"Thanks for inviting me."
"It's my pleasure. So, how long have you been in town?" Bay wanted to know everything about Jai.
"Three weeks, give or take. Just long enough to feel like I needed to explore."
"I'm glad you found your way to The Bending Willow." And me. Bay didn’t say that out loud, though. Go him for managing to stop the flow of words.
"I am, too. I loved the sign."
"Is that the only reason you came in?"
"Well." Jai grinned, wiggled a bit. "I live close by, you know? Close enough to watch. I could tell no girls came in."
"How did you know it's, uh... kinky, too?"
"Kinky?" Jai looked honestly confused, like he had no idea what Bay was talking about.
Oh. Oh, uh-oh. Bay’s cheeks went really red at that. Not that he wasn't interested just because Jai wasn't into it, but he'd kind of been hoping. Hoping hard.
"Honey? Bay? You okay? I'm not the judgy kind."
"No? 'Cause the bar caters a really kinky crowd. Leather and whips and stuff..." He wasn’t sure how much he should tell Jai; he didn’t want to turn the man off. Bay really liked him a lot.
"You must see some amazing stuff." Jai smiled at him and it felt good. It felt natural. "I can't wait to hear your stories."
He nodded. "Yeah. Just the outfits alone are kind of amazing."
"Oh, yeah?" Jai leaned back. "Tell me the most amazing one."
"Well, there's lots of guys wearing little more than a pouch around their junk, and collars with leashes around their necks. In fact there are enough of those, it's not even that amazing anymore." That was a sad truth, really, that it didn’t shock him anymore. It made him feel like he was turning cynical, blasé and he didn’t want that.
Jay shook his head. "I can't imagine walking around like that."
"No, me neither. Still... if I had someone, a… a master. And he asked me to, I would."
"Oh, yeah? I bet that takes a lot of trust. I don't know if I trust anyone so much." Jai didn't tense, didn't freak out. It made it so much easier.
"I'd like to, though." Something inside him kind of needed it, maybe.
"Yeah? Is there someone there you're into?"
"Not until today..."
Jai pinked, then smiled. "Yes, but I'm not masterful. I'm a bookworm."
"I'm a master's student." They had stuff in common, him and Jai, he thought.
"Well, then. We have things in common." Jail looked incredibly pleased.
"We do." He felt pleased himself. "Do you like movies, too?"
"Oh, God. All of them -- old, new, good, bad. I'm a total film whore."
He loved that word in Jai's mouth, there was just something about it that put a zing through it.
"I love movies, too. Especially at the theatre. It just isn't the same at home."
"No. No, it's not, although I have a terabyte hard drive with like a zillion movies on it."
Bay laughed softly. "That's pretty cool."
"So, what's your favorite movie, Bay?"
"I only get to pick one?" He started going through movies in his head.
Jai poured their sake, so patient, interested enough to wait.
"If I have to pick just one it would Casablanca."
"Oh, God. So romantic. I love the Noir stuff. My favorite is the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." He got a quick, almost shy grin. "Is that totally geeky?"
"I love Gene Wilder!"
"He's weirdly sexy, isn't he?"
"Yes! Oh my god, no one's ever gotten that before." He laughed, falling in love a little bit.