Dylan’s first night started off easy, but according to Brett that was how it always was, except on Fridays. He encouraged Dylan to see about the opening hours, maybe change them up a bit if community licences would allow it. They had the same opening hours Wednesday ‘till Sunday and that probably wasn’t ideal.
Today was a Wednesday. It was interesting to see so many people out and about on a regular Wednesday night, especially after 11pm, but the bar was quite crowded. Dylan especially had a busy time since the regulars wanted to know everything about him.
Danny warned him not to spill his guts, since the bar was supposedly ‘gossip central’. Dylan had expected as much and wasn’t planning to either way. He did his best to turn the tables and ask the regulars about themselves, trying hard to remember their names and other important bits of info.
A large part of the clientele on this particular Wednesday were tourists. Gay couples, some lonely businessmen and a party of five clearly very intoxicated American college students, living it up in Euro-tour. They put on quite the show and had to be nudged back to their hotel when one of them made a mess in the bathroom. A group of Eastern European women clearly looking to check out the gays were spoken to sternly by Tim, who didn’t like voyeurs, or maybe women in general. They responded by making out with each other and promising not to take pics of anyone else but themselves and Danny. Since Danny was completely fine with it, Tim left it at that.
At 2AM they kicked the regulars out with a smile, closed shop, and Brett proposed a toast to Dylan’s first day. Tim was still reluctant to celebrate, but seemed a little less standoffish than he had been at the beginning of the evening. Brett and Danny looked happy with Dylan’s performance and he himself had to admit that he’d done a good job. It had been a long time since he manned a bar, but it seemed he still got it.
Dylan, Tim and Brett had their closing-time shot complemented with beer, Danny was sipping a strawberry daquiri, because why not.
“Why are you really here Dylan?” Tim asked, completely out of the blue.
“He’s taking over management from me Tim, you know that.” Brett answered.
“Nah, I get that, but why are you showing up here out of the blue? You’ve never been here, I can hear from your accent you’re not from around. Also, you’re a bit rusty, it’s been a while since you worked at a bar. Which makes me think you were a bartender whilst attending college or university or something and then went to do the job you were educated for, hence making more money than us uneducated fucks. This all makes me wonder why on earth you ended up here.”
“You’re quite bright for an uneducated fuck, aren’t you Timmy?” Danny sneered.
“Nah, it’s fine. He’s right. I just, I wanted something new. New city, new job. I always wanted to manage a bar when I was younger and well, Brett knows a friend of mine and well, that’s how it happened.”
“What are you running from?” Tim was unnecessarily sharp, and Brett shot Dylan a worried look. Brett knew about Sean, obviously, but he was clearly aware of the sensitivity of the subject.
Dylan decided opening up a little would probably do the working relation some good, so he decided to let some out. “I wasn’t happy at my job, my marriage ended, couldn’t afford the house, you know it. Figured time to start over somewhere else.”
“You were married?” Danny squealed. “How romantic!”
“Danny, no part of ‘you were married’, past-tense, is romantic.” Tim commented dryly, adding. “Sorry man, well, at least you’re free now. And Mercury’s a pretty good place to be if you want to live up the single life. I know, I’ve been doing it for almost two years already.” He added with a smile.
“Yeah, cute little twinks beware of the Tim, the asshole destroyer!” Danny cheered. Tim returned the jab with a look of utter annoyance, which was clearly faked. Danny stuck out his pierced tongue and turned to Dylan. “So what’s your type?”
“I don’t think I really have a type.” Dylan lied.
He did, apparently, have a very specific type. But he hoped he wouldn’t ever meet one again. No, Dylan was done with love. Completely finished. There was nothing left. Sean had taken everything he still had to give, and now Dylan hadn’t even a remnant of a heart left to feel anything anymore. Probably ever again.
Love aside though, he hadn’t gotten himself laid in a long while. Had it been a year? It probably had. It didn’t necessarily need to stay that way forever, right? Dylan had to admit he missed the sensation of being with someone physically. Even though he wouldn’t be looking for another relationship, there were a shitload of people in the gay-scene just having casual sex. Maybe he could be one of those?
“You know what?” he said cheerfully, interrupting the comments and questions that were on everyone’s lips. “I think my type right now would be the happy carefree guy that’s in for a one-night party up his ass.”
Brett laughed, but the insincerity was audible. As if Brett was saying ‘too soon man, did you love Sean at all?’ Or maybe that was just Dylan’s own mind saying that. Tim however, clapped at the remark. “Spoken like a true free man. One word of advice though: don’t take Danny home, your neighbours will kill you because of the noise.”
