"Oi, Rent Boy!" a slightly muffled voice yelled from a car window that begin inching next to Ethan, who was inwardly screaming from exasperation.

Had someone taped a sign to his back "boy for sale?" He was dressed normally enough. Sweatshirt, denim jacket, jeans, boots. How did they know, how did everyone know? Ethan quietly reminded himself of his hunger panged stomach, reminded himself that his hell was his own, forged from his own desperation and he turned to the car window, trying to look aloof while clumsily pushing his flame red hair away from his face.

The window rolled down and a man, maybe twenty, leaned out the window. Ethan was immediately reminded of a hyena, the black hair, dark-lashed eyes, the angular jaw all eclipsed by the manic grin spread across the man's face. "I'm too expensive for you man," Ethan called, staying a good ten feet from the man, who was creeping him out a bit.

The man rolled his eyes and let out a howling laugh. "With a face like that I’m not surprised, but don’t worry. I don't want your body mate, I want your mind." Ethan rolled his eyes, shoved his hands into his pockets and started walking again.

"Wait," a new voice yelled, a female voice and Ethan spun around curiously despite himself.

The driver, pretty girl with dark hair like her passenger was leaning over the man who's expression read as someone who had just received a scolding. She put the car into park and said something incoherent and stern to the hyena, then opened the door and got out in a hurry. "Sorry about him, he was rude. I'm Angela by the way." The girl held out her hand, and after a moments hesitation Ethan shook it.

"I, uh, I don't do group jobs," Ethan leaned closer and said quietly.

The girl flushed. "No-no-no-no, Devon is my brother, and uh, neither of us need you..." Ethan stared at her for a moment then raised an expectant eyebrow. "It's Devon's best friend, Jeremy Lewis. He just came out and he's feeling a little vulnerable, you know, inexperienced."

Ethan nodded. "Okay, when and where?"

Angela shifted uncomfortably and motioned to the car. "How's now for you?"

The back widow rolled down revealing a elfish looking young man with blonde hair who nodded nervously at Ethan. Ethan smiled at him then turned back to Angela. "It's, uh, five hundred. I have a place up the street."

Angela beamed and fished out her wallet from her purse, handing him the money and which he nervously shoved into his pants pockets. He got into the car, the first one he’d been in for over six months. The young man, Jeremy, closer up was probably mid-twenties although from far away he’d looked like a teenager, maybe Ethan’s age. Angela slide gracefully into the front seat and started the car. Immediately the speakers exploded with roaring death metal. Ethan slouched easily into the leather seat and turned to stare at Jeremy, who was staring out the window, looking anywhere but at Ethan.

The car arrived at the apartment and Ethan stepped out, blinking in the afternoon mid-sky sun. Devon and Angela sort of shoved Jeremy out of the car and tore away, a resounding hoot from Devon echoing in the street. Then Jeremy just stood there, hands shoved into pockets, looking terrified. Ethan sighed and walked over to the young man, smiling what he hoped was a friendly smile. The two silently climbed up to the ninth floor apartment, Ethan opened the door an pushed Jeremy inside. The door slammed shut with a shove from his boot.

Once in the apartment, Ethan pulled off his jacket and sweatshirt. Jeremy stared at Ethan’s half naked body, swallowing, revealed narrow hips, flat, unblemished chest, tan skin glistening with summer sweat. “How-how old are you, exactly?” Jeremy asked as Ethan started unbuttoning the shirt sticking to Jeremy’s chest with sweat.

“Seventeen. Why?” Ethan breathed into the man’s neck, feeling him shiver, relishing his power.

“Oh, just trying to figure out just how illegal this is,” Jeremy laughed nervously then stopped with a sharp breath in as he felt the boy’s fingers pressed inside his jeans.

Ethan bite Jeremy’s ear then whispered, “Pretty fucking illegal.”


Jeremy stepped out of the apartment, leaving the forbidden, beautiful boy asleep on his stomach in that crappy double bed. He blinked in the dusty sunlight of early morning. Very early. The thoughts that usually raced neurotically, obsessively through his head were at a stand still. Peace had come so easily trough the boy’s touch. A rent boy as Devon had so callously called him. A shrill whining penetrated the thick silence, making him jump out of his serene daze. His cell phone. Jeremy fished the irritating thing out of his pocket and flipped it open. A flood of frantic, hysterical words flooded into his ear, still throbbing from a bite. “Mom, mom, slow down,” he said into the phone and the line went silent except for a few pathetic sniffles. “Put Darry on mom.”

Jeremy’s 14-year-old brother Darren got on the phone, his deeper-than-normal voice still scratchy from sleep. “Jem, you gotta come home, its dad.” was all he said and the line went dead.

The door behind Jeremy opened, silhouetting the almost poetic figure of the boy, leaning against the frame, a pair of shorts slung so low on his hips it would make a Playboy Bunny blush. “Going so soon?” the boy asked, a hand finding it’s way knowingly to Jeremy’s waist, a grin spread across his young face.

“Yeah,” Jeremy said, immediately regretting the truth, “family crisis.”

The boy yawned and stretched, nodding. “Unavoidable I guess. Well,” he shrugged and grinned, his ribs pressing under his skin so Jeremy could count everyone, “you know where I live…if you ever want me.”

Jeremy bite his lip, then leaned forward and lightly kissed Ethan. “Bye.”

“Bye,” Ethan called as Jeremy walked down the hall, the calm ebbing through his distressed mind once again.

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