Paddy looked the younger man up and down approvingly, "You look smart."
"Do I?" Smart wasn't a word he'd have used, but it helped knowing he wasn't a complete dogs dinner. Fact was, he hadn't really made much of an effort; he'd simply showered, then thrown on the first thing he'd pulled out of his wardrobe. But he felt comfortable in the clothes he was wearing, and he needed that emotional crutch right now.
"Where you going?" Paddy asked, knowing Aaron wouldn't think to give such information of his own accord.
"On your own?"
"Yeah, nothing wrong with that is there?"
"No of course not." Paddy told the tetchy teen. Since Jackson had made it clear he wanted nothing to do with Aaron, the lad had been as miserable as sin, "I just thought Adam might be going."
"No, he's off out with Scarlet somewhere."
"Right, well I'll see you later then." Paddy watched Aaron slope off out the front door, all the time wishing something would happen, preferable a 'someone' would happen, would come along to buck Aaron up. Maybe that certain someone would put in an appearance tonight? He could but hope.
Aaron had been drawn to Bar West, it wasn't the only gay bar in the area but it was the one he felt most comfortable in. Even if it was where Jackson had knocked him back, and where he knew he'd probably see him snogging the face off the new man in his life.
He'd got himself a bottle of lager then sat at a table near the back of the room. From there he could watch all the goings on. The people coming in and going out. The couples, the cruisers, the ever hopefuls and the sad hopeless cases like him... although he seemed to be the only Billy-no-mates in the place tonight!
He couldn't do this. He didn't have the balls to make the first move, and he felt certain his miserable mug would put off anyone should they actually give him a second look.
Why had he even bothered to come? His heart wasn't in it. There was only one man he was interested in and he was with someone else now, and even if he wasn't he had no intentions of giving him another chance.
He decided to finish his drink and then go home. Paddy wasn't the sort of company he wanted and needed right now, but he was someone he could talk to. Downing the last of the bottles contents, Aaron was about to get to his feet when a bottle of lager suddenly appeared before his eyes.
"How's that for timing?"
Aaron looked up at the owner of the voice, and found a set of piercing blue eyes looking back at him. The man, and he was a man, as he had a good few years on him, was now smiling at him. "What?" He wished something else had come out of his mouth, something more appropriate but he was suddenly very nervous.
"I noticed yours was all but dead, so I thought I'd save you a trip to the bar."
"Thanks." Aaron said, taking the bottle and setting it down on the table. He was eyeing the older man now, liking what he saw. His hair was short and blond and he was, as far as Aaron was concerned, mouth-wateringly good looking. He was tall too, taller than Paddy, probably as tall as Marlon. He carried a lot more weight than Marlon did, not an ounce of fat though, he was broad shouldered, muscular and the contours of those muscles were visible through his shirt.
"Mind if I join you?"
Aaron found he liked his voice too; it was deep and had a friendly ring to it. "No."
As he sat down he smiled over at Aaron again, then introduced himself, "I'm Chris. Chris Davies."
"Aaron," He didn't give his second name, he didn't think it was important and anyway his mouth was suddenly very dry. He took a swig of his beer and tried to think of something to say.
"I've not seen you in here before."
"I've been here a few times." Aaron replied, certain that he hadn't seen Chris in here before either, he wasn't somebody you could miss, although he'd somehow managed to miss him tonight!
"Are you from round here then?"
"I know it, a blink and you miss it place."
Aaron grinned, it was only a small village, but it was a great place to live, well he was happy there anyway. It was home to him now. He knew he should start taking a more active part in the conversation. He didn't want this Chris thinking he was hard work. "Are you local?" Ok so it wasn't exactly stimulating conversation but it was a start.
"A blink and you miss it place!" Aaron had to get that in, and was pleased when a smile crept across the other man's face.
They'd been sat chatting for about half an hour when he noticed a familiar figure at the bar. Jackson seemed to be alone but Aaron felt certain he wouldn't be for long. He told himself he didn't care anyway.
He was finding it easy to talk to Chris. He was a talker, and so there hadn't been any awkward silences. Chris had an easy manner about him, a good sense of humour too and Aaron had soon relaxed in his company.
It was a while before his gaze returned to the bar. There was no sign of Jackson now so after asking Chris if he wanted another drink he'd got up and made his way over to get another round.
The place was busy and he had to wait a little while to be served. As he was standing there, thinking that he might actually have met someone else he liked, he realised Jackson was now standing alongside of him.
Was he there to talk to him or was it because it was the only space at the bar? He decided to ignore him, if Jackson wanted to speak to him he would, he didn't want to make him feel he had to.
Aaron glanced sideways, "Hi." He was both surprised and pleased Jackson had spoken to him, although he wasn't expecting any more words to pass between them.
Jackson glanced back over his shoulder, his gaze focused briefly on Christopher Davies. He didn't know the man personally, but he did know of him and seeing Aaron with him had set the alarm bells ringing in his head.
Aaron's private life wasn't any of his business, and he was certain the younger man wouldn't appreciate him sticking his nose into it now. But he knew he had to say something, warn him in some way. How to go about it though? What did he say? Chris Davies is bad news? That he preys on the inexperienced and vulnerable or something more succinct like, he put his last boyfriend in hospital, and that the then seventeen year old wasn't the first to suffer because of his uncontrollable jealous rages.
Jackson didn't want Aaron getting involved with a man like that.