Note: Yeah, I know, it took my long enough. This part is actually for two people, Chrysanthemum and Red Joker. You both have provided me with meaningful feedback and great, thought provoking, commentary. Hopefully this gives both of you more to think about. I cannot wait to talk to you both soon.
Always and Eternally, Tsuki
The come tasted bitter and I had to remind myself not to flinch. That never had happened to me in the past; I always stayed composed. But the last few days had been just pure hell. Once I even had to remind myself to swallow. I wiped my mouth as the man grunted and fished out his wallet. The man was an absolute blimp, with a shirt that was far too small for his belly and too much hair all over him. Good God, I'll bet Steve would never wear a shirt like that. And I know he doesn't have fur like this bastard!
I kicked myself inwardly for the thoughts as I took the money from the hairy pig. I smirked in my usual fashion, nodded, and slid out of the car. The man burned rubber and I watched him tear away. I stood in the darkness alone.
"You are an idiot." I told myself, kicking at the sidewalk a bit. "Keep your mind on the job, you fool. You can't do this. You never do this!" All week I had had this problem. It wasn't even that I couldn't focus. It was that my mind always wandered back to that gorgeous artist. It was driving me crazy! "Come on. Come on." I chanted, rubbing my fingers against my temples. "You will not screw your job up just because, for once in you goddamn life, you find someone mildly attractive."
Mildly. Ha! I was haunted by his image! I was fiercely attracted! I could barely think of anything without my mind somehow finding its way back to the creamy, dark skin and clear smile of that damn painter!
I sat down on the side of the curb and let out a ragged sigh. It was Thursday. Only one more day. Maybe then I could get a grip back on my life and start acting… what? Normal? Since when was I ever normal? I shook my head. You have a crush, don't you? When have you been more normal than that? I shook my head, trying to clear it. No, I couldn't be distracted. I couldn't get involved with anyone. There was too much to lose. Not that he would want to be involved anyway, I reminded myself. You're a gigolo for fuck's sake. A hired lover whose going insane over the only person who hasn't paid him to screw around.
I don't know why, but I laughed at that thought, It just made so much sense.
S S S S S
I breathed raggedly as I knocked on the door. Silence followed. I knocked again and heard rushed footsteps clattering from within the house. The door swung open. Steven stood there, smiling refiningly. "Sean! Please come in!" Steve's hands were absolutely covered in what looked like mud.
"What in the world…" I started to laugh.
"I was working on a sculpture. Sorry, I guess I lost track of time. I just need to wash up. It will only take me a moment."
"Okay." I plopped down on his velvet couch and smiled. He nodded at me and went to scrub the clay from his fingers. As soon as he left, I let my breath out in a rush. I hadn't even realized that I had been holding it. I am an idiot, I thought again. But, even as I did, Steven walked back in the room and all I could think was- he's absolutely gorgeous.
"Ready to go?" He asked, brushing off his deep purple, button-up shirt. I nodded and we walked out into the night.
S S S S S
I never knew how luscious good Italian food was until I had some after years of having almost nothing but fastfood or sandwhiches made with rubbery lunchmeat. I slicked a piece of bread around in the cream sauce as Steve and I laughed and talked. It was amazing how much he knew about art. He told me about everything I could possibly ask about, from Picasso's way of tilting his brushstroakes in just such a way to Van Gogh's love life. He seemed to have studied everything. It kind of made me jelouse, but I wasn't motivated enough to try and go back to school and learn stuff like this shit. I could never stomach homework.
"So," Steven smiled bewitchingly, "now that I have talked your ear clean off, what about yourself? I know positively nothing."
I shrugged. "Not much to know. I ran away from my aunt and uncle when I was fourteen and never looked back. I sleep, eat, and screw. That's about all there is to my life." I saw Steve wince considerably and I wanted to smack myself for acting so arrogant and like, well, a smart-ass. Amazing how that keeps coming up.
