Pablo left his apartment building on Copacabana Beach and immersed himself in the neighbourhood crowd, letting the press of fun-loving people wash away the last bit of lingering stress from the past week. Heloved everything about Carnival, but being so busy with the parades that his samba school participated in, especially on the heels of all the preparation for their display, it was always exhausting once it was all over. His Access Group school had performed on Saturday night and hewas still sore three days later. He rolled his shoulders and stretched his neck.
Being part of the vanguard group for his school was an important but tiring job, and bringing the level of acting and dance performance needed to introduce their theme to the judges and viewers was a huge adrenaline burn. While in the moment, it was a huge high, but afterwards… Crash and burn.
It was understood that he could take whatever time was needed away from his job as a physical therapist to prepare for and participate in Carnival. He only wished that applied to after it was over as well. Tomorrow was Ash Wednesday and he would be back in the office Thursday.
But tonight was the Tuesday night of Carnival. He was going to celebrate.
And get laid.
The streets were still humming with excitement. The Special Group parades had finished last night, but the Champion’s Parade in the Sambadrome wasn’t until Saturday, and the city’s party atmosphere would go on until then.
His phone vibrated in his front pocket and he wedged his hand into his tight leather-look pants, barely managing to pull it out. He was only carrying a bit of cash and his phone, and they were in his front pockets for a reason. The pants helped too—tighter was better with pickpockets having a great week taking advantage of inebriated and distracted people all over Rio.
He glanced at the screen, already knowing who the text was from.
Where r u? Did you leave?
Rolling his eyes, he quickly texted his roommate Thiago back.
Told you I would.
He had warned him more than once that he wasn’t going to wait around for him. He’d worked too damn hard to stand around his apartment on a prime party night waiting for his prima donna of a roommate.
Come back. Promise I’m ready now.
Back in two. If you’re not outside I’m turning around.
He worked the phone back into his pocket, ignoring the new buzz, and strolled towards the front of their building.
Thi was leaning against the front gate when he got there about five minutes later, watching the passers-by and trying to look casual, but Pablo knew he’d probably raced down and just got there a few moments before.
“I thought you said two minutes.” Thi pushed himself away from his stance and fell in beside Pablo as he turned around yet again and started back in the direction he’d been going. “That was more like ten.”
Pablo just gave him the eyebrow then smiled as Thi grinned in return.They could never stay mad at each other. They’d known each other too long and had been through too much. And besides, they lived together, worked together and were best friends. It would suck, and not in the good way, if either of them was a grudge-holder.
“I love these pants on you.” Thiago ran his hand over Pablo’s ass. “I love them on me more, though.”
Pablo laughed. “Yes, I know. I was shocked that I was able to grab them before you did.” He’d actually planned ahead, knowing Thi’s propensity for raiding his wardrobe, and last week had stuck a few things he knew he’d want to wear during Carnival under his mattress, including the dark red faux-leather pants he was wearing now.
“I couldn’t find them.” Thi’s pouty tone was accompanied by a stinging slap to his hip.
Pablo laughed, hooked his arm around Thiago’s neck and pulled him in to ruffle his longish, wavy but oh-so carefully arranged hair.
“Merda! Vai tomar no cu!” Thiago shoved him away hard and only Pablo’s excellent balance and reflexes from decades of dance kept him from falling to the sidewalk. As it was, he stumbled into a small group walking past them in the other direction.
Pablo offered a smile and a quick apology to the pair of barely dressed, drunk and giggling girls he’d bounced against then caught up toThiago and answered his friend’s insult, “Com certeza! I absolutely do plan to get fucked, just as soon as I can find Mr Right. Well…Mr Right For Tonight.” He winked at Thiago and slid an arm around his waist to smoothly guide him around a corner down a quieter street than the one they’d been on.
“A dónde vamos, che?” Thiago was Argentinian. He often slipped into speaking en castellano around his family and counted Pablo in that number. In many ways, they replaced family for one another.
“Let’s take the metro up to Cinelandia Square then go from there.” There were numerous balls of Carnival going on all over the city tonight, including the vaunted—and very expensive—gay costume ball at Rio Scala. The balls hooked in a lot of the tourists down for the celebration. However, locals knew it was just as fun to find a street party or open air dance rather than pay for the high-priced tickets. “A bite first, though. I don’t want to be hungry later when I could be getting laid.” He steered them towards a pizzeria they both liked that was a couple of blocks from their apartment.
“Fine with me. You aren’t always going to have that metabolism. Someday your ass is going to get huge, and then I’ll get all of your clothes.” Thi groped his ass again.
“I hope you don’t mind waiting a while. But it’s a deal. I outgrow them, you’re welcome to them.” He shouldered Thiago as they walked through the door. “You’ll look sooo sexy as an old man toddling around in my leather pants.”
“I’m never going to get old.” With that grand declaration, Thiago took the lead in getting them a seat near the window. “So what are you looking for tonight? The usual?”
He knew Thi wasn’t talking about the food.