It`s time for Tuesday Tales.
Today we have an excerpt from The Barkeep and the Bookseller, Campo Royale #3.
Please do bear in mind that these snippets are unedited so please be kind if you find any mistakes.
This story may have gay erotic scenes, strong social issues addressed and mature language. If those things offend now is the time to move onto another Tuesday Tales blog. Thanks for stopping by!
“It was better than I could have imagined. Thank you for asking.” His sight kept flicking around the club as if trying to download everything into his memory banks. I let him look. The Campo was quite the place. Small in comparison to some other clubs but warm. It was my second home. The people here my extended family. “Did Paloma have fun?”
“She loved it. I’m sure Titi has been asked to read her a story from her new book.”
“Who is Titi?”
“Oh, sorry, that’s my grandmother. I call her Titi, so does Paloma, although my mom is actually her titi. It’s short for tinamatua which is grandmother in Samoan.”
“It’s lovely that your family helps out with Paloma while you’re at work.” He sipped his drink, his shoulders tense but slowly lowering as we made small talk.
“Yeah, I’d be lost without their help. Being a single father is rough. Add in that I’m pan and yeah, they’ve had a lot to deal with the past five or six years.”
His hazel eyes flared. “You’re pansexual?” He asked, his straw slipping back into his cocktail. I nodded. “Oh well, that’s…fine. Simply fine.” His cheeks were rosy again.
“Oh! I didn’t mean it like that at all. It’s wonderful that you’re pan! I’m gay.”
“That is simply fine,” I kidded, bumping his leg with the toe of my sneakers under the table. His face grew a bit redder. “I kind of thought I was getting a vibe from you.”
“Really? I didn’t think I vibed anything other than reclusive knitting weirdo.”
“You’re totally not a weirdo. You’re shy and friendly and love dogs. Also, you’re gay which is super cool. We have a really vibrant LGBTQ community here. Pride month is always rocking.”
“Nice. I’d like to get involved in the gay community here. I did a bit back in Philly after I came out but Allen disliked me spending so much time away from home in the evenings.” He sipped and thought for a moment. I digested the mention of an Allen and that this Allen sounded a little possessive. “I wonder if we could do a drag story hour at the store? That would be an amazing way to get people in as well as possibly introduce some of the straight parents to drag culture. Do you think one of the queens would be interested? I’d be willing to pay well. Maybe a hundred dollars for two hours? Is that a good rate? I have no idea what drag queens make an hour but—”
“I’ll do it!” I chimed up, eager as hell for a chance to make a hundred bucks. For two hours work?! Hell yes. His eyes rounded sending his ginger eyebrows up under his toque.
“I didn’t know you did drag,” he slowly replied, lowering his glass to the table and tipping his head as if trying to picture me in a wig.
“Pfft, sure yeah. I fill in all the time.”
Once. You filled in once with borrowed clothes and Titi’s ukulele bro.