"There must be something you enjoy outside of your work." He sighed, leaning his head on his hands. I shrugged.
"I like old movies and music pretty good."
"Oh? What types of music?"
"Um, my favorite bands are Stabbing Westward and Nine Inch Nails." I saw something else light Steve's eyes now. This time it looked like pain. I didn't know what the hell I had said, but I knew that whatever it was, it wasn't going over too well. "Uh, you okay?"
"Hmm?" Steve looked up. "Oh, my apologies. I was just thinking. I know someone else who likes those bands." I breathed an inward sigh of relief. Whatever was bothering Steve, it didn't sound like it was me.
More empty conversation passed between us before Steve grinned somewhat playfully. "So… did you want to see the prints?"
"Oh, hell yes." I laughed. Steve payed the bill and we walked back to his house, which was- as it turns out- only a few blocks away. As he unlocked the door, I dragged my eyes over him again. His loose, black pants were tailored perfectly for him, hanging crisply over his hips and legs. His shirt was buttoned up all they way, this time, and I silently wanted to rush forward and unbutton it so that I could drink up that vision of his smooth, muscular chest. My thoughts were interrupted as Steven stepped in the door and flicked on the lights, gesturing for me to follow. I did, shutting the door behind me.
"Okay. Drum roll, please…" Steve laughed, leading me over to a cloth covered easel. I sat down on the couch and made a drum roll sound by blowing sharply through my closed lips and tapping on my knees. He chuckled and flushed a bit as he pulled the cloth away from the picture. It wasn't the original, so I couldn't see the paint strokes like I could before, but it still took my breath away. The background was finished, making it look as if there really was an energy crackling around the figure that had my face and my body. But, in truth, the figure wasn't me. In this picture, there ws some type of other force in the person's eye. It wasn't me- it was Apollo.
"Wow." I breathed. "It's amazing."
"I'm glad you like it." Steve sighed. "I have something else to show you too." I looked over at him curiously. There was a nervous glint in his eyes that caused me to feel a bit suspicious. Then he sighed and gave me a warm smile. Wow, that was all it took. My legs felt like putty again and I smirked back. He leaned over to the picture and took away the large card stock to reveal a second print underneath. I gasped. There, once again, was my face. But, this time, it was me. Well, a sleeping me anyway. The figure was dressed in a gray tanktop, his torso covered by a shadowed quilt, as he clung to a pillow, looking peaceful as he slept. The detail was extrordinary- absolutely perfect! I shook my head.
"How… when… wha…"
"I painted this the next day. I do not know why exactly. You were just the perfect model."
"But, how did you rememeber what I looked like?" I managed to gasp.
Steve smiled. "I have a good memory. Besides, I had the other picture to work from." I swallowed nervously, staring at the picture some more. In reality, I knew that I didn't look like that while I sleep, but that wasn't the point. Really, the point was that he was thinking about what I look like while I sleep. The thought made me a bit lightheaded and I don't think I was thinking straight for the next few seconds. Why do I think that? Because Steve kissed me and I didn't do a thing about it. Moreover, I kissed him back.
One of the first unspoken rules about prostitution is that you never kiss a client on the mouth. Pretty much anywhere else is fair game -hell it's business- but never on the mouth. It's too personal and way too fucking meaningful. And here I was, not just kissing him, but I was practically shoving my tongue down his throat. My arms slipped around his neck, pulling him closer, while Steve's arms encircled my waist, doing the same. I felt his skin raidiating heat and excitement from underneath his clothing. I wondered if I felt the same. I probably did. I groaned ever so softly as Steve's tongue curled and plundered through my mouth, sending a strange shutter through out my whole body. I hadn't kissed someone on the mouth since freshman year of highschool, but I remembered that it hadn't felt like this. This wasn't kissing- this was euphoria and rapture and sex and life all rolled into one smooth action. It was love.
"My God, you are enchanting." Steven practically growled in my ear.
