use each, and show them respect. Games are foolish, I've learned, tawdry and troublesome. With age comes wisdom, and the old cliché stands true for me.
He waits on other guests, earning his keep. I watch him smile at Tony's invited guests. It seems quite charming when he laughs because they laugh, spoiling them with his ginger looks. When he's given money as tips, he pushes the green bills back to the guests and explains, "Thank you, but Mr. DeAngelo has already handled my earnings." It sounds elite and somewhat prestigious, which I become enlightened by, enjoying.
Eventually, Nevin makes his way back to me. I tell him the cocktail is amazing. "Nicely done. Sometimes a man can't make a drink if his life depends on it." I wink at him, maybe flirting. "Other men can, though, like you."
He wipes the bar off with a wet rag, keeping the marble tidy. "You're just trying to get in my pants, Mr. Nameless."
I toast and tease him. "Maybe. Maybe not. We'll see what the evening brings. I might even tell you my name."
Curiosity obviously surfaces for him and he asks, "How do you know Tony?"
"Just good friends. My mother met his mother at the gym when we were kids. The two of us started playing video games together, swimming, basketball, and bike riding. Thirty years later and we're still friends. The only differences are simple: he's in a higher income bracket and I'm queer."
"So you're faithful to those close to you."
I nod. "It's the only way to be."
He does what every bartender does that I've met: spreads his arms a little and places his palms on the bar, leaning over. He makes eye contact with me. "You have a boyfriend?"
I shake my head. "He dumped me eight months ago."
"Of course. I put too much into our relationship and always thought I liked him more than me. Accountants turn me on, though, and I couldn't help myself. I should have known right from the start that it wasn't going to work out."
"Accountants?" he chuckles.
"Don't judge me. I get off on the horn-rimmed glasses, tight suits, and calculators. It's an odd fetish, but nothing shocking."
"I'm not judging. Just getting to know you. So tell me what you do for a living, stranger."
"Long title short, I design action-packed video games."
He raises his brows, fully interested in my career. "I play a lot. Which ones?"
I rattle off, "Temple of Rusk, High Tower Prison Break, Braham's Vampire Castle, and the Cutter trilogy."
Taken aback by the titles, he glows with a smile. "I love Cutter. Can't get enough of the zombies he fights. It's the best game series ever."
I cock my head to the right and question, "Aren't you a little old to be playing video games, mister?"
"You can never be too old for games. They keep the mind sharp. Studies have proven they help to prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's and ..."
I cut him off with, "You're full of shit. They murder brains, just as Brick Cutter does to zombies."
"Did you base him on yourself, Brett?"
I nod. Why not confess the obvious. "He looks just like me, right?"
Nevin grins from ear to ear, liking my answer. "You need another drink," he says, looking at the empty cocktail glass in front of me. He takes the glass and begins creating another specialty concoction.
"Fill me up."
"Feel as in touch?" he plays with me, raising his brows, still grinning.
"It depends what you want to do with me."
"You're a bad boy, aren't you, stranger?"
I shrug. "I can be anyone and anything you want me to be."
He laughs, preparing me a fresh drink. When he passes the beverage to me, our fingers touch. "Tell me your name. Don't make me beg. I hate guys who make me beg for things."
I stare into his intoxicating, green eyes, grin. I lift my drink. "Brick ... Brick Cutter." I lie over my right shoulder, wink, and walk away.
He laughs, waves a goodbye at me.
Mission of teasing accomplished.
Maybe we'll see each other again before the evening's over.