The Glass Peacock. What a name. What a place.

Nick entered the establishment and was instantly struck by the slow jazz music blaring over the surround sound system. He nodded to the doorman, handing him a subtle twenty as he passed through the purple velvet curtains and became submerged into the heady and hot atmosphere of the club. He looked around and appreciated every little bit of it, inhaling deeply.

Apart from the sultry song, the most predominant thing in the room was the stage, a catwalk-type affair, with two symmetrical podiums on either side. Upon these set pieces stood several scantily-clad, young, hot-blooded males, swaying, dancing and occasionally removing items of clothing in the sexiest ways possible.

Nick's eyebrow rose at the dancers on offer tonight – they were all fresh and very watchable. Mind you, Nick wasn't picky when it came to what body looked good to him, male or female. That also went for picking out punters to take home that night. If it breathed, it was fair game.

Before he indulged in his guilty pleasure (which he incidentally felt no guilt about whatsoever), he decided to hit the bar in the corner, the one backlit by red neon lighting. A couple of guys were already propped there, cat-calling and wolf-whistling to the dancers or any of the waiters that walked by. He ignored them, though, and picked the stool nearest to the corner.

The bartender saw him, recognised him, and sauntered over. "Hey, Nick, my flower. Back again, I see?"

Nick almost rolled his eyes. As if I'd ever leave...

"Sure, Jeff," he settled on smirking.

"What'll it be then, petal? The usual dry martini?"

The gambler shook his head. "Not tonight. A scotch on the rocks, and make it a strong one."

The young man quirked an eyebrow at him, amused. He moved to fetch the scotch and a glass tumbler. "Ah. A little stressed, are we?"

"You could say that," Nick shrugged and watched the amber liquid flow into his glass, swirling around the ice playfully. Upon raising it to his lips, he took a sniff and sighed, downing the beverage in one fail swoop. Jeff just chuckled at him.

When Nick reached for his wallet in order to pay, a hand suddenly landed in front of him on the bar, pushing a ten dollar bill forward.

"Let me get that for ya."

When the conman raised his head towards the southern voice, he found a pearly white smile and baby blue eyes staring back at him. The stranger tipped up a baseball cap in greeting before ordering himself a beer.

"Did… did you just buy me a drink?" Nick was confused. No one bought him drinks, not at least those who knew him personally, knew what a shifty guy he was. But this random kid seemed pleased with himself, leaning on the bar as he shifted onto the stool next to the gambler. Jeff had moved away to serve other punters, but rose his eyebrow at Nick's catch.

"Looks like I did," the hick agreed simply and took a swig of his bottle, the condensation from the glass trickling over his lips and partway down his chin before he wiped them away with the back of his hand. For whatever reason, this amused Nick more than he cared to mention. "So, ya have a name, Mister Fancy Suit?"

Nick wondered how long he'd been sitting there staring before the kid had to press for a name or any response at all.

"I'm Nicolas," he offered, then shrugged and added, "Nick."

The hick smiled at him before replying. "Ellis. My name's Ellis." He took another gulp from his bottle, then eyed it in his hand. His mind seemed to be ticking over as he stared at it.

"I remember once me and my buddy Keith tried to make our own beer. We thought it was just a case of getting loads of ingredients together and mixin' 'em up. Turns out, it's a lot harder than that. 'Cos we had to ferment it and all-"

As Ellis continued babbling on about a story Nick didn't particularly care about, he used this opportunity to look his new companion over.

Other than that silly-looking trucker's cap that hid his brunette hair, he started at the bottom – black boots covering big-ish feet. Not bad. Then his eyes trailed up his lean legs, clad in denim jeans. Oh, hold up now. Those weren't jeans… they were work overalls, smeared with dirt and what looked like oil and bunched at his hips with the arms tied secure around the waist. Well, coveralls, technically. But it wasn't like they were 'covering all' right now. And keeping Ellis' torso covered and in check was a t-shirt with an obscure logo on the front, reading the tagline 'Bull Shifters'. Once upon a time, that shirt must've been a pale yellow, because right now it was also smeared in grease and dirt and God only knew what else.

