The daily serial fictional based on Chicago's Boystown neighborhood: Boystown series by Danny Bernardo

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13. Tristan For The Win

By the time his bruises started healing, the police had recovered all of the things that were stolen from Tristan's apartment. The bleeding heart 1950's movie ingénue in him was sure that Jersey Shore was just a bad boy with a heart of gold. The informed, Oprah-watching gay of the new millennium tha

13. Tristan For The Win
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By the time his bruises started healing, the police had recovered all of the things that were stolen from Tristan's apartment. The bleeding heart 1950's movie ingénue in him was sure that Jersey Shore was just a bad boy with a heart of gold. The informed, Oprah-watching gay of the new millennium that he was didn't care how good the sex was, Jersey Shore could rot in jail for all he cared. Tristan DID however have to stop himself from slipping Jersey Shore his number at the police station.

Thankfully, he'd kept all the receipts from when he replaced all of the stolen electronics and after recruiting the Bitches to help him haul that brand-new huge-ass TV back to Best Buy, he had recovered most of the money that Daddy had wired to him.

"Oooh, Tristan be ballin'!" exclaimed Jaison.

"Yes, Tristan, you've outdone yourself this time," said Braden. "Not only were you able to have a rough-and-tumble with a convicted criminal, you've managed to recover all the money donated to your cause by your... .older gentleman friend."

"Don't be hatin' on Tristan!" scolded Efrain, slapping Braden on the arm. "'Specially since he takin' us to lunch. Right, boo?"

"Yeah, sure. Why the fuck not? Ladies, gussy up. We're eating classy today!"

After an 80's movie-montage-shopping-spree at Topman (the Bitches cackled at the irony of the four of them walking into this shop,) Tristan treated his bitches to lunch at RL. Jaison was sadly disappointed that they wouldn't be going to American Girl so he could lunch with an ethnically appropriate doll, but Braden convinced him that it was a considerable step up.

"Oooh, I feel like Audrey Hepburn!" squealed Tristan, pushing up his new white wayfarers and noshing on his scallops.

"Blech, I thought this was gonna be steak!" Jaison gagged, pushing away his plate of tartare.

"It's good for you. Joan Crawford said so," said Braden, pushing the plate back.

"Y'all, I'm so nervous for tonight!" Efrain said, having another glass of wine.

"You're gonna sound amazing! And you'll have your bitches to back you up!" Braden said reassuringly.

As Jaison murmured his agreement, Tristan's phone vibrated. It was a text from Chadwick: "Impromptu dinner party tonight. Your presence is requested."

"I can't go tonight," Tristan said hurriedly, his mind racing for any excuse.

"But it's Efrain's big break. Literally. Right bitch, that's what they call the contest?"

"Ooh and it's gonna be at that Lincoln Park bar: Duffys!"

"Frat boys!" the Bitches said in unison.

"I'm sorry babe," Tristan said, holding both of Efrain's hands. "It slipped my mind and there's... this really important... thing... I have to do."

"It wouldn't have anything to do with your phone vibrating just now, would it?" asked Braden.

"What? No, that was... that was just that nerdy guy. Charlie. Freaking out about some ex again."

"It's fine boo... it's just the more people there are to support me, the more chance for me to win," said Efrain.

"I'll make it up to you," said Tristan. But somehow, the two new shirts Tristan bought Efrain at Ralph Lauren after lunch didn't seem to do it. He stayed behind to buy a new outfit as the Bitches went off to get ready for Efrain's big break. If he was gonna party with the A-Gays, he'd have to look the part.

Mason greeted Tristan at the door with a hug and European cheek kisses. The condo he'd just bought with Josh in the Gold Coast was stunning. Chadwick and Bryan were also there along with a couple of other guys Tristan had hoped not to run into tonight. He handed Josh a wine bottle that had a vintage year attached to it. If he was gonna play the part, he was going all the way.

Local politics and fundraisers was all the chatter over drinks and crudité in the sunroom. As the soup course was served, talk turned to the rising crime rate in Boystown and how "those people" were destroying its respectable reputation. Chadwick and Bryan even mused that they would pull their funding from the Center on Halsted, as it attracted "those people" in droves.

Tristan knew the reason he was there: he was adorable and said audaciously outrageous things that the A-Gays would never allow themselves to say aloud. Usually it felt like small admission to be invited to the best parties and meet the best people. But somehow tonight, it seemed a price too high to pay. He wondered if they'd met his Bitches, his real friends, if they'd lump them into "those people." And, truth be told, the look of heartbreak in Efrain's eyes when Tristan said he wasn't gonna make it had been gnawing away at him. In a momentary lapse of conscience, Tristan feigned not feeling well and excused himself for the evening. As Tristan reached the door, he felt a strong grip on his shoulder. He turned. Charlie was right: this guy had the most piercing blue eyes.

"Hey," he said. "Am I just being paranoid or were you avoiding me all night?"

"You're definitely a lot more perceptive than Charlie ever gave you credit for," was Tristan's response.

"How is he? I've almost bumped into him a couple of times... "

"I know. It's probably best if you just... "

"So he's got a new boyfriend?"

"What? Charlie?! No."

"Oh, I just thought... "

"What does it matter anyway? You've got your hot young thing in there."

"Will you just... tell him I miss him?"

Tristan laughed a salty laugh. "Oh sweetie, you really do like to hedge your bets, don't you? Look, I appreciate what's going on here, I really do. But I'm not about to play messenger for you just to see that poor boy's heart break from the mere mention of you."

"Did he see you with us that one Saturday night? Does he know we're friends?"

"Sweetie, let's get one thing straight. The mere fact that we're currently running in a similar circle does not make us friends. I'm civil, I'm polite, and that's where it ends. If it weren't for Chadwick and all them, I wouldn't even be hanging with you."

Tristan tried opening the door, but was stopped one more time. "Will you at least tell him that I said hi?"

Tristan's eyes narrowed. "Man up. Tell him yourself."

The cab ride to Duffy's wiped out the last of his recovered money, but it was worth it. He got there just in time to hear Efrain sing, win the night, and make it to the next round. And he knew he should've been there from the beginning, but he was there now, with his Bitches. And that's what was most important.


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