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Nines worked hard to get where he was now. Growing up under the shadow of two older brothers was bad enough – factor in that they were twins and you have yourself an impossible situation. He loved his brothers, he really did, but fuck did they annoy him. Constantly bickering, teasing him, and just being generally loud and irritating. Nines may be the youngest of the three, but he liked to think that he was the most mature of them.

He still somehow ended up working alongside one of his brothers – Connor – as a homicide detective, placed at the DPD. It had been a coincidence, really. Although, some days, Nines questions whether it was a lucky one or not.

Luckily, Sixty had decided that the route of the law wasn't for him and instead ventured into a life of the military. His plan was to become one of the youngest sergeants before he retired and, by the looks of his fast progress already, he was well on his way to achieving his goal. Nines was proud of him.

Being only a year younger than his brothers, and literally working with one of them, meant that they were pretty close – as far as siblings were, at least. They argued, of course, but Nines knew that he could always rely on them to have his back.

Which explained why, after another gruelling shift of a dead-end interrogation and heaps of paperwork, Connor was insisting that he joined them on this weeks work night-out: consisting of a small group of work friends, getting drunk and spending time together outside of the precinct. They engaged in them weekly, of course, but Nines would rarely go; finding that he preferred his strict routine of waking up, going to work, passing out at God knows what time in the morning and occasionally fitting in a session at the gym. Besides, he usually stayed late to finish off reports – finding it easier to focus on them in the peaceful emptiness of the precinct.

He thought it was a perfectly adequate set-up. Unfortunately, Connor disagreed; insisting that it was no life for a 27 year old. Hell, it wasn't even the life for Connor’s 50-something year old partner – Lieutenant Anderson. Although, Nines was pretty sure that Hank wasn't a regular guy in his fifties.

It was useless arguing with his brother, especially since Connor could quite clearly see the stress built up in him. Curses of knowing someone your whole life.

So, Nines finds himself being dragged out of the precinct as his shift ends, Connor beaming. “It'll help you relax, Nines, trust us!” Us being his brother, Hank, Chris, Kim and Zach. All detectives at the DPD, mostly Connor's friends but Nines was comfortable enough around them. “You work too hard. You need to allow your self some pleasures in life.”

Nines disagreed with his brother but couldn't find the heart to say so, seeing the excited look on Connor's face that had almost become a rarity with the cases that they handled on a daily. Nines kind of wished he could smile so freely, be less rigid and just enjoy life.

He immediately regrets that thought as they stop outside a building, familiar enough from the countless times he's passed it on his drive to and from work. Neon pink sign flashing overheard, casting shadows on the dark street, pulsing music already audible from outside and a distinct smell of body odour and booze.

‘Eden Club'

Nines scoffed. Typical cheesy strip club name.

Nobody else seemed deterred, in fact they were all smiling and joking together as they filed through the double doored entrance, dragging Nines along with them.

Inside is...well, Nines can't decide if it's better or worse than it's exterior appearance. Black leather booths line the walls, dim lighting meaning he has to squint to see clearly. It actually looks quite classy, compared to the grungy state of it outside. However, the stench is definitely worse inside; mingling with overpowering perfumes. Nines gags.

Dancers are parading along a platform stage in the centre of the room, attracting the attention of a large amount of the customers inside. Granted, even Nines can't help but linger over them, captivated by their fluid movements. Each dancer wears clothes that leave little to the imagination as they drape themselves around the two poles on stage.

Nines looks away, feeling embarrassed and slightly uncomfortable. He's not used to these sorts of social situations. He doesn't know the protocol.

“This place isn't quite what I'd expected when you said you'd ‘found a good nightclub’, Connor.” Hanks gruff voice said, and Nines huffed an agreeing laugh. This definitely wasn't what he'd expected either.

Connor waved his partner off with a dismissive hand, “Markus chose it! We've been before bu-"

“Woah, no, okay. Don't need to know the details of your sex life, Connor.”

Connor smirked, clearly enjoying his partner's mild distress. Nines felt pity for the man; he knew Connor could be a handful. Especially now that he's dating Markus – the rebellious, aspiring politician. Markus was a good man, Nines wouldn't let him near his brother if he wasn't, but he definitely brought out Connor's more...disorderly side.

He made Connor happier, though. Nines could live with that.

Speaking of the devil, Nines caught sight of his brother's boyfriend sat in a nearby booth waving them over. His close friend, Josh, was also with him.

They joined the two friends, sliding into the booth and greeting each other. Nines was perched on the edge of the booth. A fast escape if he needs it.

Connor wastes no time in seating himself on his boyfriend's lap, leaning into Markus’ hand as it drags through his hair.

 

An hour. That's how long Nines lasts.

The conversation has drifted to something he's not really interested in. He figures he's done enough socialising anyway; he learnt that Kim's just gone through a rather messy break-up with her long-term girlfriend, Zach plans on buying a new car (next model up from his current one) and Chris and his wife are expecting a baby.

By now, most of them are too drunk to form a coherent sentence that would make sense to someone sober. They don't seem bothered though because they can all understand each other in their inebriated states.

Across the table, Connor his kissing his way down Markus' jaw in a display that Nines find rather indecent – even more so since that's his brother. Connor has no worries for other people's thoughts of him, however, and makes no attempt to stop. Not even when Markus' hands travel questionably lower.

Nines grimaces, averting his eyes. He tries to focus on the club, the people milling around, the dancers on stage. Anything.

It doesn't help.

