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You're Gonna Have To Face It, You’re Addicted To Love

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“I promise you, Mike, one day I’ll get out there and make a million.”

Mike Metcalfe laughed as he slid Pete another pint over the bar. His moustache didn’t hide his smile not one bit. Pete found it infectious and clinked glasses with the drunk at his right side.

“Sure you will. Listen kid, you gotta straighten up and get a job. But if you need it, we are always here.”

“Thanks but no thanks. I’ve got to keep positive, with positive thinking!”

“Yeah, you keep telling yourself that.” Mike rolled his eyes, his tone was light that again Pete had to laugh. He did love to laugh, that same stupid grin painting his face every damn time. 

***

He’d had no such luck. Rejection after rejection. Perhaps he had aimed to high, heading straight out too Wall Street. They all demanded an education something proper, on paper. But Pete, he had just returned home from the Marines. He was done, ready to make a name for himself.

Never one to accept defeat, he decided to enrol in the local community college. He wanted to specialise in business but in his spare time, a bar job at TGI Friday’s was calling him.

Pete was a natural.. or he had hoped he’d be. A lovey, giddy moustached man, Nick, needed some help. Someone to help man the bar. A protégé.

“You dazzle ‘em with bottle work. Ya dazzle ‘em with ice work. Lemme show ya, Pete.” His drawl had a hint of southern, that as Pete had quickly come to realise became more pronounced a couple Red-eyes in.

Nick Bradshaw was god-sent. Twirling vodka bottle after bottle, throwing them to Pete from across the other end of the bar and Pete, swore when he dropped it. Nick just raised an eyebrow.

“You’re payin’ for that. You’ve gotta learn to work as part of the team. Learn to work with me.”

“I’m on it.” 

***

“The guys hate me.”

Pete was leaning heavily against the wooden top of the bar, a sock in hand. He wringed it out as Nick laughed at the amount of alcohol that soaked the floor.

“You’ve been standing in that far too long, that you’ve got webbed feet.”

“Piss off.”

Nick just rolled his eyes.

***

Pete was halfway into some stupid obituary- Nick was flawed- that he had to write for class. He recited about his fifth husband, aged only nineteen and he himself was nearing one-hundred. Nick was twirling a bottle by the neck as he stifled a chuckle.

The following night Nick was finally beginning to notice Pete’s skills were improving. They tossed bottles at each other, cranked up the jukebox and the bar lit up. Pete was on fire, sweating profusely, as he dished up Cocktail after cocktail.

“I have got serious fuck me eyes. Omega, two ‘o’ clock.”

“And there’s his alpha coming in… hard.”

“Oh!” Pete wined as another Alpha spring up on the bar.

He owned the hottest joint in town and Pete and Nick, had to jump at the chance.

”No sacred books behind that bar, Young Mitchell.”

***

“You want poets?!”

Pete was screaming, the room was packed full of alpha’s and their omega’s. He was yet to sniff out another beta. He and Nick dog fought for the top spot atop of the table but Pete, was truly the worst bar man poet.

“I am the worlds last bar man poet. I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make. Americans are getting stinky on something I stir or shake. The sex on the beach.” The audience screamed.

“The schnapps made from peach. The velvet hammer. The Alabama slammer.” Nick began twirling bottles, attracting a whole new crowd.

“I make things with juice and froth. The pink squirrel. The 3-toed sloth. I make drinks so sweet and snazzy. The iced tea. The kamikaze!” Nick was laughing as another alpha crowded Pete at the bar.

“The orgasm. The death spasm. The Singapore sling. The dingaling!”

“Dingaling?” A woman called as laughter erupted.

“America you've just been devoted to every flavour I’ve got. But if you want to got loaded. Why don't you just order a shot?”

He and Nick down a shot.

“Bar is open!”

Pete jumped down and the cheering subsided. The beat kicked in and the Cell Block came to life in a whole new way, Pete could never had imagined.

“You have got to let me take your picture.”

A handsome man, dressed in all leather, hair slick back and spiked took a stool. He had a rich jacket, sleeves rolled that exposed his wristbands and rings. He smiled, an infectious smile and Pete, smelt his scent. A beta.. interesting.

