The city was bustling with the morning commuters to the big apple for their boring jobs. Everything was the same, blue sky covered with a thin layer of smog, high rise skyscrapers of glass and steel, taxi cabs and cars rushing by just so people can get to where they are supposed to be, people walking along the street talking on cell phones or eating a muffin or texting even. Yes, New York City, a place where anything can happen and it never sleeps, ever.
This is my city where everything can happen, where the streets are just busy with people doing various things, and the clubs where the night falls and the lights are out with a brilliance. That is what I love about this city the most. At night is when everything really comes alive, nothing can go wrong. My life was about the clubs, and music. I am a Dj for a gay club called “The Pulse,” and tonight was our opening night. My last job was in a small town party. Didn’t get paid much but the owner of Pulse was there and offered me a job in the city. I never expected a job like this.
Opening night, the owner gave me a tour of the place, before everything got busy and hectic. Dance Floor and My booth fully equipped all it needed was my songs which I already had the CDs in cases by the door. The room was brilliantly open the floor sparkled and shined, the lights flashed in the floor a rainbow color and so did the stream of lights shining from the ceiling.
“So what do you think?” The Owner asked me. He was a very small man with big blue eyes and platinum blond hair. He had the girlish squeak to him and he was obviously trying too hard to try to get my attention.
“It’s amazing, sir,” I said trying not to get too worked up over everything going on at the moment. Seeing how I finally got a well-paying job in the city I live in and that it was to a club that would offer me a chance to get a good look at some of the guys.
“Oh please, darling, call me Elijah,” he said to me limping his wrist as he said his name.
Wow. He was defiantly a flamer, “Elijah, when are we opening?” I asked feeling dumb about doing so.
He looked at his watch, “Well the barmen should be here soon and so should the photographer for Out,” he said.
“Photographer?” I asked.
“Yes, we are a premium gay club, hunnie, we aren’t like ‘Fiddlesticks’ down the block here,” Elijah said walking over the door.
I looked out over his shoulder, lines were already starting to form and the bouncer and the A-list man were taking names. I grabbed my cases and walked back to the Dj booth to start getting my mixes for tonight ready.
This morning I thought it would be a good day. You know get up go to work that you enjoy doing then come home do whatever, finish up a couple things for work, do a few things for yourself and around the house, then go to bed. That apparently wasn’t the case here. My life was being remised by my boss, he work me up from a dead sleep this morning.
“Hello?” I asked exhausted, I glanced at my clock.
“Kip, good you’re awake, good morning,” My Boss said.
“Yeah-,” I started to say while groaning and sighing slightly. I wanted to slam the receiver down and roll over and fall back to sleep. My boss made me go to a midnight party last night for the opening of a new club, whose name I forgot. Now he wakes me up four hours later for work more.
“Wonderful, so tonight is a new club opening, it’s called The Pulse, and I want you to be there to cover it, I hear the new Dj is a hot and it’s his debut move on the town,” he said.
I was still half asleep, “Yeah…um, alright,” I said laying back down.
“Okay, so I’ll need you in the office in two hours,” he said.
I sat up and swung my feet off the side of the bed, “Alright I’ll be there,” I said sighing and hoping he’d hear it.
“Great, see you soon,” he said. I slammed the phone down and laid back down, ‘Shoot me,’ I thought. I jumped up and got changed and ready for everything that was going to go down tonight, jeans, white V-neck t-shirt, jean jacket, and my brown Nike’s. I tied my shoes brushed my teeth, splashed water over my face and then grabbed my camera bag. Out the door again for another night on the town.
By seven the club was packed and I enjoyed it, the music was blaring, all the guys and the girls in the club were smiling, dancing, laughing, flirting, and checking me out. I got a lot of tips and a lot of numbers. It was like heaven, well until Elijah showed up.
“Amazing isn’t it darling?” he asked behind the loud boom of the speakers.
“Yeah, I never thought everyone would like my music as much,” I said. Elijah leaned closer and put his hand on the lower slide of my back. That’s when I felt like saying something, but it was my first night and I didn’t want to get fired.