He considers slipping away, going home and getting an early night ready for tomorrow's shift. Knows he should; those here that are working tomorrow will definitely be hungover. Nobody would probably notice his absence.

But just as he's about to get up and leave, movement on the stage catches his eye and he looks over just in time to see a new dancer walk on – all the others gone so that he's on his own. He seems unfazed by being the centre of most of the customers’ attention. Nines settles back into the booth, eyes following the new dancer as he walks further out onto the stage, hooking an arm around one of the poles.

Soft, tousled hair compliments a light dusting of stubble, shades lighter than Nines’ own hair. Grey eyes blaze viridescent under the flashing lights above him. He wears a seductive smile, red-tinted lips curled into a luring trap, capturing the attention of all who look at him.

Then there's his drop-dead gorgeous figure. Nines is ashamed to even think of someone like that but he can't help it; dressed in skin-tight, leather pants and only a loosened tie around his neck – tanned chest and toned stomach exposed with no shame. Fuck, Nines really can't stop the fast derailing of his thoughts.

The dancer demonstrates practised grace as he flaunts along the stage, bending down to brush fingertips along strangers' jaws, biting his lip teasingly and swaying his body to the sensual music pulsating through the club. Nines is enthralled, watching the show from a distance.

He thinks he's safe, tucked away in the booth surrounded by his drunken friends, watching without being noticed. Nobody can make fun of him because nobody has noticed.

Yet, somehow, he thought wrong. As the dancer drapes a leg around a pole, twirling down and bending backwards in a way that should surely be impossible for the human body, he catches Nines’ gaze. Nines is sure he does; feels the silvery eyes burn into his with such intensity that he almost jumps up and leaves.

He doesn't though. He can't. He's enthralled by this stranger, who's now smirking in his direction as he drops to the floor with delicate movement. Neither break eye contact.

Nines watches as the guy trails his own hands down his chest, lower...fuck, he palms at his dick on stage to an eruption of lewd catcalls from those closer to him. Nines clenches a fist, determined not to get turned on by this indecent display.

But then the guy's bucking into his hand, arching his back like a cat and smirking like he knows. Which is ridiculous; how can he know what Nines is thinking?

The eye contact is broken as the guy closes his eyes, dropping to his knees and carrying out a series of obscene movements that have Nines flushing red. He's thankful for the dim lighting.

When the guy looks back up, he seems to seek out Nines’ gaze immediately – which is a ridiculous thought, really. It's just a coincidence. Surely?

Nines doubts himself when a suggestive wink is thrown his way, stomach flitting. The guy's back on a pole now, attention no longer on Nines. He can't help the disappointment that he feels however, that doesn't stop him from watching the dancer.

“He's insanely attractive.” a voice states from beside him, and he laughs seeing Kim watching the dancer too. “If I swung that way, I'd totally hit that.” The statement catches him off guard and he hums in agreement, stealing Connor's abandoned pint of beer to distract his thoughts from how he would also ‘hit that', as Kim had put it.

Perhaps he doesn't need to leave just yet, he decides. He does deserve a break, after all. And so he settles in for a few more hours out, consuming more alcohol than he'd originally intended to and sharing comments about the good-looking dancer with Kim.

He didn't return home until gone midnight but he found that he didn't particularly care; he felt more relaxed than he'd felt in months. He fell asleep with the steady buzz of alcohol in his system, smiling at thoughts of tousled hair and grey eyes.

 

 

Nines didn't expect to find himself back there so soon.

Things had been going fine, perfectly normal; he'd wake up to his blaring alarm, eat breakfast on his journey to work, drown himself in coffee during his shift, stay back until ridiculous hours of the night and then trudge home in time to collapse on his bed. Or his couch, if he couldn't make it as far as the bedroom. He'd happily pretend that lingering thoughts of a certain dancer didn't lurk in his mind at the most questionable moments, plaguing his thoughts worse than most unsolvable cases did.

Besides, he didn't have time to be visiting strip clubs. Especially not with the new case that he'd just been assigned.

Half 10 on a Saturday morning, Nines is still only on his second coffee of the shift, when a call comes through from a motel downtown. Young woman, presumably stabbed to death.

Nines arrives with a team of investigators minutes after 11, making sure someone gets the motel manager to the DPD for questioning before heading up to the scene of the crime. Room 204.

The smell, luckily, isn't as bad as a majority of his cases; the incident can't have happened any earlier than 2am, he predicts. Forensics will get a more accurate time, though.

It's dark in the room, blinds left unopened and no light filtering through besides what makes it through the opened door. Empty beer bottles litter the floor, half-eaten take-out left on the dresser. The TV is still on but it's muted.

On the bed, sheets rumpled and stained red, lays the victim. A young woman, dark complexion with wavy black mid-length hair, once glossy but now clotted with dried blood. She's wearing a black mini-skirt, white tee (soaked in blood and tainted a dirty red) and an oversized denim jacket. Black, heeled boots have been discarded by the foot of the bed.

The whole scene looks natural, she doesn't seem to have been forced into the room.

Nines spies a handbag tucked under the desk of the room, crouching down to pull out a phone and a purse. The phone is useless, battery drained and no obvious details of the woman's identity on it. The purse however, proves more promising.

Pulling out a driver’s license, dated back 4 years ago (the picture showing the same woman but with much longer hair), he's able to confirm the victim as 28 year old, Lana Dexley.

Her injuries suggest that the attack was personal. A random murder would usually result in uncoordinated attacks against the victim. This time, that wasn't the case.

