After only a few weeks in court, a young man was walking down the stairs of the court building a free man—well, sort of. His mother was a dean at a prestigious college, and her husband just happened to be a high profile carreer criminal. Put those two elements together, plus a publicly hushed case, and you had the makings of mass media coverage. With no real information to go on the press could only follow him, take pictures and make stuff up. All things they are extremely good at.
Somehow he, his mom and dad, and the lawyer managed to get past the paparazzi and into the car incident free. It’s strange—if some nobody had been taken to court under the same circumstances, no one would care. They’d just chalk it up to another temporary insanity case, but a criminals son? No way—they just had to find every possible way to say that he was guilty and try to pull him down. Run the ever popular criminals just think they’re above the law retoric. What made it worse was that this time, the boy was indeed innocent.
The car peeled off from the courts and started to leave the press behind. Soon there was quiet, and the car came down to a smoother pace. The young man looked out the window and stared, contemplating all that had happened in the past six weeks, and just began to cry. His mother took him into her arms and tried to calm his worry. She never dreamed he’d be in court for something like this. Never in a million years.
“Morning,” Janita said as she leant in and gave Rene a kiss.
“It’s Saturday. Can’t a man get any sleep?”
“No, ‘cause I made us breakfast.” Rene forced himself to get up. He didn’t feel the need to get dressed, so in his boxers, he went downstairs to the kitchen. Marco, his best friend, was already down. Coming through the door was Rene’s brother, getting rid of last night’s conquest.
“And who was that, Raul,” Rene asked.
“No one, Rene.”
“Come on. We’re twins. I know you better than that. You should leave those married men alone.”
“I’m not five. I’m a full grown adult male of twenty-three. I can fuck whoever I like.”
“Or be fucked by,” Rene tried to mumble under his breath.
“I heard that. Just because you have someone doesn’t mean I want to be on lockdown as well.”
“There is nothing wrong with having someone special. I just—“
“Oh, stop giving the boy a hard time. He can make his own decisions,” Marco cut in.
“Thanks, Marco. At least someone understands. And how come your cute Mexican ass is still single?” Raul walked over to him and stared into his pretty brown eyes. After only a few seconds of this, Marco started to turn red.
“Stop that. You make me nervous.”
“Lil’ ole me? You should find you a nice black girl. You’d make a nice Oreo ice cream sandwich.”
“No one wants me like that.”
Raul just smiled. This man really didn’t see his own potential. Brown eyes, dark brown hair shaved bald around the bottom half and just enough hair to have a decent ponytail, pulled up into a not so perfect man bun. And those lips—“mmmm” is the only word that can be used to describe them. Too bad he was straight. All the good ones were these days.
“You know lately you get hard at the drop of a dime. You need a release.”
“I can take care of my own needs.”
“A man can only survive off a good J. O. for so long.”
“If you say so. And stop trying to hook me up,” Marco said and directed that comment to the number-one offender: Rene.
“Fine. Go on and be sexually frustrated and single forever.” Marco just shook his head. He knew there wasn’t a chance in hell the blind dates would stop.
“And look who it is. Everybody’s favourite farm boy,” Raul said as Adrian emerged into the kitchen.
“I didn’t live on a farm,” he retorted.
“But you did work on one.” Adrian just smiled; he left small-town mentality for big-city jokes. But what more could he expect from college life? He didn’t mind, though. Anything to not feel like a vampire or a possessed soul like he did in his own hometown.
“So when are we going to hook up?” Raul asked though he already knew the answer.
“You’re cute, Raul, but not that cute.”
“Well just take a knife and put it through my heart. That hurts.” Raul himself couldn’t even keep a straight face through this comment.
“Just because your Hispanic ass has a British accent doesn’t mean I’m going to fall at your feet.”
“Damn. That usually gets them every time. Oh well. Can’t win them all. I’ll just find myself another cute, short half-Asian.”
“Okay by me. Besides, I could already have my eye on someone for all you know.”
“You? You’re more of a man-whore than I am. Except you’re bi, which makes it worse.” Adrian could only roll his eyes at a comment like that. Truth was he did have his eye on someone, but he wasn’t about to reveal that. A man’s got to have his secrets.
Dana walked out onto his balcony and took in the morning sun. It felt good, but in about two weeks it was back to school. He’d forget about the simple pleasures in life when things like projects and homework took over. Part of leaving his past behind meant having a normal average life. He had a job working in the area, not to far from the college.