“However, you know that our photographer is late,” he said rudely.
I looked at him then shrugged then focused on the music on my laptop that I was going to play next. Luckily, Elijah’s attention was redirected to one of his friends calling out his name from the VIP section.
‘He’s going to drive me nuts, I mean he’s my boss and everything but seriously that guy is going to drive me completely insane. He’s not my type, though Roberto the dancer over there is,’ I thought.
“Derek?” I heard a familiar voice call out.
I looked behind me at the guy that walked up to my platform to come request a song. Blond hair, blue eyes, muscular, with the body of a God. Yeah I knew that voice anywhere, I turned around slowly, “Hey Michael,” I said.
“Oh my God, so you’re the house Dj?” He asked, obviously not much has changed since I last seen him.
“Yeah,” I responded dryly turning back to my laptop.
Michael stepped forward and then looked at me, really he checked me out, “So, how you been?” He asked.
I turned to him and looked at him coldly, “Better after you decided to cheat on me and leave me broke in town,” I said.
Michael’s face was in slight shock but then he looked down to the floor, “Oh, that,” he said softly.
I turned to him, “Yeah, that!” I said sharply, “Look! You have a song you want played let me know then get back to your life and stay out of mine,” I said.
Michael shook his head then turned and returned to the dance floor, I lost him after he grabbed the guy he was dancing with.
Elijah came back then, “What was that about?” He asked. I looked back at him quickly, “Nothing, just one of those nights were you see someone you’ve been trying to avoid for years,” I explained in a nutshell.
“Alrighty then, well our photographer’s here anyway, he’s got better shots of you and the crowd interacting with each other from up here, you don’t mind do you?” Elijah asked.
I shook my head and played another song, “Nope.”
“Well, I’ll go get him, he’s a doll, I’m talking S-A-L-T-Y,” Elijah stated, then walked off threw the wave and mass of people.
Between Michael and Elijah I think I had enough of guys tonight, the last thing I needed to worry about was some photographer that didn’t even possibly care on what was going on except for taking pictures of all the good or maybe in this case bad moments. I heard Elijah and the photographer guy return up the steps but I didn’t turn to face them.
“Kip, I can’t believe you’re the photographer, well this is Derek he’s the house Dj. He gave you permission to stand up here then and photograph the place,” Elijah said to the photographer.
“Thanks Derek,” I heard him say.
I just nodded and waved my hand back while trying to keep the beat of the next song.
“Anyway, just do the job I know you can do, and keep an eye on him,” Elijah said and I knew he was talking to me.
The music was playing hard, loud, and hot. But in my booth there was a silence that was weird enough.
“So how long you been a Dj?” Kip asked me.
I could hear him rustling threw his bag to get his camera none the less, “For about four years now,” I responded.
“Smile,” he said appearing beside me with his camera in my face.
I quickly put on a quick smile and a bright flash lit up my world for a second. I was blind for a then blinked a couple times.
“You look good,” Kip said.
I looked up at him then, and almost wished I hadn’t. Kip was beautiful his deep brown eyes melted me and the way his black hair spiked a bit but in a classy way, his clothes did fit his muscular figure, but of course I was taller than him. His jaw and his upper lip carried the shadow of the sleepless nights that he was apparently having. I stopped a second and just looked at him for the longest time. I was hooked and I knew it.
The line for the club was starting to stretch along the side of the street, I grabbed my bag and walked to the front of the line.
“Hey sexy, I’d love to let you in but you need to wait in line like the rest of them,” The list man said.
I sighed, I always got tired of it, that’s why I always had my press pass with me, “Here, that enough to get in?” I asked holding up my press pass in his face. I was annoyed, tired, and cranky, and didn’t want to deal with him.
He looked at the pass then looked off to the other side of the door, “You can stand with the rest of the photographers then,” he said smiling coyly.
I glared at him, “Could you get Elijah to come out here?” I asked. The list man’s smile faded then he nodded to the bouncer who then walked off.
“Hey cutie, wanna come stand in line with me?” One of the guys in line asked.