She'd received a strong blow to the spinal column, back angled unnaturally, along with several stab wounds – deep and precise along her ribcage and one right under her throat, just short of bursting a vital artery that could have been fatal. The final cause of death appeared to be due to a sharp, blunt force to the skull – most likely causing lasting damage to the brain and cutting off her oxygen supply. She also had darkened bruises, small circles dotted along her wrists and arms.

The angle of the hits were mostly from the front, suggesting that she wasn't attacked unexpectedly. Yet, she hadn't managed to get away. Perhaps there had been someone holding her down?

It doesn't take long for Nines to do his research on the victim, returning to the DPD after a thorough scan of the crime scene before it's cleaned up. He doesn't leave the precinct until gone 10pm that night, well over his shift's end, but he's satisfied with his findings.

She was born in Chicago, but had lived in Detroit for the past 11 years. Had no living relatives other than an aunt that lived in Canada and she only saw her once or twice a year by the looks of it. She’d been training as a teaching assistant and her boyfriend, Gary Turner, worked as a heavy-goods vehicle driver. Surprisingly, she had limited social media accounts from what Nines could find, and only a small group of friends – most of whom didn’t actually live in the state.

 

It takes another two days for them to find their main suspect – her boyfriend. They found him hidden away in his apartment, only a couple blocks away from the motel, rocking in a dark corner and muttering unintelligible words to himself. He hasn't washed, eaten or even bothered getting up to pee by the look of it. He confesses to them the moment they break in through the door.

He screams, voice hoarse and broken, for hours as he's held in one of their empty cells.

When Nines eventually takes him into the interrogation room is when things start going wrong. The man admits that he killed her without any probing, but other than that Nines isn't able to extract anything from him (besides constantly being told how beautiful the guy thought his girlfriend was). Nines can't find out why he killed her, if there was anyone else involved or even what fucking weapon he used. Because there's no way the damage she received was caused by only a human force.

It's frustrating to all ends.

Nines doesn't sleep, scouring over the case details again and again. Certain that he's missed something. He exists on only caffeine and energy bars, head pounding and body aching for some fucking rest. He can't though; he needs to solve this case. It should be simple enough. So why is it so hard?

Connor can tell that he's not holding up so well. He tries to convince Nines to go home and sleep, to put the case files down for just a few hours and focus on himself. Nines shrugs his concern off.

And he continues on doing so for the next couple of days, until he's being called into Fowler's office and demanded to take at least 2 days off. They're paid days – ones he didn’t use up last year. Nines hates taking paid days off work; he doesn't see the need for them. But Fowler's face is set, stern.

Regardless, Nines still argues. Shouts about how he needs to finish his case, can't have it left unsolved and just arrest the guy under just a confession. Claims there's something missing. States that Fowler would be stupid to send him away now, when he's so close to solving it. Just give him another week. Fowler crosses his arms, frown deepening.

His boss tells him to cool down, voice surprisingly calm considering Nines just had a complete meltdown in front of him. “Connor and Hank can take over the case for now. They're more than capable and you need to rest. I'm not having one of my best detectives driving themselves to an early grave.”

Nines wants to argue, wants to scream about how it's not fair. It's his case; he should finish it. Not anybody else. Especially not his brother; why should Connor get the credit for doing what Nines is also capable of doing? But he holds his tongue, sensing that if he pushes Fowler any further he may not have a job come the end of the day.

Instead, he leaves the office, making sure to slam the door with enough force to cause a satisfyingly shaky rattle of glass to echo behind him. He can feel his colleagues eyes burning into him, unasked questions hanging heavy in the air.

He doesn't speak, snatching up his stuff, throwing on his jacket, and storming out of the precinct.

Nines hadn't planned to end up stood outside Eden Club, brisk night air prickling his skin as he contemplates entering the club. What else was he going to do, though? Sit at home, alone, raging about the unfairness of his life like some ungrateful kid? He'd rather not. Much rather prefer a strong whiskey and a view of a certain attractive dancer.

Mind made up, Nines pushes into the club.

 

 

For the most part, Nines remains invisible. He slides into the crowd of drinkers, avidly avoiding anybody that looks like they might start a conversation with him. Choosing a booth tucked away in the corner, with a decent view of the platform in the middle of the club, Nines finally relaxes. A strained sigh escaping him as he rolls his head back into the cushion supporting him, pinching the bridge of his nose with a pained expression. When a waitress walks by, he orders a glass of their strongest whiskey. She flashes him a smile, balancing empty shot glasses on a tray as she heads to the bar across the club.

He spends almost an hour sat, swirling the last dregs of his drink around and watching over the array of dancers that keep coming out. His dancer doesn't show. He can't help but frown at the disappointment he feels. Seriously, what had be been expecting?

As the waitress walks by again, or was this a new one he couldn't tell, he gruffly orders another drink – double this time because he figures he may as well get drunk whilst he's here. It's not like he has work tomorrow. Placing a bill on the table when the waitress returns, he doesn't bother looking up as he says, “Keep the change.”

“Don't mind if I do,” a light-hearted lilt responds, deeper than the waitress from earlier. “Twice in one week? How come I've never seen you here before?” His glass is placed in front of him, hand definitely not feminine or with the painted purple nails the waitress had had.

He tilts his head up, previous annoyance seemingly melting from his body as he makes eye contact with familiar muted silver eyes. His heart flutters involuntarily. Traitor.

“I- uh...” his mouth dries up and his fingers tap against the glass in front of him, itching to down the drink in one.

