What’s in a Name?
Author: Pat Henshaw
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Released: January 21, 2015
Genre: Contemporary gay romance
Author contact links: Book website, E-mail, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr, Website
Purchase links: Amazon UK, Amazon USA, Barnes & Noble, Dreamspinner
The setup: “Okay. How’s this for a deal?” He put down his knife and fork and leaned into the table, stabbing me with his eyes. “I’ll give you a week to guess my name. Seven chances. Every day you can ask a few questions, then come up with what you think my name is. If you’re right, I’ll buy the best bike for you and teach you how to ride it.”
“And if I’m wrong?”
“You owe me a kiss.” He leaned back in satisfaction.
“A kiss? One measly kiss?”
“Oh, I don’t want the measly ones. I mean a real, God of Love kiss. Something to set my a** back a couple a notches.”
Now I really laughed. Right. Me, giving him a humdinger of a kiss? Right. Who were we kidding? Oh, well. Didn’t matter because I was going to accept his challenge.
Stonewall [Saloon] was chaos when I got there. Guy and another bartender were mixing drinks as fast as they could. I squeezed in at the end of the bar near the hatchway and sat on an abandoned stool there.
I didn’t think Guy had seen me come in, so when there was a lull in the frenetic pace and he was nearly within arm’s reach, I called out, “What’s a guy gotta do to get a drink in this place?”
Guy looked up, grinned at me, and yelled back, “F**k the bartender.”
A slim man sitting next to me perked up, gave Guy the once-over, and yelled, “Okay!”
Guy’s startled gaze met mine, and we broke out laughing.
The man next to me sighed and slumped over his beer. “I knew it was too good to be true,” he mumbled.
I patted him on the shoulder.
“Maybe next time,” I commiserated with him.
“Right,” he answered glumly.
. . .
I sat on my stool, waiting to see what we were doing after he shut down the place.
The guy next to me was looking at me funny when I sat down.
“So how’d you get to know Tom?” he asked.
It took me a minute to figure out who he was talking about. Tom? Did I know a Tom? Then I had to laugh. Guy was Tom tonight. Right.
“Uh, I came in here one night, was dumped by my boyfriend, and Tom threatened to kill me.” I looked at the guy, who was gaping at me. “It was my birthday.”
“S**t, man,” he stuttered. “He looks big and mean, but to threaten to kill you.”
By this time “Tom” had walked up to us.
“Only because he asked me my name,” he growled.
The guy’s eyes got even bigger.
“But it’s right there,” he pointed. “On your name tag.”
“Yeah, but some guys are a little slow,” Guy answered. “So I just took him home and f**ked him raw.”
The guy gulped as I stifled my laughter.
“Well,” I answered when I could without hooting, “it was my birthday.”
Guy and I looked at each other and howled.
When he stopped laughing, Guy leaned over to the man next to me.
“Last call,” he said softly. “Get you anything else?”
“A f**k?” the guy asked, equally soft.
“Sorry, not a chance.” Guy clapped the man on the arm and squeezed.
“Then, no,” the guy whispered, “I’m good.”
As the customer walked, slump-shouldered and sad, out of the bar, Guy leaned in to me.
“Nice guy,” he said. “Maybe I shoulda f**ked him.”
He looked at me, and I looked at him. We both smiled.