(Authors Note: I have been missing for a very long time. I'm not sure if replacing a chapter is going to send an alert to those still following this story. If it does, just know that I'm working on a quick edit/replacement of each of the chapters up, and I will be posting new chapters shortly. If you are new to this story, please enjoy, and know that a lot of the smaller continuity errors are going to be fixed soon.)

Fin sat at the bar, nursing the gimlet he had ordered and musing about how, exactly, he had arrived at this place, at this time, waiting for…well, what he was waiting for.

He had celebrated his twenty fifth birthday the day before, realizing at the time exactly how pathetic he was. Somehow his new coworkers had found out that he was on his own the day of his birthday. He had intended, originally, to go to a con with several friends, but had to back out at the last minute due to landing this job. He just couldn't swing the several days off and keep the schedule he had agreed to. They had gotten together the previous weekend instead, and it had been fun, but his coworkers decided that he needed to get out and have some fun on the actual day.

So he ended up celebrating with a group of people who were essentially strangers. Nice strangers, granted, who genuinely seemed interested in him, in making friends, and, apparently, in getting him blind drunk. When he had let the drinks go to his head and let slip that he was still single, well. They started 'shopping' for him and parading every unattached girl they could find in front of him.

Of course, he had been too terrified to admit that no girl would ever do it for him given the somewhat scary, extremely hetero clientele of the bar they had landed at when he made his admission of single-dom, so he had smiled and played along, drinking whatever was set in front of him in an effort to placate the group in some way. Damn his inability to stand up for himself when in a stressful situation; at least he had managed to keep his deepest, darkest secret to himself; he was still a virgin. In every sense of the word. He was pretty sure a few hasty make-out sessions didn't count against virginity at all, and that was as far as he had gotten in his quarter century.

By the time he managed to escape the group, he was significantly drunker than he could ever remember having been, and the introspective melancholy that had settled over him had made him analyze, pick apart, and decode the reason for his virginal state.

As the taxi disgorged his stumbling form in front of his house, his mind was set. He had never managed to seal the deal because he was afraid of the uncertainty. Afraid that he would misread the situation, screw it up, not be good enough, whatever. So he ran away every time an opportunity came along. To fix the issue, he simply had to settle on a course of action that had a predictable and reliable result. No uncertainty, no running away. That simple.

He nodded to himself as he worked the key into the lock—it only took a few tries, and the always analytical part of his brain that held onto reason, even under a veritable lake of beer and gin, reminded him that this was a remarkable degree of dexterity and fine motor skill despite his extreme level of inebriation. At least he had something to be proud of.

Arriving home, he had promptly logged onto the internet, and set out on a search. Data mining was a particular specialty of his, and with three powerful computers set to a variety of searches and cross referencing, it wasn't long before he held the number of a highly respected, very private escort at the tips of his fingers. Still filled with the golden, flexible courage that he was well aware was only there because of the booze, he had dialed before he had a chance to sober up and chicken out.

Despite the ridiculous lateness of the hour, a deep, gravelly voice had answered the phone, promising everything that Fin longed for. He had spilled his drunken story of loneliness and despair with only a very light amount of prodding from the other man, and before he knew it, he had set up a date to be deflowered, for only a few hundred dollars.

He was to meet the man at the high end hotel bar he sat at. His escort would be wearing a yellow boutonniere and a dark charcoal suit, and would check them into the room Fin was to reserve for them. He was a sure thing, though Fin, remembering all of the difficulty he had making a connection in the past, had made a request. He wanted it to play out as much as possible like a random pickup. He would approach the man, he would initiate the encounter, and the other man would go along with it. His blood alcohol level was probably entirely responsible for the idea, but the man on the other end of the line had assured Fin that if that if that was what he desired, that's what he would get. He was, after all, there to make all of Fin's fantasies a reality.

So, here Fin sat. All that liquid courage gone. All of his certainty, missing. He was nervous, concerned, and, as usual, excessively early. His psychologist felt it was something he did in attempt to gain control of a situation. He supposed that made sense, but understanding his reasoning didn't seem to help him not do it.

Early or not, he was convinced that when he did eventually arrive, the man he had agreed to pay a fee for sex to would take one look and laugh, refusing his patronage. Surely someone born with the name Phineas Chadwick Preston, and had grown into every nerdy syllable was doomed to lifelong virginity to go with his coke bottle lenses and thick plastic frames.

He had arrived at the place almost three hours early, after spending entirely too much time pacing his apartment, every step taking him closer to panicking and backing out. Eventually he gave up the pacing and fidgeting and figured he would come and find a spot he could watch the other people who filtered through the bar, perhaps downing a bit of Dutch courage to steel himself up. It had, after all, worked well for him the previous night.

Instead of fortifying himself though, his early arrival had only managed to make him even more tense, despite the drink he had managed to stomach. He had intended to drink moderately, but between the slightly sea sick feeling left over from the last little bit of the monstrous hangover he'd woken up with and the nervous butterflies that pummeled his intestines, he had managed one drink, and was just barely sipping at a second. He had never really been much of a drinker, so chasing a pretty terrible hangover with more just wasn't working for him. Of course, he reflected, at least he remembered the phone conversation and most of the details. Though, truth be told, a lot of it was pretty hazy.

He had finally managed to convince himself that he needed to leave and call in with his apologies and offer to Paypal or money order whatever a cancellation fee cost when he spotted the man he was waiting for. Why was he also there so early? Still, no mistaking him. The yellow rose lay fresh and obvious on the dark charcoal lapel of the suit the man wore. Fin skated his gaze up and down the fit body, amazed that he had managed to blindly book an appointment with his perfect idea of a wet dream. The man at the bar was gorgeous. Wide shoulders, a narrow waist, dark hair that barely brushed his collar at the back and almost certainly fell into his eyes at the front. His ass was an inviting shape beneath his fitted trousers, and his motions were all about understated grace and power.

