There is always room for the right person.
Elijah has been forced to leave his home because of his homophobic family. He has arrived in Boston with the hopes of starting a new life. His first stop is a drag club. Intrigued by the art form, he wants to take a peek and look for work.
After leaving the military, Dermott opened Queens to celebrate his love of drag and Irish pubs. Two of his best performers, Rienk and Nico, pack his club and share his bed. Dermott gives the boys needed stability and love, and the three of them have formed an unconventional family.
Dermott is everything Elijah has ever fantasized about, although he does not expect the man to give him anything more than a job. He is already involved with two other beautiful and worldly boys. There is no room for a sheltered virgin like him.
Dermott and his harem were not looking for a new romantic entanglement. When an obviously lost, yet sweet, boy enters the club and their lives, each of them let Elijah know that they would welcome another boy into Dermott’s enormous bed and heart.
Giving his virginity to Dermott would be a dream come true for Elijah, and the other boys are becoming amazing friends. But trusting all three of these men with his heart may be more than Elijah can handle.
General Release Date: 5th July 2022
Elijah walked into the club, blinking a bit owlishly at the change from the waning brightness outside to the dim lighting. It was early still, so the place wasn’t packed, although there was a big group of girls crowded around the tables by the stage. They looked as if they’d started partying early, and it was clearly a bachelorette party, given that one of them wore a tacky wedding veil. He had to step to one side as a couple of guys strode in, supremely confident and laughing as they held hands. He took a moment to appreciate how amazing the sight was. Here in Boston, guys could do that, and while they likely still got hassled, he doubted it was anything like the shunning and hostility he would have gotten back home.
“Sorry, kid. This is a twenty-one and older club.”
Elijah started at the deep male voice coming from behind the bar. He made his feet turn toward it instead of running out. The man standing there was tall enough that Elijah had to crane his neck some to stare him in the face. And, oh God, it was a handsome one! It was the kind of fantasy man his rural and unsophisticated mind dared to dream of. It was like staring at an action figure, all broad muscles, shown off by a tight, black T-shirt, and there was a close-cropped beard hugging his face. It was nothing like the facial hair of men he’d grown up with. This wasn’t a ‘mountain man, salt-of-the-Earth’ type. It was more like ‘I forgot to shave for a few days’, and it highlighted his strong, square jaw. The lines around the guy’s eyes pegged him somewhere in the thirty- to forty-year-old range, exactly what Elijah found attractive. The man’s hair was jet black and not much longer than the beard. But his eyes were a bright blue and gazing at him as if he were waiting for something.
Oh, right. He’s asking about my age. Hitching his backpack higher on his shoulder, Elijah tried to appear more confident than he felt. “I’m not here to drink. I was just hoping maybe you had some odd jobs that I could do?” His voice sort of squeaked at the end, and he could feel his face heating with embarrassment.
The man studied him for a few uncomfortable seconds. “Did you just get off the train at South Station?”
“Um, no. A bus, actually.” Lots of them, because it wasn’t a straight shot from his slow town in nowhere Pennsylvania to the comparatively bright lights of the City of Boston. He knew he looked pretty grungy, having assessed himself in the public restroom before legging it from the station. He’d washed up a little, ignoring the startled and somewhat too-interested stares from the other occupants, so he knew he was relatively presentable.
The older man leaned his elbows on the bar and stared a while longer before saying, “I bet you spent most of the money you had getting here.”
Even more embarrassed now, Elijah dropped his gaze. “Yes, sir.” He raised it again and straightened his shoulders. “That’s why I need a job.” He glanced around the large room. “I don’t drink, like ever, so you don’t have to worry about my stealing alcohol. Is it illegal for me to work here?”
The man shook his head and his lips turned up. “Nope. It’s not even illegal for you to be a patron, so long as you aren’t drinking alcohol. It’s just my policy to keep the under twenty-ones out. Boston is a big college town, and kids are very good at getting fake IDs. I’m not willing to risk my liquor license by letting them even think they can get in here.” He cocked his head. “Are you looking to perform?”
“Perform?” The meaning of the question was still forming in his head when the music dimmed, and a loud voice boomed.
“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get the evening started. Please welcome to the stage our one and only Vanna Van Dyke!”
The room erupted into raucous applause. Elijah turned to watch with open-mouthed amazement as a woman strutted out from the wings of the stage. No, a queen. He knew that’s who he was watching, because that was the whole point of this club called Queens. The website said the place was a combination of Irish pub and cabaret, featuring the best in drag entertainment. The tall, pale blonde swayed her hips across the stage, blowing kisses to an adoring crowd. She was clearly a favorite, and the way she wore the skin-tight, shimmering gown, one couldn’t see anything masculine about her. She was the epitome of a sexy female, from the top of her towering head of curls to her fuck-me stilettos. And when she started lip-syncing her first Taylor Swift song, Elijah became enthralled.
“Are you hungry?”
The unexpected question jarred Elijah back to his reality. Forcing his gaze away from the performance, he looked back at the man. “Yes, sir.” He hated admitting it, but there wasn’t enough left in his wallet to pay for much. “I don’t think I can afford to eat here, though.”
The man straightened and pointed to the nearest bar stool. “Park your butt there, don’t even think about reaching for any of the bottles and I’ll get you a cheeseburger…on the house,” he added.
Elijah’s stomach rumbled at the offer, but honesty and fairness had been ingrained in him all his life. He might not be the straight boy his family demanded, but he had morals, nevertheless. “Thanks. I don’t want you to get into trouble with your boss, though. I doubt he likes your giving away food.”
The man chuckled. “No worries, kid. I’m Dermott McCarthy, and this is my place. I am the boss,” he added for emphasis. “I think I can swing a free burger, and after you eat, we can talk about what kind of work you might do around here.”