Even so, it made Nick tick. And intrigued him all the same.

"…third degree burns all over his body," Ellis concluded, laughing at the memory. Nick realised then that he had no idea what he'd been talking about and only hoped he wasn't expected to respond accordingly. Instead, he changed the subject entirely.

"So, you work in the mines or something?" he ventured humorously, referring to how dirty Ellis appeared to be.

"Nah, man. I work in an auto shop with some friends of mine. Me, Keith, Dave… yeah, it's pretty sweet. I love cars. They're like my passion, y'know."

Nick couldn't resist a tease. "Seems like your mouth has a motor, too."

"Hey, now. That's one sharp tongue you got on ya."

"It's got me out of some scrapes. Got me into some, too, now that I think about it."

Ellis leant in close. "Bet it's good for other things, as well."

Nick could do nothing but blink. Was… was this kid hitting on him? And he was being awfully unabashed about the whole thing, considering how young he looked. Mid-twenties, Nick guessed.

"And how do you know I'm even aroused by grease and oil stains?" Nick smirked and nudged Ellis with his elbow. "For all you know, I'm not your type."

Ellis grinned, giving off a giggle. "Shit, I ain't never been good at this pickin' up thing."

"It shows," the gambler teased. "It'll take more than buying me a drink to get me hooked, kid. Try again."

So Ellis did, a number of times, and Nick laughed in the face of every single attempt. It wasn't that he wasn't interested in the kid, because that would be an outright lie. He just thought it was entertaining to watch him try, and it nearly worked on several turns though he never let it show. What could he say? This kid was enchanting. So much so that Nick never looked back to the half-nude hunky dancers once. All attention was on this random mechanic and his disgusting, arousing grease stains.

After a time, during which Nick had been thoroughly enjoying himself, Ellis checked his watch, his face falling.

"Ah, hogwash," he muttered. "I gotta go, Nick. I'm real sorry. I've got somewhere I need to be."

Nick was almost disappointed. Hell, he was, but he didn't admit it. "Oh… okay," he said, trying for a half-hearted shrug.

"Here…" Ellis brought forth a napkin and proceeded to pat himself down, presumably in search of a pen. Nick smirked, reaching into his pocket and producing one of his own, holding it between his fingers before the mechanic. With a thankful grin, Ellis nabbed the pen and scribbled a series of numbers onto the napkin, ending it with a 'call me!' and a little smiley face. Nick thought that was too cute.

Ellis handed it to him then with a promising smile, tipping up his cap, as Nick folded the napkin and pushed it into his breast pocket. He was still amused. "Thanks, Oil-Stain."

"By the way," the kid added as he stood, then leant in even closer. "They give great private dances, here." Nick was astounded when Ellis pressed a twenty into his pocket to accompany his phone number. "I bet you'd enjoy it, Mister Gamblin' Man."

And with that, he was walking away from the bar confidently and Nick granted himself the pleasure of watching that swaying ass beneath the denim coveralls, his eyebrow arched in appreciation.

If 'unpredictable' could be applied to anything, it would be labelled onto that kid. The suave gambler began to wonder what other surprises he held beneath those clothes and that young, talkative personality.

Well, Nick wasn't going to just sit there and think all night. Nope. He'd been treated to a free drink already, so why not top the night off the way the hick had suggested? He peered over into the far corner next to the stage where a doorway, guarded by its own bouncer, was situated. This was where a man would go for such a private, indulgent treat.

Picking up his still-full drink, the conman slid from his stool and made his way over, having to slalom through happy, drunken punters and waiters on his way, one of which seemed to give him a sly wink and brushed his arm, quite obviously on purpose. Nick just winked back flirtatiously before continuing forward.