I smiled at him then stood with my arms crossed as the doors of the club opened again and out walked the bouncer with the platinum blond owner, Elijah.
“Kip?” He asked as soon as he saw me.
I nodded holding out my Out! Press pass, “I’m the photographer for tonight,” I said.
Elijah let me over the red ropes and into the madness, “Hunnie, I haven’t seen you in two years we need to catch up before you go do your job,” he said.
Elijah and I, we were roommates in college. He wanted to go to school to management, and I obviously went to school for photography. I was convinced that Elijah had a crush on me, but I could never figure out what it was about him that didn’t make me want him. It was a good thing though, because we’re close friends, and apparently we continued to be. The only problem was I hadn’t seen him in over two years.
Elijah led me to the VIP area where I got a quick look at the crowd that the Dj was controlling. Though I couldn’t see his face because his back was turned to me at this point and time.
“Who’s the Dj?” I asked when we sat down for a moment.
“His name is Derek,” Elijah said, he then smiled and hugged me, “Oh I’ve missed having our little talks in the middle of the night,” he said.
I laughed, “Yeah that’s for sure.”
Elijah noticed that Derek was still talking to the guy that was over there, “Hey I’ll be back then alright?”
I nodded and searched in my bag for my Fiji water bottle. That’s when I got hit on by an elder man.
“What’s a sexy young thing like you sitting here, you should be out on the dance floor,” he said.
I looked up at him then handed out my press pass for him to see, “I’m not here to mingle I’m here to work, sorry,” I said then stood up.
“Aw, that’s too bad well, here’s my number anyway in case you decide to take some time off,” The older man said holding out his business card.
I looked at him then the card and then took it. I looked at the card and read what it had said. Apparently he was the head of some kind of department of a corporation. I let him walk off then after he was out of site I threw the card in the trash can closest to me.
Elijah came back and grabbed one of my arms, “He’s desperate and very hot, try to be yourself,” he said dragging me across the dance floor and the VIP section with my camera bag.
I looked at him, “What are you talking about?”
“The Dj, Derek, don’t try too hard,” Elijah said.
I looked at him from across the room, tall, which was a great quality of mine that I adored, black hair, and deep hazel eyes, which made me want to melt, he had an athletic build to him with his slightly baggy t-shirt and ragged jeans that I could see a bit. His face was a model and he had the slightest hint of a mustache and a goatee going on I wanted to scream in pleasure over him. The only thing was he looked a bit upset since I walked in and he was alone, then talking to some guy now he didn’t look too happy. I let Elijah drag me up to the Dj booth and stood there.
“Kip, I can’t believe you’re the photographer, well this is Derek he’s the house Dj. He gave you permission to stand up here then and photograph the place,” Elijah said to me.
“Thanks Derek,” I said to him.
He just nodded to me and waved his hand back while trying to keep the beat of the next song.
“Anyway, just do the job I know you can do, and keep an eye on him,” Elijah said pointing to Derek.
The music was playing hard, loud, and hot. But in the booth there was a silence that was so…overbearing that it seemed like another world.
“So how long you been a Dj?” I asked trying to break the silence.
I tried to get my camera out of my bag and focus it, “For about four years now,” he responded.
I moved beside him quickly and he looked at me quickly.
“Smile,” I said.
The flash went off and the photo behind it was amazing he was beautiful and I knew one thing this was going to be one hell of a night.
The Way Home
The club died down and everyone went home for the night, well in my case early morning. Elijah, Mark, our bouncer, a few dancers, and Kip were the only ones still in the now silent club.
I kept looking and watching Kip over my shoulder all night, and I felt like he was doing the same as he tried to busy himself with taking pictures and writing things down on his little notepad he had pulled out of his bag. But somehow I had the feeling of him being distracted by me, and watching me when my back was turned. But I mean it couldn't have been that easy for me to catch his attention with just a picture.
"So did you like it?" Elijah said breaking my train of thought.
I looked at him snapping out of it, "What?"
Elijah smiled a coy seductive smile, as if he knew what I was thinking about.
"I take that as a yes?" He asked.
