When Tait goes out for drinks after work he meets Jude from Sales. Tait's more than interested, but he's sworn off coworkers. Can Jude market himself as an employee benefit?
Tait stood blinking as his eyes adjusted to the bar’s dim light. He’d almost said no, but what else did he have to do? And he was curious about Jude. Kimberley had acted weird when he’d asked her for more details. Tait wondered why. She was obviously okay with the whole gay thing in theory, but maybe having one guy ask her if another guy was hot had been too much.
“Kim, over here.”
“There they are.” Kimberley set off to a dark corner of the bar.
Tait followed. The next few minutes were taken up with pulling an extra table over, taking off their coats and ordering drinks. Tait was pleased to discover they had a decent dark beer on tap.
The bar was supposed to look like a British pub, but as far as he could see the attempt was limited to poor lighting and mismatched tables and chairs. Tait doubted most British pubs had a big screen TV showing cage fighting, but since he’d never been to England he couldn’t say for sure.
Tait looked down the table. There were around twenty people, with Bert holding court at the far end. Bert, or more likely Bert’s retirement, was popular. Tait either knew, or had seen most of the people around the office. He didn’t recognize the three guys sitting halfway down. They were probably the guys from Sales. Tait studied them wondering which, if any of them, was Jude.
He suspected it was the twenty-something man in the middle with the thick black hair and the smooth skin. It was stereotyping, but he looked a little bit more pulled together than the other two. His tie and shirt matched and that shade of blue worked for him. Really worked for him.
The same couldn’t be said for the man with the yellowed shirt and a nubby brown tie that almost looked as if it had been hand knit. Tait’s tenth grade math teacher had worn a tie like that every day. The third man was talking loudly about the hot blonde behind the bar so he definitely wasn’t Jude.
The dark haired man turned his head and their eyes met. It wasn’t easy to tell in this light, but Tait thought his eyes were blue or maybe gray. He saw the flicker of awareness as they recognized each other’s orientation and his heart did a funny, fluttery thing.
Then the waiter brought his beer. When he looked over again the man had turned away and Bert was talking to him.
Tait leaned into Kimberley. “Who are the guys in the middle?” The dark-haired one was gay, but that didn’t mean he was Jude. Not everyone was out. Maybe Jude was Knitted Tie Guy.
“Mickey, Jude and Bob.”
“Which is which?”
Kimberley leaned closer. “Mickey’s sitting closest to us, Jude’s the cute one in the blue shirt. Bob’s on the far end.”
Jude looked up as if he’d heard his name though Kimberley had been speaking quietly and the bar was noisy. He smiled at Kimberley then his gaze switched to Tait. His smile widened a fraction and Tait felt something happening low in his belly. His stomach did a flip and his dick woke up. He smiled back, hoping he looked friendly and not like he felt: like his body was telling him all systems were go.
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