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other side
<$side>

The Other Side

Chapter Two

Toby stepped off the plane and into the bustling San Francisco airport a few days later. He asked himself again, why he had taken this job. There had been other offers, some even close to home in Stevenís Point, Wisconsin. He supposed he had let Seth and Sam fill his head with dreams of the big city, the gay Mecca. Seth belonged here, not Toby. Toby had never felt so lost or out of place as he did making his way through the airport to the baggage claim.

He retrieved his luggage, made his way out of the airport, and hailed a cab.

He had rented an apartment the week before when he had flown in to hear the companyís offer. It was on the very edge of the Castro district and not in a very good neighborhood. But with what his salary was to be he should be able to afford something nicer in no time.

The movers were to meet him at two that afternoon with what few possessions he owned: his television, stereo, computer, bike, bed, and clothes. The apartment was partially furnished, the rest he could pick up after he got a few paychecks in the bank.

Toby gave the address to the cab driver and sat back watching out the window as the city blew by.

The cab pulled up in front of a run down apartment building in bad need of a coat of paint. Toby got out and paid the driver. He made his way up the walk noticing that the children in the yard across the street had stopped playing to watch him. He smiled and gave them a wave. The children only looked at each other shrugging then returned to their game.

Once in the building Toby climbed the two flights of stairs and opened the door to his apartment. It was really only a room. A studio, it was called, but it was really just a room, and not even a big one. Toby's bedroom back home in Wisconsin had been almost as big as this apartment.

It was small but had all he needed. In one corner he would put his bed, another area held a love seat and chair. The kitchen area was over in the far corner, with a small bathroom off of it. While it looked gloomy, once Toby's things arrived... Oh, who was he kidding? It was a dump. But it would have to do for now. He just hoped he could be living somewhere nicer before Seth or Sam decided to come for a visit.

He wondered what Seth would say about this dismal little place; surely he would think Toby was an idiot for taking it. Thinking of his friend made Toby feel even further from home. He sighed and leaned against the kitchen counter while pushing the numbers on his cell phone.

"Hey, how's California?" He heard the familiar voice.

"Great. How are you, Seth? On your way to Austin yet?"

"Shit. I'm stuck in some frickiní airport waiting on my connecting flight, which is delayed of course."

Toby smiled. "That's what you get for going to Texas."

"Yeah, I suppose. So how is sunny CA?"

"Sunny. Crowded. Noisy. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed," he confessed.

"Ah, Tob, you'll be fine. Get out there and enjoy the city. It's Friday, go out to a club tonight and grab the first pretty boy you see. Take him out on the dance floor and if he knows how to move, take him to the backroom and fuck his brains out."

Toby laughed, "Yeah?"

"Yeah. Don't you dare sit at home tonight. Get out and celebrate."

"Yeah, okay."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

"Ah, hey, they just called my flight. Gotta go. Call me tomorrow with all the details."

"See ya, Seth."

"Later."

The movers pulled up and honked their horn. Toby leaned out the window and yelled, "Be right down."

It took all of twenty minutes to unload Toby's worldly possessions. After they had dumped off the last of the boxes, Toby went to work unpacking, determined to make the place look lived in, look something like a home.

That night Toby made good on his promise and put on the jeans that Seth always said made him look hot. He picked out his favorite shirt and walked the five blocks into the heart of the Castro district.

He felt like Alice in Wonderland as he walked up the street. It was like nothing he had ever seen. Even in the gay friendly areas of Green Bay, there were never so many queers, so open. Guys walking down the street holding hands, kissing in public. Toby tried not to stare.

He ducked into the first dance club he came to.

"ID," the doorman said.

Toby pulled out his Wisconsin driver's license and handed it to him.

"Vacationing?"

"No, just moved here."

"Welcome to the city then." He handed Toby back his license. "The cover charge is twenty dollars."

Toby handed him a bill and ducked into the dark crowded club. The lights over the dance floor flashed with the bass notes of the dance music. Toby could feel the drum beat making his heart skip; it was the same as so many clubs Seth had dragged him to, yet it was different.

He made his way over to the bar and ordered a drink. Leaning against the bar, he scanned the room, trying to imagine what Seth would do. Maybe just for tonight he could pretend; he could be Seth. It had been his fantasy since he first met Seth, to be like him, to be him.

He saw a pretty blond standing off to the side of the dance floor, looking as scared as Toby felt. He approached him.

"Want to dance?"

The blond jumped at Toby's voice. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you."

"S'alright," the boy shrugged.

"So, want to dance?"

"Sure."

On the floor, Toby moved in close, picturing in his head the techniques he had witnessed Seth use time and time again.

"What's your name?" the blond asked.

"Seth," Toby answered. What the hell, might as well go for it.

"You from here?"

"No," Toby shook his head. "Just visiting." He started to reciprocate the questions, then realized that while Toby would ask, Seth wouldn't care what the boy's name was, or where he was from.

"This place have a back room?"

The blond smiled and nodded. He took Toby's hand and led him to the back of the club.

"What are you in to?" the boy asked once they were in a private corner of the dimly lit room.

"Getting my dick sucked. You up for that?" Toby answered.

"Sure," the blond said sinking to his knees.

Toby leaned back against the wall as he felt his cock slide into the warm mouth. Maybe this city wouldn't be so bad after all.

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