Panic strikes across the guy's face and he twirls the now empty tray in his hand. “Hey, nah, you don't gotta answer. I'm just being nosy again, shit, sorry man. Just wondered how I'd missed a pretty face like yours.”

Usually, Nines would have grimaced at the awful grammar the guy used. However, he somehow found it endearing coming from the devilishly handsome guy, spoken in a deep, sultry voice.

Fuck, he was definitely blushing now. Either from his own thoughts or from the guy's words. He doubted it mattered and he only felt worse realising that surely the guy could tell from this close distance.

He doesn't think, blurting out the first words that come to mind upon seeing the dancer. But, if he's  a dancer, why is he serving him a drink right now?

“How come you're not up there?” Nines immediately chastises himself for the bluntness of his words but the guy simply raises his eyebrows, sending him a coy smile as he slides his tray onto the table.

“Why? Were you looking for me?” the guy leans down, teasing glint in his eyes. Nines’ breath hitches.

There's a moment's pause before Nines is challenging, “What's it to you if I were?”

“I think I deserve to know if someone's interested in me. Don't you?” he's trailing calloused fingertips down his arm now, Nines only wearing his black tee – jacket thrown on the seat opposite him the moment he sat down. The hungry look in the guy's eyes doesn't go unnoticed, almost predatory when paired with his wicked smirk.

Nines bites his lower lip, yearning to reach out and touch the other man; to grab his hips and pull him down onto him...fuck, what's gotten into him?

“I have loads of jobs here,” the guy says, answering Nines' previous question. Shit, he hadn't spoken in a good minute or two. Thankfully, the guy seems unbothered. “You just missed me on stage, sorry babe.” The term dripped from the guy's tongue, luring him in deeper. As if Nines wasn't already hooked.

“Shame,” Nines found himself saying. Maybe the alcohol was finally kicking in. “Guess it was a wasted night out then.”

Much to Nines' disbelief, the guy's smirk spreads further as he pushes Nines into the booth, hands placed firmly on his shoulders. “Doesn't have to be. I could give you a private show.” As he speaks the last two words, he drags his lips over the shell of Nines' ear and sends a puff of hot air down his neck. He shudders.

Before he knows what's happening, the guy is straddling his lap, leaning over him slightly because of the position he's in. Nines feels crowded in the cramped booth and he fucking loves it, blinking up expectantly at the gorgeous face hovered above his.

Unable to control himself any longer, Nines slides his hands over the guy's ass. He's wearing a fitted, short-sleeved black button down and tight-fitting black pants – not as revealing as his other outfit but still enough to allow Nines to visibly see his growing arousal. Squeezing the soft flesh under his hold, harshly tugging the dancer closer to him, a restrained groan falls from his lips. He receives a teasing grind into his lap in response, the guy leaning forwards to press his lips to Nines' heated skin. He begins trailing kisses and sharp nips along his jaw, down his neck – lingering over a particularly sensitive area and leaving a bruising mark – before continue further down to his collarbone, fingers brushing over him as they push away the material covering him. He tee was going to get a stretched neckline now, but he couldn't find it in himself to care.

He doesn't know what's come over him but he allows it all, stress-ridden body loosening under the feverish touches of the man on top of him.

“Not gonna lie, I preferred your outfit from the other night,” the guy mumbles against his skin, tongue licking a hot swipe along the base of his throat. “I'm a sucker for a guy in a tie.”

A chuckle escapes Nines as he tilts his head back to give the other man better access to his neck, groaning when he feels teeth toy over the sensitive skin. “Perhaps I'll have to come back?” he doesn't intend for it to be a question, hands playing with the hem of the guy's shirt, fingertips tracing the dimples in the small of his back.

The rut against his hips, and the needy moan that follows, has him smirking. “Fuck,” the dancer grunts in his ear, grip on his shoulders tightening.

He's hard, they both are. It's not exactly something that one can miss when quite literally grinding against each other. Nines’ brain short circuits, desperately wanting more. Needing more.

Luckily, the guy seems to be able to read his mind. Or perhaps he just wants the same as Nines. Either way, he slides off of Nines' lap and grabs for his wrist. With a sharp tug, Nines is pulled to his feet and stumbling behind the slightly shorter guy, manoeuvring through the intoxicated club. He's pushed into the restrooms at the far end of the club, miraculously empty.

Confused, Nines turns to glare at him. “What the fuck are yo-" he's cut short when he's pushed against the door and the guy drops to his knees, blinking up at him. He tilts his head innocently, silently nudging him to continue his complaint.

Obviously, Nines shakes his head, instead deciding to tangle his fingers in tousled brown hair that's as soft as it looks. He moans ludicrously loudly as the man mouths at his clothed erection.

The sound of a zipper echoes through the open space around them, deft fingers springing his cock free. Nines hisses at the sudden cold air that hits him, but he soon relaxes as a hot tongue laps at the already leaking head of his cock. When a wet heat engulfs him, taking almost all of him in one, Nines throws his head back against the door and doesn't even react to the bang it causes. He's too far gone, hollow cheeks easing off of him before moving down again.

He has to bite at the inside of his cheek to muffle his moans, metallic taste greeting his tongue. He couldn’t care less. Especially not as he feels a nose nudge his lower abdomen, dick hitting the back of the guy's throat.