“What for?”

“So I can put you in Rolling Stone Magazine.”

At that Nick jumped in, putting an arm around Pete’s sweaty shoulder.

“He’s my protégé, I’ve taught him everything he knows.”

“Really? Can you step aside sir, I can’t fit you both in.” The man winked, eyes sparking as his lip quirked upwards.

“Great Balls of Fire..” Nick muttered as he walked away, grinning.

“The names Rick.” He stated, once he’d put down his camera. It was a Nikon, incredibly expensive and Pete hadn’t even seen one up this close. Never mind having his picture taken with one.

“Rick, what can I get you?”

“I’d like to try the orgasm, please.” Why not be blunt?

Pete just smiled an incredible smile.

“And how many would you like?”

“Mmmm, multiple.” They both laughed.

Multiple orgasms indeed.

The two of them were in Rick’s bed, Pete lying above him. He moved within him fast and rough, rolling strokes that had Rick moaning more with every thrust. He overpowered Pete, sending them on a roll as Pete slipped out of him, chuckling. His only retaliation was to pick up a pillow and throw it in Rick’s bemused face. He just rolled his eyes.

Pete tried again, stripping the blanket from their sweaty bodies and this time Rick, was laughing like crazy. He truly had a beautiful laugh. They were tossing and turning as a raging pillow fight broke out. They both ended up on the floor, Rick atop of Pete again who, kissed him. Kissed him over and over. 

***

”So, Pete, what’s this great idea that I’m here to piss on?” Nick states as he straddle a chair.

Pete sat opposite him, at the far end of the grungy kitchen table of his apartment. The walls were bare, a cream turning grey, the walls cracking.. but Pete loved it. It was home, for now. 

“Jamaica? In your dreams Young Mitchell.” 

“No, no, no Nick. You’re mistaken.” Rick began as he swigged a beer with one hand, the other wrapping itself around Pete’s chest. “I was their the other month and this bartender was making three to four hundred dollars a day—“

”—A day!” Pete chimed in. He began to unravel a poster of a woman, in a skimpy bikini and an over shirt that cling perfectly to her curves. She was soaked through, only the word ‘Jamaica’ covered her breasts. 

Nick couldn’t deny that it was a nice sight.

***

Two nights later and a killer volleyball game broke out between Pete and Nick.

“Hollywood.”

“What?” Nick yelled as he ran to collect the ball.

“Rick.”

“Oh yeah, ‘bout that. Pete.” He raised his hand to serve, “that guy’s gonna do a number on you.”

“What’re you talking…” Pete jumped and sent the ball screaming back to the other side of the net “about, Nick. He owns the whole fucking building.”

“So, he’s been saving himself for young Mitchell all these years?” Nick had returned the shot and Pete chuckled, he missed the shot. Pete dove headfirst into the sand. “Have a look on his ring finger, you’ll see a white circle from his—“

“—He does like his tan.” Pete mumbled as he picked up the ball.

“The bet is twenty dollars.”

Pete served and yelled, “Twenty dollars!”

“That Rick is in the sack with some other guy before the week is over.”

Pete missed another shot.

“Oh, you’re on.” He returned the ball and Nick leapt up, like a cat, and smashed it right past Pete.

“Missed.”

***

Nick has been right. It was the following Friday night and Rick was sat at the end of the bar. Pete had just noticed him and smiled a huge, inviting smile but Rick was met with a hand on his shoulder.

Another man, dressed in a denim vest and a cowboy hat, turned him bodily and they kissed. Pete just turned away.

“That asshole.”

“The tooth fairy was delivered right to our doorstep, huh Pete?” Nick joked, holding out his hand.

“It’s only twenty fucking dollars.”

“Still, cardinal knowledge of a beta will only get you so far.” He trailed off as he poured a Texas blue.

“Fuck it. Jamaica it is.”

“Just cuz Rick has been and said that bartenders can make—“

“— three to four hundred dollars a day, Nick. A day.”

“Pete, I can’t, I’ve got a girl to think off. I can’t afford to blow this.”

“Well then, I’ve gotta say goodbye. Thanks for everything, Nick.”

