Bonus scene #1.
Frankie the Tailor and August DuBose the Gay Gadabout Town
I ambled up to the tables outside Rue de Jean restaurant easily spotting August’s Panama hat. My cane tapped on the flagstones, and he turned his head.
“August, my man.”
He stood as I approached. His silver hair glinted in the sun, and I paused for a moment to admire his suit—one of my own, of course. It draped beautifully on his tall frame. August Du Bose, one helluva handsome fox. We’d torn it up a time or two back in the day. August was my introduction to the scene when I “relocated” from New York to Charleston.
One helluva lover, too, although now we were hands-off, friends only.
I wrapped my arms around him, thumping him on the back with the polished grip of my cane. “Dapper as usual, my friend.”
“Well, I can’t fault the threads, Franklin.” He pulled back and indicated his table. “I ordered for you.”
Franklin. Hmph. August knew he was the only one who could get away with calling me that. Always smooth and polished on the outside, my foppish friend was a rough-riding fag on the inside just like me. He knew how to get his fists dirty, too, when push came to shove.
I waited for him to sit before I took my chair. He wasn’t the only one with manners, and I knew my Augie appreciated that shit.
Laying my cigar case on the table, I glanced at the waiting iced wine bucket. Impeccable choice, as always. Muscade de Sevre et Maine.
“And mussels?” I asked.
August winked at me. “On the way.”
“You know me too well, my friend.”
“Ain’t that the damn truth?” His deep chuckle still made me shiver.
“What’s the what, eh? Lookin’ for a little noontime nookie?”
His laugh rumbled even more. “Oh, honey. I think we both know that ship has sailed. Besides, I’ve got my sights set on someone else.”
I took a sip of my wine and leaned back in my seat. “Prince Harry again?”
“Ha!” August swept both hands through his silvery hair. “Mmm hmm, all that British beefcake—”
“Or at the very least dress.” August clinked his glass to mine.
“Think I’d rather work on the undressing part with the little prince. Got me a thing about redheads.”
“Hell, you’ve got a thing about guys with cocks.”
I tapped my cane on the flagstones in assent while someone at the next table tutted August’s use of the word “cock” apparently. They better watch it, I wasn’t the Italian tailor for nuthin’. There were many uses for pinking shears.
August rolled his eyes. “Anyone would think we’re the only two flamers in Charleston.” He threw his voice extra loud.
“Hey, I take offense to that. I’m not a fairy. I’m a big buff Eye-talian queer. Speak for yourself.” I lit up, and blew the copious cigar fumes toward the table beside us. That’d shut ’em up.
“This reminds me of the old days.” August propped his elbows on the table.
“What? Like last year?”
His grin widened. “Yessir. Remember that piece of shit we had to take care of?”
“Who? That goon bothering Shay?”
“Shepperd Slaughter. Yeah.”
“Had to go a little slaughterhouse on him.” My laugh was menacing. “Good thing we let Reardon fire him first, huh? Hey now, show me a picture of that new little lady of theirs.”
August had a full set of photos in his wallet. Proud as a parent himself.
“Shit, man. She’s precious. Looks just like her momma, huh?” I traced the tiny little rosebud face with my fingertip. “What’s her name?”
“Lily Alexandra.” He flipped his wallet closed, beaming.
“You still got a thing for Reardon?”
“Oh, Franklin. That man is fiiiiine. Damn. Shay loves me though, she still lets me drool over him as long as I keep feeding her fashion advice.” He leaned back and crossed one leg at the knee. I admired the perfect cuffs on his trousers. “What about you? What’s this I heard about a wedding party? And you didn’t invite me? I love the nuptials as much as the next flamer.”
With that final flamer comment, the table next to us cleared out. Good. Wouldn’t have to hurt them later. I blew cigar smoke after them.
“Josh Stone. Mama mia.” I kissed the tips of my fingers. “That man is hung and hunky and has stud written all over him.”
“Well, I think I might need to go get my tires looked at.”
“Don’t get any funny ideas. My big beefy mechanic didn’t even want to take a ride on the Italian sausage.”
“My oh my, that must be a first for you. Of course, he is straight.” August smoothed out the creases in his trousers.
“As straight as your guy,” I muttered. “Both successful.”
“All about the family.”
“And fuckhot, ain’t that the truth.” August sighed as the waitress arrived with two steaming platters of mussels and a basket of baguettes. “Not to mention they’re practically neighbors in the Old Village.”
“And married,” I repeated. I dipped a mussel into the garlic and wine sauce and slid it into my mouth. Fuckin’ Nirvana. Not the Kurt Cobain kind.
“And married. It’s a damn crime, Franklin.”
“I’ll tell ya what a crime is. That friggin’ Nicky Love fan group.” I peered thoughtfully at my old friend. “August, you’d probably have put your own eyes out at the sight. I had no choice but to fix that shit up free of charge. Fuggin’ A.”
August snickered then dropped his bread onto his plate. His mouth also dropped open.
“What’s got your attention all of a sudden? Am I missing a prime piece of man meat?” I asked.
“The finest.” August picked up his Panama hat and fanned himself with it.
I had to see this. Casually slipping around in my seat--riiiight—I glanced behind me. Then my mouth joined August’s on the table. Black hair, stunning blue eyes, clean-shaved, handsome face, bright smile, and fucking laughlines. Then there was the Adonis body. “Is that?”
“Oh yes. Reardon Dade Boone.” Augie flapped his hat in my direction, and I snatched it from him.
“I see what you’re—oh holy shit.” My cane clattered to the flagstones.
“Praise the good Lord above. Who is that?”
“Josh motherfuggin’-A Stone.” In the flesh. The big, rugged, rough, sexy flesh . . . standing right behind Reardon at the hostess podium.
“You didn’t tell me he looks like that,” August exclaimed.
“You’ve been holding out yourself.”
“I think I’m gonna go slash my tires now,” August mumbled, half-rising from the table.
“I wonder how fast I can get your Mr. Boone in my fitting room. M’I right?”
LOVE ON AMAZON
STONE ON AMAZON
RIDE ON AMAZON