Looking down, he's met with the most euphoric sight – hooded grey eyes blinking up at him through long lashes, red lips stretched over his dick with ease, hollowed cheeks sucking him encouragingly as he drags his mouth back again. The guy's hair is dishevelled, Nines' fingers twisting at loose curls and drawing him closer.

He doesn't think he'll last much longer, says as much to the other man. This only causes the guy to lick a wet stripe down his length, latching his lewd mouth back onto his dick with nothing but a pleased smirk. Allowing Nines to direct his movements, back and forth – holding his dick to the back of his throat for maybe a moment too long but being met with no complaints – Nines fast approaches his orgasm.

And, fuck, if it's not one of the most delicious feelings he's experienced as pleasure runs through his body, fisting at the hair in his grasp and releasing a strained moan as he comes down the guys throat. When he's done, easing slowly from his high, the dancer releases him with a filthy pop, smiling up at him with reddened lips.

“I reckon my break’s over.” he jokes, voice absolutely wrecked. Nines doesn't even feel bad, only a rush of pride and arousal. The guy makes no move to get up from the floor as Nines tucks himself back in, chuckling at his words.

When he does stand up, though, Nines has the sudden urge to kiss him. He doesn't know why, doesn't know where the thought came from. A frown settles over his face. He resists the urge, not wanting to make things complicated.

Nines has a habit of complicating simple things.

“What time do you usually go on stage?” he asks instead, if anything it's to distract himself from his own thoughts.

The dancer shrugs. “Any time. It depends on when the boss decides he wants me up. Why? You gonna come watch me again?” that teasing smirk returns and Nines has to bite his lip to stop the smile that's threatening to appear.

He doesn't answer, mind wandering as his eyes trail over the guy's body and he remembers how he'd looked dressed in his outfit from the other night (if one could even call it that).

“Are you seriously gonna wait, possibly hours, just to see me perform?” the guy's shaking his head in disbelief. Nines doesn't see the problem; who wouldn't?

“I might.”

He doesn't.

 

 

Gavin sighs dramatically, throwing the broken eyeliner pencil across the dresser and slumping in his chair. Tina chuckles at him from across the room, shimmying out of her hot pants in favour for some slouchy joggers, Japanese text printed down the side of one leg. Gavin had no clue what it translated to and he was pretty sure his best friend didn't know either.

Tina had been his friend since he started working here, just over 4 years ago. They grew close quickly, and he felt proud to call her his best friend. She's pretty much the sister he never had and he can say, in all honesty, that he loves her.

At 19 years old and he'd been kicked out of his parents' house, forced to rent a dingy apartment in a questionable area of the city with what little savings he had from the countless jobs he'd juggled during his school years. It hadn't been enough though and he'd found himself dangling on his last thread, one missed payment away from living on the streets. Of course, seeing the job offer for a new stripper at the Eden Club had been a blessing; Gavin figured it was easy money and they weren't asking for qualified employees only.

So he'd rocked up to the audition, strutted along the platform, winked at the employers and hey presto. Landed himself a new job.

Granted, he hadn't expected all the extra roles - waiter, bartender and cleaner - but it was nothing that he couldn't handle. Besides, the wages were more than decent; he managed to keep on top of his rent with ease now, even splurging once in a while to treat himself. And if he needed some extra cash? Well, there was plenty of customers willing to pay up for a ‘private session'.

He was happy, though. Earning his own money from a job that he actually enjoyed with people that liked him for who he was. No more pretending to be something he's not, shying away from his parents and being generally unhappy. Not anymore. His life was his life and he intends to keep it that way.

“What's the plan for tonight, babes?” Tina asks, draping her arms around his shoulders and meeting his eyes in their reflection of the mirror he was sat at.

Gavin shrugged, unable to shift the weird disappointed feeling that was weighing him down. All night, he'd scanned the crowd in the club for that familiar face, cool blue eyes and gelled brown hair. The cute smile, or smooth voice.

He didn't know why. Didn't see why he should care whether the guy turned up again or not; he was just another customer. Why would he come back? And especially so soon? Fucking hell, Gavin sucked him off last night - didn't even charge the handsome devil – and now what? What was he expecting, some fairytale story where the guy is smitten over him and whisks him away to live in a cottage in France for the rest of their lives?

What a fucking joke.

The truth is, the guy got what he wanted, didn't he? He had no reason to come back.

At least, that's what he kept bitterly reminding himself.

“Pizza and a movie? Maybe cadge a cheap bottle of wine?” Tina pushed, getting up to tidy the odd make-up brushes scattered across the dresser, but not before ruffling his hair with a soft smile. Gavin found himself returning it, mood lifting slightly at the promise of greasy food and alcohol. Those were the best nights; when he and Tina would vegetate on one of their couches and make fun of old movies.

He only catches himself thinking of steely blue eyes twice in the remainder of the night.

 

 

As each day crawls by and still no sign of the handsome stranger, Gavin finds what little hope he'd been clinging to slowly diminishing. His mood fluctuates from a pitying glumness to an irritable anger, only strengthened as he scolds himself for even having hope in the first place. No good came from hope.

Tina, bless her stupid soul, had noticed his permanent scowl and tried her best to cheer him up. She cracked terrible jokes at every opportunity she found, told him exaggerative stories of men trying to hit on her whenever she worked the bar and even bought a pack of his favourite biscuits – leaving them in their shared dressing room with a cute sticky note presenting a goofy love heart. It had as least managed to make him smile, brief and fleeting but a smile nonetheless.

As days shift into a week, Gavin is just managing to convince himself that he's over it. He's not bothered. It was just a random stranger that he may or may not have grown a tiny bit fond of, but he was a customer and customers didn't always stick around long.

