Tony walked out of the Administration building and hailed a cab. He’d walked to school today since he lived so close. Even after four years, he couldn’t get over the awe of the uGenex Campus. It was beautiful. Everything was glass and white stone and chrome with neat, clean lines. Dr. Gates was a genius and Tony was grateful that he’d been chosen to attend school here.
His phone rang and he picked up, knowing who it was without having to look. “Hey, I’m on my way.”
“Cool,” his twin said. “I’m bored here all by myself. Ouch! Alright, so Riley’s here too. But still, hurry man!”
Tony laughed. Dre was always so impatient. “See you soon, Dre.”
“How do you know you’re gay if you’ve never been with a guy?”
Anthony just stared at Riley. He’d met up with his brother and best friend at the bar in town and was surprised to see some of his classmates there. He’d expected only a couple people to show up and was pleased that several had accepted his invitation. He wasn’t a very sociable person, he lacked the people skills Dre seemed to have. Most of his classmates were probably here for his brother…
He started to say something to Riley, but changed his mind. He looked behind him to where Dre stood, leaning against the wall, talking to some girl. How did anyone know his or her sexual orientation?
Finally turning back to Riley, he shrugged. “Same way you know you’re straight.”
Riley tilted his head, giving him an odd look, and then thumped Tony on the shoulder and went to order a drink. Anthony watched him, wondering what that had been about. Riley had been acting differently since he started college. Tony made a mental note to talk to his friend later.
Suddenly, he was being hugged; looking back, he saw Eva grinning and returned the smile. “You’re here.”
Laughing she said, “Don’t look so excited.”
Just then, Dre shouted, “Eva! You’re here. Finally!”
She waved at him and turned to Anthony. “See? Excitement.”
She winked at him and ran to give Dre a hug. The girl Dre had been talking to frowned at the two and when Dre didn’t turn back to her, she walked away in a huff. Anthony was surprised that Eva had made it out for his birthday. He’d expected Dre; his twin wouldn’t celebrate turning 21 without him but Eva had Alistair to think about. Looking around, he was pleased to see his siblings mingling with his classmates.
Anthony made his way to the bar. He couldn’t drink because of the medication he took so Dre was drinking enough for the both of them. He wasn’t worried though, it took a lot to get his brother intoxicated.
“Can I have a Guinness and a vodka red bull, please?” He put his siblings’ orders in with the bartender and turned around to stare out at the crowd.
Tony looked over to find a man leaning against the bar, looking at him and smiling.
“Hello,” He studied the stranger. When the man didn’t say anything else, Tony turned to grab his drinks the bartender placed in front of him and return to the group.
The guy glanced at the drinks in Anthony’s hands and asked, “You here with friends?”
Tony shrugged and nodded to the small group making a ruckus. With the exception of Dre, Riley and Eva, he wouldn’t call the rest of them friends. They were people he had classes with and they’d tagged along when he’d said it was his birthday. Eva spotted him looking and blew him a kiss.
“That your girlfriend?”
“No, she’s my sister.” Tony turned his attention back to the stranger.
“Nice. I’m Franco.” He held his hand out but laughed when Tony lifted his, both filled with drinks.
Anthony opened his mouth to respond, but Dre showed up just then and did it for him.
“Tony, man, I’m dying of thirst here!” Dre grabbed the beer from his hand and took a long drink. He then looked at Franco and asked, “Who’s your friend?”
Anthony shrugged. “Franco, meet Dre. Dre, this is Franco.”
Dre nodded and glanced between the two. “So Franco, you here with friends?”
Franco grinned and looked at Tony. “No. I was hoping to make one though.”
Anthony was only half-paying attention. He was watching Eva flirt with Riley. How did one know they were gay?
Dre nudged him but continued to talk to Franco. “Well, you’re welcome to join us if you’d like. The more the merrier.”
He took Eva’s drink from Tony’s hand and walked away.
“That’s your…” Franco let the question hang between them.
Anthony turned back to face him. “He’s my brother.”
They started to walk toward the back of the bar. “Are you related to all of them?”
“No. Just the two.”
Franco made a face and said, “That was a joke…never mind.”
Tony sat down next Eva and put his arm around her. “Really, thanks for coming,” he said in her ear.
She beamed, “Wouldn’t miss it for the world. Are you doing okay? Dr. Gates treating you alright?”
“Yeah. I’m good. I’m working on my final project.”
“Hey! No talk about the compound. Shit’s depressing as hell. Franco doesn’t want to hear about that, right Frank?” Dre asked drunkenly.
“It’s Franco. And I don’t mind. What’s the compound?”
Tony looked at Franco. He’d almost forgotten he was there, even though they were sitting right next to each other. “It’s not a compound. He’s talking about uGenex. I’m in a program there.”
“I see. What do you do there?” Franco leaned in closer and Anthony felt his thigh brush against his.
“Don’t ask man. It’s like top-secret or something. Place is sealed up tighter than Fort Knox.” Dre waved down a passing server and said, “Next round on me.” And promptly lost interest in the conversation.
“It’s not really top-secret. I’m working on an important project. I just don’t like talking about it before it’s done.” It was suddenly so very warm in the booth and Tony wanted to move his leg away from Franco’s. But he couldn’t get his body to obey.
“Sounds fascinating. Are you some kind of scientist?” Franco leaned in closer, his breath lightly falling against Tony cheeks and lips. How did one know…?
Tony shrugged, determined not to think about the sensations his body was going through but his voice sounded breathless anyway. “I’d like to be, someday. Right now I’m just a student.”
He and Franco spent the next few hours talking about Tony’s project, his time at uGenex, what Franco did for a living, and a variety of other things. By last call, Dre was drunk and just sitting quietly talking to Eva; most of Tony’s classmates had left; and Riley was sitting at the bar, nursing a beer.
“I think it’s time to head back. It was very nice meeting you.”
Franco studied him for a minute and said, “I’d like to see you again if that’s possible.”
Tony blinked and then frowned. He searched Franco’s eyes to see if he was being serious. He was serious. He suddenly felt nervous. “Umm, I don’t know.”
Franco leaned back, a look of confusion on his face. “I’m sorry; I thought you were…my bad man. It was nice talking to you anyway.”
He started to stand up, but Anthony stopped him. He liked Franco, and if he was…gay, then this was a good thing, right? “Wait. I – I would like to see you again too?”
Franco smiled. “You don’t sound very sure.”
“I’m not – I mean, I am. I’m just not sure how this works.” His frown grew deeper. For some reason, he was babbling. Like a complete idiot.
“How about I give you my number and you give me a call when you can?”
That would work. “Alright.”
They both stood up and Franco grabbed a napkin to write his number down. Tony took that opportunity to study him a bit. He was very nice looking – cute even. He had mocha skin and looked to be in very good physical condition. Close cropped hair, liquid brown eyes and a deep baritone voice. Tony’s eyes traveled down Franco’s body and glanced off his butt. He was in very good condition.
Tony glanced up from checking Franco out and saw Riley watching him. His eyes swung away quickly though. Tony looked over at his brother and sister and found that they were watching him too. Dre smiled and started to say something, but Eva placed her hand on his arm, stopping him with a shake of her head.