I played it off like I had no idea what he was talking about, "Um, what?"
"You liked it?" He repeated himself with a sly smile, lighting up because he knew he had caught me.
"Yeah," I said looking over to Kip, "A lot."
Kip was laughing and smiling talking with the dancers and the bouncer Mark, apparently they all liked him too and they were getting pictures for Myspace and Facebook.
"Derek!" One of the dancers, Dustin, hollered over to me.
I looked up at him and he motioned for me to come over. Regardless of what was going on in my head I walked over.
"Would you mind taking a picture with Kip?" Dustin asked.
I looked at Kip who just looked at me smiled lightly, "Why not?"
I nodded and grinned slightly, "Sure."
Kip walked up to me and placed his arm around me and looked at the camera and pushed his head closer to my chest to get as close as possible. I put my hand around his back and pulled him closer to me. I thought I felt him move with the motion but it must have been my imagination.
The picture was taken and a bunch of "awe's" came from everyone.
"What?" Kip asked, not moving away from me.
"Would you guys kiss for me?" Elijah said holding up a camera.
I looked at him sure enough to kill him.
"Sure," Kip said casually.
"What?" I asked him.
Kip laughed, "It's for the spread, that's my camera, and no one but my friends know what I look like and I'm going to promise you that I'm not going to put a caption with your name on it," he said.
"I paid him to create a add, so why not have two gorgeous men kissing in the magazine for us?" Elijah asked rhetorically.
I looked at Elijah to Kip, "Didn't you get pictures of other couples dancing and kissing and making out?"
Kip looked at me, "None of them made out for the camera they said that they had their reputations to keep."
Elijah winked at me, "On three then."
"Fine, it's only for the magazine isn't it?" I asked.
Kissing a random guy that was just here for his job, I mean what were the chances that I'd see his again?
"One," Elijah said.
My palms started to sweat as I moved closer to him. What was going on? He was just a guy.
I looked at him, his face was still and stuck in a small smile, welcome and warming and..., oh no.
I leaned down and kissed him.
His lips were warm and soft, his mouth opened partly and I gently slid my tongue into his mouth, he accepted it and leaned into the kiss then.
The camera snapped and the flash went off, but no one moved, not even me or Kip.
I broke the kiss and Kip looked at me with a blank expression on his face, but the emotions in his eyes had himself spinning out of control.
"I, um, should go," Kip said his voice shaking.
No one said anything nor moved.
Kip then grabbed his bag off the counter and snatched his camera from Elijah, and headed for the door.
"That was," Dustin started but couldn't finish.
Kip turned around, "I'll call about the prints then." With that he headed out the door.
I stood there a moment and so did everyone else.
"Well?" Mark asked.
I looked at him, then shook my head and ran after Kip.
Once I was outside I seen Kip walking down the street, I didn't know anyone could walk that fast.
"Kip," I called out.
I saw him turn really quickly then stop and in a frustrated matter lift his arms and let them drop.
"Derek," he said, as his bag opened and all of its contents were on the ground, "Shit!" He swore.
I jogged over and helped him pick everything up.
"Thank you," he said.
"Don't worry about it, but do you mind if I talk to you?" I asked.
"Sure, but it's a long walk to my apartment," he said.
I smiled at him, "I think I have the time."
He smiled back at me then looked to the ground again.
I lifted his chin with my finger, "You don't have to be shy," I said.
He smiled, "I'm not usually, it's just I know I'm blushing."
I laughed, "What train you get on?"
"The L," he said then started off towards the street.
I stood there a moment smiling then walked after him.
"So, you’re used to being out this early?" I asked.
He smiled at me and chuckled a bit, "No usually earlier," he responded.
I smiled knowing that was a corny joke to say, but somehow it didn't matter. But what I really wanted to know was what he felt during the kiss, and why he ran off after it. Was it good or bad, or was he just afraid.
"Derek?" He asked me as we waited for a light to change.
I looked at him snapping out of my thoughts, "Yeah?"
He was quiet for a moment and it seemed like he wanted to ask me something important.
"I'm sorry," he said.