When he arrived, the bouncer looked at him expectantly. Nick just smirked and nodded once, retrieving the twenty dollar bill from his pocket and presented it forward within a curled hand. The bouncer nodded back, reached out and shook it, clasping the money in the process. It was a sneaky way that Nick often used in order to pass bribes. But this wasn't a bribe. This was a fee. The tall suited man then knocked on the door three times, causing a sprightly young thing in a tight black t-shirt and jeans to open it from the inside. He beckoned Nick in and closed the door.

Beyond it was a corridor, not narrow but wide, with several other doorways leading off. Lining the walls were photographs and statues of abstract nudes, some… "head" shots, which were signed, too. It gave him subtle shivers.

Nick was then shown to one of the private rooms, the doorway covered with beads, which housed nothing but a stylish plush chair and a small table where he could sit his drink.

"Wait here, sweetheart. Your dancer should be with you shortly. Just relax and make yourself comfortable," the other male smirked before leaving. Nick did just that and sat quietly, his arms going to the so-named arm rests so that he could easily relax and wait for the show to begin. The room itself was lit for the mood with red and purple lights mingling with dim white ones. To match, there were red and purple lava lamps lining the walls, casting moving shadows across the floor.

"Howdy, stranger."

Nick's head flicked over to the source of the new voice… that familiar voice… as someone appeared from behind the bead waterfall. They stepped into the light, slowly.

Nick instantly swallowed.

That kid from before, Ellis, was standing before him. But no longer was he wearing that dirty t-shirt or oily coveralls or ridiculous trucker's cap. Instead he was wearing cowboy boots, black leather hot pants, a matching leather vest and a black collar with silver studs adorning it. His face wore an amused expression, but also showed insatiable curiosity.

"E-Ellis?" Nick stuttered in surprise. "What are you doing here? I don't think you're supposed to come in. I'm meant to be getting a dance in a minute from-"

"Me," Ellis interrupted, smirking. "I'm your private dance, Mister Fancy Suit."

"But… wha?" The conman's face was an absolute picture and Ellis couldn't supress a laugh.

"Ya see, tendin' to engines and cars is my day job," he explained as he fixed a much more private cloth curtain into place over the beads of the doorway and sauntered further inside. He stood before Nick, hands on leather-clad hips. "But at night, I do some "work" here. Call this a hobby."

For once in his life, Nick was truly lost for words. His eyes scanned down that young body again as he processed what Ellis had told him. And he thought before, when he was covered with grease, he looked sexy. Now the kid looked downright scorching.

"So, I hear you've paid for a strip and a lap dance, huh? … Should've guessed you had some money to spare," Ellis grinned knowingly, throwing in a wink. "What's say we get this movin' right along, here?"

The gambler had no objections to that, no sir. He almost couldn't believe his luck as his eyes travelled the length of the kid's body one more time, hugged tight by leather in all the right places.

Now, what possible good deed had he done lately for karma to be this goddamn generous? Because Nick sure as hell couldn't think of anything right now. What with all his gambling and conning, he wondered why karma wasn't kicking his butt from here to Tuesday. But hell, whatever.

Ellis began to sway his hips to the sultry music drifting through from the main club, punctuating each soft beat with a pivot of his waist and Nick nodded slowly as a grin appeared on his face. The kid turned on the spot and bent over slightly to show off his round ass cheeks and continued to ripple his body, running one hand through his own hair and nipping at his lower lip seductively before facing the conman again.

"So… what made you decide to come here tonight?" Ellis purposefully drew out the word "come", making Nick shudder slightly, his eyebrow quirking.

And he actually had to think about that question for a moment, finding his mind preoccupied elsewhere. He jerked his lips in annoyance before answering yet never took his eyes off the slinky body of the kid before him. "My wife. She's turning into a real psycho bitch." He licked his lips as Ellis' hands smoothed their way up from his hips to his leather vest, slowly opening the garment to reveal a complete mind-fuck of a chest – tanned and toned and fucking perfect in every way. Nick stuttered. "I'm… just looking to relieve some uh… some tension."