Elijah was too elated to object. He dutifully sat where indicated, putting his backpack on the floor between his legs. “Thank you, sir. I appreciate it.”
The man shot him a look that was hard to read, except all he could think of was hungry. “I like the ‘sir’, but you can call me Dermott. And,” he added with a serious expression, “just so we’re clear, I’m not looking for anything more than a little hard work for mostly crappy pay. No other service will be required of you. Understand?”
Elijah nodded, unable to say anything past the sudden lump in his throat. When he’d left home, he’d known full well what LGBTQI kids often had to do to survive on their own. It was possible that this man, Dermott, was simply laying a trap. Except he seemed sincere, and Elijah desperately wanted to believe that he’d landed in a relatively safe place. Time would tell, and in the meantime, he’d enjoy the meal and the show. When Dermott walked toward the other end of the bar, Elijah turned back to the stage. Vanna Van Dyke was on song number two, and the audience was already showering her with money. It gave him thoughts of trying drag himself. Then he shut them down quickly. There was no way he could ever perform in front of an audience, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t enjoy watching others. For the first time in days, he felt the tension draining from his body. Things might turn out okay after all.
* * * *
Elijah had already scarfed down the delicious cheeseburger and was working his way through a mound of fries when Vanna hopped onto the stool next to him. Dermott was still tending the bar, and he greeted Vanna with a broad smile and smacking kiss that left Elijah gawking. While he’d managed to catch some TV shows where guys had kissed other guys, he’d never seen it up close and in person. The sight of the naked affection between the two men did funny things to his insides. Vanna might look like a woman, but he knew underneath it all, she was a he. At least he thought so. He could be wrong about that. Maybe Vanna was trans, something that his family had disavowed as against God’s will. Given his own experiences with being ‘different’, Elijah couldn’t bring himself to condemn things beyond his experience.
Vanna slapped a wad of bills on the bar top. “It’s a good crowd, even this early. Do I have enough to buy a beer?” The queen fluttered her lashes at Dermott.
The man rolled his eyes and put a glass of soda water with a slice of lime in front of the performer. “Not for another year, as you well know. And I still haven’t decided if I’m going to let you drink, even then.”
Vanna wrapped bright red lips around the straw and took a deep pull of the water before saying, “You’re so mean, Daddy.” The tone was a teasing one, flirtatious even.
“A brat like you needs rules.” Dermott didn’t seem at all insulted. He stared into Vanna’s eyes with such obvious affection that Elijah had to look away.
Vanna waved his thumb in Elijah’s direction. “How about him? He doesn’t look twenty-one.”
“That’s because he’s not, and he’s drinking Coke, no rum included.” Dermott moved away to serve another customer.
After a few more sips, Vanna turned wide, heavily made-up eyes toward Elijah. “Hi. You’re new.”
Elijah wasn’t sure how to respond. Swallowing his food, he forced himself to meet the queen head-on. Her eyes were an even brighter shade of blue than Dermott’s. This close, he could see that her makeup was more elaborate and exaggerating than anything he’d ever seen before—not that the women of his family ever wore any. The elder women had always condemned it as sinful, as had their church—just one more thing he’d silently disagreed with. The contouring and shading of Vanna’s face gave an illusion of it being more feminine than it probably was, although Vanna was drop-dead gorgeous by any standard. Elijah was fascinated at how little it took to make the transformation.
Not wanting to be rude, he looked away. “I’m Elijah. I just arrived in Boston and was looking for work.”
“Oh, mama, you’ve come to the right place.” Vanna leaned over some. “You have great bone structure. And you’re so petite. Men are going to lap you up with a spoon.”
Before Elijah could form a response, Dermott returned. “Easy, baby. The kid literally just got off the bus, and he’s not here to learn how to be a queen. Are you?” He trained his eyes on Elijah.
He could feel another blush coming on. “No, sir. I don’t want to be an entertainer. I couldn’t be as good as anyone here, anyway.” His glanced at the stage, where another queen was prancing to Tina Turner in sky-high heels. The queen was as impressive as Vanna had been, although this one was darker all around and was wearing a corset cinched impossibly tight. Her hair was a mass of ropey curls that shook as if they had a life of their own.
Vanna giggled. “That’s what Medusa said when she first arrived. Remember? And look at her now!” Vanna leaned over toward Elijah again and said, “She can corset her waist to nineteen inches. Can you believe it? Scarlett O’Hara would be green with envy.”
Elijah shook his head, understanding that he was supposed to be impressed. And he was, but he was also starting to think he’d made a mistake. This world had always appealed to him when he’d caught glimpses of it on TV and the Internet. Now that he was wading into it, his insecurities flared, and he wasn’t sure this was where he belonged at all. His conservative, rural upbringing hadn’t prepared him for the intensity of the attention he was getting—nor was he able to handle the emotional and physical reactions he was having toward Dermott and, surprisingly, Vanna. Although virile men had always been his go-to fantasy, it was weird how attracted he was to someone so overtly female. Girls had never interested him. And he’d always been careful to hide his erections and was stingy with his own hand. Right at the moment, however, he craved somewhere private where he could take care of his disconcerting arousal.
But he had made a bargain, sort of, with Dermott. He owed the man labor for the meal, and he wasn’t one to run out on an obligation. Wiping his mouth with his napkin, he slid off the stool and grabbed his plate and empty glass. “What can I do to help, sir?”
By way of answer, Dermott pulled an apron and plastic tub out from under the counter and placed them in front of him. “You can start by bussing your own stuff, then go clear that table in the corner.”
“Yes, sir.” Putting his plate and glass into the tub, he got to work.