The front was dimly lit. Wall sconces helped illuminate the room as various forms of LED lighting carved various arabesques on the walls. The tables were lit by electric lamps discreetly shaded. A few ladies in white livery went around the area doing last minute cleaning and primping.
Joe looked at the procedures in slight awe. “Are we expecting anyone important?” he asked Mike as he saw one lady arranged yellow irises in a crystal vase.
“Nah, Joe,” Mike said. “We do this every night. The bossman’s a bit of a perfectionist.” Joe nodded.
“Now,” the ‘roo added as he noticed Samson and another guy – a bulky bison – come out through the serving doors, both dressed in skimpy shirts and low-riding speedos, “you’re here just to walk around, maybe do a bit of bump and grind with a fellow guy, give the customers a solid flex. We’ll give it another time before we get you to serve.” He waved at the two. “Hey Bill, let me introduce you to Joe.”
“The boss already introduced us, remember?” Bill said, his drawling accent making it slightly difficult to understand his words. “Still,” he added, eyeing Joe and giving the jock-clad bulge a lingering glance, “I have not seen him personally.” He extended a hand to Joe, who took it and gave it a firm handshake. “William Young, but feel free to call me Bill.”
“Pleased to meet you,” Joe said.
“So, first day on the job, eh?” Bill said, releasing the hand and clapping his on Joe’s shoulder. “I remember mine. That was a fiasco in itself.”
Sam nodded. “He tried balancing six plates on his arms and failed. Monsieur Huxley was livid.”
“I thought I was going to be fired and banned here,” Bill continued. “That was how angry he was.”
“Thankfully,” Mike said, “Joe’s stalking tonight. Nothing to worry about.”
Thunder boomed overhead.
“Ah,” Samson said. “A rainy night. Better.” He nodded at Joe. “Less people here. More time to get used to the procedures here.”
“And here are the first customers,” Mike said, looking at a mixed group in evening wear walk into the bar. They waved to Carl as Chris escorted them to a table.
“It’s Mister Savage,” Samson said, eyeing the group. “If you excuse me…” He walked to the table and bowed grandly before taking a small notepad from somewhere on his person and started to scribble on it.
“Well, time for me to get going also,” Bill said. “Just act natural, Joe, and you can’t go wrong. Best of luck!” He walked off to another table that was just getting situated.
“Savage is one of the major investors of Barjocks,” Mike murmured. “See how he’s looking around?” Joe nodded as he noticed an elderly feline casting discreet glances about the place. “No doubt he’s already noticing Milhouse is not here. Come on; let me introduce him to you.”
The two arrived at the table as Samson was leaving it. “Mister Savage, a pleasure as always. Welcome to Barjocks.”
Savage smiled briefly. “It would be a greater pleasure if you-know-who isn’t here,” he said. He raised an eyebrow at Joe.
“Forgive me, sir,” Mike said, gesturing to Joe, looking slouched. “Allow me to introduce you to the replacement, Joseph Moose.” Joe gave a half-hearted salute to Savage.
“A moose?” One of the ladies trilled. “Oh my.” She gave Joe a flirty glance, then her eyes grew a trifle wider as it landed on the heavy pouch.
“Now, Vanessa, let’s not get him overworked,” Savage said, giving her a friendly hand pat. “First day on the job, then?” he asked Joe.
He nodded. “Yes sir.”
“Excellent, excellent,” Savage said as Samson came back to the table with a tray of drinks. He began placing them on the table. “I take it then,” Savage continued, “that you-know-who is no longer part of the revue?”
“No he is not,” Mike said.
“Excellent,” Savage said. “I have to talk to Travis later this week for the details.” He looked at Joe, who looked ready to run. “Do not worry about a thing, Joseph,” he said. “Your predecessor was not well liked around the place. As Michael doubtless told you, he caused a dip in the profits. I am only happy that he is not here.”
“And now,” Sam said, placing the last drink on the table, “if I may take your orders?”
