Heavenly ScentBy: Stormy Glenn
Scent of a Mate 3
Tripp Van Buren couldn’t say what drew his attention to the small figure that stepped into the bar. Maybe it was the way his bright cornflower-blue eyes darted around the room before he bounced over to the bar top. Or maybe it was the fact that he actually bounced. He didn’t walk. He didn’t run.
He freaking bounced.
Whatever it was, Tripp’s eyes were drawn to the exuberant man with a curiosity he hadn’t felt in years. He leaned back in his seat and tilted his head to one side as he watched the man push his thin black-rimmed glasses back up his pert little nose every few minutes as he talked to the bartender.
Tripp had no idea what the guy said to Frank, but the bartender’s eyebrows shot up his forehead so fast that Tripp thought they might be in danger of sliding right off his head altogether. Frank stared for a minute then walked away, shaking his head. Every few moments, he’d shoot a look at the cute little guy like he thought he was from outer space or something.
When Frank came back, he held a glass of something white in his hands, which he set down on the bar top in front of the man. As the stranger took the glass and drank it down through the straw, Frank stepped back like he was afraid he might catch whatever the guy had. Tripp almost laughed. His lips did curve up with amusement, threatening to split into a smile, something he didn’t do often, if ever.
Tripp was utterly fascinated.
He watched for a while, slowly sipping his cold beer. The young man drank his white substance then asked for another. This time, Frank didn’t look quite so shocked, but he still shook his head as he walked away.
While he waited for Frank to return, the man turned around and leaned back against the wooden bar counter, once again pushing his dark glasses up his face. There was something in his eyes as he gazed around the room that Tripp couldn’t quite decipher. It was almost as if the guy was looking for something, or someone.
Tripp was a little dismayed when he saw his friend Boone walk up to the cute little guy. Boone Marshall was the looker of Tripp’s little group of friends. Tripp had never seen the man get turned down when he decided to pursue someone. Men and women flocked to the tall dark-haired man like a moth to a flame.
He never went home alone.
Tripp almost spit out the beer in his mouth when the little black-haired cutie leaned in and sniffed at Boone then shook his head, dismissing Boone like they hadn’t even spoken. Boone stood there, his mouth hanging open as if he had never heard the word no before. After a moment, he frowned and stormed away. Tripp had never seen the man so upset, or so confused.
Hell, he’d never seen the man turned down before.
Sipping his beer, Tripp sat back and watched as man after man approach the little guy. Everyone that stepped up was sniffed then turned away and dismissed as if they didn’t exist. Maybe the guy didn’t realize that he was in a gay bar. How he couldn’t know that, Tripp would never figure out. Men in pairs of two—and sometimes three and four—were pressed together on the dance floor, their bodies gyrating together in the most public act of sex legally possible.
When his beer was empty, Tripp climbed to his feet and slowly sauntered across the room to get another one. He made sure that he took up the vacant spot right next to the guy. Tripp wasn’t stupid enough to proposition the man, not after he had seen everyone else get turned down by the cutie, but he was still curious enough to take a long look at him.
He was cute—not sexy cute, but cute nonetheless.
“Here’s your milk,” Frank grumbled as he set another glass of the white stuff down on the bar top.
The guy was drinking milk?
In a bar?
“I’ll have another, Frank,” Tripp said when the bartender glanced at him, shaking his empty beer bottle at the disgruntled bartender.
“Are you sure you don’t want something a little stronger?” Frank asked as his eyes settled on the glass of milk.
“Naw.” Tripp chuckled. “A beer will do me just fine.”
“Whatever.” Frank’s lips twisted together as he grabbed the empty beer bottle and walked away.
Tripp chuckled at the disgruntled look on Frank’s face then turned his attention back to the cutie. “How’s the milk?” he asked as he watched the man spin around on the barstool and start sucking the milk down again—through a freaking straw.
“Is that good?”
Dark eyebrows scrunched together as the guy turned to look at Tripp. “Have you ever had warm milk?” he asked, a slight shudder working through his slim body as if the mere thought was enough to make him have nightmares.
“Not if I can help it.” Hell, he didn’t drink milk if he could help it, warm or cold.
“Well, see.” The man waved his hand as if that explained it all. “There you go.”
Wow. Someone didn’t have all of their oars in the water.
That seemed to get the little man’s attention. Dimples appeared in his cheeks, and a bright smile started to cross his lips. Then the sweet tinkle of laughter filled the air. “Tripp? Your name is Tripp?”