“Wow,” Mitch’s mouth formed the word but he made no sound.

“Not quite what you were expecting eh?” Zander asked with a smirk. “Despite the rumours, this isn’t a sex club.”

“Not even close,” Mitch murmered as he looked around.

The nightclub was a lot more sedate than any other place he’d ever been to. For a start the music played at a lower volume so conversation was actually possible, the dance floor swayed rather than jumped, and there was no neon or strobing lights. To the right of the entry they stood in was an elegant looking bar and clusters of seating areas from tables to couches. To the left was the dance floor and more seating but mostly couches. He thought he could see booths along the wall too but the lighting was dim enough that he wasn’t sure, it could just be curtains swaying as people moved by them.

Then there were the people. Zander was right, there was nothing wrong with what they were wearing. Sure there was a lot of tight black clothing but there were also plenty of men in suits and people in jeans but paired with the jeans were corsets and mesh shirts. Even make up wasn’t a necessity. The main difference was in the attitude of the people, there were those with slumped shoulders and down turned eyes, others who oozed arrogance, there were a few who creeped Mitch out, and others who looked around with an air of propriety.

“So you weren’t joking about the collars,” Ben said and Mitch turned to see his friend staring with wide eyes.

Zander just grinned. “Do you see your friends?”

“Ah, I’m not sure…” Ben took a step into the room and Mitch followed.

“Have a look around then come over.” Zander inclined his head towards the bar. “I’ll buy you a drink.”

“I think I see them,” Ben said and led the way closer to the dancefloor. He stopped at a cluster of seats where one woman leaped to her feet with a huge smile.

“I can’t believe you came! Everyone this is Ben and…”

“Mitch,” Mitch supplied with a smile and a nod at the three other women who were still seated. They shuffled around and Mitch found himself squeezed between the perky dark haired Daisy and the quieter but no less pretty blonde Janine.

“Are you a doctor too?” Daisy asked as she sipped a purple concoction.

“Not hardly.” He gave a shudder and Daisy leaned back a little. “Blood and germs aren’t my thing.”

“Don’t let him fool you ladies,” Ben interrupted. “He hits people for fun.”

“No, that’s only you Ben, most people duck,” Mitch joked as Daisy pressed closer and Janine’s hand landed on his knee.

“He owns a gym and he’s a kick ass trainer,” Ben bragged. “Keeps me in shape.”

“That explains why you’re in such good shape.” Janine’s hand slid a little higher and Mitch covered it with his own.

“I might go to the bar. Back in a moment.”

Mitch found it a little surreal not having to push through a crowd to get a drink. There were even empty stools so he sat down as he waited. Zander was alone but wasn’t overrun, he even seemed to be taking his time chatting and flirting with his customers, grinning and laughing, letting a slightly tipsy woman stroke his tattoo before the man with her led her away.

“Your friend found his friends,” he said in greeting as he stopped in front of Mitch.

“He did,” Mitch glanced back to see Ben sipping from Daisy’s glass. “I don’t know if he expected to be the centre of that much attention.”

“Let me get you a drink and you can get back over there.” Zander crossed his arms then lifted one hand to stroke his jaw. “Let’s see,” he murmured.

“You know you can just ask the customers what they want to drink.”

The wry comment came from Mitch’s side and he looked over as a woman with hair the colour of dark cherries placed a tray on the bar. She was dressed the same as Zander and the fitted clothing detailed a slender body with decent curves and good definition in her arms. In the gym he could imagine her doing Crossfit then some yoga for relaxation.

“I could,” Zander agreed. “But it’s a lot less fun. What do you need?”

“A break?” The woman replied and sat down on the chair beside Mitch. “Your customer service needs work Zander. Get the man a drink.”

“I was working on it,” Zander said then reached under the bar. With a smirk he set down a bottle and gave a little flourish of his hand as he said, “Tada.”

Before Mitch could reach for it the woman leaned over and gave the label an appraising look then gave Mitch a similar one.

“Stout?” Mitch frowned a little. “Not my usual thing…”

“Trust me.” Zander’s voice was full of confidence. “It’s not just stout, it’s bourbon barrel.”

Mitch shrugged and lifted the bottle to his lips then took a small sip and was surprised by how good it was. Which much have shown on his face as he took a deeper drink and Zander grinned.

“Everytime,” he murmmered and the woman poked her tongue out at him. “So mature babe,” he mocked then pointed to Mitch. “This is Mitch by the way. Mitch, this is my partner Max.”

