Chapter 1: Blind Date
Tony Stevens was certain that this whole thing would blow up in his face.
The mere fact that he was sitting alone at a table for two in a fancy restaurant was proof enough. Tony and fancy just did not mesh well – and Leslie had known that when she'd arranged this... absurdity. Why the hell had he agreed to do this?
He sighed, eying his reflection in the butter knife that was carefully positioned on a maroon napkin to the right of his plate. Big, ocean blue eyes looked back at him underneath a thick brow. His dark blond hair was a little longer than a buzz cut, but still too short to be styled appropriately. He ran a hand down the short stubble of his jaw, wondering if perhaps he should have shaved.
Used to his sports bars and baseball stadiums, Tony felt so out of place among the elegant red and gold decor.
What if the guy he was supposed to meet was a complete stick in the mud? What if they had absolutely nothing in common? What if they were forced to eat in an awkward silence?
Nervous hands gripped the end of the polished table, eyes sneaking a glance at the glass doors a few ways to his left. He couldn't go through with this – maybe he could just walk out and never look back... Hell, it wasn't as if he was expecting to find the love of his life here. This was just a stupid blind date set up by a nosy best friend who couldn't mind her own damned business.
It couldn't possibly work out.
Another sigh escaped his lips as he proceeded to peer down at his watch. 5:54pm. He still had six minutes to make up his mind. Should he go? He wasn't sure he'd be able to last through this...
You see, Tony didn't quite mind the single life – he was a happily gay man, living in a decent condo in Manhattan and working in a decent sports goods store he'd started up all by himself after graduating college five years ago. He'd always told himself that he didn't need a man to complete him; that he was an independent soul.
Apparently a particular woman by the name of Leslie Fisher didn't seem to agree with him, which was essentially why he was here tonight, wasting his time on a lost cause. He seriously did not need the help of his best friend. If he wanted a date so desperately, he could very easily find one all on his own.
He inwardly groaned – why the hell was he here then?
Honestly, the only reason he hadn't escaped the suffocating grip of this hellish restaurant was because he hadn't been laid in almost six months.
Oh, what the hell – this wouldn't work out.
He was halfway out of his seat when he saw Leslie's sister, Melissa Fisher, walk into the restaurant. A smiling man in a gray suit was latching onto her arm.
Oh, fuck. Tony's chance of a hasty retreat was foiled. He grimaced, expecting this blind date to go down in history as one of the worst dates ever.
A blind date... What the hell had been going on in Leslie's mind?
Then again, they had been drinking beers when the idea was initially brought up.
To better understand the workings of Leslie Fisher's mind and her desire to find love for her childhood best friend, we must backtrack a few days – back to Wednesday night, to be more precise.
Leslie pursed her lips and leaned forward, eying Tony suspiciously.
"What?" he asked with an amused grin.
They'd been talking about her new boyfriend, Ethan, for the better part of half an hour. He was a really great guy and she was pretty sure he was the one. Tony loved that she was happy, but the constant nagging, urging him to put himself out there again, was getting old real fucking fast.
It was safe to say that Tony was beginning to grow very much exasperated by the subject. Apparently Leslie had noticed. Fuck.
"Are you seeing anyone?" she asked with a quirked eyebrow, devilishly anticipating his reply.
"No," Tony said lamely, "And trust me, if I do meet someone, you'll be the first to know." Whether he wanted her to or not, she'd find a way to be the first to have the juicy scoop. She always did.
Leslie was disappointed by his answer. He was single. According to Leslie Fisher, that meant there was something seriously wrong with him and he needed fixing... pronto.
"I know a guy–" she began, but Tony cut her off with a simple wave of his hand.
"Leslie, I'm not meeting one of your friends. He's probably not even gay." he said.
"He's not my friend. He's Melissa's friend – and he totally is gay. Just hear me out, okay?" she argued.
Tony groaned. If he hadn't been exasperated before, he sure as hell was now.
"Is it a common thing for people in relationships to think that being single is the worst thing in the world?" Tony expressed bitterly. "I'm fine – I don't need you to play matchmaker, okay? I'm begging you, enjoy your love life and stop fussing over mine."
Leslie sighed. "You never know, Tony. It could be a lot of fun... I mean, when was the last time you went on a real date?" she asked. Tony was about to reply, but a perfectly manicured finger interrupted him. "Hooking up with random guys at The Monster doesn't count."
Of course she knew Tony's favorite gay bar – why wouldn't she?