I looked at him confused, "What? Why are you apologizing?"
"It's just, I never do things like that."
"Kissing a complete stranger," he said looking up at me.
So he liked it?
"I mean, it was," he paused, "Never mind," he said trying to cross the street.
I walked after him.
"You don't have to do this really I can get home by myself," he said walking faster than I was.
"Kip, I liked it too," I said reaching the other side slightly behind him.
He stopped and turned to face me. The look in his face was flustered like he knew what he wanted and wanted to do, but there was also doubt behind his eyes that gave him away.
"It's not that easy Derek," he said.
I sighed and looked at him, "Hey I just met you, I'm not going to hurt you, I want to see where this goes," I said looking into his eyes.
He was quiet for a moment, "Derek, I appreciate the thought but," he started.
"You felt something, that's why you ran out," I interrupted him.
Kip bit his lip and his face was soft again, he looked normal but confused and frustrated on what to do with himself, what to say next to me and even give himself the time to think things through.
I walked up to him and stood directly in front of him.
"Derek," he said softly.
I lifted his chin to look at me, "Yes?"
He lifted his face to mine and kissed me again.
The same fire and passion burned inside me as he did.
He broke the kiss then breathed lightly and softly, then took a step backwards, "Yes, I did feel something," he said.
I reached out for him before he took another step but to my luck, I couldn't get to him in time.
He stepped into a loading hole in the city street that was open for the truck that pulled up to the store as we were standing there.
"Owe," Kip said laying in the bottom of the shop.
I smiled, "Accident prone?" I asked.
He groaned and got up picked up his things and climbed the stairs beside the floor slide.
I helped him up and we continued to walk towards the train.
"You ok?" I asked.
He laughed at himself, "Yeah I have a problem of getting lost or hurt, by myself."
I shook my head, "You sound like my sister."
He laughed, "Well I bet your sister doesn't get lost in a mall."
"Actually," I started, then I looked at him.
We both laughed, knowing what I would say.
We reached the loading station for the L, I looked at him with the look of slight dread.
He spun around and looked at me, "Here," he said handing me a card.
I looked at it, on it was his name phone number and department for the magazine.
"Call me and we'll get together for lunch," he said smiling.
I nodded, "Yeah."
He started up the stairs and I just stood there watching him. He stopped half way, turned around and looked at me.
I smiled at him.
He started back down and stopped a step up so that he was my height.
I grinned at him and he leaned forward kissing me quickly, "I just had to see if I was right," he said.
I thought about it, "Were you?"
He smiled, "I'll let you find out next time, "he said winking at me and heading back up the stairs just as the train was arriving at the station.
I stood there a moment remembering what I said about the first kiss. What were my chances of seeing him again?
I looked at the card in my hand with his number on it.
Apparently a lot.
I walked into the office the next day, smiling for once. Thought it felt like it was drawing attention to me because everyone in the office was watching me. My receptionist rushed over to me, her face was stuck in a curious glance.
"Kip?" She asked.
I looked at her questionably, "Yes, Sarah?"
She fallowed in step alongside me handing me a coffee, "What's wrong with you?"
I took the coffee, "Thank you, but nothing's wrong," I answered her as we walked into my office.
"You’re smiling," she said standing by the door holding a stack of papers.
"Yes, And?" I asked placing my bag down on the desk.
She looked at me curiously, "Yeah, getting attached with someone from work?" She asked.
I smiled bigger not looking up from the file that was placed on my desk, then I finally looked at her, "Could you get me my mail please?"
She grinned back at me, "Sure thing boss," Sarah said.
She knows how that gets under my skin, and how I would like her to call me Kip. Sarah has been my secretary since I started here, and she's become a very close friend of mine. She's seen the side of me when I've been hung over from the parties and I've seen her go through the boyfriend's that would be complete assholes. It has only been two years now since she settled down with my college roommate and best friend Mark.
Sarah walked back in carrying a stack of papers and this month's magazine. "You know you should really be the cover model for this magazine," She said holding it up then throwing it on my desk.