“Business partner that is,” Max said with a smile as she turned towards Mitch and held out a hand.

Mitch set down the bottle to shake her hand then found himself just staring. To go with her killer figure and lush hair she had deep green eyes and a cupid bows mouth that was tilted into a smile. Gorgeous seemed like an understatement for this woman and he  continued to stare until she looked down and gently pulled her hand from his.

“Sorry but I need this,” she said then slid to her feet and went behind the bar moving to the end away from Zander.

“Wow,” the other man in amazed tone and shook his head. “That was so incredibly smooth of you Mitch. I can see why you have women throwing themselves at you.”

Mitch groaned and winced. “Shut up. I wasn’t that bad. Anyway, did you see her?”

“Yeah every day man. Did you miss the business partner part of the introduction while you were drowning in your own drool? Hello?”

“Fuck,” Mitch breathed as he dragged his eyes back to Zander. “Sorry but just, wow.”

“Really?” Zander arched a brow. “You walked away from what looked to be a sure thing and now you’re going to spend the night staring at my partner’s ass?”

Mitch grinned and took another swallow of beer. “Hell of a view man. As for the sure thing…” He looked back and noted Ben wasn’t there, likely on the dancefloor, but the women he’d been seated with had drawn the attention of others anyway. “Well one I’m not that easy.” He ignored Zander’s snort. “And two, they’re not just looking for a good time. They were disappointed I wasn’t a doctor like Ben.”

Zander nodded in understanding then moved off to serve. Mitch turned a little to survey the room, saw some interested looks directed his way but he kept thinking about Max as he sipped his drink.

“Another?” Zander appeared as he set down the empty bottle and Mitch looked at it with surprise. “It ah, goes down smooth,” he said with an amused laugh.

“What?” Mitch asked with a smile.

“Nothing. Just wasting my lines here since I bought you the drink.”

“Yeah, about that. I was wondering how a bar tender managed to buy me at that auction but the business partner bit? This is the business isn’t it?”

“Yep.” Zander leaned on the bar and looked around with a proud smile. “So you wouldn’t have believed I get really good tips then?”

“Dressed like that? Yeah I wound actually.” Without his permission his eyes slid away to Max and he sighed and smiled.  “I’m surprised the bar isn’t over run actually.”

“Aren’t you sweet,” Zander said as he placed another opened bottle in front of Mitch. “Two things. First, we don’t usually work the bar. And second, here’s our usual staff.”

He placed his phone on the bar and spun it to show a photo of a group of barely dressed and highly attractive people. “As you can see, Max and I are overdressed for the occasion. A couple of them are working the floor,” he added and as if on cue a woman in knee high boots, satin hotpants, and a corset slid a full tray onto the bar which Zander quickly cleared. “This is our quiet night so we’ve given the bulk of them the night off.”

A couple of minutes later she went off with a full tray of drinks and Zander came back to Mitch.

“Am I crossing a line if I ask about you and Max?” Mitch asked quietly. “Or you and your friend from outside?”

Zander looked over at Max who was flirting as she mixed drinks. “Max would eat you alive,” he said with a grin. “But I’m sure you’d enjoy the experience.”

Mitch grinned back then laughed then took a sip of his beer. “Yeah I’m sure I would too. What about you?”

“Would I? Nope,” Zander shuddered. “Max is… she’s not like a sister but we never had that urge so… just no.”

“No, I meant what about you in general. After last night then seeing you outside with your friend…” he trailed off, not sure what to say.

“Luc. And like I said, it’s complicated.” Zander’s voice was dismissive, his body tense.

“You think because I’m not a doctor I’m not smart enough to get it?” Mitch said in a mock offended tone. “If anyone knows this it’s you… it is possible to be pretty and smart.” He finished with a toss of his head and a pout.

“Idiot.” Zander huffed a laugh and his shoulders slumped then he sighed. “Luc and his boyfriend want a threesome. I’m not sure I’m interested.”

“Huh.” Mitch frowned and drank some more beer. “Nope, I don’t get it. That doesn’t sound too complicated and you looked pretty interested outside.”

“They’re in love. I don’t want to get involved in that,” he said with a shrug.

“It’s just sex though. And if it’s not you it’ll be someone else,” Mitch said logically with a shrug. “If you’re into them, might as well be you. Easy.”

“Yeah, not complicated at all,” Zander muttered.

“Speaking of easy, will you let Max know I am?” Mitch grinned and reached into his pocket then placed a card and a some cash on the bar. “I better go find Ben before he gets in trouble.”

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