He was working at Liza’s, a nice restaurant that students, as well as high-profile clientel frequented. As he looked down upon the ocean view before him, he couldn’t help but wonder what his life would be like had he not left his former life so far behind. Definitely not as drama free. Well, almost drama free.
Dana still couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble. Leaving the past behind seemed to be recreating a present that was too similar. Even if for different reasons. He had serious anger issues, which had caused him to hurt a person or two. He was getting a little better, though—nothing good therapy and meds couldn’t fix. As most relaxing, deep-thought, tranquil moments go, his bliss was interrupted by a phone call. Somehow he knew who it was but went against his better judgment and answered the phone.
“A broken leg this time.”
“Mom, I was just chillin’ on the wall with a good book, and he was all up in my face. I tried to get rid of him. I even got up and walked away, but he wouldn’t give up. Then he started touching me inappropriately, so I just snapped.”
“You always just snap.”
“Mom, don’t be like that.”
“I’m just saying you, of all people, shouldn’t be committing hate crimes.”
“They’re not hate crimes. I’ve hurt a straight person or two.”
“You don’t have to convince me. I’m merely stating what it looks like.”
Dana let out a sigh. “I am getting better, Mom.” This was true. She had to admit that things were a lot better than when he first got out there. She guessed it was all a part of growing up. Still, she had hoped his issues would evaporate a lot faster. Being the busy woman that she was, she had squeezed out all her free time for the moment. And Dana—well, he had to prep for work. He knew his favourite customer would be there that day.
“Damn, that was some game,” Jen said as they made their way into Liza’s for lunch. It was just a little after two. Jen was Janita’s best friend. Adrian and the others just got back from playing a little basketball. Jen was tall, brunette, and had deep brown eyes and breasts for days. Unfortunately, she did not have the booty as well. At least the butt was firm, if almost nonexistent.
The only reason she enjoyed the games so much was because of all the topless men in shorts. The girl didn’t know the first thing about basketball.
Everyone sat down at their favourite spot, which had a perfect view of outside and the sandwich and coffee bar. After a few sips from their smoothies, they decided to order, and who would be their waiter but Dana. This was part of the reason they sat here— 'cause he always hooked them up with extra stuff for free. After Dana took their order, Jen turned to watch him walk away.
“Now that is one hot piece of man.”
“Who you telling, Jen?” Raul added.
“Seriously. 6’3”, dark brown hair, blue eyes, golden skin, thick build and an Italian accent. I’d like to get me a piece of that imported meat.”
“Yeah. What a sad shame he’s straight,” Raul said.
“You don’t know that. All he said was you’re not his type,” Rene said.
“The boy is straight, and you know it.”
“Okay.” Rene raised his hands in defeat. “I was only trying to give you a little hope. False hope, but hope just the same.”
“And apparently he doesn’t like white girls either,” Jen commented with a sigh.
“Jen, just because every man you throw yourself at doesn’t go face deep into your pussy doesn’t mean they don’t like white girls. It just means you’re not their type,” Janita said.
“Oh details. Can’t you just let me mope?” Janita rolled her eyes in response to that comment.
“You know I think he’s dating someone,” Janita said.
“Really, Janita? Why you say that?” Adrian inquired.
“Well, haven’t you noticed his new glow? Since the end-of-school-year party, he’s just been—I don’t know, just different.”
“You know you’re right. For all we know, they could be in here right now,” Adrian stated, looking around as if he could magically spot the mystery woman.
“Exactly, Adrian. I mean that would explain why we get the free stuff all the time now instead of just every so often. They could be watching, and he’s just trying to put his best foot forward and all,” Janita continued and everyone nodded as if in agreement.
“Well, whoever the lucky bitch is I hope she keeps giving him the good shit, ‘cause if we get to reap the benefits of his healthy sex life, this girl deserves a medal,” Jen said.
“I heard that,” Marco added. Everyone agreed and lifted their smoothies in a toast to the girl that may not even exist.
“Why you guys looking so happy?” Dana asked as he came back to the table with their order. They just looked at him and smiled. Dana decided, looking at all the evil smiles, that maybe he didn’t want to know after all. Besides, he didn’t have time for that— he was a popular waiter, and there were other people that wanted to check him out. So he got back to work, and they got back to speculating who this girl might be.
So the first week of school was done, and it was now the third week in August. Things were pretty much the same. Everyone had concluded that Dana was just a nice guy, anger issues aside, and there was no girl. There couldn’t be. That would mean their sleuthing skills were lacking and that obviously wasn’t happening—at least in their minds.
The twins were back at scheming to get Marco laid. He was just coming in the house late Friday night from another one of their blind dates, shouting furiously in Spanish.
