I know this guy; he’s a lunchtime regular. I get into the car. He drives around the corner. We’ve done this before. He leans the seat back, unzipping his fly and I’m about to lean over when there’s a loud knock on the window. I sit up fast, banging my elbow. He zips up faster. I’m looking for what made the noise and there’s a pair of hazel eyes glaring at me. What the fuck? He paid for the morning. It’s afternoon. I tell the guy to drive off but he shakes his head. I get out of the car.
~~44~~ “You want me again? You could wait. That wasn’t gonna take long!”
He’s yelling at me? What the fuck? I step back and hold my hands up in a gesture of surrender. He sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “What do you want?”
I cross my arms and realize I have no idea why I followed him, except that the idea of someone hurting him bothers me. “I want you safe.”
He laughs, and he’s got a point. A safe hustler, it’s an oxymoron. “How much for the day?”
He blinks. “A thousand.”
I nod and he smiles.
~~45~~ A thousand dollars, I can get a place, be warm. I hold my hand out and he rolls his eyes. “Our first stop is the bank. You cleaned me out.”
“You hired a hustler and now you’re bitching about the cost?… Why did you hire a hustler? You can’t have a problem getting laid.”
He shrugs and looks in the other direction. I wonder what he’s hiding. I wonder why I care. After the bank we head to the loft, which makes sense. He wants his moneys worth. We’re about to get on the elevator when someone calls his name.
~~45~~ Lindsay needs something. Fuck. She looks at Justin, smiles and starts chatting with him. I cut her off and get to the point. I agree to watch Gus next weekend, it’s easier than arguing. I hand her a check for something, I wasn’t really listening, and usher her out the door. I turn and he’s smirking. “I had you pegged wrong.”
“Stop trying to peg me.”
“You are a married closet case.”
I’m not married, and I’m not in the closet. He nods and I end up telling him who Lindsay and Gus are. What is it about this kid?
~~46~~ So now there’s this awkward silence. He’s sort of circling me, and I’m trying to keep him in my line of sight. I really hate when people sneak up from behind. He eventually hands offers me a beer. I take it and we sit on the sofa. He does that thing again, the one you only notice if you’re really watching. He has a thought, almost speaks and then just stops. I finally lose patience. “Just say whatever you’re trying not to.”
“You’re seventeen. Why aren’t you in school?”
He’s crossed a line. I stand up. “Fuck you. I’m leaving.”
~~47~~ “You can’t leave, I paid 'til noon tomorrow.”
He stares at me like I’ve lost my mind. “You’ve paid 'til nine tonight. And I can leave.” He digs in that fucking hoody for the cash and I shake my head. “You don’t have to answer. You’re right. It’s none of my business.”
“It really isn’t.”
He sits down, mollified, and now I need to find a way to get answers without spooking him. “Hungry?”
He shrugs. I hand him the Chinese menu. “Pick something.”
He shrugs again. “If I promise not to beat you, will you make a fucking decision?”
~~48~~ Where does this asshole get off?
I stand up and this time I really am leaving. He thinks he can just talk to me like that? Okay, so I’ve been hurt, and made a couple of mistakes, he has no idea, he doesn’t know anything. I’m trying to leave but he’s doing that hand on my wrist thing again and god dammit, it makes no sense that I’d rather he hit me than be this careful with me.
I turn and tell him that and he just stops. Backing away. I guess it is a pretty freaky thing to hear.
~~49~~ This kid can fuck off. He’d rather get beaten than talk to me? I don’t need this. I tried to help him. I turn away but I can feel him behind me. He puts a hand on my shoulder. “I didn’t mean it.”
He did. He meant it when he said it.
“I want orange chicken, and wonton soup.”
I place the order.
“You’re right. I don’t know what it’s like to be you.”
He shrugs, “And I don’t know what it’s like to be you.”
He doesn’t back away when I lean in to kiss him.
~~50~~ That accomplished nothing. His hands are in my hair. He’s moving us towards the sofa. He pushes me over the arm and falls on top of me. I don’t realize I’m bracing myself for something painful until his feather light touch is on my face. “I’m not going to hurt you.”
I don’t know why he keeps telling me that. I don’t know why he cares if I think he’s going to or not. He’s paying me for his pleasure. It doesn’t matter. I tell him that. He pulls away. I hate it when he stares like I’m an alien.
~~51~~ I sit up. When you pay a guy a thousand dollars, shouldn’t he at least be shrinking your head? I can’t just let it go though. “It matters because most people don’t want to hurt you.”
“We obviously travel in different circles.”
“Clearly. Who…” I stop. I tried this before.
“There was no one. No one specific, just… when I started, they paid more.”
“They?” I know the answer before he speaks.
“Guys who like it a little rough. Pays better.”
“And who put you in touch with these guys?
He’s quiet for a long time. The buzzer rings. Food.
~~52~~ While he pays for the food I go and splash some water on my face. He offers me a fork but I take the chopsticks. We eat straight out of the cartons and he’s dying to continue our little chat. I’m thinking about a small apartment, a consistent phone number and a really thick blanket. It’s all obtainable thanks to him. That thought makes me feel like I owe him something more than my emotional baggage. I kneel between his knees. He moves them apart, giving me space to work. His cock his hard before I even unbutton his fly.
~~53~~ He’s good at this, but I knew that. I sink a little lower and his hands are pulling my jeans lower while his lips slide down my shaft. He takes me into the back of his throat, swallowing around me and cradling my balls while he sucks. I almost move his hands away reflexively, but a warm finger slides to the spot just behind my balls, pressing on my prostate from the inside while he tongues around the head of my cock. I don’t worry about what he will or won’t feel and I come down his throat. He swallows.
~~54~~ His eyes are half closed. He almost looks drugged, but I don’t think he is. I wonder when he had to have a testicle removed, and if it has anything to do with why a guy this handsome with this kind of money came looking for a low rent hustler. But then again, maybe he’s just the kind of guy who gets off on a cheap thrill, made all the cheaper because he can afford so much better. He’s looking at me and I smile as I pick up my chopsticks and orange chicken. I chew slowly. He says nothing.
~~55~~ That smile. I want to figure out a way to market it, or maybe I just want to find a way to keep it from disappearing. I watch him. He eats as if it might be the last time he sees food. The only other person who eats like that is Michael, but that’s a different story. I’m thinking group home, or juvie. Maybe one then the other. Would explain a lot. “Was it your foster dad?”
He looks at me like I’m not speaking English.
“The one who hooked you up with the rough guys?”
“You suck at guessing.”
~~56~~ He’s so far off it’s almost funny. He’s right. It would explain a lot. I wonder if I should pretend he’s close. Come up with something that makes more sense in his world but I’ve come to far to pretend it didn’t happen.
“Your probation officer.”
“Never been arrested.” He’s really sure I’m just some pathetic street urchin. Then again, I kind of am.
I shake my head. “I didn’t meet him until after I left home. And that’s as far into the story as we’re going.”
He shrugs, but I know he’s not done.
~~57~~ “How old were you when you left home?”
He eats another piece of chicken and shrugs. That submissive shrugging thing is an act.
“How long have you been on your own?”
“Couple of months.”
“So you left home a couple of months ago.”
“Never said that.”
“Huh, So you weren’t on your own after you left home.”
He gives me a smug tight-lipped smile.
“And the guy you were with…”
He stands up quickly. I hit a nerve. “Boyfriend?”
He shakes his head and hands me a beer while he opens his own. He downs it in two long pulls.