Pete walked away from the Cell Block for the final time. Nick’s words of wisdom would surely stay with him, the skills he’d learnt and his own cocky masculinity was surely enough to secure him a place.

”’Cocktails And Dreams’ huh? All that pink neon. One day, Nick. One day.”

”Blink, blink, blinkety blink. Still corny as hell.”

***

It had been three years until he saw Nick again.

“Wanna see a grown man cry like a baby?” He asked no one in particular. “Hey bartender, know how to make a red eye? Ha-ha!”

Pete was smiling to himself, having never forgotten his laughter.

“The hell are you doing here, Bradshaw?”

“I’m here on my honeymoon. And here’s the kicker, Carole’s got millions.” He beckoned her over and Pete was enrapt, the thought of Nick married was.. just wow.

Carole was beautiful, she beamed, turning heads as she ran up the beach into Nick’s open arms. She introduced herself and Pete was getting lost in her thick, southern accent. They had a son, Bradley, who was with playing with a friend down on the beach.

Pete was about to ask Carole to bring Bradley too meet him but he was interrupted when a blonde figure ran over.

“‘Scuse me, bartender. Do you have a—“

”This one’s got a sweet ass” He was slapped.

The blonde man cleared his throat “A phone? My mate passed out—

“—Probably from too much cock, am I right?” The same guy laughed again slapping his ass.

“On the beach.” The blonde man took a deep, shaky breath, trying to put out the raging fire that burned his skin.

An omega. He was gorgeous with bright hazel eyes that sparkled, full lips and a strong jaw. He was blonde, with frosted tips that reminded Pete of a certain guy who had thrown himself at him, slipped a fifty in his back pocket, back in ’86. The man was sweating profusely, with a distinct sheen of sweat covering his lightly muscles pecs. He wore a silver chain, a cross.

“Excuse me, bartender.”

Pete was shaken from his daze, his nostrils full of the challenging scent that seemed to radiate off of this.. omega. How was he only an omega?

He jumped over the bar and ran after the blonde, he had longer legs so Pete had to sprint to avoid losing him. Pete may have hit a child on the way but, the blonde man just kept on running.

The two of them watched the ambulance take his friend away. Pete was reminded that he should probably ask the man what his name is.

“Thank you, uh—“

“—Pete.”

“Well, Pete. It has surely been an adventure.” The man’s voice was soft, rich like silk.

They shook hands. The blonde man’s grip was firm, insistent. He forgot to ask for his name and cursed as the blonde disengaged.

***

“So how long have you know Pete?” Carole asked as she returned with two beers.

“About ten hours.”

”And you are?”

”Tom, Tom Kazansky.” He smiled, full of gleaming white teeth.

”Carole Bradshaw.” They shook hands.

Pete circled Tom’s trim waist, bringing two huge hands to rest at the back of Pete’s head. They danced together, Pete singing off key all night.

They both left the beach luau, hand in hand as Pete guided them both to a secret patch of sand. His secret, secluded patch of sand.

Pete kissed him, over and over, anything to get closer and feel those perfectly plush lips against Pete’s own.

“Mmm, Pete.” They disengaged as they sat down in the sand, surrounded by little lamps that lit the beach with a soft, red glow.

“Tom.” Pete rolled over and was on top of him, nose full of Tom’s scent. He radiated seduction, desire, the perfect mate. Mate, mate, mate. A lightbulb went off in Pete’s brain.

His lips trailed lower, peeling Tom’s white linen shirt from his suddenly sweat soaked chest. Tom keened, his back arching beautifully as Pete licked a nipple. Tom had a stern hand in Pete’s jay black hair, keeping him there. Pete sucked and Tom moaned, thrusting upwards. Pete groaned as he felt Tom’s legs wrap around his torso, coaxing him in closer, coaxing certain parts closer. Pete stripped himself of his shorts and threw them into the sand. He helped Tom hastily rid himself of his own and then, Pete climbed back up to his face.

Pete thrusted slow, with long rolling strokes, pushing all the way to the hilt. Tom was moaning, the sound was obscene, perfection. Each thrust was punctuated with a harsher moan, a sharp gasp and it sent shocks up Pete’s spine. Jolts were sent through them both as Tom had a clumsy hand on himself and was stroking himself in time with Pete’s thrusts. Pete was getting closer and closer, hips slamming to meet Tom’s. Pete pulled out, his release coming in streams. Tom wasn’t too far behind, climaxing beautifully under Pete. Even the dry spells, the quakes felt like heaven.