"It's not my fault I have a hard time meeting guys," the twenty-seven year-old man groaned, leaning forward and pressing his elbows onto the glass surface of the bar. "I work twelve hours a day and it's not like Wear & Tear attracts a lot of gay dudes."
"I know," Leslie replied. "That's why you need a little nudge in the right direction." she added with a knowing nod. "Meet him."
Leslie was a small woman with caramel skin and dark brown eyes, perfectly accented with just the right amount of make-up. Her hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail and she was still wearing her work clothes, a short green skirt and a white blouse – the attire of a coffee shop barista. She didn't seem like it, but the girl was mighty stubborn.
"I'm not hopeless enough to go a blind date." Tony argued.
Did I mention he hadn't been laid in six months? He was as hopeless as they came!
"I never said you were hopeless – come on, Tony! Just meet the guy and see what happens! I'm sure you'll like him – he works with my sister at IDT. He–"
"So basically he's a tech geek?" Tony cut her off.
"Just meet him on Friday and see what you think, you goof. I can text Melissa right now and the whole thing can be arranged." Leslie ignored his sarcasm, as she often did. "If you don't like him, you don't have to see him again – but at least give him a fair shot!" she added reasonably.
Tony downed the rest of his beer in one quick gulp and climbed to his feet, running his hand through his short hair. His blue eyes flicked over to the 46" Samsung plasma television, which was gracefully hooked onto his slate gray wall. Some overrated game show was playing, the muted voices going on as the crowd of spectators silently cheered.
"I don't know Les, it's really not my thing..." he trailed off, eying his living room, desperate for something to do.
His condo was the perfect stereotype of a bachelor pad, with neutral colors on the walls and dark hardwood floors everywhere. A black, L-shaped leather sofa was taking up a lot of the space in the living room, along with an extravagant bar. He had a nice, simple kitchen with dark oak cabinets and dark marble counters, light beige tiles on the floor, equipped with top of the line stainless steel appliances. Of course, like any good old bachelor pad, he had little to no decorations whatsoever.
"Come on, what's the worst thing that can happen?" she asked. "Wait – don't answer that. All I'm saying is, give the guy a chance! He could be great!" she coaxed. She was also on her feet by then, wobbling over to stand in front of Tony, resting her slim hands onto his broad shoulders.
"Fine." Tony mumbled bitterly. "I'll do it – but I'm doing it for you." Evidently the drinks were beginning to affect him, as he wouldn't have agreed to something such as this in any sober circumstance.
"Perfect!" Leslie grinned.
The man in the suit was speaking to Melissa with an air so confident, it made Tony want to roll his eyes. With his perfectly styled jet black hair and pearly white teeth, not to mention the attire of a typical Wall Street businessman, Tony's fear that he would be a stick in the mud was intensified by about a million per cent.
He couldn't help but regret ever throwing sand into Leslie Fisher's face back in first grade, resulting in a friendship that would follow them for two whole decades.
"Ah!" Melissa's chirpy voice could undoubtedly be heard throughout the entire restaurant. "There he is! Come on, I'll introduce you!"
At that point, Tony was considering the excuse of needing to use the bathroom in order to sneak away. He glanced over at the Melissa and the sharply dressed stranger, attempting to plaster on his best smile, although it didn't quite reach his nervous eyes. He clenched his fists tightly into his lap.
"Tony," Melissa began, "This is Nick Powell. Nick – this is Anthony Stevens." Tony cringed at the mere mention of his full name
"Just Tony." he said quickly. He decided to do the polite thing by getting up and offering his hand, but soon found himself hesitating.
Tony hadn't noticed the black Labrador Retriever until he was standing before Melissa and Mr. Gray Suit Guy – Nick. He did a double take, his eyes catching the dark blue harness attached to the mutt.
Wait a minute – was that a guide dog?
His eyes fell onto the dark sunglasses shielding Nick's eyes from view. Did that mean Mr. Gray Suit Guy – Nick – was blind?
When Leslie mentioned a blind date, Tony wasn't under the impression that she'd meant it literally.
Hello! I'm bring you another slash story – although this one is centered around adults, which will allow for more mature plot lines.
Tony is going to be portrayed by Will Rothhaar while Nick will be portrayed by Miko Hughes.
I am not giving up on Damned if I Do, although I might be slower to update, as I'm dealing with a bit of writer's block for it.
Please review and let me know what you think of this first chapter!