Yeah, yeah… I still couldn't resist being a smart-ass. "That's my job." I whispered. Steven smiled and kissed me again. I was lost, after that, in an endless nirvana of skin and sweat and sheets. And, for the first time ever, I actually enjoyed it.
S S S S S
I woke up half-dazed and happy. I never wake up happy. I usually just grumble and smack my alarm, curse a bit, and drag myself to the shower. But this time I was in Steve's bedroom, not my own. I think that had to do with most of the feeling. My entire body still hummed with warmth and a slight touch of pain from the night before. I all but shuttered. Wow, I hadn't ever met anyone who could do all that with nothing but their hands and their mouth.
I frowned and sat up, alone in the large bed. Well, that was interesting. Now that I really thought about it, Steve had pleasured me all night, not vise versa. He hadn't even asked for anything. I could never remember a time that had ever happened before. Not even in highschool.
I sighed and rubbed my eyes and looked around the room. The walls, which was lit with warm sunlight, were a warm color of green, with touches of tan and cream through out the room. Candles covered one small table in a corner and, in fact, the smell of them, and the entire room, reminded me of something. I couldn't quite put my finger on what, though.
A long, white envelope sitting on the nightstand caught my eye. My name was scrawled there in elegant loops and lines. Damn he had good handwriting. I picked up the pouch and opened it. Inside was a note and several lareg bills. I was half-relieved and half-sad to see that he had left payment. I shook my head and pulled out the note.
I am very sorry that I had to leave this morning, but I had a business meeting quite early. Please feel free to take a shower and take your time. I am afraid that I do not have anything around the house that would make a good breakfast. My apologies again. Do not forget the prints- those are yours, of course. I enjoyed last night considerably. Thank you very much. If you want to talk or just get bored, you know where I always am.
I let out a ragged sigh and climbed out of bed. I slipped on my clothes slowly, my thoughts exploding in a thousand different directions. And not a single thought I had was vacant of Steve's loving face or the memory of his caress. I smiled to myself, remembering every ethereal moment. I picked up the two prints, put the note and the money in my pocket and walked out the door, trying to fool myself into thinking that it was just another finished job.
S S S S S
It was night again, two days after I had left Steve's warm home. The man on top of me came in a forceful, but unwelcome, way that made me want to snort instead of scream. But screaming makes them feel powerful; it makes them feel like they actually had control and that I'm not leading them around by their cocks and their wallets. I tried to let them think that. I forced myself to let out a wail- it wasn't my best performance, but I didn't care. This was getting old. I suddenly sympathized with Janie incredably. I wanted out too.
The man payed me all right. It wasn't a great amount, but I didn't hassle it. I was too tired and too frustrated with myself. I wandered the streets, head down, trying to figure out what the hell I could do if I wasn't selling any more. I kicked a few stray cans on the streets and found myself in a slightly nicer part of town.
I guess I could work at McDonalds, I thought, but I chose against that option ages ago. I can't put myself through school. I can't live off of nothing. I can't…
I stopped. My head hurt. I sighed and looked up to see where I was. I started and gasped. I was on the street that Steve lived on. I hesitated briefly and then sighed. Hell, what did I have to lose?
I walked up to the dark forest green door and knocked softly. The door opened quickly. At first, Steve had a half-wearied look on his face, but his eyes suddenly lit up when they met mine. "H-hi." I muttered.
"Hello, Sean." He smiled at me calmly, not asking exactly why I had come.
"I… uh…" I sighed and threw caution into the wind. "You said that I could stop by if I got bored. Well, I couldn't be much more bored."
"Oh?" Steve's eyes sparkled brilliantly. "With what?"
"Everything." He looked almost happy with that answer. He grabbed me by the back of my neck and kissed me deeply. His hands skated over me, slipping under my tee shirt and over my skin. I groaned. Nothing mattered. I was his and he was mine… or so I thought at the time.