In honour of Pride in London today & because I suspect we all need a laugh in the current political crisis, here’s a (possible) scene from my WIP – Laclos vs homophobes, round 2:
[Note: this is set in New York]
‘Hey! You know this ain’t a bar for your type, right?’
I looked up as the red-faced, baseball capped man approached us, beer in hand. He looked so much of a cliché he might as well be wearing a Vote Trump badge, but I couldn’t believe even he could be that stupid. Even though Laclos’ dramatic beauty often led people to make (not necessarily incorrect) assumptions about his sexuality – and tonight it was enhanced by a slick of gold liner around each eye and luminescent nail varnish – and Jonesy and Lee were clearly a couple, Lee’s arm thrown casually around his husband’s shoulder – I couldn’t imagine by what thought process anyone could look at these three strapping, clearly muscled men and think ‘gay = easy pickings’. Even if you didn’t know you were looking at a vampire and two hunters, not a thing about them suggested softness. But alas, as the world seemed intent on repeatedly proving, there’s no limit to some people’s stupidity.
Lee and Jonesy bristled visibly, and Laclos turned to the interloper, head tilted, amused, though his smile would have made a smarter man flee.
‘Type? By which you mean… devastatingly handsome? Exquisitely dressed?’ His voice was arch, and very English, which obviously didn’t help the man’s blood pressure any.
‘You know what I mean, you fa…’ the word died in a strangled croak, the man’s eyes bulging in shock and pain. Exactly the expression of someone, say, who has just been punched hard in the throat by a being who can move faster than the eye can follow. Then there was the merest rush of air, and the croak became an embarrassed squeak as the man looked down to see his jeans, mysteriously unfastened, were now around his ankles. I was grateful Laclos had shown some restraint – there are somethings I really don’t want to see, though I now understood the phrase ‘tighty whiteys’ because good lord, they really were distressingly tight – and wet, also, now, since he had somehow (ahem) managed to throw his own beer at his crotch. A ripple of surprised laughter ran through the bar, and now we had an audience. I was suddenly glad Laclos had reacted before the hunters: I didn’t need them getting arrested for lamping a homophobe, but no one could blame us if a crazy guy came over to our table and just started grunting and taking his clothes off. After all, we hadn’t laid a finger on him. The bigot let out a strangled squawk of distress and knelt hastily to pull up his jeans, but in doing so unbalanced himself – why, it was almost like an unseen hand had given him a very hard shove – and went toppling back into the lap of a biker-looking type behind him, upsetting a table full of drinks as he did so.
Jonesy and Lee were openly goggling, amazed at this bizarre turn of events. Even with my Sense telling me Laclos had darted in and out of his seat several times, I was staring: I hadn’t realised he could actually be that fast. Laclos, however, looked delighted, especially as the table full of Sons of Anarchy extras were reacting exactly how you’d expect them to when a half-naked man upended a table full of beers on them.
‘Entertaining as this looks to become, I believe this is our cue to leave,’ he smiled, nodding towards the exit as the first punch was thrown.
We decamped to a table in a back corner of the next bar, studiously ignoring the sounds of breaking glass and police sirens now coming from the street outside.
‘That was you, wasn’t it?’ Jonesy frowned, though he didn’t look particularly angry at this realisation. ‘Jesus, how fast are you?’
Laclos beamed at the two men.
‘Admit it, much as you both dislike me, you’re just a little bit turned on right now, aren’t you?’
Both men simply scowled at that, though a hint of colour flared in Lee’s cheeks, and Jonesy shifted slightly, uncomfortable. Blimey, so he wasn’t wrong. Then again, that had been a pretty impressive display – I was probably a little pink in the cheeks myself. I saw a server and flagged her down hastily.
‘I think we all could really do with a drink.’
If you want to read more about Lee (Smith) and Jonesy, check out the story A Trip to the Lakes in A Vampire in New York and Other StoriesA Vampire in New York and Other Stories, which is available for Kindle and will be in paperback soon.