Ben and Lacy arrived at the small, hole-in-the-wall bar on the east side of town. Neither had been there before and were only there because Lacy had won tickets for a show in a raffle at work. Lacy wore a short leather skirt, white green blouse showing lots of cleavage, and her best heels. Ben wore his best jeans that hugged his ass and a maroon silk shirt.
"Could they find a more out of the way place?" he asked.
"Quit bitchin', Ben," said Lacy. "We have free tickets that include the first round of drinks. What more could you want?"
Ben looked around nervously. "Not to feel like I'm in 'the Twilight Zone.'"
Lacy laughed. "You're such a goof, Ben."
The couple walked up to the door and handed the doorman their tickets. He looked them over then said, "I'm guessing neither of you have ever been here before."
"You'd guess right," said Ben.
Lacy rolled her eyes. "I won the tickets and I asked my buddy Ben to come with me."
"Oh, so you're not a couple?" asked the doorman, sounding rather intrigued.
"No," replied Ben. "Lacy is just a really good friend of mine."
"Well welcome then. You two have a reserved seat tonight."
The doorman motioned inside and a young woman stepped up to escort the couple to a small booth near the stage and in line with the bar. "What can I bring you two to drink?"
"Frozen strawberry margarita for me," said Lacy.
"I'll be right back," said the waitress.
As she walked away, Ben said, "That's a man, you know."
"Well, it was anyway."
"Tranny?" asked Lacy.
"I think so."
The waitress returned with their drinks and Ben asked, "Are you trans?"
The waitress smiled. "What gave me away?"
"Adam's apple," said Ben.
"I'm getting it shaved in a few months," she said as she passed out the drinks. Sadly, insurance won't pay for my transition. Well, enjoy the show."
The waitress walked away as the bar slowly filled with patrons. Ben and Lacy enjoyed their drinks and chatted about work. Ben decided he wanted something to eat but their waitress was so busy hustling tables he couldn't get her attention. He decided to walk to the bar and order something for both of them to share.
There was an older man sitting at the bar who had been watching Ben and Lacy since they had arrived. He was wearing an expensive three-piece suit that complemented his salt and pepper hair that was neatly styled. He turned to Ben and said, "Good evening."
"First time here?"
The bartender gestured to him that he would be with him shortly. "I'm Gordon."
"Ben," he replied, shanking Gordon's hand and wondering why this guy was even talking to him.
"Is she your girlfriend?" Gordon asked, pointing at Lacy.
"No, just a friend."
"So, she knows your gay?"
Ben's eyes grew wide, he felt his heart race. How could this stranger possibly know something that no one else did? "Wha- what are you ... you talking ... talking about?"
Ben smiled. "Still in the closet eh? I'll bet you a blowjob your lady friend there knows you're gay."
The bartender dashed down and said, "Wha'cha need buddy?"
"Sampler platter," said Ben.
"You're at the reserved table right?"
"I'll have Chantilly bring it to your table and add it to your bill."
"Thanks," said Ben, then darted back to the table.
"What's wrong?" asked Lacy.
"Nothing," said Ben as he finished his drink.
Chantilly arrived shortly after with two fresh drinks and the sampler. Ben was confused. "We didn't order more drinks," he said.
"Complements of Mr. Stewart," she said, pointing to Gordon.
Ben bit his lip as Lacy said, "Well maybe he should join us?"
Before Ben could react, Chantilly gestured and Gordon walked over. "I see you received my drinks."
"Yes," said Lacy, "and thank you. Care to join us?"
"Thank you," said Gordon sat down next to Ben. "I'm Gordon."
"So what brings you two here?" asked Gordon.
"I won two tickets at a raffle at our work," said Lacy.
"Wonderful," said Gordon. "Have you always wanted to see a drag show?"
"A what?" asked Ben.
"Yes," said Lacy. "And I've heard this is the best in the state."
"Shy of New York or Las Vegas I must agree," said Gordon.
"Hold on," interrupted Ben, "you never said this was a drag show."
"I didn't?" exclaimed Lacy, with a twinkle in her eye.
"No!" barked Ben.
"Sorry," said Lacy "I thought you knew The Outskirts was a gay bar."
Ben's eyes grew wide. "Why?"
Lacy smiled nervously, then said, "Because you're gay."
Ben grabbed his drink and downed it one swallow. Gordon smiled wickedly and waited. "How ... how did you ... how did you know?"
"I've always known Ben," she said. "Why? Is there something wrong?"
Ben threw his arms around Lacy and kissed her cheek. "I didn't know anyone would accept me."
"Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but I sure as hell do."
"As do I," said Gordon.
Ben sat up and swallowed hard. Suddenly he remembered the bet Gordon had proposed. What was he going to do? Before he could figure out the solution to his problem, the lights dimmed and the show started. As promised, it was a phenomenal show of singing, dancing, jokes, and music. Lacy, Ben, and Gordon enjoyed the sampler platter as they watched the show.
Soon the show took an intermission, with everyone buzzing about the performances. Gordon leaned in and whispered in Ben's ear, "Met me in the men's room in two minutes. We've got a bet to settle."
"Excuse me folks," said Gordon. "I'll be back shortly."
Gordon stepped away and Lacy said, "He sure is nice."
Chantilly stepped over to clear the empty glasses and said, "I see you two like Mr. Stewart."
"Yes, he's very nice," said Lacy.
"Yeah," said Chantilly, "it's not everyone who gets to party with the owner."
"The what?" asked Ben.
"Well yeah," said Chantilly, "he takes good care of us here. He's even helping me with the costs of my surgeries. He can't cover them all, but he does what he can for those of us who want to transition."
.... There is more of this story ...