“I guess it didn’t go well,” Rene snickered.
“Shut up, Rene.”
“All she did was talk about Bubbles.”
“Bubbles?” Adrian inquired.
“Yes, Bubbles. Bubbles likes his food at this temperature. Bubbles’ steak must be cooked for a specific amount of time. Bubbles will only eat at this time of the day. Bubbles must be walked at precisely 6:30 every evening. His favourite chew toys, pictures in her wallet and on and on. Then it was the cat, Muffin. His favourite scratching post, will only eat this type of fish, cream not milk. Warm, not hot, not cold but just right.”
By now everyone was in hysterics. How could you not laugh at the story? And if that wasn’t enough, this girl had two more dogs and one cat to talk about in detail. Marco spent more time checking out his teeth in the spoon than actually listening. “Then finally she started to talk about herself—only five minutes. Apparently, her whole life is her pets.” He certainly had them convinced she was boring, though you couldn’t tell through all the teary eyes.
“No more blind dates.”
“Okay. We promise,” Rene said.
“Well, at least you cared enough to lie.”
Marco took a sip of the beer that Adrian had just brought him and felt instantly better. They went on talking trash and sports and did all those things men do. But no beer night would be complete without the…
“Thanks, and you can keep the change,” Rene said before closing the door and walking back to the living room.
“Well it’s about time,” Adrian said before inhaling his first slice of pizza. After the last slice of pizza had vanished and the last beer was consumed, it was still too early to go sleep, so they opted for a movie. Everyone was in the mood for some action, but the only ones starting at the right time were comedy and drama. Since there was no getting what they wanted, they decided to walk on the beach. After about thirty minutes of more talk and beer, they came upon Dana shooting hoops on the court.
“Well, Well. What are you doing out here so late? All alone.”
“It’s only just gone midnight, Raul, and I needed to relax. The courts are empty this hour, seeing as people are out clubbin' right now.”
“So how about a little one on one?”
“You don’t give up easy, do you?”
“What can I say? I got a soft spot for you, straight boy.”
“You sure it’s not a hard on?”
“Well, that too.”
“You’re one sick man. You’re not my type.”
“Really? Then why do you keep talking to me?”
“I’m a quiet guy. You talk, I respond. If it were up to me… but clearly, it’s not.”
“See. I’m softening you up already.”
“I know. I’m likeable. You can admit it. Then we can get naked.”
“You’re interrupting my private time.” Dana gave Raul a glare that he ignored.
“Are you trying to get rid of me now?” Raul’s mock offence wasn’t believed by anyone.
“Leave the boy alone. It’s obvious you’re not his type,” Adrian said.
“Maybe he’d prefer a little Asian meat then,” Raul countered.
“I’m only half Asian, and there is still the fact I am not female. Besides, I don’t like thugs.” This was a blatant lie on Adrian’s part.
“I’m not a thug,” Dana said in defence.
“Really? You saying some of those tattoos aren’t gang-related?”
“Oh all right, lil’ man. You got me there.”
“Hey, I’m five eight–ish. That’s tall for my height.”
“That makes no sense. And it’s still small to me.”
“Argh. Tall people.”
“So how’d you know it was me shouting at you on the way over?” Raul asked Dana.
“I didn’t till you got close. You got this little scar behind your thumb on your right hand.” It was true. He did have a scar. It was probably the only distinguishing mark between the two. They even forgot about it sometimes, and most people never noticed it.
“You got good eyes there, mate.”
“Well, enough talk. Are we gonna play ball before the crowds come out all drunk and stupid?” Rene asked, and that was all they needed to get the ball rolling, or bouncing, so to speak.
“…. and a triple shot hazelnut latte with caramel and vanilla for you. With whipped cream on top.”
“Thanks,” Adrian said to Dana before taking his first sip of coffee. The gang was really starting to reconsider their diagnosis of Dana. With the original prices of these free or discounted deluxe coffees, this girl had to be watching. Mind you, they didn’t see how it would work unless he was being nice to all his customers. They didn’t dwell on the details. Mainly because that would make all their free stuff seem less special and that was just not cool.
Adrian blamed Dana for his coffee addiction. He had always loved coffee, but when he had his first cup from Dana, it felt like he’d never tasted coffee before. Adrian chucked it up to a special Italian touch.
They were all sitting at the coffee bar. Dana wasn’t a waiter today. They actually preferred him best when he worked the sandwich counter. He made the best sandwiches. And they would wait however long it took for him to be free to make their sandwiches.
