I think he just smiled at me. Can I look again? Yes. Yes he smiled at me. No, no… wait, is there someone behind me he’s smiling at? I casually pretend to look all around, and especially over my shoulder. There’s no one behind me. He must have been smiling at me.
As I turn back he starts to get up and flashing me that smile again points at the seat beside me with a ‘can I?’ look on his face. I shrug and nod. He picks up his glass and moves towards me.
Arriving at my table he carefully places his glass in front of the empty seat and holding out his hand says, “Juan Carlos.”
I grab his hand and shake it telling him my name at the same time. His brown eyes don’t leave mine as he repeats my name back. These are the eyes of a lover, of a gentle bear of a man.
“I can?” he says pointing at the vacant chair.
“Of course … yes, … please,” I tell him thinking ‘Oh my god yes, you bet you can.’ My mind is in turmoil as I watch his muscular frame drop into the chair beside me. All the time his eyes are on me. I’d noticed him when he came into the bar, along with most of the other old queens. Dressed casually in jeans and a plain shirt he drew some stares. Of course I casually glanced, no staring from me, oh no, not I. We were both getting a few looks now, looks of lust for him, darts of envy for me.
“I see you here many times.” he tells me in his accented English.
“Really?” I ask adjusting myself as casually as possible. He’s having quite an effect on me.
“Yes, many. But I know you don’t see me.” He picks up his drink keeping his eyes locked with mine.
“I must be blind. I don’t know how I could ever have missed you. Are you here a lot?” I ask embarrassed that he’d noticed me and I hadn’t noticed him before.
He laughs as he sets his glass down and licks an errant drop of beer from his moustache. Did I mention he had the most amazing moustache and beard. Sitting there I also notice some ink under his shirt and not just a little hair. “I am always here. I working here.” he interrupts my thoughts of his beard, tattoos, tongue and ….
“You’re a waiter?” I ask even more embarrassed I hadn’t noticed him. I usually notice the cute ones, and at least pay attention to the others.
“No I work in kitchen. I see you through the window.” He points at the hatch.
It was my turn to laugh now. “That’s why I haven’t seen you.”
He joins in my laughter and caresses my knee, leaving his hand there. “Always solo. I watch you every time. You’re not like those,” he nods his head in the direction of some of the faces that were turned our way. Realising he’s not of interest to them they immediately feign indifference.
I smile and gently touch his hand. He grabs my fingers as they touch his, electricity sparks to all points. His eyes light up as I imagine mine must have just done. The connection is nothing short of incredible.
“You’re hot.” he says.
I’m not sure if it’s a question or a statement. “No I’m okay.” I say for the sake of modesty hoping my interpretation is wrong.
He laughs again, a deep throaty sound. “No, you’re hot.”
I clear my throat slightly embarrassed. “Thanks, but I am so not in your league.”
“League? I don’t understand you. You are liking football?” He still holds onto my hand.
“Sorry. No I meant that you are much hotter than me. I don’t think I am hot at all.” more smiles, this time abashed.
“This is why you are hot. ” He squeezes my hand. “I buy you a drink.” He nods at my empty glass and waves to a waiter who rushes over to take his order.