Llewellyn "Llew" Dane lives for his job, or rather, to pay down his student loans. He enjoys what he does, but also appreciates the eye-candy provided by Marc Temple, a senior manager. A pair of jeans had never looked so good on a man.
In the open-minded atmosphere of the company where people date each other constantly, it would be easy to approach Marc and announce his interest. But Llew has been rejected so often by men in the past that he doesn't see the point in trying. And yeah, he's broke. How impressive would that be to a man like Marc?
Turns out, Marc doesn't care about such things, and he has his eye on Llew, even if crossed lines of communication and serious self-doubt make a possible romance complicated. Llew needs to learn to relax and enjoy life. And maybe, give Marc a chance to show him how.
When I entered the club, the music was still loud, like last time, but it was marginally less obnoxious. I recognized Marc and some of the staff on the other side of the bar and went in that direction.
"Llew! Glad you could make it." His grin lit up that corner of the room, and yeah, I was toast.
"Hey, Marc." I greeted the others, as well and ordered a beer.
"On me," Marc cut in, and I thanked him.
When I got the bottle, I leaned against the bar, sipping the brew while I watched everyone's antics. Yeah, some folks couldn't dance, but they had fun trying. Marc took turns with each staff member, and the way his hips moved got me hard, despite my intentions to the contrary. I drank more beer.
"Your turn," Marc said in my ear, sometime later, and I barely repressed a shiver.
He took me by the hand and led me out to the dance floor, which wasn't as packed as last Friday, but still plenty full. All my inhibitions left as the music flowed through me, like always, and I saw Marc's eyes widen a bit before a grin took over his face, and we had a dance off, of sorts.
Too many songs later, and perhaps not enough, I staggered off the floor in search of a bottle of water. "You've got some moves, Llew. I would never have thought you could let loose like that." And there went my euphoria.
"Yeah, I get that a lot." I gulped down the water which Marc insisted be put on his tab, despite my protests, and decided it was time to go home. "Thanks for the dance, and the night out. I'm gonna head home."
"Wait!" I heard Marc say, but I was so outta there, I couldn't leave fast enough.
I got out the door and opened the Uber app on my phone to find a ride. There was a line behind me outside the club, snaking around the building. Over their chatter, I heard footsteps.
"Why do you do that?" I looked to my right see Marc staring at me, a frown visible on his face under the streetlight.
"Do what?" I asked, not sure what he meant. But deep down, I probably knew.
"You walk away before you give people a chance to get to know you better. You did it on Saturday, and just now."
I fiddled with my phone so I wouldn't have to look him in the eye. "It's easier that way," I surprised myself by admitting. "There's not much that's exciting about me. And I've learned it's best to keep to myself and not get my hopes up for anything."
Marc moved to stand in front of me. "Look at me, Llew." Reluctantly, I did. "The people who treated you like that aren't worth knowing. I like what I know of you, and I would be proud to call you a friend, to start with."
My brow furrowed. "What do you mean?"
He smiled. "You think I don't know you check me out?"
"Oh God." I covered my face with my free hand. "Please. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to be so obvious. It must have been uncomfortable for you, knowing I… Wait. Tonight wasn't some kind of freebie, was it?" I was suddenly horrified that Marc had invited me tonight out of pity. "Tell me you weren't throwing me a bone."
"No!" Marc said, and he grabbed my upper arms to stop me from running away. "Slow down, Llew. I wanted you to have some fun. You don't seem to do that much, and I wanted to do that for you."
I shrugged out of his grip, mortified. "So, you feel sorry for me. Great. That's just great." I backed away from him. "I think I'll walk for a while." I turned around and left, because I didn't know how much lower I could sink in my own opinion of myself.