He was over it.

Strutting out onto the platform, black heels extending his legs impossibly long, he sways his hips – years of practice walking in these shoes paying off finally. They're higher than your casual heels, ankle strap fastened tight to prevent them from falling off when he works himself around the pole, one leg hooked round the cold metal and body curving backwards.

Crude leers are thrown his way but it just encourages him. He's learnt by now that they simply mean that he's doing his job well, putting on a good performance. He knows he is, anyway; knows he looks good because he'd made sure to put on his best outfit tonight. Working as a pick-me-up, to distract his thoughts from blue eyes.

He's in all black: leather shorts with lace up sides that hardly class as anything more than underwear, really; a long-sleeved crop top (half mesh, the actual fabric cutting off after his chest), glossy heels and even a heavy dash of eyeliner shadowing his pale eyes. His skin glowed a tinged olive under the club lights.

Tina sends him a shit-eating smile from behind the bar, winking at him as he drops to the floor and slowly, teasingly, rises back up – ass in the air because he's a little shit and always has to be extra. He winks right back at her, biting back a smile.

As he twirls, elegantly poised with one arm wrapping around the pole to hook himself in place, his eyes flit over the crowd gathered around the stage. Men and women of varying ages cheer him on, others dancing with each other or simply laughing. Everyone was at least mildly happy. That was one of the things Gavin loved about his job; making people happy and offering a place where they can just relax. People didn't judge each other at the Eden Club. There were far more interesting things to do.

It's as he's climbing the pole, strong leg hoisting his body off the ground, bending backwards and holding position just long enough for the hazy feeling in his head to appear, that he spots him. Porcelain skin glimmering under dim lights, icy blue eyes piercing into him and making his skin itch. It's a burning stare, relentless and hungry, and fuck if Gavin doesn't love every second of it. He catches the hard gaze, biting his lower lip as he slides down the pole and splays his body along the floor, one leg propped up to reveal firm muscles. He contorts his body, twisting onto his front without breaking eye contact, smiling faintly as he notices the knowing smirk twitching at the corners of the man's lips.

That look, it does things to Gavin – his stomach flipping ridiculously, clenching and relaxing on its own accord.

He tries to focus on his performance, he really does, bending low and dipping to the ground as the bass of the music drops, grinding and rutting against the pole that he clings to. Each movement is carried out with an ease that one naturally gets from doing this daily for years. Lures and cheers can be heard from the people closest to the stage, the rest blending into background noise. Gavin acknowledges the people interested by trailing fingertips along jawlines, blowing kisses towards random onlookers and throwing winks over his shoulder. Tina calls him a flirt. Gavin says he's just doing what he's paid to do.

None of it distracts him from his wandering thoughts, unfortunately. Mind fixating on replays of a deep, smooth voice, moaning sinfully above him and encouraging him to keep going. He'd do anything to hear that voice again, stare up into those fucking intoxicating eyes and watched as every last drop of tension oozes from the man's face. That voice that was able to literally bring him to his fucking knees. All he wants is to hear that voice moaning low and guttural like that night. He wants so desperately to hear his name drip from the man's tongue, dirty and wrong but so fucking good.

Shit, he's working himself up too much. He can feel the tight strain of his shorts, the familiar twist in his stomach.

As his last song finally comes to an end, Samantha entering stage in her glittery bikini top and ripped hot pants, he says a silent thank you to whatever higher-being exists. Samantha sends a friendly smile in his direction that he returns before slipping off stage and joining the crowd, luckily going unnoticed since everyone's attention has been drawn to the new dancer. He dodges through the crowd of drunk, loud customers as he heads in the direction that he'd spotted the guy sitting, teetering dangerously on his heels when an older man stumbles into him.

He waves the drunkenly slurred apology off, along with the tasteless compliments, already continuing through the club. He should have taken the outer route, along the booths – since that's where the guy was sat – rather than try to manoeuvre his way through this sea of people.

In his distracted state, he's caught by surprise when he suddenly crashes into someone, a blink of white before he topples backwards. Hands grab his biceps, holding him steady as he regains his balance. “Woah, slow down there. You could get hurt.”

Shit, shit, shit. Gavin blinks up and yeah...wow, thank you universe. Standing in front of him, fingers pressing into his arms and smiling down at him with frosty eyes is the very guy he'd been looking for. That fucking voice again, too.

“Fuck, sorry man. Didn't see you there.” Gavin stumbles over his words like a fool, cursing himself.

The guy just laughs, low and gravelly and fuck it goes right through Gavin, sending shivers down his spine. Gavin can't find it in himself to say anything else, mouth drying up as he finally takes in the guy's appearance – now able to actually see him properly.

He's dressed in a fitted white shirt that leaves little to the imagination – and that's coming from Gavin, wearing his own revealing outfit – the thin material revealing pale skin and a toned chest. Tight black pants fit snugly around his lanky legs, the perfect length, fastened with a belt. A matching tie hangs from his neck, loosened slightly since it's the end of the day. His hair isn't in its usual gelled-back style as he's seen it before, ruffled messily in a way that makes the man look impossible cute.

There's also an air of tiredness about him, drained from a presumably long shift. Gavin doesn't even know what he does for a living. Hell, he doesn't even know the guy's name.

That can be left for another time however, Gavin decides as he grabs the man's tie and tugs him through the rowdy crowd, smirking in what he's been told is a seductive manner. It works; the guy stumbles after him, eyes flashing with want and intrigue.