“So the rich boy knows how to work a cappuccino machine. Guess you are more than just a pretty face,” said Janita.
“Just go get a table, Janita. I’m a busy man. Other people to please with my coffee -making skills.”
As they left to go to their favourite table, Jen was just arriving. Late. She sat down in her seat and didn’t even wait to be interrogated—just gave the blow-by-blow of her morning sex. “I had me some Japanese steak, and he stir-fried my rice to perfection. Damn it was good.” After going through all the nasty details, there was one question.
“But that was morning sex. It doesn’t explain why you were late. It’s one thirty,” Marco asked.
“Well, on my way down here I bumped into this guy in my elevator. So we hit the button, and the rest is history. Or more accurately, his-in-me.”
“Girl, you is crazy. Shit, will you look at that? Now that is one fine piece of Mediterranean man,” Janita said.
“He’s Egyptian, Janita.”
“Whatever, Adrian. All I know is the boy got some nice lean muscle and tans better than half of the locals here, and they were born by the damn beach. Moms probably had an ocean view while the nurse was screaming push.”
“Who’s he?” Jen asked.
“You mean you’ve never seen him? That’s Jason. Dana’s best friend. The only person who knows who he is.”
“Yeah. He must’ve had a really bad childhood if he just erased it all when he started here. And shit loads of money to make his past just disappear,” Marco stated.
“Well, if he’s some sort of criminal, he might just have the means and the connections to do so with minimal cost. And if he is a criminal, that would explain how he can pay for school and that apartment and live as a waiter- slash -bartender,” Jen stated
“I guess, Jen. We know he had to be part of some sorta gang, but how deep could he have got in by eighteen to just up and disappear? And to college? Who disappears to college?” Marco asked.
“Why not? The best place to hide is in plain sight. If what he did was so bad, why not go to college? Who would expect a career criminal to pack it up change his name and just be ordinary,” Raul commented.
“True. But who cares? We just got free coffee, and how the hell did we go from checkin' out Jason to talking about Dana anyway?”
“Dunno, Rene, but he’s sure got a nice little bubble but going on there. I’m sure some lucky girl just loves grabbing that when he’s pounding away at her,” Adrian said as they watched Jason leave after talking to Dana.
“Well, let’s order some food already. We did come here to eat after all, didn’t we?”
“Yes, Jen, oh supreme ruler of the universe,” Raul said, and they finally ordered some food.
It was later on that night, and they were at the club, dancing to some Sean Paul. Even Marco was out on the dance floor with some shorty with ass for days. After their fill of dancing, they headed to the upper level to find a table. A few slices of pizza, a hot girl walking around with the free laboratory phials containing glowing shots, and good times were to be had.
“Well, it’s nice to see you get loose, Marco,” Janita said.
“What? He’s my boy. Of course he’s got it together. It’s about time he did his own hunting, seeing as he keeps turning down the blind dates.”
“Whatever, Rene. Why can’t a guy just be celibate already? I can have a good time without sex.”
“So you get her number?” Rene asked.
“All that grinding and you didn’t even try to get a number?” Raul shook his head in disbelief.
“It wasn’t like that.”
“Please. The girl was waving the goods in front of you like a red flag. She wants some of that Mexican madness.”
“You is crazy, Raul.”
“Hell, I’d get me some.”
“But you’re gay,” Adrian said.
“Your point? Me and the bro have done the switch. Back before either of us actually had a real sexual identity. But I like boys, and he doesn’t. Such is life. Threesomes was where it was at. Apparently having sex with twins is a thing.” Rene nodded in agreement.
“You guys are too much. How’d an innocent country boy like me end up as your friend?” Adrian drank some more of his drink after commenting.
“Innocent? And what were you doing after lunch today?” Raul asked.
“I think her name was Tiffany,” Rene added.
“Okay, but I was innocent before I met you guys.”
“Sure you were. The question is how long.” Janita stated, and they laughed together.
“Well, if it isn’t Goldie. What the fuck are you doing out here?”
“I promised a friend I’d show up. Clubbin' isn’t really my thing, and since Jason works the bar, sometimes I come out with him. Just thought I’d come up and say hi before I went and became a wallflower.” Not only was Dana out—very out—of character, but he was dressed up. Still in his boots, but he was wearing pants that’d he’d have to iron. His shirt was buttoned down just enough so that you could see the top of his tattoo. He also wore a black rope chain with a snail shell in glass with a flat, glow-in-the-dark back. And he smelled delicious. It was at this moment they were official convinced he was dating This girl had to exist.