"It's not fair. That's all I'm saying," Blair said loudly over the music.
"Yeah, I know, Chief, it's not fair." Jim was trying not to grin at Blair, who was slumped down in his chair behind his microbrew like a pouting child at Thanksgiving dinner. "But that's reality."
"Well, reality sucks, man. I mean, look at Rafe over there." He nodded toward the dance floor. "He just met that girl a half-hour ago, and it's perfectly OK with everybody in the world if he's got his hands all over her ass. But you and I have been together for two years now, and let us so much as hold hands in public and the villagers are out back lighting up torches. It's not fair," he concluded doggedly.
"No," Jim said softly. The music, which had been in fast-slow-dance mode for several songs, now changed to slow-slow-dance mode. Rafe and his new acquaintance paused for a moment, then moved closer together.
"Listen, Chief," Jim said suddenly. "Consider me to be slow-dancing with you right now."
One side of Blair's mouth went up. "With your hands all over my ass?"
"Oh, definitely. In your back pockets, in fact."
"Cool. I always knew you were a classy kinda guy." Blair moved his legs under the table until his knee was touching Jim's. Jim returned the pressure. Blair smiled for a moment, then said, "You could probably get away with a nuzzle or two. You'd have to put your mouth pretty close to my ear to talk."
"Yeah." Jim sighed. "Consider yourself nuzzled." Then he reached for his coat. "It's late anyway, and Rafe looks like he's doing fine without us. You wanna hit the road?"
"Sure." Blair took one last swallow of beer and threw a few bills on the table.
As they went out into the parking lot, Jim said, "Consider me to have slung an arm around your shoulders."
"I'm liking considering that," Blair said. "Consider me to have my arm around your waist. And a finger hooked in your belt loop."
Blair put on his seat belt, then slowly, casually laid his hand on the seat between them as Jim put the truck in gear. Jim looked down at the hand, then laid his own hand over it and shifted until their fingers were intertwined.
They held hands all the way home.
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