Letting them into the backroom, Gavin wastes no time in locking the door and forcing the guy up against the wall beside it, hands pressed to a toned chest. Worry crosses the man's face for a moment but it soon diminishes as Gavin snakes an arm behind his head and draws him down into a searing kiss of teeth and tongue. It's hot and needy. A moan vibrates between them and, in all honesty, Gavin isn't sure who it came from.

Pulling at the man's lower lip with his teeth, gentle enough to not hurt but with enough pressure to bring a growl from the man he's pressed against, Gavin slides a tongue into his mouth. Hands grip at his hips, holding him close, nails digging into exposed skin and causing a deep shudder to travel through him. It's not long before he's bucking against the man, impatient whines swallowed into the kiss, his erection straining uncomfortably in the leather shorts he's wearing. The man's hands are now all over him, touching hot skin with delicate traces and fuck it feels so good.

“Fuck, please,” he begs, moaning into the guy's lips. When the man pulls away from the kiss, Gavin chases his lips – an embarrassing needy sound escaping him.

The guy smirks, tilting his head down to press his lips to Gavin's neck, trailing kisses along the exposed skin, down to his collarbone, his shoulder...

Gavin's burning up under the touch, hands gripping tightly around the man's neck and pulling at loose brown curls. A rush of pride floods him as a subdues groan leaves the guy's mouth, sending vibrations through Gavin's body.

When he feels a wandering hand ghost over his erection his knees buckle and he can't stop himself from rutting into the contact, head thrown back as a hot tongue toys over the base of his throat. Suddenly, he's being pushed backwards, stumbling in his heels as he allows himself to be manhandled onto the only solid surface in the room – his boss’ desk. Hands tight around his waist, hoisting him up onto it, before lips are once again ravishing his body. It's bliss. Hot and rushed but fuck if Gavin cares. He can't even find it in himself to care that he's sat on his boss' desk, unfinished wage slips and other shit littered over it.

His legs wrap around the man's thighs, drawing him closer until he can feel his arousal rub against him, a groan falling from his mouth. Fuck, he's never been so turned on before. He wanted to drag this moment out as long as he humanely could, fingers tracing his figure as kisses and sharp bites are scattered over his skin and marking him up. But, at the same time, he wanted this man to fuck him, melt him into a moaning mess underneath him, crying out as he comes. He wants to feel the memory of tonight for days to come.

“Shit, g-grab that jacket,” Gavin stutters out, rutting his hips up again as the man grinds down onto him, hand waving in the general direction of the employees’ jackets hung up by the door. “The- ah- the green one.”

As the man moves to follow his orders, a coldness envelops his body and he feels impossibly exposed – sprawled out on the desk, propped up on his elbows, legs spread and shorts riding further up his thighs and leaving nothing to the imagination. If the hungry look the man shoots him from across the room is anything to go by, he's a pretty sight.

Catching the jacket as it's thrown to him, Gavin reaches into an inside pocket and pulls out a miniature bottle of lube and a condom. He's sent a questioning look but Gavin just smiles innocently as he throws the jacket onto the floor. He holds eye contact as he kicks off his heels, each shoe clattering satisfyingly to the floor, as the guy walks back. Gavin would be lying if he said he didn't enjoy how the man crowds him into the desk, an arm either side of him, tucked between his legs and looming over him – tall and broad and fucking handsome as hell.

“Gotta be prepared,” he mutters, dumping the items onto the desk in favour of tangling his finger through soft curls. An agreeing hum in response before lips are pressed to his.

When the guy pulls back again, a frown is etched into his pale face and Gavin wants nothing more than to run his thumb over it and erase it. Such a pretty face doesn’t need stress lines.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” the man asks, looking concerned for Gavin.

Gavin tenses, “Course I do, why wouldn't I?” he snaps, not meaning to get defensive but he's not used to people looking at him like that. Not used to people being kind and caring over him – especially not in a situation like this one.

“I’m just checking, I- uh-“ the man runs a hand through his hair, “Fuck, I don't even know your name! Oh my God-"

Gavin laughs, pulling the man down into a chaste kiss. “Gavin. It's Gavin.”

“Right,” the man nods, looking so fucking uncertain about everything that Gavin finds himself falling for him more. Shit. “I'm Nines.”

“Nines?”

“It's a nickname, just stuck.” He waves dismissively and Gavin feels like there's a bigger story behind it but decides to drop the subject. Now was not the time for deep life stories.

“Nines...” he repeats the name, smiling, “I like it.”

There's a chuckle and then suddenly hands are on his body again, pulling at his clothes. Gavin allows the man, Nines, to remove what little clothes covered him, using his own hands to undo the man's belt and tug his pants and boxers to the floor in one swift movement. Nines goes to shrug off his shirt, after Gavin's unfastened the buttons and slid his hands over heated, pale skin, but Gavin stops him. “Leave it.”

Nines’ eyes catch his and hold them in a long stare until his hands eventually drop from his shirt. Gavin smirks, lips moving to the man's chest and hooking onto a nipple, tongue swirling around the nub and earning himself a lewd moan from Nines.

Nines bends forward, pushing Gavin back onto his elbows and forcing him to claw at the man's back to balance himself – red lines most likely appearing over porcelain skin – a moan carrying through the cramped room as he feels the man's hard dick brush over his ass, back arching into the sensation.