Fin swallowed deeply, his nervousness slowly rolling away under a desperate longing to get his hands on the man he had contracted a night of carnal pleasure with. He didn't care why they were both here so early. The guy's perfect looks, his early arrival, it was a sum that added up to a simple answer: it was meant to be. He upended the gimlet he held and ordered one more. He needed just one more moment, one more drink, one more breath, before he closed on this deal.


Chance waved down the bartender, intending to have a second Manhattan served long before the one he sipped at now was gone. He still couldn't believe that his sister had actually gone through with the marriage to the bigoted asshole she had been dating for the past several months. He wasn't even sure how her fiancé...or rather, husband, now, had agreed to let him be in her wedding party. Not that Chance had desired to be involved in that particular union in any capacity. As always though, his parents had pressured him until he'd given in. Anything to make them stop with the infernal nagging. It was just so much easier to do what they told him to.

The wedding was dry, due to some strange idea that alcohol was the devil's tool. Ignore the fact, thought Chase, that Jesus had turned water into wine specifically for a wedding. Never the less, he had managed to escape the reception immediately after the speeches had been given, and he supposed he should be grateful for that. He intended to get totally, completely wasted. He hoped to pour himself into a taxi at the end of the evening. Had planned it from the beginning. He was kind of regretting leaving his car at home, because he might just have left now and stopped at a liquor store on the way home, instead.

He shrugged off the thought as he took the fresh Manhattan the bartender had set in front of him in hand and turned to scan the room; at least here he had company, even if it was anonymous. Heck, he could always spill out his tale of woe to the bartender later. Hell, he should tell himself the truth. Drinking alone at a bar was at least one half step less desperate and pathetic than drinking alone at home.

As he glanced around he became aware of a shockingly beautiful young man sidling up beside him. He sported wild brown hair that stuck up in every direction, a slender but well toned frame that was only a few inches shorter than Chance's six foot even. Freckles chased across ivory pale skin, and he possessed bright blue, intelligent eyes that tried to hide behind the thick plastic frames of his glasses. Chance was immediately captivated.

"Uhmm. Hi." Offered the beautiful, geeky young man.

"Hi there." Chance responded, flashing what he hoped was an easy, happy grin. He was kind of short of those at the moment.

"So uh." The young man paused, toying with his drink for a moment before raising it to his mouth and gulping it down like a camel that had just found an oasis. "So, nice place here, right?" His hand came forward, fluttering in hesitancy before coming to a rest over Chance's as he blinked up through long, dark lashes.

"Yes, that it is." Chance was enthralled, watching the odd dichotomy in the young man's behavior. He was a bizarre combination of shy and forward. Chance found himself wondering if he was drunk or high or something. "What brings you here tonight?" He questioned.

"Oh, you know." A flash of blue through a cage of dark lashes. "I just thought I'd. Find. Something worth getting excited about." A deep flush ran over the young man's cheeks as he focused his attention back on his nearly empty glass.

How fascinating, Chance thought. "So what's your name?" He asked, reaching a hand cautiously forward to smooth down the younger man's arm.

"Uhm. I'm. Uh." He stalled out, staring intently into Chance's eyes as if searching for a lifeline. Chance just waited, breath baited, curious about where the strange young man would take the conversation from here. "I'm uh, I mean, my name is Fin. Phineas, actually, but, Fin." He came to a stumbling halt, seemly lost in the heated look that passed between them.

Chance held the slender man's eyes, looking deep for a long moment, feeling as if he was about to drown in that blue, vibrant, intelligent gaze. Just as he was about to break eye contact and offer his number, or hell, maybe his soul, if only they might try a date or a…anything, really, the other man seemed to catch another wave of confidence.

"I mean. My name is Fin, and I'm, uh, pleased to meet you. I want. Uh. To know you. Better." He intoned quietly. The soft red flush that radiated across his cheekbones deepened drastically as he glanced away, telling Chase all he needed to know about his intentions. And holy fuck did his dick ever take note.

Chase had never been one for one night stands or temporary flings, but he was nursing the grand daddy of all hurts this moment. Over the past three weeks, he had faced rejection by pretty much everyone who was supposed to care about him, he knew for a fact that his sister wasn't going to want to have anything to do with him after this point, and unless he gave in to their demands, he was sure his parents were about to do the same. He was not a happy camper tonight, and he was struggling to figure out how to deal with all the pain.

While his first response to the hurt had been to get so trashed he needed help remembering his address, he saw the promise of a surprisingly unexpected release in the sweet, nubile body in front of him. The young man, while shy, obviously knew what he wanted and was more than willing, so what was the harm in finding comfort in a warm, willing body for a few hours?

Chase realized he had been holding Fin's hand the entire time he considered what he was doing, thumb restlessly skating back and forth over his knuckles. Dropping his hand and sliding his own around to the slim expanse of Fin's back, he gave the slight, geeky young man his most seductive smile. "Why don't I book us a room, and we'll see what happens from there." He purred, as he started moving them toward the lobby.

Fin's eyes widened, his Adam's apple bobbing as he swallowed and nodded rapidly, getting the hint and falling in step. "I...yeah. I'd." He croaked. "I'd like that." He finally managed to finish.

Chance reveled in the slide of lean muscles moving beneath his hand as he led the way to the desk at the lobby of the five star hotel his sister had insisted host her wedding. He honestly hoped she or her Fiance turned husband found some reason to wander out to the lobby as he booked a room with a king bed. He felt some kind of twisted pride as he considered the reaction either of them would have, finding him with the beautiful arm candy he had possession of.