“Leave that dress on. I might want to go dancing later.”
At the time, Jack had thought that he was joking, but here they are, at the Mocambo. The band is starting up a new song, and George is pulling him back into the throng of people. He puts a hand to his face and wonders how he got here.
George pulls him onto the floor.
“It’s kinda nice dancing with a dame my height,” George rasps. “You’re a good dancer, Jack.”
The hand on Jack’s cinched waistline suddenly slips down a suspicious couple of inches.
“Well!” Jack exclaims. “There’s no need to be fresh!”
George laughs. Even his laugh sounds like it’s holding a cigar. Jack puts his hand back where it belonged. The couple closest to them gives them a curious look, but Jack just smiles brightly at them. The things he does for George…The band finishes their song, and they pull away to clap.
“One more?” George asks.
Jack looks down at his borrowed dress. It was long and black and shiny; it was quite beautiful actually. And dancing with George was fun. The band begins a slower number, and George takes his gloved hand once more.
“Alright, George. But then I want to go home.”
“Anything you want, Jack.”
George was refusing to call him by his alias: Tallulah. Gracie had given him the name on the program today, so it only seemed fitting to continue using it now. But here he was, calling him "Jack" while he was all made up, and George had just promised him "anything." What a scandal it would be if they were found out! Jack gives a soft giggle.
“What’s so funny?” George asks. “Normally I have to say something to get a reaction like that.”
“Oh, it’s nothing really. Just I’m sure the other couples here think you’re going to be taking your date home for a good time after this!”
George arches an eyebrow.
"Who says I'm not?"
He spins them, and Jack’s eyes go wide, and George decides right then and there that he wants to make Jack make that face again, that wide-eyed innocent look. George steers them back to their table just as the song ended. George sits at their table and gestures for Jack to join him.
“It’s customary to help a lady sit in her chair before taking your own,” Jack says hip cocked to the side in annoyance.
“Certainly. And when I see one, I’ll be sure to help her.”
Jack pulls out his own chair and sits.
“Are you hungry, or do you really want to leave?” George asks. “I could go for a nice steak.”
"Well...," Jack sighs, pulls off his gloves, and reaches for a menu. “All that dancing did make me hungry.”
“Hungry enough for dessert?” Jack eyes him suspiciously from over his menu. “I could go for a little tart myself.”
“Cheeky,” Jack grumbles. “I think I’ll have the chicken.”
Jack reaches for his complimentary glass of water and raises it in a mock toast.
The meal goes by without a hitch, and they laugh and chat as though nothing about the evening was different. Jack practically goes into hysterics every time the waiter calls him "ma'am" and "lady," which George finds more amusing than anything else.
The waiter comes by with their check and places it in front of George without blinking an eye. The waiter still didn’t suspect a thing! (Or perhaps He didn't care.) He watches with great amusement as George signs the check and gives the waiter a nice tip. George kindly helps him to his feet, and they link elbows as they walk out of the club, Jack's fur wrap trailing invitingly behind his swaying hips.
Jack breathes a sigh of contentment when they get outside, but quickly begins griping as they make their way back to George's automobile.
“My feet are killing me. I don’t know how girls do it day after day.”
George pulls out a cigar and takes a few puffs before answering.
“They're built for it, I guess. Anyway, the car’s not far.”
“Why didn’t you have the valet bring it around?”
George stops in his tracks and turns to properly face Jack.
“When else am I going to have the opportunity to stroll with you like this in the moonlight?”
Jack peers down at their linked arms and at his fancy dress and high heeled shoes. Oh. He didn't realize George cared that much.
They resume walking.
“I had fun tonight. You do know that, don’t you?”
“Sure, Jack. I know it. I did too.”
They reach the car, and George graciously opens the door for him before walking around to the driver’s side. He starts the car and is ready to back out of his space when Jack puts a hand on his thigh. George looks down at Jack’s perfectly manicured nails and then up to his friend’s face.
“I have to ask you something, George, and I want you to be straight with me. Did you want me to dress like Gracie for the fun of it, or was it because you had something like this in mind all along?”
“Just for the fun of it. At first. But then I saw you all put together. I saw an opportunity, and I took it.”
George can tell that Jack’s on edge because he starts fiddling with his clip-on diamond earrings. The grip Jack has on his thigh tightens before Jack finally releases him. Jack’s pearly white teeth bite his red lower lip, and George feels his heart stutter.
The drive home is quiet. George turns the radio on, but nothing strikes his fancy, so he shuts it off again. He can’t remember a time when he and Jack sat in silence for this long. They’re about ten minutes away when Jack speaks up.
“You know, if I start going around like this, then all those cracks about the way I walk will be come at me ten times over.”
George takes his cigar out of his mouth and grips the steering wheel tightly. He hates it when Jack is right.
“So if you’re gonna take me home with you,” Jack continues, “now’s your chance.”
Before either of them can lose their nerve, George immediately turns his car around and heads in the direction of his own house. Jack glances down at the speedometer and sees that he’s driving twenty miles over the speed limit.
“Well,” he murmurs, putting one hand to his cheek while the other gripped his beaded clutch for dear life.
They reach George’s house in record time, and Jack climbs out of the car on surprisingly steady feet. By the time he’s done straightening his skirt, he looks up to see George watching him.
“Are you coming?” George asks, gesturing at his front door.
One side of Jack’s cherry-red mouth quirks, and he places an indignant hand on his false waist.
“Even you’re not that good, George.”
This earns him a big laugh that makes him feel a little better.
“Come on, doll,” George says. “Let me prove you wrong.”
Jack finds himself suddenly crowded up against the side of George’s car, and his heart beats just a little faster. George crushes their mouths together before either of them can overthink it. It feels like it lasts a long time, and there might've been a hint of tongue, but everything feels upside down, so Jack isn't sure. George pulls away first.
“Well that’s funny.”
“What is?” Jack says, panting slightly.
“You don’t taste anything like Jell-O.”
Jack stares in disbelief before he’s laughing again. George offers his hand, which Jack quickly takes. After all, it just wouldn’t do to be seen outside in such a state.