The Dangerous Lives of Renter Boys

Notes: If you're looking for a really cohesive plotline, go elsewhere. This really has no direction in mind, it's just me escaping into fantasy for awhile, and it'll just ramble on until I get bored with it. Think of it as a smutty soap opera. My fascination with Victorian rent boys got its start because of the cuteness and flamboyancy of Taylor's boys in "Wilde" (and of course because of Orlando Bloom's career-topping performance haha), and I decided to explore that some. If you haven't figured it out, this is m/m, from a renter's perspective. Enjoy, allons-y!

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Halfway down Sandys Row in the district of Whitechapel, London is a stone house. Walking over the slimy, uneven cobbles, you mightn't even notice the place, it's grimy stone fa├žade blending so well with the general landscape of grey structures and people. Thousands have passed it without a second glance.

But the house is set apart by one small feature. Next to the heavy front door, riveted onto the stone, is a small brass plaque, it's polished surface gleaming out against the dinginess of the neighborhood. "Warwick and Associates" is all it says, in crisp, no-nonsense lettering. A barrister, one would assume. A tailor maybe, or a banker?

But Warwick's is not a reputable institution. No. It is a refuge for the desperate, a lair of pleasure. A male brothel, home of decadence, luxury, sin and cherubic lads who will do anything (.for a small charge).

I've worked this place for two long years, since I was seventeen. Not that I'm complaining. If I wasn't here, I'd have starved long ago. Really not such a bad deal. Bryce is the name. Rowan Bryceton, actually. The short one, with the green eyes and spiky blonde hair.

Welcome to Warwick's. How can I help you?

If you did happen upon us, you would probably be taken aback. Stepping through the front door is like stepping into another world, leaving the abject poverty of Whitechapel behind for a lavish oasis. The front room is open, high-ceilinged and warm, bisected by a wide staircase, hidden from the outside world by heavy brocade curtains. To the right, there's a bar of heavily varnished wood where patrons sit on high stools. And to the left, soft couches on carved feet are clustered around an immense, arched fireplace, always blazing. The place might be an upscale club but for what goes on up the stairs.

There are always ten of us, give or take, working here. A small operation, but profitable nonetheless for old Warwick. At this particular minute, there are only two of us not working upstairs. It's around eleven, and I'm lounging in front of the fire with Fintan O'Flaherty. Finny, quintessentially Irish with his dark curls and glassy blue eyes, is one of the more popular rents. He's been here for almost four years, and still manages to look innocent as a babe. Most don't last as long as he has. Most don't last a month. I wouldn't have, if Finny hadn't taken me under his wing and taught me the tricks of the trade. He's my best friend. We even room together outside of work, in a shitty dive of an apartment above a shitty dive of a pub.

The two of us sit close to one another, sinking into the fluffy cushions of the sofa, chatting and teasing, my arm stretched out behind his shoulders. Everything in our apparent ease is calculated; coached and trained to look enticing, we have learned to nuzzle up to each other, to stroke, caress and flirt shamelessly. To attract the men who might pass through the door, we must be seraphs playing in a languid, elegant garden, with no cares in our pretty little heads.

The door opens with a sharp tinkle of bells, and both our heads swivel towards the sound. A man walks in. In his mid-thirties, he looks stiff and awkward, very apprehensive, as if he might bolt back out the door if someone should approach him.

"Oooh, a new bloke." Finny whispers to me, winking one long-lashed eye. They're easy to spot, the ones who have never been here before, fresh blood. They always look scared, anxiously curious. "Want him?"

"Be my guest, love. I'm in no mood to teach him how it works. They're always so shy." It's true, most of them are usually blushingly nervous, children needing to be lead by the hand, step by step.

"Goody." His wry tone forces me to suppress a very undignified snort of laughter as he gets up and approaches the man, hips swaying professionally. In a moment, he has the guy's arm linked in his, leading him towards the rooms upstairs. There are ten of them, all the same. Bed, window, armchair, dresser and washbasin. Bare compared to the lounge downstairs, but they do the trick.

They stop at the bottom of the stairs, where old Warwick sits at his ornate desk. The gatekeeper to heaven, he's stout, red and bespectacled. He negotiates the price, takes the money, and then permits man and boy up the stairs. We're paid an allowance from him.

With Finny gone, the night bores me, slow and unchanging. Until one of my regulars arrives, smiling and a wee bit drunk. He's a good tipper, and I prance up to him shamelessly. He embraces me and rushes me past Warwick, tossing the rate that he knows by heart to the old man, practically dragging me up the stairs.

We find an empty room, light a candle, and get down to business. No pretenses with this one, we both know exactly what he wants because he's done me a hundred times. I'm careful with unbuttoning my shirt, because buttons are expensive. I win the clothes-off race, having done it much more often than the average person, and I lay them on the armchair, carefully flat. I only have one suit, and a rumpled rent-boy is a poor rent-boy.

I'm on my knees in front of him before he even has his shirt off, and I help him with his trousers. My fingers are expert with all manners of fastenings, and he's out of his trousers in no time.

I love the ones that are predictable. A little suck, and then I'm compliant on my back on the bed, my ankles resting on his shoulders, his short length sliding into me, hard and fast and intense.

In a minute, he's had his money's worth and, ducking out from between my legs, he crawls up beside me, panting, and kisses me on the forehead, his eyes starting to droop. I count the minutes in my head until his breathing has taken on the soft, slow rhythm of sleep. Only then do I pull away from him, my silent feet taking me over to the washbasin. I hum softly as I dip the corner of a towel into the water and systematically scrub my body down, thighs, chest, face. I try to slick my hair down with water, looking at my reflection in the dirty panes of the window, but it adamantly stays spiked in all directions. Sigh.

The door opens softly as I'm sliding back into my trousers, and Finny pokes his head around.

"All done?" Not more than a whisper, but I can hear the witty note in his voice.

"Yup. He's out cold"

"My, aren't we talented?" The door is wide open now, Finny's lithe body lolled against the frame. "Come on then. Warwick says we can go for tonight, it's almost midnight."

"One minute." I'm dressed now, with my eyes fixed on the bulk snoring on the bed. I pick up my client's expensive, tailored jacket, blind fingers rummaging in the pockets. I come up with a roll of bills, but I like the guy, so I peel off only a couple. He'll never even notice. I stuff them in my trouser pocket, put the rest back and head for the door, brushing against Finny as I pass him. He shuts the door behind me and we lope down the stairs.

"Let's get something to eat." I grab my hat and overcoat off the rack beside the front door, plucking my walking stick from the stand.

"Something to drink," he corrects me as we leave for the night.

*****

Ta da. Being in a renters head is uberfun, so I will continue sometime. No idea where the hell the story line is going, but I'll think of something, and probably come up with s'more pretty boi-toys to play with. Reviews and ideas are welcome. E-mail me at kohl_boys_rule_all or find me on AIM (explaintherainXP). I will respond.

xo ~murron.