Inside Out releases tonight at midnight. I wish I could tell you where this story came from, but I really have no idea. Sometimes I think there’s a well of stories and characters inside me. This one must have come from the recesses of my churning mind. I do remember that when thinking about this story, the first image that came to mind was this tickle scene. Bull is intimidating and with his tough exterior it would take something unexpected for someone to get past that. Zach does it with laughter.
Former mercenary Bull Krebbs now heads up security at his nightclub in Harrisburg, PA. Working the door night after night, he’s seen it all. Though tough on the outside, he’s a little hurt that people find him unapproachable. Then he pulls a cute twink out of line to perform a random search, and he’s surprised when the guy giggles and squirms.
Zach Spencer, graphic artist, twink, and seriously ticklish, isn’t intimidated by Bull. He’s in awe, and when Bull saves Zach from being trampled on the dance floor, Zach finds his inspiration for the superhero in his graphic novel.
Soon Zach wants more and makes his move by asking Bull on a date. Though small, he has a backbone of steel. He’ll need it—their happily ever after is thwarted at every turn, including by Bull’s interloping mother showing up unannounced and enemies from Bull’s past threatening to pull him to the other side of the world.
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By ten thirty, the line was long and becoming restless, because every twink, leather daddy, boy, slave, and dude in town wanted to see the members of the Philadelphia Inferno strip it all off, or as close to all as you could come in Harrisburg. A few fights broke out in line, and Bull either pulled men apart or used the towels to break them apart. He also sent those groups to the end of the line, which meant they were screwed for seeing the show. That ended the fight in a fucking hurry. No one wanted to land in nightclub purgatory, not after waiting an hour already. At ten minutes before eleven, a group of men approached the front of the line. They talked excitedly, and when their turn came, they stepped forward. There were three of them, all looking about twenty-one or twenty-two. He carded them. “I need to search you,” Bull told the first one.
The kid stepped forward and lifted his arms. “Search away, hot stuff,” he said, and as soon as Bull touched him, he began to giggle like a ten-year-old. Bull ignored it and checked the kid’s belt and up his back, then down his chest. All the while the kid was giggling and squirming like a demented belly dancer.
“Please empty your pockets,” Bull told him, and the kid turned out his pockets. Bull checked down his pant legs, and the kid began giggling again. “You got a problem?”
“You’re tickling me,” the kid said. Bull straightened up and crossed his arms over his chest.
“That’s some act, kid. What are you hiding?” Bull asked. He’d seen more tries at distraction than he could remember, but this was definitely a new one.
“Nothing. I’m just ticklish,” the kid said, the smile slipping from his adorably cute face and some of the light slipping from his eyes. What surprised Bull wasn’t the way the kid stared back at him—something almost no one did—or the way his bottom lip stuck out just enough to make Bull want to smile. It was the disappointment he felt that the kid wasn’t grinning anymore, because maybe he’d been smiling at him. Bull blinked that thought out of his mind. Pushing it away, he contemplated whether he should let the kid in.
“See how you react when someone’s touching all your sensitive spots.” Bull was about to tell the kid to take off when he reached out and ran his fingers over Bull’s belly. “Aren’t you ticklish?” he asked and continued working the tips of his long, slender fingers over Bull’s T-shirt.
Bull had to work not to crack a smile. Not because it tickled in the least, but because this kid would be forward enough to actually touch him. “No,” he snapped. “Move on inside before I change my mind.”
The kid pulled back his hand and lifted big brown puppy eyes to him for a few seconds before heading into the club. Bull swore softly to himself as he watched the kid walk away. When he returned his attention to where it should have been the entire time, he saw Greg, the other bouncer working the door, staring at him with a stupid grin on his face. Bull growled at him, and Greg turned back to the line, continuing to let people inside.