“The usual, Mister Bulaire” Savage said, waving a well-manicured hand. Sam did another bow and walked into the kitchen.
“I must say,” one of the other ladies said, placing a hand on Joe’s heavy arm, “that he is far better than the other guy.” She started to caress it gently. “Quite handsome, also.”
This must be my cue, Joe thought, and he brought the arm to her level and flexed it.
Gasps rose around the table, and the lady’s eyes grew wide. She placed the hand on the hard bulge and rubbed it, making appreciative noises. Joe slowly unflexed it and brought it up for another flex. “Quite amazing,” she said, taking out a bill from her reticule and placing it in Joe’s hand.
“Thank you,” Mike said, before Joe could say anything. “Now, we have to get him acquainted with the other tables.” Indeed, the tables were slowly filling with customers, despite the weather. “Let us go, Joe.” They nodded to Savage and the other guests before walking off.
“How much did she give you?” Mike whispered.
Joe looked down. “A ten.”
“Not bad, dude,” Mike said. “Not bad at all on your first time.”
Savage nodded approvingly at the retreating duo. He will have to ask to have Joe serve them next time. He noticed Vanessa fiddling with her phone. “Something the matter?”
She smiled. “No, just informing a few friends about the replacement.”
“A moose, eh?”
A grizzled rat looked at Joe with inquisitive eyes, glancing at the broad shoulders, the meaty chest, the heavy bulge. “We don’t get to see many moose here.”
“No, we don’t, Sarge,” Mike said, grinning. “This is his first day here.”
“Really?” He stood up, showing off a massive powerlifter build encased in a tight button-down shirt and brown slacks. He took a step up to Joe and glared at him. Despite the power he felt emanating from this guy, Joe didn’t move at all. “Hm.” He gave a pec a meaty thump, and he nodded. “How much can you bench, private?”
“Uh…” Joe looked at Mike, who was smiling broadly. “Four fifty? Four seventy-five, I think, sir,” he said, looking back at the rat.
Sarge nodded and grunted, giving the other pec a thump. “I can do five hundred, easily, private,” he said. “You and me, we’ll have to have a workout here.” He raised his arms and casually did a double-bi, the fabric easily tearing around the sleeves. “Look at these arms, private. Tell me you haven’t seen anything bigger.”
Joe glanced at Mike, who nodded. The moose then did his own pose, causing the neighboring tables to applaud and cheer. A few flashes were seen.
Sarge smirked and reached over to grope the huge arms. “Not bad, private. Not bad at all.” His hands slipped something in his jock, then gave the pouch a heavy fondle. “Get in touch with me later tonight so we can get a workout in.” Then he sat back down to his table and ordered something from Bill.
Mike took Joe away from the table. “He’s impressed,” he said. “It’s very hard to do that.” He glanced down at the jock and whistled softly. “Damn, dude! A fifty? He must be very impressed.”
After Bill walked off with his order, Sarge took a lustful glance at Joe’s flexing rump, and he took out his phone. He dialed a number. “Hey. I’m at Barjocks. There’s someone I think you should meet.” He took another look at Joe and grinned.
“Ladies,” Mike said to a table of assorted females.
“Mike!” they said, placing their hands on the ‘roo, who flexed and posed a bit.
“And who is this?” a well-proportioned vixen said, gesturing at Joe. “We saw him at the other table and couldn’t help wonder who he was.”
“Joe,” Joe said, giving the ladies the same salute he used on Savage. “Milhouse’s replacement.”
The vixen smiled broadly, showing off her sharp teeth. “Oh? Well, I’m glad they found someone far more hunkier than that bastard.” She placed a hand on his rump and gave it a squeeze.
Joe blushed but did nothing else. “Ah, you’re so cute when you blush,” one said.
“Let’s have a pose off, Joe,” Mike said, giving Joe a friendly pat on the back. “Let’s see who’s bigger.” And he brought his arms up to a double-bi.