“Fuck you Timmy, you wouldn’t know, and neither will Dylan. I’m very peculiar about my daddies!” Danny retorted. Dylan could swear he saw Brett’s cheeks heat up, but decided that the party was over. He tossed back his beer and excused himself, promising Brett he’d be back at 2PM to go over the administration.
Now for some sleep. Dylan smoked a cigarette as he walked back to his apartment. It was only his fifth cigarette today, which was quite the accomplishment. Sean would have scolded him for it anyways, but he wasn’t there to judge anymore.
Coming home Dylan fumbled with his new set of keys. There were too many new ones: front door, apartment door, cellar door, door of his storage unit, three keys for Mercury… Though clearly quite sober, Dylan knew he must look like some drunk idiot who fails to open his door at 3.20AM on a Wednesday night. He made a mental note to label the keys in the morning, or well, the afternoon. He wasn’t planning on being awake in the morning.
Finally opening the front door with the correct key, Dylan entered the hallway and found exactly the drunk idiot who fails to open his door at 3.20AM on a Wednesday night. His neighbour was passed out in front of his own apartment door. Keys were dangling from the lock, but the key that the guy had stuck in, clearly belonged to a bicycle lock.
Dylan walked over, somewhere in his legs a thread of dread building up as he neared the unconscious man. It disappeared as he saw the blonde locks in front of his face move at his steady breathing. What was his name again? Ian, right?
“Hey Ian!” he tried. No reaction.
“Ian?” he tapped his shoulder, but his neighbour just huffed and kept on sleeping.
Oh, for fuck’s sake, Dylan thought and reached for the keys. He needed to use a little force to get the bicycle key out of the lock, then check the others carefully to find the right one. He opened the door and Ian’s limp body fell halfway across the threshold. He groaned but didn’t make any attempts to move.
Dylan crouched down to scoop Ian up from the floor, stuck his right arm under Ian’s left, across his back and jerked him up. Ian’s eyes opened a little and he stared at Dylan’s face, gaze completely unfocussed.
“Hey Ian, get up.” Dylan said as he hoisted the young man up, using his left hand to grip Ian’s waist. He stretched his legs slowly as his muscles complained about moving and working all day and night and needing a rest.
Dylan had his gaze forward, looking into the cluttered apartment he was dragging his neighbour into when a wave of alcohol slammed into his nose.
“Hah...” Ian said and kissed him right on the lips.
Shocked, Dylan let go of Ian’s waist and ducked under his right shoulder. Ian’s limp body fell backwards, but Dylan caught him smoothly, and he turned to positioned it to his side. What the fuck was that?
“Okay, you crazy kid. Let’s get you to bed.” He said, forcing his strained muscles to drag the guy to his bedroom. Which was easy to find, since his one-bedroom apartment had the exact same layout as Dylan’s.
It was a complete mess though. Everywhere lay papers with code written on them, it seemed. An acoustic guitar was on the floor next to a half-opened laptop and some dirty dishes. Another guitar lay on the ragged couch. The TV was dwarfed by huge speakers on either sides of it, and various instruments decorated the walls. Ok, his neighbour was clearly a musician. He hoped he kept about the same sleep schedule, otherwise that could be a damper on his night’s rest.
“You’re very naughty dragging me like that… come here and I’ll…” Ian slurred and licked Dylan neck. His tongue trailed the sensitive skin, followed by the steel ring in Ian’s lip.
Dylan gasped as the hairs on his arm rose from the sensation. He dragged Ian into his bedroom and threw him on the bed before his drunk and horny neighbour could get a rise out of other body parts. Not that Dylan would’ve ever considered making a move on a passed-out drunk, but he did feel he had to steel his mind to make sure his dick wouldn’t get any strange ideas about this guy in the future.
Not the neighbour Dylan, don’t get the hots for your neighbour. This man is off-limits. You can’t have a casual hook-up when you’re living next door to each other, besides he’s WAY too young for you. You didn’t suddenly turn into a paedophile now did you? Thought so. Now make sure he doesn’t choke on vomit and get the fuck out.
As Ian’s head hit the pillow, he started snoring instantly. Dylan bent over the bed and turned him on his side just to be safe. Then he removed Ian’s shoes and put them next to the bed. He could figure out the rest for himself.
Dylan left the apartment, closed the door carefully and opened the door next to it. The same apartment, albeit a very sparsely decorated, but clean one. He sighed.
What a day…