"Hmm…" Ellis gave a pleasurable hum and then turned his back on the older man again, keeping a keen eye on him over his shoulder, and teasingly slipped the vest down his arms. "Bet'cha ain't thinkin' of her no more," he husked.

Nick almost mewled like an excited puppy when the leather obstruction dropped to the floor and flaunted the kid's golden skin. "Hell no," he replied and slouched in his chair slightly, very much enjoying the view. Ellis then turned back around, planting his feet apart solidly and brought both his hands up to rest behind his head. The manoeuvre pulled his hip muscles taut, raising his ribcage and puffing his torso outwards.

The gambler's fingers tightened around the arm rests of the chair as he watched on, biting his lip when he felt the first stirrings of arousal swim around in his groin. Ellis noted this with a small smirk before continuing his dance. He swayed his hips a little more before reaching for the little zip on the side of his leather shorts and slid it smoothly down until the lip of the pants began to peel away from his skin, revealing more suggestive flesh.

"Oh yeah," murmured Nick appreciatively when Ellis began to lean forward, his hands pushing the garment down his lean legs as he moved. Because he was now bent double, it was obscuring the view to what Nick yearned to see the most. The older man's leg was starting to bounce with his excitement, which wasn't the only tell-tale sign, by any means. Ellis grinned and then stood straight, hands on his hips once more, and Nick's breath caught mid-inhale.

Shit, that goofy mechanic was endowed to the heavens. And it also pleased him to see that it was almost half hard, taunting him. Nick took a quick sip of his scotch, his eyes still never leaving Ellis. He was now naked, bar his cowboy boots and that kinky black collar.

Bracing his hands on the arm rests of the chair, Ellis ducked low and snaked his head and torso up the length of Nick's slouched form, not touching him but still close enough for Nick to feel the heat of his skin. His back arched forwards as he finished the ripple, pushing his toned chest even closer to the gambler, who was now so turned on he was about ready to start begging for more contact, even just a tiny bit. Ellis repeated the motion but a little faster, a little harder, causing his penis to bounce happily at the final jerk of his pelvis.

Nick outright groaned his appreciation and clamped his fingers harder around his chair until his knuckles were white. He'd seen his share of strippers and lap dances in his time, mostly in this very club actually, but never had he seen one this arousing. And Nick had always followed the rules; you weren't allowed to touch the dancers. No sir-ee bob. But with the gold, smooth skin being presented to him so artistically, all Nick wanted was to run his hands over him like he was a blind man learning braille.

Ellis placed one hand firmly on his hip and turned around one more time. He then began to sway his hips from left to right to the beat of the music; peering at the gambler from over his shoulder and becoming amused by the way the older man was biting his lip. And then, defying all possible laws of anatomy, Ellis began to literally bend over backwards until he could look at the gambler upside down, bracing his hands on his lower back and thrusting his hips up, erection bobbing into the air.

Nick reckoned karma had been WAY too kind to him tonight.

But then it all came back to bite him firmly in the ass when a series of musical beeps sounded from a speaker in the corner. Ellis sighed, shrugging slightly after leaning back up to a normal human posture. "Sorry, man. Time's up."

At this notice, Nick almost whined like a bereft dog. He was pulsing hard under his suit pants but found himself to be incredibly proud of it, not embarrassed. Before Ellis left, he leant in and ran his hand down Nick's face, patting his stubbly cheek lightly and winking. "Glad you enjoyed the show, darlin'. Don't be a stranger."

Nick watched after him, pining silently as that amazing ass sauntered away. God damn, if that wasn't the most arousing thing he'd ever seen, then he needed to get out more.

Gingerly, he stood and downed the last of his drink in an attempt to cool off slightly before straightening his loosened collar and suit jacket and then making to leave, flustered, aroused and already making plans to come back tomorrow.