I laughed at her, "Sarah, what makes you think that I'd be able to do that, I'm a photographer not a model," I said picking up the magazine.
"Well, your figure for one, and your gorgeous hunnie, please do it for me. I know a lot of the other photographers want to be one," She said leaning back and putting her hands on her belly and the baby.
I looked at her, "That's only because they want to get with me and see me naked. How's Emma doing?" I asked pointing at the baby.
Sarah looked up at me, "She's been kicking lately, and I think she wants to get out."
I laughed and got up and kissed her cheek, "You'll be a great mom look what you done for me," I said.
She laughed at me, "Yeah, yeah," She said wrapping her arms around me and hugging me, "You a pain in the ass sometimes Kip, but I love you."
I laughed at her, "I love you too hun."
She let go of me and stood like she did as I searched threw my bag of film.
"So why are you so happy?" She asked looking at me.
I stopped and to look at her, "Well, after I get these developed I'll tell you," I said finding my film and walking past her.
"Well let me know then," she started turning to walk with me, "Oh there was some guy that called for you," she said reading the sticky note on her arm.
I stopped and looked at her, "Really, who?" I said excited.
She looked at the sticky note again, "His name was," she looked up at me, "Derek," she said confused.
I smiled again and then hollered back, "Just leave me his number on my desk!"
I walked back into my office and laid my pictures out on the desk from the other night. I sat down in my chair and looked out the window to the bustling city streets.
Sarah walked in, "Oh you have them printed," she said putting another file on my desk. She picked up the closest picture to her.
"Kip?" She asked.
I looked at her, "Yeah?"
"Who's this?" She asked holding up the picture of me and Derek standing together.
I at her then the picture, "What I didn't know someone had my, oh Elijah, that jerk," I said.
Sarah stood there with the picture in her hands and looked at me, "Well?"
I smiled and got up, "Well," I started.
"I think someone has some explaining to do boss," Sarah said holding her back up with her free hand.
I groaned, "You know I hate it when you do that," I said.
"So who is he?" She asked still standing there grinning at me.
"That's Derek," I said.
She smiled at me put the picture down and then put a sticky note on the corner of my desk, "Make lunch plans, and good luck," she said turning to leave the room.
I smiled at her and picked up the phone, I looked at the sticky note and dialed Derek's number.
One ring, two, three, four.
Why was I trying he would probably be asleep.
"Hello?" He answered.
I smiled, "Derek?" I asked stupidly.
I heard his voice lighten, "Kip! Hi," he said joyfully.
"Oh, I'm glad I caught you. I thought you'd be asleep still," I said.
"Oh no, just cleaning up around the apartment, this place is a mess."
I giggled, "Well don't let me keep you."
He laughed this time, "It can wait, what's up?"
"Well, I was thinking," Hell what was I thinking, "Maybe you'd be up for lunch?"
He paused a bit, picking something up, "Yeah, that'd be great, where and when?"
"How about two Bamboo52?"
"Three Forty-Four West End Fifty Second Street. In Hell’s Kitchen."
"Oh alright, I'll see you there at?"
"Alright then see you at four."
"Yeah, you must be busy so I'll talk to you later."
"A little, I'll talk to you later then."
He laughed, "Bye."
I hung up the phone, and Sarah rushed in.
"You two seem like you didn't want to get off the phone you kinda dragged it on a bit." She said standing back on her back and holding herself up again.
I looked at her and smiled, "I think I like him a bit too much hun," I said putting my hands in front of my face.
"Oh hunnie," Sarah said walking over to me and sitting across from me so that she didn't have to stand anymore, "That's got nothing to do with how long you've known him," she paused, "How long have you known him?"
I looked at my watch, "A day and about twelve hours."
She looked at me with a shocked expression, "Oh my god."
"Yeah I know," I started.
"Oh my god."
I looked at her, her face didn't change, "Yeah I know," I repeated myself dryly.
"No, Kip my water just broke!" She said.
"What!" I yelled standing up.
"Emma's coming!" She yelled back at me.
I rushed to the door, "Someone call a hospital Sarah's having her baby!"
This was sure going to put me behind.