Home > Off Base (Out of Uniform #1)(5)

Off Base (Out of Uniform #1)(5)
Author: Annabeth Albert

    “Yeah, you know, guys dancing around in their underwear,” Pike said.

    “I...uh...” Zack swallowed hard. “I’m gonna need more shots. Now.”

    A better friend than Pike probably would have stopped him from ordering tequila with a beer chaser, but Pike merely got his own beer and turned to Chris, who was drinking soda. “We might meet you over there.”

    “Do it,” Chris urged, leaning in to whisper against Pike’s ear, “Bring your tourist. We’ll show him a good time.”

    Tourist. The reminder that Zack was most likely an otherwise straight guy who was merely curious shoved all Pike’s adrenaline aside. Pike had had enough tourists to last a lifetime, thank you very much. However, Pike wasn’t sure what Zack was and that bugged the fuck out of him. Even worse, he wasn’t sure he wanted to share Zack and wasn’t that a bitch of an emotion to get hit with?

    Chris’s phone went off, and he headed out, leaving Pike and Zack to nurse their drinks alone. The tables were all taken, so they lounged against the wall rimming the dance floor, watching.

    “Let’s dance again,” Zack said abruptly, draining his beer. His eyes were glassy, and his words had a much more pronounced drawl to them.

    Again, a better person would have noted that Zack was getting drunk and not said, “Sure.” Pike wasn’t that person.

    He started out dancing with some space between them, like before, but Zack quickly closed the gap between them. They weren’t grinding, but they were very much dancing together, something Pike wasn’t about to point out. They drifted through several songs, dancing both in groups like they had with Chris, and separately. Zack loosened up when the third or fourth was a girl, but he also didn’t make any move to keep the women around longer. He tensed up when other men joined up, but then went boneless against Pike a few seconds later, like he trusted Pike to make this safe for him.


    “Want to check out Micky’s?” he asked when he finally needed a break from dancing. “It’s easy walking distance.”

    “Guys in...uh...” Zack turned crimson again. “It’s a gay gay bar, right?”

    “Yeah. But you won’t be the only straight person in there by far.” Tourist. Chris’s word rang in Pike’s ears.

    And when Zack nodded, Pike wasn’t sure whether to celebrate or worry. Maybe both.

    * * *

    Zack was drunk, something that hadn’t happened very often in his life, but it wasn’t a sensation a person forgot. Damn shots. He knew he shouldn’t have gone there. And Ryan was right. Fucking Pike didn’t appear any worse for the wear as he paid the cover charge for them at the new club.

    The gay club. Fuck. Zack might be about to get ill. And still he followed Pike in.

    It was a packed room, guys everywhere. Even though he was buzzed, Zack’s training kicked in and he surveyed the space, but hell, it was hard to stay neutral. Gay guys. All over each other. And there were some girls scattered throughout too, but it was the guys who held his attention. Guys holding hands. Guys grinding. Guys without shirts. Guys in tight pants. And on platforms scattered throughout the cavernous space, half-naked guys in their underwear dirty danced, packages outlined in lewd detail.

    Fuck. He needed air. Right fucking now. But Pike seemed oblivious to his distress, calmly navigating the crowd, eyes scanning much more purposefully than Zack’s. Probably looking for Chris. Chris with the seductive gaze and the sinewy muscles and the hands all over Pike.

    “Drink. I need another drink,” he said as they passed the bar, the big metal structure seeming like a lifeline to him.

    “You sure?” Pike grabbed his arm, peering into his face, looking for God knew what. “You seem pretty toasty right now. Maybe just a soda?”

    “No. I can handle my drink.” Zack was careful to keep his steps steady as he approached the bar.

    “Okay, but I’m switching to soda. And if you puke on me, man, I’m not going to be amused.”

    “Don’t gotta babysit me.” Zack glared at him. “Imma jus’ fine.”

    An hour or two later, however, even he had to admit that he wasn’t fine. They’d found Chris and Chris’s friends, and Zack had kept right on drinking as they all danced and hung out together. Another few drinks and his vision was blurred, speech harder to come by, and muscle control more shredded than after making three passes through the grinder course at training. Yup, he was wasted.

    Wasted and so fucking happy, dancing with Pike and Chris. Damn, he never wanted this to end. Chris was a dirty motherfucker, the way he rubbed up on Pike, even getting his hands up under his shirt. Chris had a way of pushing Pike closer to Zack too. Drove him nuts, Pike brushing against his overheated skin.

    “You guys want to go back to my place, party in private?” Chris asked when they were taking a break from dancing. Pike was trying to press a water into Zack’s uncooperative hands, but it was Chris’s words that captivated him.

    Zack wasn’t sure what a private party would entail, only that he wanted more of this. “Sure,” he said, but it came out all slurred.

    Pike groaned and shoved Zack down onto the leather couch behind him. “You are so fucking wasted.”

    “Yup,” Zack agreed happily.

    “At least you’re a happy drunk.” Pike sighed and turned to Chris. “Sorry. He’s too drunk.”

    “Am not,” Zack protested.

    “Zack, are you going to be happy about this in the morning?” Pike crouched in front of him. “Or are you hoping to not remember a fucking thing?”

    “Too wasted to remember.” The words tumbled out, but it was true. He was trashed enough for this to seem like a great idea, but fuck him if he wanted to stop and think about what he was doing, where he was, who he was with.

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