Alexander the Great
by Pares


"Only ten percent of ten percent can get away with that," Stuart said. The blond who had his hand on Stuart's thigh blinked at him.

"Get away with what?"

Stuart didn't answer him, as his attention had already re-focused on a tall fellow by the bar. The man had just licked the foam from a freshly drawn Guinness off the line of his upper lip in a way that was neither contrived nor self-conscious. As he settled his elbows on the bar, Stuart noticed his wide shoulders skimming down to narrow hips and approved of him twice in two minutes.

He gave the blond a biting, leisurely kiss of dismissal and then headed for the bar himself, ordering a Guinness of his own and giving the tall fellow a frank look of appraisal. The garish pink neon behind the bar gave the man a cadaverous look, with shadows around his long nose. It gave the wrong emphasis to his cheekbones, but made his eyes deep and hard to read.

Still.

"Looking for someone?"

"No."

"What're you here for, then?"

"I came for a beer. I hear they like to serve it in bars."

"Plenty of places to get beer. Must have had a reason to pick this one."

"Of course I did." He pointed to a chalked board that touted two for one drafts.

"Another for him," Stuart told the barkeep.

"Everybody here reminds me of somebody else." He gave his drink a lover's look before taking a long swallow. When he set his glass down, he turned his eyes to Stuart. "Generally, of someone I liked quite a bit better."

"Stuart, thank god. I thought you'd have copped off by now for sure."

Both Stuart and the man standing beside him turned to see Vince yanking at the collar of his wooly brown sweater and angling his head, eyes wide and imploring.

"Should I go to hospital, d'you think? I mean, I'll probably need a tetanus shot, yeah?"

"For what?"

"Some bloke just mauled me, is all. I'm pretty sure he broke the skin. Human bites can be really dangerous, you know. I mean, look!" He gestured at his neck and then gingerly felt his left ear. "Am I bleeding?"

"You're not bleeding. Stealing hearts again, Vince?" He scanned the crowd behind his friend and set eyes on shirtless, steroidally enhanced youngster lurking about in a corner. One arm was banded with tattoo ink, and it seemed he'd filed his teeth into points.

"It was like a bloody shark attack," Vince supplied, glancing cautiously over his shoulder. "He's mad, he is. Are you sure I shouldn't see someone?"

"If you like, I'll take a look."

Stuart gave the Guinness man a curdled smile before slinging a companionable arm around Vince's shoulders.

"Hiya," Vince said slowly, looking to Stuart for an introduction.

"Vince, meet my new friend..."

"Aidan."

"Aidan. He's a doctor. Apparently."

Aidan shook Vince's hand and confessed, "Resident, in fact. My last year though, so I should be good for a free inspection at a public meeting house."

"Yeah, sure. Okay then." Vince tilted his head again, exposing his smooth throat and the curve of his ear. Stuart kept his smirk fixed as Aidan loomed closer and deftly fingered Vince's perfectly un-gnawed on skin. Nothing he did gave the slightest impression of anything other than polite and utterly professional interest, but it irked Stuart just the same.

"You'll live," Aidan pronounced. "Unless, of course, he's venomous. In which case you've probably ingested some vile neurotoxin that may well be paralyzing your limbs even now." With that, he lifted his Guinness and took a long pull.

Vince blinked at him for a second of pure panic and then heaved a relieved sigh.

"Thanks. Really. You've given me peace of mind."

"Don't mention it."

"Let me buy a round, then."

"I've got one for each hand as it is, thanks." The fellow favored Vince with a smile, and Stuart was very nearly dazzled. While he wasn't exactly Mr. Universe, something in Aidan's face changed, hinting somehow at the promise of truly extraordinary carnal expertise. Stuart didn't bother to hide his own feral little grin and thought about taking a page from that Tribal yob's book and taking a bite out of someone himself.

Vince swayed a bit, as if hypnotized. After a moment, he seemed to come back to himself and ducked out from under Stuart's arm.

"Well, I'm off. Early day tomorrow, don't you know. We've got inventory coming up, and I've got heaps of things." He made a waving motion, and cleared his throat. "To scan. And inventory. You know how it is, work-a-day world and all."

Stuart squinted at his friend; he recognized that particular brand of inane chatter. Whenever Vince was particularly taken with someone, he blithered on like a public school girl, usually sabotaging any chance he may have had at an actual shag.

Vince abruptly stopped talking and spun on his heel, headed for the door. There's nothing for it, he thought, watching Vince's receding back. He's an utter twat.

"I can give you his number, if you're interested."

Aidan's face was coolly neutral.

"He's a mate of mine. I can tell he fancies you."

"Can you now. And what about you?"

Stuart scoffed.

"I don't fancy anyone." He let his own expression speak of pleasant depravities to be had. "But I wouldn't say no to you coming back to mine."

Aidan was maddeningly difficult to read. The beer from his glass had left his lower lip damp and red, and when he shifted, Stuart thought about setting his teeth in it.

"There was a fellow I knew once, in Greece. You even look like him. Tell me," His breath smelled like Guinness and his smile was sharp and exciting. "How many continents have you conquered, Stuart?"

END


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