Pete collapsed onto Tom, panting heavily. He had an alluring blush that settled high up on his cheeks. Tom had the most dazzling smile, warm and open, that Pete tipped his head and claimed Tom’s lips in his own.

They spent the night on the beach, Tom spooning Pete, in a tight embrace.

***

Tom was always down for an adventure: Whether it be horse riding across the crisp, white sand; dancing all night at the club; visiting the locals; riding down the stream in a raft. Tom loved it and Pete, could tell. His happiness radiated off of him, his smile was infectious and Pete just couldn’t tear himself away.

From Tom’s piercing hazel eyes. His gaze was always intense, as though he was trying to see Pete’s soul. He wanted to learn him, touch him, caress him. And Pete, wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Hold still.”

Pete was looking out too sea, his side profile was being sketched by Tom who was sitting cross legged in the sand.

“Is art your profession?”

“More like my obsession.” Tom laughed that same gorgeous laugh.

“It payin’ the rent?”

Tom was silent, his face blank for a moment. He coughed something into his hand. “Someday it will. Right now I’m working Jerry’s Diner; not too far from that old TGI Fridays that you used to work at. Know it?”

“Yeah, nice place.”

At that segue, Pete lurched forward and snatched the sketchbook.

“The hell?”

“Hey, you impatient shit, it’s not done!”

“It looks—“

“—I much prefer still life. Or landscapes.”

“Nothing like me... it’s incredible.”

“It’s the real you.” Tom winked.

Pete kept staring and staring. Sure it was only in charcoal but damn, was Tom tremendously talented. Pete could only imagine what he could conjure up if he’d gotten those nimble fingers on some pastels or acrylics. And a full-blown canvas the size of a wall, his bedroom wall.

Tom wrestled with Pete for his sketchbook sending them both to the ground. Pete landed atop of him, knocking into his chin. Tom groaned and Pete swore.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry baby.” Tom muttered as he bought his hands around Pete’s neck, kissing him deep.

***

“Trust me, Pete, your ‘floogal-binder’ is out there. It’s waiting.”

Pete was feeling deflated, surrounded by the inventions of would-be millionaires. He held one of those tiny umbrellas from his cocktail and Tom did the same; twirling it, across his knuckles. It was very distracting, Pete couldn’t keep his eyes off of those hands.

Today’s date: The waterfall. Tom dived in, his body elegant and graceful, as he made contact with the water. He swam about, slick like a sea lion, awaiting Pete to join him.

“You up for this one, Mitchell?”

“Just a walk in the park, Kazansky.”

It was more of a cannonball but Pete still insisted that it was a graceful fall. They kissed in the water, Tom was being pushed further and further into the waterfall, the streams falling all around them. Pete tried to get him to remove his trunks and Tom, rolled his eyes. He pushed Pete away and teased him, hands submerging under the water as he slowly wriggled out of them. Pete’s mouth watered.

He threw his trunks into Pete’s face who, caught his scent. He couldn’t hold back anymore. He and Tom were going to fuck the night away, he was done with Tom’s teasing. His torture.

He would take any of that from an Omega.

They headed back to the beach as the sun bled into the sea, nightfall was upon them. Pete kissed Tom, cornering him, throwing him to the ground. The kiss was wild, growing with intensity as Tom writhed below Pete. He was stripped and Pete’s mouth had closed on him. He sucked hard, hands clutching tight as Tom’s moans pierced at the silence. He kept on moaning as Pete removed his mouth, rid himself of his trunks and kissed him again. Tom was clawing at his back, nails raking in rough patterns. Pete shivered, lips above Tom’s exposed neck. He lolled his head to one side and Pete kissed him once, twice, then he bit him. He ran his tongue over the trail and Tom yelped.

A soulmark.

Pete took himself into his hands as Tom watched, eyes heavily lidded, he manoeuvred himself down his long and lean form and settled for in between his legs.

