“Do I have to?” Lio asked, as he was dragged into a titty bar.
Lio was twenty, exhausted and perpetually single. He liked to think of himself as a hard worker, but he knew better. Rich boys with apartments paid for by mommy didn’t work hard, even when they worked hard. He could afford to spend his time interning at the campus free legal service, filling out his resume with charitable works while his fellow students pulled double shifts at the local diner. Lio was just another caffeine-addicted twink who wanted to save the world.
Meis and Gueira thought he was being dramatic because he hadn’t slept in 48 hours, but that yes, he was right about killing billionaires and redistributing their wealth.
Also, he wasn’t twenty anymore. He was twenty-one and it was his birthday. Woo. Boys night.
“I promise you will like this, boss,” Gueira said.
Lio’s eyes felt bruised and sore from lack of sleep. Meis had made him eat a sandwich before they took him out, which had given him a little strength back, but he was flagging, and he knew it. He did not have the energy to watch scantily clad ladies strut around a stage. He could respect the skill; he just couldn’t find any interest in it.
“I’m sure I told you I was gay,” Lio said, despairingly. “I am incredibly obvious about it.”
“No, you did,” Meis said.
“Which is why we brought you on boys’ night,” Gueira added.
They pushed Lio through the front door of ‘The Boobie Trap Bar And Grill,’ and he found himself faced with a room full of howling cougars and a stage occupied by a man assless chaps.
“Thank God,” Lio said.
“We told you!” Meis said.
“No, this is still a horrible idea, I can’t believe you thought I would like this,” Lio said.
“They do lapdances,” Gueira said.
And then he did jazz hands.
Gueira bought Lio an espresso martini, because he thought it was a good idea to mix depressants and stimulants at the same time. Lio drank it because it was delicious, and he did appreciate the gesture. Meis and Gueira seemed to be getting more out of the strippers than he was, which was odd, because Meis only dated women and Gueira didn’t date anyone.
Maybe it was just the room. There was enthusiasm (and dollar bills) in spades.
On the stage a thirty-something man with a body like a lumberjack ripped off a police shirt and sent buttons flying everywhere. A woman with a ‘bride to be’ veil grabbed one off the stage and screamed in glorious rapture. A pulsing remix of Bad Boys rang through the speakers.
“Take it off, take it off!” Meis and Gueira hooted, in unison.
It all just felt… kinda hetero? Lio was painfully over his straight boy phase. The music finally ebbed as the man on stage posed with his, frankly impressive, package jutting out towards in the audience, framed by a thong and nothing else. He received a wild amount of applause before strutting his way off stage.
“Let’s hear it for Billy!” The MC bellowed, into her microphone. She sounded like she was commentating on a WWC match, but it fitted.
“I’m going to get another drink,” Lio said, as he held up his newly viable ID.
“But drinks are on us!” Gueira said.
“Yeah!” Meis replied.
“I don’t mind—”
The MC drowned him out, “Now welcome to the stage our own smoking hot fireball, it’s Galo!!”
“Ugh.” Lio rolled his eyes.
Sucking on my titties like you wanted me, calling me all the time—
The most fucking beautiful boy walked on stage, in a goddamn firefighter’s outfit.
“I knew this would work!” Meis said, delighted, before Lio started to wilfully ignore him.
He had gravity defying hair and a grin like sunlight. He looped his thumbs in his suspenders, pulling them to the side so Lio could get a better look at the skin-tight tshirt that cupped his ridiculously pillowy chest. When he let the suspenders slap back, he moved his hand up to tip his plastic firefighters helmet in a gentlemanly salute. He flipped it out into the crowd to uproarious applause.
“Fuck me,” Lio said.
“How does he get his hair to do that?” Gueira asked.
“Can’t be wax, it looks so fluffy.”
“What was his name again?” Lio said.
“Galo,” Meis said. “He’s new, real popular though.”
Lio decided to examine that statement later.
“Good job guys,” Lio said, magnanimously.
On the stage, Galo threw his coat to the ground and faced up to the pole. He rolled his body against it, biceps and triceps clenching and releasing as his hips moved in a glorious, sinuous grind. Galo let his suspenders slip one at a time, the belt at his waist just barely keeping them from falling. Lio didn’t even mind the sound of enthusiastic women hollering over Peaches’ entreaty to fuck the pain away.
The boy bit his goddamn lip as he brushed one hand over his forehead and waved his fingers like it was just so hot. Then he gripped either side of the collar of his shirt and ripped it in two.
“Yes!” Someone shouted. Lio suspected that it was him.
The pants shortly followed.
“Wow, look at that Lux,” Meis said. “He makes it seem so easy.”
Lio watched, open mouthed, as this stunning twunk worked the pole with the dexterity of a professional gymnast. Teaches of Peaches, indeed.
As the final bars wound down, Galo’s eyes traced over the bar and landed straight on Lio. Lio snapped his mouth shut. Galo winked at him.
“We bought you a lap dance!” Meis shouted, just as the music stopped.
“Hell yeah!” A woman in a pantsuit yelled at them.
Lio put a hand over his face and longed for the ground to swallow him.
“Look, I’m sure everybody says this, but I don’t usually do this sort of thing,” Lio said.
