London. Life.

“What did you do last night?” asked Charlie, as he met Tim for a coffee.

“I met up with Mikael for a drink…” replied Tim. “So, that was a bit of a disaster.”

“Why was it a disaster?” asked Charlie.

“I kind of forgot it was Valentine’s Day…” shrugged Tim.

“You’ve broken up, haven’t you?” Charlie reminded him. “Why were you having a Valentine’s Day catch-up if you’re not together?”

“Who knows…” shrugged Tim. “He’d bought me some chocolates from Paul A. Young.”

“The salted caramel truffles?” asked Charlie. “I love those!”

“No, they weren’t that fancy…” replied Tim. “They were nice enough, but I couldn’t help thinking - if you’re going to make the effort to go to the shop, why not get the truffles?”

“I know, right?” agreed Charlie. “But you didn’t get him anything?”

“I paid for the drinks…” said Tim. “Does that count? Anyway, how was your pot-luck dinner?”

“It was good…” nodded Charlie. “We just sat around drinking wine and comparing notes on dating disasters. The only thing that wasn’t eaten was Kellen’s cottage pie - he really can’t cook.”

“Bless…” grinned Tim. “It’s cute that he tries. Have you got much work on?”

“A few things in the pipeline…” shrugged Charlie. “I met this really interesting guy yesterday. His name is Pan Bash. He’s a Turkish guy. A porn star.”

“Obviously…” nodded Tim. “There’s lots of Turkish guys in porn.”

“Really?” asked Charlie. “I don’t think that’s true. Name one other Turkish porn star.”

“Arad Winwin?” suggested Tim.

“I’m pretty sure he’s not Turkish…” countered Charlie.

“He looks like he could be….” shrugged Tim.

“Anyway, this guy that I met - who is actually Turkish - is really interesting…” continued Charlie. “He’s doing research into all the gay stuff that went on during the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.”

“Fascinating…” nodded Tim.

“It actually is!” exclaimed Charlie.

“I was agreeing with you!” laughed Tim.

“Oh…” said Charlie. “It’s just that your tone sounded a bit sarcastic.”

“That’s just how I sound…” shrugged Tim. “I always sound like that.”

“What are you doing tonight?” asked Charlie. “It’s that Red Hot underwear party in town - do you want to come?”

“I don’t know…” hesitated Tim. “It feels like it’s been a really long week.”

“Go on! It will be fun!” urged Charlie. “Kellen and Hamish and Marc are all coming!”

“Is it an underwear party?” asked Tim.

“No no, it’s a launch party for a new line of underwear…” explained Charlie. “I’m pretty sure that we’ll be keeping our clothes on. There’ll be lots of hot ginger guys there!”

“Alright. Count me in!” decided Tim. “You had me at ginger.”