Moose complied, showing off his arms again. “Hm,” Mike said. “Which one you think are bigger, ladies?”
The ladies felt the two’s arms. They couldn’t decide which was bigger.
“Maybe another pose, Joe?” the ‘roo said as he shifted to a crab pose. Joe followed him. “What about now?” The girls groped the rock-hard muscles, but still couldn’t decide.
Mike and Joe went into a hands-on-hips most muscular pose. “Now?” They still couldn’t decide.
“Ah, well,” Mike said, relaxing. “Looks like I have to up my workout to beat this guy.” He playfully punched Joe’s shoulder, who rubbed the area sheepishly. “I’ll talk to you ladies, later.” They walked off to assorted farewells.
“Alright,” the ‘roo said. “Break time.” He led Joe to a small alcove stocked with bottles of water and a small plate of snacks. A small tablet was also there. “Help yourself,” he said, motioning to the food. “It gets restocked every half-hour, so you can get a light dinner during your shift.” Mike started pulling out wads of cash from his jock and nodded for Joe to do the same. “Break’s also time for counting your tips.”
Joe pulled out the numerous bills he got from the ladies and sorted them by size. He counted them and did a few sums. “I just made two hundred dollars,” he said in hushed tones.
“Plus the fifty the Sarge gave you and the ten the other girl gave you,” Mike said grinning. “You just got yourself closer to three hundred. Not bad for your first night, dude.”
Joe opened a bottle of water and drunk it down in long draughts. “Good gravy, I didn’t expect that.”
“I did tell you they would give you the ol’ pinch and rub,” Mike said. He looked out into the main room. “Huh. It’s usually not this packed on Wednesdays. Especially during rain.”
Joe looked at the crowded bar. “Wow. I wonder why everyone’s here.”
“It’s because of a certain linebacker moose,” Sean said, walking in. He was dressed only in a spangled pair of daisy dukes. “People want to get a taste of the moose experience. Twitter is agog over the replacement and wants to see him strutting around the place.” He smirked at Joe’s slack-jawed expression of surprise. “A few photos even showcase that hot rump of yours. You wouldn’t believe how many people want to see you, moosie-boy.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Joe looked at Mike, who was already busily scanning through the tablet. “They can’t be here just because of me, right?”
Mike shook his head. “Apparently, they are.” He handed the tablet to Joe, who looked at the hash-tagged photos of himself flexing and posing. He blushed at the close-up shots of his butt. “Oh ye gods.”
“C’mon, kid,” Sean said, “get out there and show them your stuff!” He slapped Joe’s rump, causing the poor moose to blush more.
“That’s enough, Sean,” Mike said. “May I remind you that this is his first day here?”
Sean put his hands up in a pacifying gesture. “Yeah, yeah, I forgot. Sorry, kid,” he added to Joe. “Didn’t mean to embarrass you.”
“It’s alright,” Joe said. “It’s just that I wasn’t expecting anyone to want to be here because of me. The other guy must have been a real bother, huh?”
“’Bother’ is putting it lightly,” Sean snorted. “He was hell on wheels.”
Mike glared at Sean before looking at Joe. “Look at it this way. We’re getting plenty of publicity. You’re getting your name across. And best of all, everyone’s having a good time. The bossman is no doubt out there mingling with people. Carl’s getting his vibe back. It’s a good night. One of the best, I think.”
“Monsieurs,” Sam said, peeking in. “Everyone is waiting to see Joseph. People want to see the newcomer.”
“Alright then,” Mike said, taking the tablet from Joe and putting it on the table. “Let everyone see Joe, then.” He put a restraining hand on Joe. “Wait. Let me tell you something before you go out. You need to strut.”
“Yeah. Remember how I walked around the place?” Joe nodded. “Well, I want to see you do that. None of that round-shoulder slouch I’ve seen you do before. Back straight, look ahead, confidence from every step. Can you do that?”