Tom wasn’t quiet and Pete wasn’t gentle, both surprised eachother. Pete was thrusting without restraint, hands clutching desperately at Tom’s sides, one on his neck. His head had lolled back, the sand in his blonde hair, exposing his throat. Pete leant down to lick at it, thrusting in deeper, slamming himself right up to the hilt. Together they groaned as Pete felt Tom shiver, his body was covered in sweat and he was panting wildly. Tom was pleasantly slick up against Pete and Pete kept on thrusting, hips meeting Tom’s as he slammed into him again.

Tom was writhing underneath him, he groaned with each thrust, telling Pete that he was close. The scent radiated ‘mate’ and Pete was always one to follow his gut instincts.

Tom froze. His whole body shook and convulsed, his inner walls clutching at Pete hard enough that it hurt him, as Tom came and came. Pete wasn’t too far behind. He slammed into Tom a final time, as far in as he could go and shivered. His release filled Tom, he kept on coming and coming. He’d released himself inside Tom. He had knotted. Pete was a shivering and moaning mess as he tried to muster up the energy to pull out and lie beside Tom.

He did manage to pull out, yanking off the condom before he fell, right into the sticky patch on Tom’s stomach. Tom just laughed and laughed, he was near breathless but he kept on laughing.

***

“Oh, bartender.”

Pete grinned as he turned to Nick’s moustached and quizzical face.

“Red eye and the Mrs will have the finest cocktail you can stir, or shake.” Pete began to busy himself when he heard Nick speak again, “you see this man isn’t a closer. He’s goes for the cheapest and dumbest every time. He could never land himself a rich chick.”

“A rich.. so how come I’m always with the dogs and you’re always with the princess?”

“Well,” Nick chuckled, “that is a question on you can answer, young Mitchell.”

Pete just rolled his eyes.

“This man is a worker. The hustlers never work and the workers never hustle. You, my friend, are a worker.”

“Is that right, Nick?”

“That is right. I bet you couldn’t even get that stud over there.”

“Stud?” Slowly he turned.

A man, slumped over the bar, with rings that looked as though they cost more than Pete’s beach house, came into view. He was handsome no, hot. Smoking hot. He had on a cream fitted shirt that was open, exposing only a slither of his muscles pecs, his abs and- Pete almost choked on air.

“Precisely. I dare you, to ask him out for dinner.”

“That it?”

“Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky. The original rich guy. I’ll just sit here for when you crash and burn.” Nick had attracted a small crowd, the lads all laughed in tandem at the embarrassed look on Pete’s face.

It took him a moment but he composed himself, embraced his inner cockiness and headed over to the other end of the bar.

“Welcome Sir, to my humble- dishonourable establishment. Let me dazzle you with—“

“—A martini. Then you can get out of my sight.”

Pete’s smile faltered.

“Oh no, why not try a.. J’damore.” He pretended not to hear the roll of Nick’s eyes from behind him, “the uh, juice.. of love.”

The man looked like he would either punch him or throw him over the bar.

“Do I have ‘fuck me’ written across my forehead?”

Pete deflated, he spurted our something about not having his contacts and the man relented. He was smiling and Pete was thankful that he hadn’t left the bar with a bloody nose that night. Two alphas, sniffing out each other. He radiated heat and Pete, wouldn’t give up without a fight.

His name was Ron and boy, was Pete in for a hell of a time. Together they stumbled back to Ron’s rented beach house. It was huge, a mansion. One that Pete had never even seen before nor had he even heard off and he had been living here for over three years.

It was hot, rough and persistent, not rushed but every moment counted. Ron’s body was a godsend, he dwarfed Pete with ease. His muscles, his body.. Pete couldn’t have dreamt for anyone better. He was on all fours, hands braced on the bedpost. It gleamed in a rich gold, the sheets were pristine, immaculate, and Ron was merciless, overpowering that it had Pete moaning and moaning, as he came violently in Ron’s clutch. His shoulders quaked and he fell forward, as Ron was still inside him. He followed him down.

But what he missed earlier that night, in the midst of heavy eye-contact and those rippling pecs was another man watching, defeated: Tom.

