Part 3: Aftershocks

He was leaning back against the bar watching the sea of kinky bodies undulate across the dance floor when Bika walked in and saw him. Michael spoke without a look.

“It’s been a while. I was wondering when I’d see you again.”

Bika stood there for a moment, his mind suddenly vacant of the things he had practiced in preparation for this moment. His head was spinning and he hadn’t even ordered a drink yet.

“I’m sorry, sir.”

Michael tilted his head toward him. There was a sparkle in his eyes.

“If you’ve got something to say, you’re going to have to speak up.”

Bika brought his body closer and spoke into Michael’s ear. “I’m sorry, sir.”

“You apologize a lot.” Michael held up his glass. “My drink’s empty.”

Without another word, Bika waved down the bartender and ordered a replacement. After, he reached into his vest and presented a cigar.

“Opus X Double Robusto Lost City. That’s a good smoke.”

“You were smoking one the first time I saw you. May I?”

Michael smiled. “You’re not in a cage and I don’t see a collar.”

Bika produced a cutter and set his attention on preparing and lighting the cigar.

“You cigar’s ready, sir.”

The slightest hint of surprise echoed across Michael’s face. He looked intently into Bika’s eyes as he took a long first draw, let the flavor build for a moment, and exhaled smoothly, engulfing the bull’s head in a billow of milky smoke.

“I’m sorry I disappeared on you and I’m sorry I didn’t have a way to get in touch. This is all new to me.” Bika had found his voice. “You make me feel unsteady when I’m usually the most centered guy in the room.”

Michael maintained his gaze in silence.

“I left that night because I didn’t know what I was feeling and it scared me. You scared me.”

“You easily outweigh me by double. What could I possibly do to scare you?”

Bika took a gulp from his bottle of water. “You see me.”

“You’re kinda hard to miss.”

“That’s not what I meant.”

“I know exactly what you meant. My statement still holds true.”

Michael took another draw from the cigar and locked eyes with the bull. Without a word, Bika moved closer, his wet lips parted slightly. Michael kissed him, filling his mouth with the smoky taste of leather, cedar, and want. Bika’s body reverberated with aftershocks for what felt like an eternity before he spoke again.

“Thank you for seeing me, sir. Can I call you sir? I think I’m gonna call you sir.”

The men shared a tension-breaking laugh and a moment of stillness among the sweating throng of revelers.

“Yes, bull. I think you can call me sir.”