No time is wasted in Nines rolling on the condom, slicking up his fingers and sliding them into Gavin, who clenched down on the intrusion with a guttural moan and bit his lip. Nines slowly works him open, other hand moving to wrap long fingers around his throbbing dick and stroke it with the intent of pushing Gavin to the edge. The over stimulation had Gavin a whimpering, quivering mess before Nines had even started fucking him, and he flushed red at the realisation that the man could have such an affect on him.

When Nines eventually pulls his fingers out, Gavin hardly has time to mourn the emptiness he feels before the man is aligning himself at his entrance, slicked and hard. He doesn’t stop the attention on Gavin's dick, either, still working him up and down at an increased pace as he eases himself inside. He's not small, and Gavin throws his head back, shifting his hips to adjust to the new feeling. He's so full and he loves it.

As he urges Nines to move by grinding down onto his cock, he's brought into another tirade of broken moans – desperate and needy as they fill the air around them. The slow drag out followed by the harsh thrust back in has tears building in the corners of his eyes and Gavin can't help but think how he's never been fucked this good. At least, not for a long time. Nines varies the pressure around his dick, thumb swiping over the head to gather the leaking pre-cum gathered there before leaning down to lick a hot strip from the base to the tip of his dick. Gavin stutters, heat pooling in his abdomen. His eyes squeeze shut and he moves into Nines' thrust with more enthusiasm.

When lips, warm and salty, press to his he wastes no time in kissing back, tongue slipping into Nines' mouth and rubbing over his as a hand works its way up to tangle through the man's unruly hair. A positively pornographic sound escapes him as he tastes himself on the man's tongue, causing Nines to growl and bit at his bottom lip. Two hands grab the backs of his thighs and his whole body is shifted further back to give Nines a better angle - something that Gavin is definitely thankful for when he feels the man hit that bundle of nerves that sends numbing tingles of pleasure through him with each precise thrust. It grows needier, Nines' usually cool blue irises turned deep sea sapphire, pupils blown black with lust.

“Fuck, baby, you're so good.” Nines groans out, voice strained as he chases his nearing orgasm. Gavin whimpers in response, not trusting to open his mouth for fear of what sounds will come out.

Nines doesn't seem to mind; each desperate, muffled noise that comes from Gavin seems to spur the man further.

“Shit, I'm close, fuck-“ Nines’ breath is heavy, chest rising and falling under the shirt he's still wearing, which will definitely smell of sex in the morning. Gavin can't help but feel smug.

Pulling Nines down by using the tie wrapped loosely around his neck, Gavin captures Nines' lips with his own in a bruising kiss, pleasure building overwhelming until he spasms under the man's touch, shooting hot spurts of cum over both of their stomachs. Nines doesn't pull away, following Gavin's orgasm through until it verges on painful with a stuttered cry as he crashes over his own high. It's a beautiful sight, the hooded eyes and swollen lips looming over him as the man's figure visibly shakes with pleasure, dick twitching inside Gavin. When Nines slides out, carefully removing the condom and dumping it in the trash can by the wall, Gavin finds himself just admiring him with a hazy glowing warmth inside him, chest fluttering.

He smiles, blushing when Nines is pulling him into an upright position, thumb tracing his bitten lips before melting back into another kiss. It all feels too perfect.

Nines grabs a tissue from the desk, cleaning them both up before handing Gavin his clothes. They dress in a comfortable silence, Gavin taking the liberty of ruffling Nines' hair further to the displeasure of the other man – who, in turn, hooked fingers into Gavin’s waistband and pulled him into a kiss. Not really the worst punishment he's had, Gavin notes with a smirk.

“I should get going.” Nines whispers against his lips, sad smile playing at his lips. His thumbs trace circles into Gavin's sides, leaving trails of goosebumps behind. “But, I promise, I'll be back as soon as I can.”

Gavin raises his eyebrows, remembering how he'd said something similar before and then disappeared for over a week. He didn't find any hints of a lie on the man's face however, noting the small dimples of his cheeks and the reassuring look in his eyes. He smiled (fuck, he'd been doing that too much lately), “Okay,” he says and leaves the man with a soft, lingering kiss.

 

Tina takes one look at him as he sidles into their dressing room, spinning on her chair with her make-up now gone and a large knitted cardigan draped over her shoulders, and raises her eyebrows accusingly, “Who’d you fuck?”

Gavin gaped, shutting the door behind him and flopping down onto the old couch. “Who said I fucked anyone?”

Tina snorts, turning back to the mirror she was sat at to finish her daily skin care routine – Gavin admired her dedication; he struggled to keep up with shaving regularly, leaving light stubble to grow across his jaw most days. She catches his eyes in the mirror's reflection.

“C'mon, I can just fucking tell, okay? So spill!”

Gavin rolled his eyes up to the ceiling, considering his options whilst fighting back a smile that threatened to appear just at the thought of Nines. He trusts Tina, he does, but he wasn't sure what he and Nines were. If they weren't anything yet, then was there actually anything to tell?

“He's just a customer.” is what he finally settles with, nonchalant shrug accompanying his words.

Tina remains quiet, squinting her eyes at him. It's obvious that she doesn't believe him but she doesn't push him into answering any further questions – something that he's extremely grateful for. After all, he hardly knows anything about Nines yet. He knows his name (well, nickname), knows that he's fucking gorgeous and a great fuck. He'd prefer to see what might actually become of them – find out whether they're even anything at all or if Nines really is ‘just a customer’ – before starting pointless gossip.

Besides, the man might not even return for another fucking week.