***

He hadn’t seen Tom in days, nearly a week. He had sprinted about this side of the Island, stupid, and cried himself hoarse asking anyone and everyone if they had seen him. It took him almost a week but finally he was told: Tom was gone.

“Holidays are over, are they young Mitchell?”

“I’ll be heading back to New York with Ron. He owns a.. uh,”

“Sales Advisors Firm, Management something something, I know. You should really be sure of what it is you’re walkin’ into Pete.”

Nick was right.

“And when it doesn’t work, you can always come traipsing back to me and Carole. She’s more than willing to get me started on my own joint. I could use a head bartender such as..” he gestured to Pete.

***

Pete couldn’t work out what but there was just something about all of this, whatever this was with Ron, that wasn’t working out. All the galas, events, the way he seemed to turn Pete away whenever he was met with some other high class New York pieces of—

—Pete willed his thoughts to stop.

Then their was the arts exhibition where Pete finally did crash and burn. He had been yelling for reasons that he couldn’t even remember, he blamed the alcohol and the fact that Ron still wasn’t ‘shoving his boyfriend’ down the ‘throats’ of the executives.

Pete knew they were respected men and Ron himself had a hell of a reputation but he kicked and screamed. He wanted the alpha to fight back. To seize him up, to use all of those extra inches and pin him. Kiss him? Pete was no longer sure. After what was one of the most anti-climactic brawls of his life, he watched in silence as Ron just walked away, hands shoved deep into his designer suit pockets, Ray-bans firmly in place. Pete was alone.

***

Pete just kept on walking, he knew where he was headed but why he was going- he was unsure. But then again, he didn’t get too where he was today by thinking.

At the window he smiled, seeing Tom through the glass. He was at the far end of the diner, with some little cute-sy apron tied to his hips. Pete braced himself and strutted in.

He slid himself into a booth, hiding his face the first time Tom past him. The second time, he peered out from over the menu, sunglasses still in place, at Tom’s lean silhouette, his perfect posture and the hand on his ass. What?

Some older guy, decked out in a mid-price suit, ran his mits all over Tom’s ass and thighs as Tom was trying to take his order. He hollered at Tom when he kicked out, sliding away from the comments that just heightened in profanity.

Tom slid back through the double doors to the kitchen; returning with two plates. He headed over to a table on the far side of the diner, being groped, slapped, and yelled at along the way. Pete couldn’t see his face but could tell by how his shoulders pricked, that Tom was more than ready to lash out on anyone who put the words ‘Omega’, ‘slut’ or ‘bastard’ into the same sentence. Pete could feel something ignite within him, Tom brushed straight passed still not having seen him.

The next time Tom returned was when Pete saw it: the soul mark. The mark he had left, brandished into Tom’s perfectly tanned skin. That was when Tom saw him, and he froze. His mouth was moving fast but no sound was coming out. All that he could do was strut straight over to Pete and dump some gross chicken dish all over him. Along with added ketchup ‘for his fries.’

“Fucking hell, Tom.”

“This omega just made his alpha his bitch!” A shrill scream and the whole diner were laughing with him. Tom looked stunned.

Another man brushed past him, smacking the back of his head as he did so.

“Bastard.” Tom coughed out.

“Hey, hey.” Pete rose from his seat, dripping in a very creamy curry, “You apologise to him.”

The man turned ever so slowly, Pete’s alpha levels spiked. Tom just backed away and leant on a nearby table.

“Idiot.” He muttered under his breath, not that Pete could hear him.

Tom just watched the two of them lash it out for a few minutes before he rose and strutted back to the kitchen. He elbowed a guy in the ribs who tried to feel him up on his short walk.

***

Outside Pete was waiting for Tom after his shift.

“Spare change, for my dry cleaning?” Pete asked coy, the remnants of the specials menu having stained his suit.

“Don’t come back. That sexy little smile of yours isn’t going to work this time.”

Pete tried to speak but he was cut off again.

“Or do come back, I won’t be around much longer.” Tom began to walk away and Pete just yelled, on his tail, about all sorts of things. Stupid things. What he had done wrong and that he deserved a second chance.

Tom, not up for being on the street at this hour with an alpha who wreaked of chicken, reluctantly invited him into his apartment. Pete kept his hands to himself.