Jerry jerked his head frantically toward the back of the restaurant. He mouthed some words. What? Oh, men’s room. Shit. He’d never give up. “Bill, I’ve got to go to the little boys’. If the waiter comes, just order me the halibut, okay?”
Bill looked up, nodded, and went back to his culinary study. Rod scooted through the crowd to the men’s room in the back of the restaurant. He loved Jerry, but really.
He ripped open the door and found Jerry huddled—yes, that was the word—huddled against the back wall.
Rod peeked around. Nobody. He put both hands on his hips. “Darling, what the fuck?”
“I ran out of shit to say.” Jerry’s voice was small and shaky.
Well, hell, how could he be mad? “Did you talk about the poem?”
“Yeah, I did. I read it and even memorized some of it. He got so excited, man. He started asking about all these other dudes I never heard of and shit. Walt somebody. I thought maybe he meant Disney or something so I started talking about Space Mountain. Then I knew that was wrong, so I just went back to asking him questions. So I asked, ‘What other poets do you like?’ And he says some name I never heard of, like some Indian dude like Tager or something.”
“Yeah, that’s it. But I had to say I had never read anything by the guy. So he recited a little, and it was really nice, but I didn’t have any more to recite back to him. So can we come and have dinner with you?”
“What?” Well, shit. He’d been focusing on how to push a little more poetry into Jerry’s head, not expecting a damned double date. A piece of his brain—well, actually another more southern part of the anatomy—leaped at the idea of having dinner with Hunter. Get over it. He’d just be tongue-tied and awkward. Not his fave condition. “I don’t think so, Jerry. This is my first date with Bill. You’ll do fine with Hun… the fireman.”
A man walked in and used the urinal. Rod sauntered over and rinsed his hands, but Jerry kept holding up the wall. The guy washed up and left.
Jerry pushed off the ceramic tile and put his hands together, prayerful. “Puh-leez, Rod. Help me, man. Your date has to love you. You’re, you know, you. But I’d feel so much better if I had someone to help me talk to Hunter.”
And Rod would feel so much worse. Hell. “Okay, bring him over.”
“Thanks, man. You’re rad. I can’t wait for you to get to know him.” Jerry ran out of the bathroom.
Yeah, and Rod wanted to run too. Away from here. Away from a beautiful friend who owned the man he wanted. Who had earned him just by being gorgeous. Shoot. He better get to Bill before Jerry did.