“Oh, I know!” Galo said. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”
Galo had another bright grin on his face and his thighs on either side of Lio’s hips. His blinding sincerity had to be faked. No one could be so effortlessly sunny after an evening spent dancing under blinding stage lights. Surely, he got tired.
Lio felt a hand tip up his chin. He’d been staring at Galo’s tits.
“Hey, you know you don’t have to, right?” Galo said. “It’s supposed to be fun.”
“No, no I want to,” Lio said.
It would be rude not to.
“Okay then!” Galo chirped.
Another song played through the speakers with equal intensity but lower volume than what had been playing outside. Galo flipped his body around and ground his ass into Lio’s thighs. It was thick and round and tapered to a pretty little waist that Lio longed to put his hands around. Lio had his hands clenched by his sides as he watched the muscles in Galo’s back flex.
“You can put your hands on my waist, if you want,” Galo said, with another roll of his hips.
“I wouldn’t want to impose,” Lio said.
“It’s fine, it’s on the rules.” Galo pointed to a sign on the wall that Lio had previously been too distracted to see.
Rule one was Don’t be a creep.
Rule five was Hands can go on waists. Only.
“Is that unusual?” Lio asked.
“Varies,” Galo replied, before tipping his hips from side to side. “Sure you don’t want to?”
“Damnit,” Lio said.
Galo’s skin was slick and smooth beneath his fingers. Galo made a low, pleased sound as he tightened his grip. Lio’s hands fit perfectly in the little dip before Galo’s chest flared out again.
Galo leaned back, his shoulders resting on Lio’s chest as he continued to dance. He had this cheeky little look on his face, like he knew exactly how much effect he was having and enjoyed it. Which was fair, because Lio was enjoying himself in as much as he could enjoy being tortured by a pretty boy with exceptional muscle control.
The song ended and Lio felt bereft and relieved at the same time.
“Happy Birthday,” Galo chirped, as he left him at the door.
Lio had to will his erection down enough for polite company and then he went home and fell asleep before he had time to masturbate.
It was surprisingly not awkward to run into the guy at a coffeeshop three days later.
“Oh hey, it’s the Birthday boy!” Galo said. “You enjoy the rest of your night?”
He was wearing a Burning Rescue tshirt. Guy kept on theme.
“I actually went to bed immediately after, which is a comment on my sleeping habits and not the quality of your work.”
“Well that’s a relief.”
“I really did have a good time.” Towards the end, at least.
“Thank you!” Galo said. “It’s Lio, right?”
Lio nodded. “I don’t want to be impolite and use your professional name when you’re off the clock.”
“Oh no, my name really is Galo,” Galo said, with a sunny smile.
“Huh?” Lio said.
“Yeah, I didn’t realise that most people have a stage name, but whatever, right?”
Lio felt a reflexive pull of all the knowledge he had about discrimination cases where past employment affected future employment but then he squashed it down flat. It was none of his business. He wasn’t going to go white knighting like an asshole.
“Do you want to get coffee?” Galo asked.
“Well…” They were already at a coffee shop. Lining up for coffee. “Sure.”
Galo smiled again, even brighter, and it occurred to Lio that he was one of those good-hearted idiots who muddled through by being sweet and shockingly beautiful.
Lio liked that in a man.
“Law! That’s cool,” Galo said, half a cup in. “What kind of lawyer are you going to be?”
“I want to get into human rights law,” Lio replied. “I’d like to do something constructive with my degree.”
“I get that, that’s why I’m studying to be a firefighter.”
Lio had a moment of cognitive dissonance as he imagined Galo in an actual firefighter’s outfit, with a smudge of black charcoal on his cheek and sweat running down his chest.
“That’s very admirable,” Lio said.
It really was. When he wasn’t putting out towering blazes, he probably saved kittens caught in trees and helped old ladies cross the street.
“Do you think it’s funny that I dress up as a firefighter at work too?” He had a light blush on his face.
“I get the feeling you do it precisely because you think it’s funny.”
“But also, because you just like it that much. It’s fun, too.”
Galo had a look of surprise on his face. He looked away for a moment, his fingers playing with the straw in his frappuccino as he smiled more gently than before.
“You get me,” Galo said.
“I will say that I’m confused about the song though,” Lio said. “Having talked to you, it’s seems a bit more aggressive than I’d expect you to go for.”
Galo nodded, sagely. “Yeah, that was the DJ. I never know what to choose, so I asked her to pick something good. Bit much, hey?”
Could’ve gone with a bit more, actually…
“I thought it suited you, certainly riled up the crowd.”
“I had to drink a bunch of cold water after, the lyrics were so embarrassing.”
Good God, Lio wanted to fuck him. While playing that song. It would be amazing.
“You rallied well,” Lio said.
“I bounce,” Galo said, with a nod. Like it was a point of pride.
“That you do,” Lio replied, warmly.
“So, how’s Meis doing?”
“You know Meis?” Lio asked.
“For sure, we do a pole dancing class, for fun and fitness.”
“That’s how he knew about boys’ night?”
“Yeah, we chat a lot before class. Nice guy.” Galo took another sip of his drink. “He said he had a friend he wanted to introduce me to, any idea who?”
He really was an idiot. A lovely, ridiculous idiot.
“No idea,” Lio said. “By the way, can I get your number?”