Joe nodded. “I can try.”
“Alright then. Get out there, and wow them. I’ll be right behind you.”
“Oh wow, look at that creature…”
“You can bounce a quarter off that ass….”
“Dayam, he’s a looker!”
“I wonder how good he is in bed….”
Mike trailed behind Joe, who indeed looked that he was bred and born in the place. He grinned openly as he heard the comments. Huxley did a good job hiring Joe, he thought.
Joe paused in front of a group of ladies, who talked to him and asked him to flex an arm. Joe obliged, causing them to giggle and grope. A few slipped a few bills in his jock while others palmed his chest. A slight pause, and he made his pecs dance, causing the ladies to make sounds of wonder and admiration. More bills were slipped in.
As Joe walked off to another group, Mike caught the eye of Huxley, who was sitting alone at the bar. Mike walked on over.
“Slow night, eh?” Huxley said, looking around at the crowded bar.
“Apparently, people have been tweeting about Joe,” Mike said. “One of them said they want to see if Milhouse was really gone.”
“And when they found that he was, everyone came in.” Huxley said. He took a sip of a drink next to him. “Can’t say it was a well-deserved endeavor. As you said, this was Moose’s first day on the job.”
“Yes sir,” Mike said, looking around. He motioned for Carl to come over. “Brighten the place a bit.” The bear nodded and went off. A few moments later, various track lights flickered on. Mike nodded and looked at Joe, who was talking to Sarge.
“Private, I want to introduce you to my husband.”
“Uh, a pleasure, sir,” Joe said, shaking the very large hand of a very large black rat.
“Pleasure’s all mine,” the guy rumbled. “He said I wouldn’t miss this for the world, and he’s right. Eh, mate?”
“He is beefy,” the other rat said, walking around and looking at Joe’s heavy, brawny bulges. “Flex for us, private.”
Moose did a double-bi, then a front lat spread. The two grinned, rubbing callused hands across the solidly-built figure. Fingers brushed against one of Joe’s chest nubs, and he took a shuddering breath, feeling himself swell slightly in his jock.
The husband chuckled. “Looks like he likes it, mate.”
“Careful, now,” Sarge said. “We don’t want him to tear out of the jock. Yet.” He grinned wider. “Don’t you want to, though, private?”
“That’s quite enough, guys,” Mike said, coming up to them and interrupting the blatant seduction. “First day on the job, remember. Don’t want him to get any accidents, eh?”
Sarge’s husband smirked. “I’d be more than happy to clean up any spills he might get.” A bright pink tongue snaked across his snout. Moose blushed hotly.
Somebody yelled at the main entrance, and everyone looked to see Bill collapsed on the floor, clutching himself protectively. A built snow leopard in camouflage and steel-capped boots leapt over him and started to charge at Joe, nimbly dodging Chris’ charge.
“You fucker stole my fucking job!” Milhouse snarled out before leaping towards Joe, claws extended.
Joe quickly took a few steps back, the claws missing him by inches. The leopard landed on the floor, sliding a few feet before jumping up and attacking, slashing at Joe.
The moose took another step back, barely dodging the claws. “Calm down, dude! It isn’t my fault you lost the job!”
“You bet your fucking ass it is, fucker,” Milhouse said, swiping and missing. “I will fucking slice that pretty face of yours and make that bastard beg for me to come back!” He pivoted on one foot, the other roundhousing towards Joe’s face.
Joe bent back, the shoe wooshing by. He grabbed the ankle and pulled back, forcing the leg to go against the will of the owner.
“The fuck?!” Milhouse said as he was pulled to Joe, who had his right fist ready. It swung and connected with Milhouse’s jaw. The leopard collapsed on the floor.
Joe let go of the leg and glared at Milhouse. “The hell just happened?”
Mike was already there, pulling Joe away. “Get to the changing room, now.” He glared at the prone figure of Milhouse. “And someone call the police.”