Today is the Wednesday Briefers’ chat day at the Beth Wylde Yahoo Group.
Come and join us for lot of flash fiction fun as we sail away on a cruise to celebrate Gay Pride month.
Here is my story contribution, but if you want to read more about the passengers on the Queen Bee then join us today.
Out of His League
Ray slipped into the ballroom just as the bachelor auction was getting underway. He found a seat at one of the tables away from the edge of the dance floor, hoping his friends didn’t track him down. If they found out he planned to bid for one of the bachelors, he’d never live it down.
The Cruise Director, Lisa, hadn’t yet called the first bachelor to her side, and was still in the middle of explaining about The Trevor Project, the charity which would benefit from the auction. Ray breathed a sigh of relief. He wasn’t too late.
Trying not to be obvious about it, Ray scanned the room for Colt. If his blatant eavesdropping while lounging beside Poseidon’s Pool was to be believed, Colt’s friends had put his name into one of the bachelor volunteer boxes in the bar without his knowledge.
Ray spotted Colt’s friends first. The trio of men sat on the opposite side of the room. They looked eager to spring their surprise on their friend. Colt looked as good out of the pool as he had in it. Ray watched him swim, admiring his physique, and wondering how best to approach him. Bidding on him in a bachelor auction perhaps wasn’t the best way to introduce himself. But with his luck, Colt would be purchased by the man of his dreams, and Ray would lose his chance forever.
The emcee pulled a card from the box. The first bachelor went to join her on the dance floor, amidst cheers and one or two wolf whistles.
Ray had no interest in bidding for anyone except Colt, even if he could afford to be throwing his money away by purchasing a date.
By the time the third bachelor had been bought and paid for, Ray was beginning to worry about the prices. He wasn’t exactly flush, and it had taken a lot of overtime just to get the money together to come on this cruise. Bachelor number three had been sold for more than twice his budget for the whole vacation.
When the fourth and fifth bachelors also sold for figures well out of Ray’s price range, he stood, intending to leave. Maybe he would get another chance to meet Colt before the end of the cruise. He hadn’t taken more than a step away from his table when he heard the emcee call out Colt’s name. Ray sat down with a thump.
Colt was paraded round the room, just as the other bachelors had been. He took the unexpected turn in the spotlight in good humor, undoing a couple of buttons on his shirt and flexing his muscles, as he played to the bidders. He answered Lisa’s questions, even the more risqué ones, with a playful smile, and a few minutes later the bidding began.
The bidding started at one hundred dollars, just as the other auctions had. Ray wasn’t surprised to see someone quicker off the mark than himself place the first bid.
“Two hundred,” Ray called out before his brain had even checked in with his mouth.
“And we have a new bidder,” Lisa called out. “Do I have any advance on two hundred?”
“Two fifty,” a third bidder shouted.
“Three hundred,” the original bidder cried.
Lisa laughed in delight as a fourth buyer joined in. “It seems Colt is our most popular bachelor yet,” she said. “I wonder if the bidders know something I don’t. Any idea why you’re such hot property, Colt?”
Colt shrugged and smiled round the room. “Who knows?”
Lisa leaned back a little and made a big show of checking out his arse. “I could take a wild guess,” she suggested, tapping his butt with a wink at the crowd. “Any advance on five hundred?”
“Five hundred and fifty,” Ray called.
He was outbid again almost immediately. The price increased with several more bidders joining in the auction. While Ray did put in a couple more bids, it soon became clear he was way out of his league.
The bidding finally ended at a little under two thousand dollars. Ray applauded the winner even as he watched Colt join the winning bidder at his table.
Ray decided to stay for a couple more auctions, but he didn’t bother to place any bids. The bachelors were just too expensive for him. He was just contemplating leaving again when he heard the unexpected sound of his own name being called.
A loud whoop from one of the tables near the entrance drew Ray’s attention in that direction. He swore under his breath when he spied two of his friends sitting at the table.
“Come on, Ray, don’t be shy,” Lisa called.
Ray shot daggers at his friends, but smiled in what he hoped was a winning manner to the rest of the room.
“I recognise you,” Lisa said. “You were one of our many bidders for the gorgeous Colt.”
Ray’s face burned as he focused his gaze anywhere other than the table where Colt sat. Never easy being the focus of attention, Ray stumbled over his answers to the questions while praying that someone—anyone—would take pity on him and place a bid. Surely the cruise had a few members of staff planted in the audience, just in case they were needed to get things moving?
Lisa seemed to realise he wasn’t entirely comfortable, and did her best to set him at ease.
“So, who’s going to start the bidding for this charming man?” she asked. “Do I hear one hundred dollars?”
Ray recognised the voice immediately. Trust his friends to ensure he wasn’t left on the shelf.
Ray turned to see who had spoken.
“It looks like our Colt is getting greedy,” Lisa teased.
Colt and his date grinned across the room at him. The fun was about to begin.
Don’t forget to join the chat for lots more flash fiction today.